Citizen bloggers

Stanford Law Professor and a-list blogger Lawrence Lessig has a post on his weblog about citizen bloggers... with a number of comments attached to the post, including one from me about what we're trying to do with our civic blogosphere project here in Northfield.

1/16 update: Kerry Raadt, College Relations at Carleton contacted me about this upcoming event (see their calendar for Feb 27):

Carleton Convocation: Lawrence Lessig

Date Friday, February 27 2004
Time: 10:50 a.m.

Jan 17th Fundraiser for ARTech


An evening of food and bluegrass and mountain clog dancing to raise funds for an outdoor sign for ARTech, the Northfield School of Arts and Technology.

The Dick Kimmel Band & The Wild Goose Chase Cloggers with The Yard Buzzard String Band

The Lakeville Area Arts Center

Saturday, January 17, 2004
Dinner at 6 pm, Show at 7:30

Dinner and show - $25
Show only - $10

Anne Krause, ARTech, 507-663-8806 Ext. 0

Remember getting crazy?

Bummed about this wimpy winter we're having? Can't wait for spring?

Take a trip back to last summer's Crazy Daze in our photo gallery.

Maggie Lee

In the Northfield Blogosphere

A roundup of recent posts to the area's civic weblogs.

Bruce Morlan
Real men vote Republican
An interesting article says that the Republicans are the "protectors" and the Dems are "nurturers". One point that is not made is that the Western adult male would probably rather live in a world where they had to seek out danger rather than spend their time protecting their families from danger that comes to them.

Bob Courchaine's Bits Mean Business
Plumbers don't have it so bad
I've thought all along concentrating on the high-paying jobs of technology obscures the importance of the many not-so-high-paying jobs that go along w/ a technology's maturization... I'd like organizations like local EDAs and City Councils recognize the value of those new and numerous not-so-glamorous jobs instead of chasing the few big-buck ones.
Rural Renaissance
So, I now feel like I don't have to convince people that a cost-effective, reliable communications infrastructure including the internet is essential to the rural economy. Now the job becomes figuring out what that infrastructure looks like.

The League of Women Voters Northfield
Animal Agriculture Conference

Ray Cox
Natural Resource Meeting Monday January 12th
I want to remind you that I am hosting a natural resource "Listening Session" on Monday evening at 7:00pm. It is being held at the Townhall in Millersburg. That is located just west of 35W on Rice County Road #1.
Governor Pawlenty's Education Proposals
I'm a real believer in the charter school concept. One of the first charter school proposals in Minnesota came before the Northfield school board for endorsement many years ago. I voted to support the proposal, but it failed on a 5-2 vote. I will always remember that the other positive vote came from the only active teacher on the school board, Larry Tomten.
Impaired Waters List
I spent the morning in St. Paul at the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) at an informational meeting to discuss the draft of the 2004 List of Impaired Waters in Minnesota.
JOBZ and Wind
Land in Northfield has been included in the new Job opportunity Building Zones (JOBZ) and a wind grant was secured for electricity production. 26 acres in Northfield have been included in the Southern Minnesota JOBZ Alliance... RENew Northfield, a group working hard on energy issues, provided a lot of assistance for this recent grant.

Citizen Wig
Northfield District's moratorium on new charter schools
Ray Cox's weblog post
about Gov. Pawlenty's recent announcement of his plan to expand charter school opportunities reminded me that the Northfield School District currently has a moratorium on new charter schools... I'd much rather see the Northfield School Board be the sponsor of any new, locally-based charters rather than the Dept of Ed. After all, they're charged with public education in the area. Why not use their local control and support to see that the new schools do a good job?
A response to Tom Kotula on hospital reuse
My point was more a question of strategy and influence re: some of Way Park activists' approach. The seeming lack of acknowledgement and appreciation for CC's and Galen's newly announced support for the park was deafening, I thought. Why not give them more public kudos and then continue efforts to work with them on limiting the number of houses?

(Any area citizen can host a free, civic-oriented weblog here at Contact us if you're interested or join the civic blogosphere discussion topic in the Web Cafe.

Jan. 26th fundraiser for The Key


What: An evening of Jazz and a silent auction to raise funds for The Key and the Northfield Union of Youth.

On Jan. 26th at 7:30pm

Hogan Bros. on Division St.

(If your organization has an event that you'd like to publicize here on, Contact Us. We have over 1,000 subscribers to our email list, NCO News)

Northfield, Northfielders in the news

Where Snow Globes Go When They're Broken
Snow globes cost as much to repair as to buy a new one. But many owners opt to get theirs repaired for sentimental value. NPR's Liane Hansen talks to snow globe mender Dick Heibel, who runs a repair shop in Northfield, Minnesota.

Pioneer Press
Beyond the glitter
Recent publicity has meant a blizzard of jobs for a snow-globe repairman.

