Sandbagging at SMSQ: 9:15 PM

Five more high-res photos added in the Gallery, all of sandbaggers at SMSQ.

11pm: I'll try to post more photos early on Friday morning, along with an update from the safety center.

River update: 9pm

I've added another 5 photos to the gallery, including a high-res version of the one above of City Council members CC Lindstroth and Jim Pokorney.

River update: 7 PM


I spoke with Officer Bill Olsen at approximately 6 pm (seen in the above photo with City Public Works Director Heidi Hamilton). He was monitoring the situation on the 5th St. bridge where H & H Tree Service from Dundas was working to dislodge the log jam on the south side of the bridge. Most of the big logs were plucked from the river but they couldn't move a tangle of smaller logs and branches as their boom wasn't long enough. Carleton College was sending some equipment that would supposedly do the deed.

Officer Olsen said that no sandbagging was planned overnight. The Straight River apparently was going down at Owatonna and was expected to crest shortly in Faribault. They were still expecting it to come up 1-2 feet before crest in Northfield.

I've added 20 or so more high-res photos in the high water gallery, taken at approximately 6 PM today.


Dean Kjerland is monitoring the river's rise by measuring the distance between the water and the footbridge. The smaller the distance, the higher the water. Here are his measurements: last update: 11:45 pm

Two more feet?

KYMN Radio reported at 5:20 pm that Northfield City officials expect the Cannon River to rise an additional two feet in Northfield, even if no more rain falls.

Officials are not asking the public for help with sandbagging at this time.

Call me on my cell at 507-319-2650 if you have more info or use the Contact page.

Cannon River photo gallery at 3 PM


The water continues to rise on the Cannon River in downtown Northfield today... almost to its 100-year flood stage.

See all the high-res photos in the high water gallery from approximately 3 PM today.


High water on River Walk

The drought is over. Photo taken at 10 am today. This area of the River Walk was dry at 7 am.

Jim Bohnhoff at SMSQ's world headquarters on the Cannon River, doing what needs to be done.

West side, downtown living

David Hvistendahl of Hvistendahl, Moersch & Dorsey has a newly refurbished efficiency apartment for rent by the day or longer in his building on the west side of dowtown Northfield.

The unit is on the upper level, far right, above his Froggy Bottoms pub.

Kurt Larson of Larson's Printing has one remaining apartment for rent in his new building.

The unit is on the second floor, overlooking the walkway. An Erbert and Gerbert's Subs shop will be moving into the lower level retail space soon.

Dean Kjerland of Archeopaleo has one remaining condo for sale in his new River Walk Condominiums building.

The unit is on the second floor, overlooking the river.

Testing audioblogging

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We have the ability to post to this weblog with audio.

Heidi and Howard show

Ross Currier, (left) Executive Director of the Northfield Downtown Development Corporation with City of Northfield staffers Heidi Hamilton, the new Director of Public Works, and Howard Merriam, the new Director of Resource and Park Planning.

They presented at the monthly NDDC mtg on June 1 in the Archer House conference room.

Northfield, Northfielders in the news

Star Tribune
Librarians face federal deadline
Adam Gurno vehemently opposes Internet filters on public computers. As a public library patron, he's going to have to accept that they'll be there. As a Northfield Public Library Board member, he finds himself charged with helping to set policies governing their use.

Big-time players
Carleton College senior Dan Lansberg gave his chess pieces a rousing pep talk before he battled fellow Carleton senior Taylor Curtis. "We are in fact the good guys, but it doesn't mean we're going to show any mercy," he told his rooks, knights and pawns. "Some of you will not live," he said. "But go forth, God bless, and prepare to crush them all!" Don't worry. He wasn't talking to himself. His pieces -- members of the 2-year-old chess club at Northfield's Prairie Creek Community School -- responded to Lansberg's speech with a loud cheer.

Reaffirming a duty to serve others
In this letter from Virginia, Northfield Police Chief Gary Smith describes the law enforcement training course he is attending at the FBI Academy.

Big and small districts have quirks, superintendent says Osseo Superintendent Chris Richardson has been hired to lead the Northfield district starting July 1. He will succeed Terry Tofte, who is retiring after four years in Northfield. Richardson will move from a district with about 22,000 students to one with fewer than 4,000.

One coach, one sport for both genders at St. Olaf College
Le Ann Finger had to decide. The St. Olaf College coach could either travel with her men's golf team to its meet in Madison, Wis., or she could travel with her women golfers to their meet in Detroit Lakes, Minn.

Pioneer Press
Carleton scholar led fly-fishing class
This spring, Carleton College President Robert Oden Jr., combined his passion for teaching and for fly-fishing by leading a fly-fishing class at Carleton's recreation center.

