A Park For All Seasons

Friends of Way Park - Fri, 08/07/2020 - 8:44pm
Way Park is the heart of a vibrant neighborhood on the west side of Northfield. It features:  the ROMP musical playground  playground equipment and swings pre-school equipment  a half basketball court  picnic and grilling areas  a walking path  a warming hut and ice rink (seasonal)  a small baseball/kickball diamond (seasonal)  a large open field perfect for pick up soccer games, kite flying, Michelle
Categories: Organizations

Opciones de viviendas de precio accesible en Northfield

KYMN Radio - Sun, 11/17/2019 - 9:34pm

Estamos pendientes del avance de las mejoras en el parque de trailas de Fiorela’s con el nuevo comprador. Y se anunció este fin de semana que se logran fondos para la segunda fase de Spring Creek en la zona cerca de los campos de fútbol.    

The post Opciones de viviendas de precio accesible en Northfield appeared first on KYMN Radio · Northfield, MN · AM 1080 & FM 95.1.

Fine Tune #445 many 17 Nov 2019

KYMN Radio - Sun, 11/17/2019 - 7:15pm

Spanning decades and genres for the MANY songs on this edition of Fine Tune: Fine Tune 11-17-19 #445 So Many Stars / Earl Klugh So Many Stars / Stacey Kent There’s Too Many Eyes (That Wanna Make Eyes at Two Pretty Eyes I Love) / Ted Weems & His Orchestra Too Many Irons in the

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Why “Ground Factor” Matters

Carol Overland - Legalectric - Sun, 11/17/2019 - 2:54pm

Minn. R. 7030.0400 is the MPCA’s noise rule, setting standards for industrial noise. It was developed to limit industrial noise, from a noise source on the ground to a “receptor” on the ground. ISO 9613-2 was also developed to measure ground based noise reaching a ground based receptor.

Ex.-Forest-Schomer-9_ISO 9613-2Download

A primary input is the “ground factor” set to address conditions on the ground, the ground effect, between the noise source and the receptor:

While there may be some reflected sound reaching the “receptor” (that is such an obnoxious term for people!), the sound from a wind turbine with a hub height of 300 feet or more! That’s a direct path to the “receptor.” The ground, grasses, corn, trees, buildings, do not get in the way.

The ground factor to be used for wind turbines is ZERO.

Dr. Schomer stated this clearly and thoroughly in the Highland Wind docket in Wisconsin (PSC Docket 2535-CE-100).

Schomer_Pages from Transcript-Vol 4Download

The use 0.0 of ground factor for wind is standard practice, and that a 0.5 ground factor is NOT appropriate for wind because it’s elevated. This was inadvertently confirmed by Applicant’s Mike Hankard in the Badger Hollow solar docket, also in Wisconsin (PSC Docket 9697-CE-100):

Who cares? Well, it’s bad enough that in that WI PSC Highland Wind docket, when the applicants couldn’t comply with the state’s wind noise limit, they redid their noise “study” using the inappropriate ground factor of 0.5 to give them more compliant numbers — they moved the goal posts, garbage in, garbage out. They think they can do that in Minnesota too, and are trying oh so hard in the Freeborn Wind docket (PUC Docket 17-410).

Last September, 2018 that is, Freeborn Wind did a deal with Commerce, admitted to in its “Request for Clarification/Reconsideration” pleading:

Freeborn Wind requests the Commission clarify its Site Permit to adopt Section 7.4, as proposed by Freeborn Wind and agreed to by the Department and MPCA, in place of the current Sections 7.4.1 and 7.4.2, to both ensure consistency with the Order and avoid ambiguity in permit compliance.

Freeborn Wind’s September 19, 2018, Late-Filed proposal for Special Conditions Related to Noise outlines the agreement reached between Freeborn Wind, the Department and the MPCA on this issue. (fn. citing Late Filed—Proposed Special Conditions Related to Noise (Sept. 19, 2018) (eDocket No. 20189-146486-01).

In this deal, they put language in the permit that was a fundamental shift in noise monitoring, one for which there is no justification under the noise modeling standards, whether state or ISO 9613-2 — that of using a 0.5 ground factor.

