Everything else in Northfield

A Bit of Northfield History found in Moline Illinois

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On a recent road trip my husband, Dick, & I stopped at the world headquarters of John Deere in Moline Illionois. In their public building they showcase old and new equipment. The top mezzanine floor only contains 2 one bottom walking plows. As usual Dick was waiting for me to get done taking pictures so he checked out the one plow and was surprised to read the brass plaque. The original owner of the 1855 model plow was Joe Canedy of Northfield. He presented it to William Schilling in 1943 where it was kept in his "Hobby House" until 1954. He then donated it to the Deere & Co.

It's 5 A.M. - Do You Know Where Your Recycling Is?

It’s five o’clock in the morning and I’m mad. I’ve just thrown on my pants and chased the Waste Management truck down Division Street to ask the driver a question. I caught his attention with a whistle and he walked up to me in a friendly manner.

I asked, “Why did you just dump the contents of both of my recycling containers into your truck with the contents of my garbage container?”

He said, “I’m new on this route and I didn’t know.”

“C’mon” I said. “Both of the recycling containers are GREEN and clearly marked with BIG labels!”

This week in the Northfield Blogosphere...

The 'Sphere is back again, and the theme this week is presented in haiku form:

bq. _Northfield, your profuse_
_writing makes my job easy._
_Keep up the good work._

People were in the writing mood; this week, we're looking at entries over 500 words. Even more inside...

It's time for you to 'Choose Your News!'

Listening sessions planned to get your feedback about Northfield.org

Well, we've been telling you this is your website. And now it's time for you to tell us what you want to see on it! Let's just call it the Choose Your News campaign, because we're out to win you over in a big way.

The board members of Northfield Citizens Online (the group that runs Northfield.org) and I will be hosting listening sessions over the next few weeks to determine what kind of content you want to see—and what kind of stories, photos, essays and commentaries you'd like to write. The first session will be Tuesday, May 23, at the Contented Cow. I'll be there at 7 p.m. and I'll stay as long as you have something to talk about.

Here's your chance to have your say. Want more sports news? A political page full of debate and conversation? Should we add letters to the editor, or guest commentaries, or maybe both? How about wedding announcements?

Just for fun, what if we ask you to use your digital and cell phone cameras to send photos from your vacation, from town events, from your favorite fishing spot after you land the big one? Will you do it? Do you want to see those pictures from your friends and neighbors?

Booker the Book Bus nears the end of the road

Already faced with the ongoing discussion of how to replace its downtown facility, the Library Board soon must decide what to do with its aging bookmobile, known as Booker the Book Bus.

The familiar bookmobile will be on the road through the summer, but it's not clear how much longer it can last. Library Director Lynne Young told the board Tuesday that the immediate need is about $8,000 for a generator, but the bigger question is whether it's wise to put any money into Booker, who turned 20 last year.

Booker already was well-worn when the Northfield Library bought it from the regional library system, SELCO, for $2,000 in 1991. The library and the Northfield Public Schools wrote a grant for the purchase, and a number of local organizations donated new paint, carpet and fixtures. The routes stretched outside the city to meet the school boundaries.

Ever since, Booker has been a big part of the library's outreach services. This year the library began a contract with the county to provide services outside the school district. The regional library service, which had retired its bookmobile, donated some of its collection to Booker.

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 Northfield.org as we spoke by phone. He said he was impressed by the offer of help, but added that it wasn't necessary.

Online recycling via Freecycle

IMG_1973w800.jpgWe're moving to Northfield Crossing next spring (yep, we bought a condo) so we're getting our old house on South Linden St. ready to sell. First step: clean out the attic, garage, basement of all the accumulated junk treasures.

We've not only been making good use of our curb to get rid of the stuff that otherwise might end up in the landfill. (Click photo to enlarge.)

freecyclelogo.jpgRobbie's been also using a website called Freecycle for items that either don't get taken from the curb or for ones that can't be put out in the rain. Yahoo Groups (online discussion lists) are used for communications. There is a Northfield Freecycle group and another one for Rice-Steele County

City wins National Recycling Award

Click to enlargeThe next time you sort your recyclables and carry them to the local centers, give yourself a little round of applause. You are part of the reason the city of Northfield has won a national award from the American Forest and Paper Recycling Association.

