Meet Rachel

Laura Baker Services Association - Fri, 12/21/2018 - 11:08am

Before attending her first class at Carleton College, Rachel Gallagher knew she wanted to supplement her college career by volunteering with individuals who have special needs. Inspired by a friend from high school who had autism and an aunt who worked in the Philippines with children who have special needs, Rachel researched offerings through Carleton’s Center for Community and Civic Engagement (CCCE), and then signed up with Laura Baker Services Association’s College Buddies program.

It was through College Buddies that Rachel met Glenn during first semester of her freshman year. Since that time, she and Glenn have developed a strong connection. “Visiting Glenn at the house gives me perspective that there is life beyond campus and being a student,” she says. “I enjoy getting to interact with Glenn and the other residents and staff there.” Rachel has had many fond memories of her experiences at LBSA over the years.  One of her favorite moments has been Wii® bowling with Glenn. “Watching him be so happy – it’s the small moments that are most inspiring.”

When asked about Rachel, Glenn says, “She likes me. She comes to see me. She makes me laugh.” The staff at Prairie House have appreciated Rachel’s dedication to the College Buddies program and the consistency of her visits. She’s dependable, responsible and able to think on her feet if an issue arises.

Rachel’s interest and experience working with people who have developmental disabilities was the inspiration for a comprehensive research project she completed for her sociology and anthropology major. Her project, titled “Hopes, Dreams but No Plans: Aging Parents of Individuals With Intellectual and Development Disabilities,” was the culmination of 14 interviews of parents of people with special needs. The topic was created by Rachel’s advisor, Professor Annette Nierobisz of Carleton College, who plans to expand this pilot study in the near future. Reflecting on her conversations with parents, Rachel says, “What they do is inspiring, and they have very little support. It’s heartbreaking. It becomes hard for them to plan for the future.”

As her college career winds down, Rachel is considering taking a year or two off and working for an organization like LBSA and then going on to medical school. Although the exact career path for Rachel is undefined, one certainty is that she plans to work with people with special needs in some capacity. She says, “The more I’ve worked in the field, the more I realize I have always been drawn to people who may see the world differently.”

LBSA has benefited greatly from Rachel’s contributions over the last four years!

The post Meet Rachel appeared first on Laura Baker Services Association.

Categories: Organizations

Northfield school custodians are making a difference

Northfield News - Fri, 12/21/2018 - 11:00am
Northfield Healthy Community Initiative (HCI) recently recognized the custodians from Northfield Public Schools for the December 2018 Making a Difference Award.
Categories: Local News

Meet Bryan

Laura Baker Services Association - Fri, 12/21/2018 - 10:46am

Bryan Cox got his first exposure to the world of direct care through volunteering. At the encouragement of a pastor several years ago, Bryan began volunteering at a nearby senior living center. It was here that Bryan discovered a passion for direct care and helping support vulnerable individuals. At that point, “I realized that caregiving is very rewarding!” This eventually led him to obtain a part time position in another assisted living facility and finally a full-time position at LBSA.

Bryan started at LBSA back in September of 2015 and recalls, “I was a bit nervous when I started because I wasn’t sure what to expect.” As Bryan got to know his clients, his nervousness disappeared, and now Bryan has a smile on his face when describing his work at LBSA. He says the residents of Baker House enjoy when he brings his Bluetooth speakers to work.  “Sometimes we’ll just play music and people get up and dance.”  When asked about favorite memories at LBSA, Bryan described Summer Fun Day when one of the residents, who happens to be a big fan of Elvis, got up and started “… jamming with the band leader. He was having such a great time. It was really fun to see.”

Bryan left LBSA in February of 2017 for a higher paying position but recently returned realizing how much he missed his work at Laura Baker. “This is the best job I’ve ever had.  I have to go where I feel I’m making a difference.”

LBSA is thankful to have individuals like Bryan who love their work!

The post Meet Bryan appeared first on Laura Baker Services Association.

Categories: Organizations

MnDOT asks motorists to plan ahead, check road conditions during holiday travel

Northfield News - Fri, 12/21/2018 - 10:41am
With record-breaking travel expected over the holiday season, the Minnesota Department of Transportation reminds travelers to plan ahead and check road conditions before they begin their trip.
Categories: Local News

Wine Tasting

City of Northfield Calendar - Fri, 12/21/2018 - 9:26am
Event date: December 22, 2018
Event Time: 03:00 PM - 06:00 PM
116 5th St W
Northfield, MN 55057
On the Tasting Barrel, we will feature selections from our current wine sale: Sea Slopes Chardonnay (California), Poppy SLH Pinot Noir (California), Cult Cabernet Sauvignon (California) and Saracco Moscato d’Asti (Italy).

