His idea was to have his students take a close look at the relevant research that’s been cited to support or oppose my contention that the promotion of helmet wearing for around-town bicycling is bad for public health.
I spoke to his class on October 5 and yesterday asked him for an update. He wrote:
The class is divided into four groups investigating the questions listed below. They will have reports addressing these ready at the end of the term. That’s where things stand at the moment.
By the way, if you have any suggestions for the question list (which the students are also modifying as they get into their research), please feel free to share those.
I suggested to Neil that I post the four groups of questions here on LoGro and invite suggestions and discussion from interested citizens.
1. Bicycle accident overview
What is the overall risk of injury in cycling?
Who is injured? Where or under what conditions are injuries more or less likely to occur?
How does this risk and injuries sustained in accidents vary as a function of helmet wearing?
Is correct helmet use related to injury outcome?
Do helmets make injuries worse (considering rotational head injuries vs. concussions and abrasions)?
What are these accident numbers like in cross-national comparisons?
2. Helmet use promotion
What laws and programs exist to promote helmet use?
How much helmet use is there? Do people wear helmets correctly?
Do government policies have an effect on helmet use?
What evidence suggests the suggestion or imperative to wear a helmet inhibits cycling?
What are common attitudes toward helmet wearing?
3. Helmet wearing and rider and driver safety
Is the density of ridership related to cyclist safety?
Do cyclists wearing helmets behave in a riskier fashion? Is this due to helmet use?
Are drivers less cautious when encountering cyclists with helmets? If so, why?
4. Health and inactivity
What are the health consequences of inactivity?
What are the health benefits of cycling?
Does cycling make a difference to physical health and the health of the environment?
If people weren’t cycling, what would they do? What alternative forms of exercise and transportation are there?
I got this email from Carleton College freshman Raven Pillmann two weeks or so ago:
I am a Carleton student as well as a MN United volunteer. I have a potential story about an upcoming Vote No rally at Carleton this month. We have a possible photo opportunity and definitely have several students who feel strongly affected by the proposed amendment who would be willing to talk about it. Please let me know if I can call you anytime with more information!
Raven got up early and met me at my corner office at GBM last Thursday. And he emailed me yesterday to send me a photo of he and his fellow classmates preparing for the rally and that they have a Carls Vote NO! Facebook event page which says in part:
Come to the Great Hall on Wednesday, October 17th from 7:30-8:30 p.m. to hear speakers from the Carleton and Northfield communities, eat delicious Firebellies food, listen to Ova Yonder and The Accidentals, and get inspired to become involved in the Vote NO! movement.
The Northfield Community Band is a group that presents a concert series for the community in June. The series consists of four Thursday evening concerts performed on Bridge Square. The band is open to any high school or adult instrumentalist eager to share their talents with the band and the community…
"We felt it was important to save a piece of Northfield history and to have it stick out right outside our door," said Hayes ‘Gabby’ Scriver, Northfield Historical Society board member.
"There was stiff opposition to the project for a while," wrote Ava Gina, Chair of the Northfield Arts and Culture Commission in an email to Locally Grown. "We went to great lengths to make our case. It was hard. In the end, we believed strongly that inserting this design into the most pubic [sic] space of Northfield was in the best interest of all."
… is an annual drunken softball game played during Spring Term. It has as many innings as the number of years since Carleton was founded. In recent years, T-shirts for people who arrive at Rotblatt early has become a major CSA budget item, exempted by tradition from rules that prohibit spending on personal property.
Mr. Ed Kuhlman stopped by my morning office at GBM on Friday to show me a newspaper called the National Public Opinion that he found in a recent batch of collectibles he’d purchased. This edition was Volume 1, No. 4, published on July 16, 1927. In true yellow journalism fashion, the headlines scream:
FARIBAULT, MINNESOTA, IS 48 PER CENT TAX-EXEMPT!
NORTHFIELD, MINNESOTA, HALF TAXED—HALF FREE
Faribault, Minnesota, is tied for first place with Northfield, in matter of tax exemptions
The Limit to Tax Exemptions in Northfield, Minnesota is the Sky With the Roof Knocked off
We believe this is a win for Carleton and a win for Northfield’s downtown. The College will effectively acquire new space in central campus, much cheaper than we could construct it. The office and professional uses of this important downtown building will be reinforced and increased. We intend to honor all existing leases and to leave the building on the tax roll at this time.
