Make Your Mark - Special Kick-Off for 4th Annual Sidewalk Poetry Competition

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From Northfield Arts and Culture Commission Chair Philip Spensley, comes this announcement:

Time to get those images that inspire you into words.  For the fourth year running, Northfielders will have the opportunity to see their poems or those written by their friends and neighbors stamped into sidewalks around town. 

The 2014 competition kicks off Saturday, February 1, at 10 a.m. in the Just Food's Community Meeting Room with the first public screening of Paul Krause's new documentary "Northfield's Sidewalk Poetry" (see the bottom of this post for a short preview).  The public is invited to attend and to bring a favorite poem to share.  The 2014 competition runs throughout February, with the final date to submit poems either mailed or delivered by 5:30 pm on February 28.


Carleton presents Area Premiere of “Remembering Nokutela,” Latest Film by Professor Chérif Keita

Remembering Nokutela

Carleton College will present the area’s premiere screening of “Remembering Nokutela,” the latest documentary film by Professor of French and Francophone Studies ChérifKeita, on Thursday, Jan. 30 at 7 p.m. in the Weitz Center for Creativity Cinema. The film, screened as part of the College’s International Film Forum, and co-sponsored by the Carleton Humanities Center, chronicles Keita’s four-year-long journey to uncover the story of Nokutela Dube (1873-1917), the long-forgotten woman pioneer of the liberation movement in South Africa. A question and answer session with Keita will follow the screening. The film is suitable for all audiences and the screening is free and open to the public.

Keita stresses the significance of this particular film: “All too often, the (hi)story of women is reduced to a footnote in the epic of brave men. In Africa, that footnote simply disappears when a woman has not been able to conceive or bear a child.” The story “rescues Nokutela from the purgatory of history, almost a century after her death at the age of 44.”


Carleton presents Weekly International Film Forum

Carleton College is hosting a weekly International Film Forum, with screenings held every Thursday (while classes are in session) beginning at 7 p.m. in the Weitz Center for Creativity Cinema. Featuring films from all around the world, these screenings are free and open to the public.


Beginners Guide to Home Brewing

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 Michael Cote, President of the Minnesota Home Brewers Association, will speak at the Northfield Public Library on Saturday, February 8, from 1-3 PM on home brewing.   Mr. Cote works at Midwest Brewing and teaches classes on home brewing. 

According to the American Homebrewers Association home brewing is gaining in popularity each year.  In 2012 more than 1 million home brewers brewed about 2 million barrels of beer.  If you are a complete beginner or just have questions on your first batch this program is for you.  The program will be held in the meeting room and is free and open to all.  For more information or to make disability arrangements, please call the library at 507-645-6606.


Carleton Convocation Explores The Universe

Dr. Sidney Wolff

Renowned astronomer Dr. Sidney Wolff, a member of the Carleton Class of 1962, will present the College’s weekly convocation on Friday, Jan. 24 from 10:50 to 11:50 a.m. in the Skinner Memorial Chapel. Entitled “Exploring New Worlds,” Wolff’s presentation is free and open to the public. Convocations are also streamed live and can be viewed online at go.carleton.edu/convo/.

Wolff’s numerous achievements make her one of the most respected astronomers today. She has served a series of directorships, including those at Kitt Peak National Observatory (1984-1987), the Gemini Project (1992-1994), and the National Optical Astronomy Observatories (NOAO; 1987-2001). It was the directorship of NOAO that had Wolff recognized as the first woman to direct a major U.S. observatory.


Public Invited to Screenings Hosted by Carleton Film Society

Weitz Center for Creativity Cinema

The Carleton Film Society, a student-run organization that promotes arthouse films, presents weekly public screenings on Saturday evenings at 4:30 p.m. in the Weitz Center for Creativity Cinema. Each film is preceded by an introduction from a Carleton professor or other guest speaker, and student-led discussions follow the screenings. Screenings are free and open to the public.

Upcoming screenings include


Carleton presents an Evening with The ’53 Swingbillies

The '53 Swingbillies

Carleton College is pleased to present a not-to-be-missed performance by The ’53 Swingbillies, taking place Friday, Jan. 24 at 8 p.m. in the Carleton College Concert Hall. This event is free and open to the public.

The ’53 Swingbillies honor several musical traditions, including Gypsy Jazz, Western Swing, Rockabilly and Swing. 1953 being the year that both Django Rheinhardt and Hank Williams died, as well as the year that guitarist/singer/songwriter Mark Kreitzer and fiddler Tom Schaefer were born, there may well be a cosmic connection beyond a love of the music! The band is rounded out with bassist/vocalist Chuck Kreitzer and percussionist Anthony Ihrig.


Public Invited to attend Immigration 101: Panel Forum on Minnesota’s New Immigration Laws

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The public is invited to attend a panel discussion entitled “Immigration 101,” a look at Minnesota’s new immigration laws and what they mean for Northfield students, families and employers. This event will take place Monday, Jan. 27 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in the Carleton College Weitz Center for Creativity Cinema. The free forum will feature short presentations by an expert panel, followed by audience questions and discussion. There will also be a reception with light refreshments, sponsored by the League of Women Voters and the Carleton Humanities Center. Everyone is welcome. Headsets will also be available for simultaneous Spanish translation.