Happy Holidays from Otto the Construction Dog!

Northfield Construction Company - Thu, 12/20/2018 - 2:00am
Happy Holidays from Otto! Reminding you this year to not forget those family members who may get less attention than you… Dear Auggie, As the other fur child, just remember: the best part of the Oreo is the middle. You hold us together. Sincerely, Otto
Categories: Businesses

2018 MISO forecast released, under 1% for our area… DOH!

Carol Overland - Legalectric - Tue, 12/18/2018 - 12:10pm

Hot off the press… MISO‘s forecast, much like my all-time favorite industry report, the NERC Reliability Assessment!  Because each region sends its forecasts to NERC, odds are that this is the basis for the MISO part of the next NERC Reliability Assessment.  The NERC reports have showed for a long time that reserve margins are way higher than needed, sometimes 2-3 times higher than needed, and that demand is not at all what has been predicted.  DOH!


2018 MISO Energy and Peak Demand Forecasting for System Planning302799

Bottom line?  And remember, this is the industry “forecast” which consistently overstates:

Remember CapX 2020 “forecast” of 2.49% used to justify that transmission build-out?  And all that’s happened since, is happening now, like the MISO MVP 17 project portfolio?

Or more correctly, all that HASN’T happened since, like increase in demand?

This has been an historical, systematic misrepresentation, Xcel’s “business plan” is based on these lies.  From Xcel’s IRP (Docket 15-21), p. 45 of 102:

That Xcel IRP docket continues, and compare peak demand with their bogus chart… what can we expect?

Categories: Citizens

Three Books for Beginning Veg Gardeners in the North

My Northern Garden - Mary Schier - Mon, 12/17/2018 - 10:05am
A few years ago (gosh, it was 10!), I did a list of best books for beginning gardeners, with a focus on vegetable gardening. Those books are still good options, but several more recent books are really worth adding to your collection. And, any of them would make a wonderful gift for a young gardener […] Related posts:
  1. Best Books for Beginning Vegetable Gardeners I haven’t done any kind of comprehensive review of vegetable...
  2. Book Review: Edible Gardening in the Midwest A Gardener’s Reading, 21 of 30 By Colleen Vanderlinden and...
  3. Best Bets for Beginning Vegetable Gardeners I spent most evenings over the past week digging through...
Categories: Citizens

What’s become of Excelsior Energy?

Carol Overland - Legalectric - Sun, 12/16/2018 - 3:10pm

Remember Excelsior Energy‘s boondoggle Mesaba Project?  Go to the PUC’s search page and search for “05-1993” and “06-668” for the dockets.

A little birdie flew by today, cocked its shiny eye and said…

So following up… Does anyone find it strange that as of August 3, 2018, the registered office of Excelsior Energy and its agent, CEO, and Principal Executive Office Address of Tom Micheletti, is  THE ABOVE STORAGE UNIT at 4630 Quebec Avenue North, New Hope, MN 55428?

Last known address: 708 1st St., #421, Minneapolis, sold 2017 for $749,900(verified in Metsa for Congress report, 3/9/2018 donation)… and then there’s Orono: Tom & Julie’s house is for sale.

Did you know that Excelsior Energy got their regulatory perks extended until 2025?!?!  Really, look at this, Minn. Stat. 216B.1694, Subd. 3(b)(1), a 2017 legislative boondoggle!

(1) site and route permits and water appropriation approvals for an innovative energy project must also be deemed valid for a plant meeting the requirements of paragraph (a) and shall remain valid until the earlier later of (i) four years from the date the final required state or federal preconstruction permit is issued or (ii) June 30, 2019 2025; and

Yes, Excelsior Energy was doing their lobbying in 2017.

Julie Jorgensen has been hustling with Greenmark, our good friends Mark Andrews and Red Wing’s ex-Mayor Dennis EganThree Musketeers? Three Stooges?

Then there’s Excelsior Energy Capital.  What’s that?!?!  Well, a Delaware corp registered in Minnesota in August of 2017, and inquiring minds found out their HQ is a BOAT SLIP at 21950 Minnetonka Boulevard, #210, Excelsior, MN.

