More than a few Northfielders got this email recently from Molly Bloom, Public Insight Analyst for MPR News and their Public Insight Network:
I’m writing today because you’re a source in our Public Insight Network and you’ve told us that you live in Northfield. We’re working on a series of stories that we think you might be able to help us with.
MPR News is been doing a series of stories called “Get Out There,” in which we profile Minnesota towns (you can see them here). We want to find the places, eateries, and activities that might be hidden gems. So we’re coming to you to see what you think people should see, do or eat when they’re in Northfield. If friends were visiting from out-of-town, where would you take them? Please tell us here.
Molly heard from 35 Northfielders and graciously let me follow her around yesterday while she visited some of the recommended "hidden gems."
I promised that A) I wouldn’t make any suggestions on where she should go; and B) that I’d try not to get in the way like I did the last time a public media journalist visited.
Her first stop was the Northfield Historical Society where Chip DeMann, Hayes Scriven and Brad Ness tried to impress her with, what else, lots of old stuff.
After a quick couple of photos at the NAG, she bought a cupcake at CakeWalk and forced me to eat half of it.
She chatted with Catherine Dominguez at GBM and took a photo of Nathan Nelson reading newspapers there, a quaint activity that they probably don’t see much of any more in the public media empire. After a visit to the Weitz Center (alas, closed for the summer), she had lunch at Chapati, and then ventured–no further stalking by me–to the Brick Oven Bakery and the Northfield Farmer’s Market in Riverside Park.
She also was witness to how much I get abused by the citizenry on a daily basis, courtesy of Victor Summa and Paul Hager.
Her story should appear on the Get Out There blog on Thursday, at which point, I invite y’all to chime in here with your suggestions on the other places/hidden gems of Northfield that she should also have profiled.
Last month, the Northfield News posted this to their Facebook page:
There is something blissfully naughty about getting intimate in public. In high school, we necked in the back seat of our cars on a deserted road because there was no where else to go. Then, we grew up, got married and forgot about the thrill of fooling around under the threat of getting caught. Plenty of studies suggest a little hanky panky in public is a great way to heat up your sex life. But let’s be real, we’re southern Minnesotans. We don’t do that kind of thing.
Or do we? When the mood hits and you’re looking for a change of scenery, where do you take your partner? A local park with secluded trails? A dead end road with a great view of the sunset? A boat in the middle of a quiet lake? Let us know, SoMinn, where do you go to fool around in the great outdoors? We’ll use as many of the locations as we can in our upcoming edition of our A&E publication, SCENE.
I added a comment in response to Faribault Daily News editor and article author Jaci Smith:
Props, Jaci! I did a “sex al fresco in Northfield” blog post back in 2007 on LoGro, based on a Vita.mn article by Alexis McKinnis. Details: http://locallygrownnorthfield.org/post/1607/
The April issue of SouthernMinn SCENE is now out in print and online and Jaci Smith’s article, Getting it on in the great outdoors, is on page 42. She included this reference to VitaMN and LoGro:
Closer to home, about six years ago, the Star Tribune’s Vita.mn took an informal poll and discovered that there was plenty of outdoor sex going on in the Twin Cities, particularly in some of the more isolated areas of the University of Minnesota-St. Paul campus.
So, Northfield blogger Griff Wigley did his own informal poll on Locally Grown Northfield, and found out that outdoor sex is alive and well in the city Jesse lames made famous. And Wigley makes a great point, too. Sex al fresco has been going on since the Garden of Eden.
For a look back, see my 2007 blog post Sex al fresco in Northfield and attached comment thread.
VitaMN‘s original story by Alexis McKinnis, Sex … al fresco, is still online.
Longtime Northfielder and Northfield Patch editor Corey Butler announced his resignation on his Facebook page earlier this week.
I got his permission to post it here and coaxed him into posing with me for a photo at the Spur this morning:
It’s with excitement and sadness that I inform those of you who care that I have resigned from Patch. I’ve accepted a job as the communications coordinator for the Minnesota Society of CPAs, a not-for-profit organization with 9,400 members. I’ll be responsible for developing, editing and coordinating the MNCPA’s print and electronic publications, social media, some event planning/execution and working with the media (fielding calls and pitching stories).
