Bring Your Bike Downtown!

Click to view PDFWant to do your bit to make Northfield a more bike-friendly community? Bring your bike downtown!

On Saturday, May 6, as part of the Spring Fling promotion sponsored by the Retail Committee of the Chamber of Commerce, the Northfield Downtown Development Corporation will be partnering with the Northfield Hospital on a bike awareness theme.

From 10-11 am, anyone who rides a bike to the parking lot behind Hogan Brothers can be entered into a drawing for some great prizes from downtown merchants. The grand prize will be a spiffy new bike pump from Mike’s Bicycle Shop.  The NDDC will be there to accept your entries and hand out maps of all of the bike racks in the downtown district. We’d like to see 100 bikes show up during this hour!

NDDC outdoor dining forum Tuesday morning

Click to view larger sizeHow could sidewalk dining in downtown Northfield be a boon to the local economy? What are the disadvantages of having alcohol sold outdoors, within full view of minors? Is there a risk to restaurateurs?

Those questions and more will be discussed at the next NDDC Downtown Forum Tomorrow Morning (Tuesday, May 2) at 8 a.m. in the lower-level conference room of the Archer House.

Panelists will include Northfield Chief of Police Gary Smith, Contented Cow and Chapati owner Norman Butler, and attorney David Hvistendahl, owner of Froggy Bottoms. Also in the audience will be several restaurateurs, including Todd Byhre of the Ole Store Café and Joe Grundhoefer of the Rueb-n-Stein.

Coffee and cookies will be served, as always, and a lively discussion is the goal. For more information, visit or call 663-0319.

Reintegration: From Warrior to Citizen-Soldier

Photo by Bruce Morlan - click to visit source postDid you know in March of 2007 over 2,000 men and women from Minnesota serving in Iraq will return home at the same time? Are we ready to support them and their families?

I attended a workshop in Northfield at the Armory Wednesday morning; some of you may have as well. The topic was Reintegration: From Warrior to Citizen-Soldier.

We heard the testimonial of a soldier about the effect of coming home, when 220 hours earlier he was in a combat zone. What does this do to the soldier coming home, the family, the workplace, and the spiritual well being of the soldier who survived?

How can we help? This was the purpose of the workshop – how we can help reintegrate a soldier back into the community, and what kind of support we can give the soldier and his or her family. Workshop leaders gave insights into what we can do and say, and what not to do and say. It was a very powerful testimonial to the impact on our entire community when a man or woman goes to war and comes back. The affects on the family and the work place are very great indeed.

Northfielder Setterstrom drafted by Rams

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"Mark Setterstrom":, NHS '02, "U of MN": '06, was drafted today by the "St. Louis Rams": Mark was taken 242nd overall. He was the third Gopher drafted this year.

Good luck, Mark! Hit 'em hard!

Circle of Service photo album

The Circle of Service crew was out and about on Saturday morning, doing a variety of chores for citizens needing help with their spring cleaning.

See the album for 16 photos

Among the crew: 

Fr. Denny Dempsey, Clarice Grenier Grabau, Steve Hamilton, Heidi Hamilton, Pat O'Neill, Doug Wornson, Norman Butler, Jim Pokorney.

This Week in the Northfield Blogosphere

This week in the 'Sphere, it's death and taxes, history and politics, reform and sweaters. Wait - sweaters?

More inside...

HOPE FOR BRENNA Benefit Concert May 6 at Hogan Brothers

Click to view PDFA benefit concert will take place Saturday, May 6th, from 6-10 p.m. at Hogan Brothers. The concert will feature acoustic music from high school performers Andrew Wilson, Schuyler Huber, Nat Allister, Ben Cooper, Charlie Husman, Erik Eliason, and Damiel Lohmann. All proceeds go to a 15 year old girl named Brenna Hanson who is currently undergoing chemotherapy at the Mayo Clinic to treat her brain cancer.

There will be a small silent auction with a variety of art pieces available. There will also be a CD for sale produced just for this event, featuring the artists playing at the benefit. There is no cover charge for this concert, but a suggested donation of $3 is appreciated.

For more information or to donate artworks, please email me at or give me a call at (507)645-5898.

A Northfield Legacy of Care

Cows on old Oddfellows Home lawnMillstream Commons to host forum May 4

Pat Vincent, CEO of Three Links Care Center, will give a presentation on the history of the Oddfellows home, Three Links Care Center and Millstream Commons at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 4 at Millstream Commons.

Following Pat's presentation, Kathy Olson, Executive Director of Millstream Commons, will address senior housing options. Rich Falck, board member of the Northfield Historical Society and Millstream Commons, will speak on leaving a Legacy in Northfield. This event is free to the public and refreshments will be served.

