Everything else in Northfield

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!

Local Architect Interviews Global Design Leader

Peter SchmelzerWe love it when local people get out there and shake things up.

In case you haven't heard, a local Northfield architect is getting some wider exposure. Peter Schmelzer is too humble to brag, but his brother Paul let us know that the brothers have teamed up to interview Achitecture for Humanity founder Cameron Sinclair for a book coming out in the United Kingdom called Land, Art: A Culture Ecology Handbook.

Peter and his wife, Mary, started Vivus Architecture two years ago on 5th Street in downtown Northfield, doing both architecture and interior design, Paul is the managing editor of the Walker Art Center's magazine and manages the Walker blogs. Paul said he invited Peter to join him in interviewing Sinclair—their first writing collaboration—because Peter's interest in green design would complement his own interests in art and activism. Peter also is interested in seeing whether there is interest in starting an Architecture for Humanity chapter in Northfield.

"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...

Reintegration: From Warrior to Citizen-Soldier

Photo by Bruce Morlan - click to visit source postDid you know in March of 2007 over 2,000 men and women from Minnesota serving in Iraq will return home at the same time? Are we ready to support them and their families?

I attended a workshop in Northfield at the Armory Wednesday morning; some of you may have as well. The topic was Reintegration: From Warrior to Citizen-Soldier.

We heard the testimonial of a soldier about the effect of coming home, when 220 hours earlier he was in a combat zone. What does this do to the soldier coming home, the family, the workplace, and the spiritual well being of the soldier who survived?

How can we help? This was the purpose of the workshop – how we can help reintegrate a soldier back into the community, and what kind of support we can give the soldier and his or her family. Workshop leaders gave insights into what we can do and say, and what not to do and say. It was a very powerful testimonial to the impact on our entire community when a man or woman goes to war and comes back. The affects on the family and the work place are very great indeed.

This Week in the Northfield Blogosphere

This week in the 'Sphere, it's death and taxes, history and politics, reform and sweaters. Wait - sweaters?

More inside...

How did the Dog Park Meeting Go on Tuesday Night?

Story submitted by Rick Estenson

Grrrrreat!  A combination of citizens, city officials and members of CAP (Canines At Play) discussed the virtues and challenges of a dog park in our city.  The whole idea is to get public input to select the best possible pilot park location and then allow the CAP group to work with the City Park and Recreation Advisory Board get it done.  There was much enthusiasm in the full room at the lower level of the Archer House.

Less than 24 hours left in the Spring Photo Competition!

You can still enter the Springtime Photo Competition!

The Northfield.org Spring Photo Competition ends Tuesday night at midnight. The contest is free and open to everyone. Grand prize is $50 in Chamber Bucks. More information about the contest can be found by going to the contest page located here.

There are currently twenty entries in the competition pool. You can view the gallery by clicking here.

This week in the Northfield Blogosphere

The 'Sphere is back! Back with guns in churches, corn in gas tanks, and awards in blogging! All this and much more, inside...

A Moment in Time

Click for larger size

Rainbows are with us such a short time and rarely do we see the entire arch. There was a pretty one tonight which I am sure lots of people saw. I was at a meeting at the Senior Center and was glad my ever present camera was with me.

Mysterious Object Spotted Over Northfield

"!{float:right;margin: 0 0 0 5px;}http://static.flickr.com/45/132098228_5199215acb_m.jpg!":http://flickr.com/photos/gurno/sets/72057594112581872/ Okay, not really _that_ mysterious, but I managed to "snap a half dozen images of a rainbow":http://flickr.com/photos/gurno/sets/72057594112581872/ that came after the sprinkle that we had tonight.

If you "look very closely at this one":http://flickr.com/photos/gurno/132098298/in/set-72057594112581872/ you can see vestiges of a second 'bow that never quite emerged...

Northfield.org "Springtime" Photo Contest - $50 Grand Prize!

The First Annual Northfield.org Springtime Photo Contest

The contest is closed! Thanks for your interest!

This year Northfield.org is holding a photo competition for the best "Springtime" photo. Winner will receive $50 in Chamber Bucks during the big Northfield.org Membership Drive Kickoff Celebration!

More inside!...

Vienna? Paris? No, Northfield.

Romantic Walk Along the Cannon

Many people went out last night to enjoy the beautiful evening -- including this couple taking advantage of a romantic evening along the Cannon.

But beware! I saw my first mosquito this morning. Heidi Hamilton also said the city will have a wide variety of projects going on this summer, but that this year's Highway 3/19 work shouldn't be quite as disruptive as last year's.

Speaking of the Cannon and projects, the Cannon River Watershed Cleanup will be 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, April 29. Interested volunteers can contact Hilary Ziols at 507-646-8400.

How warm was it?

"!{float:left; margin: 0 5px 0 0;}http://northfield.org/files/thumb.gif!":http://northfield.org/files/rplot.php.gif

Today was the first really warm day of 2006 and the question on everyone's mind was "_How warm was it?_" According to the degree crunchers over at Carleton, "it reached a high of *77* today":http://weather.carleton.edu/

Interesting to note that this comes "less than sixty days since Alex Beeby posted about the -16F day of February 18th":http://northfield.org/node/1422. That's a difference of 93 degrees!

This week in the Northfield Blogosphere...

Springing anew through the defrosted grounds of the "Northfield Blogosphere":http://northfield.org/aggregator/sources this week are entries on soccer, science, singing, and sustainability. Sweet!

More inside...

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