Category Archives: Civic Orgs

Civic Orgs & Non-Profits

Reginaldo and his plan for a Latino enterprise center

IMG_6041_1000.jpgI met with Reginaldo Haslett-Marroquin at the Rueb yesterday afternoon (click photo to enlarge), getting up to speed on his plan to create a Latino enterprise/economic development center for the area — and trying to convince him to join the blogosphere, natch.

I first came across his name when he posted insightful comments (#21 and #27) to our weblog discussion thread on the Las Delicias closing.

reginaldo_bio_tn.jpgReginaldo works as the Community Services Site Specialist for Greenvale Park Elementary School. See his bio (pdf) for a pretty interesting background. Example: Anyone heard of Peace Coffee?

Also, see Anne Bretts’ blog post on earlier this week reporting on the meeting he organized last week to incorporate planning for immigration raids into the city’s emergency preparedness plan. (Another meeting planned for this Friday, 6 p.m. at St. Dominic’s Church.)

If you’re interested in contacting Reginaldo, contact me and I’ll forward your email to him.

Photo album: Jingle Bell Run 2006

The folks at Carlson Capital Management and Fifth Bridge hosted this morning’s 5th Annual Jingle Bell Run. This year’s beneficiary: the Northfield Area Family YMCA.


Left: 5th Bridge volunteer Blake Abdella making a pitch to a prospect
Left Center: Skip Zimmerman, Northfield YMCA executive director seeking wardrobe advice from Kevin O’Connell
Right Center: YMCA Board Member Emily Monaghan snuggling with two creatures
Right: Barry Carlson (far right) recovering with some of the many runners who finished ahead of him.

Click photos to enlarge and see 5 dozen more in 2006 Jingle Bell Run album.

And don’t forget last year’s album.

Holiday reefer madness

IMG_5480_800.jpg IMG_5468_800.jpg IMG_5018_800.jpg
Robbie and I stopped by the NAG last night during Winter Walk to check out the Festival of Trees from last Saturday’s event that we missed. I saw that my barber and Hodge Podge Que co-owner Jerry Nord was the creator of one of the trees (left photo, click to enlarge) that ended up being sponsored by Jim Enestvedt, Sue Webb, and my future Northfield Crossing neighbors, Charlie and Diane Kyte.

Later, we paid Jerry a visit at his store and I complimented him on his creation. I asked him what was his inspiration for it and he pulled out the poster. No wait, that’s not quite what happened. I forget. I have a good memory but it’s short. Why is that? It’s happened to me at least 420 times this year. Anyway, Jerry doesn’t sell the posters, but Bart deMalignon does via the Grezzo Gallery (which, if they don’t get their website in shape soon, I’m going to have to file a request for a DoS). I saw Bart earlier this afternoon checking out the damaged streetscape curbing and he said he does have a few posters remaining. Great stocking stuffers, I’d say.

Photos: Hunger and Homelessness Awareness in Riverside Park

A group of hearty souls slept out in plastic bag tents last night in Riverside Park, part of National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week.

Each year, one week before Thanksgiving, National Coalition for the Homeless and the National Student Campaign Against Hunger and Homelessness co-sponsor National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week. During this week, a number of schools, communities and cities take part in a nationwide effort to bring greater awareness to the problems of hunger and homelessness.

Left: Northfield Community Action Center Executive Director Jim Blaha and the make-shift tents made from rice bags.

Center: Union of Youth/Americorps gang: Zane, Marie, Gilly, Kellen, Jena

Right: Wells Fargo Northfield President Mark Mohlke and Ryan Moore


Left: a group of St. Olaf students. Apologies for the fuzzy photo. I must have been shivering.

Dog park opens; city government works!

IMG_3938w800.jpg IMG_4149w800.jpg IMG_4147w800.jpg
Last week, workers from Caron Fence in Faribault put up the outer, removable fence for the new dog park in Babcock Park next to the rodeo grounds on Hwy. 3. The weekend prior, volunteers from the group, Canines at Play, dug the holes and installed the poles for the permanent fence along the back of the park.

IMG_4144w800.jpg IMG_4145w800.jpg IMG_4146w800.jpg
I drove by the park earlier today and took these photos of Bruce Wiskus and his two kids giving their dog a workout. Click photos to enlarge.

This whole project is a good example of citizen/government collaboration and how stuff can get done quickly even here in discuss-it-to-death Northfield. The City’s Park and Recreation department has contributed the land. Canines at Play‘s financial contributors (yes, anyone can still donate/sponsor) are paying for the fencing and miscellaneous materials. Volunteers are doing the labor.

Kudos #1 to the Park & Rec Advisory Board of Grace Clark, Margaret Colangelo, Dennis Easley, Daniel Hudson, Spencer Jones, Julie Pritchard, Richard Vanasek.

Kudos #2 to Joel Walinski, Director of Operations for the City and City Councillor Jim Pokorney. Both serve on the Advisory Board.

Kudos #3 to the CAP steering committee members, Beth Bergmans, Irene Dennison, Rick and Maria Estenson, Blair Fowler, Amy Gage, Denise Johnson, Daniel Jones, Sara Koehler, Rich Lorang, Bart de Maglione, Nan Shumway, and Patricia Wegner.

Kudos #4 to the Northfield Rotary Club who stepped in at the last minute to assist in the necessary insurance needed during the construction phase.


Locally Grown: show for week of 9.24

We’re back with our first audio show of the season, recorded Monday afternoon at KRLX and produced by Mathias Bell (below left), #2 honcho at the student-run station.

mathias_bell.jpg IMG_3891w800.jpg
Our guest this week was Mary Schier, Friends of the Northfield Public Library board member (on the right in the right photo with Tracy and Ross – click to enlarge). Mary gave us an update on the big event of the week, the Spelling Bee for Booker this Thursday night at the Grand. Seventeen teams are scheduled to compete, including some heavy hitters from both colleges. (I plan to be there snapping photos and capturing some audio.)

We also took some time on the show to explain our new blogsite, our plan for the types of weblog posts you can expect from us over the course of a week (quick summary: lots of opinions, substantiated rumors, and serious fluff), and our desire to involve you, our listeners and site visitors, in both the show and the blog.

You’ll need the latest version of Adobe Flash Player to access this content.

Click play to listen (30 minutes). You can also download the MP3 File, subscribe to the podcast feed, or subscribe with iTunes. The show airs and streams on the web on Tuesdays at 4:30 PM on KRLX 88.1 FM.

We seek your comments and suggestions. Attach a comment to this blog post, use the Contact Us page to send us email, or submit an audio comment.

Freedom to Read

BannedBookWeek.jpg“Restriction of free thought and free speech is the most dangerous of all subversions. It is the one un-American act that could most easily defeat us.” – Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas

Justice Douglas was right, restriction of free thought and speech is the greatest of all threats to the United States of America. These freedoms were a big reason that the people rose up against the British Monarchy near the end of the eighteenth century.

It is important to remember that those rights were won with great sacrifice and that we can never take those rights for granted. Whenever they are threatened, we must be ready to defend them.
It is this need to defend those rights that led to the creation of Banned Books Week. This celebration of our Freedom to Read is observed during the last week of September each year. This year, 2006, marks the 25th anniversary of the event.

This week (September 23-30) is Banned Book Week. Ironically, or appropriately, the Friends of the Library’s Spelling Bee for Booker falls in Banned Book Week.

So, Thursday night, come on down(town) and join the fun for the Spelling Bee…and, while you’re there, raise a toast to our Freedom to Read.