Blogosphere

Campus improvement projects to come

Manitou Messenger - Thu, 11/14/2019 - 9:55pm

St. Olaf is renovating Steensland Hall and lab space in Regents, and adding climate controlled storage to the library over the next several years as part of its six-year development plan.

The plan also includes four projects completed over the summer, like renovations to Rand Hall and Skoglund Gymnasium.

The College capital budget sits at $9 million for fiscal year 2019-20, of which $5.5 million goes towards ongoing capital projects. The budget will increase to $9.5 million in 2020-21, with $6 million for continued projects, as outlined in a capital budget report obtained by the Messenger.

“The capital budget is kind of the big, one-time projects that we need to spend money on,” said Vice President for Budget and Auxiliary Operations Angela Mathews. “We fund our capital budget with our depreciation. So it’s the cash we have left over at the end of the day, we put towards our capital budget.”

The depreciated funds stem from larger projects that necessitate setting aside funds for yearly upkeep and natural deterioration. St. Olaf reinvests these funds into ongoing capital projects, a process that is unique from that of other institutions.
“A lot of schools don’t do that – they just appreciate and they don’t put that money back into their buildings,” Mathews said. “So I think our facilities are in a much better place because we reinvest.”

The Regents project is one example of this reinvestment. The project began its two-year process this year, with $85,000 of the $385,000 total budget used in 2019-20. It will modify vacant space to relocate one psychology lab, while renovating lab space to provide a “multi-disciplinary wet lab space for biology, psychology, and neuroscience,” according to the project summary.

Of the three ongoing capital ventures, the Regents project is the only one that will break ground this year. Both the renovations to Steensland and new library collections area are set to begin next year.

Currently, the College cannot ensure the safekeeping of its rare books and archives due to an outdated air handling system. This has necessitated the replacement of the current system, alongside the renovation of 12,000 square feet of existing library space for a “climate-controlled vault and support space for the College’s rare book collections,” according to the project summary. $4 million has been set aside for this project, split evenly between the two years the project will take to complete.

Different than the Regents and Rolvaag renovations, which are both two-year projects, the Steensland renovation is set to be completed entirely next year.

marand1@stolaf.edu

Categories: Colleges

Faculty Approve GE Reform

Manitou Messenger - Thu, 11/14/2019 - 9:33pm

OLE Core now goes to Board of Regents for discussion

The final draft of the new General Education (GE) curriculum passed an all-faculty vote on Thursday, Nov. 7. Over three-quarters of the faculty present voted in favor of the new GE curriculum, OLE Core. The curriculum was amended at the Nov. 7 faculty meeting to include an Active Body requirement and allow double-counting of GEs for classes in course sequences.

Prior to the faculty vote, the Board of Regents had expressed support for the new curriculum. They will review it during their February meeting and are expected to express their support, said Jon Naito, department chair of English and member of the GE Task Force.

The GE Task Force has been working on the new curriculum for over three years, spearheaded by student representatives Ulises Jovel ’20 and Myrtó Neamonitaki ’20 and various faculty members. The Task Force’s work represents the first major motion to update the GE curriculum in about 25 years.

“Finally, the hard work that we’ve [past and present members] been doing has paid off,” Neamonitaki said. “It has shown that in the end there are people who want the system to change and who will fight to see their students happier and represented.”

The OLE Core works to amend a number of problems identified through forums between students, faculty and administrators over the 2017-18 academic year. Through these forums, the GE Task Force found that the current GE curriculum was “not as equitable or inclusive” as the mission of the College requires, according to a May 2018 Task Force report.

The GE Task Force also aims to make the curriculum smaller and more flexible, according to a May 2019 presentation to the Board of Regents. The final draft of the GE curriculum cut the maximum number of courses needed to complete the curriculum from 26 to 16.
However, faculty voted with a 72 percent approval to add a wellness requirement, which would add another GE to OLE Core.

