Events in and around Northfield

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.

Weekend Entertainment and Events

Click to view/downloadIs this Minnesota? The weather has been so mild that it feels like Spring ... get out of the house and run to one of the many happenings in Northfield.

The Northfield Arts Guild Gallery is hosting an Opening Reception: Art of Reflection, 7-9 p.m. Thursday. James Loewen will speak at Skinner Memorial Chapel, Carleton, 10:50-11:50 a.m. Friday about “History I Never Learned at Carleton — and Why it Matters!” Jeff Ray brings excellent guitar to The Tavern Friday and Marty Anderson and the Goods bring classic rock ‘n’ roll to the Contented Cow.

On Saturday you won’t want to miss the craziness that is the Just Food Cabaret at the NAG Theater at 7:30 p.m. All ages welcome – on & off stage! Jack Knife & the Sharps will have ‘em dancing at The Grand, 8:30–12:30 — the self-proclaimed “longest performing rockabilly band in history!” Lonesome Dan Kase is at Hogan Brothers – think O Brother, Where Art Thou? with a hint of ragtime and bluegrass. Enjoy!

Northfield Community MLK Event on Monday evening

Northfield Community Martin Luther King Day Celebration: The Dream Continues!

Northfield’s 13th annual community-wide celebration honoring Dr. Martin Luther King will be held on Monday, January 15.  This year’s event will be held at the Northfield Middle School.

(Editor's note: a full schedule of related events running from Friday the 12th through Friday the 19th can be found in the previous post.) 

The theme of this year’s event will be “The Dream Continues.”  Festivities begin at 6:30 p.m. with musical selections by the Carleton African Drumming Ensemble under the direction of Jay Johnson.

The program begins at 7:00 p.m. The Master of Ceremonies is Charles CoganFather Dennis Dempsey will provide the opening invocation and the benediction. 

Schedule for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day/Week

This information was gathered from the Human Rights Commission, St. Olaf College, Carleton College, and ARTech.

Friday, January 12
All Day @ St. Olaf - Day of Silence: Students will observe a day of silence to symbolize how different the atmosphere at St. Olaf would be if no minorities were present. This activity is open to all students.  Students will receive a “tag” identifying them as participants as well as a short description explaining their silence.

7:30pm @ ARTech
- Arts for Martin: ARTech hosts its third annual community celebration of the life and legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.  Guest presenter is Dr. Cherif Keita, Carleton College professor.

NCO Board to set plans for 2007

The board of Northfield Citizens Online, the group that runs this little website, will meet at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 10, at Carlson Capital Management.

We have a lot of good ideas for the year ahead, from environmental and health columns to online book clubs, in-person issues salons and and arts and authors sections. We will be prioritizing all the projects, setting timelines and lining up volunteers to help make them happen.

If you have ideas or comments, please send them our way and we'll add them to the mix!

Library now offers downloadable audiobooks

The Northfield Public Library will be offering a demonstration of its downloadable audiobooks on Saturday, Jan. 13, 2007 from 8:30-9:30 a.m. in the library meeting room.  Our collection is suitable for WMA players.  Apple Ipods are not supported at this time.  For more information please call the library at 645-6606.

Debby Nitz is a Reference Librarian at the Northfield Public Library. 

Singers invited to be a part of Arts for Martin

Attention, singers: you have a great opportunity to sing in the Arts for Martin, an annual gathering of community, creation of art, and celebration in the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The choir that gathers consists of all ages, school age through adult. We’ll sing a South African freedom song, a piece by local composer Dan Kallman, and a piece by the great jazz pianist, Oscar Peterson. Rehearsals are this week Tuesday, January 9th and Thursday, January 11th from 7:15 - 8 pm at ARTech Charter School

The Arts for Martin celebration is this Friday, January 12th at 7:00 pm. RSVP if possible to Bob Gregory-Bjorklund: 663-8806 ext. 204 -- or just come!

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