The Trucker magazine
Trucker takes break to help islanders who have 'nothing'
Twice a year, Bob Siebenaler parks his Peterbilt and hops on a plane to Vanuatu [Van-oo-wa-too] in the South Pacific, a series of 80 islands formerly known as the New Hebrides. Siebenaler, who calls himself a "born-again Catholic," first went to these islands in 2000 through a trip with members of his home church diocese in Northfield, Minn.

Star Tribune
Films put Northfield in focus
Picture a coffee shop. Picture two guys having a conversation about globalization and the increasing consolidation of mass media. It's a scene that has played out in coffee shops in cities everywhere.
Paul Krause and Dennis Wilcox are featured in the above piece for their Northfield Community Video Project.
nfldvideotn1.jpg nfldvideotn2.jpg

County attorneys prefer open-ended sentences for sex offenders
State Sen. Tom Neuville, R-Northfield, has repeatedly advocated a return to open-ended sentencing of sexual predators, but the idea has failed to receive a legislative hearing in recent years.

Northfield residents explore options for old hospital site
Intent on honoring a 1930s-era gift to their city, some Northfield residents continue to look for ways to convince their City Council to reuse the city's old hospital building or return the donated land on which it sits to parkland.

[If you know of items that should be considered for inclusion in our regular "Northfield, Northfielders In The News" blog post, Contact Us. If you want to attach a weblog comment related to any of these items, click the Comment link at the end of this post. And if you'd like to discuss any of these items with your fellow Northfielders, feel free to start a discussion topic in the Web Cafe. ]

Blandin - applications due Jan. 2nd

There are just a few days left to submit your application to be one of the 24 Northfield residents selected for the Leadership training that Blandin is providing at no charge to the particiapants or the city. Click on the link below to download the application or complete it online.

Any questions, feel free to contact Scott Davis - 664-9564.

Northfield application forms, both printable and web form

In the Northfield Blogosphere

A roundup of recent posts to the area's civic weblogs.

(Any area citizen can host a free, civic-oriented weblog here at Contact us if you're interested or join the civic blogosphere discussion topic in the Web Cafe.

Bob Courchaine's Bits Mean Business
- Outsourcing as a rural growth industry
While I don't think it reasonable for areas like the rural Midwest to compete head-to-head with India and China on the basis of hourly wage... I do think the benefits (lower communication overhead, no political ramifications for sending jobs out of the country, etc) at least balance the equation and give rural folks a level playing field to pursue the same work. This morning's NY Times talks about the overseas outsourcing trend in terms of it being a natural part of the maturization of the computer technology sector. Makes sense to me we at least try to mine the opportunity here at home as well.
- Micropayments Finally Materialize?
When you as a merchant have to pay a credit card company more than the value of the purchase just to process the order, you very quickly shy away from selling things in that price range. And that price range's the only one the buying public will accept for things like web content or audio files. Now along comes some smart guys from mit w/ a new approach that does an end-around on all those issues.

Bruce Morlan
- Quality of Life
I consciously chose to live near Northfield because I wanted to enjoy a semi-rural lifestyle - one more consistent with farming than with city life. I hoped that Northfield would be providing a nice setting for some light shopping, good coffee, a couple of bookstores and basic needs. Unfortunately, in the last few years the basic nature of the area has changed...

David Bly
- A birthday party fundraiser with Willie Murphy and his band
Willie Murphy and his band are coming to Northfield. When? Saturday January 10th at 8:00 p.m. Where? The Northfield Country Club. $25 in advance, $35 at the door
- Rock for Democracy at Javalive
Saturday December 6th I joined Patti Fritz and Jeremy Kalin of Young Progressives and many other good Democrats at the Javalive Coffee shop in Faribault for some great music presented by Bonnie and the Clydes.

Ray Cox
Final Social Studies Academic Standards Released
Professor Robert Entenmann contacted me several times concerning the social studies standards. Professor Entenmann was vocal about his objections to the initial draft of the standards and wrote opinion articles that appeared in the Minneapolis StarTribune, Northfield News, and other papers. Friday I received an email message from Professor Entenmann that in part said...
Voting Registrations
I do believe there are some inherent problems with general wide-open same day voter registration. I think it would be more appropriate to reserve same day registration for the residents that have lived in the voting precinct for less than 30 days, not the general population. If you move to an area and become settled for longer than 30 days, I think it is appropriate to ask you to register to vote, just as you change your mailing address, register for a new driver

Northfield, Northfielders in the news

[If you know of items that should be considered for inclusion in our regular "Northfield, Northfielders In The News" blog post, Contact Us. If you want to attach a weblog comment related to any of these items, click the Comment link at the end of this post. And if you'd like to discuss any of these items with your fellow Northfielders, feel free to start a discussion topic in the Web Cafe. ]

Star Tribune
Northfield residents promote peace with weekly vigil
It was supposed to start at noon on the dot and last for 15 minutes, as it has every Saturday since Sept. 22, 2001. But a few people arrived early for the Northfield peace vigil, greeting one another and shuffling their feet to keep warm.

