Blogosphere

Fall Remodeling Projects – Get your home ready for winter!

Northfield Construction Company - Thu, 09/24/2020 - 4:12pm
With incoming cold weather not too far away, you may feel rushed to get everything done and ready around your house for the winter. Whether your to-do list is long or short, we get it! It’s a good feeling to have everything in place while the weather is still nice.   But we also believe....
Categories: Businesses

Sobering display of car crash on display at South Central College

KYMN Radio - Thu, 09/24/2020 - 3:52pm
South Central College along with the Rice County Chemical & Mental Health Coalition and the Rice County Safe Roads Coalition brought a sobering reminder to the college of what can happen when someone drinks and drives. On display is a crash car that took the life of Kaitlyn Hansen from a horrific alcohol-related crash in

2nd Congressional District candidate dies – special election to be held

KYMN Radio - Thu, 09/24/2020 - 2:24pm
The U.S. House of Representatives race in Minnesota’s Second Congressional District is headed for a special election following the death of Legal Marijuana Now candidate Adam Weeks. A cause of death has not been released. Weeks, a farmer in Goodhue County, graduated from Northfield High School in 2000, according to his campaign site.  While voters

Candidate for 2nd Congressional district dies, triggering special election

Northfield News - Thu, 09/24/2020 - 2:24pm
Adam Weeks, who was running for Congress in Minnesota’s 2nd District as the Legal Marijuana Now Party candidate, has died.
Categories: Local News

NDDC survey on downtown Northfield

KYMN Radio - Thu, 09/24/2020 - 2:00pm
The NDDC is asking all individuals who live or work in or near Northfield, MN, to share their thoughts on Northfield’s Downtown in an online survey. All survey input will be anonymous. The survey will take approximately five minutes to complete, and will be live from Monday, September 14 through Wednesday, September 30. CLICK HERE

St. Olaf graduate uses data to improve public health for rural and immigrant communities

St. Olaf College - Thu, 09/24/2020 - 1:54pm
Nicole Novak ’08, an epidemiologist and public health researcher at the University of Iowa, conducts research projects and analyzes data in order to improve community health for rural, Latinx, and immigrant communities.
Categories: Colleges

Accountability in Criminal Justice by John Fossum

KYMN Radio - Thu, 09/24/2020 - 1:36pm
Accountability in Criminal Justice By John Fossum, Rice County Attorney Recently I saw a news release from another jurisdiction talking about how that prosecution office had recently adopted a Brady/Giglio policy and was starting to implement.  Brady vs. Maryland was a United States Supreme Court case in 1963. The Supreme Court determined that all “material”

Smaby Peace Scholars learn the power of dialogue in online summer program

St. Olaf College - Thu, 09/24/2020 - 1:19pm
Maya Belova '22 and Sannah Arvidson-Hicks '22 learned about the power of dialogue in conflict resolution as Smaby Peace Scholars through an online summer program. 
Categories: Colleges

Overcoming Fear of Fermentation

My Northern Garden - Mary Schier - Thu, 09/24/2020 - 12:50pm

I’ve been a home canner for a long time, making jams, pickles and sauces using the water-bath canning method. But I’ve always had a fear of fermentation — something about the prospect of leaving foods on the counter until they started to bubble with live bacteria brought out my inner germ phobe. But after interviewing ... Read More about Overcoming Fear of Fermentation

The post Overcoming Fear of Fermentation appeared first on My Northern Garden.

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Categories: Citizens

St. Olaf, mask up

Manitou Messenger - Thu, 09/24/2020 - 12:46pm

Masks have become a part of everyday style here on campus. The one you pick out each morning might match your mood or your outfit, or it may be a rushed decision when you’re late for class. Though St. Olaf provided all students with masks, many homemade or individually purchased masks roam around campus each day. Here are just a few of those, and what their owners have to say about them:

“My mom brought this mask to me from the kitchen store she works at. I like it because it has flowers on it, and I like flowers.” — Brennan Brink ’21


“This one’s reversible!” — Freya Gordon ’24

“We got these ones from Target.” — Emma Borkowski ’21
“I think it really brings out my eyes.” — Gretchen Olson ’21