If Carleton does take the building off the tax roll, I predict the publisher of the National Public Opinion will turn over in his grave and come back to life as an angry blogger.
LWV and Carleton are co-hosting this film screening on Monday the 7th, and I thought you might be interested — perhaps even interested in posting about it on Locally Grown? Here’s the trailer. (There’s a shorter one you can watch here, too, if you have 3 minutes but not 8.)
It’s a really important topic, and a very cool film. And an amazing set of panelists for the discussion afterwards, to boot! Let me know if you have questions.
Jessica stopped by my office at GBM this morning with her daughter Astrid for the requisite photo op.
One of the new initiatives that this group developed was alumni entrepreneur recruitment. In addition to promoting downtown Northfield as a marketplace, we wanted to promote it as a business location, particularly to the graduates of Carleton and St. Olaf Colleges. We introduced the concept for the first time at this year’s Homecoming Weekends.
I knew this poster was in the works because back in early August, Ross had asked me to contribute photos for it and they needed one additional: a photo of creative class types working in a coffeehouse.
All month long, I kept watching for a good photo op from my early morning corner office at GBM but it never quite came together.
So on Aug. 29, noticing that I had the raw material for a photo, I asked the laptop users to switch tables. I then asked Nancy Amerman who was sitting with a group of runners to sit at my laptop for the photo. Perfecto.
It should be noted that Nancy felt no shame over helping to perpetuate this fraud, whereas at least I felt conflicted. And yet she calls herself a Christian. Go figure.
This exhibition highlights civic engagement between Carleton, the Northfield community, and beyond. Situated in Northfield’s former middle school, this exhibition demonstrates Carleton’s desire to preserve and commemorate elements of the community’s past while also offering it a vast arena for future collaboration and connection.
A college club hockey game at Northfield’s ice arena was the scene of an ugly incident a month ago involving Carleton and St. Olaf students, both players and spectators. I just found out about it this week when a LoGro reader alerted me.
Having behaved badly at times during my college days at St. Thomas, I’m not quick to make a big deal over college kids doing stupid or offensive stuff. But this was over the top.
As far as I know, there have been no public statements about this incident from the administrations of either St. Olaf or Carleton.
Spectators howled and jeered as game play took a violent turn in the St. Olaf versus Carleton club hockey game on Friday, March 4 at the Northfield Ice Arena. The stands were packed with students, predominantly Oles, many of whom began the evening shouting profanities and other negative cheers, including the standard “Carleton sucks!”
The St. Olaf players were just as rambunctious as the fans. “St. Olaf had about as many penalty minutes as they had game minutes,” spectator Thomas Hegland ’13 said. When the crowd threw soda cans and bottles onto the ice, St. Olaf was penalized, and additional bottles and cans along with zamboni tires were thrown onto the ice in retaliation.
After several minutes the fight finally ended, leaving gear strewn across the ice. There were drops of blood from a referee, who had been “seriously injured,” as the St. Olaf student announcer stated over the loud speaker. The referee attempted to pull players apart. As he skated to the bench the fight left a deep sense of shame and disappointment in me.
Not only did I feel shame because of the fight, but also because of the cheers of “F— you, Carleton,” “F— you, Olaf,” “ugly b—-es,” etc., and because of the constant throwing of trash onto the ice. I was even more surprised that one of the St. Olaf students on the bench threw tires onto the ice and then walked out of the arena.
There were several other incidents that weren’t in the articles. I have no idea what happened in the St. Olaf locker rooms, but I do know that one of the Carleton players asked the police to watch the Carleton locker room, because St. Olaf fans were lined up outside the locker room when they went back in between periods. My friend’s stick and gloves were stolen when he was in the bathroom. I don’t know what happened in the Ole locker rooms, but I’m sure it wasn’t exactly peaceful either.