The Active Body requirement would provide a more holistic, body-based learning experience than the former Studies in Physical Movement (SPM) requirement. The GE Task Force initially chose not to include the SPM in the OLE Core due to the ableist nature of the courses offered, Neamonitaki said.

The authors of the Active Body requirement hope to develop additional courses with inclusivity and accessibility in mind – they acknowledge in the amendment how the word “active” could be exclusive and are open to alternative language.

“The Active Body requirement isn’t a renaming of the current SPM requirement, but a re-envisioning of experiencing and learning using the body in motion as the primary mode of inquiry,” said Heather Klopchin, department chair of dance and co-author of the amendment.

The Integrative Coursework amendment passed with a 69 percent majority vote. The new amendment allows double-counting for classes in course sequences like the conversation programs. In previous drafts of OLE Core, double-counting was not allowed for these courses as part of the Task Force’s goal to discourage the “check-list” mentality.
The amendment recognizes that learning goals are not always accomplished in a single course, but rather through a collection of courses.

“It often happens that multiple requirements are conferred administratively in the last course – not because the course in isolation contains all the learning, but because it represents the culmination of several streams of learning,” the Integrative Coursework resolution reads. “The new OLE Core should allow for the recognition of such integrations.”

“Finally, the hard work that we’ve [past and present members] been doing has paid off. It has shown that in the end there are people who want the system to change and who will fight to see their students happier and represented.”
– Myrtó Neamonitaki ’20

The new amendment will allow sequenced courses to carry more than two GEs in a single class similar to the current process.

Neamonitaki said she is proud of the work the Task Force has done so far and is “excited and hopeful” to see how implementation will support progress towards a more inclusive curriculum.

The OLE Core curriculum will take effect in fall 2021 for first-year students. Second-year and upperclass students will continue to operate under the current system, while some classes will cater to both the new and old curriculums. Due to a sunset provision included in the final draft, the new curriculum will remain in effect no longer than ten years.

bermel1@stolaf.edu

favaro1@stolaf.edu

Categories: Colleges

The Weekly List – Story Songs

KYMN Radio - Thu, 11/14/2019 - 7:00pm

This week, commemorating the anniversary of the Edmund Fitzgerald tragedy, Rich offers up a list of his favorite story songs.

The post The Weekly List – Story Songs appeared first on KYMN Radio · Northfield, MN · AM 1080 & FM 95.1.

Profitable Farming Practices That Protect Drinking Water

KYMN Radio - Thu, 11/14/2019 - 3:41pm

From CRWP Kevin Stauss: Summary: One challenge facing cities in Minnesota is how to keep their drinking water safe from nitrate contamination. That’s why the Cannon River Watershed Partnership, Rice SWCD, Minnesota Extension, and the City of Faribault are working together to help farmers implement farming practices that protect both drinking water and the farmer’s

The post Profitable Farming Practices That Protect Drinking Water appeared first on KYMN Radio · Northfield, MN · AM 1080 & FM 95.1.

Important Property Tax Homestead Notice from Rice County

KYMN Radio - Thu, 11/14/2019 - 3:35pm

Posted on: November 14, 2019 Have you purchased or moved into a property in the past year? Contact your county assessor to file a homestead application if you or a qualifying relative occupy the property as a homestead on or before December 1, 2019. What is a qualifying relative? For agricultural property, a qualifying relative

The post Important Property Tax Homestead Notice from Rice County appeared first on KYMN Radio · Northfield, MN · AM 1080 & FM 95.1.

Faculty approve General Education reform

Manitou Messenger - Thu, 11/14/2019 - 12:50pm

The final draft of the new General Education (GE) curriculum passed an all-faculty vote on Thursday, Nov. 7. Over three-quarters of the faculty present voted in favor of the new GE curriculum, OLE Core. The curriculum was amended at the Nov. 7 faculty meeting to include an Active Body requirement and allow double-counting of GEs for classes in course sequences.

Prior to the faculty vote, the Board of Regents had expressed support for the new curriculum. They will review it during their February meeting and are expected to express their support, said Jon Naito, department chair of English and member of the GE Task Force.

