Blogosphere

Local hospital officials: Expect fewer face-to-face appointments after COVID-19

Northfield News - Thu, 04/30/2020 - 5:32pm
Local hospital officials believe the health care changes brought by COVID-19 will forever alter health care delivery.
Categories: Local News

Commissioner questions process for selecting architect for jail study

Northfield News - Thu, 04/30/2020 - 5:00pm
The Rice County Board of Commissioners approved a contract for a study of its main jail despite strenuous objections from Commissioner Galen Malecha.
Categories: Local News

City Council Meeting

City of Northfield Calendar - Thu, 04/30/2020 - 4:56pm
Event date: May 5, 2020
Event Time: 06:00 PM - 09:00 PM
Location:
801 Washington Street
Northfield, MN 55057
Description:
Members of the public may monitor the meeting electronically from a remote location by dialing a conference number or by watching a live stream available You can dial in using your phone.
Conference #: +1 (571) 317-3122
Access code: 614-729-077

Cannon Valley Co-op executive director steps down to move to Little Falls

Northfield News - Thu, 04/30/2020 - 12:25pm
Change is never easy.
Categories: Local News

Dundas man busted traveling over 100mph on Hwy 3; Stronger Together – LBSA/CAC team up to provide services; Arcadia holds virtual Innovation day;

KYMN Radio - Thu, 04/30/2020 - 12:02pm

By Teri Knight, News Director A Dundas man is in jail after topping out at 119 mph on his sport bike on Highway 3. A Northfield police officer spotted 30 year old Abraham Rocha traveling southbound on Hwy 3 from Hwy 19 passing vehicles between lanes. He was clocked at 50 mph in a 30

The post Dundas man busted traveling over 100mph on Hwy 3; Stronger Together – LBSA/CAC team up to provide services; Arcadia holds virtual Innovation day; appeared first on KYMN Radio · Northfield, MN · AM 1080 & FM 95.1.

Facing financial strain, over 500 area child care providers receive emergency grants

Northfield News - Thu, 04/30/2020 - 11:30am
Difficulties facing southern Minnesota child care providers during the COVID-19 pandemic are varied — many are seeing decreasing enrollment and revenues, while others are taking on more school-age children and needing to expand their capacities.
Categories: Local News

LBSA: Why Community Matters – Stronger Together

KYMN Radio - Thu, 04/30/2020 - 11:25am

In our continuing series Teri Knight talks with Community Action Centers Scott Wopata and Anika Rychner  who teamed up with the CAC to provide support services for the employees of the CAC. They discuss the importance of employee retention, in particular for the clients of Laura Baker as their relationships develop over time and are

The post LBSA: Why Community Matters – Stronger Together appeared first on KYMN Radio · Northfield, MN · AM 1080 & FM 95.1.

Arb Notes: Snakes emerge in the Arb

Carletonian - Thu, 04/30/2020 - 11:14am

As the weather gets warmer in southern Minnesota, reptiles are beginning to emerge from hibernation en masse. Three species of snake—the Common Gartersnake, Dekay’s Brownsnake, and Redbelly Snake—are frequently recorded in the Arb.

Though rattlesnakes can be found along the Mississippi River near the border with Wisconsin, all the snakes found in the Arb are non-venomous and pose no threat to humans. Some, like the diminutive Redbelly Snake which is currently becoming active in large numbers, can be handled with ease. Others, like the Gartersnake, grow larger and are typically more aggressive. However, even these will only bite if handled or cornered. It is a myth that snakes “chase” humans!

It may be surprising to see these reptiles emerging seemingly unscathed from months of bitter cold. Just like some mammals, snakes in northern regions hibernate—and they do it in enormous numbers. Some Gartersnake dens have been found housing over 5,000 individuals packed tightly together. In this species, mating occurs right after hibernation and is a truly bizarre spectacle; in some cases, hundreds of small males jostle desperately amongst each other to access a single much larger female. The females eventually move off to find a suitable nesting site.