Lastly – the fight was ugly and intense. In addition to the players, several spectators actually jumped over the glass onto the ice so that they could join the fight – it was ridiculous. I have no idea who hit the ref, but both schools were equally at fault and it was really startling. I wasn’t aware that the game was called a draw, but it doesn’t surprise me.
In short, it was an ugly game. There were a lot of drunk fans from both schools, and the tensions elevated really quickly. I don’t expect another Carleton-St. Olaf game for a while.
The question may remain unsolvable. For the more immediate future, one of the written-up students suggested that the school warn students if there is knowledge of likely increased police activity. “I think the school really made a faux pas in this circumstance,” said the student. “A heads-up could have gone a long way… the school knows that students go to the hockey games inebriated.”
Produced by Sung Hyo Kim, a Carleton senior, this video can be seen by anyone visiting our website to find out more about our facility and our programs. It will be playing in our lobby for visitors to the shelter to watch, we can use it at events and for other promotional purposes as well.
We are so excited to be one of the recipients of a video from this wonderful program for non-profits in our community. PEHS could never afford to hire a professional to produce a video of this quality.
Hyo spent many hours at the shelter, attending events, interviewing staff, filming volunteers and visiting with adopters. From these many hours of filming he was able to edit it down to a high quality video that tells the viewer about PEHS, our mission, programs and services in just over four minutes. He also filmed actual spay and neuter surgeries performed by our shelter veterinarian, Dr. Charlie Gumbusky and then produced two more videos for us, in which you are able to watch a narrated dog and cat spay and a dog neuter. All of these videos can be found on our PEHS website under the Video Library tab. You can also find them on YouTube.
Hyo was such a pleasure to work with on this project. He was genuinely interested in our organization and was very professional, polite and accommodating in regards to filming during the times that would fit our staff schedules as well as the shelter schedule and working to really get to know about his video subject. I cannot say enough about how much we enjoyed working with this Carleton student. He is very talented and we hope to keep in touch with him in the future, as our staff grew to respect and enjoy his presence at the shelter. Hyo is from South Korea and he will be returning there once he graduates from Carleton College. He is a very ambitious young man and we know he will do well in whatever he decides to pursue after his graduation.
This class is a great gift to the non-profit organizations in the area who are picked by these students to produce a video each year. I believe there were 5 or 6 groups who benefited from this class in our community. Thank you to Paul Hager and Carleton College for teaching not only the professional production of these videos to these students and allowing our non-profits to benefit from it, but for also instilling in them the responsibility of giving back to a community and giving these students the opportunity to experience the benefits of the non-profits in this area.
I walked around the construction site of the old Northfield Middle School early this morning (hence the bluish color of the photos), soon to become Carleton College’s Weitz Center for Creativity:
… a facility geared toward creative collaboration that will support multiple student and classroom projects and allow faculty members to teach with words, images, sounds, and narrative in a variety of media.
In addition to housing the departments of Cinema and Media Studies (CAMS), and Theater, and Dance, the space will include a teaching museum, a dramatic theater, a cinema theater, dance studios, classrooms and a coffee shop. The building will also be home to the Presentation, Events and Production Support (PEPS) office and the Idea Lab, a shared, interdisciplinary laboratory for exploring and learning to use technology. The first phase of construction is scheduled to be complete in Fall 2011.
I’ve been doing a little barefoot running on the luscious green grass at Laird Stadium at Carleton College lately. On Monday, I saw a sign on the gate alerting people that Roundup (Wikipedia entry) had been applied and to “stay off grass until dry.”
Is this a cause for concern? Are there other cost-effective ways to treat a huge area of grass like this? unwanted grass in cracks?
Update 7/16 9 am: Thanks to the informed comments below, I’ve removed the words “for a healthy lawn” from the blog post title and replaced it with “for unwanted grass.”
I’ve also struck the phrase “a huge area of grass like this” from the second paragraph and replaced it with “unwanted grass in cracks.”
He was in Northfield yesterday afternoon and captured this video of a rainbow over Carleton College. How amazing is that? All I can say is, the Lord works in wondrous ways. Click play to watch. 57 seconds. PG-13 for language.
