Items that deal with people in and around Northfield

Film "Bidder 70" Screening on April 13

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On Saturday evening, April 13 at 7:00 p.m. in partnership with students from St. Olaf SustainAbilities and Transition Northfield, the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship is screening the award-winning film “Bidder 70.”

The film centers on an act of civil disobedience in 2008 by University of Utah student Tim DeChristopher in the name of climate justice. He disrupted a land auction, preventing pristine land adjacent to Canyonlands National Park in Utah from being leased for oil and gas extraction. Registering as Bidder #70, he obtained 14 parcels for $1.8 million. He was removed from the auction by federal agents and taken into custody and questioned. He was indicted on two federal felonies, and in 2011, sentenced to two years in federal prison and will be released in April.

Genesis: The Art of Creation to be shown at St. Olaf's Viking Theater

Genesis painting

Genesis: The Art of Creation, featuring the creation of a painting by Fred Somers, Northfield's own nationally acclaimed artist, 

will be shown on Thursday, April 11 at the Viking Theater, Buntrock Center, St. Olaf College. Doors open at 6:30pm and the show

starts at 7pm. The film was made by Paul Krause of Northfield. For more information visit the film's website

Reading by Award Winning Northfield Author Gregory Blake Smith

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The Northfield Public Library is pleased to host a reading by local author and Carleton professor Gregory Blake Smith, as part of the Minnesota Book Awards Author tour, presented by Selco (Southeastern Libraries Cooperating).  The talk will be on Thursday, April 11 at 7:00 p.m. in the Northfield Public Library meeting room.   Greg Smith won a Minnesota Book Award for the novel  and short story category in 2012 for his book The Law of Miracles.  He has written three novels, The Devil in the Dooryard, The Divine Comedy of John Venner, which was named a Notable Book of the Year by the New York Times, and The Madonna of Los Vegas. His short fiction has appeared in various literary journals, including The Kenyon Review, the Antioch Review, and StoryQuarterly.

Dr. P.J. Flynn received national award

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The Association of Community Cancer Centers recently recognized Patrick J. Flynn, MD, a hematologist-oncologist with Minnesota Oncology and a longtime medical provider at Northfield Hospital, for his leadership in clinical cancer research. Dr. Flynn received the David King Community Clinical Scientist Award at the 39th national meeting of the Association of Community Cancer Centers in Washington, DC March 8. Award winners are physicians who have demonstrated leadership in the development, participation and evaluation of clinical studies and/or are active in developing new screening, risk assessment, treatment or supportive care programs for cancer patients. 


Niemisto Receives Northfield Living Treasure Award


Dr. Paul Niemisto was recently named "Northfield’s Living Treasure." A special award ceremony took place on Saturday, March 9th, at the Cannon Valley Regional Orchestra (CVRO) concert. Niemisto has created and led several musical ventures, including the CVRO, the Vintage Band Festival (coming again in the summer of 2013) and numerous other musical events throughout the years. Read about the highlights in the Northfield News and this esteemed citation that now resides at Northfield’s City Hall, compliments of Northfield’s Arts and Culture Commission.

Paul Niemisto, was born and raised in a small Finnish immigrant community on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, an environment that was rich with homegrown music.  Although his mother taught piano to kids outside the family, including some of Paul’s friends, Paul followed his own path and, in fifth grade, took up the trombone.  That path subsequently led him to a Doctorate in Music Education at the University of Minnesota and, eventually, after a slight detour to teach in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, Canada, to a teaching position at St. Olaf College, and thus, to Northfield. 

Paul’s impact on Northfield has been significant and sustained. 

Shortly after arriving here, he founded the Cannon Valley Regional Orchestra which he continued to lead for thirty-four years, giving opportunity to local amateur and professional musicians to make music together, and providing the community with access to locally performed classical music they would not otherwise have had.

World Premiere of Genesis:The Art of Creation

Genesis Painting

The world premiere of Paul Krause's new documentary, "Genesis: The Art of Creation" will take place 7pm, Thursday, March 21 at the Weitz Center for Creativity's Cinema.

The documentary features the artistry of local artist Fred Somers as he worked to create the largest and most significant painting of his long career. Fred has received numerous national awards for his oil and pastel paintings. Most recently Fred received the Bronze Award from the 2012 International Birds in Art Traveling Exhibition, International Association of Pastel Societies 20 Juried Exhibit.

Contributions Sought for Book Celebrating Lynne Young, Northfield Library Director

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Lynne Young, Director of the Northfield Public Library and Community Services, will be retiring on May 1 after serving our community for 28 years.  Who would have guessed that one of her dreams was to drive the Northfield Ice Arena Zamboni!  She did on March 8 at a celebratory "Lynne on Ice" party, and she did it well!

We have been celebrating Lynne's many skills and interests in anticipation of her retirement.  First, one of her favorite MN authors William Kent Krueger spoke to a packed house in January and commended Lynne on her role as Library Director in a community-that-reads.  

In February the renowned Minneapolis Guitar Quartet played a concert to over 100 people in the library, continuing a musical tradition in the library that Lynne initiated during the centennial celebration of the Carnegie building in 2010.  

