Blogosphere

Council hire meant to improve maintenance at troubled wastewater plant

Northfield News - Tue, 06/23/2020 - 4:16pm
The Northfield City Council last week took an important step to shore up the maintenance process at the wastewater treatment plant following a number of troublesome incidents.
Categories: Local News

Deadline approaches, funds still available for EDA e-commerce grant program

NDDC's Downtown Northfield - Tue, 06/23/2020 - 3:48pm

The Northfield Economic Development Authority recently approved a $15,000 grant program for restaurants, eateries and retail shops in Northfield to help them build their online commerce presence.

Businesses with 20 or fewer full-time equivalent employees are eligible to receive a grant for 50% of costs associated with e-commerce investment up to $1,500.

This is a first-come, first-served reimbursement program.  Applications are due by June 30th.  More details can be found at ci.northfield.mn.us/edagrant and a Spanish version of the information here.

The post Deadline approaches, funds still available for EDA e-commerce grant program appeared first on Northfield Downtown Development Corporation.

Categories: Organizations

Popular downtown restaurant moves to new location

Northfield News - Tue, 06/23/2020 - 3:28pm
A popular downtown restaurant is operating in a new location.
Categories: Local News

Season to begin Saturday, Dukes to follow strict distancing guidelines

Dundas Dukes Amateur Baseball Club - Tue, 06/23/2020 - 2:33pm

DUNDAS, Minn. - Dundas will open its 2020 season on Saturday with a non-league game against the Moorhead Brewers at Memorial Park at 4 p.m.

The Dundas Association Baseball Board of Directors on Monday night approved the start with a directive that the club and its visitors adhere to the the guidelines set forth by the MInnesota Department of Health and the parameters set by the Minnesota Baseball Association. Teams and fans will be mandated to social distance and avoid all unneccesary contact. 

The Dukes are coming off an up-and-down 2019 campaign that saw the club go a mere 4-6 in section play before a sweep of Hampton in the section playoffs. Dundas then rattled off four stratight wins to reach the state title series. Chanhassen swept the Dukes on Labor Day, giving Dundas its eighth runner up finish to go with five state titles. It was the fourth championship appearance since 2008.

Categories: Organizations

Molly Halls Recipient of 2020 Minnesota Direct Support Professional of the Year Award

Laura Baker Services Association - Tue, 06/23/2020 - 2:05pm

National Disability Provider Association Names Molly Halls Recipient of 2020 Minnesota Direct Support Professional of the Year Award The American Network of Community Options and Resources (ANCOR) announced that Molly Halls, a Direct Support Professional (DSP) at Laura Baker Services Association (LBSA), has been named the recipient of the 2020 Minnesota Direct Support Professional of the Year...

Source

Categories: Organizations

Hybrid solution a “multi-faceted” option for returning to school; Courts struggle with how to safely open; NDDC receives grant for “Threshold” sculpture

KYMN Radio - Tue, 06/23/2020 - 12:02pm
By Teri Knight, News Director While the colleges seem to be planning for returning students, the Northfield School District continues to work on plans for three different scenarios including a full return to in-person classes, continued long-distance learning and/or a hybrid. Superintendent Dr. Matt Hillmann said the hybrid option would mean strict 6 ft. social

St. Olaf student wins journalism contest

St. Olaf College - Tue, 06/23/2020 - 9:50am
St. Olaf student Zeke Warren-Weigmann ’21 has been named the winner of the first Big Scribble student journalism contest. 
Categories: Colleges

Air-Source Heat Pumps Webinar

City of Northfield Calendar - Tue, 06/23/2020 - 9:27am
Event date: July 14, 2020
Event Time: 12:00 PM - 12:30 PM
Location:
Northfield, MN 55057
Description:
An air-source heat pump can provide efficient heating and cooling for your home. When properly installed, an air-source heat pump can deliver one-and-a-half to three times more heat energy to a home than the electrical energy it consumes. Learn more about air-source heat pumps and what you need to know before installing one.

Jenelle Teppen

KYMN Radio - Tue, 06/23/2020 - 9:14am
Dundas City Administrator Jenelle Teppen provides an update on construction projects in Dundas including City Hall and Kwik Trip, as well an update on hiring a new police chief.

