Items that deal with people in and around Northfield

Pediatrician Joins FamilyHealth Northfield

kristine matson Kristine Matson, MD, a Cannon Valley Clinic–Mayo Health System physician, is now practicing pediatric medicine at FamilyHealth Medical Clinic–Northfield. She is available to see patients at the newly-opened clinic located on the Northfield Hospital campus. Dr. Matson will provide primary pediatric care to children and families in Northfield and surrounding communities.

Village School - something to remember 'me' by

Village school"Everyone, whether you have children in school or not, should care about education, and should look to the Village School story as a cautionary tale."

Olivia Frey submitted her response to the court ruling to media outlets. It is worth reading because it gives testimony to the good that came from the Village School. The students it helped - 'the young boy who no longer required anti-depressant medications, the girl with a severe learning disability who became an avid reader and is now enrolled at the University of Minnesota, the child without friends who made friends, the girl who could not speak who is now publishing books.' This editor argues - there are no absolutes. Regardless of the decision, there is still something to be learned from the Village School.

In her statement, Frey asks questions such as 'Are standardized tests the way to help children learn? Is a standardized curriculum the best way for children to learn?

A Month in Palestine

Editor's note: Northfield resident Bill McGrath will be spending a month in Palestine. He gave us permission to reprint this email and possible future ones as he reports on his experience abroad.

holy site Shalom, salaam, howdy,

From July 22 until August 19, I will be living with a Palestinian family south of Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank. Each morning I will be learning Arabic at the University of Bethlehem. Each afternoon I will be working as a volunteer journalist with the International Middle East Media Center. Evenings, I'll attend lectures and films, plus other more informal activities. I am taking my guitar and will teach Grateful Dead songs to the Palestinians in exchange for learning some of their tunes. On weekends, there will be tours of refugee camps, checkpoints, settlements, the Wall and historical sites.

This unusual mouse-in-the-corner opportunity has been set up by the Siraj Center for Holy Land Studies in partnership with Bethlehem University and the US-based Society for Biblical Studies.

--Bill McGrath, Northfield, MN

Give Your Old NSA Soccer Uniforms A Second Life

Do you have a used Northfield Soccer Association uniform that sits unused in a drawer? If so, by donating the uniform to a school in Thailand you can give it a second life and make a deserving child happy.

I am collecting NSA soccer uniforms (shirts, shorts, and/or socks), shin guards, coach's shirts, cleats, and balls to give to underfunded schools in northeastern Thailand. Last year Northfielders donated over 250 individual uniforms (and another 275 old traveling team uniforms from the NSA) to children in Thailand. These uniforms were sorted by color and then given to public schools to use for their volleyball and soccer teams. Any uniforms collected this year will supplement the uniforms already donated.

At any point from now through Labor Day you can drop off your donation at the following locations:

Just Food Co-op
516 S. Water Street (look for red box by the entrance)

The Goerwitz House
203 Woodley Street W (near Spring Street--okay to leave on porch)

Crazy Daze Round Up

Img 1411It's the one day a year where you can eat a doughnut as large as your face and even your doctor approves: Crazy Daze. It was hot, but people still turned out in droves for the big mid-summer event. Here's a collection of CD posts:

We'll add more as we find them! Good work to all!

Chanhassen enacts total watering ban - Northfield still OK.

The Strib today has a story on how Chanhassen has enacted a complete ban on irrigation systems and sprinklers, but still allows hand-held watering cans and hoses...

Residents in Chanhassen have been ordered to turn off the spigot. The city on Monday enacted a total outdoor watering ban because droughtlike conditions have led to low aquifer levels and two of the city's municipal wells have failed.

Other cities such as Woodbury and Eagan have added significant restrictions to residential watering.

Carleton names Pósfay Associate Dean of the College

posfayProfessor of French and Francophone studies Éva S. Pósfay has been named Associate Dean of the College at Carleton College. She took over her new duties on July 1.

Born in Venezuela to Hungarian parents, Pósfay came to Carleton in 1991. She has a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree from Bryn Mawr College and a Ph.D. from Princeton University. Her research has centered on 17th and 18th century French and Francophone literature. Pósfay also has directed off-campus studies programs to France and has been an important contributor to the College’s cross-cultural studies program.

Since coming to Carleton, Pósfay has regularly been elected by the faculty into important committee positions, having served on the faculty affairs, faculty personnel, and education and curriculum committees. Says Dean of the College Scott Bierman, “The faculty have an obvious respect for Professor Pósfay’s clear and creative thinking, good judgment and unwavering integrity.”

Potter Party photos

wizards Hundreds of Hermiones and plenty of Potters filled the streets of downtown Northfield last night as Division Street was transformed into Diagon Alley.

