Items related to businesses in and around Northfield

Eating in Northfield: Tiny's to stay open late, the Reub: 1982 in 2007.

Lots of culinary happenings around town:

  1. Tiny's Hotdogs is now open until 2 a.m. on Friday nights. There was also talk of an upcoming 'Open Mike' night for poetry and whatnot. This is really good news for anyone who wanted Real Food late night - perfect for a college town. I also shot a small panorama of the counter of the store.
  2. Today is the last day of 25th Anniversary 1982 burger prices at the Reub'N'Stein. Burgers can be had for $1.65 today (double and triples slightly more) which is the same introductory price back in 1982 when they were first offered. Now if I could only get some $0.99 gas to drive me over there with. :)
  3. There's a discussion in our forums about the best places to eat in Northfield. Also: what places would you like to see open up?

Bon Appetit.

Healthy Living team is shaping up

Wow, there are a lot of great people in this town!

Last week personal trainer Jeff Woods offered to write a column for on fitness and health issues. He and I invited personal trainers, owners of health clubs and others involved in healthy living activities to brainstorm about what we could cover and how.

Well, a great group turned out at the Hideaway Tuesday to start work. Pictured above are Kitty Runzheimer of the Northfield Senior Center and Carleton College, Heather Peterson and Tristan Cox of SNAP Fitness, Amy Etzell of HeartWork Yoga Studio and Jeff, who owns and runs The Bodysmith, a personal training business. Others couldn't make it, but are going to be involved in future meetings.  And if you'd like to join the group, you're welcome to jump in any time.

Three New Board Members Join YMCA Northfield

The Northfield Area YMCA is pleased to announce that three new individuals have joined the YMCA Board of Directors, giving of their time and experience to ensure that the YMCA is a successful, dynamic, and supportive force in the Northfield area for years to come.

The new “Class of 2009” Board members are Reginaldo Haslett-Marroquin, Zach Pruitt, and Christopher Sorenson. These three join Missy Donkers, Bryan Hoff, David McBeain, Emily Monaghan, Pat Murtha, Mike Puppe, Lee Runzheimer, and Jennifer Sawyer in serving on the Board of Directors.

Kushka finds her way home to Shepherd's Way Farms

I have great news to report from Steven and Jodi Read at Shepherd's Way Farms.

Last Tuesday I posted a story about Kushka, their white Tatra/Mastiff, who slipped out of her collar outside Countryside Vet Clinic in Dundas. Once free, she made like Audrey Hepburn in "Roman Holiday" and slipped away.

Jodi e-mailed today that Kushka has returned! Jodi wrote:

"Amazingly, she came home yesterday! Sunday afternoon she simply showed up at the farm. She is exhausted but in wonderful shape. She knows where she lives, apparently!"

Kushka is being as mysterious as a Hollywood celebrity about her adventure. So unless the tabloid photos show up, we'll never know.

Good news for health and fitness fans launches health and fitness team
Meet Jeff Woods Tuesday to share your ideas

I don't have to tell you that Northfield is full of interesting people.

Take Jeff Woods, shown here as we had coffee at Blue Monday to talk about an idea of his. Jeff has volunteered to write a regular column about fitness. A personal trainer and the owner of The Bodysmith in downtown Northfield, he can fill a lot of columns on his own. But we also want to share news about what other businesses, organizations and individuals are doing to stay healthy and help others do so.

We'll be meeting at 2 p.m. this Tuesday at the Hideaway to talk more about how this new project can take shape. Kitty Runzheimer, a fitness expert at the Northifeld Senior Center and Carleton College, will be there as well. There's no charge to business owners who want to share information about their services on, and we're happy to have anyone stop in to share ideas, ask questions or pass along news. If you can't come, send me an email or leave a comment below.

YMCA will offer first programs in February

Have you ever seen footprints in the snow and wondered where they came from or where they end? The Northfield Area Family YMCA offers "Animal Tracking" for children ages 7-9, on Saturdays from 1–2:30 p.m., beginning February 3 at the Sibley Marsh and Prairie. Children will be led by a naturalist from River Bend Nature Center as they explore animal behavior and lifestyles by observing the trails they use and the tracks they leave behind.

Sustainable Community Solutions reports on the talk by Jason Hill

biofuels-basics-presentation.JPGBruce Anderson of Sustainable Community Solutions has a great blog entry regarding last night's talk by Jason Hill.  To read the full article, you can click here...

