Events in and around Northfield

YMCA will offer first programs in February

Have you ever seen footprints in the snow and wondered where they came from or where they end? The Northfield Area Family YMCA offers "Animal Tracking" for children ages 7-9, on Saturdays from 1–2:30 p.m., beginning February 3 at the Sibley Marsh and Prairie. Children will be led by a naturalist from River Bend Nature Center as they explore animal behavior and lifestyles by observing the trails they use and the tracks they leave behind.

Twins Winter Caravan Comes to Northfield on Monday!

Metrodome-TwinsThe annual Twins Winter Caravan is coming to Northfield this Monday, January 22nd. We're not entirely sure where, but according to the Twins' web site, they'll be passing through Northfield, Faribault, and Rochester.

If you know where they'll stop please leave a comment on this story or drop us a line using the Contact Us form.

Many thanks to Susan Beaumaster for the tip!

This Week in the Northfield Blogosphere - Happy 105th Birthday, Basketball

January is a tough month for holidays.  I missed MLK Jr. Day, but that's probably too serious for inclusion in this column.  So, the 105th Anniversary of Basketball it is.

I'm not a big fan, but that's probably because I'm Minnesotan.  I think that this is a state holiday in Indiana, with lots of speeches, Hoosiers movie reenactments, and really short parades.  So here's to you, Dr. James Naismith, patron saint of tall people everywhere.

WINGS organization hosting speaker Jan. 27

Submitted by Joan Vance Behr

Annual Meeting speaker to address state of children in Rice County and Minnesota

wings logoWomen In Northfield Giving Support (WINGS) is pleased to announce that Jim Koppel, director of Children’s Defense Fund Minnesota (CDF), will be the keynote speaker at the WINGS Annual Meeting to be held Saturday, January 27, at 9 a.m. at the Northfield Community Resource Center. Koppel will be sharing CDF research and data about the state of children in Rice County and Minnesota.

Children’s Defense Fund is a private, non-profit research and advocacy organization which serves as an independent voice for children.  The organization pays particular attention to the needs of poor and minority children and those with disabilities.  CDF educates the nation about the needs of children and encourages preventive investment before children develop problems, drop out of school or suffer family breakdown.

WINGS is a philanthropic organization committed to educating and expanding the number of women in philanthropy in the Northfield area. Through pooled investments and focused giving, WINGS aims to improve the lives of local women and children, while building and strengthening community in the Northfield area.

Sustainable Community Solutions reports on the talk by Jason Hill

biofuels-basics-presentation.JPGBruce Anderson of Sustainable Community Solutions has a great blog entry regarding last night's talk by Jason Hill.  To read the full article, you can click here...

Jason Hill, research associate in the departments of Applied Economics and Ecology, Evolution and Behavior at the University of Minnesota, drew a standing-room-only crowd to the St. Olaf campus Thursday night. His lecture, entitled "Biofuels Basics: Energetics, Expectations, Environment and Economics," outlined and expanded on the findings of research recently published in Science magazine.

Weekend Entertainment and Events

Click to view/downloadEver wondered what Ann North may have been thinking?

Tonight you can sit back and hear the Northfield founderess recall winters past as they were in Northfield. Starting at 6:30 p.m., Thursday, at Millstream Commons.

Orrin DeLong and Marian Hvistendahl will play John and Ann North. The topic of "winter" just got more interesting - you won't want to miss it!

If music is more your style, head over to the Tavern and catch Mark Mraz tickling the ivories Thursday night. If Hip-Hop is more your thing, participate in Hip-Hop Night located in the upstairs section of the Rueb.

As always, Friday is full of entertaining happenings! Randall Kennedy will speak at Skinner Memorial Chapel, Carleton, Friday at 10:50 a.m. Kennedy is a law professor at Harvard Law School and will be speaking on "Race Lines in American Life."

Carleton is hosting a guest artist concert: The Irrelevants including saxophonist, Carrie Koffman, and violist, Tim Deighton will be accompanied by pianist Nicola Melville. The concert begins at 8 p.m., Friday, at Carleton's Concert Hall.

Musical events pervade on Saturday starting with the Twin City Playboys who will rock their country and cajun sound at the Cow from 8 - 11 p.m. Brat Pack Radio will rock the house at Dawn's Corner Bar in Dundas starting at 9 p.m. Relativity, with their blend of current and classic light rock with acoustic guitar and vocals, will entertain the crowd at the Tavern.

League's 4th Monday goes on hiatus

Television shows do it all the time. Your favorite shows are just showing new episodes after a holiday hiatus.

Pat Kriesel of the League of Women Voters says the Fourth Monday event for January just isn't going to happen. It's going on hiatus, a victim of a month thrown off by holidays and happenstance.

Pat says a series of cancellations and conflicting city meetings made the date unworkable. But she promised the series will be back on February 26, with a program to be announced later.

She also asks that if you have any ideas for topics, just comment below and the group will consider them, or click through to the league site link above and shoot them an e-mail.