Really.  Could google maps be wrong?  It’s not international waters, but assuredly … ummmm… well, bizarre!  Look at their TEAM (can you say photoshopped?).  I can’t find direct connections to our friends at Excelsior Energy, but with an operation like this, it’s got to be there!  Searching…

Remember AWA Goodhue’s office?  And Secretary of State lets them get away with this?


Categories: Citizens

Ask the Contractor: Gift Ideas

Northfield Construction Company - Thu, 12/13/2018 - 3:59pm
As a contractor who builds custom homes, commercial buildings, and Christmas dreams – it only makes sense that I share with you some great gift ideas for the special people in your life. Great Stocking Stuffer Ideas: Multitool like a Swiss Army Knife or this Cabela’s Multitool All-in-one multi head screwdriver where you can change....
Categories: Businesses

Solar Rulemaking Petition on file at WI PSC

Carol Overland - Legalectric - Wed, 12/12/2018 - 10:02pm

Does anyone else think it odd, when solar projects in Wisconsin are in the 2-10MW range, to apply to site the 300MW Badger Hollow solar project when there are no rules?  Yeah, I know, it sounds like Minnesota siting 2,000+ MW of large wind projects with no rules and using small wind standards, way too similar.  But this is real.  300MW of solar is a LOT of solar.  It’s central station solar.  It’s on some of the best ag land in Wisconsin.  And it just happens to be on the route of the proposed Cardinal-Hickory Creek transmission line!

What to do?  Rulemaking, of course.  Yeah, we know how that goes (PUC denies Reconsideration re: Wind Rulemaking), but without rules, how will they reasonably site this project?  Without rules, how will they reasonably site any solar project?  So of course here we go, the Jewell Jinkins Intervenors’ solar rulemaking petition:

Petition for Rulemaking_JJI_Solar_FINAL_Signed

And Wisconsin’s PSC “ERFed” it today.  It’s docket 1-AC-254.  It’s my understanding that a comment period will be announced and then the Commission will decide whether or not to proceed with rulemaking.

Categories: Citizens


Tom Swift - Untethered Dog - Wed, 09/20/2017 - 4:25am

Teams — like the markets — tend to fluctuate from year to year, which is also why [Edmonton Oilers forward Milan] Lucic had a pretty sensible take on the season that lies ahead. Optimism abounds, but wariness is never a bad thing either, he believes.

“At the end of the day, you have to be cautious a little in case of overconfidence and over expectations,” he said. “I went through that in Boston. Sometimes, you just expect to be there and that doesn’t get it done.

“Getting it done gets it done.”

-Eric Duhatschek, “Milan Lucic Holds Court on Oilers’ Chances, Leon Draisaitl, and Cam Talbot’s Workload,” The Athletic, 9-19-2017


Categories: Citizens


Tom Swift - Untethered Dog - Wed, 09/20/2017 - 3:22am

I’m fading out of sight
My wheels are the only sound
Runnin’ at the speed of light
I can’t slow down

Out on the open road
Racing to beat the night
No matter where I go
Guess I’ll get there all right

So why don’t I understand
What’s trippin’ me up
It used to be a simple thing

I can’t hold on, I can’t return
Time to let go, start to live and learn

I took the one way flight
Too high to see the ground
Now I know how long it takes
A heart to come down

Why don’t I understand
What’s trippin’ me up
Oh, it ought to be a simple thing

I can’t hold on, I can’t return
Rivers will run, bridges will burn
I’m not sure just how
But there’s no lookin’ back now

I can’t hold on, I can’t return
Rivers will run, bridges will burn
I’m not sure just how
But there’s no lookin’ back now

I can’t hold on, I can’t return
Rivers will run, bridges will burn
I’m not sure just how
But there’s no lookin’ back now

No lookin’ back now
No lookin’ back now
No lookin’ back now

-Michael McDonald, “No Lookin’ Back,” No Lookin’ Back (1985)

Categories: Citizens


Tom Swift - Untethered Dog - Tue, 09/19/2017 - 7:44pm

Wisdom is Revealed
Through Action, Not Talk

Don’t declare yourself to be a wise person or discuss your spiritual aspirations with people who won’t appreciate them. Show your character and your commitment to personal nobility through your actions.