Dr. Matt Hillmann

KYMN Radio - Tue, 06/23/2020 - 9:10am
Northfield School Superintendent Dr. Matt Hillmann discusses the three options that the Department of Education has issued as guidance to school districts for opening in the fall.

COVID-19 puts region's growing Pride Month festivities on hold

Northfield News - Mon, 06/22/2020 - 5:30pm
With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to put the kibosh on large events, the increasingly open and visible local LGBTQ community will be forced to celebrate LGBTQ Pride month more quietly this year.
Categories: Local News

More than $60 million available in grants to small businesses affected by COVID-19

NDDC's Downtown Northfield - Mon, 06/22/2020 - 2:27pm

The state of Minnesota is launching another round of relief for small businesses.  Please view the information below from DEED and encourage your favorite downtown businesses to apply!

St. Paul – The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) has announced that the Minnesota Small Business Relief Grants Program – which was approved by the Minnesota Legislature last week and signed by Governor Tim Walz on Tuesday – will begin accepting applications this week.

This program will provide $10,000 grants to small businesses that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses with 50 or fewer full-time employees are eligible. Half of the funding will go to businesses in Greater Minnesota and half to businesses in the seven-county Twin Cities metro area, as required by law.

Additional requirements include:

  • $18 million for businesses with six or fewer full-time employees
  • $10 million for minority business enterprises
  • $2.5 million for veteran-owned businesses
  • $2.5 million for women-owned businesses
  • $2.5 million for operators of indoor retail and food markets with an ethnic cultural emphasis

“Small businesses across our state urgently need this relief,” said DEED Commissioner Steve Grove. “DEED applauds the bipartisan action to pass this legislation, and we are grateful to Governor Walz for signing the bill quickly so we could immediately get this grant program up and running.”

The application period will begin on Tuesday, June 23 and close at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, July 2 to fulfill the 10-day period required by the law. A randomized, computer-generated lottery process will be used to select eligible businesses that will receive awards. All awards will be administered by qualified local and regionally based nonprofit agencies, and the grant funds can be used for working capital to support payroll expenses, rent, mortgage payments, utility bills, and other similar business expenses.

To be eligible, businesses must have a permanent physical location in Minnesota and be majority owned by a permanent resident of Minnesota. Businesses must be able to demonstrate hardship as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. Additional eligibility requirements and application information can be found online at DEED’s Small Business Relief Grants page.

DEED is the state’s principal economic development agency, promoting business recruitment, expansion and retention, workforce development, international trade and community development. For more information about the agency and its services visit the DEED website or follow DEED on Twitter.

The post More than $60 million available in grants to small businesses affected by COVID-19 appeared first on Northfield Downtown Development Corporation.

Categories: Organizations

Despite benefits, local officials struggle to expand broadband

Northfield News - Mon, 06/22/2020 - 2:23pm
With COVID-19 and Gov. Tim Walz’s “Stay at Home” orders forcing Minnesotans to work and study from home, a lack of access to broadband in many rural areas throughout the state is being felt more acutely than ever before.
Categories: Local News

Charter Commission recommends adding oath to uphold city's charter

Northfield News - Mon, 06/22/2020 - 1:21pm
The Northfield Charter Commission is recommending a change to the city’s charter would add a promise to uphold the charter in city officials’ oat of office.
Categories: Local News

4th/Water St. Bridge walkway design met with disdain; Environmental impact taking toll on local State Park; Green Step City update; Nate’s Garage Car show and Burnout Contest raised nearly $5k

KYMN Radio - Mon, 06/22/2020 - 12:02pm
By Teri Knight, News Director The newly installed walkways on the Water/4th St. bridge were met with disdain, to say the least, as residents got an eyeful on Friday of the barriers to separate fisherman from pedestrians from cars. In a Facebook post just before 5pm on Friday, the City wrote, The design and material

Once in a Blue Moon Lodge

KYMN Radio - Mon, 06/22/2020 - 11:15am
Teri revisits here 2017 interview with Lorna Landvik, author of “Once in a Blue Moon Lodge”. It’s a page turner and Lorna is a fun interview! Set adrift when her mother sells the salon that has been a neighborhood institution for decades, Nora Rolvaag takes a camping trip, intending to do nothing more than roast