In southern Minnesota, as elsewhere, snakes play an important ecological role. They prey on small rodents, which would quickly overpopulate without the top-down effect of snake predation and cause major problems for agriculture. In short, these slithery creatures are both harmless and highly beneficial, despite the negative reputation they have!

The post Arb Notes: Snakes emerge in the Arb appeared first on The Carletonian.

Categories: Colleges

Why Community Matters: Stronger Together

Laura Baker Services Association - Thu, 04/30/2020 - 10:11am

This is the fourth segment of the radio series called, Why Community Matters. In partnership with KYMN Radio, several community members tell their stories on how they’ve contributed to and been affected by Laura Baker.

Partnerships between community organizations address gaps and improve the quality of life for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, as well as help the community overall.

The Community Action Center is a nonprofit organization in Northfield that helps people meet their most basic needs, such as providing them with food or helping them find housing and employment. The Community Action Center and Laura Baker are rallying together to address employment challenges in the community through an innovative cross-staffing pilot that provides wraparound support and services to employees of Laura Baker.

Teri Knight from KYMN interviews Scott Wopata, who is the executive director of the Community Action Center, and Anika Rychner, who is the program director at the Community Action Center.

/files/LBSA-Segment-4-FINAL.mp3

The post Why Community Matters: Stronger Together appeared first on Laura Baker Services Association.

Categories: Organizations

How COVID19 Changed Your Co-op

Just Food Co-op - Thu, 04/30/2020 - 9:43am

First it was “no salad bar, hot bar or soups.” Then it was “no bulk bins.” Then your Co-op could not get toilet paper or flour or rice. Then our deliveries were shorted (we literally got only crackers one day – that was it!) because the warehouse workers just simply could not keep up with demand. For over a year, we have asked you to bring your own bags, and then we told you to leave them in the car. Then we said, “only 10 people in the store at a time” and kept a Co-op Bouncer outside to monitor the crowd. Then we closed for a couple of days to regroup. And then we put social distancing rulers on our floors and begged you to not touch our staff and to keep your distance. We also created an entirely new way for you to shop online and receive your order curbside. And we are now preparing to give you a new, more robust tool to use to order. There’s been so much change, and it doesn’t feel very co-opy – believe us, we know!

We hear the positive praise and accolades, of course. Thank you for uplifting our staff! We also hear complaints about where we are falling short – either not doing enough or that we are doing too much. We feel like it’s time to address some of those things and to be transparent with you about how decisions are made. The very first thing we want you to know is that our staff and their safety will be the first priority in all of our decisions.

We serve a diverse crowd of people, we’ve always known this and it is exactly why we love what we do! Our community granted us a lot of grace as we tried new things  to get you food and ensure that your family was well fed – we thank you for that! 

Six weeks ago, we saw three times the number of customers we would normally serve in a week. Now, because we limit the number of people in the store and because of the convenience of our curbside pickup, we see half as many customers face to face.  Nothing about those early days of the pandemic felt good and there are still days that do not feel good. We do not say ANY of this to pat ourselves on the back. We say this now to hopefully provide you with a different viewpoint – of the ground zero of retail grocery stores. 

Now, the question of to mask or not to mask has come into play. Right now, today, we fall on the side of allowing you to decide if you will wear your mask in the store, and we allow our staff the option to decide that for themselves as well. We know some of you agree with us, while some of you do not. Some of you have told us you will not shop with us until we require it, and some of you have told us that you will not shop with us if we do require it. We do know that some individuals can not wear a mask for health reasons, which we completely understand. We also ask that you respect our staff’s ability to make that decision for themselves. Pleasing all owners and customers during this time is actually an impossible task, and if you know anything about our staff, impossible is not in their vocabulary.

Some folks have questioned the commitment of our staff in serving the needs of our customers and have told us that we are failing our community. Some customers have been quite upset at the present inability to accept case orders, telling staff that it is simply down to staff not being willing to try harder. We understand that frustration because we feel it too!  Our goal is to serve all of our customer’s needs while working within the limitations of our distribution channels. This has been an inconvenience to everyone in one way or another. However, this is only temporary, and is in no way due to staff’s lack of commitment or willingness to serve you! 