-Epictetus, Manual for Living (1994, Sharon Lebell translation)

Categories: Citizens


Tom Swift - Untethered Dog - Tue, 09/19/2017 - 3:00pm

Once the necessities for survival are satisfied, the struggle against sin and for virtue is the central drama of life. No external conflict is as consequential or as dramatic as the inner campaign against our own deficiencies. The struggle against, say, selfishness or prejudice or insecurity gives meaning and shape to life. It is more important than the external journey up the ladder of success. This struggle against sin is the great challenge, so that life is not futile or absurd. It is possible to fight this battle well or badly, humorously or with cheerful spirit. Contending with weakness often means choosing what parts of yourself to develop and what what parts not to develop. The purpose of the struggle against sin and weakness is not to “win,” because that is not possible; it is get better at waging it. It doesn’t matter if you work at a hedge fund or a charity serving the poor. There are heroes and schmucks in both worlds. The most important thing is whether you willing to engage in this struggle.

-David Brooks, The Road to Character (2015)

Categories: Citizens


Tom Swift - Untethered Dog - Tue, 09/19/2017 - 8:57am

Hang on through the tense parts of the day in the knowledge that they will pass soon enough. These little conflicts, inconveniences, and expectation adjustments are really unavoidable.

-Holiday Mathis, “Horoscope,” StarTribune, 9-17-2017

Categories: Citizens

September 2017

Tom Swift - Untethered Dog - Tue, 09/19/2017 - 8:04am

19 Tuesday
– When the words come easy.
– Expanded consciousness.
– The snake in the toilet bowl.
– Being firm yet not hard.

18 Monday
Knowing you are good at helping people — and realizing you get as much from it as they do.

15 Friday
– Squirrels.
– Not having to be right.
– Not having to be good.
– Moving forward, flaws and all.

14 Thursday
Playing games at work.

12 Tuesday
– Rabbits on the path ahead.
– Your dog’s eyes.
– The pigeon who appears next to you on your morning walk, right there in the parking lot, reminding you of another pigeon at another time and place that had appeared next to you during one of those moments for which there are no words.

11 Monday
– Sunshine at lunchtime.
– Unexpected ice cream.
– Sadness.
– Strength.
– A blemish on your arm that reminds you this is your skin.

10 Sunday
That a certain friend was born.

9 Saturday
– The feeling of throwing a solid punch.
– The right song at the right time (redux).
– Doing more than you need to — but not more than is useful.
– The ding on your windshield as you drive down the highway. It leaves a mark but that mark is minute. The hurled item doesn’t penetrate. And it doesn’t slow you down in any noticeable way.

6 Wednesday
– Crisp air.
– Holding both: the part of you that is strong, capable, kind, caring with the part that is weak, erratic, angry, fucked up. They are you, both.

5 Tuesday
– Work. Demanding-commanding-immersing-distracting work.
– Feeling valued.
– Listening to weakness, honoring it, accepting it, allowing it to be.

3 Sunday
– A free ticket.
– Neighbors who don’t mind if you poop a little on their lawn (dog involved).

2 Saturday
– Helping out. Spur of the moment. And, hey, look, free doughnut!
– Getting some needed OT in.
– Texting. Really. You love it and hate it. Love it with friends who light you up.

1 Friday
Working at a place that recognizes your skills and then values them enough to put them to direct and meaningful use.

Categories: Citizens


Tom Swift - Untethered Dog - Mon, 09/18/2017 - 8:44am

Lost and lonely lives
Floating like waves at sea
We make it day by day
Watching the world go by

In a moment when time stands still
From here we look out on forever

Darling, our love
One love that never fades away
Our love
This love will light the world on its way

Shattered, broken dreams
Sifting like grains of sand
We claim it and here we stay
Watching the world go by

And with the strength that we spend in this life
In hope that it goes on forever
We believe as we promise to try that

Darling, our love
One love that never fades away
Our love
This love will light the world on its way

In a moment when time stands still
From here we look out on forever
And we can see all that time will tell

Darling, our love
One love that never fades away
Our love
This love will light the world on its way

-Michael McDonald, “Our Love,” No Lookin’ Back (1985)

Categories: Citizens


Tom Swift - Untethered Dog - Sat, 09/16/2017 - 8:14am

Welcome to your life
There’s no turning back
Even while we sleep
We will find you

-Tears for Fears, “Everybody Wants to Rule the World,” Songs from the Big Chair (1985)

Categories: Citizens


Tom Swift - Untethered Dog - Tue, 09/12/2017 - 6:23am

Pride is the central vice. … Pride blinds us to the reality of our divided nature. Pride blinds us to our own weaknesses and misleads us into thinking we are better than we are. Pride makes us more certain and closed-minded than we should be. Pride makes it hard for us to be vulnerable before those whose love we need. … Pride deludes us into thinking that we are the authors of our own lives.

-David Brooks, The Road to Character (2015)

Categories: Citizens
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