It’s a great move for me as I focus on my long-term career goals and look for a new challenge. I greatly enjoyed my time with Patch, especially getting to know so many wonderful people near and far in the company. Most of all, I’ll miss working with so many great people in Northfield.
You can continue to follow Corey on Twitter @CoreyButlerJr.
Will the AOL-owned Patch replace Corey with another Northfield-based editor? If not, what might it mean for the other hyper-local media organizations in Northfield? I’m guessing that the Huckle Media-owned Northfield News is happy to hear the news of Corey’s departure, as he built Northfield Patch into a formidable competitor for local news-related pageviews. (He had worked for Huckle/Northfield News/Faribault Daily News for 2.5 years prior to launching Northfield Patch.)
But Northfield Patch never appeared to put much of a dent into the local advertising dollars currently going primarily to the Northfield News, KYMN Radio, and the Entertainment Guide, so I don’t see any substantive revenue shifts.
The real opportunity, it seems to me, is for NCO’s Northfield.org to step into the void, especially when it comes to Patch’s Local Voices section. Corey nurtured an ever-growing list of regular Northfield-area contributors (good example: Myrna CG Mibus) who might thrive in the local group-blog environment of Northfield.org. The site really could be so much more than a community events calendar and blog/tweet aggregator. There are new Board members on the way, I’m told, so I’m holding out hope that new blood combined with the old will seize the day.
There is a Minnesota state statute (Chapter 331A) requiring local units of government (cities, counties, townships, school boards) to publish public notices in newspapers, everything from minutes and agendas to tax levies, financial reports, project bids, forfeited properties, etc.
I blogged about this in early 2011 (Something Democrats and Republicans can agree on: Move public notices to the web) when there was a bill introduced at the legislature to change the law. Short description of the MN House version of the 2011 Bill:
Political subdivisions authorized to publish proceedings, official notices, and summaries on their Web sites in lieu of newspaper publication.
The bill didn’t get very far. See this 2011 MN House Session Daily story: Plan to post public notices online nixed.
I started thinking about this issue again when I saw this article in GovDelivery about the very same issue in the UK: Public notices: the case for radical reform. So I requested information from the City of Northfield and the Northfield School District to see how much this was costing us taxpayers.
1. City of Northfield
The City of Northfield has a contract with Huckle Media LLC, the publishers of the Northfield News, to spend a minimum of $15,000 this year to publish public notices and other city-related ads. (See page 2 of the Jan. 3, 2012 minutes.) The 2012 rate for legal ads is $13.35 per column inch.
Thus far in 2012, over $21,000 has been spent. Last year it was over $18,000.
The above is the 2012 documentation: 1) the 2012 contract with Huckle Media; and 2) the 2012 check detail. I have 2011 data as well.
2. Northfield School District 659
The District doesn’t have a contract with Huckle Media like the City, but just pays the legal ad rate of $13.35 per column inch.
In 2011, the District paid $14,000 to the Nothfield News, nearly all of it for publishing school board minutes. Through Oct. 15 this year, the total is $13,400. See the PDF.
3. Northfield Hospital; Rice County
A good reporter would have sought similar data from both of these bodies. If anyone reading this would like to request the info from them, I’m happy to add it to this blog post.
2011 articles present the arguments, pro and con
The above articles contain many of the arguments, pro and con.
One big issue is about government transparency, that requiring notices to be printed in a newspaper helps ensure this. I disagree. Only a very small % of citizens are without internet access these days. (Over 85% of Northfielders had high speed internet access as of 2 years ago.) If local governments are required to post all public notices in public buildings (eg, post offices, libraries, etc) then that’s sufficient. And the tens of thousands of tax dollars saved can then be put to better use.
A violation of the law?
State statute also stipulates that any paper that charges for subscriptions must put public notices on its website for free. Here’s the language from the Statute, Subd. 5. Posting notices on Web site:
If, in the normal course of its business, a qualified newspaper maintains a Web site, then as a condition of accepting and publishing public notices, the newspaper must agree to post all the notices on its Web site at no additional cost. The notice must remain on the Web site during the notice’s full publication period. Failure to post or maintain a public notice on the newspaper’s Web site does not affect the validity of the public notice.