The GE Task Force has been working on the new curriculum for over three years, spearheaded by student representatives Ulises Jovel ’20 and Myrtó Neamonitaki ’20 and various faculty members. The Task Force’s work represents the first major motion to update the GE curriculum in about 25 years.

“Finally, the hard work that we’ve [past and present members] been doing has paid off,” Neamonitaki said. “It has shown that in the end there are people who want the system to change and who will fight to see their students happier and represented.”

The OLE Core works to amend a number of problems identified through forum between students, faculty and administrators over the 2017-18 academic year. Through these forums, the GE Task Force found that the current GE curriculum was “not as equitable or inclusive” as the mission of the College requires, according to a May 2018 Task Force report.

The GE Task Force also aims to make the curriculum smaller and more flexible, according to a May 2019 presentation to the Board of Regents. The final draft of the GE curriculum cut the maximum number of courses needed to complete the curriculum from 26 to 16.

However, faculty voted with a 72 percent approval to add a wellness requirement, which would add another GE to OLE Core.

The Active Body requirement would provide a more holistic, body-based learning experience than the former Studies in Physical Movement (SPM) requirement. The GE Task Force initially chose not to include the SPM in the OLE Core due to the ableist nature of the courses offered, Neamonitaki said.

The authors of the Active Body requirement hope to develop additional courses with inclusivity and accessibility in mind – they acknowledge in the amendment how the word “active” could be exclusive and are open to alternative language.

“The Active Body requirement isn’t a renaming of the current SPM requirement, but a re-envisioning of experiencing and learning using the body in motion as the primary mode of inquiry,” said Heather Klopchin, department chair of dance and co-author of the amendment.

The Integrative Coursework amendment passed with a 69 percent majority vote. The new amendment allows double counting for classes in course sequences like the conversation programs. In previous drafts of OLE Core, double-counting was not allowed for these courses as part of the Task Force’s goal to discourage the “check-list” mentality.

The amendment recognizes that learning goals are not always accomplished in a single course, but rather through a collection of courses.

“It often happens that multiple requirements are conferred administratively in the last course – not because the course in isolation contains all the learning, but because it represents the culmination of several streams of learning,” the Integrative Coursework resolution reads. “The new OLE Core should allow for the recognition of such integrations.”

The new amendment will allow sequenced courses to carry more than two GEs in a single class similar to the current process.

“Finally, the hard work that we’ve [past and present members] been doing has paid off. It has shown that in the end there are people who want the system to change and who will fight to see their students happier and represented.”
– Myrtó Neamonitaki ’20

Neamonitaki said she is proud of the work the Task Force has done so far and is “excited and hopeful” to see how implementation will support progress towards a more inclusive curriculum.

The OLE Core curriculum will take effect in fall 2021 for first-year students. Second-year and upperclass students will continue to operate under the current system, while some classes will cater to both the new and old curriculums. Due to a sunset provision included in the final draft, the new curriculum will remain in effect no longer than ten years.

 

bermel1@stolaf.edu
favaro1@stolaf.edu

Categories: Colleges

Native plants, art, lights and more for roundabout; Cannon Valley Makers get OK from Dundas; Hillmann reports on school enrollment options

KYMN Radio - Thu, 11/14/2019 - 12:02pm

By Teri Knight, News Director With a roundabout at Highway 246 and Jefferson Parkway all but built, the Northfield council discussed landscaping and plantings around the intersection. SEH Landscape Architect Karl Weissenborn said their intent is to use native upland prairie grasses and wildflowers and small groupings of native understory and overstory trees. Additional features proposed include

The post Native plants, art, lights and more for roundabout; Cannon Valley Makers get OK from Dundas; Hillmann reports on school enrollment options appeared first on KYMN Radio · Northfield, MN · AM 1080 & FM 95.1.

