Governors' Choir Meets the Governor

Gov. Pawlenty and the Governors' ChoirLast Wednesday, March 1, the Governors' Choir of the Northfield Youth Choirs, under the direction of their artistic director Liz Shepley, sang in the house chamber of the state capitol for the opening of the 2006 legislative session. During their visit to the capitol, the group had the opportunity to meet with Governor Tim Pawlenty, as well as House Speaker Steve Sviggum and State Representative Ray Cox.

Locally Grown podcast #10: making Northfield an energy self-sufficient community


Issues covered in show #10 of Locally Grown, recorded in the KRLX 88.1 FM studio at Carleton on Friday afternoon: making Northfield an energy self-sufficient community

Guest: Bruce Anderson, Executive Director of RENewNorthfield. Click the photo thumbnail to see his memorable shirt (photo taken last summer).

And click "Read the rest of this entry..." to listen (32 minutes) or subscribe to the podcast

Olivia Frey of the Village School joins the Blogosphere

Olivia Frey, Director of the Village School of Northfield, has created a new weblog entitled Free Democratic Education.

Within her blog, she and other teachers at the Village School hope to post "radical discussions about education, learning, and reform in education."

The description of her blog further explains that posts will "..challenge readers to go to the root of our problems in our educational system, and offer a vision for transforming our schools and our thinking, in the process transforming society."

You can view her blog at . Welcome to the Blogosphere Olivia!

Protect our Water Citizens' Day at the Capitol

The Cannon River Watershed Partnership invites citizens to join others in a lobbying effort for clean water at the state capitol on Tuesday, March 14 from 9:00 to 3:00 p.m. Participants will have the opportunity to discuss concerns with their legislators and attend a rally in the Capitol Rotunda.

With the Minnesota Environmental Partnership (MEP), the CRWP is campaigning for effective solutions and investments that will protect our water for the benefit of generations to come.  MEP, a coalition of over 70 environmental groups, is asking the 2006 Minnesota Legislature to support “Protect Our Water,” a plan that will help protect and restore Minnesota’s rivers and lakes. Highlights of the 2006 Protect Our Water plan include:

Cannon River searched for body

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Divers from the Northfield, Faribault, and Dakota County public safety departments searched the Cannon River under the Hwy 3 bridge late this afternoon. A taxi driver reported seeing someone jump off the bridge earlier in the afternoon. As of 6 pm, no body was found. Click photos thumbnails for a larger view via Flickr. (Thanks to Tony Pierre for emailing an alert and to Police Chief Gary Smith for the phone update.)

Northfield All-Sports Broadcast - #1

St. Olaf students Ryan Maus and Matt Tiano have started an audio show called the "Northfield All-Sports Broadcast."

It'll soon be a podcast on their own blog, but here's the audio of their first show. It covers Northfield high school sports as well as the local colleges and beyond.

Click "Read the rest of this entry..." to play the 30 min. audioclip.

Northfield Entertainment Guide: Mar, 06 issue

negcoverthumbgeneric.gifThe new issue of the Northfield Entertainment Guide (NEG) is available free throughout the Northfield area and here via PDF.

Click image to view within your browser or right-click on the image to "Save link/target as..." and then download it and view/print from your PC.

Is Minnesota "dropping the ball" in Education?

The StarTribune recently published an editorial that showcases the findings from our statewide poll of voters’ support for early education. Those polled stretched across geographic areas, party lines and socioeconomic strata. Overwhelmingly, they agreed that making sure all children in Minnesota enter kindergarten fully prepared is a top priority for the state to address now.

Northfield has an Early Childhood Initiative: a group of people who are committed to strengthening early childhood experiences in Northfield.  One third (1/3) of incoming Kindergarteners in Northfield are not prepared for kindergarten!  They have not learned basic concepts such as: under, over and through, colors, letter recongition or book skills (holding a book, opening it etc.) 

Volunteers Deliver

A short story of plentiful and powerful volunteerism in Northfield, and how the new site came to be as a result

Chip Cuccio

Back in 2000, I vividly remember regularly perusing the "old" site - sometimes several times per day. And I did so from 1500 miles away. It was months before I was slated to relocate from the east coast to Northfield, and I used as a vehicle to become more familiar with the City. Simply by visiting regularly, and by reading the posts in the old Web Café, I sometimes felt almost like I was already here. I was thankful for the volunteers of back then - big time.

