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?)

Submitted comments

As of 5 PM today, there are comments from:

Jim Bohnhoff
Mike Berthelsen
Daniel Kallman
Peter Schmelzer
Claire Larson

on the Hospital Reuse Comments page.

Got an opinion? Submit it!> forum_6.gif

Hospital Reuse Comments & Web Forum continues

The deadline for submitting formal comments to the Hospital Reuse Committee is the end of the day today.


But the online discussion on issues surrounding the reuse of the city hospital continues through Dec. 15 in the Web Cafe.

Reuse Committee member Alex Beeby is participating, as is former chair of the Committee, David Suderman... and other citizens. The discussion is currently focused on A) The Process; and B) The Way Family Gift.

Please join us.

Winter Walk, Snowy Downtown

Winter Walk was picture-postcard perfect last night.

Nola Matheson and former governor Al Quie at the Northfield Historical Society Museum Store. (See the September MPR profile of Quie for his 80th birthday.)

Chris Ennis gathering signatures

See the entire Winter Walk photo gallery for more.



See the complete gallery of photos showing downtown Northfield at night during a snowfall.

Northfield, Northfielders in the news

In the Star Tribune this past week:

Many Minnesota college students study abroad
The small liberal arts college in Northfield, which has emphasized international study for more than 50 years, has held the top spot in the annual report since at least the mid-1990s. Correction

Northfield man [Dick Heibel]is one of last snow globe repairmen
Small piles of debris sit in a neat row on the counter. Once-tidy scenes under glass just a shake away from a magical blizzard are now no more than rubble... So, what do the folks of Northfield think of their famous native son? "Oh, not much," he says, an elfin smile spreading across his face. "You're never famous in your hometown."
dick heibel2.jpg

dick heibel1.jpg

See the terrific audio/photo slide show by J. Pinkley and Joel Koyama.

Q&A with the Carleton Liberators
To today's Carleton student, Oscar is important for his historic symbolism -- not to mention his rarity as a stuffed emperor penguin in a Northfield library -- and his latest adventure is important for reminding the community of the value of continued exploration during college despite the temptation to blindly follow the "alternative" or "liberal" or "enlightened" path set out by the college administration.

Carleton College custodians help students pay tuition
Many have never entered a college classroom except to clean it up. But custodians at Carleton College volunteer money and time to help "their" students through school.

Op-ed by Gary Marvin Davison: School standards a liberal could love
Liberal Democrats and their constituencies should be the first to embrace the document now being refined by the social studies and history standards committee for Minnesota's Department of Education.

Winter Walk & Festival of Trees

Winter Walk, tomorrow!

See the photo gallery from the 2002 Winter Walk.

Also, the Festival of Trees at the Northfield Arts Guild tomorrow and Saturday.

Comment Deadline for Hospital Reuse

At last night's Open House, it was announced that comments on the Hospital Reuse need to be submitted by the end of the day, Friday, Dec. 5.

forum_6.gifComment Form: Deadline Dec. 5

We've amended the Comments Form slightly to mimic the form that was handed out at last night's meeting.

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