PJM’s 3Q State of the Market

Carol Overland - Legalectric - Thu, 11/14/2019 - 11:43am

Here ’tis:

2019 Q3-State of the Market-PJMDownload

And dig this, from Introduction, p. 3, seems PJM is attempting to manipulate the market, and that’s not flying with Market Analytics, the entity that does the State of the Market reports:

… and this, also p. 3, decreasing revenues is putting it mildly:

This report bears reading, I know, in spare time, but this is REAL NEWS!

Categories: Citizens

Environmental Quality Commission Meeting

City of Northfield Calendar - Thu, 11/14/2019 - 10:03am
Event date: November 20, 2019
Event Time: 07:00 PM - 09:00 PM
Location:
801 Washington Street
Northfield, MN 55057

Urbanists tweet about the roundabout

Betsey Buckheit - Thu, 11/14/2019 - 9:55am
Last week, the Strib ran an article about Northfield’s planned roundabout with tunnels for people biking and walking: Twitter responds As a result, one local urbanist (streets.mn founder, active with Strong Towns, Planning Commissioner, and good guy) tweets: In turn, famous walkability guy Jeff Speck chimes in: After a bit of back and forth, the …
Categories: Citizens

Charter Commission Meeting

City of Northfield Calendar - Thu, 11/14/2019 - 9:49am
Event date: November 21, 2019
Event Time: 06:00 PM - 08:00 PM
Location:
801 WASHINGTON STREET
NORTHFIELD, MN 55057

Maria Estrada

KYMN Radio - Thu, 11/14/2019 - 9:44am

Wayne talks with Maria Estrado, owner/operator of Maria’s Catering, Maria’s Taco Hut, and Kahlo Restaurant in Northfield.

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

John Fossum

KYMN Radio - Thu, 11/14/2019 - 9:36am

Rice County Attorney John Fossum talks about an incident in which a Rice County deputy has been charged with assault in the Rice County jail, the impact of new laws such as the hands-free law on the legal system, and a success story for a graduate of the Drug Treatment Court.

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

Tamarack copper-nickel exploration?

Carol Overland - Legalectric - Wed, 11/13/2019 - 9:52pm

Talon Nickel USA has filed with the DNR to rebore/reuse existing exploratory borings, from 2015, near Tamarack, MN.

Exploration Plan – Talon 11-6-19 SubmissionDownload

But it looks like they’re hanging their hat, and a lot more, on this project. A recent press release:

Talon Metals Update: Strategic Importance of the Tamarack High Grade Nickel-Copper-Cobalt Project to the Future of Transportation in the U.S.A.

And an even more recent press release, within the last week:

Talon Metals – Advancing the Tamarack Project: Upcoming Work Program and Initiative to Evaluate Producing Nickel Sulphates for the Battery Market

Here’s a presentation touting this project:

“Securing 21 [st] Century U.S. Supply Chains for EVs and Energy Storage”

A friend lives nearby, we were closer than I thought, and this is on a County Road just north of the planned mine:

Categories: Citizens

$5 million gift enables more students to receive Carleton education

Northfield News - Wed, 11/13/2019 - 4:14pm
A $5 million gift from David Ignat ’63 and Eleanor Ignat will help make a Carleton education possible for first-generation and low-income students while challenging other donors to follow suit.
Categories: Local News

Kenyon Republican announces run to unseat Angie Craig

Northfield News - Wed, 11/13/2019 - 3:30pm
A Kenyon Republican has announced his candidacy to challenge Angie Craig next year in the 2nd Congressional District race.
Categories: Local News

500 more streams, lakes fail to meet water quality standards

Northfield News - Wed, 11/13/2019 - 3:20pm
ST. PAUL — The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency on Wednesday, announced the proposed addition of 581 new bodies of water to the list of streams and lakes that do not meet state water quality standards. Two, including Fox Lake southwest…
Categories: Local News

Faribault man charged after alleged rape

Northfield News - Wed, 11/13/2019 - 2:38pm
A Faribault man who allegedly raped a woman he knew Sunday was charged with two felonies on Tuesday in Rice County District Court.
Categories: Local News
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