Category Archives: Clients (Griff’s)

A client of Wigley and Associates

An online engagement project for the Northfield Public Schools: getting feedback on the Transformational Technology proposal

The day after the ‘balanced calendar’ online engagement project for the Northfield Public Schools that I blogged about back in early January got postponed, I put my Wigley and Associates consultant hat back on and had a meeting at the Northfield Public Schools District office with Superintendent Chris Richardson and Matt Hillmann, Director of Human Resources and Technology.

Chris and Matt decided to use my online engagement services instead to get additional public feedback on the Transformational Technology proposal that’s now being considered by the School Board.

It’s happening on a blog that’s part of the District’s WordPress Multiuser platform:

Transformational Technology for Northfield Public Schools, ISD #659

Transformational Technology - Northfield Public Schools

 

Matt has been blogging about the project for nearly a year on Blogger and so we’ve imported all those posts into this new blog.  He presented the final draft of the proposal to the School Board earlier this week and the Board will likely vote on it at one of their February meetings.

Rob HardyRob Hardy has a comprehensive overview of the project with lots of links in a Northfield.org blog post titled Local Issue: iPads in the Schools.

Rob has also a post on his Learning Curve blog (“The Education of a Northfield School Board Member“) titled Transformational Technology Proposal: Paying for iPads.

And like the downtown parking management plan for the City of Northfield that I’m working on, this project with the District won’t happen here on LoGro.  So I’ve turned off comments here. If you’ve got questions about how it’s all going to work, see my blog post: How is the online engagement part of this project going to work?

Ole alum/explorer Eric Larsen sets a record in an attempt to ride a fat bike to the South Pole

I’m doing some Wigley and Associates blogging/social media work on the Fat Bike Summit and Festival. One of the event’s sponsors is MN-based Surly Bikes. Back on December 21, Gern Blanston posted to the Surly Bikes blog, The Craziest Man I Know:

Explorer Eric Larsen on a Surly MoonlanderEric Larsen is a truly insane man. He came to Surly a while ago with a plan to ride a bike to the South Pole. From the edge of Antarctica directly into the heart of its warn chewy center, he will ride a Surly  Moonlander, through 750 miles of ice, snow and the never-ending blaze of the sun…

He’s spent a great deal of time training and preparing for the trip. You can read all about his preparations, exploits, the specifics of each leg of his journey and even follow along with him here.

I checked Eric’s journal this morning. Unfortunately, he had to call it quits. See his entry for December 28, 2012 – Day 10: A Tough Decision. Eric made it back home last Saturday, Jan. 12.

The good news? He set a record. See this SF Gate article via PRweb: Polar Adventurer Eric Larsen Sets Antarctic Distance Record by Traveling the Farthest on a Bike toward the South Pole.

Outside Magazine Online featured Eric’s expedition back in November: Expedition Watch: Riding a Fat Bike to the South Pole. It included this video, with his Surly Moonlander featured:

httpv://youtu.be/3D5onKm8Oz8

Coincidental sidenote #1:

Eric Larsen graduated from St. Olaf College in 1993 and has friends here in Northfield. Back in Feb. of 2005, he and fellow explorer Lonnie Dupre did a presentation at Froggy Bottoms, raising money for their summer expedition across the Arctic Ocean. See this St. Olaf press release for more. I was there and took these photos:

Eric Larsen and Lonnie Dupre at Froggy BottomsEric Larsen and Lonnie Dupre at Froggy BottomsEric Larsen and Lonnie Dupre at Froggy Bottoms

Coincidental sidenote #2:

Lonnie Dupre is currently attempting the first solo ascent of Denali (Mt. McKinley) in January. See the One World Endeavors Expedition page for more. According to posts on the expedition Facebook page, he’s been restricted to his snow cave at 8,700 feet the past few days because of many feet of snow and high winds.

Next up in the local online engagement department: a project with the Northfield Public Schools

Chris Richardson, Griff Wigley, Matt HillmannYesterday morning, I put on my Wigley and Associates consultant hat and had a meeting at the Northfield Public Schools District office with Superintendent Chris Richardson and Matt Hillmann, Director of Human Resources and Technology.

I told them to get their hair done for the meeting and that we’d also be practicing to use our index fingers for tablet use.  As you can see from the photo, my coaching was more than marginally effective.

Northfield Public SchoolsSo they hired me to help add an online engagement component to the public meetings planned this month for the proposed ‘modified balanced calendar.’   And like the development of a downtown parking management plan for the City of Northfield, this project with the District won’t happen here on LoGro. As soon as we have the blog site for it set up, I will announce it here.

And like I blogged back in December about my contract with the City of Northfield, this contract will change the nature of my blogging here on LoGro about the School District, i.e., my relationships with the District’s leaders take priority over my public opinionating about them or the District.  And I now have a conflict of interest when it comes to opinionating on District-related matters.

If I blog about anything related to the District or its leaders, the tone of my blog post will be along the lines of “Here’s something interesting. What do y’all think?” Essentially, my role will be more of a moderator. The opinionating (praise or criticism) will have to come from all of you.