Civil War Presentation at Northfield Historical Society Thursday, March 14th


Northfield Historical Society Director Hayes Scriven announces that on March 14th at 6:00 p.m. the society will continue the series on the Civil War as part of the sesquicentennial  observance of the that important period our history.  There will be a presentation by Civil War enthusiast and amateur historian Jim Stark entitled, Murfreesboro to Chancellorsville. Following the horrific defeat at Fredricksburg, Lincoln was facing new pressure from both his own Republican Party and the Peace Democrats.  Within his own party and cabinet political intrigue was at work while the Democrats began to push for a peaceful solution to the war.  Lincoln also faced a near mutiny within the Army of the Potomac and General Burnside’s leadership came into question from many fronts. Both England and France questioned if the union could be held together as one nation.  Early 1863 would challenge Lincoln’s leadership on all fronts.

Lin Bruce: "Extraordinary Bike Rides of an 'Ordinary' Person"

Lin Bruce, at end of ride to San Francisco

On Wednesday, March 13 at 10am, Lin Bruce will talk about her adventures on the bicycle at the Senior Center.  Approaching one of those decade-birthdays, Lin was wondering how she might celebrate, and was looking for adventure, when she noticed an ad in a magazine for a cross country bicycle ride that started on her birthday.  What put that ad before her eyes just as she was looking for something special to do? Since seeing that ad, Lin has crossed the country 4 times on her bicycle, most recently in the fall when she rode along the Pacific coast from northern Oregon to San Francisco, CA. 

Lin considers herself an ordinary person, who has had extraordinary times as she has crossed this country on a bicycle.   Come hear a bit about Lin’s experiences, and how she makes each journey one pedal stroke at a time.

Ron Griffith Young Leaders Fund Announces New Grant Recipients

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The Ron Griffith Young Leaders Fund announces new grant recipients, Victoria Ostenso and Ellie Youngblood, both representatives of Carleton College Student Farm.

Victoria and Ellie participated in a Sustainable Agriculture Education Conference in Corvallis, OR. Victoria and Ellie are developing a community outreach program through the Carleton Student Farm that involves teaching sustainable agriculture, plant science and cooking to Northfield area youth in the schools and summer programs. They are also working on networking with other food-related groups at Carleton and St. Olaf to fuel initiatives in the greater Northfield community.

Buchwald and Webster are Making a Difference

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Two longtime volunteers with a Northfield Boy Scout Troop have received the Northfield Healthy Community Initiative’s “Making a Difference” Award for January/February 2013. The award celebrates those groups and individuals in the community who have a positive influence on Northfield youth.

Ed Buchwald and Clark Webster have each served as adult leaders of the Carleton-based Troop 337 for more than four decades. Buchwald, a retired Carleton College geology professor, stepped down as Scoutmaster last October but still helps out with the troop, which he started in 1968. Webster joined the troop as its committee chair in about 1970, a position he still holds.

Both men greatly enjoy camping and backpacking, which is one reason they continue to volunteer with the troop, long past the days when their own sons went through scouting. They also have found it rewarding to share their knowledge and enthusiasm for the outdoors with the boys.

Documentary "Harvest" to air on Twin Cities Public Television

"Harvest: A Community's History Founded in Bronze" will be shown four times on Saturday, March 16 on Twin Cities Public Television's Minnesota channel.

It will be shown at 1am, 7am, 1pm and 7pm.

Harvest is a documentary created by Northfield film-maker Paul Krause. It focuses on the creation of the sculpture Harvest by Ray "Jake" Jacobson.

The sculpture was created as part of the 150th anniversary of Northfield and can be found on Northfield's River Walk. The film not only shows Jake's creative genius but gives a detailed explanation of the "lost-wax" process of bronze founding.

For more information about Harvest, visit the website at

Northfield’s Arts and Culture Commission 2013 Sidewalk Poetry Contest Winners Announced


The Arts and Culture Commission (ACC) of Northfield, in partnership with the Friends and Foundation of the Library, is pleased to announce the winners of the City’s third annual Sidewalk Poetry Contest and congratulate them for their efforts.  Chosen from among 121 poems submitted for judging, nine poems have been selected for imprinting in city sidewalks.  

The Arts and Culture Commission applauds and thanks the many local poets who submitted their poetry to the competition.  We are pleased to announce the following winners, in alphabetical order, of Northfield’s 2013 Sidewalk Poetry Contest:

Epic thanks the City of Northfield

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A recent Northfield City Council meeting included a presentation by the Dundas-based nonprofit Epic Enterprise Inc. The organization thanked the city for eight years of employing work crews made up of Epic's developmentally disabled clients.

"Hiring people with disabilities is not charity," said Kathy Topp, community employment liaison at Epic, during the presentation. "Bringing them into the City of Northfield is an exemplary act that models corporate and civic responsibility."

Conversations That Matter Series at Senior Center

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Patsy Dew, Assistant Director of the Northfield Senior Center, announces that the Northfield Senior Center and the Cannon Valley Elder Collegium are presenting a series intended to help people think about, and plan for, their own death.    This is a topic many would rather avoid until a health crisis forces decisions to be made.   Attending this series will help individuals identify what is important to them, what their resources are, and how to effectively communicate their end-of-life wishes.   The series may also be helpful to spouses or adult children as they anticipate the death of a family member.   The hope for the whole series is that it will engage people in significant conversation with each other, and eventually with their loved ones.  In addition we will be offering concrete tools, eg. on writing of wills, advance-care directives, etc.    

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