Oles of all ages share the biggest party of the year

Here are a few photos taken before and during the progression of the reunion classes this morning at St. Olaf College. We thank Tom Vogel (Communications Specialist for the college) for taking time from a truly hectic weekend of commencement and class reunions to share them with us. You can check out the full story about the weekend and links in an entry below.

Tom also told us there are 17 local students graduating, so proud parents, get out your cameras and send some pictures. Just e-mail them to contactus@northfield.org with names and info and we'll do the rest.

Read the rest of the entry to view the photos and captions.


Cannon River Rendezvous Returns

Editor's Note: The Cannon River Rendezvous begins this morning. If you head out to the event, please take a few minutes to email us your photos with a few words about the experience!

The Science Center at Maltby Nature Preserve is pleased to present this year’s Cannon River Rendezvous, FREE and open to the public!

The 4th Annual Cannon River Rendezvous will take place over Memorial Day weekend, May 27-29, at The Science Center at Maltby Nature Preserve in Stanton Township. Sponsored by the Twin City Muzzle Loading Club, the Cannon River Rendezvous takes you back in time to a tradition of long ago, recreating the everyday life of French fur trappers, traders and early settlers in the early 1800s.


Northfield's (Forcefield's) Home-Grown Cabaret

Click to enlargeTonight’s Forcefield’s Cabaret will be a performance in the tradition of the original 1880’s Parisian cabarets, with music, dance, politics and humor combining for an eclectic and entertaining evening. Hosted by Hortense MacLeod (with a bit of competition from Steve Lawler), the cabaret will feature performances by Madame Starlight (AKA Dan Kallman), Liz Braaten and others from NAG’s recent musical production of Cabaret, Suzannah Ciernia, Peter Webb and his piano guys, and many more local talents . . . plus the political punch of Patrick Farwig’s lyrics.

I stopped to snap some photos at the rehearsal Friday night and was treated to some laughs and some thought provoking moments as well. I’m looking forward to seeing the whole show Saturday (May 27) at 7:30 pm at the NAG Theater. Admission is $6 at the door.

Sheryl Joy is the Office Manager of the Northfield Arts Guild.


St. Olaf holds Commencement, Seminars and Concerts

By Cate Grochala '06

click to enlargeCommencement is the culminating event of St. Olaf College's Celebration Weekend 2006—three days of events that begin today, May 26. The weekend will feature three learning seminars and three concerts, all of which are open to the public.

Commencement (open to the public if held outdoors at Manitou Field) will begin at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, May 28. This year's commencement speaker is Peter Agre, recipient of the 2003 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Raised in Northfield, where his father was on the faculty at St. Olaf College, Agre went on to a successful career in medical research. In 1991 he discovered the channels that regulate the transport of water through cells, research that has led to a better understanding of many medical conditions and the Nobel Prize. Currently, Agre is vice chancellor for science and technology at Duke University Medical Center.

St. Olaf senior Breanna Peterson, who plans to continue her studies in nursing and public health at Emory University in the fall, will be the student speaker.

A public baccalaureate worship service will precede Commencement on Sunday at 9 a.m. in Skoglund Center Auditorium.

Read the rest of the story for more commencement events...


Sesquicentennial Executive Committee reunion

Click to enlargeSix months after the fact, the Northfield Sesquicentennial Executive Committee once again gathered to raise a glass to this fine community Wednesday evening at the Contented Cow.

Pictured [click photo to enlarge] are: Top row (l-r): David Gonnerman, Rob Schanilec, Bo Aylin, Dan Freeman, Debby Larsen and Dan Berguson. Bottom row (l-r): Jennifer Sawyer, Renee Huckle, Lora Steil, Candy Taylor and Brett Reese. Not pictured: Mark Fagerwick, Keith Covey and Geralyn Sheehan.


Richardson isn't going to Des Moines

Chris RichardsonOne of our readers passed along a story this morning from the DesMoines Register reporting that officials in Iowa's largest school district have selected Nancy Sebring as their new superintendent.

Northfield superintendant Chris Richardson, who grew up in DesMoines, was one of three finalists for the position. Richardson recently told the Northfield News that he didn't seek out the Iowa position and that if passed over for the job, he intended to remain in Northfield.


Weekend Entertainment and Events

Click to view PDFI know it's a long weekend, and you're thinking of leaving town, but you really should stay. There's a lot to do right here, and besides...your friends are here! A quick look at the Northfield Entertainment Guide (you can download it here or pick up a Guide at key spots around town) will tell you all you need to know.

Read the rest of this entry for the full scoop...


Rotary Honors WWII Vets

Click to enlargeToday's Rotary Meeting was dedicated to honoring the WWII Veterans in the Northfield Rotary Club and hear some stories that reminded us all of the sacrifices and dedication needed at a critical time on our planet to fight for the freedoms we enjoy.

Each of these men (click the photo to enlarge it) stood up to share a story or two with the group: (left to right) Bob Lampe, Earl Crow, Frank Cerny, Al Alberg, Orv Marks, Bob Will, Bill Culp, and Bob Reitz.

There's also photo gallery from the event.



Locally Grown features Mill Towns Trail, 2:30 pm Friday at The Hideaway

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We're taking our Locally Grown radio show/podcast to the streets this summer. This week, we're recording 2:30 PM Friday in back room at the newly opened James Gang Hideaway, 421 Division St. Our guest: Mill Towns Trail board member Peggy Prowe. Attend the recording session to help provide ambient background noise and maybe even participate.

