The internet ate her newspaper

Linda Seebach with CVEC class Griff Wigley, Linda Seebach
Blogger Linda Seebach, former editorial writer for the now-closed Rocky Mountain News, invited me to meet with her Cannon Valley Elder Collegium (CVEC) class this week for her aptly-titled course, The Internet Ate My Newspaper!

Pressville stories miss the new journalism boat

Pressville-sshot For National Coming Out Day, two Carleton students taking Doug McGill’s fall journalism class recently published Northfield-related stories: Debbie Wong published “Coming Out Day” Raises Issues and Eyebrows in Northfield on the new Pressville blog and Maia Rodriguez published On National Coming Out Day, Northfield Reflects on Its "Gay-Friendliness" on I found it troubling that neither of them mentioned or linked to our 2007 blog post, How gay-friendly is Northfield? with the 30 comments attached. (continued)

Continue reading Pressville stories miss the new journalism boat

KYMN Radio’s 30-second survey

Tim Freeland has a post on the KYMN blog, asking listeners to take a 30-second survey:

kymn-logo survey-icon
For the love of radio…we need your help.  Please take a 30 second listener survey.  It will help us maintain great local programming for another 40 years…at least.

Bryan Moon, whimsical artist, MIA hunter

Bryan Moon, Wayne Eddy Cannon Falls-based whimsical artist Bryan Moon (see his James-Younger gang ‘cats’ painting) was a guest on KYMN’s Wayne Eddy Affair yesterday morning. In my photo, Bryan’s holding up a collection of dog tags, as he’s a co-founder of MIA Hunters, whose mission is to "… seek to locate and aid in the return of lost World War II American airhen bringing them back for burial here in the U.S."  The audio of Wayne’s interview with Bryan is not yet posted on the KYMN blog but should be shortly.

Here’s a YouTube video about MIA Hunters:

Charter Cable yanks two Basic channels. Can anything be done?

charterLogo I got this email from Nancy Soth this week about Charter Cable:

Charter, to non-digitalized, non-bundled customers has taken off two important channels, while retaining most "trash television". These channels are: (continued)

Continue reading Charter Cable yanks two Basic channels. Can anything be done?

Northfield News mishandles the Community Resource Bank move story

ScreenHunter_01 Sep. 05 08.17 Today’s Northfield News has a story titled, Community Resource Bank move on hold. In July, the paper ran a story titled, Bank moving south on Division, and included a photo with the caption “The building at 618 Division St., pictured here in 2008 with co-owner Randy Lutz, will soon be the new home to the downtown Community Resource Bank.” A July 31 editorial stated “An opportunity arose this week in the form of Community Resource Bank deciding to relocate to the Phoenix Building at 618 Division St.” (continued)

Continue reading Northfield News mishandles the Community Resource Bank move story

A Strib photo that makes things worse

15night0904I was stunned to see this Strib photo accompanying the story on pre-Vikings game partying, titled Party Purple. The text with the photo includes: "Cindy Bradley whetted patrons’, Jason Staads, whistles with free shots."

I think it’s irresponsible for the Strib to glamorize this type of rapid consumption of alcohol, as if drinking to get drunk is a normal, fun thing to do. Jeesh.

Regi featured on APR’s ‘The Story’

Reginaldo Haslett-MarroquinReginaldo Haslett-Marroquin (AKA ‘Regi’) was featured on The Story last week in a piece titled The Fight to Farm. (The Story is distributed by American Public Media (APR), the parent of MPR.)

He’s Executive Director of the Rural Enterprise Center (part of The Main Street Project) and he wrote about being on The Story on his blog, including this:

Although a lot of what came out in The Story was about some of my encounters with racism and discrimination, all of those events happened before I moved to Northfield…

Greg Carlson, Justin Stets, Rick Estenson, Reginaldo Haslett-Marroquin,

I took this photo of Regi last Saturday while he was having coffee at the GBM with Greg Carlson, Justin Stets, and Rick Estenson.

See all our blog entries tagged with "Reginaldo Haslett-Marroquin."

Tim Freeland’s Crazy Daze photo album

crazy daze kymn sshot I completely dropped the ball last week on taking photos during Crazy Daze. 

But fortunately, KYMN’s Tim Freeland picked it up and went all the way for the score.

See his Crazy Daze 2009 blog post which contains his album of 38 photos.

What Makes These Towns the Best?

Middleton_Wi_Money100_RobHowardEDA President Rick Estenson lent me his copy of the August Money magazine.  The cover story is titled the “100 Best Places to Live in America“.