The legals section page linked from the top nav bar of the Northfield News website is the same legals section used for all of Huckle Media’s newspapers in southern Minnesota. But only notices for the City of Faribault, Faribault Schools, and Rice County are listed there, an apparent violation of the law.
Our new DFL legislators
I’d like to see our new DFL legislators, Kevin Dahle and David Bly, team up with some of their Republican colleagues and get this antiquated law changed. In 2011, then DFL House Minority Leader Paul Thissen and DFL Senate Minority Leader Tom Bakk were against changing the law.
Surely the combined efforts of the League of Minnesota Cities, the Minnesota School Boards Association, the Association of Minnesota Counties, and the Minnesota Association of Townships can muster enough influence to challenge the Minnesota Newspapers Association.
It has happened in other states. Follow the Legal Notice.org blog for the latest.
Tracy Davis, former queen of the Locally Grown Triumvirate, now has her own radio show on KYMN called Think Twice, ‘Ideas and Insight for a Vibrant Community,’ airing Wednesdays at 6 PM. (She also has a Think Twice show page on her City Commons blog site.)
This week, she invited me and Ross Currier as guests, talking about the City issues. (Apologies for the crappy smartphone photos.) I had fun and I’m guessing that we were marginally adequate in pumping up her audience numbers.
See the Episode #6 show notes and MP3 here.
Historical note: the Locally Grown Northfield radio show/podcast ran from early 2006 to mid-2010. You can still listen to all 189 episodes.
Whenever I run into Northfield Historical Society Museum Store Manager Chip DeMann on the streets of downtown Northfield, he’s got something to show me. Last week, it was the Sept. 2012 issue of True West magazine which features the 1876 Northfield bank raid:
Cover: A painting by magazine editor Bob Boze Bell with the captions: "The Heroes of Northfield Still Stand Tall" and "Jesse James Messes with the Wrong Town."
Editorial, page 9: Chip DeMann is the Man, by Bob Boze Bell
Article, pages 26-31: The Great Northfield Raid Revisited: New research that changes our understanding of the James-Younger debacle, by Johnny D. Boggs
Article, pages 32-37: Northfield Revelations: A Northfield historian shares his lifetime of research into the 1876 bank raid, by Chip DeMann
The issue is not yet on the True West magazine website but here are some poor quality photos I took of the print coverage:
Editor Bob Boze Bell has a blog. Here are links to some of his Northfield-related blog posts:
The Northfield News announced this week that Associate Editor Suzy Rook has been made regional managing editor of the St. Peter Herald, Le Center Leader, Le Sueur News-Herald and the Waseca County News. Her last day, according to this tweet, was yesterday.
The paper’s announcement made no mention of her replacement so I’m assuming this is a cost-cutting move. Rook had acquired a great deal of institutional knowledge of Northfield in her years here, especially City Hall. Despite my occasional criticisms, I think we’re going to miss her reporting.
Who will replace her as the beat reporter on Northfield City Hall? Managing editor Jerry Smith?
We had 2 inches of rain by midnight and I’m not sure how much after that but at 6 am, the Northfield News had the cover story on the front page of the newspaper and in the racks downtown: DOWNPOUR BLANKETS AREA.
How the heck did they do that so fast?
Nfld News reporter Suzy Rook posted an opinion piece on Thursday titled Northfield Planning commissioners behaving badly.
Two different sources tell me that two Planning Commission members are, well, behaving badly. One, it seems, took it on him or herself to remove signs they felt were illegally placed. Come to find out, the signs were completely legal and placed in the right-of-way by city workers… The second commissioner cranked things up a few dozens notches, apparently dislodging a bench cemented into a Division Street sidewalk and moving to another location down the street.
Members of the City of Northfield Planning Commission-Zoning Board of Appeals (PC-ZBA):
- Thomas Bisel
- James Herreid
- Alice Thomas
- Steve Rholl
- Richard Schulte
- Jay Jasnoch
- Joey Robison
Um, anyone know what is going on?
Update May 25: I found the wandering bench.