NCO Hosts a Grand Time at The Grand

Click to view larger sizeNorthfield Citizens Online celebrated its new look and new managing editor, extended a heartfelt thank you to its tech crew and kicked off our membership drive -- all in one grand time Thursday night.

An enthusiastic crowd listened to some great music (the Bratlanders, including our own Chair, Doug Bratland), heard some of our history and some of our vision vision, and met the new Managing Editor, Anne Bretts. Master of Ceremonies Rick Estenson, a board member since 2005, introduced a short history by yours truly, followed by a really great tale of the genesis of our on-line community from the early days of the revival of the salon (via the Utne Reader) by our favorite son, Griff Wigley, aka, the Hon. Mayor of NCO.

Just as the Internet has allowed us to redefine community, so has the changing technical climate allowed NCO to transform itself from its early techie beginnings to a more community and content-oriented organization. Our early goal of "access for all" has become "a voice for all" as we focus more on letting the community speak.  Unlike many media outlets, we are able to empower everyone to speak for themselves by removing the barriers to entry that dominate most media formats.

Locally Grown podcast #15: Northfield's ultra high-speed broadband infrastructure: an economic development opportunity?


joel_cooper_krlx.jpgIssues covered in episode #15 of Locally Grown, recorded Friday: Northfield's ultra high-speed broadband infrastructure with guest, Joel Cooper, Carleton's Director of Information Technology Services.

Last year, the colleges brought fiber to their campuses for Internet2. The conduit containing the fiber winds its way through the middle of downtown. Could this infrastructure be made available to businesses, insititutions and residents to purchase, thereby providing Northfield with an economic development opportunity that's rare for a town its size?

Click "Read the rest of this entry..." to listen (30 minutes).

Cannon River Watershed Cleanup Saturday


We’re looking for volunteers to help pick up trash along the Cannon River —help ensure that our river remains a clean and healthy part of our community!

Teams will meet at 9am at the rodeo grounds or at the Sechler Park picnic pavilion and pick up trash until about 11:30. Participants are invited to a picnic at The Science Center at Maltby Nature Preserve afterwards.

Gloves, bags, and drinking water will be provided. Minors must be accompanied by an adult. Parent permission form required for participants under age 18.

You should wear long pants, boots or sturdy shoes, and come prepared to get a bit damp and dirty!

For more information, click the image to open a PDF brochure about the event, or visit our website at

Weekend Entertainment and Events

April NEG (PDF)A weekend's worth of entertainment officially kicks off at the Grand this evening, 7 p.m., with the HealthFinders fundraiser that will include a catered dinner, live music by the Bridgewater Ramblers and Pide Kaimas as well as a silent and live auction. HealthFinders is a grassroots organization that helps under- and uninsured residents of Rice County find healthcare, so support a good cause and have a great time.

And again - for its second weekend, the Northfield Arts Guild's sexy, sultry sensation, "Cabaret," is filling the house with a 7:30 performance. Tickets are probably sold out, but it¹s always worth a shot to see what's at the door. If not that, sit back and enjoy "Up the Down Staircase," another theatrical production at the Northfield Middle School, also at 7:30.

But wait...there's more!

Buzz continues long after Franken visit

If any significant percentage of St. Olaf's student body shows up for an event, you know it must be important.
After all, students are perpetually faced with a plethora of school-sponsored activities. As a result, many activities - from political speakers to hip hop artists - can boast of only a dozen or so attendees. Last Friday, however, this was not the case. A staggering proportion of the student body, not to mention outside visitors and political candidates, made it their priority to see the well-known liberal writer and comedian Al Franken.

Come Celebrate!

Community Celebration Tonight at The Grand!

Northfield Citizens Online, the organization responsible for this website and the ISSUES email list, is hosting a party from 7:30 to 10:00 p.m. tonight at The Grand Event Center in downtown Northfield. Admission is free and the entire community is welcome.

In addition to live entertainment, appetizers and a cash bar, you'll get a chance to meet the folks behind the scenes of your favorite local website and provide us feedback about what you love, hate, or would like to change about

Please join us for a swell evening with old and new friends!

How did the Dog Park Meeting Go on Tuesday Night?

Story submitted by Rick Estenson

Grrrrreat!  A combination of citizens, city officials and members of CAP (Canines At Play) discussed the virtues and challenges of a dog park in our city.  The whole idea is to get public input to select the best possible pilot park location and then allow the CAP group to work with the City Park and Recreation Advisory Board get it done.  There was much enthusiasm in the full room at the lower level of the Archer House.

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