Jim Dale and Jesse Thomas discuss Salvation Army Bell Ringing Campaign

KYMN Radio - Fri, 11/12/2021 - 9:03am
Jim Dale and incoming Rice County Sheriff Jess Thomas discuss the work of the Salvation Army and this year’s Bell Ringing Campaign which begins November 19.  They are seeking volunteers to help with the campaign.  You can sign up to ring the bell at

Attorney Andrew Parker on lawsuit against Northfield Hospital & Clinics

KYMN Radio - Fri, 11/12/2021 - 8:50am
Attorney Andrew Parker discusses the lawsuit filed against Northfield Hospital & Clinics by 20 employees concerning the Covid vaccine mandate.

City Council Closed Meeting

City of Northfield Calendar - Fri, 11/12/2021 - 8:49am
Event date: November 16, 2021
Event Time: 05:00 PM - 05:30 PM
801 Washington Street
Northfield, MN 55057

The Weekly List – The Bruce Springsteen Show, Vol. 2

KYMN Radio - Thu, 11/11/2021 - 6:00pm
This week Rich and Danny are joined by Northfield musician Ray Coudret, who is preparing to perform a show with several other local musicians featuring the music of Bruce Springsteen to benefit the local non-profit Healthfinders Collaborative. Rich, Danny and Ray just talk about Bruce Springsteen, the way Springsteen fans tend to do, passionately and

City considers home conversion program against flooding; School board considers new strategic plan; KYMN and Rice County United Way will partner on Tuesday for fund raiser

KYMN Radio - Thu, 11/11/2021 - 12:02pm
During the City Council work session on Tuesday night, Northfield City Engineering Manager Sean Simonson and City Engineer Dave Bennett gave a detailed report on areas around the city that consistently experience flooding issues and made some recommendations on how to mitigate the issues.  Simonson noted that the city has had to update the surface

Comments – Biennial Xmsn Report

Carol Overland - Legalectric - Thu, 11/11/2021 - 10:44am

The Notice of Comment Period has been issued:


Here’s the plan to review:

2021 Biennial Xmsn Projects Report

Here’s the poop:

How to file comments? See below, and be sure to ask to be on the service list! If you want live links to make it easier, use link to Notice above.

Categories: Citizens

John Fossum discusses handling court cases during pandemic and ongoing opioid problems

KYMN Radio - Thu, 11/11/2021 - 8:36am
Rice County Attorney John Fossum discusses handling court cases during the Covid pandemic and the ongoing problems with opioid overdoses and deaths.

"Old Greek" in the Garden

Rob Hardy - Rough Draft - Thu, 11/11/2021 - 8:24am

In the 1830s, a boy in Connecticut named Edward North was exploring the woods around his schoolhouse and absorbing the lessons and the pedagogical styles of a succession of young teachers who seemed to change with the seasons. The young woman, the embodiment of Beautiful Goodness, who left the twelve-year old boy broken-hearted when at the end of a summer term she left to be married. The angry and vengeful young man who succeeded her. And the next young man, as different from his predecessor “as light from darkness, as the milk of human kindness from the gall of vindictive wrath.” In a memoir of his school days, North wrote:


Wholly unselfish, he forgot himself in the great work that was given him to do. Untrammeled by printed text-books, he found a larger library in the ancient forest that surrounded the schoolhouse… [B]y the sorcery of a rare personal magnetism he converted his classes into eager, insatiate searchers after knowledge. He went with them on scientific explorations in the woods and fields. He taught them how to know a tree by its bark and leaf, the bird by its plumage and song, the fish by its shape and habit. Each boy and girl in that wide-awake school had at home a growing collection of plants, or minerals, or shells, or birds’ eggs, or insects, or woods, all neatly and accurately labeled, and yielding more of genuine joy to their owners than their fathers ever knew from gathered crops or bank shares and mortgages. 


From that unnamed teacher, North absorbed a lesson that would stay with his for the rest of his life, and that he would pass along to the hundreds of students who sat in his classroom during his nearly sixty years as a teacher. Even for a student of ancient Greek, as he would become, the outdoors was a classroom, and nature taught lessons that could not be learned from a printed text. 