Number one is Louisville, Co, number two is Chanhassan, MN, number three is Papillion, NE, number four is Middleton, WI, and number five is Milton, MA.  (Hmmm, I used to wrestle against Milton in high school; we called them the rich kids.)  There’s several Minnesota towns in the top 100.  In fact, the upper Midwest is very well represented in the list. Continue reading What Makes These Towns the Best?

Horse pulling competition: preparation requires a special touch


The Fbo Daily News has a story about horse-pulling at this week’s Rice County Fair. From the photo included with the story, there’s apparently more to preparation for this competition than I realized. [A tip-of-the-blogger hat to a perverted sharp-eyed reader for the alert.]

Zoning Board of Appeals decision on old Tires Plus property

Griff asked me to blog about this after reading the article in the Northfield News. At the risk of continuing to stir up a tempest in a teapot, I’m willing to take a stab at it, although I’m writing in rather a hurry, which will probably get me in trouble.

I have to start with the disclaimer that in writing this, I am not speaking for any other member of the ZBA.

Tuesday’s public hearing and discussion of this agenda item took something over an hour. Three people were present at the meeting: Applicant Jerry Anderson, City Councillor Jon Denison, and Jim Gleason.  City Planner Dan Olson prepared the staff report, Jerry Anderson made his appeal, Jon Denison spoke in favor of staff’s interpretation. Continue reading Zoning Board of Appeals decision on old Tires Plus property

They say the neon lights are bright on…

KYMN neon sign As I drove by KYMN’s studios on Division St. this morning, I noticed that they have a new neon sign in the window.  Station manager Jeff Johnson says some people still think their studios are out with their tower in Waterford Township so the sign is to help remedy that. Tim Freeland has a blog post on it.

Waiting for City Hall 2.0

I found this presentation yesterday while trying to help a friend get a grip on the new business landscape created by the emergence (or predominance) of the phenomenon known as “social media”. Below is is the best explanation of the topic that I’ve seen… with the caveat that anyone who’d respond positively to a slideshow with this title is probably of a generation that doesn’t need convincing. (Ignore the sophomoric “shock value” approach, and just dig into the presentation. )

I started thinking about what huge benefits there could be for residents, businesses, and City leadership if we could do a transplant of the collective brain at City Hall and provide them with a different way of thinking, e.g. dialog versus monologue, not trying to control the conversation (or flow of information), the awareness of how much people are doing online, i.e. “If you’re not on a social networking site, you’re not on the Internet” (slide #17).

I’m still mulling over the implications, but wanted to share the slideshow in the meantime. Use the buttons underneath the image to click through the slides at your own pace.

Built to Last – everything old is new again

Despite the confusion between “less” and “fewer”, the correct plural of “cul-de-sac”, and other grammatical anomalies, this award-winning 3-minute video is still a good way to present an idea.

We’re fortunate to live in a community that was established before the automobile age, so many of these qualities already exist in Northfield. With thoughtful choices, we can see to it that the benefits of this kind of development are extended to all Northfielders, not just those who live close to downtown.

Steve Swanson’s latest book: the story of Harold and Louise Nielsen

Steve Swanson, Paula GranquistPaula Granquist featured author and artist Steve Swanson on her KYMN Radio show, ArtZany! Radio for the Imagination, last Friday morning. Swanson, a retired St. Olaf professor of English and Lutheran pastor, has a new book out (co-authored with Steve Sheppard) titled One Couple’s Gift, published by Northfield-based Nine Ten Press. He’ll be signing books this Saturday at the Alumni Author Event at St. Olaf:

one-couples-gift-coverSteve Swanson’s latest book peeks into the lives of Harold and Louise Nielsen, two seemingly ordinary people and a company called Foldcraft.  Harold Nielson takes his financial success and sells the company to the employees. The funds were used to start the Winds of Peace Foundation which serves the underprivileged around the world, focusing on women and children.  This is a story of their extraordinary vision of a just and peaceable world. 

harold-nielsen steve-sheppard louise-nielson
I’ve had the good fortune to work with Harold Nielsen and Steve Sheppard, both when they were running Foldcraft and more recently with the Winds of Peace Foundation, where Steve has a blog and Louise keeps both of them in line. See the May 6 Kenyon Leader article for more: ‘One Couple’s Gift’ is giving.

More of the story behind the Natalie Smead tragedy

smead attorney letter sshot natalie perry smead A month ago I posted an update on the Natalie Smead story. Earlier this week, Natalie’s father, Pete Smead, let me know that the lawsuit had been settled earlier (see this Newsday article). And then he forwarded this letter (PDF) from the family’s attorney, Robert G. Sullivan to Mark Rosenker, Chair of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). The letter addresses the question: Why would Long Island Railroad (LIRR) spend millions of dollars on gap repairs if Natalie was at fault in her own death? (continued)

Continue reading More of the story behind the Natalie Smead tragedy

Twitter is a ball-point pen, and this is the death of what exactly?

