Items that deal with people in and around Northfield

Trading an online life for an offline one

A little more than a year ago, I introduced myself on this site, and now it’s time to say good-bye.

As many of you know, I have been a freelance reporter for the Minnesota Real Estate Journal for two years now. Earlier this year I accepted an expanded position editing its new publication, the Commercial Real Estate Journal, which appears quarterly as an insert in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

Mark W. Olson to speak at Olaf commencement

The St. Olaf Celebration Weekend culminates on Sunday afternoon with commencement. Mark W. Olson '65, this year's commencement speaker, has had a long, distinguished career practicing business ethics. From serving as president of the American Banker's Association to his position as chairman of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, Olson always has focused on ethics and values in the workplace.

Written By Elizabeth Child

To read the rest of the article visit the St. Olaf website.

We need your help!

Northfield, here's your chance to have your say! No, we're not talking about American Idol. We're talking about your opinions about

A graduate student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison is doing a major project on our civic journalism effort. She's done interviews and evaluated the site. Now she needs some feedback from those of you who submit stories and photos and comments.

All you need to do is take a survey. And while you won't win a free dinner or anything else, it's all completely anonymous and you won't be put on any spam lists.

So come on. Click through to the next page and take this online survey:

Northfield native considers Senate run

So your eyes are glazing over already and the national elections still are more than a year away? Well, here's an interesting story. Minnesota Public Radio has a cool report about a Nobel Prize-winning scientist from Duke University who may join attorney Mike Cerisi and comedian Franken in the race against Senator Norm Coleman in 2008. If you didn't grow up with him, or haven't seen him for a while, that's his photo from the Duke website.

Ok, I'm hearing yawns...The cool thing is that this super successful science geek is Dr. Peter Agre, who grew up in Northfield. You can read or listen to the story here. And check out Agre's bio on the Duke Medical School site. Or just Google him.

Nfld Historical Society - "To Our Boys in Service" - watch the documentary online

Click here to view the movieOn May 10th the Northfield Historical Society (NHS) presented To Our Boys in Service: Northfield and World War II. This was NHS’s first documentary and was produced by two St. Olaf interns Krista Siems and Laural Brentner. The documentary looks at how Northfield was affected by WW II through the words of Northfield’s Nellie “MOM” Phillips. The documentary includes interviews from Maggie Lee, Don Kimber, Bill and Penny Cupp and Margaret Spear.

Rotary honors Peggy Prowe

Each year the Northfield Rotary Club honors one person with the "Marston Headley Service Above Self Award." This year Peggy Prowe took the honor. Pete Stolley and Charlie Cogan are shown here as they made the presentationat Thursday's weekly meeting.

I met Peggy through her work on the Mill Towns Trail . In fact, we met as she arrived on her bike for a meeting at City Hall. But Peggy has a long, rich history of service to the community. Charlie did a great job of telling her story, so I asked him to send along his speech:

New math/science charter school proposed

May 22 2007 7:00 pm
May 22 2007 9:00 pm

The Cannon River STEM School, a proposed K-12 charter school with special emphasis on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), is presenting a community information meeting at 7 p.m., Tuesday May 22, at the Northfield Public Library meeting room. The school will be located at the Maltby Nature Preserve , a 90-acre site on the Cannon River. The Maltby Nature Preserve is just south of Randolph in Stanton Township between Northfield and Cannon Falls. During this meeting, information about the proposed school will be provided and input from the community will be solicited. Refreshments will be served. For additional information call 507-664-0770 or email's Weekly Book Report, May 17, 2007

April showers bring May book reports. New releases at the Northfield Public Library and the books of summer from River City. Let's get to it before this ice creams melts...

A dawn salute to Norway

Syttende Mai salute Several hardy souls gathered at Dean Kjerland’s 3rd Annual Syttende Mai Linie Aquavit Bloody Mary Salute to Dawn in the garden of the Kjerland Building, downtown on the river this morning. The first toast was made at 5:17 am. The event continued with the arrival of the Kavli bread, pickled (in white wine, of course) herring, and more bottles of aquavit. It was cold enough to see one's breath, but we enjoyed a lovely sunrise amongst the fragrant Spirea blossoms. The group dispersed with most moving on to the annual Frokost in the King's Room at St. Olaf. See you next year?

Dean Kjerland is a downtown business owner (and proud of his Norwegian heritage).

This Week in the Northfield Blogosphere - May 15th, 2007

The 'Sphere, she is back. We're converted to 100% recycled electrons and washed our 'Destroy Entropy' t-shirt - it gets so dirty so quickly...

The Northfield Construction Company has a picture-filled post detailing their work on laying the foundation for the third First National Bank branch...

The workers need to carefully compact soils around the water and storm water piping to ensure there is no floor or pavement settlement in the building or parking lots. We also took delivery of the reinforcing steel for the foundation. This gets to be quite a pile of steel----all specially bent to match the requirements of the foundation.

“Black” is end of rainbow for Carleton senior

For Martin Miller ’07 (pictured left) and the rest of Carleton’s Experimental Theater Board (ETB), this Thursday is bound to be a red-letter day. That’s because it’s opening night of their much-anticipated—and Miller’s final—production at the College. “The Woman in Black” premieres Thursday, May 17 at 8 p.m. in the Nourse Little Theater, with additional performances on Friday, May 18 at 8 p.m. and Saturday, May 19 at 8:30 p.m. Performances are free and open to the public; reservations are recommended.

Written by Juliet Dana '09

To read the full story visit the Carleton website.

Gunflint Trail fire strikes close to home

We may think the fire blazing the past few days along the Gunflint Trail is far away from us, but Vicki and Lee Dilley of Northfield are among people from across the state and beyond who have a personal stake in this news story.

Vicki mentioned the fire briefly Thursday before our weekly Rotary meeting. She was worried about her friends and neighbors up north, who were up there keeping her house there safe. I asked her to write a story about this experience, but she felt she wasn’t a writer. I got her to send me e-mail updates instead. Over the past couple of days, she’s shared more of her thoughts – and more of the reasons why so many people feel a special connection to this remote and beautiful wilderness. I have compiled her entries here, and I think you’ll see she was too modest about her writing skills.

Girls Night Out photos via Griff Wigley

GnoGriff Wigley has posted a bunch of photos from last night's Girls Night Out held by the downtown businesses. From the appearance of it, it looks like it was a great success.

This is great thinking from the downtown - the sort of originality that's required to a keep a downtown thriving in the Age of Big Box.

The Rotblatt Mystery

We got a letter from someone in Ohio the other day via our contact form, and this is what it asked:

I was curious as to when the Rotblatt Softball game takes place each year in your town. Thank you for any info you can provide…

Say what? Rotblatt? I've lived here going on seven years now and I've never heard of it. A little Googling revealed...

A window to his work" title="David Kjerland '65 in his studio" hspace="5" vspace="0" width="75" height="100" align="left" /> On a sunny afternoon in April David Kjerland '65 (pictured left) was listening to Dire Straits in his studio (co-owned with Tonya Kjerland '90) above the Old Firehouse Building in downtown Northfield. Forty-nine colorful glass panels were spread out on tables throughout the space. They were the elements of the 103-year-old Steensland Hall skylight that was destroyed by last year's hailstorm and lovingly restored by Kjerland over the course of four months.

"I loved every minute of it," says the former Civil Rights activist who opened his first studio in Northfield May 2, 1973. "I have really great feelings about that school," he adds as he looks out his window over the river toward St. Olaf.

Written by David Gonnerman '90

To read the full story visit the St. Olaf website.

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