Edward North was born in Berlin, Connecticut, in 1820. His father was a farmer. His uncle, Simeon North, was a professor of ancient languages at Hamilton College, in Clinton, New York, and from 1839 to 1857 the college’s fifth president. From his schoolhouse in the Connecticut woods, Edward North followed his uncle to Hamilton, where we studied Latin and Greek, graduating with the class of 1841, and where, after a short stint as a school teacher and law student, he returned as a professor of Greek. He taught at Hamilton for fifty-seven years. His students affectionately called him “Old Greek.”


At Hamilton, one of North’s closest friends was Professor Oren Root, a professor of mathematics and geology, who shared with him a love of nature study. “We were alike in our love of trees and birds and rare plants,” North recalled when Root died in 1881. In his diaries, North recorded walks with Root when they “botanized” together, often gathering specimens of wild plants to transplant in their gardens. Their first outing together, when North was a student and Root was a young tutor, was to find a tree growing in the wild along Oriskany Creek and transplant it on campus. 


“After dinner I went down to the banks of the Oriskany in Marcus Lathrop’s meadow,” he wrote in his diary on May 12, 1852. “I brought home roots of the clematis, Jack-in-the-pulpit, wake-robin, meadow violet, etc., also bladder-nut, buttonwood, and wild plum. Cherry blossoms are out.”


North’s great passions were teaching Greek and gardening. He had a special fondness for trees, and earned a local reputation for his skill in grafting and growing pears. One of his favorite college traditions at Hamilton was the annual planting of the class tree. In 1841 he was granted the honor of choosing his own class tree, and chose an American chestnut which he had himself “raised from the seed.” He especially loved the chestnut because it reminded him of “the dear old woods of Connecticut” where he spent his childhood. 


It should not be surprising that Professor North’s favorite Greek author was Theocritus. To North, Theocritus was a “thoughtful lover of his books [and] his rural haunts,” an ancient Greek poet in whom he may have recognized something of himself. According to his successor as professor of Greek, Edward Fitch, “his study of Theocritus showed whither his mind and taste led him.” 


In a lecture on Greek gardening which he often gave in his classes at Hamilton, Professor North wrote: “The genuine scholar is one who likes to keep his thoughts busy not alone with words, but with what the words stand for. He likes to look for something beyond the dry husks and outward integuments of ancient learning. To the genuine scholar, whatever pertains to the landscape scenery and the rural life of the Greeks appeals with a singular fascination.” To truly understand and appreciate a classical author, the student had to understand and appreciate the landscape in which they lived. And that understanding and appreciation could not come from books alone, it had to come from direct experience of nature. Without that direct experience, ancient literature became “a dry husk,” an exsiccata, like a page in an herbarium. North concludes that “a true and wholesome scholarship and culture will keep itself in close communion with nature, and will strive to advance in the knowledge of men and books, without becoming estranged from trees and landscapes.” 


In a lecture titled “Why We Study the Classics,” North makes an explicit connection between philology, the study of the classical languages, and botany, the study of plants. “The student sits down to a difficult passage in his Greek author,” he writes. “He carefully examines the original text, and brings to its rendering his best powers and resources. Here is a word he never encountered before, a new acquaintaince to be cultivated by consulting his lexicon. He takes it to pieces, as a botanist would analyze a strange plant, and examines its constituent parts.” On another occasion, he reverses the simile, saying that the botanist approaches the study of a plant “with the gifts of a lexicographer.” 


North’s interest in both plants and language is primarily in cultivation. He is a horticulturalist. The purpose of his botanizing expeditions is to bring back wild plants to cultivate in his garden. Likewise, the purpose of studying the Greek language is the cultivation of the student’s mind. In a lecture to college parents, he compares the teacher to the nurseryman who grafts his pears to produce better fruit.  


The nurseryman will point you to long, straight rows of pear trees, that have been raised from the seed. If he lets them them keep to their native individuality and come into bearing, one in a thousand may chance to be a good pear. The rest will be as chance decides, bad or indifferent. The nurseryman preferred a profitable certainty to a lottery with so many blanks. He grafts the seedlings, and makes it sure that every one that lives will be a Bartlett or a Flemish Beauty. So it is with your sons and daughters.


He had a special fondness for a row of non-native Lombardy poplars on College Hill that most people at the college found ugly and wanted to remove. He records in his journal that the founder of the college, on a fund raising trip to Philadelphia in 1793, was told that “if he wished his new institution to thrive, he must root out the native, uncultivated trees, and introduce the classic poplar which the Augustan poets had immortalized.” Elsewhere in his journal, he records the observation of another professor that the poplars “looked like Hebrew and Greek scholars, all hirsute and rigid with roots, idioms, and dialects.” 


