Items related to downtown Northfield

YMCA will offer first programs in February

Have you ever seen footprints in the snow and wondered where they came from or where they end? The Northfield Area Family YMCA offers "Animal Tracking" for children ages 7-9, on Saturdays from 1–2:30 p.m., beginning February 3 at the Sibley Marsh and Prairie. Children will be led by a naturalist from River Bend Nature Center as they explore animal behavior and lifestyles by observing the trails they use and the tracks they leave behind.

This Week in the Northfield Blogosphere - Happy 105th Birthday, Basketball

January is a tough month for holidays.  I missed MLK Jr. Day, but that's probably too serious for inclusion in this column.  So, the 105th Anniversary of Basketball it is.

I'm not a big fan, but that's probably because I'm Minnesotan.  I think that this is a state holiday in Indiana, with lots of speeches, Hoosiers movie reenactments, and really short parades.  So here's to you, Dr. James Naismith, patron saint of tall people everywhere.

Weekend Entertainment and Events

Click to view/downloadEver wondered what Ann North may have been thinking?

Tonight you can sit back and hear the Northfield founderess recall winters past as they were in Northfield. Starting at 6:30 p.m., Thursday, at Millstream Commons.

Orrin DeLong and Marian Hvistendahl will play John and Ann North. The topic of "winter" just got more interesting - you won't want to miss it!

If music is more your style, head over to the Tavern and catch Mark Mraz tickling the ivories Thursday night. If Hip-Hop is more your thing, participate in Hip-Hop Night located in the upstairs section of the Rueb.

As always, Friday is full of entertaining happenings! Randall Kennedy will speak at Skinner Memorial Chapel, Carleton, Friday at 10:50 a.m. Kennedy is a law professor at Harvard Law School and will be speaking on "Race Lines in American Life."

Carleton is hosting a guest artist concert: The Irrelevants including saxophonist, Carrie Koffman, and violist, Tim Deighton will be accompanied by pianist Nicola Melville. The concert begins at 8 p.m., Friday, at Carleton's Concert Hall.

Musical events pervade on Saturday starting with the Twin City Playboys who will rock their country and cajun sound at the Cow from 8 - 11 p.m. Brat Pack Radio will rock the house at Dawn's Corner Bar in Dundas starting at 9 p.m. Relativity, with their blend of current and classic light rock with acoustic guitar and vocals, will entertain the crowd at the Tavern.

League's 4th Monday goes on hiatus

Television shows do it all the time. Your favorite shows are just showing new episodes after a holiday hiatus.

Pat Kriesel of the League of Women Voters says the Fourth Monday event for January just isn't going to happen. It's going on hiatus, a victim of a month thrown off by holidays and happenstance.

Pat says a series of cancellations and conflicting city meetings made the date unworkable. But she promised the series will be back on February 26, with a program to be announced later.

She also asks that if you have any ideas for topics, just comment below and the group will consider them, or click through to the league site link above and shoot them an e-mail.


NCO Board to set plans for 2007

The board of Northfield Citizens Online, the group that runs this little website, will meet at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 10, at Carlson Capital Management.

We have a lot of good ideas for the year ahead, from environmental and health columns to online book clubs, in-person issues salons and and arts and authors sections. We will be prioritizing all the projects, setting timelines and lining up volunteers to help make them happen.

If you have ideas or comments, please send them our way and we'll add them to the mix!

Latino issues highlight events this week

The Northfield Human Rights Commission on Thursday will join what is shaping up to be a week of discussions of issues involving Latino concerns, but reaching throughout the community.

The commission, which meets at 7 p.m. at City Hall, is slated to discuss the recent closing of Las Delicias, a downtown restaurant. The owners, who are legal immigrants, are involved in a complicated landlord-tenant dispute. You can catch up on the background here.

The commission also will discuss a statement by the League of Minnesota Human Rights Commissions asking the federal government for an end to the sweeping raids conducted in December targeting undocumented workers in Minnesota. You can read the entire statement at the end of this article.

Earlier in the week, on Tuesday, the Northfield Downtown Development Corporation will use its monthly 8 a.m. forum at the Archer House to discuss the challenges facing owners of restaurants and other small businesses trying to succeed downtown. The discussion was sparked by the Las Delicias closing, but will address broader issues such as building costs, taxes, operating expenses, revenue potential and marketing  downtown. Read the details here.

League creates handy list of local meeting spaces

Did you ever try to set up a meeting, then drew a blank when trying to determine the perfect place? Who has rooms available? How big are they? What are the fees?

It can be maddening, especially when there are so many places ready and waiting for you to use. At least 27 places, according to some interesting information just collected by the League of Women Voters. Margit Johnson of the League sent along the complete list, which you can download here as either a Word doc or a PDF file.

Margit says: 

"The impetus for this list came from a meeting at the Public Library last summer. That meeting room is constantly in demand while other meeting places are underutilized.

Also the LWV thought that community members would appreciate a "one-stop shop" resource for information about locations, capacity, contact numbers, and details. We hope that you and others find this list useful. Updates will be forthcoming as needed."

NDDC Forum will tackle downtown restaurant challenges

Submitted by Amy Gage 

The Northfield Downtown Development Corp. (NDDC) will present its monthly Downtown Forum on Tuesday, Jan. 9, with a panel discussion that examines retail vitality on the main street of Northfield in the wake of the recent closing of Las Delicias restaurant on Division Street. 

