Items related to downtown Northfield

Weekend Entertainment and Events

Click to view PDFIf you’re thinking of enjoying some outdoor dining, tonight’s the better bet for the weekend – high of 70 and no call for rain. The May Entertainment Guide lists all the outdoor options within a contest on page 23 – a chance to pick up a gift certificate to boot!

Otherwise – Friday finds Pigs in a Pen (bluegrass) at the Cow and Kevin Steinman (acoustic guitar) at Hogan Brothers. Jeff and Sabrina are at the Tavern and Whiskerfish returns to Dawn’s Corner Bar. Carleton presents the Choir and Chamber Singers and the theatrical “Waiting for Godot” at 8.

Saturday you’ll find Celtic Cat and Prairie Dog at Hogans, Dana Drives at the Cow, Joe Paulik at the Tavern and Whiskerfish is still holding court at Dawn’s. There are also dance and senior recitals on the latter part of the weekend. Download or pick up a copy of the Northfield Entertainment Guide at key spots around town for details on these and other happenings throughout the month of May.

Enjoy the weekend!

Post Office roof repairs may come this summer

Time to get caught up on my to-do list.

Hole in Post Office roofA couple of weeks ago, local architect Steve Wilmot pointed out a hole in the roof of the Northfield Post Office. Postal officials at the time said a work order had been submitted, but no date had been set for repairs.

One reader commented on the post to suggest raising the money locally to make the repairs to the historic building, then letting the United States Postal Service pay the money back when the repairs were authorized.

I decided it would be a good idea to follow up on the issue and contacted postal officials again.

That led me to some interesting discussion with the folks in Kansas City and the big twin to the north. I'm not taking their side in the issue, but they did offer some food for thought.

Richard Watkins, a spokesman from the Kansas City regional office, looked at the roof damage in the picture on as we spoke by phone. He said he was impressed by the offer of help, but added that it wasn't necessary.

Photos: spring wine-tasting event at the Grand

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Left: Northfield Liquor Store's Steve DeLong and Just Food Co-op's Stuart Reid were two of the managerial beauties on duty at tonight's "Drink Global, Shop Local" spring wine-tasting event at the Grand. Click the photos to enlarge and see the Flickr photo set or the old style album for a dozen more.

Drink Globally, Shop Locally at NDDC wine tasting tonight

Northfield Downtown Development Corp. boss Ross Currier posted this information on the NDDC blog:

This Third Thursday—TONIGHT!—at 7 pm at the Grand, the Northfield Wine Club is throwing open the doors to the public for wine tasting, cheese tasting, and (this is Northfield after all) spirited conversation.

The guiding themes are Shop Local, Reinvest in Your Community and Support Northfield Businesses.

So come on down(town) and join your friends and neighbors for an evening of wine, cheese and conversation. The Northfield Liquor Store is bringing the wine, Just Food Co-op is bringing the cheese and the NDDC is bringing the...shameless promotion. Admission is free.

Ross also mentions our ISSUES List discussion of potential sites for a new proposed movie theater in town. Check out the NDDC blog or go straight to the ISSUES List for more.

Streetscape Plan is approved -- and available online

It's not quite summer reading, but policy wonks will be happy to know the new Downtown Streetscape Framework Plan is "available at the City Hall website": ( _PDF_ )

The City Council voted Monday to approve the plan, which includes reams of information about park bench styles, the color of street pavers and other civic fashion news. For those worried about light pollution, a separate study will be done this year to determine how to get a historic look with environmentally friendly lighting. More inside...

Locally Grown podcast #17: Northfield's economic development with guest Mayor Lee Lansing

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TIP Strategies'consultants Jon Roberts and Karen Beard (left) presented a near-final draft of their economic development study to the EDA last Tuesday morning (center) and the report was discussed in episode #17 of Locally Grown, recorded Friday afternoon in the studios of KRLX (right) with Northfield Mayor Lee Lansing.

Click photos to enlarge and continue reading to hear the whole show (30 minutes).