A global career path

St. Olaf College - Mon, 06/22/2020 - 10:53am
Ariel Mota Alves '20 came to St. Olaf knowing he wanted to pursue a career in international development. His experiences on and off campus over the last four years have propelled him to a graduate degree fellowship at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa.
Categories: Colleges

Starting Over Again

Tom Swift - Untethered Dog - Mon, 06/22/2020 - 6:04am
Editor’s Note: The intention here is to start a Workout Journal. Who will want to read such a Journal is not especially clear. Mostly, the benefit of such a journal is likely to be entirely the author’s, When it comes to fitness, he considers himself a learned Everyman — one who aims to feel good, […]
Categories: Citizens

Former professor Michelle Gibbs implicates “Ole culture” in letter following resignation, sparks discussion of anti-racist action on campus

Manitou Messenger - Mon, 06/22/2020 - 2:43am

“I am leaving St. Olaf College because as a Black woman I don’t have the full support of my white colleagues at the college,” former assistant professor of theater Michelle Gibbs wrote in a letter to faculty on June 13, detailing her account as a Black professor at St. Olaf. 

The letter follows her resignation from the school, announced in the spring semester of 2020. In the letter, Gibbs cites specific reasons for leaving, which include “white rage” in the classroom and “Ole culture”, an undefined term that seems to reference the College’s focus on whiteness as the norm.

“This past year, I taught in constant fear of my white students,” Gibbs wrote. “I knew if I angered them, it could mean my job, or fear that they would come for my career.”

During her time at St. Olaf, Gibbs reports that she moved about the College feeling as if her different ways of teaching were viewed as a hindrance, and felt she was being monitored by white faculty, deans and the provost. 

Gibbs finished her letter by imploring white faculty to do hard anti-racist work together in order to support faculty of color at the College. She explained that if things did not change, Black faculty would continue to leave the school. 

“Once you learn how to be an ally, then you can teach white students how to be allies as well,” Gibbs wrote. “Maybe then there will be space to include all types of teaching pedagogies from diverse bodies that aren’t dependent on understanding Ole culture to be effective.”

The full text of Gibbs’ letter is embedded at the bottom of this article.

Many faculty members responded to her letter voicing their support for Gibbs and sadness that she would be leaving, as well as lamenting her experiences with racism in the classroom and across campus. 

Soon after, visiting assistant professor of religion Kelly Figueroa-Ray and assistant professor of music Rehanna Kheshgi spearheaded the creation of the Task Force to Confront Institutional Racism at St. Olaf College. Staff members Alyssa Melby and Theresa Heath were brought in as co-chairs.

The task force hosted a Zoom meeting open to all faculty and staff on June 15, just two days after Gibbs sent her letter. The meeting had over 150 members in attendance. 

The leaders of the task force created four headings in their agenda largely based on Gibbs’ email — “Lack of support for faculty of color,” “Guise of Effective Teaching and Learning / Ole Culture Standards and Norms,” “Lack of protection for faculty of color / acknowledgement of white rage,” and “Administration’s insufficient response to 2017 campus protests.”

A copy of the entire meeting agenda is embedded at the bottom of this article.

Immediate next steps for the task force include solidifying faculty and staff members’ involvement, seeking to include students in their work and deciding on their first action item. The task force plans to establish subcommittees composed of staff, faculty and students to focus on specific initiatives and will vote on their first action item late next week at their second meeting.

The temporary “Critical Analysis of Ole Culture” subcommittee will, “focus specifically on interrogating Ole Culture and devising ways to uncover and expose its underlying norms that center whiteness and how it impacts how various people experience life on campus,” the task force wrote in an email to the Messenger.

At the June 15 meeting, many faculty and staff expressed that “Ole Culture,” as detailed in Gibbs’ letter, is a concept that must be explored immediately.

The full video of the meeting is linked at the bottom of this article. 

The same day this group met, Lisa Moore, former associate professor of social work and family studies, offered her support for Gibbs in an email to faculty. Moore also left the College following the 2019/20 school year and echoed similar sentiments to Gibbs regarding her experience as a Black professor. 