Jason Hill, research associate in the departments of Applied Economics and Ecology, Evolution and Behavior at the University of Minnesota, drew a standing-room-only crowd to the St. Olaf campus Thursday night. His lecture, entitled "Biofuels Basics: Energetics, Expectations, Environment and Economics," outlined and expanded on the findings of research recently published in Science magazine.

Weekend Entertainment and Events

Click to view/downloadEver wondered what Ann North may have been thinking?

Tonight you can sit back and hear the Northfield founderess recall winters past as they were in Northfield. Starting at 6:30 p.m., Thursday, at Millstream Commons.

Orrin DeLong and Marian Hvistendahl will play John and Ann North. The topic of "winter" just got more interesting - you won't want to miss it!

If music is more your style, head over to the Tavern and catch Mark Mraz tickling the ivories Thursday night. If Hip-Hop is more your thing, participate in Hip-Hop Night located in the upstairs section of the Rueb.

As always, Friday is full of entertaining happenings! Randall Kennedy will speak at Skinner Memorial Chapel, Carleton, Friday at 10:50 a.m. Kennedy is a law professor at Harvard Law School and will be speaking on "Race Lines in American Life."

Carleton is hosting a guest artist concert: The Irrelevants including saxophonist, Carrie Koffman, and violist, Tim Deighton will be accompanied by pianist Nicola Melville. The concert begins at 8 p.m., Friday, at Carleton's Concert Hall.

Musical events pervade on Saturday starting with the Twin City Playboys who will rock their country and cajun sound at the Cow from 8 - 11 p.m. Brat Pack Radio will rock the house at Dawn's Corner Bar in Dundas starting at 9 p.m. Relativity, with their blend of current and classic light rock with acoustic guitar and vocals, will entertain the crowd at the Tavern.

Reginaldo Haslett-Marroquin expands focus on Latino issues

Reginaldo Haslett-Marroquin is a busy man these days.

Tuesday he spoke to Northfield Enterprise Center officials about how to support and promote local Latino entrepreneurs. He gave a report which you can download here or read at the end of this post.

This was just the latest move for Reginaldo, who is perhaps best known as a community liaison at Greenvale Park Elementary School. He is in fact, much more, including an entrepreneur, an agronomist and an experienced promoter of small business.

You may remember we have written about him in the last couple of weeks as he has been pushing local families and community leaders to create emergency plans. The main impetus was the immigration raids in Minnesota and elsewhere in December, but the plans also are important for families and communities facing storms or other emergencies. You can check the key story here.

This Week in the Northfield Blogosphere - Baby, It's Cold Outside

We're back for another teeth-chattering, ear-freezing, car-not-starting edition of the 'Sphere. It's finally, finally cold enough for extended winter activities, which makes some of us rejoice and others grumble. Fortunately, reading is still an all-weather sport, so pour some hot chocolate on the keyboard and shut the world out for a while...

Bill Ostrem addresses the previous warm weather with a post about Paul Douglas and Global Warming...

Paul Douglas, the senior meteorologist at the WCCO television in the Twin Cities, continues to impress me with his scientific take on global warming. See his comments on last year’s weather and warming trends in his StarTribune weather column today

Fishing and Thinking in Minnesota stays tangentially on the topic by discussing ethanol, farming, and conversational snippets...

NCO Board to set plans for 2007

The board of Northfield Citizens Online, the group that runs this little website, will meet at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 10, at Carlson Capital Management.

We have a lot of good ideas for the year ahead, from environmental and health columns to online book clubs, in-person issues salons and and arts and authors sections. We will be prioritizing all the projects, setting timelines and lining up volunteers to help make them happen.

If you have ideas or comments, please send them our way and we'll add them to the mix!

What would lure you downtown?

In case you slept in, here's one reporter's account of the NDDC monthly Tuesday morning forum that took place at 8 a.m. today.

The usual players once again dragged the dead horse out of the Archer House storage space and into the middle of the room...No they didn't beat it. They didn't even get that far. They just spent two hours talking about how to beat it. (That's Norm Butler, above, trying to move things along.)

I'm sorry, but after a year listening to minor variations of the same discussion, I don't have anything new to report. If you insist, do a search and click through all the earlier stories on why people don't shop downtown, and what the city/state/chamber/retailing fairy godmother can do to help the struggling business owners and building owners.