Like the Lombardy poplars and the Bartlett and Flemish Beauty pear trees, the classics were an introduced species, native to other landscapes, and valuable for the culture they import. His first argument for the study of Greek and Latin is that it enables the student to understand and appreciate the English language, which the ancient languages have “polished, enlarged, and greatly enriched.” Again, he turns to the language of horticulture to speak of the cultivation of the English language:


From its unrhythmical rudeness and stiff unaccommodating barrenness, as wielded by Chaucer and his contemporaries, its gradual changes and successive accretions have made it what we now boast it to be—a language unsurpassed for influence of idiom, for flexibility and stateliness of rhythm, by having grafted upon its vigorous Saxon roots the graceful suppleness of the Greek, with the compact energy and melody of the Latin. 


The English language was like Professor North’s garden, where introduced and native species grew side by side and were often grafted one to the other. 


Categories: Citizens

Police suspect huffing impaired driver who crashed into parked car

Northfield News - Wed, 11/10/2021 - 4:15pm
Felony impaired driving charges have been filed against a Northfield man who allegedly crashed his SUV into a parked car.
Categories: Local News

NH+C to open urgent care facility

Northfield News - Wed, 11/10/2021 - 3:13pm
Northfield Hospital + Clinics plans to open a new urgent care facility at 2014 Jefferson Road, Suites C and D, at the start of 2022.
Categories: Local News

St. Olaf earns national award for top student voting rate

St. Olaf College - Wed, 11/10/2021 - 2:45pm
A national student voting initiative has recognized St. Olaf College for having one of the top student voting rates of any college campus in the country. 
Categories: Colleges

Former employees sue NH+C over vaccination; Local veterans to be honored Sunday

KYMN Radio - Wed, 11/10/2021 - 12:02pm
On Monday, twenty former employees of Northfield Hospital + Clinics filed a lawsuit against their former employer and members of the hospital board, after they were terminated for violating NH+C’s vaccination mandate.  In August, the city owned health care system announced that full vaccination for both Covid-19 and Influenza would be a condition of employment.

2021 salary set for incoming Rice County sheriff

Northfield News - Wed, 11/10/2021 - 11:00am
One of the last pieces of business Jesse Thomas need to settle before taking the Rice County Sheriff's oath of office Friday was his 2020 compensation.
Categories: Local News

Local COVID rates hit new peak in 2021

Northfield News - Wed, 11/10/2021 - 10:15am
While many restrictions have lifted, and a sense of normalcy has returned in many parts of life, COVID-19 continues to impact local populations.
Categories: Local News

National Security This Week with Dr. Mary Curtin (Poland’s role in European Affairs), 11-10-21

KYMN Radio - Wed, 11/10/2021 - 9:56am
Host Jon Olson discusses Poland’s critical role in European affairs with Dr. Mary Curtin from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota.

Kara Trygestad on new City of Northfield app

KYMN Radio - Wed, 11/10/2021 - 9:06am
Kara Trygestad, Communications Specialist for the City of Northfield, discusses the new app available that includes events, news flashes, jobs, and other information people might want from the City.  Click here for information on downloading the app.

Ben Martig discusses Northfield City Council Work Session

KYMN Radio - Wed, 11/10/2021 - 8:52am
Northfield City Administrator Ben Martig discusses the November 9 City Council work session.  Topics include the MNDot maintenance facility lot, flood study, parks & rec capital investment plan, and more.  

Wild Sarsaparilla—Hepatica—Mullein

Rob Hardy - Rough Draft - Wed, 11/10/2021 - 1:29am

The older I grow, the more do I love spring and spring flowers. Is it so with you? While at home there were several pleasure parties of which I was a member, and in our rambles we found many and beautiful children of spring, which I will mention and see if you have found them, —the trailing arbutus, adder's tongue, yellow violets, liver-leaf, blood-root, and many other smaller flowers.

Emily Dickinson to Abiah Palmer Root, May 16, 1848



In the mid-1840s, as Dr. Mead was collecting and exchanging plant specimens with his botanical correspondents, Emily Dickinson was collecting and pressing flowers for her own personal herbarium. Like Dr. Mead, she also exchanged plants with her correspondents. In May 1845, when she was fifteen, she wrote to her school friend Abiah Root: “My plants look finely now. I am going to send you a little geranium leaf in this letter, which you must press for me. Have you made an herbarium yet? I hope you will if you have not, it would be such a treasure to you; ’most all the girls are making one. If you do, perhaps I can make some addition to it from the flowers growing around here.”  In the same letter, she tells her friend that she received from Miss Adams, “a beautiful little bunch of pressed flowers which I value very much as they were from her.” 