Castle Rock charter school hosts neighbors
"We want the Castle Rock people to know that this is their school and they're welcome here," director Caroline Jones said. Prairie Creek's 108 students, in kindergarten through fifth grade, are primarily from nearby Northfield, she said.

Obituary: Sidney Rand, former St. Olaf president; ambassador to Norway
Sidney Rand, once president of St. Olaf College and a former U.S. ambassador to Norway, died this week in Northfield, Minn. He was 87.

Debate deepens over releasing offenders
"We cannot keep every sex offender in prison for much longer than we already do," said Sen. Tom Neuville, R-Northfield, a GOP leader on criminal-justice issues. "And you can't have life in prison without release for a first offender, or the system isn't proportional anymore."

Mill in Northfield that made history still makes breakfast
While the last of the mills that earned Minneapolis its "Mill City" nickname has closed, a Northfield mill of the same vintage still turns out one of the country's best-known breakfast cereals.

Christmas brought to Northfield's needy
The clients of the Northfield Community Action Center are struggling: The nonprofit serves more than 700 households in Northfield, and 86 percent of those are at or below the poverty level.

Jeremy Iggers: Part II on same-sex marriage
But several people raised the question of the slippery slope: "If marriage is not to be defined by consenting, nonrelated adults of different genders, how should it be defined?" asked David Ludescher of Northfield. "Why should the government not allow consenting adults to enter into polygamy? What if a parent and an adult child want to form a union? If same-sex couples are allowed to marry it will only be a matter of time before another group steps forward."

Dundas cuisine: American bistro is a country oasis
Given how strongly the other patrons reminded us of liberal arts professors, the word has spread to Northfield and beyond. We strongly recommend making a reservation. And prepare yourself for a leisurely dinner; service can be slow when it's busy.

Lori Sturdevant: Republican raises moral objection to Pawlenty proposal
Neuville, 53, rethought a lot in the intervening years. The mental exercise has landed him squarely in position to be a roadblock to Gov. Tim Pawlenty's proposal to get Minnesota back into the execution business after its 92-year stay. The five-term senator from Northfield is a leading voice from Pawlenty's own party on the Senate Judiciary Committee -- the panel where previous death penalty bills have gone to die -- and stands ready to be a new death penalty bill's outspoken opponent.

Clara Shaw Hardy: An ancient approach to marriage
Clara Shaw Hardy, Northfield, Minn., is professor and chair of classical languages and director of the program in women's and gender studies at Carleton College.

Pioneer Press
Couple adopts Vietnamese children, then does more
Tim and Kisten Thompson admit that when they traveled to Vietnam six years ago they were focused on picking up their newly adopted daughter, Amy, not the plight of thousands of Vietnamese orphans. ... orphan is," said Ticarro-Parker, who started the Northfield, Minn., foundation with her husband ...

Wind grant awarded

Press Release submitted by Carol Overland

(Dec. 24 update: see Northfield News coverage.)

The Northfield School District and Carleton College have been awarded the Department of Commerce "Community Wind" grant. This grant, in the amount of $150,000, is for a community-owned wind project.

City Council Meeting

reuse presentation to council.jpg
Hospital Reuse committee members Alex Beeby (L) and Meg Hargreaves presented the committee report to the City Council last night. The Council opted to 1) keep considering appropriate reuse of the building; 2) keep entertaining the option to return all 2.6 acres to Way Park; 3) consider selling some property for additional single family housing that could help pay for hospital and park-related expenses. They did not opt to further consider any legal or ethical implications regarding the Way family gift.

See the entire photo gallery of the meeting.

Discussions on this issue continue in the Hospital Reuse Forum in the Web Cafe or attach a comment here.


K-12 Education

Recent K12-related postings in the local civic blogosphere:

David Bly on No Child Left Behind

Ray Cox on Academic Standards and Gary Davison's Op-Ed piece

David Bly on the Education Listening Forum held at Bridgewater

Ray Cox on the Education Listening Forum held at Bridgewater

Jan Mitchell, LWV Observer, on the Nov. 24 Northfield School Board meeting

Discuss the issue in the Web Cafe's Education Forum or attach a comment here.

Blandin Community Leadership Program Seeks New Participants

The Blandin Foundation is making its Community Leadership Program available to Northfield area residents.

A local steering committee is actively seeking applicants. All those interested in the future of Northfield are invited to apply to be a delegate.

Applications for the program can be picked up at the following locations:
- The Archer House Lobby

Another snowy night downtown

More snow. Another gallery of downtown photos, Part II. With so little snow the past five years, I can't help myself. ;-)

See the complete gallery as well as a directory of the other galleries.

Photo size

JoAnn Kleber suggested that we enlarge the photos in the Winter Walk and Snowy Downtown photo galleries.

So now when you click on a 96 pixel wide thumbnail like this in a gallery:

You get a photo that's 560 pixels wide. (Who's that chick with Rossman?)

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