Every day these incredible people show up, look through out of stock lists that are pages and pages long, and strategize the best way to order for that day. Not for the week or month – that DAY. We are not able to plan like we used to, it’s literally a day by day decision on what we will order to maximize our pallet space to best serve the majority of our customers. Unfortunately there are days we know that some other customers’ favorites might not make it into the order that day. It is not our goal to disappoint you and it’s frustrating, borderline demoralizing, when we are not able to meet the lofty expectations that we were able to meet just 6 short weeks ago.

Can you believe all of this has transpired in just 42 days? Neither can we. 

We are doing things now that we have said never, ever, ever do. I never thought I’d see the day when it was perfectly ‘normal’ to hang a clear plastic shower curtain to protect our cashiers, that we would limit the number of shoppers in our store, that we would have someone stand at our door and ask people to not touch staff, to buy what they touch, that we would debate whether we should close the store to get a much needed break or forge ahead and take our lumps, that we would need to remind our customers to please stay 6 feet away from staff, and to please, please, please not touch them. 

I also never thought I’d see the day that I’d write a piece like this. 

This is our new normal and the one thing we will always do is keep our staff safe. Without them, we can not provide for our community. Without our staff there is no Co-op. Without our owners there is no Co-op. Without all of us helping each other through this, together, there is no Co-op. 

Overnight, your Co-op had to change the way we do business, and we did it with a smile, a very weary smile, but a smile. We are still YOUR Co-op. Thank you for being here with us and for us! We appreciate the support we have been given throughout this pandemic and we will continue to do our very best, even if we sometimes fall short, to serve you in the best way we possibly can. We will always keep trying. Always. 

Written by: Stephanie Aman, Marketing and Community Relations Manager

The post How COVID19 Changed Your Co-op appeared first on Just Food Co-op.

Categories: Businesses

Reflections on studying democracy and the arts

St. Olaf College - Thu, 04/30/2020 - 9:41am
This past January, the Democracy and Arts in Washington, D.C. course provided 24 St. Olaf students the opportunity to visit museums, government offices, performance venues, and other arts facilities to talk to professionals and representatives about arts policy and advocacy.
Categories: Colleges

Beth Kallestad

KYMN Radio - Thu, 04/30/2020 - 9:28am

Beth Kallestad, who is in charge of the climate action plan for the City of Northfield, describes plans for implementation.  

The post Beth Kallestad appeared first on KYMN Radio · Northfield, MN · AM 1080 & FM 95.1.

No “almost” about it!

Carol Overland - Legalectric - Thu, 04/30/2020 - 9:17am

Categories: Citizens

Dundas man charged following alleged 119-mph sport bike chase

Northfield News - Thu, 04/30/2020 - 8:30am
A Dundas man allegedly led multiple Rice County law enforcement agencies on a nearly 120-mph chase on a sport bike Tuesday.
Categories: Local News

April 2020

Tom Swift - Untethered Dog - Thu, 04/30/2020 - 4:10am
30 Thursday Doing the right thing. Doing well. Not trying to be perfect. Perfect weather. Mac-n-cheese. Cashing in rewards. Fast Thursday afternoons. Sardines. 29 Wednesday Reading time. Outside time. The crock pot. It’s been nearly two weeks since you went to the grocery store and you are easily going to make it. A great aunt […]
Categories: Citizens

Let’s Get Growing! Cold Hardy Crops

You’ve prepared your beds and you’re itching to get the garden planted, but it’s still a bit chilly outside. Fret not! You can plant cold hardy crops right now!

Cold weather crops like cabbage, broccoli, kohlrabi, and Brussels sprouts can be planted out in spring when the soil is workable, even if there is still a chance of frost. The cooler weather of spring helps develop a sweeter flavor and prevents bolting (early flowering) that can be an issue with soaring summer temperatures.

