Everything else in Northfield

Healthy Community Initiative invites board nominations

HCI logo The Northfield Healthy Community Initiative (HCI) is currently seeking nominations for a position on the HCI board. HCI expects to have at least one open board position beginning in September 2007. HCI board members serve three-year terms.

Formed in 1992, HCI is a coalition run by a board of community leaders, youth, parents, and school personnel. HCI’s mission is to “promote an environment that strengthens the networks of support that will nurture competent, caring and principled youth.” To achieve this, HCI does not operate or manage its own programs. Instead, HCI works with community partners to foster collaboration and to support community-driven efforts that benefit Northfield youth and families.

How Green is Your Team?

In my multi-tasking efforts of working at home I was suckered into one of Google's "webclips" that hover above the many work emails I am reading and flipping back and forth among. This caught my eye: Official Google Blog - A clean energy update. Me being the clean energy awareness trivia hunter that I am thought I'd check it out. Apparently one of Google's core missions is to address climate change. I guess they believe the hype of global warming. They are using solar panels to offset peak electricity consumption at their headquarters. They are also constructing solar carports with charging stations for plug-in hybrids. Huh.

So I wondered, what are local Northfield businesses and organizations doing to 'greenify' their operations?

Dime-sized Hail Hits Northfield

Residents shake fist at sky: "Is that all you've got?!"

Okay, the worst seems to have passed rather quickly. It was a long build-up and a blessedly quick crescendo. Hail strikes Northfield again, dredging up memories of the massive hail storm of August 2006, but the hail is much smaller this year, sparing us from the type of damage wreaked last year.

Do you have pictures? Stories? Video? Send the pictures to pictures@northfield.org, post the video to YouTube or Google Video and/or post a comment in the comment section.

Update: David Gonnerman has sent in a bunch of excellent storm pictures. We've moved the pics into a gallery - click here to see the pictures.

This Week in the Northfield Blogosphere - June 19, 2007

The 'Sphere is back just in time for Juneteenth.   Fully half the states in the US of A recognize Juneteenth as a holiday or observance; Minnesota does not.   TWINB does, but we're a holiday-type crew.  Anyways, on with the show!...

The Northfield Construction Company is renovating the new Montessori School that is coming on the south side of town...

One of the bigger tasks involved the removal of the existing concrete
basement floor. The building official determined that the existing
floor to ceiling height was 2” lower than the height prescribed by the
building code. Our only viable solution was to remove the concrete
floor, excavate soils, and re-lay a new concrete floor.

Koester Court fire

Koester CourtI missed all the excitement, but apparently there was quite a fire early yesterday morning at the Koester Court apartments, off Jefferson Parkway near the Senior Center. Trapped residents, heroic, ladder-climbing rescues and the whole deal. The KSTP News website ran a story on the fire, and the following is from Al Roder's hot-off-the-press weekly memo that we run every Monday in our City Hall Insider post:

At about 1:00 a.m. Thursday morning, we received a call that an apartment building at Koester Court Apartments was on fire and people were trapped inside. Within minutes, police, fire, rescue personnel and Northfield Ambulance personnel arrived and began evacuating the residents, many of whom were not ambulatory. The lines of responsibility blurred as police officers were climbing ladders to assist residents escape the dangerous smoke and flames and fire crews were assisting paramedics and with traffic control. Local community businesses like Polzin Glass, Benjamin Bus, Valley Autohaus, Northfield Hospital and the American Red Cross arrived to assist with securing the property, transporting victims to temporary housing provided by the Red Cross and moving vehicles from the parking lot to prevent damage by fire.

Edina bike leader visits Northfield

Anderson, Ostrem & RuskOn Tuesday, June 5, Steve Rusk, chair of the Bike Edina Task Force and Bike Edina, visited Northfield at the invitation of the Nonmotorized Transportation Task Force. Steve is a dynamic individual who is doing important work to improve conditions for cycling in Edina, a southwestern suburb of Minneapolis that is currently developing a comprehensive city bike plan. He has done a lot of work to educate himself about cycling safety and infrastructure, and he’s a fount of statistics and information.

He’s also an excellent road cyclist, as I discovered when Bruce Anderson and I led him on a tour of the city. I struggled to keep up with Bruce and Steve as we made our way around town. I discovered that my favorite pace for biking is my own!

RENew Northfield Transportation Committee update & meeting notice

RENew logoI thought I would take a moment to highlight the accomplishments over the past couple of years of the RENew Northfield Transportation Committee:

  • Non-motorized Transportation Task Force formed
  • Amcon selling B99 Bio-Diesel, partially as the result of the "proof of concept" Northfield Bio-Diesel Buyers Club
  • Ride-share system available to those who live or work in the seven county metro area (the goal is to expand it state wide next year)
  • Third annual BBOP day on Bridge Square with more that forty people stopping by
  • Bio-Diesel powered commuter vanpool from Northfield to downtown St. Paul whose members use only about a quart of petroleum based diesel each per round trip

I also want to thank all of the people who helped make all of this happen - not by name, though, lest I miss someone!

Northfield from the air

A St. Olaf classmate of mine recently took me aloft to shoot some aerial views of the St. Olaf campus. I also managed to snap a few images of Northfield. As you can see, the recent rains are helping Northfield look pretty lush. Special thanks to pilot Reid Haase for getting us up ... and back down.

Buckle Up, It's gonna get interesting

bad weather screenshot

If you haven't heard already, the weather report for today is ominous.

Update (8:00pm): Still a wind advisory + rain, but the threat of really, really severe weather has mostly disappeared.

Update (1:30pm) - Tornado watch for Rice County until 10:00pm.

From the NOAA site :


May Weather Wrap-Up


The flowers are blooming. The sun is shining. It must be May!

The rain we had seen at the end of April seemed to be a thing of the past, especially during the first week of May. With high temperatures in the mid to upper sixties and cool breezes blowing our way, May was shaping up to be a beautiful month. The first real rain shower was on the 8th, with a high of 76 and wind gusts around 30 mph. Total accumulation was about half an inch of precipitation. The following days – the 9th through the 14th – kept with the trend of relatively warm, sunny days with highs in the 70’s and even as high as 88 on the 13th.

Carleton College students launch ethanol information website

ethanol billboardethanol plantStudents at Carleton College have launched “Our Ethanol Debate,” a community resource website providing information about the proposed ethanol plant in Bridgewater Township, Minn., located a few miles south of Northfield.

The website is the brainchild of Carleton cinema and media studies professors John Schott and Michael Griffin, who saw great potential for their students to get involved with the local community by creating a real-life opportunity to put their knowledge into action. Hours of research and countless interviews later, Carleton has unveiled www.ourethanoldebate.com.

Northfield Construction Named EnergySmart Partner

Northfield EnergySmart BuildingWorks has named Northfield Construction Company (NCC) as its May EnergySmart Partner of the Month. EnergySmart BuildingWorks is an initiative of RENew Northfield, with funding from the Northfield Area Foundation and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. NCC was selected as the May EnergySmart Partner of the Month in recognition of the company’s long-standing commitment to building high-quality, energy-efficient homes and commercial buildings to customers’ specifications.

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 Northfield.org.

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:

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 info@thesciencecentermnp.org.

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).

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