Category Archives: Media

Memorial Day ceremony schedule: why is there no detailed info about it online?

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:

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.)

Twin Cities Public Television to air ‘Harvest’ documentary this weekend

tpt-schedulePaul Krause, Paul Krause CreativePaul 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:

Ray Jacobson with Harvest sculpture Ray Jacobson at Harvest sculpture dedication Harvest sculpture at night

Northfield News’ use of Linden St photo for Plum St article implies that the trees have already been cut down. Not.

Print version of the story: Talk comes too late for trees Online version of the story: Talk comes too late for trees5-21-plum-street-trees

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.

Goliath vs. David: Northfield News bullies AOL’s Northfield Patch

David vs. GoliathI 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.

Renee Huckle MittelstaedtI 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.

Northfield Patch, hyperlocal news, and the future of journalism

Jane McWilliamsI 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,, and yes, even Locally Grown are among the guests she’s having attend various class sessions.

  1. 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?
  2. PatchPatch 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?
  3. 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.

Something Democrats and Republicans can agree on: Move public notices to the web

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.

Public NoticeBill 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?

Winners: Best of Northfield 2010

Winners Best of Northfield 2010 - all

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
(6-page PDF)

Rob Schanilec, Publisher, Northfield Entertainment GuideThe 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!

The Northfield News ad for the book, ‘The Raising Cannon.’ Oops.


This animated ad is currently appearing in rotation throughout the Northfield News website. The book is titled The Rising Cannon, but half of the ad trumpets The Raising Cannon.

Rising Cannon story Spelling Bee story
Ironically, the misspelled ad appears in rotation adjacent to a stories about A) the book itself; and B) the Middle School Spelling Bee.

Jan-Feb issue of Redoux Home hits the newstands

The Jan-Feb 2011 issue of Redoux Home is out.  The bi-monthly publication, which debuted last summer, is published by Nichole Day Diggins, Flying Pan Productions. Elizabeth Child is the editor.

redoux home jan-feb 2011redoux home is an innovative home and garden lifestyle magazine that speaks to where you live.

Our goal is to bring fresh perspectives, inspiration and sustainable ideas to readers in the Northfield, Faribault, Dundas, Cannon Falls and Red Wing areas.

Hoar frost photos in Redoux Home

The new issue includes some hoar frost photos by Patsy Dew and yours truly.