If you haven’t amended your beds yet, work fertilizer into the soil or use a liquid feed. Cole crops like broccoli and cabbage are heavy feeders, and lettuce will benefit from a nitrogen rich fertilizer. Don’t forget to water well at the time of planting and regularly throughout summer.

Direct seed onion sets, peas, lettuce, radishes, potatoes, and carrots. Refer to seed packets for planting depth and spacing and thin seedlings as they come up. Pro tip: Don’t just yank crowded seedlings; thin plants by cutting them off at the soil line to avoid disturbing nearby shallow roots and enjoy the tasty microgreens!

Watch for slugs, bunnies, and cabbage moths. Shiny slug trails and nibbling or holes on the edges and centers of leaves are common signs. Sluggo for slugs and Thuricide (BT) for cabbage moths are a few control options. Fencing is the most effective deterrent for rabbits and deer, and is best put up before planting time. Get ready for salad! You’ll be harvesting cabbage and Brussels sprouts in no time.

The post Let’s Get Growing! Cold Hardy Crops appeared first on Knecht's Nurseries & Landscaping.

Categories: Businesses

Some success on local mask front!

Carol Overland - Legalectric - Mon, 04/27/2020 - 12:19pm

YEAAA FAMILY FARE! They’re taking a positive step today!

I’d noticed on the couple of essential trips out that too many retail workers weren’t wearing masks, in particular Family Fare, our local grocery store, Kwik Trip (the folks who brought tRump to LaCrosse), Target, and Dollar Tree. Failure to wear masks is a direct contradiction to CDC recommendation:

CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.

The CDC Face Mask page is HERE with more links!

So I’ve been contact the local retail outlet and also the HQ. That’s because employees are in a really bad spot, and if they push for PPE for themselves, offering another layer of protection for themselves and the public, they could very well lose their jobs! So outside pressure is needed, and hey, I’m stuck in front of a computer all day, so I’m on it.

Back and forth with Kwik Trip, they’re supposedly providing masks, and it’s employee’s option to wear them. Nope, not good enough. I’ve sent them the above CDC recommendation, no word back yet.

I just heard from Dollar Tree, sent the CDC link, and they were as lazy-unfaire about it (contact email hard to find, had to use fb messenger, but it did get through), so I sent them the Family Fare response as an example of the way to handle it.

What way is that? Well, after my second go round with Family Fare, I got an email yesterday from the umbrella corp, spartannash.com, which said:

Thank you, SpartanNash for stepping up!

Now, contact Gov. Walz to extend STAY HOME until at least we’ve reached peak cases and the number of new confirmed cases has decreased for at least 14 days! 651-201-3400.

CLICK HERE for the White House criteria for opening up!

We’re not there yet, not even close:

Categories: Citizens

Tips to clean your house

David Bly, We All Do Better - Sat, 04/25/2020 - 1:18pm

A few years ago, I found out that I’ve been cleaning my home all wrong. I was in a hotel room, when a maid came in and sprayed a solution on every surface…and then left. Right when I thought she’d forgotten, she returned. She wiped for less than two minutes with a thin dry cloth, and the whole place sparkled. It had, frankly, never occurred to me to let one solution do all the work, so I asked her what she’d used. It was something called Butcher’s Bath Mate—an industry standby.

Pro cleaners have brilliant tricks to get the job done. We asked three pros to school us on how to clean every room of the house much more efficiently. Plus, get their can’t-live-without-it cleaning supplies and top dos and don’ts.

The Best Way to Clean Your House
The biggest mistake people make is cleaning room by room (this is called “zone cleaning”). It’s much too slow! “You can either clean your kitchen in four hours, or clean your entire house top to bottom in four hours,” says Lisa R, from Eco Clean Solutions. “A lot of people get caught focusing on one area—say, doing a super job cleaning the counters—and never get to the stove, let alone the next room. In reality, just wiping things down and moving on is quick and efficient.”