Demolition of the newer portion of the old Northfield Middle School began this week. I took these photos this morning at the corner of 4th and College. By the fall of 2011, it’ll become The Arts Union for Carleton College. The web site says it’ll be a
facility geared toward creative collaboration that will support multiple student and classroom projects and allow faculty members to teach with words, images, sounds, and narrative in a variety of media.
In addition to housing the departments of Cinema and Media Studies (CAMS), and Theater, and Dance, the space will include a teaching museum, a dramatic theater, a cinema theater, dance studios, classrooms and a coffee shop.
This Saturday, March 20, from 9a to noon, Carleton College is sponsoring a home electronics equipment recycling day. Items accepted include TVs, printers, fax machines, computer monitors, microwaves, stereo equipment, VCR’s, DVD players, electronic games, laptop computers, calculators, portable audio players, cordless phones, cell phones, keyboards, etc.
Depending upon the nature of the item, a variable small fee will be charged to defray the costs of recycling. (This opportunity is offered to individuals/households only, not businesses.)
For more information about what’s involved in manufacturing these items, why you should recycle them, and some heinous human rights abuses in this industry, see the Materials Processing Corporation blog:
E-waste sent overseas for processing to places like Guiyu has very detrimental effects on the health of the e-waste workers, and even the residents of the towns where this processing takes place: “According to reports from nearby Shantou University, Guiyu has the highest level of cancer-causing dioxins in the world and an elevated rate of miscarriages.”
Therefore, it is of the utmost importance to recycle electronics with firms that have promised to process everything they take in here in the United States. A list of these recyclers, which includes Materials Processing Corporation, can be found here.
[show_avatar email@example.com]On Saturday March 20, the Northfield Historical Society (NHS) will be having its Annual Meeting and Membership Ball at Great Hall on the Carleton College Campus. The party starts at 7:00 p.m. There will be a short meeting at about 8:00 and right after that, Christina Schweitz and Sweet Jazz will play the night away!
The best part about the night is that it is FREE if you are a NHS member! You can come and listen to the wonderful music and eat all you want for FREE! If you are not a member, not a big deal you can sign up that night or online!
Now you might be asking yourself, “Why should I join the Northfield Historical Society.” Well for one, you will be directly supporting the organization in town that is responsible for collecting, preserving, interpreting and honoring Northfield’s past. In addition, to that warm and fuzzy feeling you get for preserving Northfield’s past, you also get; the NHS newsletter, The Scriver Scribbler delivered to your home/business 4 times a year, FREE admission to other NHS programs throughout the year, FREE admission to the NHS museum year round, access to the NHS archives/collections at a discounted price and soon to come a new e-newsletter!
NHS memberships go directly into our operation budget to help put on programs such as, the Jr. Curator, Summer Assistant, Jr. Posse and SCOPE programs. These are all programs that engage Northfield High School and Middle School students in local history research and docent training. The membership also goes into fund programs like our rotating exhibits, the Outlaw Run, NHS publications, and speaker programs. Those are just a few of the programs.
Helen Albers: A big Tree Hug to all of our town tree-lovers! With thanks to all who have responded to express their appreciation of trees! Happy Holidays! Helen Albers
Beth Kallestad: Thank you Helen for your tree planting and reminding us of the need to protect those trees!
John S. Thomas: It truly is a beautiful tree. I am still “sick” of the way the trees on Fourth Street look. It will be MANY years before they mature… and I hope they do!
Marsha Kitchel: What a lovely photo of Helen Albers, beautiful in red, hugging her red maple. Hold on for dear life if “new and improved” means touching this gorgeous tree or any of the trees on Bridge Square. Northfielders would be...
Griff Wigley: Northfield City Engineer Joe Stapf sent me these photos today of the repairs to Armstrong Road and the adjacent Mill Towns Trail. Joe wrote: The trail paving is complete (still being rolled so not yet open), and the roadway is...
Doug Peterson: Hi Griff, After reading Jan Hill’s reply, I realize my mis-understanding on “riding the rails”. You got me. Can I blame that on getting old?
Jan Hill: I knew this was a send-up, Griff, having investigated possible routes ourselves (and knowing you!) But I thought for sure the cyclist on the rail was a fake–until I watched the video. Now that’s scary.