Saturday’s Northfield News carried a front page story titled Concerns arise over Fire Department expenses; Northfield officials fear funding is going toward non-firefighting expenses. (The headline used for the online version: Ethical questions arise over Northfield Fire Relief Association expenses.)
I’ve done four fire department/association-related blog posts since January (here, here, here, and here) as well as a three more on attorney David Hvistendahl (here, here, and here) who’s representing the fire and rescue squad associations. It’s a complex and constantly evolving issue.
So it’s really helpful to have a someone else, in this case, Northfield News reporter Suzy Rook, digging into the story, too. And for the first time, the paper cited Locally Grown (twice) in a story:
Fire Department officials, including Fire Chief Gerry Franek, did not respond to several requests from the News for association financial records or comment. Assistant Fire Chief Tom Nelson at an April 24 City Council meeting said documents posted on the blog Locally Grown are 2010 and 2011 relief association check registers. But those registers don’t clearly state how and where monies were spent, and are likely a listing of transactions from several accounts compiled into a single document…
The association had a net revenue of $14,263 in 2011, according to a Gambling Control Board report to the Legislature. Of that, $4,110 was used for what’s termed lawful purpose expenditures. In 2010, its net receipts were $17,730. Of that, $8,354 was used for lawful expenditures. Figures provided to the state Gambling Control Board don’t match the association’s 2010 tax return, a document Assistant Fire Chief Tom Nelson says he provided Locally Grown. According to that document, the association lost $2,209 in 2010.
I appreciate that. Follow Suzy Rook on Twitter @rooksuzy.
I’m appreciative of Northfield’s media organizations who have been very helpful in drawing attention to Tuesday night’s (May 15) information meeting for the new Cannon Valley Mountain Bike Racing Team for area high school students.
Northfield News reporter Jordan Osterman: Northfield high school mountain bike team forming
KYMN News Morning Show host Jeff Johnson: Griff Wigley and Peter Behm on C.V. Mountain Bike Racing (blog post with streaming audio). Alternate: download/listen to MP3. (Peter Behm is a student at ARTech.)
Northfield Patch reporter Michael Garlitz: Cannon Valley Biking Team Pedaling Toward Starting Line
One point Wigley stresses when talking about forming the team is that the activity is open to girls, as well as boys.
“The big push nationally is to get girls involved,” he said. “And, there is an incentive for having girls on your team. Points earned by girls are worth more, which helps in recruiting.
Can’t make the May 15 meeting? Area student-athletes who are interested can now fill out a form on the CVMTBT website to be kept informed on next steps on the team’s formation.
Last Monday, the Northfield News launched a new website using a new content management system for all its regional newspapers, putting all of them under the domain name southernminn.com. So the Northfield News site is now at southernminn.com/northfield_news (there’s an underscore between the ‘d’ and the ‘n’).
I have no problem with this change on the face of it.
Currently, none of the old articles are available. Presumably—hopefully–they will be restored in some type of online archive. But just like in Feb. 2011, the URL’s for those articles will change and the old ones will evidently not redirect. Last year, I wrote to Publisher Sam Gett:
At Locally Grown, we have linked to hundreds of your articles over the years and now, none of the those links work any longer. As you know, we drive a lot of traffic to your site. (And likewise, our discussions benefit from your content.) So it seems like you’d want to continue to maintain the old URL’s, if for no other reason than to continue generating pageviews.
I never heard back. So I again wrote to him early last week, resending that paragraph. He said he’d look into it, but I’ve not heard back.
And this morning, if you go to NorthfieldNews.com, you don’t even get redirected to the new site. Instead, you end up at a GoDaddy.com page that says:
Want to buy this domain? Our Domain Buy Service can help you get it. This page is parked free, courtesy of GoDaddy.com
See the above screenshot. This may be a temporary situation, an oversight on someone’s part, but it’s certainly startling.
Lastly, the changeover also removed all previous usernames and comments. People are being asked to re-register. I’ve never like the paper’s policy of allowing anonymous comments so I don’t consider this a great loss. But it’s indicative that they don’t value their readers’ comments either.
After my confrontations with Northfielder David Hvistendahl over the weekend, I emailed him a request to be a guest on his KYMN Law Review radio show this week. He replied:
U R hereby invited to a verbal smackdown, 6 pm, KYMN. Will B War of the Worlds II. Will expose U as a royalist and rumor monger.