Pastor and scholar preaches the virtues of hospitality
If you don't know Martin Marty, you haven't been paying attention. The 73-year-old Lutheran pastor with the ever-present bow tie has left his imprint on American religious life. He is the author of 50 books, winner of the National Book Award and a constant fixture in documentaries and panel discussions. Time magazine once called him the "most influential interpreter of religion." He also is a senior regent and past acting president of St. Olaf College in Northfield and the father of Minnesota state Sen. John Marty, DFL-Roseville.

Downtown as a wi-fi hotspot?


Dave Koenig and Goodbye Blue Monday's Dan Riggins whoop it up over the coffeehouse's new wi-fi access.

Should all of downtown Northfield be a public wi-fi hotspot (high speed wireless Internet access) as an economic development benefit?

Should there be wi-fi access for the public at City Hall? The library?

Join the ISSUES discussion list to learn more about the issue.

And if you know of other public wi-fi hotspots in the Northfield area, contact us. The only other one I'm aware of is at The Contented Cow.

Internet filtering at the library

Library board members Adam Gurno and Jayne Hager Dee (not pictured) were meeting last night at the Contented Cow with Northfield Library Director Lynne Young to discuss the issue of filtering software at the library.

This issue is being discussed on our ISSUES list. Adam wrote:

The Nfld Public Library (NPL) is on the cusp of having to implement the federal government mandated CIPA filters on its computer terminals. Regardless of how you feel on this issue, it's a done deal. The challenges have been defeated and it *must* be implemented by July 1.... The current time table for introductory roll-out for the NPL is June 1. The question now facing the NPL is "What level of filtering should be in place?"

Join the ISSUES discussion list to learn more about the issue.

Maggie Lee's 60th


The Northfield News hosted a celebration honoring Maggie Lee for her 60 years at the paper.


See all the 85+ photos in the Maggie Lee 60th gallery.

ISSUES list topics of the week

The ISSUES discussion list is now open for discussion of any community-related civic issue.

Among the topics discussed this week:

- Downtown Northfield - a wi-fi hotspot?
- Burning brush at the composite site
- Internet filtering at the Northfield Public Library
- Downtown southern boundary
- Sidewalks

To join the discussion, subscribe to the ISSUES list. There are 58 area citizens currently on the list.

Registration requires a working email address along with a first and last name.

See the guidelines for participation.

Northfield, Northfielders in the news

Star Tribune
stribsouthlogo.gif Northfield's top cop, citizens meet online
Northfield Police Chief Gary Smith, a self-described techie and believer that "police kind of belong to the community," has found a way to combine those traits in an Internet-based discussion with Northfield residents. Smith is training at the FBI Academy at Quantico, Va. But evenings in his dorm room the past two weeks, he addressed questions and comments posed in the Northfield Issues e-mail discussion list.

Assessing the Legislature: A look at the 2004 session
Rep. Raymond Cox, R-Northfield: The 2004 Legislative session will probably go down in history as one of the most problematic sessions in Minnesota.

Sen. Thomas Neuville, R-northfield: I am writing this comment three days after the 2004 legislative session. I've calmed down a bit, but am still very frustrated by the collapse of the session.

Debate plan has a place for Carleton
A new group trying to increase national interest in presidential debates hopes to hold a presidential debate on Oct. 11 at Carleton College in Northfield, Minn. The Citizens' Debate Commission on Monday proposed to hold five presidential debates and one vice presidential debate before the November election. The debates would differ from those run by the Commission on Presidential Debates, which currently organizes presidential debates, because they would include candidate-to-candidate questioning, allow follow-up questions and be more accessible to third-party candidates.

Osseo superintendent to take job in Northfield
A longtime educator who has spent the past several years overseeing one of Minnesota's largest school districts will head to the significantly smaller schools of Northfield under a tentative deal struck Thursday night.

Pioneer Press
Lawmakers get an earful in small towns after lackluster session
"I think it sets up a climate that further reduces credibility and confidence in all governments," Northfield Mayor Keith Covey said.
Sen. Tom Neuville was sipping coffee with friends here a week after the Legislature left St. Paul with most of its work undone.
"It makes everybody look kind of dumb, wasting three and one-half months doing nothing," said Marv Grundhoefer, a lawyer who practices with Neuville.
While Neuville, like other senators, does not face re-election this year, all 134 House members do. Neuville's colleague, first-term Republican Rep. Ray Cox of Northfield, faces a stiff challenge from teacher David Bly, who lost to Cox two years ago by 46 votes out of 17,707 cast.
"There shouldn't be Oles in the Legislature," cracked John Fossum, a lawyer in town.

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