Events in and around Northfield

Come join our first conversation salon of the season

Do you believe in God? Do you believe in religion? Do you ever have questions about what you believe?

Well, you might want to join us for a face-to-face discussion of atheism, what it means to be an atheist and how atheism challenges believers in their view. 

Come join us Saturday night, January 27 (tomorrow!), at my house when we launch's new Conversation Salons. There will be plenty of room, lots of wine and cheese and good company. We'll socialize from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. or so, then start the discussion. Feel free to join in for as much of the evening as you can.

We've been talking about this in the forums and our Issues List, but someone has suggested I put a reminder out there for everyone. So here it is.

Don't get stressed about studying in advance. Salons are really just parties with some conversation instead of charades. You don't have to be subscribed to the Issues List to be involved; this is just an informal way to meet new people and catch up with old ones.

Weekend Entertainment and Events

Click to view/downloadThe weekend is filled with diverse activities ~ you won't want to miss these!

Thursday, January 25: Carleton is offering two unique lectures: one on art, the other on genealogy. Thursday you can attend the art lecture: "Reflections on Beauty: A Discussion of Chikanobu’s ‘Jidai Kagami’" held at the Art Gallery on campus from 4-5 p.m. Then at 5 p.m. you can head over to Carleton’s Leighton 304 to hear a lecture on "Genealogy, Intimacy and the Shifting Boundaries between Legal and Illegal Immigration." If music is more your style, stop in at Dawn’s Corner Bar in Dundas to hear The Dweebs, who are the self-proclaimed “ultimate party band.” Norwegian Cowboy will entertain the folks at The Tavern with his blend of western, honkytonk and Neil Diamondesque tunes.

Friday, January 26: Ever wondered if environmental pollutants have a link to cancer? Sandra Steingraber will deliver a convocation from 10:50-11:50 a.m. at Carleton’s Skinner Memorial Chapel entitled, “Contaminated Without Consent: How Exposure to Chemical Pollutants in the Air, Food and Water Violates Human Rights.” Steingraber is a internationally recognized expert on environmental links to cancer and offers insights into green architecture, campus sustainability and the future of food in the world short of oil. Just Food Co-op is hosting a Cheese Tasting with Friends from 7-8:30 p.m. Just Food asks that you bring friends, bring wine and please pre-register. Marty Anderson and the Goods will offer The Contented Cow crowd a taste of acoustic, electric and classic rock spanning the decades of Dylan, Young, Springsteen and the Beatles.

Leading environmentalist to speak Friday at Carleton

Sandra Steingraber, an internationally recognized expert on environmental links to cancer, will present a convocation titled “Contaminated Without Consent: How Exposure to Chemical Pollutants in Air, Food and Water Violate Human Rights” at 10:50 a.m. Friday, Jan. 26, at the Skinner Memorial Chapel at Carleton College.

The event is free and open to the public. Steingraber also will appear at a community reception Friday at 5:15 p.m. at Northfield’s Just Food Co-op. The reception is co-hosted by Carleton College, Just Food, and the Environmental Quality Commission of the City of Northfield.

An ecologist, poet, and cancer survivor, Steingraber wrote the highly acclaimed book “Living Downstream: An Ecologist Looks at Cancer and the Environment” (Addison-Wesley, 1997), a personal and scientific exploration of how toxic chemicals contribute to rising cancer rates in various communities. Regarded by many as “the new Rachel Carson,” Steingraber also has published “Having Faith: An Ecologist’s Journey to Motherhood” (Perseus Books, 2001) and contributed to the essay collection “What We Do Now” (Melville House, 2004), in which various writers outlined their ideas for life after the most recent presidential election.

Carleton talk to focus on Latin American issues

The Latin American Studies Department at Carleton College and Voces Para Latinoamerica, a nonprofit political organization working in Latin America, are hosting a talk entitled “Neoliberalism and its Impact on Children Living in the Streets in Latin America,” led by Jose Alvarez Blanco, president of Voces para Latinoamerica in Spain, and Celia Jordan Loayza, President of Voces para Cochabamba in Bolivia.

The talk will be held at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 25, in the Gould Library Athenaeum.

For more information contact the Latin American Studies Department at 507-646-4240.

Cleaning Up the Cannon River Here and Now

A report of findings and how you can help

Have you ever wondered what you can do to help your old friend, the Cannon River? Come to a meeting on Monday, January 29, 6–9 p.m. at the First United Church of Christ at 300 Union Street in Northfield and find out. Dinner is included; reserve yours by calling 507-786-8400.

In October, 2004, Cannon River Watershed Partnership (CRWP) initiated a project called Increasing Local Power and Capacity of Healthy Waters Issues. Healthy Waters issues were those identified by Minnesota Environmental Partnership in its 2004 Legislative Agenda, and for this project were reducing amounts of phosphorus, fecal coliform bacteria, and mercury received by waters within the Cannon River watershed. The goal of this project has been to promote immediate, effective, practical action by individuals and governments.

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.

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