Seattle won for the best big city program and little Northfield beat out the pack among cities under 100,000. This week city officials shared the honors with adults and kids from the Moravian Church Youth group and Project Sight, two of the Green Teams who worked on the citywide project. Pictured are Sam, Josephine and Addison Luhman with Mayor Lee Lansing, backed up by Randy Bongard and Brad Easterson. The children are part of the Moravian Church group.

Calling All Photographers: Request For Images

The Economic Development Authority of the City of Northfield is looking for images to include in EDA marketing materials, including the soon-to-be-released Economic Development Plan. The EDA is specifically looking for photographs that are representative of Northfield, and would credit the photographer on the printed pieces.

If you have photos you would be willing to share, please contact Deanna Kuennen, Housing and Economic Development Manager. (Email Deanna.Kuennen@ci.northfield.mn.us; phone: 645-3069.)

This Week in the Northfield Blogosphere

It's a visual feast this week on the 'Sphere - if your pics ain't rockin', we don't come knockin'. Pictures of Northfield, St. Paul, Beijing, and much, much more after the jump...

Dog Park Advocates Pick Top Three Sites

Canines At Play is moving from a catchy phrase to a reality.

click to view larger mapWe've gathered information from more than 250 people and explored 10 possible sites. This week we won approval from the Park and Recreation Advisory Board to explore the three sites we had earmarked as our favorites.

Attached is a map that points to the approximate location of the three current finalist sites—namely, Babcock Park (between the Rodeo Grounds and Southgate movie theater and closer to the River); Spring Creek Park (the southeast end of the park beyond the Soccer fields); and Sibley Soccer Park (this is a large park and used less for soccer now that the Spring Creek Facility is in use, but it still has enough space separate from the fields for a dog park).

2006 Springtime Photo Competition Winner

"!{float:left;margin:0 5px 0 0 }http://static.flickr.com/53/136402973_82b816d5cd_t.jpg!":http://www.flickr.com/photos/63046469@N00/136402973/in/set-72057594119259823/ Congratulations to Cindy Jensen for winning the inaugural "2006 Northfield Springtime Photo Contest":http://northfield.org/node/1573.
"!{float:right;margin:5px 0 0 5px;}http://static.flickr.com/53/132676303_88962f5e9c_t.jpg!":http://www.flickr.com/photos/28151458@N00/132676303/in/pool-nfldspringphotos/
Her "picture of a full rainbow arching over the new Memorial Field":http://www.flickr.com/photos/28151458@N00/132676303/in/pool-nfldspringphotos/ was selected by the judges as not only technically excellent, but also as doing a good job of incorporating Northfield into the shot.

She wins the grand prize of $50 in Chamber bucks. The "entire pool of entry pictures is still available online":http://www.flickr.com/groups/nfldspringphotos/pool/.

This Week in the Northfield Blogosphere

This week in the 'Sphere, we get naked and run around Carleton checking our email. Well, maybe not us, but someone does. We were going to, but we heard that job has been taken.

More inside...

Creating a more pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly community

Bill and Ava Ostrem - click to enlargeFor the last few months I’ve been speaking to people about a vision I have for the Northfield area. It’s a vision of a community that relies less on motorized vehicles for getting around and more on the old-fashioned power of our own bodies. In particular, it’s a vision of a community that walks and bikes more and drives less.

I’ve been inspired to speak out primarily because of my experience in the city of Davis, California, where  my family and I lived for two years before moving to Northfield in 2004. Davis—which is in northern California, near Sacramento—has been designated the most “bicycle-friendly community” in the country by the League of American Bicyclists.

In Davis I saw that a city can create a transportation infrastructure that serves not only cars and trucks but also pedestrians and bikers. That city has invested in bike and walking trails as well as bike lanes on city streets. Like Northfield, Davis is divided by a major road, but in Davis, it is Interstate 80, a much busier road than Highway 3. Davis has responded by creating bridges and tunnels that bring the opposite sides of the city together, including pedestrian/bike bridges and tunnels.

Outdoor Dining Contest

Click to view contest entry form (PDF)Lots of good discussion is going on about the future of sidewalk dining in downtown Northfield, but do you know all the places where you can eat outside in the area now?

The current issue of the Northfield Entertainment Guide has a fun contest about these dining venues, with a chance to win a prize by matching the names of the restaurants with pictures of their outdoor seating areas. You can try your luck at the contest by clicking the image here to download a full-size PDF of the contest page and following the directions to enter. Then let's meet for some lemonade...outside, of course!

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