The day before the Commission’s meeting, they filed for a “Special Condition,” and oh, was it special:


At the meeting, they presented a chart with made up numbers on it, not supported by any noise study:

This chart was shown for a few seconds at most, it was not provided in the “Late Filing” above, and there were no copies for parties or the public. Did Commissioners get a copy? Who knows…

The Commission then granted the site permit!!! There were a few rounds before we got to where we are today, with Xcel Energy acquiring the project, and with a new site plan, bigger turbines, and some specific site permit amendments. In its permit amendment application, Xcel Energy is now the owner of Freeborn Wind, and Xcel wants to use larger Vestas V120 turbines rather than the V116.

From testimony in the original Freeborn Wind hearing, and in an Affidavit submitted by Commerce-EERA’s Davis

7.         It is generally understood that turbine noise output increases with higher blade tip speeds… 
Aff. of Davis, EERA Motion[1], 20181-139379-01.[2]

In its permit amendment application, Xcel Energy is now the owner of Freeborn Wind, and Xcel wants to use larger turbines. In so doing, they have filed a noise study, Attachment E below, utilizing that 0.5 ground factor. Xcel’s claim is that they’re using a 0.5 ground factor because the permit specifies that:

Pages from 20198-155331-04_Attachment E_NoiseDownload



There’s a 3 dB(A) margin of error – even using Hankard’s numbers, look at the yellow lines right up against the homes, and look at the blue 50 dB(A) lines and how many homes are inside of those lines:

Turbine noise at the hub for the V120s can be maximum of 110.5 dB(A), and serrated edges provide an option to reduce noise (which Xcel says it plans on using for some turbines), per the Vestas spec sheet:

2_MW_Product_Brochure_Vestas 2MWDownload

Compliance? Modeling with the improper 0.5 ground factor doesn’t come close to demonstrating compliance, instead it demonstrates a high probability of non-compliance. It demonstrates that using the proper ground factor for wind, it won’t do the modeling, likely (assuredly) because the project cannot comply. Freeborn Wind could not demonstrate that it could comply with state noise standards as originally designed with the smaller wind turbines and the proper modeling ground factor, and now Xcel Energy wants to use larger turbines. Larger turbines are noisier… once more with feeling:

7.         It is generally understood that turbine noise output increases with higher blade tip speeds… 

And now we see, hot off the press, the Plum Creek wind project (PUC Docket WS-18-700), proposed by Geronimo

Vestas 150 and 162 turbines, 5.6 MW each! The noise for the V150 is a maximum of 104.9 dB(A), and for the V162 is a maximum of 104.9 dB(A), with “sound optimized modes available.” That’s in the brochure:

EnVentus_Product_Brochure_Vestas 150+162Download

They have provided a noise study, BUT, much is NOT PUBLIC:

201911-157475-05_Noise_Appendix BDownload

And I wonder why… well, it says that they’re not using a ground factor of 0.0. Look at p. 48 of the sound study above, deep breathe and take a peek:




They say it again on p. 62, elsewhere too:



Ayway, here are the sound study maps based on that bogus 0.7 ground factor – look how many homes are affected:

Geronimo gets the gong:

The applicants know exactly what they’re doing.

At least twice in the Freeborn record I have asked whether the Commissioners understand “0.5 ground factor” and “0.0 ground factor” and have been vigorously assured that yes, they do understand. And Commerce-EERA staff? You’re responsible for doing the footwork on these siting applications. Do you understand?

If they do not understand, or misunderstand, they’ve got some learnin’ and edumacation to do. If they DO understand, and are approving site permits knowing that the modeling is off, that ground factor is misused, they’re complicit. They’re knowingly afflicting those who have to live with the noise sound levels that exceed Minnesota state standards.

As we saw in Bent Tree, where the noise standard compliance is in question, it is Commerce’s job to do the noise monitoring and deal with the problem. Once a turbine is up, there aren’t many options other than “shut down the turbines” or “buy out the landowners.” How many landowner buy-outs do you think we need before it’s admitted there’s a problem? Why is it so hard to develop responsible, precautionary, and respectful siting? Why is there resistance? The costs of their failure to do so are… well… we may see exactly what those costs are.

Commissioners and Commerce staff, make sure you know how the state noise standard and ISO 9613-2 was designed, how it is to be used, and what ground factor means.

If you know what it means, and are siting turbines using 0.5 and 0.7, you are responsible.