Editor's note: You can catch up on the las Delicias story here. 

The Downtown Forum is held at 8 a.m. the first Tuesday of every month in the lower-level conference room of the Archer House, Third and Division streets. The public is welcome, and refreshments will be served. (This month's event was delayed by the holiday.)

Among the topics to be covered: rental rates, the community’s responsibility to businesses and businesses’ responsibility to the community, high property taxes, the cost of maintaining and expanding historic buildings, the viability of available financial tools and how downtown can function as a business incubator for the larger community.

Grezzo opening last night!

Click to view more photosWe (Grezzo Gallery) opened January with "scrap" last night! The show runs through January and features scrapbookers from all around Minneosta and even from all around the nation. The doors opened last night at 6 pm. We had Wes Thomsen in the house to screen his documentary, Scrapped. Wes is a local film maker, and I hope now a good friend. We had a packed house, somewhere up towards 70 people at one time (we can't fit any more than that in our gallery). After the movie Wes answered some questions and people stuck around to check out some of the scrapbook art on display and to mingle with other scrapbookers including some from the movie.

I want to thank the Northfield Arts Guild and the Archer House for letting us use some of their chairs, and the Art Store for giving us props to stage our window. Please visit these businesses in our community and show support for the local business owners! 

Update: Las Delicias to Close on December 30

Update (01/02): The Star-Tribune weighs in on this complicated and emotional story with its own reporting here

Update (12/28): More information and discussion on Locally Grown including response from the landlord and links to background information.

Submitted by Mary Savina (12/26):

Many Northfielders will be surprised and sorry to hear that Las Delicias - the restaurant in the Ideal Cafe space - has posted a notice saying they will be closing on December 30. The Barrientos family has operated the restaurant for more than seven years. They have been on a month-to-month lease, not only for the restaurant space, but also for the family's apartment upstairs and the landlords have chosen not to renew the leases into 2007.

The loss of Las Delicias is a blow to a family that has contributed in many ways (and not just the good food) to the Northfield community. It is also a loss to the community.

Weekend Entertainment and Events

Click to view/downloadThe holiday is behind us and a new year is upon us! It's time to make your new year's resolutions. If your resolution is to enjoy Northfield and have more fun, as always there is much to do in the area:

Tonight, Kim Bloom will be entertaining folks at The Hideaway with his classical guitar from 7 to 9 p.m. The Hawthorne Palace Band plays at the Tavern starting at 8 p.m. Or you could head to Dawn's Corner Bar in Dundas on for their New Year's Bash with Harmonic Voodoo.

On New Year's Eve, Bjorn to be Wild will be entertaining those ringing in the new year at the Contented Cow.

Weekend Entertainment and Events

There's so much going on in town this weekend that we couldn't even get this post online in time to cover it all! You may have missed Kim Bloom at the Hideaway last night, and Norwegian Cowboy at the Tavern, but you'll get another chance when they return next weekend.

Tonight at The Grand, CBO will fill the dance floor with little big band boogie – I’m counting 11 members in their publicity photo. Doors open at 8:30 with a $10 cover charge (less than $1 per band member!), and you can reserve holiday dining before the show by calling 663-1773.

Spend your Saturday downtown shopping the fine shops of Northfield, after you get your exercise with the Jingle Bell Run. Just Food Co-op is celebrating their 2nd Anniversary from 12-3, and at 2 p.m. Doug Ohman is signing books at Monkey See, Monkey Read. Then there’s a high school concert choir at Carleton at 7:30, Anthony Newes at the Tavern at 8, Clearblue at Dawn’s at 9, The Jack Project at the Cow and a DJ upstairs at the Rueb.

And on Sunday...

2006 Jingle Bell Run/Walk This Saturday

Jingle Bell Run The fifth annual Jingle Bell Run/Walk will be held this Saturday. It's a charity event, with all registration fees going to the Northfield Area Family YMCA.

Saturday is going to be a great day to be outside, with the weather forecast of sunny skies and the temperature in the 30's. Enjoy live music, a horse drawn wagon, free jingle bells, holiday treats and a free 2006 Jingle Bell Run t-shirt. Also free holiday stockings will be given to all family run/walk participants with stocking stuffers handed out along the route. Registration starts at 8 a.m. in the Northfield Armory (519 Division Street) with the race starting at 9 a.m. More details can be found at the Jingle Bell Run/Walk website. The event is sponsored by Carlson Capital Management and Fifth Bridge.

Just Food Turns Two!

Submitted by Joey Robison, Marketing and Member Services Manager, Just Food Co-op:

Just Food Co-op

If you are looking for organic food, food produced locally, products without additives, natural health and body care products, and eco-friendly housewares, you can find them at Just Food Co-op. This weekend, the Co-op celebrates its second anniversary with an anniversary bash on Saturday, December 16.

Northfield Wine Club Holiday Show this Thursday

Submitted by Stephen DeLong

The Northfield Wine Club will hold our final event of the year, this Thursday, December 14, from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. at The Grand, featuring Wines for the Holidays.

As usual, we will be offering a variety wines from around the globe, with special emphasis on styles best suited for holiday entertaining and food pairing.

Come all ye faithful, and sample some bubbly, along with stylish and affordable whites and reds, with even a little sherry thrown in for good measure.

This collection of Holiday Wines will be accompanied by an assortment of cheeses courtesy of Just Food Co-op, and baguettes from Brick Oven Bakery.

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