We did the show tonight. KYMN emperor Jeff Johnson was on hand to moderate (he used a digital referee whistle) but only had to use it a couple times.
The audio of the show is now available in this mistitled KYMN blog post by Jeff:
Law Review | SMACKDOWN! Wigley cries UNCLE!!
(For the culturally deprived, see the Wikipedia entry for Uncle Wiggily.)
Northfield Assistant Fire Chief Tom Nelson stopped by my corner office at GBM yesterday. We mostly argued, hence the scowls in the left photo. (Feel free to sort through the 180+ comments to my blog post to find my criticisms of the Northfield Fire Department. More to come?)
But one thing we did agree on (hence the smiles in the right photo) was that the two versions of the Northfield News stories about the firefighters’ pension contained some misleading information. In the March 6 version, Northfield firefighters: paid or volunteers?, reporter Suzy Rook wrote:
According to a state auditor’s report for 2009, the city’s firefighters, who also serve the Northfield Rural Fire District, have $7,500 apiece placed in the fund annually;
In the sidebar:
$7,500 — Northfield’s annual pension contribution per firefighter
After the March 6 story appeared, Tom’s email to me and Suzy included this:
Northfield Fire Relief is presently at $7500/yr of service. This is not to be confused with “The City pays each member $7500/year” as was stated in the Northfield News e-edition last week. The impact on the annual budget is only the Municipal Contribution amount. For this year, the impact is slightly more than $900/fire fighter.
Likewise, in the comment thread attached to the March 6 story, firefighter Aramis Wells argued with her about this issue. But to no avail, as this week’s March 13 version, Northfield’s firefighter wages, pensions among highest in state, contained the same text and sidebar.
Individual firefighter pension obligations DO NOT cost the City of Northfield/taxpayers $7,500/year, as the Northfield News’ stories indicate.
Rather, if they stay on the job for 20 years or more (and past the age of 50), the pension fund pays them $7,500 per year of service. Big difference.
The amount in the fund fluctuates with the stock market and so the City’s annual contribution to the fund fluctuates. Back in 2008, the City contributed nearly $100,000 to the fund. In 2009 it was half that. This year, Tom says it’ll be about $29,000.
I think the City of Northfield and we citizens get a good deal with this arrangement because the pension encourages firefighters to stay on the job. Lack of turnover is generally a good thing when it comes to firefighting and I think we’re better served by having so many firefighters with so many years of experience.
But we need not worry too much that the current turmoil with the City and the Northfield Fire Department will cause many firefighters to quit. Fire Chief Gerry Franek’s attorney David Hvistendahl, Northfield Area Rural Fire District administrator Jerry Anderson and others are wrong to, um, fan these flames.
The firefighters get a good deal, too. If they stick with it for 20 years, they get a decent lump sum payout of $150,000. A few are going get twice that as they been on the job for nearly 40 years. Plus, they have an interesting and challenging part-time job in which they get to make a real difference in people’s lives, contribute measurably in the community’s quality of life, and earn our respect for doing so. Not many $21/hr part-time jobs offer all this.
I’m glad the Northfield News did the story because it has helped raise awareness of the issue. But I think they owe it to the firefighters and to the citizens to run a correction.
Or did Newt Gingrich’s campaign pull a fast one on Ron Paul’s campaign? Inquiring minds want to know. Click the screenshot of the Northfield News front page for a closer look.
Like many newspapers around the state, the Northfield News regularly publishes articles via an arrangement with MPR News.
On Monday, the paper ran an MPR story titled More Minnesota lakes and rivers added to impaired list. The paper chose this photo (click to enlarge) to accompany the article.
I’ve lived in Minnesota my whole life and I’ll be damned if I can identify where this picturesque lake might be.
Anyone? Anyone? Anyone?
About four years ago, I blogged about how you could stop the Northfield Area Shopper from being delivered at your residence or at a nearby residence that was vacant.
The way to do it now is the same way: contact Northfield News publisher Sam Gett via the Northfield News Contact Us page.