Ricky Peterson, president of the League of Women Voters of Northfield and Cannon Falls, encourages community members to attend this forum. “We know we've always been a nation of immigrants,” says Peterson, “yet each new immigrant group presents new challenges to our communities. This is a wonderful opportunity to learn more about how our system is adapting to those challenges today."


ALISON MCGHEE AUTHOR EVENT RESCHEDULED FOR TUESDAY, JANUARY 21.

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Come to the Northfield Public Library and meet New York Times bestselling author and Pulitzer prize nominee , Alison McGhee on Tuesday, January 21, 2014 at 7:00 PM.  The event was originally planned for January 7, but was rescheduled because of the extreme cold.  Alison McGhee is a Minnesota author, and won the Minnesota Book Award for her first novel, Rainlight, in 1999.  Since her very successful beginning, she has written other adult novels:  Shadow Baby and Was it Beautiful and Falling Boy.  After writing several of her adult novels, she began writing picture books, young adult novels, and children’s chapter books.  She has garnered awards in several categories of her writing.  In addition to her first Minnesota Book Award, she won the Great Lakes College Association National Fiction Award for Rainlight.  She won the 2003 Minnesota Book Award for her book Countdown to K


Tim Penny to Speak on Entrepreneurship at WINGS Annual Meeting

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Tim Penny, president and CEO of the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation will speak on "Local Entrepreneurship: You Made It Happen!" at the annual meeting of Women in Northfield Giving Support (WINGS) Saturday, Jan. 25, at the Viking Theater, Buntrock Commons, St. Olaf College. The event runs from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. and is open to the public.

Penny will recap some of the experiences of the three-year-old WINGS Entrepreneurial Fund (WEF).  Since 2010, WEF has provided entrepreneurial support for women and youth in the Northfield area who are interested in starting or expanding their own business. WEF provides both technical assistance and entrepreneurial micro-loans. In addition to Penny’s talk, there will be refreshments, social time and a short business meeting.


eReader Help Sessions at the Northfield Public Library

Did you get an eReader for Christmas? If so, you should know about our free downloadable ebooks! Come to the Northfield Public Library to get help downloading library ebooks to your eReader.   These are walk-in sessions so no appointment is necessary. Bring your device and your library card. If you have a Nook bring your lap top computer.


What's Next for Northfield.org?

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The Contented Cow is the site for the Annual Meeting of Northfield Citizens Online, the organization behind Northfield.org, which celebrates its 23rd year in 2014. Born to “create an electric commons that strengthens the fabric of community in the greater Northfield area”, Northfield.org publishes stories and event listings from the community. But like all organizations, it must be dynamic and must change with changing times.

NCO has strived to ensure that Northfield.org has evolved to continue to be a valued resource for the Northfield community. To pursue that goal, in 2013, the board created a task force that, through discussions with focus groups with diverse participants, developed a set of recommendations, both short and long-term initiatives for future planning. These include changes in content, establishing funding and expanding use of social media and in-person events to engage Northfielders.


Patterns Shifting: on the subject of climate change, a Northfield focus

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On Saturday, January 18th, Northfield will host its first community-wide discussion on the subject of climate change. Meteorologist and entrepreneur Paul Douglas will be the keynote speaker beginning at 9:30 a.m. at St. Olaf College with a talk entitled, “Climate Change: Natural Cycle or Troubling Trend?” Attendees are encouraged to bring ideas, questions and concerns to contribute to the important discussions at this event.

According to Meteorologist Paul Douglas, “Healthy skepticism is an attribute, a necessary coping skill in a time of scams, hackers and endless corporate hype. I was initially skeptical of climate change in the 1980s and early 90s, but by the end of the 90s I was seeing some inexplicable and unnerving changes showing up on the weather maps I was studying on a daily basis. Something had changed. Patterns were shifting, with an apparent increase in the frequency and intensity of weather extremes, a trend that accelerated during the first decade of the 21st century. 


Climate Summit Registration Still Open

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There is still time to register for the Saturday January 18, 2014 Northfield Area Climate Summit at St. Olaf’s Buntrock Commons. This event is free and open to the public. (http://northfieldclimatesummit.org/registration/ )

In addition to the keynote speaker Meteorologist Paul Douglas, there will be nine break out sessions led by a wide range of experts, from academics to activists. The panels will include attention to the local implications of cimate change and offer practical information and resources to foster ongoing diecernment and action. 

For example, Robert Jacobel, St. Olaf Professor of Physics and Environmental Studies will lead a session offering participants the opportunity to learn more about the science of climate change.


HealthFinders ramps up services, outreach to patients in Rice County

Renae Blom HealthFinders Dental Director

HealthFinders Collaborative has high hopes for health care this year, having welcomed two additional staff members to the team to help patients access new services and connect with an underserved demographic.As part of the organization’s most recent initiative to provide dental care options for Rice County residents, HealthFinders has used new grant funding from Delta Dental to hire a hygienist who will serve as a coordinator for all dental care services. “I’ll be doing everything from getting basic supplies to quality control,” said Renae Blome, the new dental director. “I will be doing direct patient care, too. There are going to be a lot of patients. They’re already lining up.”


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