Local Issues

The Northfield Skateboard Coalition is Making a Difference

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The Northfield Skateboard Coalition has received the Healthy Community Initiative’s “Making a Difference” Award for March/April 2013. The award celebrates those groups and individuals in the community who have a positive influence on Northfield youth.

Rob Hardy, an adult adviser to the group, and filmmaker Cecilia Cornejo nominated the coalition members for the award, citing the dedication and resolve the youth demonstrated throughout the lengthy civic process of working to bring a permanent skate park to Northfield.

“There have been times when the adults have gotten frustrated, angry, or rude, and the kids have never done that. They’ve been models of good behavior and civility,” Hardy said.


Local Issue: Transit Hub

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On December 4, 2012, the Northfield City Council approved a recommendation to locate a proposed local transit hub on the Q-Block, on the southwest corner of Second Street and Highway 3. This is an important step forward in a project that began in 2001, with the completion of a Rice County local and regional transit study that identified a need for a transit hub in Northfield. The proposed transit hub is envisioned as the central element of a redevelopment of the Q-Block which would also include the relocated and renovated Northfield depot.  For those interested in learning more about this issue, here is a timeline and a compilation of documents and links related to the transit hub project.


Local Issue: iPads in the Schools

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Update: On February 10, 2013, the Northfield school board voted 6-1 to approve the Transformational Technology Proposal. News coverage of the school board meeting is archived below.

On January 28, 2013, the Northfield school board received a proposal to provide students in the school district with tablet computers (iPads) beginning in the 2013-2014 school year. Teachers were issued iPads over the summer, and have been receiving training in the use of the devices since August. Task forces have also been meeting to discuss the use of the new technology, policy development, criteria for the selection of apps, and other issues related to the implementation of the iPad proposal. The iPads will be leased for three years (2013-2015) at a cost of roughly $336,000 per year. The district plans to budget another $173,000 a year for apps, digital textbooks, and other support. Students will be charged a $25 insurance fee ($20 for reduced price lunch students, $15 for free lunch students; $100 family maximum). Students in grades 6-12 will each receive an iPad2 to take home; students in elementary grades will have iPad Minis in their classrooms.


Local Issue: Skatepark

Discussions about a permanent skateboard park in Northfield began six years ago, in June 2006, when a group of local youth organized the Northfield Skateboard Coalition. The Coalition, spearheaded by Joe McGowan, pitched their idea to the Northfield Parks and Recreation Board, and began fundraising for a skatepark. Between October 2006 and April 2007, $10,000 was raised through a matching grant from the Northfield Healthy Community Initiative.  In 2011, the Northfield Union of Youth acquired equipment for a skateboard park, which is currently being stored by the city.


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