Happily, Joe Grundhoefer stood up and said that he'd had his best year ever at J. Grundy's Rueb 'N' Stein. No one asked how he did it, they just moved back to discussing what's wrong. But after the meeting, I asked, and he had a great answer -- and it isn't very complicated.

"I listened to my customers," he said. Joe explained how he had his staff talk to customers about what they wanted. He talked to people. He added more happy hour promotions and specials. He added TV screens, and this week he popped for some snappy new 42-inch LCD screens so the athletes will look so real you'd swear the losing teams will be crying in your beer with you.

Sure, these aren't groundbreaking ideas, but they worked. He also uses the welcome services for new residents, and he's looking for ways to reach people coming to town for events.

That brings up a point...Event planners have lists of people attending, so why not invite them to have a drink or dinner while they're here for a bike race or conference?

A few people in the room seemed ready to work together to ask people what they let's help them along.

What would make you come downtown, or come downtown more often? What  drives you crazy and keeps you from coming downtown?

You can leave a comment here, or get a discussion going in our forums. If you want to meet and get working on how get people downtown, say so and I'll set up a meeting.

Let's see if we can come up with some new ideas for the new year. And leave the dead horses in peace.

Latino issues highlight events this week

The Northfield Human Rights Commission on Thursday will join what is shaping up to be a week of discussions of issues involving Latino concerns, but reaching throughout the community.

The commission, which meets at 7 p.m. at City Hall, is slated to discuss the recent closing of Las Delicias, a downtown restaurant. The owners, who are legal immigrants, are involved in a complicated landlord-tenant dispute. You can catch up on the background here.

The commission also will discuss a statement by the League of Minnesota Human Rights Commissions asking the federal government for an end to the sweeping raids conducted in December targeting undocumented workers in Minnesota. You can read the entire statement at the end of this article.

Earlier in the week, on Tuesday, the Northfield Downtown Development Corporation will use its monthly 8 a.m. forum at the Archer House to discuss the challenges facing owners of restaurants and other small businesses trying to succeed downtown. The discussion was sparked by the Las Delicias closing, but will address broader issues such as building costs, taxes, operating expenses, revenue potential and marketing  downtown. Read the details here.

NDDC Forum will tackle downtown restaurant challenges

Submitted by Amy Gage 

The Northfield Downtown Development Corp. (NDDC) will present its monthly Downtown Forum on Tuesday, Jan. 9, with a panel discussion that examines retail vitality on the main street of Northfield in the wake of the recent closing of Las Delicias restaurant on Division Street. 

Editor's note: You can catch up on the las Delicias story here. 

The Downtown Forum is held at 8 a.m. the first Tuesday of every month in the lower-level conference room of the Archer House, Third and Division streets. The public is welcome, and refreshments will be served. (This month's event was delayed by the holiday.)

Among the topics to be covered: rental rates, the community’s responsibility to businesses and businesses’ responsibility to the community, high property taxes, the cost of maintaining and expanding historic buildings, the viability of available financial tools and how downtown can function as a business incubator for the larger community.

Catalyst Foundation races to meet donation challenge match

Ok, you're really going to have to hurry to help with this, but I just found out about a really cool project by the Catalyst Foundation, a non-profit organization led by Northfield resident Caroline Ticarro-Parker, that works to improve the lives of orphaned, abandoned, and homeless children in Vietnam.  

Here's the info from Caroline:

We currently have projects serving 200 children and 100 families in the southern provinces of Vietnam in Dong Thap, Kien Giang and Saigon.  Catalyst Foundation also works to build cultural awareness and enrich the lives of children adopted from Vietnam through the Vietnam Culture Camps, held annually at St. Olaf College.

2007 is off to an exciting start for Catalyst Foundation. An anonymous donor has challenged us to raise $5,000 in 24 hours. If we are successful, the donor will generously match that amount, making the contributions go twice as far!

Contributions will help keep vulnerable children from being sexually trafficked, feed children who are hungry, build a school for a needy community, build a safe shelter for families, and so much more.

Can you think of a better way to start the new year?

You can help us to reach this goal. The challenge begins January 3 and will close Thursday, January 4. To contribute to this great effort, you can call us at 507.664.9558 or visit us online

Every dollar donated will be doubled – no amount is too small! You can help spread the word - let your friends, family and colleagues know about the plight of these children. You will be the catalyst for positive change for the children of Vietnam!

Happy New Year!
Scott Parker & Caroline Ticarro-Parker
Co-Founders, Catalyst Foundation

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