Time to get engaged: help develop a parking management plan for downtown Northfield

Parking Management Downtown Northfield

I warned y’all in my December 10 blog post, A lunch portends changes for LoGro. It’s now happening. I’ve got a contract with the City of Northfield, wearing my Wigley and Associates consulting hat, to create and manage the online platform for a City project: Developing a parking management plan for downtown.

That’s a link to the new blogsite for the project where all the activity will occur (not here on LoGro, which is why I’ve got comments turned off for this blog post.)

I’ll be teaming up with Ross Currier, Executive Director of the Northfield Downtown Development Corporation (NDDC).

I’m pretty excited about doing this, actually. I hope you Northfielders who follow things here on LoGro will participate there, not only to help create a downtown parking management plan but to help me and the City get better at managing public projects which need a significant amount of genuine citizen engagement.

See you over there!

Dale Ness says to apply now for both Northfield Area Foundation and Grace Whittier Fund grants

Dale Ness NAF grant app ad
Dale Ness, board member for the Northfield Area Foundation (NAF), stopped by my corner office at the GBM this morning to get his photo taken, one of the three ways to get an announcement posted on Locally Grown.

Every fall at this time, the NAF accepts grant applications from area organizations. But this year there’s another option because at the August 21, 2012 Northfield City Council meeting, the Council approved a “fund administration service contract with the Northfield Area Foundation for soliciting and awarding grants for youth recreational activities from the Grace Whittier Fund…”

I’ve been helping the NAF update their WordPress-based website and I’m happy to announce that the new online application forms for both Northfield Area Foundation grants and Grace Whittier Fund grants are ready.

If you prefer the traditional method of printing out the PDF application forms, we still have those available, too (NAF application PDF here, GWF application PDF here).

Deadline for both grant applications is October 15.

Archer House gets a big new sign in back. I think it’s going to read: ‘You can relieve yourself here anytime’

Jim Bohnhoff, Bohnhoff Design, with Archer House sign In May of 2011, I blogged that the Archer House had finally installed an external sign that let people know there were public restrooms inside, upper and lower levels.  (I had been complaining about the lack of signage for the $100,000 public toilets, paid for by taxpayers.)

I was still unhappy that the sign was so tiny. See the photo of Jim Bohnhoff, Bohnhoff Design, pointing to it.

Archer House, west sideThis morning, Ray Cox of Northfield Construction, stopped by my corner office at GBM to let me know that they were working with Jim to install a huge new sign on the back of the Archer House.

I took a photo but as you can see, the sign was not visible yet. 

I’m hopeful that the new sign addresses my concerns.  If they’re reluctant to use direct language (eg, ‘public toilets here’) then maybe a euphemism like:

Anyone have better suggestions?

Update 9/2, 11:15 am:

Alas, no such wording. But the sign looks terrific, day and night (apologies for the crappy night photo, taken with my smartphone):

Archer House sign, west side Archer House sign, west side Archer House sign, west side

Jim Spaulding has a new sealcoating business, a division of The HideAway

Jim Spaulding, Spaulding Sealcoating Spaulding Sealcoating Spaulding SealcoatingSpaulding Sealcoating
I noticed that Jim Spaulding was sporting a new hat last week. As co-owner, he’s created a division of the HideAway Coffeehouse & Winebar called Spaulding Sealcoating that also includes, according to the wording on the side of the van, crack repair, pot hole repair, and striping.

I’m not sure of the connection between coffee, wine, and sealcoating but I’m sure Jim can tell you.

Sidewalk dining in Northfield: Why is The HideAway still the only one?

Jim Spaulding at The HideAwayAs far as I know, the HideAway Coffeehouse and Wine Bar is still the only eating and drinking establishment in downtown Northfield to offer sidewalk dining, including serving wine and beer.

I stopped by to chat with co-owner Jim Spaulding earlier today and I asked him why others had not tried it. The ordinance has been on the books since 2008. He didn’t  know and neither do I.

See all the sidewalk dining-related blog posts going back to 2006.

Art plus exercise: Gretchen Falck is having a Forza! open house on Nov. 8

Forza! studio, Northfield MN

Gretchen Falck, Forza!I get regular updates on Gretchen Falck’s Forza! studio (on Professional Drive behind Casey’s). Why?

My wife Robbie is a ‘Forzite,’ hooked since March, 2010, doing everything from kettlebells, TRX Suspension training, and resistance stretching to a whole variety of body weight exercises. (That’s Robbie in the foreground of the photo on the right, swinging a kettlebell.)  She just loves it.

Gretchen is hosting a Forza! open house tomorrow, Wed. Nov. 9, 5-7:30 pm.  She’s mixing in exercise with the arts by unveiling a new mural:

Other Forzites [including Robbie] will be on hand to answer questions and demonstrate some of the tools of the trade.  Look for them in their black Forza! t-shirts.  Come see this beautiful mural, enjoy some healthy snacks and the company of some truly great people!

I’ve stopped the studio a few times in the past few weeks to take photos of her classes for her website. Here are a few:

DSC01736 DSC03097 DSC03140 DSC03174

DSC01397 copy DSC01568 DSC01655 DSC01721