  • Disinfect countertops and surface areas
    Go through your house and wipe down the hard surfaces – from countertops, appliances and cabinets to doorknobs, light switches, TV remotes and telephones. You should disinfect some of those surfaces, particularly the ones that might deliver germs to people’s fingers and faces. Make a nontoxic disinfection solution by mixing one-fourth to a half cup of white or apple cider vinegar with a cup of water.
  • Focus on tubs, sinks and toilets
    Spray cleaner on the kitchen sink then on bathroom sinks, tubs and toilets. Let it sit for a few minutes so the cleaner has time to dissolve dirt and stains. Then return to the kitchen and start scrubbing. Don’t forget to wipe down the inside of the microwave. Clean toilets last.

While in the kitchen, you also want to make sure your garbage disposal is in tip-top shape. If you aren’t sure the best way to clean a garbage disposal, click here for some useful DIY garbage disposal cleaning tips.

  • Sweep, then mop
    Sweep the kitchen and bathroom floors. Start mopping from the farthest corner of the room and move backwards towards the doorway (that is, don’t mop yourself into a corner). Rinse the mop every time you complete a 4-by-4-foot area.
  • Keep moving when you vacuum
    Don’t worry about getting every nook and cranny when you vacuum. Just keep moving through the house, running the vacuum in every carpeted room in one pass through.

Some tasks don’t need to be done each week. These include waxing the furniture, cleaning the windows, and washing area rugs and bath mats. Inspect these accessories and use your own judgment.

  • Don’t forget to routinely wash your cleaning tools
    An often overlooked part of cleaning the house is maintaining your cleaning tools. Using a dirty mop or a vacuum with a full bag is much less effective, and you’ll end up spending more time trying to clean.
  • Make cleaning a group activity
    Making cleaning a team effort is one of the best ways to clean a house fast. Schedule a time in advance with your family, and assign tasks to each person. Working together can add some fun to cleaning, and your house will be sparkling in no time.

Related posts:

  1. Watersheds, Wetlands, Buffer Protection Subcomittee Update– Clean Water Legacy
  2. CLEAN WATER PARTNERSHIP GRANTS
  3. The Clean Water Act
Categories: Government Officials

A case for Joe Biden

Manitou Messenger - Fri, 04/24/2020 - 11:08am

Former Vice President Joe Biden would be the most progressive Democratic nominee in modern history. He’s more moderate than Sanders, but the level to which he is ‘the moderate’ has been overblown. 

Biden’s progressive-ness is backed up by his policies, which no one is talking about. Biden supports a $15 minimum wage. Biden supports the framework of the Green New Deal. Biden wants federal funding to protect women’s rights in the doctor’s office.

Biden’s campaign has promised to fight for a more just higher education system. We saw this when he fully supported free college for students from families making less than $125,000 a year. 

Biden’s plan to protect and build on the Affordable Care Act doesn’t come close to touching Bernie’s superior Medicare for All. But, Biden’s plan has the possibility of actually being implemented in a divided system, thus dramatically improving our healthcare system right now and paving the way for even more progressive changes in the future.

  Biden’s pragmatism is the more efficient route to Sanders-level progressive policy. Biden can enter as a sort of ‘stepping-stone president,’ pushing the incremental change his policies present, while winning more democratic seats. Biden did this in 2018, when his endorsement helped Rep. Connor Lamb win a seat in a Pennsylvanian district which voted for Trump two years previous.

Where Sanders would struggle to get his policy enacted – which isn’t to discredit how important merely legitimizing his policy positions in the White House may be – Biden would lay the groundwork for producing Sanders-type policy. 

Something tells me there aren’t many Oles who started this campaign cycle all-out for Biden, myself included. Biden puts us into a place of ambivalence.

  For one, while Biden brings progressive policies to the table, he is not making them the central message of his campaign. He’s running on what he isn’t. He isn’t Trump. He isn’t Bernie. This likely helps him with anti-Trump voters who are not as progressive as he is, but it raises concerns for me about much of the policies he will enact.