In her message, Moore unpacked the roles Black women are forced to play at St. Olaf. She referenced Patricia Hill Collins’ explanation of Black women being viewed as “Mammies, Matriarchs, or Welfare Queens,” concepts that help give context to the underlying racist expectations placed on Black women faculty specifically. 

The full text of Moore’s letter is embedded at the bottom of this article.

Moore also explained the implications of “Ole culture” and elaborated that in order to see change in meaningful ways, that very culture must be disrupted entirely.

“[Addressing anti-blackness and racism] means going beyond thinking about how Black and Brown faculty can survive in the system and focus on changing the system itself,” Moore wrote. “Systems change almost always means letting go of ways of functioning that are comfortable for the majority and those who hold power. Making those kinds of changes shakes the roots of institutions.”

Similar to Gibbs, Moore warned the College that the hiring and retention of Black faculty would continue to be difficult, explaining that “[Gibbs’] experience will absolutely make it harder to recruit Black women here for positions.”

Provost Marci Sortor confirmed that the difficulty in hiring Black faculty is something the College has been dealing with for a long time. She elaborated about the school’s institutional goal to have “at least 30% of tenure track appointments be diverse” and explained that search committees are required to go through anti-bias training when hiring new faculty.

Looking toward the future, Sortor acknowledged some of the actions both the Faculty Governance Committee and the Council for Equity and Inclusion plan to take to address diversity and inclusion amongst faculty.

“At present, the campus, state, and national discussion is so dynamic that we will take the time needed to hear from these voices before finalizing our recommendations,” Sortor wrote. “We will be calling on the college to focus in 2020/21 specifically on race and the Black experience as part of our work to achieve the Vision [for Equity and Inclusion].” 

While Sortor outlined current actions and next steps for the College, she acknowledged that work is ongoing.

“We aren’t perfect in it, but the vast majority of those with whom I work feel responsibility for how our campus culture affects colleagues and students of color,” Sortor wrote. “That said, we still have plenty of work to do to educate ourselves and do better as mentors and colleagues.”

The experiences of Gibbs and Moore are not isolated cases. Other faculty of color expressed similar feelings about racism and intolerance on campus through a statement of solidarity and intent shared by the Marginalized and Diverse Faculty of Color Anti-Racism Coalition (Mad Facs). 

Mad Facs is a new group of current faculty, who remain anonymous because they “fear retaliation.” They published a statement supporting and echoing Gibbs’ and Moore’s thoughts. That full statement is embedded at the bottom of this article. The group intends to publish more in the near future.

“We grieve the immeasurable ways that their creativity, intellectual labor, and pedagogies could have transformed the college into an institution where Black women professors and all Black and Brown faculty thrive,” the group wrote.

Mad Facs addressed the same idea of “Ole Culture” and provided a more exact explanation of the idea while citing its dismantling as their driving force.

“Ole Culture” is a euphemism for a racial legacy of which St. Olaf is a dedicated monument,” the group wrote. “Standing against this legacy is the foundation of our solidarity.”

These sentiments shared by Black faculty are not singular and are not new, and, as Moore explained in her letter, they reflect a legacy that is anti-Black and permeate all aspects of campus. 

“Anti-blackness is insidious.” Moore wrote. “St. Olaf embodies anti-blackness in a way that few places I have ever worked have, it’s why I had to walk around with headphones on whenever I left my office, the whiteness of campus felt oppressive in a way that no other place I have worked has.”

Michelle Gibbs — Why I am leaving St. Olaf College

Lisa Moore — Observations

Mad Facs — A Statement of Solidarity and Intent

Faculty and Staff Discussion Meeting Agenda

The Taskforce to Confront Institutional Racism — June 15 Zoom

peacor1@stolaf.edu
stroth2@stolaf.edu

 

Categories: Colleges

Fine Tune #463 weather-season 2020.06.21

KYMN Radio - Sun, 06/21/2020 - 7:15pm
This edition of  Fine Tune is on the 1st Sunday of Summer, a rainy night… Rainy Weather Rose / Adrian Schubert & His Salon Orchestra w Irving Kaufman // Stormy Weather / Bob Dylan // You’re the Weather / Ben Bedford // Fair Weather Friend / The Holmes Brothers // Unfair Weather Friend / Willie Nelson
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