It irritates me that, year after year, the only detailed information about the 9 am Memorial Day ceremony at Veterans Memorial Park is via a big paid advertisement in the print edition of Northfield News. Nothing online, that I can find:
- Northfield Area Veterans Memorial: hasn’t been updated in years
- VFW Post 4393 – Northfield: last updated 2008
- Northfield.org: no blog post, nothing on the calendar for 5/30
- Northfield Patch: no story, nothing on the events calendar, only a brief blurb here
- Northfield News: no info, only a sidebar with brief info to their story, Trumpeting our fallen heroes
- Facebook: There is a person (not a group, not a page, just a person) whose first name is Northfield and last name is Vfw. “Has worked at Veterans of Foreign Wars VFW, Lives in Northfield, Minnesota, Married From Northfield, Minnesota, Born on January 1, 1945.” This anonymous person put up an event titled Veterans of Foriegn [sic] Wars and American Legion Memorial Day Service but without any detailed info.
Why the dearth of information online? Is there some sort of exclusive arrangement that the vets organizations have with the Northfield News? It’s maddening.
(To see a large version of the print ad, right-click on the image and open in a new tab/window or view it here.)
Paul Krause, Paul Krause Creative, stopped by my corner office at the GBM this morning to inform me that his documentary ‘Harvest’ will air on TPT’s Minnesota Channel (2.2) this weekend.
Scheduled times are Saturday, May 28 at 7pm, Sunday at 1am, 3am and 1pm.
Harvest sculptor Ray ‘Jake’ Jacobson is recovering at Three Links Transitional Care unit from recent back surgery. Paul expects that Jake will soon be back to work on another exciting project for Northfield that he’s got in the works.
Here are three photos from my October 2008 Harvest Sculpture Dedication album:
This weekend, the Northfield News used a photo of the trees cut down on N. Linden St. to illustrate its Talk comes too late for trees story about the N. Plum St. trees, despite the fact that the trees on N. Plum have not yet been cut down. The photo was used for both the print and online versions of the story.
It’s not an insignificant issue, as the residents of N. Plum St. are still pleading (at last Tuesday’s Council meeting and online, e.g. here and here) with city officials to halt plans to cut down the trees, evidently scheduled to begin on Monday.
Although the text of the article doesn’t mention whether or not the trees have already been cut down, the accompanying tag line of the photo in the print version reads:
The widening of Plum Street cost residents decades-old trees.
The past tense of the verb ‘cost’ indicates to the reader that the widening and the cutting have already been done.
The print version of the story has the photo byline "News photo by Suzanne Rook." The file name/URL of the photo is 5-21-plum-street-trees.jpg
The online version of the story indicates that it was submitted by Managing Editor Jerry Smith on Friday night at 10:30:
Submitted by Jerry Smith on Fri, 05/20/2011 – 22:30
Also, the information provided in this paragraph is puzzling:
City maps show 12 trees will be removed during construction. Two are ash trees, which are susceptible to emerald ash borer, an invasive species known to be in Ramsey County. Another 24 ash trees may also be removed, while the survival of 132 trees is construction dependent.
The Plum St. tree map on page 8 of the city’s slide presentation on the project shows at least 29 trees marked with an X which the legend says means ‘Remove.’ Page 9 says:
31 trees are currently noted for removal with 32’ street width;
6 Trees could potentially be left with 30’ street width
I’m not implying that the Northfield New has any hidden agenda on this issue. But it’s difficult to see how the use of the photo and the accompany tag line could be just a simple mistake or oversight.
I noticed last week that the Northfield News editorial, Your voice could help save the post office, didn’t mention the fact that Northfield Patch had launched an online petition a couple days earlier, Save the Northfield Post Office! Sign the Online Petition.
No surprise there. The Northfield News won’t link to needy area non-profit organizations in their stories (see this week’s story on the Community Action Center’s Food Shelf as an example), let alone their media competitors or any area bloggers.
But yesterday the Northfield News behaved very badly by putting up their own Save the Northfield Post Office Online Petition, linking to it from their Facebook Wall, and using nearly the exact wording of Patch’s petition. The minor wording changes:
Patch: We, as Northfield residents, stand strongly opposed to the consideration of the United States Postal Service (USPS) to close the downtown Northfield Post Office.