Categories: Citizens

SGA introduces proposed Land Acknowledgement resolution

Manitou Messenger - Sun, 11/17/2019 - 9:54am

Student Government Association (SGA) President Devon Nielsen ’20 delivered a presentation on a proposed St. Olaf Land Acknowledgement resolution during the Nov. 5 SGA Senate meeting.

The resolution aims to address the unethical usurpation of the College’s land from its original indigenous inhabitants. 

“By definition, it is a formal statement that recognizes and respects Indigenous Peoples as traditional stewards of this land and the enduring relationship that exists between Indigenous Peoples and their traditional territories,” Nielsen said.

The push to promote awareness of the history of the College’s land recently gained traction after The Collective for Change on the Hill, the group integral to organizing the spring 2017 protests against institutional racism, addressed the issue in their list of demands.

“We demand that the administration acknowledge in a public manner that this institution is built on occupied Dakota land and the original occupants were victims of genocide and forced removal,” demand E in section I of the document reads.  

Since their election, Nielsen and SGA Vice President Ariel Mota Alves ’20 have collaborated with the Mayor of Northfield, Northfield Historical Society and the Northfield Human Rights Commission, among others, to discuss appropriate next steps to resume the land acknowledgement effort. 

After completion, the Land Acknowledgement will be displayed on the College’s website and is to be read aloud at opening convocations and commencements. Nielsen discussed other potential avenues of implementation. 

“We are looking at exploring different ways that St. Olaf can have a more concrete engagement with indigenous communities,” Nielsen said. “Can we institute an aspect of indigenous history into curriculum at St. Olaf?”

During the discussion panel after the presentation, Multicultural Student Senator Jacqueline Guadalupe Guerrero ’21 raised the concern that a land acknowledgement could easily be abused by functioning as a “ploy”. Similarly, Board of Regents Student Committee (BORSC) Senator Melie Ekunno ’21 said such an acknowledgement with no tangible action is the equivalent of an acknowledgement of privilege.

“I do not think that this statement in itself has any grounds or any weight if it isn’t followed by immediate thought about structures and systems that have wreaked havoc,” Ekunno said. “If this is to absolve St. Olaf of responsibility, that’s absolutely useless.”

Although in its infancy, the Land Acknowledgement aims to pay homage to the land’s original inhabitants. For this to happen, however, student representatives agree that action will have to take precedence over empty words.

Categories: Colleges

Benji Kohn with the MN DNR

KYMN Radio - Sat, 11/16/2019 - 11:50am

Benji Kohn is today’s guest on Northfield Outdoors! A former Northfielder who is now the Training Coordinator with Minnesota DNR. Nationally, we are seeing a decline in both hunting and angling license sales. Less than 5% of Americans now purchase a hunting license. This has a big dollar impact on wildlife and habitat management. Listen

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Perennial grain crop – Kernza – connects local farmers and brewers

Northfield News - Sat, 11/16/2019 - 10:30am
One downside of our current production of grain crops such as corn, soybeans, wheat, oat, and barley is that these crops are annual crops, meaning that they need to be planted each year. This also means that many of the…
Categories: Local News

Consultants recommend 3 additional officers for Northfield PD

Northfield News - Sat, 11/16/2019 - 9:40am
An outside consulting group is recommending the Northfield Police Department hire three officers to help correct insufficient staffing levels and the associated risks that poses.
Categories: Local News

“Cloud 9” uses complex casting to take down the patriarchy

Manitou Messenger - Fri, 11/15/2019 - 4:49pm

The St. Olaf theater department is opening their fall play, “Cloud 9,” this weekend. The Caryl Churchill play is known for its unconventional use of cross-gender, -race and -age casting. Although it was first performed in 1979, the director, William Sonnega, described the play as “more contemporary than ever” given the last decade’s expansion of public discourse about the fluidity of gender and sexuality.

The first act is set in 1880 British colonial Africa and sets up a caricature of a typical white family living in the far reaches of the British empire. However, the casting is far from typical. The playwright, Churchill, is adamant that any production of the play follows her casting scheme. 

 “Betty, a woman, is played by a man, and Joshua, a black person, is played by a white,” Sonnnega explains in his program notes. “Given Clive’s toxic masculinity and his fragile whiteness, Betty and Joshua are simply too threatening for him to see otherwise; they must become, as Betty says, ‘what he wants’ them to be.”