“You want me to say something about my mask?!” — Sam Bailey ’21

“I love this mask because it’s sustainably made with salvaged hemp! Go green!” — Reilly Friend ’24

“It’s laundry day for my masks!” — Solveig Gordon ’21

So, whether you’re tossing your mask in the laundry, or you’ve got on your absolute favorite, wearing your mask is what counts! Thanks for masking up, St. Olaf, and let’s continue to see all those unique face coverings around campus so that everyone can express themselves while staying safe!

peacor1@stolaf.edu

Categories: Colleges

Humans of St. Olaf

Manitou Messenger - Thu, 09/24/2020 - 12:29pm

“I just want to slow time ‘cause two hours passes really quickly. I have already had two classes. I really leave everything – my electronic devices except my phone because I was listening to music. I just want to feel the music. So I usually get some coffee and enjoy the time. When you are not around electronics and work, time passes much much slower. It’s kinda the way we create time – you cannot really add an hour to a 24 hour day. You really stretch your time with what you have: either by experiencing the full immensity of it, by leaving everything behind or you could be doing what you are doing and let time pass quickly. That may be efficient, of course, but is it really living? Sometimes we have to take a moment. I am surprised I have drank coffee, I have listened to about 10 songs and I have gone to the registrar to get some contacts but it’s only been 35 minutes. Though it felt like two hours already. I have created a lot of time today.”

Categories: Colleges

How Northfield’s businesses have adapted to COVID-19

Manitou Messenger - Thu, 09/24/2020 - 12:27pm

Northfield has a thriving business community. A range of stores, coffee shops, cafes and restaurants find success in a relatively small town, driven in large part by a combined population of around 5,000 St. Olaf and Carleton students.

Oles and Carls are central to the vibrancy of Northfield’s small businesses. Think Goodbye Blue Monday, Content Bookstore, Rare Pair, Hogan Brothers — all locally owned downtown businesses that rely both on the patronage of college students and tourists who frequent these establishments.

“We are known for our downtown, for our ‘boutique-iness’,” said Lisa Peterson, the president of Northfield’s Chamber of Commerce. “And part of that is the experience of going in the shops, looking at things, touching things, asking questions.”

However, fears of COVID-19 and restrictions put in place to mitigate the virus’s spread have dampened the usually lively downtown business scene by limiting the in-person aspects of Northfield shopping. 

“If you’re talking about small business, small businesses are struggling,” Peterson said. “Our small restaurants, our small retailers, they are still fighting to stay afloat. Even though business has picked up in the last month and a half, it is still touch-and-go.”

To keep up with changing pandemic-driven demands, restaurants and retailers have tried altering their business models to include expanded delivery, new products, special offers and e-commerce options. These alterations have seen various levels of effect.

Hogan Brothers Acoustic Cafe, a Division Street staple, experimented with an expansive delivery system April through June after Minnesota heightened its restrictions late March. The system didn’t stick around for too long once business picked up again. 

“They realized that once more people kept coming in, it was just not profitable to have a delivery driver all the time,” Elijah Leer ’22, a current Hogan Brothers employee, said. “It’s so sporadic now because people are more comfortable coming into the store that there’s not really a point anymore.”

James Gang Coffeehouse, not located downtown but further away just off Dahomey Avenue, saw its existing delivery options expand significantly once St. Olaf students returned to campus.

“A St. Olaf student just accessed that — I mean it’s never not been an option for St. Olaf students, it’s never not been an option for anybody in the city limits,” said Tanya Mollenhauer, owner of James Gang, in reference to the coffeehouse’s delivery service. “It spread across campus like wildfire, especially because everybody was quarantined.”

This sudden increase in delivery to St. Olaf contrasts James Gang’s delivery patterns pre-pandemic.

“What’s really interesting is that we used to deliver a lot more to Carleton than St. Olaf, and now we’re at St. Olaf more than Carleton,” Mollenhauer said.

For James Gang, unlike Hogan Brothers, the delivery model has been and will continue to be a part of their business. 

Loon Liquors, a local distillery, took advantage of the newfound demand for hand sanitizers to begin producing its own, in-house. Loon has been able to provide hand sanitizers to not only local customers but to businesses across the state and country, according to Peterson.