The legislature just allocated $1 million dollars for the trail. I snapped the photo (above right) today after Northfield Rotary's lunch at the Northfield Golf Club. L to R: Rice County Commissioner Jessica Peterson, Faribault Councillor Carol King, Representative Patti Fritz, Peggy Prowe, Jim Schlicting, Representative Ray Cox, Mill Towns Trail Friends Chair Meg Otten, Senator Tom Neuville, Peter Stolley, Laurie Williams, Neil Lutsky. (Click all photos/images to enlarge.)


This week in the Northfield Blogosphere...

The 'Sphere is back again, and the theme this week is presented in haiku form:

bq. _Northfield, your profuse_
_writing makes my job easy._
_Keep up the good work._

People were in the writing mood; this week, we're looking at entries over 500 words. Even more inside...


Policy and Picnic...What a Combo!

Reminder: this event is TODAY.

Steve MorseThe public is invited to hear about gains for environmental quality achieved during the 2006 Minnesota Legislative session. Steve Morse, Executive Director of Minnesota Environmental Partnership (MEP), will address the topic and answer questions from 4-5:30 p.m., Thursday, May 25, at the Northfield Public Library.

Steve is a former state senator and a former deputy commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Steve was elected to the State Senate the first time in 1986, representing the Winona area. For most of his 12 years in the Senate, he served as chairman of the Senate Environment and Agriculture Budget Division. He served in the DNR from 1999 to 2003.


You're invited to a mixer . . .

...no, it's not one of these mixers, although this may be the more familiar variety during construction season.

It's one of those FUN MIXERS, where you can meet and greet your downtown neighbors and fellow lovers of downtown Northfield...free food, cash bar, plenty of socializing and stimulating conversation, hear the latest news, get motivated to make a difference or just kick back with your friends

The Northfield Downtown Development Corporation is sponsoring this event which will be held at the Tavern Lounge in the Archer House on Thursday, May 25, from 5 to 7 pm. Meet members of our Board of Directors, tell us what you really think and share whatever gossip you’ve heard. This event is free and open to the public.

Questions? Call 663-0319 for more info.

Dan Bergeson is president of the NDDC.


NHS Honors Art Students Present Their Final Show at the NAG

Click to enlargeThe Northfield High School Honors Art students are pleased to present their semester's body of work at their end-of-the-year show at the Northfield Arts Guild.  This year's show has been named "A Feast for the Eyes" and it will showcase the work of 13 senior artists.  The show will open on Thursday, May 25th and run through Saturday June 3rd.  There will be an opening artists reception on Saturday May 27th from 7-9 p.m.  The NHS women's choral group, Cattywampus, will be singing at the reception and there will be desserts and refreshments for everyone.  The reception is free and open to everyone.

The artwork that will be on display at the show was created during second semester. Each student in Honors Art had the opportunity to create a thematic series of work that embodied their individual interests in both mediums and concepts.  The artwork in the show represents the wide array of interests and mediums that the students chose to work with.  The art forms include:  acrylic paintings, watercolor paintings, mixed media, fashion design, ceramics, digital fim, graphite drawings, pastel drawings and Photoshop. 

The featured Honors Art artists include:  Nat Allister, Lotte Brackee, Emma Closser, Athena Currier, Josh Engen, John Fischer, Sarah Goldfeather, Derek Huber, Ali Kopseng, Josh Nelson, Riahl O'Malley, Anna Sweitzer and Caitlin Truax. 

All of the artists hope that you enjoy the show and greet them on Saturday night.

Katherine Norrie is an art teacher at Northfield High School. 


City faces tough choice on new theater

Editor's note: How many screens, how many cars, how much popcorn does it take to make money in the movie business today? Check back later for an in-depth interview with Steve Mann, one of the owners of the successful Twin Cities-based Mann Theatres chain.

Southgate CinemaAnyone who thinks small town government isn't a challenge is nuts. I've been covering small towns for many years and the questions they decide often leave them in a no-win situation—with friends and neighbors on both sides. They're decisions I wouldn't want to make.

For example, lots of cities face zoning issues where community officials know that a developer can take a lucrative project to another city if they don't approve it. Rarely, however, does the developer have the option of moving a mere 80 feet away to get to that other community.

That's the philosophical debate the City Council will face in June when they receive a Planning Commission recommendation to refuse a change in the Comprehensive Plan to allow commercial zoning for about seven acres of land along Highway 3 across from Target. The change is the first step needed for landowner James Gleason and a developer to build a multi-screen movie theater complex.


James Gang Hideaway is open!

Joan and Jim SpauldingHey Northfield tastebuds – you now have some fresh and flavorful options such as grilled asparagus, brie, roasted red peppers, with a basil pine nut pesto or fajita chicken, grilled zucchini, roasted red onions, topped with provolone cheese and pesto mayo – both on ciabatta bread and hot off a pannini grill. That’s the sort of fare being offered at the James Gang Hideaway now open downtown on Division Street.

Co-owners Joan and Jim Spaulding (pictured) also operate the James Gang Coffeehouse on Highway 3. They’ve brought over many of the mainstays from that enterprise and added a whole lot more.  “Our appetizers are not your standard fare,” says Joan, offering olive tapenade, basil pine nut pesto and Italian oils and bread for dipping as examples. The HideAway also provides deli service with fresh pastas and pre-wrapped sandwiches to “grab and go.”

Their wine and beer list is unique to the area, too. They have selected “the best of very good products.” By limiting their list to a dozen or so wines and half a dozen beers, they’re confident they’ll be able to give their customers quality beverages at a reasonable price.


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