When asked in an interview how the production was approaching the delicate and potentially problematic nature of a white actor playing a black character, Sonnega said, “the character as written is a brutal critique of the way forces of colonization don’t just take over territories, instead Churchill says the end game of colonization is to take over bodies.” 

Additionally, Sonnega emphasized the student actors’ “commitment to doing the work with the highest degree of honesty and integrity” and the role research played in efforts to portray individual thoughts and feelings rather than stereotypes. 

Things get shaken up again in act two. Now, 100 years later in 1979 London, all of the characters have aged only 25 years and are played by different actors in the cast. The program notes describe how “influenced by the French playwright Jean Genet’s notion that colonial oppression is the result of sexual repression, Churchill explores a range of possibilities for new and more compassionate relationships in the post-colonial world.” 

During an interview, Sonngea said, “the world of act two is far from perfect, but it shows that, and I know this sounds like a Hallmark card, but it really is in the power of love and small acts of kindness that we see hope for change, and these are our best responses to the injustices of the world.” 

Sonnega reached out to resources on and off campus to assist the production in navigating the challenging material of the play. Doug Scholz-Carlson, Artistic Director and Intimacy Choreographer for the Great River Shakespeare Festival, directed moments in the play involving physical intimacy – and there are a lot of them. Approaching staged intimacy with the same respect and precaution as elements like stage combat is a growing trend in the theater scene.

Members of the production team also met with St. Olaf administrators, including Bruce King, Assistant to the President for Institutional Diversity; María Pabón Gautier, Director of the Taylor Center for Equity and Inclusion; and Jon Mergens, Assistant Director for Gender and Sexuality. 

“Cloud 9” runs Nov. 15, 16 and 21-23 at 7:30 p.m., as well as Nov. 17 at 2 p.m. Tickets are free for students, faculty and staff and can be reserved at or by calling (507) 786-3332.

Categories: Colleges

Preparing for your database lists to malfunction on occasion

Pegasus Librarian - Iris Jastram - Fri, 11/15/2019 - 3:49pm

If you’re like us, you have a LibGuides-based list of databases for your library, and it went down for a bit this morning. If you’re like me, this pretty much cripples you until the list is back up and running. This kind of downtime could happen no matter your platform, so if you’re like me you might also want to have an option available to get around your database list during downtime. Here’s what I came up with about a year ago and was happy to have in place this morning.

Each month I download a CSV file of our databases – LibGuides has a nifty “export all” option and I click that. Then I paste that data dump information into a hidden sheet on a Google Sheet that I’ve made available to anyone with a link. From that messy data dump, I built formulae onto a visible sheet in that Sheet (really, Google has GOT to get better about its names for apps so that I don’t have refer to a sheet on a Sheet). These formulae help me display a full alphabetical list of all of our databases, their descriptions, their base URLs (a note on that in a second), vendor, and whether or not they need proxy access from off campus. Basically all the formulae say are “if the corresponding cell on that base sheet is blank, don’t put anything here, but if there’s information there, then display it here.” It looks like this:


Then I use a slightly fancier formula to build a proxified version of that base URL into column dedicated to off-campus access. It goes like this:


Translated, that formula means “If the cell in Column F that says whether this database needs a proxy string is blank, leave this cell blank (this just makes for a cleaner spreadsheet without a lot of error cells where the formula is there even if there’s no database listed). If that proxy cell is set to YES, then put together our proxy string and base URL, and put the resulting URL here. If the proxy cell is set NO, just put the base URL here.”

Then I hid the Proxy check column (column F) because nobody really needs to see that if they’re using the spreadsheet. I just needed it for calculation purposes. (Sure I could have referred to that proxy check cell on the base sheet, rather than bring it to the visible sheet and then hide it, but sometimes I just feel like doing things easiest way that occurs to me in the moment. Don’t judge!)

Finally, I gave this back-up spreadsheet a nicer URL: And I posted this URL in places where librarians can find it when needed (such as our documentation for QuestionPoint cooperative librarians, our intranet, etc).

So now if our proxy server goes down (rendering our database list mostly useless), we can use the base URLs from this spreadsheet, at least from on campus or in combination with a VPN. It’s better than nothing. And if the whole database list goes down, we have access to all of our databases and their URLs from this list.