Biofuels expert Jason Hill to speak Thursday at St. Olaf

Submitted by Janet Petri

On Thursday, January 18, Dr. Jason Hill of the Department of Applied Economics, University of Minnesota, will speak on “Biofuels Basics: Energetics, Expectations, Environment, and Economics”. The talk will take place at St. Olaf College in the Science Center, Room 282, from 7 to 8:30 PM.

Dr. Hill formerly taught at St. Olaf, and studies corn and grass-based ethanol, and soy biodiesel production. He has coauthored recent papers published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and in Science magazine. His research on biofuels was widely covered in the media, including many newspapers and National Geographic News. (Editor's note: Just Google his name and "ethanol" and you'll be amazed at who's interested in what he says.)

This event is sponsored by League of Women Voters of Northfield, Cannon River Watershed Partnership, St. Olaf College Environmental Coalition, and St. Olaf College Department of Environmental Studies.

Leading commentator on race in America to speak at Carleton College

Writer and scholar Randall Kennedy will present a convocation titled “Race Lines in American Life” at 10:50 a.m. Friday, Jan. 19 at the Skinner Memorial Chapel at Carleton College. The event is free and open to the public.

SCUBA certification class begins Wednesday

Northfield Public Schools Community Services Division has an exciting SCUBA opportunity. By taking the SCUBA Open Water Certification Class, participants will become certified to dive the underwater world.  The SCUBA Open Water Certification Class is held on Wednesdays, January 17 – February 21.

For more information or to register for this class, stop at the Northfield Public Schools Community Services Division office located on the first floor of the Northfield Community Resource Center (NCRC) at 1651 Jefferson Parkway in Northfield, call 664-3649, or go online to and follow the Community Services link.  Space is limited, so register today.

Rapper and activist M1 to speak at Carleton College

Rapper and activist M1, also known as Mutulu Olugabala, will give a talk titled “Hip-Hop and the History of the Black Panther Party” on Wednesday, Jan. 17 at 8 p.m. in the Carleton College Concert Hall. The event is free and open to the public.

M1 is half of the politically aware hip-hop group Dead Prez, which formed in the early 1990s to explore political and social issues through music. The duo’s 2000 debut album “Let’s Get Free” won many awards. Their songs comment on issues such as the public education system, drug addiction and alcoholism. M1 released his first solo album, “Confidential,” in 2006.

M1 is also president of the National People's Democratic Uhuru Movement, a grassroots organization that defends the democratic rights of Africans. He works with NPDUM to organize clothing drives, community dinners, mass rallies, and political education classes.

It's time to get out of the house!

What are we going to do now that winter has arrived?!!

You can choose from lots of great classes offered through Community Services.

  • Pick up cooking skills in How to Boil Water; Jan 16.
  • Get underwater in the SCUBA Certification class; Jan 17.
  • Learn American Sign Language Jan 18.
  • Pound on those keys with Intro To Blues Piano Jan. 20.
  • Sock some money away in a mattress with Making Sense of Retirement.
  • And don't forget about the first Friday Family Fun Night, Jan. 26, at Greenvale Park Elementary School.

Arts for Martin Kicks off MLK Celebrations

Arts for MartinARTech's Arts for Martin celebration kicked off Northfield's MLK activities Friday night.  Performers from around the community, including the Northfield High School Band, an original composition by Northfield composer Dan Kallman, and Prairie Creek Charter School's Elmquoia Singers, joined a standing room only crowd of over 300 Northfielders in honoring Dr. King's life and work through song, dance, and visual arts.  Dr. Cherif Keita, professor at Carleton, offered his insight as the evening's keynote speaker.

(Editor's note: A full schedule of Northfield events commemorating Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. can be found here.) 

Sarah Hale is on the staff of ARTech, the Northfield School of Arts and Technology.

Farmers to move barn Saturday

Editor's note: I know it's short notice, but people have just forwarded this e-mail about big news at Shepherd's Way Farms. I'll just let the messages (newest one first) tell the story. If you go, please send your photos to and we'll post them. 

We are moving a large barn to our farm tomorrow (Saturday) ( for photos and the whole story!). I'm looking for somebody to videotape the move from beginning to end -- with luck, somebody with a bit of experience and a digital video camera or professional video equipment.

Do you know of any student with access to this type of equipment and an interest in taping for us? The goal is to later make a documentary or instructional tape about barn preservation. We're working with the Friends of Minnesota Barns.

The move is scheduled to begin at 9 am and I should have more details. We'retrying to keep people and vehicle traffic around the farm to a minimum but anyone who is just interested in taking a look is welcome to come out on Saturday morning!

Carleton to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with two celebrations

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.Carleton College will celebrate its annual observance of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day with two special events. Both events are free and open to the public.

On Sunday, January 14, a candlelight service of remembrance and celebration will take place at 5 p.m. in the Skinner Memorial Chapel. The service will be led by Reverend Oliver White, senior pastor of Grace Community United Church of Christ in St. Paul. White first came to Carleton in the 1980s at the request of the late Senator Paul Wellstone, then a Carleton political science professor. White has returned to campus many times and has said he considers an invitation to speak at Carleton to be one of his highest honors. This special service will include performances by two of Carleton’s a cappella singing groups, Intertwining Melodies and the Knights. A soup supper will follow the service.

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