The distillery first produced the hand sanitizer using government guidance and a formula from the World Health Organization on March 21, according to a post on Loon Liquors’s Facebook account. Dozens of community members expressed their gratitude in the comments section of the post.

Content Bookstore, a downtown shop about a block away from Hogan Brothers, received the first order for their new Bespoke Boredom Busting Bundle on March 22. Since the initial order, Content has put together more than 350 bundles, from $30 to $200, according to Jaye Lawrence, a bookseller at Content. 

“The primary idea behind the bundles was to provide personalized service to customers who were suddenly no longer able to visit us in person — and in the process, we sincerely hoped to inspire the same kind of surprise and delight that customers experience browsing our physical store,” Lawrence wrote in an email to The Messenger. 

For Content’s customers, the bundle makes ordering “quick and easy,” Lawrence wrote. Customers choose a price, fill out a short questionnaire about their interests and preferences and Content’s booksellers select books and other items to fill the bundle.

The bundle is then delivered or shipped anywhere in Northfield or throughout the United States. This growth in delivery and shipping alongside the new bundle is the biggest change to Content’s usual business, for which Lawrence is thankful.

“The pandemic has reminded all of us that small local businesses are the heart of our communities, and we’ve been heartened by how many people have made an effort in these trying times to purchase from us instead of big impersonal online retailers,” Lawrence wrote. “We are deeply grateful for all the support we’ve received from loyal Content customers, near and far.”

The Chamber of Commerce shares the belief that small, local restaurants and retailers are the heart of Northfield’s economy, and they have sought to assist these businesses, Peterson said.

Working with Northfield’s Economic Development Authority (EDA), the Chamber helped create a grant program for small businesses looking to develop the e-commerce side of their business models.

“[EDA] created a grant program where they had a $1,500 matching grant,” Peterson said. “You put in $1,500, then the EDA put in $1,500 for each retailer to get some e-commerce help, whether that was developing the store or buying a module, or whatever that happened to be.”

The Chamber also developed its own e-commerce store where businesses that hadn’t yet developed their own store could sell gift cards. 

“Through our own e-commerce efforts, we sold in eight weeks $12,200 worth of gift cards in the community and over $13,000 in Chamber bucks,” Peterson said. “So over $25,000 was spent by community members to keep money local — that was huge.”

Establishments throughout the city have, in one way or another, been forced to adapt. Whether that is through expanded delivery services, new book bundles or the development of e-commerce websites, many Northfield businesses have undergone significant changes.

Categories: Colleges

HeartBeat: Being in love with your friends

Manitou Messenger - Thu, 09/24/2020 - 12:26pm

Can you be in love with your friends? And if so, what does that look like, and is it a good idea?

To me, being in love with your friends means prioritizing those relationships in the same way you would a romantic partner: making sure your friend feels appreciated, that you are spending time together and continually striving to maintain your relationship. Ever since a podcast introduced me to this idea, I’ve found myself thinking much more deeply about the time I spend with my friends and the state of our relationships. 

It is often easy to take friendship for granted, assuming that your friends will always be there even if you screw up or don’t check in as often as you should. But I have realized just how crucial it is to intentionally invest energy and care into close friendships — especially in college when we have the potential to make friends that will last a lifetime. Placing more importance on my friendships makes me feel secure and fulfilled. It takes away some of the pressure to find romantic love, because I know that I already have people in my life whom I love and who love me.

Intentionally forming closer bonds with your friends is fulfilling and rewarding, but that doesn’t mean that it won’t come with growing pains too. It’s no coincidence that the podcast that introduced me to this idea of being in love with your friends is titled “How to Be Single.” It is a lot easier to prioritize your friends when neither you nor your friends have a romantic partner in your life. So, when a romantic partner does enter the picture, it can be tough. 

Even though my brain knows that we can pursue romantic love while still maintaining close friendships, my heart says otherwise. I don’t like the idea that my friend would rather spend time with someone else, or that someone else will become the top priority in their life. Realistically, I know that people can have multiple priorities, but in the moment, I can’t help but feel confused: I’m sad that there is an aspect of my friend’s life of which I won’t be a part, happy that my friend has found a new form of happiness and worried about how this will impact my relationship with them.