Categories: Citizens

Thank you for going All in for the Hill!

St. Olaf College - Fri, 11/15/2019 - 3:03pm
Oles really went all in this year. 1,476 donors raised $564,934 during All in for the Hill, St. Olaf College’s annual 24-hour day of giving.
Categories: Colleges

Northfield Nonprofit Leaders Partner Together to Address Employment Challenges Through Cross-Staffing Pilot Initiative

KYMN Radio - Fri, 11/15/2019 - 2:51pm

NORTHFIELD, MINN. (November 14, 2019) – The Community Action Center (CAC) of Northfield, a local nonprofit organization dedicated to providing programs that meet the basic needs of individuals and families, and Laura Baker Services Association (LBSA), a local provider of housing, educational and support services for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, are rallying together to address employment

The post Northfield Nonprofit Leaders Partner Together to Address Employment Challenges Through Cross-Staffing Pilot Initiative appeared first on KYMN Radio · Northfield, MN · AM 1080 & FM 95.1.

Northfield PD warns: Suspicious Activity/Indecent Exposure Incidents

KYMN Radio - Fri, 11/15/2019 - 2:11pm

Suspicious Activity/Indecent Exposure Incidents November 15, 2019 In the interest of public safety the Northfield Police Department is releasing information in reference to suspicious activity near the 100 block of Maple Street and the 200 block of College Street. Carleton College Campus Security has contacted NPD regarding incidents reported to them in which a man

The post Northfield PD warns: Suspicious Activity/Indecent Exposure Incidents appeared first on KYMN Radio · Northfield, MN · AM 1080 & FM 95.1.

Sheriff's deputy sued over 'racist' tweets

Northfield News - Fri, 11/15/2019 - 12:59pm
RICE COUNTY — The Star Tribune is reporting that Diamond Reynolds, who livestreamed the aftermath of the July 2016 officer-involved shooting death of her boyfriend, is suing a Rice County deputy for defamation.
Categories: Local News

Sheriff's deputy sued over 'racist' tweets

Northfield News - Fri, 11/15/2019 - 12:59pm
The Star Tribune is reporting that Diamond Reynolds, who livestreamed the aftermath of the July 2016 officer-involved shooting death of her boyfriend, is suing a Rice County deputy for defamation.
Categories: Local News

City Council Meeting

City of Northfield Calendar - Fri, 11/15/2019 - 12:22pm
Event date: November 19, 2019
Event Time: 06:00 PM - 09:00 PM
801 Washington Street
Northfield, MN 55057

Project Overview: South Suburban OMS

Northfield Construction Company - Fri, 11/15/2019 - 11:49am
1521 Clinton Lane: The OMS project is a new oral surgical facility built from October 2018 to July 2019. The South Suburban OMS building is complete and ready for business! This space is a beautiful 2,256 SQ ft building with three surgical rooms, one sterile room, three recovery rooms, offices, storage, staff lounge, and waiting....
Categories: Businesses

Predatory offender turns himself in to Nfld PD Investigator; Three counties involved in Corrections Officer charges; Dundas update on new City Hall and more

KYMN Radio - Fri, 11/15/2019 - 11:38am

By Teri Knight, News Director A man convicted in Washington County of sexually assaulting his 7 year old daughter in 2002 was picked up by a Northfield police investigator on Tuesday on an outstanding warrant. 46 year old Brian Lee Marlowe must register as a predatory offender, providing law enforcement with his location and place

The post Predatory offender turns himself in to Nfld PD Investigator; Three counties involved in Corrections Officer charges; Dundas update on new City Hall and more appeared first on KYMN Radio · Northfield, MN · AM 1080 & FM 95.1.

Our solar on a cloudy day

Carol Overland - Legalectric - Fri, 11/15/2019 - 11:25am

Is this cool or what?!?!?!

We can’t figure out what those big short spikes are, toaster was only used once. Furnace blower is the flat spikes every 20-30 minutes or so. What is it???

Later in the day, the sun came out, although this time of year, we’re below the bluff so it’s not direct:

That little spike mid-day was my little space heater here in the office, which I turned on for a minute or two to see what it looked like. I don’t know what that later spike was. And now the sun is way below the bluff, headed down. This looks pretty good considering that this is not an ideal location for solar.

Categories: Citizens
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