Weekend Entertainment and Events

Click to view PDFNorthfield, as always, has a weekend full of activities ahead! Details on everything listed here and so much more for the rest of the month can be found in your monthly Northfield Entertainment Guide (NEG) – free at several hot spots around town and as a downloadable PDF here.

Read the rest of this entry for the details...

City Council, Library Board begin search for new downtown library sites

Put on your thinking caps and tell us your ideas. Go ahead and dream a little. Just type your ideas into the comments at the end of this story.

Click to view cool panoramic photo!Imagine the Northfield Public Library celebrating its centennial in 2010 in a new building perched over Highway 3, linking east and west, incorporating a pedestrian/bicycle bridge and symbolizing the city's future.

What about a new library near The Grand, with a shared downtown parking ramp and public space linking everything to the old library, which is transformed into a new use?

Too far outside the box? Maybe, maybe not, judging by the conversation launched at Monday's City Council work session.

No decisions will be made for months, and all ideas will be fair game as the council and the Library Board try to figure out how to keep a public library downtown.

"We probably have no option but to look at a single-level building on a new site," Library Board Chairman Mark Gleason told the council.

Changes Ahead for Downtown Sidewalks

Click to view larger sizeIt looks like the sidewalks of Northfield will be busy this summer, with the city considering plans for more outdoor dining and looking for places to install some new bike racks.

The immediate issue is deciding where to place eight "hitching posts," the small bike racks that are designed to fit in busy retail areas.

"The NDDC started this conversation a long time ago," said Dan Bergeson, president of the Northfield Dowtown Development Corp. "We've just been plugging away. We finally managed to get it to happen."

The city is looking for suggestions, so make them here and we'll pass them along to Howard Merriam, director of resource planning for the city.

Locally Grown podcast #16: Sidewalk dining; Northfield Library expansion report

Issues covered in episode #16 of Locally Grown, recorded this afternoon: The "Northfield Public Library Preliminary Report on Community Needs Assessment And Space Needs" with guest Adam Gurno, library board member; also, a brief recap of Tuesday's NDDC downtown forum on sidewalk dining.


Northfielders join national push for immigrant rights

Click to view additional photosAbout 200 people gathered on Monday night, May 1st, at Bridge Square for a candlelight vigil in solidarity with national (and international) actions in support of immigrant rights.

People gathered at Bridge Square at about 8 p.m. and were met by a contingent who marched downtown from St. Dominic's Church. As they turned onto Division Street we could hear chants of "Si se puede" ("Yes, we can") and "El pueblo unido jamás será vencido" ("The people united will overcome").

For an hour people held candles, chanted and talked. Gathered in the center of Northfield, first-, second-, third- and fourth-generation immigrants stood together in support of justice, dignity and human rights for immigrant workers.

The vigil was the culmination of a community effort that began last Tuesday in the Carleton ACT (Acting in the Community Together) Center. The ACT committee had sent out an e-mail announcing an organizing meeting to plan potential events for May 1 to coincide with immigrant rights events across the country.

"Neither snow nor rain..."

Hole in Post Office roofTraditionally this "unofficial postal motto" ends as follows:
"nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds."

It could also be finished as:
"nor lack of maintenance shall keep our Post Office whole."

You see, in this case there is indeed a hole—or more likely several—in our Bridge Square Post Office roof. They have been there for well over a year.

Given my interests*, it should not come as a surprise that I noticed a hole in the roof as I was walking by one day. I notified the Postmaster in November of 2004 and thought that it would be fixed shortly.

The wheels of government turn slowly sometimes...

Northfield Entertainment Guide: May, 2006 issue

Click to view PDFThe new issue of the Northfield Entertainment Guide (NEG) is now available free throughout the Northfield area and here via PDF.

Click the image to view it within your browser or right-click on the image to "Save link/target as..." and then view or print it from your computer.

The NEG is published by Rob Schanilec and Lora Steil at By All Means Graphics. We're partnering with them to keep readers updated regularly on what's going on around town.

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.

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