Griff Wigley: Nick, I’ve heard from another Northfielder on this who wrote via email: The part where you suggest that riders go on to the active rail line does not make good common sense to me. I have worked on the railroad as a head...
Nick Benson: Your non-pussy readers should note that trespassing on railroad tracks, as shown there, is both dangerous and illegal; trains can be surprisingly quiet when approaching on smooth welded rail like that, which doesn’t...
Ross Currier: I just walked through Bridge Square and ALL THREE of the tables were occupied. It didn’t look like they were playing chess, though, more like eating lunch… …and what a day for it, in beautiful downtown Northfield,...
Griff Wigley: The three picnic tables were installed last week. Each has an inlaid backgammon and chess/checkerboard. I’ve added photos to the blog post above.
Griff Wigley: Joe, thanks for that explanation. And if your eighth grade English teacher, Mrs. Gentilini, is still around, I think she might approve of your communications style.
kiffi summa: Joe or Mr. Stapf… Thanks for the explanation; I think its/they’re great, and long overdue… I just didn’t want anything to put off the Bridge Square redesign implementation … and often it’s...
Joe Stapf: Ah-h-h-h, yes, The Gaming Tables… Question #1) Who authorized them!!!??? I did. The picnic tables (if you recall, a trial) were deemed by me to have been a success. We received absolutely 100%, pure, unadulterated positive feedback...
Griff Wigley: Two new parking-related blog posts: A bicycle field trip with Dale Gehring to get smarter about ‘making the connections’ http://northfielddowntownparki ng.org/2013/08/30/a-bicycle-fi eld-trip-with-dale-gehring-...
Griff Wigley: New blog post: Proposed layout of directional and way-finding signs for public parking
Griff Wigley: New blog post: Washington St. lot restriped to optimize parking spaces
Griff Wigley: Blog post update: recommended downtown parking management action steps for Aug. 13 Council work session
Griff Wigley: Blog post update: July 31 parking management planning meeting at City Hall
Griff Wigley: There is a Prayer Walk for the Northfield School District today, 4-8 pm: By Maria KayLynn Olson and Kiersten-Kiwi Williams Bielenberg Schedule: 4:00-4:25 Prairie Creek 4:30-4:55 Arcadia 5:00-5:25 Greenvale 5:30-5:55 Sibley 6:00-6:25...
Griff Wigley: Hi Marie, thanks for asking. I’ll contact you via email.
Marie Wright: I’d like to use this photo on my website. My theme is vintage Main Street USA. I feel that I need your permission to copy this photo and use it. (Julia Rose Grey is my pen name for my genre of novels.)
Griff Wigley: Dave, I like the two-prong attack, too. Can you let us know when the short-term task force is due to meet? I’d like to attend, and I’m sure some of the neighbors would as well. And make sure that pizza with mushroom...
Griff Wigley: Nfld News article on Tuesday’s Council action on this issue: Subcommittee to explore fixes for tax-forfeited land acquired by Northfield During heavy rain, water has overtaken the yards and basements of Karen Moldenhauer and...
David DeLong: Griff, I’m told there’s over 50,000 cubic yards of dirt in the pile which translates to over 2,500 dump truck loads. I think there’s enough to go around. The problem is moving all that over residential streets, if we sell it or...
Griff Wigley: At last night’s meeting, the City Council opted to A) form a 4-week task force of 3 council members plus engineering staff and citizens to deal with the runoff problem in the neighborhood; and B) ask the Parks & Rec...
kiffi summa: good to know, Griff… I trust that you’re correct about the amount of dirt needed for the create of a bike park. Maybe if there’s so much more than needed, a berm could be created between the park and the houses, if...
Nancy Averill: Ah KDWB. THE best radio station ever. We had the KDW-Beatles. We had the KDW-Beach Boys. We were color radio. We had leaky billboards. I maintain that Professor James Francis Patrick O’Neill is the very basis of my humor. We...
Griff Wigley: Paul/George, they reopened the old culvert and put in a new larger secondary one. I’ll try to get photos.
Griff Wigley: Thanks everyone for your kind comments about the photos. I’ve added a few of downtown to the blog post above. See Rob Hardy’s comprehensive listing of links related to the flooding on Northfield.org.