News: As Northfield residents, we stand strongly opposed to the consideration of the United States Postal Service (USPS) to close the downtown Northfield Post Office.
Patch: The downtown post office has been at its current location since 1936 and has become as much a symbol of Northfield as anything else in our community.
News: The downtown post office has sat majestically overlooking the Cannon River at its current location since 1936 and is considered a symbol of Northfield as much as anything else in our community.
Everything else is word-for-word the same.
I don’t know if this plagiarism but it’s a shitty thing for Northfield News Publisher/Editor Sam Gett, Managing Editor Jerry Smith, and Associate Editor Suzy (Suzanne) Rook to do.
It’s this type of bullying behavior that makes me root for Goliath (media giant AOL is the owner of Patch) against David (Michigan-based Huckle Media LLC is the owner of the Northfield News and 16 other hometown newspapers).
If you know know former Northfielder Renee Huckle Mittelstaedt, now president and co-owner of Huckle Media LLC, consider contacting her about this. No, Huckle Media doesn’t have a website (aarrgghh!) but Renee can be reached via her LinkedIn account and her Facebook account.
I normally prefer more narrowly focused blog posts. And any one of the three subjects in the blog post title would typically suffice.
But Jane McWilliams is teaching a Cannon Valley Elder Collegium course this spring titled The Future of Journalism (4 slots left as I write this) and local media moguls from KYMN, the Northfield News, Northfield Patch, Northfield.org, and yes, even Locally Grown are among the guests she’s having attend various class sessions.
- Since Northfield Patch is the new kid on the block here in town, its time to scrutinize their effort, both locally and nationally. What has been their impact on Northfield thus far? What do you like about what they’re doing? What’s disappointing or problematic?
- Patch is a national chain of hyperlocal news sites owned by AOL. There have been many other high profile hyperlocal news projects launched, with many failures already. What’s being learned out there?
- Journalism (local, state, national, international) continues to be in a state of extreme flux. What do you like and not like about what you’re seeing?
If you come across interesting resources related to these issues, be sure to post them in a comment with a link and, if you’re up for it, an excerpt.
In yesterday’s StarTribune: Time may be right to move public notices to the Web. Governments want to save cost of running them in newspapers. Opponents say public will be harmed.
The law requires notices in newspapers of board proceedings, tax levies, forfeited properties, financial statements and project bids. Against the rising tide of Internet use, many see dumping newspaper notices as a cost saver whose time has come.
Rep. Steve Drazkowski, R-Mazeppa, has introduced a bill to let local governments skip the papers and publish such notices only on their websites. Drazkowski, who is leading a GOP charge against several state mandates, said using websites will help jurisdictions make up for cuts in state aid. "This is a way to allow local governments the freedom and flexibility to do the best job they can," he said. The bill has six sponsors, including Bloomington DFLer Ann Lenczewski. It has not been introduced in the Senate.
Bill Name: HF0162. "Political subdivisions authorized to publish proceedings, official notices, and summaries on their Web sites in lieu of newspaper publication."
Anyone know how much the City of Northfield, the Northfield School District, and Rice County pay the Northfield News to publish public notices every year?
The editors at the NEG have done the tallying and we now have the results of the Northfield Entertainment Guide and Locally Grown readers’ poll of the
Best of Northfield 2010
The official announcement was made today at 8:45 am when Mr. NEG, Rob Schanilec and I announced the winners on KYMN Radio 1080 with Jeff Johnson.
The Feb. 2011 issue of the Northfield Entertainment Guide includes the results and is now available throughout Northfield, and in Flash and PDF format on the NEG site. Here’s the intro to the Best of 2010 section:
Here it is, loyal Entertainment Guide readers, the long-awaited results to Northfield’s Best of 2010! Our dedicated team of vote counters was wowed by the number of responses we received, but not surprised by the varieties of winners you found for each category.
It confirms our belief that Northfield is a talent-filled town with delights to be found around each and every corner. Though some categories were close, a winner shone through in each and we present them here, with the steady runners-up in italics just behind. Looking at the field of choices, one thing became quite clear to us: the true winner in this poll is the town of Northfield. Congratulations to everyone involved, and here’s to another year!