I shot a couple dozen photos of the scene, including the "six legged quidditch races" and the costume contest. You can view them all in our Potter Party 2007 photo gallery, and you can add your own shots to it by sending them to us at

Of course Griff Wigley already has his Pottermania 2007 gallery online; if you've got one too, just add a comment and point us to it.

Update: the RCBlog has more photos—and a great account of the evening—at And ArtOrg has their own Flickr gallery up of their event with Potter illustrator Mary GrandPre.

St. Olaf promotes Kneser to VP

kneser St. Olaf College President David R. Anderson '74 has announced the appointment of Northfield resident Greg Kneser to the position of vice president for student affairs and dean of students at the college. Kneser, who has worked at St. Olaf since 1989, has served as dean of students for the past seven years.

"You all know Greg," wrote Anderson in a recent message to the college community. "So you can understand why the title of vice president is appropriate given his passion for the college and his abilities and accomplishments while serving as dean of students." In the same message, Anderson explained that at an "intensely residential" college like St. Olaf, where the student life component is so critical to the overall St. Olaf experience, it is important for that part of the college to be led by a vice president who reports directly to the president. "The president," he wrote, "should take responsibility for direct engagement with that piece of the college."

Read the rest of the story at

Weekend Happenings and Events

Get all your happenings and events information here! Check out these great events at the Northfield Entertainment Guide. Just click the image at the left to see all the events for the month of July ... here's what's coming up this weekend:

Thursday, It's the day of the big event for anyone who enjoys great food ... and, who doesn't? The Taste of Northfield is here! Taste all the local fare brought to you by all the great restaurants in Northfield! Bring the family and have dinner from 5 to 9 p.m. at Bridge Square, listen to the live music and participate in the auction. It's fun for everyone!

Chief Smith goes on indefinite leave of absence

According to Locally Grown:

The Chief has requested an indefinite leave of absence and it has been granted by the City Administrator. Roger Schroeder has been promoted to Captain, effective immediately. Capt. Schroeder will handle day to day operations of the department. If you have any questions, please see a Supervisor. Any questions regarding the Chief will be handled by the City Administrator.

An interesting turn of events, considering the recent swirl of publicity around the Chief.


If you find more, leave a message in the comments and we'll add it to the story.

'Red Bulls' coming home

Editor's note: We welcome your stories of homecomings, deployments and any other news you'd like to shary with the community. Check out our content submission guidelines or send us an email for more info.

Robert Sommers Raquel Sommers is one of the many Northfield-area residents who are excited about the return of the “Red Bulls” -- members of the 1st Brigade Combat Team of the U.S. 34th Infantry Division of the Minnesota National Guard. The unit was mobilized in 2005 and it's been in Iraq since March 2006, the longest deployment to date during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Sommers’ husband, Robert, was one of the first members of the brigade to land at Volk Field before heading to Fort McCoy in Wisconsin (read more about the soldiers' return in stories by MPR and the StarTribune).

St. Olaf names new vice president for advancement and college relations

St. Olaf College President David R. Anderson ’74 has announced the appointment of Michael Stitsworth as the college’s new vice president for advancement and college relations. Stitsworth, who will begin his new job at the end of the summer, is currently director of engineering advancement at Purdue University’s College of Engineering.

After 25 years at Purdue, Stitsworth did not take the decision to come to St. Olaf lightly. And he’s excited about the change. “One of the most important reasons for me to come to St. Olaf is that it’s a college of the church,” he says (St. Olaf is a college of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America). “The opportunity to work in a setting where students can explore their professions and their passions and then have that come together in a vocation is a really exciting thing.” Stitsworth is eager to help St. Olaf secure resources and tell the world about what’s happening at St. Olaf.

Northfield noted in magazine stories about Jesse James

jesse james Two publications with broad circulation focus on Jesse James and the Northfield raid. “Secrets of the Civil War” is the cover story of the current issue of U.S. News & World Report (July 2-9), and page 37 features a piece about Jesse James. "In Search of Jesse James" is an article In the July/August issue of Midwest Living featuring a trip guide through Missouri and Minnesota places related to the famous outlaw

Strib highlights Northfield's dynamic online community

Griff A story by Sarah Lemagie in this week's StarTribune South that featured Griff Wigley (Northfield's "most prolific blogger") also drew attention to "Locally Grown and, for which Wigley was chief contributor for years, have reputations as debate venues free of the bile and bad feelings inevitable in most communities as politically active as Northfield," writes Lemagie.

What does board member Doug Bratland have to say about Griff? "He's good at asking questions, drawing people out, getting people to talk."

Read the full story here.

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