All in all, I think it can be great to be in love with your friends — I recommend it even. It definitely felt strange to talk about my friends in this way at first, but doing so has given me a new perspective on the role my friends play in my life. Friends don’t have to be secondary to romantic partners. In fact, if they’re good ones, they’ll likely be around for a lot longer than your current crush.

 

lagare1@stolaf.edu

Categories: Colleges

Mayor's Youth Council Meeting

City of Northfield Calendar - Thu, 09/24/2020 - 12:25pm
Event date: October 7, 2020
Event Time: 07:45 AM - 08:45 AM
Location:
Northfield, MN 55057

Media Beat: 070 shake surprises 2020 music scene

Manitou Messenger - Thu, 09/24/2020 - 12:24pm

2020 hasn’t gifted much to the ear. Coming off a year in which Tyler the Creator’s, albeit solid, victory lap album, “Igor,” won the Grammy for best rap album, it seems as though inspiration is scarce among our favorite musicians. Kanye is off the deep end, Lil Uzi’s ego didn’t do him any favors on “Eternal Atake” and the Weeknd couldn’t help but sing in the same pitch for an entire album on “After Hours.” Among all this mediocrity from generally talented artists, we must truly consider our freshman class this year.

It is a shame that we have largely overlooked one of 2020’s most prolific artists, whose debut studio album, “Modus Vivendi,” is the freshest hip hop/R&B mix since “Blonde.” You might recognize her swinging vocals from Kanye West’s “Ghost Town” and “Yikes,” or from Pusha T’s “Daytona.” Stealing Kanye’s show on his album “Ye” is no simple task, but her contributions are surely the highlight. 

So, to whom am I referring? And is it truly possible that you haven’t heard about someone this good? I’m talking about 070 Shake, and yes, it’s possible. Here’s why: Danielle Balbuena, better known as 070 Shake, is a New Jersey native whose unique sound can be described as “transitional,” but who has received little attention. One listen and you’ll be scratching your head for comparisons. Is it Kid Cudi, Kanye West, Frank Ocean? I don’t know, and neither will you. It’s new, but we need new. Almost everyone in hip hop has sounded like Lil Uzi or Post Malone for the last two years anyway. 

Mike Dean — the man behind musicians like Travis Scott, Kanye West, Young Thug and Big Sean — produced much of “Modus Vivendi.” He blends 070 Shake’s unique sound with his signature synths while maintaining a clear direction throughout the album. 

It’s quite confusing to hop into the album from the first track, so I suggest starting with the more appealing “Guilty Conscience” to get a feel of how 070 Shake expresses herself through the album. This track even caught the attention of Tame Impala and resulted in his own take on the song in a remix. Next, listen to the fleetingly cosmic “Flight319” and the mysteriously sci-fi “Terminal B.” I find “Divorce” to be the most moving on the album, but only because I didn’t listen to it first. 070 Shake establishes her own sound in her expressive debut. “Modus Vivendi” can only be appropriately described as a breath of fresh air. 

 

peper1@stolaf.edu

Categories: Colleges

Artists in isolation: Watercolors on the quad

Manitou Messenger - Thu, 09/24/2020 - 12:20pm

This past week I refreshed my inbox to find one of the most exciting emails a St. Olaf student can receive. The subject line read: “You have a package!” As I headed over to the Post Office, I was shocked to receive yet another email with the subject line, “You have some packages!” Now this was really curious, because I only remembered ordering one item. I approached the Post Office window with excitement. The student worker handed me three small parcels, each wrapped in different packaging. I opened the first to find the gouache paints that I was expecting, a birthday gift for a friend. The next two contained the exact same paint set! I checked my bank account and found they had only charged me for one, but sent me three! 

Over the summer one of my friends Maddy Bayzaee ’23 and I would FaceTime once a week for about two hours to watercolor and catch up. It was so wonderful to have something to look forward to. During one of these FaceTime dates she mentioned a paint I’d never heard of called gouache and expressed interest in trying it. When her birthday rolled around I knew exactly what to get. If she liked them, then I was going to get a set for myself, but the happy postal snafu beat me to it.