I had finally relocated to Northfield, and I felt quite familiar with our terrific city. I can't even begin to explain how happy I was to arrive here (and to live here!). I really enjoyed how active was (is!), and continued to be a regular reader / visitor of the site. But myself being computer / web geek for many years, I knew in the back of my mind, there was value I could offer to and to the community.

Concerned Citizens Oppose Cutting Elementary School Orchestra Program

At 7 p.m. last night at the Northfield High School media center, several dozen concerned students, parents, music educators and other community members appeared at an open work session of the Northfield School Board, and about a dozen spoke in passionate opposition to a budget proposal which would eliminate the elementary school orchestra program. The proposal is to shift the program to the Community Services Division, making it an after-school, fee-for-service program. Many of the speakers expressed their belief that this course of action would cut the string program at its roots, heralding the eventual demise of the entire program.

Kari Nelson, board chair, apologized for a scheduling conflict between the upcoming community hearing session on the budget proposals, to be held at the high school auditorium on March 9, and the middle school orchestra concert. She stated that when the meeting was set, it was not known that an issue of orchestra funding would be on the agenda. Zack Pelletier, elementary and middle school orchestra teacher, said that efforts were being made to reschedule the concert. Ms. Nelson urged all concerned citizens to feel free to contact board members by telephone, mail, or by e-mail via Superintendent Chris Richardson, and said that not being at this next meeting in person would not diminish their voices.

The directory of local business web sites

I had coffee on Sunday with former NCO Board members Nick Benson and his dad Curt Benson. (Click photo to enlarge.)

Nick's away at college but Curt's still lurking about, having taken on the volunteer task of updating and maintaining the directory of local websites. Since we switched platforms earlier this month, Curt's been steadily adding web sites to the Business Directory.

If you know of a local website that's not listed, use our Contact Us form to alert Curt. And if that web site has a weblog or RSS feed associated with it, be sure to alert us to that as well so we can aggregate the latest headlines into our various newsfeed areas.

Curt also contributes to the local economy via his business, Fab Lab, a "machine and fabrication shop specializing in high quality work for science and industry."


"Locally Grown" #9: telecom infrastructure


Issues covered in show #9 of Locally Grown, recorded in the KRLX 88.1 FM studio at Carleton on Friday afternoon:

Ultra high-speed broadband and Northfield's economic development.

Guest: Milda Hedblom, adjunct professor at the Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota, and professor of politics and communications at Augsburg College

Click the play button to listen (30 mintues). Subscribe to the feed. Subscribe with iTunes. Join the ISSUES discussion list to continue the conversation on these and other issues. Attach a comment to give us feedback. See the Locally Grown page for more on the show.


St. Thomas defeats Carleton for men's MIAC basketball title

NCO Board member Rick Estenson phoned me a few minutes ago from St. Paul where St. Thomas had just defeated Carleton, 54-47, for the men's MIAC basketball championship.

Northfield 360: Where in Northfield?

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This is a 360 degree panorama shot somewhere in Northfield a few days ago. Can you identify the location?

* "Small image":
* "Large image":
* "Low resolution VR movie": ( _requires Quicktime_ )
* "High resolution VR movie ": ( _requires Quicktime_ )

Post your guesses in the comment section!

Chamber Names Business and Business Person of the Year

The Northfield Area Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce that All Flex, Inc. has been named Northfield's Business of the Year in 2006. Steve Schmidt, owner of Steven Schmidt Construction, has been selected as the 2006 Business Person of the Year. Both will be recognized at a banquet in March.

All Flex, Inc. has made an important investment in our community and continues to evolve and grow with their innovative products, services and business strategies. The company’s success can be attributed to its unique market niche, willingness to quickly make changes and positive approach to customer satisfaction. The company’s active accounts continue to increase through relentless marketing efforts and proactive efforts to identify new customers. All Flex, Inc. provides contributions for many worthwhile local efforts that help promote the local business community and improve the quality of life in the Northfield area.

Steve Schmidt (pictured at left with wife Lori at The Grand on Thursday; click to enlarge. - Editor) has consistently encouraged and participated in economic development efforts that have led to significant improvements for the greater Northfield area. He has been a strong leader in the business community, willing sharing volunteer time, financial contributions, business knowledge and business expertise.

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