Some of you may have seen Maureen Dowd’s op-ed about Twitter in Tuesday’s New York Times.

Geoff Manaugh makes an excellent case for the other side of the story, In Defense of Twitter.

There are several chuckles in Manaugh’s post, amidst the more substantive arguments:

[W]ill Dowd soon also be writing an editorial that excoriates lonely teenagers for writing down their thoughts on paper? After all, she bizarrely implies, “high-school girls” shouldn’t be allowed access to new forms of writing technology, so she must have been apoplectic when cheap pens and affordable notebooks first arrived in the office supply store: suddenly anyone, even blonde girls, could be writers.

Read the article for yourself and let me know what you think.

Jessica Paxton: swingin’ it on KYMN’s afternoon drive

Jessica Paxton Jessica Paxton is KYMN Radio’s new on-air host for the weekday drive-time (4-6pm) slot.

I paid her an impromptu visit yesterday, adding a traffic report while providing emotional support to help her recover from a multitude of on-air blunders a couple of innocuous glitches. Here’s a two-minute video clip.

The Natalie Smead story painfully continues

ntsb Last month, the StarTribune ran a follow-up story on the accidental death of Northfielder Natalie Smead two years ago: Teen’s family says NTSB report on N.Y. train death is incomplete. The Northfield News ran a story at the same time titled Alcohol contributed to teen’s death, says NTSB. The comment thread attached to the latter, as well as a letter to the editor last week, show that some people are upset that Northfield News article didn’t tell the whole story.  Others are defending the paper. Now comes word this week that Natalie’s mother, Susan Perry, died on Sunday. I don’t know what to make of any of this but the conversations I’ve heard this week make it evident that it might be helpful to provide a place for the community to discuss it online – with respect and civility, please.

Podcast: Northfield News publisher Stan Getts

Stan GettsOur radio show/podcast guest, on this bright and warm first day of April, was Stan Getts, the publisher of the Northfield News. We took off the gloves and challenged him on several of the paper’s policies but he handled himself remarkably well. He’s clearly a passionate guy. 

Click play to listen. 30 minutes. You can also download the MP3 or subscribe to the podcast feed, or subscribe directly with iTunes.

Continue reading Podcast: Northfield News publisher Stan Getts

Prairie Creek kids’ Northfield First demonstration in Strib

The StarTribune website posted a “Northfield First” story this evening.

One of the biggest lessons the children have learned, Martin said, is that they are valuable members of the community.

Congratulations to the Prairie Creek students for this successful demonstration and helping to raise awareness about the benefits of supporting their community by shopping local.

Twitter users: Please join me for TWEET LOCAL TUESDAY

twitter-birdI’m running my own social experiment on Twitter, trying to get people to tweet about items of local importance on Tuesdays, using the hashtag (label) #TLT for Tweet Local Tuesday and a hashtag for their community. Please join @griffinjay, @rosscurrier, and me, @tld, on Twitter to spread the word. Our hashtag for Northfield is #NfldMN.

Strib joins Locally Grown to lower editorial decency standards

Strib commentary page I detect a trend. A couple weeks ago, I blogged how Target had lowered its community decency standards to match LoGroNo. Then yesterday, the StarTribune’s editorial page ran a delightfully sophomoric commentary by John Olson titled Amid the bad news, something uplifting which was laden with erection-related puns and euphemisms such as this:

Is it possible? Did the E.D. industry cause the market to droop to 1997 levels just to make us nostalgic for the gusto we had back then? We’ll never know. We do know, or at least we’ve heard, that at least one stimulus package is working quite well.

Judge Borene rules in favor of St. Olaf and MPR vs. SaveWCAL

wcallogotn On the 8 am newscast on MPR’s KNOW 91.1 FM yesterday, I heard that Rice County District Court Judge Bernard Borene ruled in favor of St. Olaf and MPR on the SaveWCAL petition to "redress a breach of charitable trust" on the sale of WCAL to MPR. There’s nothing posted to the MPR nor St. Olaf websites about the decision but SaveWCAL board president Ruth Sylte blogged the organization’s response to it yesterday around 10:30 am. I last blogged about this battle in June 2008: SaveWCAL wins another round; Judge Wolf scolds MN Attorney General’s office. Local media coverage: Northfield News story; KYMN story.

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