I just about skipped back to my dorm that afternoon, elated that I’d had such good luck. I soon carved out time in my schedule to do some painting. I sat outside my Ytterboe pod on a blanket in the shade and tried out the new paints. Generally, I use watercolor, but the gouache turned out to be very similar. It was fun to get to try a new type of paint without any expectations on myself to get it right. Afterwards I felt the most relaxed I’d been in a good while. Watercoloring has been a way for me to release stress throughout the pandemic. It is one of the few spaces where I let myself truly try different things, without expecting the outcome to be good.

It has also become one of my favorite ways to give gifts. I love watercoloring images that I know are special to my loved ones. I’ll ask people to send me their favorite photos and then I’ll do my best to recreate it. Having a creative outlet has allowed me to relax into the importance of making something. I still struggle with making time for art in my life. I am someone who would rather wait until all the work is done to have fun, but I am learning the necessity of stopping to make spaces of rest for myself. I’ve found that if I wait until the work is done then I never get to paint because the work really is never done in college. I hope everyone is able to make time to make art because we are living in unprecedented times, and the ability to find spaces of rest within that is absolutely necessary. 

 

miller56@stolaf.edu

Categories: Colleges

Ideas for hanging out with friends safely during COVID-19

Manitou Messenger - Thu, 09/24/2020 - 12:17pm

While we have been on campus for over a month now, many students are struggling to invent creative ways to hang out with their friends, and first-years are finding it difficult to meet new people. Being able to spend time with friends while continuing to follow St. Olaf’s Community Standards may seem difficult, but there are many opportunities to socialize safely.

Walk in the Natural Lands

St. Olaf’s campus is blessed to have the extraordinary Natural Lands and their many trails. The different trails offer a variety of distances, catering to those who would rather go on a quick walk as well as those who prefer to take a longer path. I highly recommend going on a walk with friends around sunset to experience the beautiful views! Walks in the Natural Lands are relaxing, and they provide the perfect setting for catching up with friends after a long week. For a map of the Natural Lands trails, go here.

Picnic

Instead of having a group of friends hang out in your dorm room, move it outside! Plan a day where your friends can get together to eat lunch or dinner, listen to music and just hang out.

Distanced game night

Who doesn’t love some good competition and fun? Game night is a perfect opportunity for both. 

I recommend playing What Do You Meme, Cards Against Humanity, basic card games (such as BS, War or Go Fish) and, my personal favorite, Jackbox. Jackbox Party Pack games range from trivia and drawing to fill-in-the-blank statements and more, often accompanied by voting on other players’ responses. In a similar style to Kahoot, the game displays on a screen and players participate through their phone. What I love about Jackbox is that you don’t need to be in person with your friends to play. Just start up a Zoom meeting, share your screen and your friends can play along — no matter where they are! Whether you want to play with someone off campus, with your friends from home or just don’t want to leave your dorm room, Jackbox has got you covered. 

Outdoor games

The cool autumn weather is creeping up on us, but there is still time to play outdoor games. Frisbee, soccer, cornhole or just throwing a football or baseball is a great way to get fresh air while spending quality time with friends. If you prefer a more structured game, spikeball is a great option. In spikeball, players in teams of two hit a ball onto a circular net, causing the ball to bounce back up for the other team to return. Much of the gameplay is similar to volleyball, as teammates can set each other up for spikes. You earn a point when the other team fails to return the ball or it hits the rim, and whichever team earns 21 points first wins. Spikeball tournaments allow more people to participate, and they are a great way to meet new people. Most of the equipment needed for these games is available at your dorm building’s front desk. If you can’t find the necessary equipment, ask around! There is a good chance one of your friends or someone in your building has it.

Despite the restricted options to hang out with friends during the pandemic, it is important to continue to connect with others around you. Become creative with the ways you spend time with others, and recognize that you do not need to be doing anything special to form amazing memories with your friends.

Categories: Colleges

St. Olaf choirs return to in-person rehearsal

Manitou Messenger - Thu, 09/24/2020 - 12:15pm

St. Olaf College has prioritized campus choirs — part of the College’s distinctive music program — in its reopening plans for the semester. Having now begun in-person rehearsals, singers have to contend with all sorts of pandemic-related changes to normal operations. 