  Electability arguments too often become self-fulfilling. Is Sanders really unelectable, or does the notion of Sanders’ unelectability perpetuate voting tendencies such that he won’t be elected? I tend to fall into the second camp and dislike conversations on electability. However, we might be in an exceptional circumstance.

  I do not want four more years of Trump. He degrades our country. He legitimizes racism. He lacks competency to handle a national crisis. He cares only about himself, not our country or the world.

A Biden presidency pushes our country forward. It makes voices too long unheard in our country feel heard evidenced by the support those voices are giving to Biden’s campaign. 

If you came to this article looking for a reason to “settle for” Biden, who appears to be a lock for the Democratic nomination and I haven’t provided it, I have one more thing for you. Watch his speech after he won South Carolina. It’s no Obama 2004 Democratic National Convention (DNC) speech, but it’s one of the best US political speeches since. 

In the end, I’m not asking for a perfect president. I don’t think a perfect president exists. I’m asking for a president who will be able to do the most good for the United States and the world. As the race stands now, I think that’s Joe Biden.

Categories: Colleges

Zoom graduation not ideal, best way to honor Class of 2020

Manitou Messenger - Fri, 04/24/2020 - 11:05am

As a graduating senior, I would like to say to my class: I am so proud of all the work we have done over the last few years. Congratulations. I would also like to acknowledge that our expectations were completely turned on their head. With this level of upheaval, we will not find a solution that makes everyone happy, and that’s really hard. All of us deserve to feel happy and celebrated this spring. 

I would like to acknowledge that our feelings about our senior year are completely different than past classes. This is not just an acceleration of the bittersweet celebration of graduation. We are not just feeling sad about saying goodbye to our home for the last four years, while looking forward to a world we are helping to shape. 

Our ending here does not feel bittersweet. It is one of mourning more than celebration. It feels like it’s more about what we have lost these past few months, not what we have accomplished. On top of that, we are grieving jobs and internships that have been lost before they even started. Opportunities that were there to look forward to, and then gone. Our plans for the future have been swept out from underneath us. 

So how do we acknowledge those feelings, while trying to still remember that we have so much to celebrate, even if it doesn’t exactly feel that way?
I hate the idea of a Zoom graduation, I really do. But I think it is the best chance we have of getting the most people there and reaching many. We are no longer on campus counting down the days. We are scattered across the world. 

I think we should start with some sort of digital celebration. Stream programming with our class speaker, a last lecture, maybe some messages from our SGA presidents, the administration, department heads, ect. Some messages from people we miss the most. 

Will it be the same? Not even close. And I don’t think it should try to be. It should strive to be something that lets the class of 2020 know that they are in our thoughts, and that we care about reaching them where they are right now. That we want to celebrate them in little ways now, to give them some closure and send them off into the world in the best way we can. 

We should not try to replace walking across the podium, shaking the president’s hand and getting our diploma. We should not replace senior week or signing our name up in Old Main. In fact, I think some attempts to replace that digitally could ring false and even slightly insulting. 

I don’t think anyone thinks that signing our name on a digital wall is the same as writing on the walls of Old Main. Or even that a digital yearbook that they are assembling is the same as a physical one, printed and mailed to us. We are all a little tired, I think, of trying to create digital experiences that replace the here and now. And while it is such an excellent tool in times like these, with something as old, traditional and honored as graduation, it would be meaningful to have something tangible. 

Which leads me to my next thought. In 2021, I would love to see a graduation ceremony. It will look really different because there will be folks who, for whatever reason, cannot make it. We will have all already spent a year working, studying, traveling or figuring things out. Our minds and hearts will not be in the same places they are today, as we grieve the last days of our senior year. 

However, we will be together again and it will be a chance to really celebrate in a way that looks like an actual party or ceremony. I think the energy would be unreal by having everyone that can come back and see each other and reclaim part of what we lost and have a chance to truly celebrate, when we have more emotional space to do so. 

Together, between digital and real life experiences, I think we can create a graduation ceremony that reflects the individual challenges our class has overcome. 

Categories: Colleges
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