Unlike Dr. Mead, Emily Dickinson’s interest in plants was not primarily scientific. Flowers for her were expressions of friendship and affection, and like her poems were offerings of her self.  The poems she sent to friends were often accompanied by flowers or small bouquets. Flowers had personal associations for her, evoking memories or providing inspiration or providing a connection with absent friends.  In another letter to Abiah, from May 1852, Dickinson recalls an occasion at school when Abiah arrived for an assembly “bedecked with dandelions.” She writes: “Oh, Abiah, you and the early flower are forever linked to me; as soon as the first green grass comes, up from a chink in the stones peeps the little flower, precious ‘leontodon,’ and my heart fills toward you with a warm childlike fullness! Nor do I laugh now; far from it, I rather bless the flower which sweetly, slyly too, makes me come nearer you.”

In her herbarium, although most of the specimens are labeled with the correct scientific name, the plants are arranged not according to genus or any discernible scientific criterion. They seem to be arranged more for artistic effect, or based on associations—like the association of the dandelion with her friend Abiah—known only to herself.  On the page, her arrangments of plants are like her poems—the striking images and unexpected juxtapositions, the simplicity and mystery. 

On one page, three entirely unrelated plants: wild sarsaparilla (aralia nudicaulis), hepatica (hepatica americana), and common mullein (verbascum thapsus). The plants are members of different families, bloom at different times of the year, and are found in different settings—wild sarsaparilla and hepatica are woodland species, but mullein grows in open area. At the top of the page, she has arranged three stalks from the wild sarsaparilla, each with three flower clusters at the top. The three stalks are crossed like swords. The hepatica in the lower left has three flowers and one three-lobed leaf. The page seems to be arranged according to groups of three—except for the mullein, of which there is only a single flower and a single leaf. 

I have spent a long time looking at this page. It’s impossible to know what these individual flowers meant to Emily Dickinson, or why she chose to place them together on the same page. One of the things that strikes me is that she didn’t scorn common weeds like mullein. Like the dandelion, which reminded her of her friend Abiah, even a weed like mullein may have had special associations for her. They were in any case part of the landscape of home, familiar fellow inhabitants of the area around Amherst and South Hadley where she did her collecting. Her arrangement of the mullein is particularly striking. A mullein plant in the field is often two meters tall, a single stalk dense with velvet leaves terminating in a long spike of densely-packed yellow flowers that pop unevenly into bloom. I have never found it particularly attractive or interesting. But Emily Dickinson took a single leaf and a single flower, and arranged them in a way that doesn’t at all suggest a mullein. It’s as if she had made something new of them, or at least made me look at mullein differently.

The single flower and single leaf, abstracted from a plant that contains a multitude of leaves and flowers, reminds me of the poet’s interest in singularity, and her fondness for the word “one.” Often, as I walk in the prairie, I think of her lines: “To make a prairie it takes a clover and one bee. / One clover and a bee.” Although an actual prairie, like a mullein plant, contains multitudes, Dickinson focuses on a single clover and a single bee. In another poem, she writes that “the soul selects her own society”—


I’ve known her from an ample nation

Choose one;

Then close the valves of her attention

Like stone. 


With this poem in mind, I imagine young Emily Dickinson choosing one leaf and one flower from the “ample nation” of the mullein to press and mount in her herbarium. I look again at the three stalks of the wild sarsaparilla, each with three flower clusters made of dozens of individual flowers, and at the three flowers of the hepatica. There seems to be a kind of floral subtraction at work. I think of how, at the time when she made her herbarium, she was often surrounded by her school friends, and how in years to come she would retreat into solitude. 

I realize I’m reading an entire biography into a single page of dried flowers, but “revery alone will do,/If bees are few.” 

Categories: Citizens

pdf of the “Infrastructure Bill”

Carol Overland - Legalectric - Tue, 11/09/2021 - 2:46pm

Here it is, lots and lots of talk about it, and it seems to me folks are running their mouths without a clue as to what’s really in it. I know, making law, making sausage, but details matter.

HERE IT IS, H.R. 3684:


Categories: Citizens
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