Directors hold in-person choir meetings in the tents near Hoyme Hall and Thorson Hall, or in large indoor spaces like the Pause or Boe Chapel. Most of the choirs are split into multiple groups, as there are too many participants to meet at once. Choirs meet for less time than normal because rotating sessions and time needed to air out indoor spaces make longer meetings impossible. Campus protocols also require singers to wear masks and stand approximately nine feet apart. 

“We’re being extremely protective and careful, because we don’t want to be that ‘thing.’ It’s a time to be very, very careful,” Visiting Associate Professor of Music Therees Hibbard, director of Manitou Singers, said. “We don’t mind putting up with a lot … it makes us realize how important [in-person choir] is.”

Students agree that the opportunity to sing together eclipses the inconveniences and difficulties of COVID-19 restrictions. 

“With the restrictions all said and done, they’re doing it very well,” Eric Heffelfinger ’23, a member of Chapel Choir, said. 

Choir members are also navigating their personal growth as musicians amid the new restrictions. 

“Part of it is just that hearing other people sing helps me sing better, but since we’re so spread out or online, I don’t really have access to hear other people sing, so I have to rely on my own skills,” Jarret Krous ’23, a Chapel Choir member, said. “Hopefully it helps me improve, but it is too early to tell.”

The inability to rely as readily on other singers and the changes to articulation and projection that come from wearing a mask and being socially distant certainly pose technical challenges for both new and experienced singers. 

In a time of social distancing and loneliness, the emotional and spiritual impact of singing together on this campus has been renewed. 

“And in one way, if you are to look at it with a silver lining, we will never take this for granted again,” Hibbard said. “Of course you can sing over Zoom and we often teach that way; but to be together here, it’s a different dynamic, a different human empathy in artistry.” 

 

graham10@stolaf.edu

Categories: Colleges

Face-to-face with the St. Olaf Blizzard

Manitou Messenger - Thu, 09/24/2020 - 12:05pm

This past week, I had the pleasure of interviewing the face behind the St. Olaf Blizzard Press, a satire Instagram account created in February 2020 that has since taken the St. Olaf community by storm. Although The Blizzard’s creator originally based the account off of satire news source “The Onion,” the Blizzard delivers fresh headlines specific to St. Olaf students and their experiences — which makes the page all the more refreshing and relevant. 

When asked about the page’s sudden popularity, the creator expressed how surreal the process has been — from the first headlines, to following fans of the St. Olaf Dog Spotting page (the original target audience) and watching the page grow from there.

While much of the Blizzard’s content is produced by the creator alone, they also rely on a healthy dose of suggestions from friends and peers. When asked about the page’s many direct messages, the creator showed nothing but appreciation.

“I receive a lot of DMs,” the creator said. “It can be a lot to sift through, sometimes. But I always encourage new headline ideas; I always want the page to be really open and fun, with multiple perspectives.”

Although the Instagram account was ultimately created with the aim of making people laugh, the creator has since been tasked with figuring out how to navigate running a satire page in light of a pandemic, and more recently the anti-racist protests both on campus and beyond. 

“During the summer, I made the deliberate choice to not post much at all. While I want to make the page a platform for anti-racist work during the school year, last summer I felt it was more responsible to not misuse Instagram and take that time instead to observe and educate myself.”

After they graduate, the creator hopes to preserve The Blizzard by passing ownership down either to another student or perhaps even a student organization. While a change in leadership might change the type of content that is produced, the creator is untroubled by this fact. At the end of the day, the creator is firm in their belief that The Blizzard must remain a space where students can share their thoughts, anecdotes and opinions, regardless of their class year.

 

allbro1@stolaf.edu

 

Categories: Colleges

Could 35/19 intersection get a roundabout?; Underdahl comments on whistleblower lawsuit; Volunteers, sewers and cloth donations needed

KYMN Radio - Thu, 09/24/2020 - 12:02pm
By Teri Knight, News Director On Tuesday the Rice County Board of Commissioners officially approved an agreement with the Minnesota Department of Transportation to review, develop and fine tune a proposed roundabout at I-35 and Hwy 19. The Faribault Daily reports the county will spend $33,000 with MnDOT covering the remainder, about $67,000. This intersection
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