Mike Leming, Santa Claus to kids in Northfield and Thailand

A couple weeks ago I noticed that St. Olaf sociology professor Mike Leming was featured in Felicia Crosby’s Just Curious column in the December 2012 Entertainment Guide  (I’ve extracted it here in a  PDF).

Mike Leming in Entertainment GuideBut make no mistake about it; children in various parts of the world know Northfield’s own Mike Leming as someone pretty special, and the gifts he and his wife Ann bring make a very real difference in a lot of lives.

So here’s a little bit about Mike – his connections with his students, with a people and culture half a world away, and his thoughts about uncovering the Santa in each of us (it begins with finding your heart).

Merry Christmas, Mike, from the believers at The Entertainment Guide.

And so I made a mental note to be sure to take photos of him doing his Santa Claus thing at the First National Bank of Northfield during Winter Walk last week. Mike was also on KYMN’s Wayne Eddy Affair last week.

Mike Leming, Santa ClausMike Leming, Santa ClausMike Leming, Santa ClausMike Leming, Santa Claus

Mike Leming, Santa ClausMike Leming, Santa ClausMike Leming, Santa ClausMike Leming, Santa Claus

Mike Leming, Santa ClausMike Leming, Santa Claus

First National Bank gets a classy ATM sign downtown. Now if only Dave would grab his ladder and remove the 4 year-old graffiti

First National Bank of Northfield's 24 hour ATM sign First National Bank of Northfield's 24 hour ATM sign First National Bank Northfield graffiti CEO Dave Shumway changes a lightbulb
I noticed this week that First National Bank of Northfield installed a 24 hour ATM sign at its downtown location.  Very cool. It’s evidently part of the ATM upgrade that Ray Cox wrote about in his Northfield Construction Company blog last week.

Now is the time for CEO Dave Shumway, who knows how to screw in a light bulb one-handed at the top of a step ladder in front of handicap-access entrance/exit door, to grab his ladder and remove the graffiti that’s been on the upper level of the building since March of 2008.

First National Bank of Northfield gets a banner. What the hell does it say?

Banner hanging from the First National Bank of Northfield Banner hanging from the First National Bank of Northfield Banner hanging from the First National Bank of Northfield 
I got a call from a LoGro regular this morning about a banner hanging from the top of First National Bank of Northfield. I took these photos at about 1:30 pm. The breeze was too light to unfurl it completely, so I have no idea what it says.

Anyone? Anyone?

Fourth Street reconstruction Phase 1B way behind schedule; NDDC’s unskilled workforce to blame?

Fourth Street reconstruction chartI saw this Fourth Street reconstruction chart in the downtown lobby of the First National Bank of Northfield this morning. (See the PDF of the top half of the chart on the City’s site titled Fourth Street Improvements 2010 – Project Phases.)

I asked EDA member and bank VP Rick Estenson what the delay was since the chart indicates (in yellow) that the Phase 1B was to be completed by July 2 and [sigh] there’s no explanation on the City’s 1999-style web page for the project.  "Rick, the weather’s gorgeous. Why aren’t they at least pouring sidewalks this week?”

Rick suggested that the delay might be due to the fact that the NDDC, which agreed to contribute labor to help reduce project costs in front of its office on 4th St., might be hampered by its unskilled workforce.

Ross Currier, laborer  Ross Currier, heavy equipment operator
Sure enough.

Update 7/16, 8 am:  Ross continues to do his part, however inadequate it might be. He poured the sidewalk outside the NDDC office yesterday.

Sidewalk outside the NDDC office

Downtown parking: what’s really needed?

Community Resource Bank parking lot Community Resource Bank parking lot NDDC Guide to Parking in Downtown Northfield
With the departure of Community Resource Bank from its downtown location, there’s now an empty parking lot in the heart of downtown—at least until the owner of the building, First National Bank of Northfield (across the street), leases the building.

Last week’s City Council work session discussion of the Streetscape Taskforce Recommendations (P. 15 of the packet) had this item on the list:

Purchase of property to address perceived needs of Downtown Parking issues and potentially assist with increased parking need by future Library project.

The NDDC provides a Guide to Parking in Downtown Northfield. Ross has blogged about parking issues for years (example, here). There have been several studies of downtown parking (eg. the Walker Study, the Stolley Report, others? links?).

Here are some low-hanging fruit questions of an uninformed blogger:

  • How often are the diagonal and parallel parking spots on Division completely full?
  • Do downtown business owners and their employees too often park in these spots or is that a myth?
  • How rigorously do the police enforce downtown parking ordinances?
  • What do we know that has worked and not worked in other downtowns of our size/type?

Regardless of the strange wording (“perceived needs of Downtown Parking issues” – do issues have needs?) and regardless of what happens with the Library expansion, downtown parking is an issue that should be fun to argue about.

In the meantime, the now-empty Community Resource Bank parking lot is a perfect spot for a temporary skateboard plaza!

Northfield Historical Society Annual Meeting and Membership Ball

Annual Meeting Poster[show_avatar email=scriven@northfieldhistory.org]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.

So if you are looking for a fun time on Saturday night, come and check out the NHS Annual Meeting and Membership Ball; sponsored by the First National Bank of Northfield and Carleton College, it is the best deal in town!

If you need a ride, Ecotrans is offering FREE rides if you live in Northfield to and from the event!  THANK YOU Ecotrans for your continued support!

If you would like more information on the Ball or NHS please email or call us at 507-645-9268

Feds intervene at First National Bank of Northfield

First National Bank of Northfield First National Bank of Northfield (FNB) is the second area bank this year to have federal regulators intervene. (Last month, it was Community Resource Bank – blog post here.)

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), the Federal agency that regulates nationally-chartered banks like FNB, has a statement posted to their website that says in part:

Continue reading Feds intervene at First National Bank of Northfield

First National Bank’s living museum

Relics at First National Bank NorthfieldThe counters behind the tellers at First National Bank of Northfield contain a number of, um, relics that apparently are still in use.

The electric typewriters are obvious but can you name the others?

What’s with First National Bank Northfield’s promo graphic window display?

First National Bank Northfield windowI’ve had a few people alert me that there’s something funny about the ATM promotional graphic on the First National Bank Northfield‘s downtown location window. It reads:

"Jesse James couldn’t get cash here, but You can."

First National Bank Northfield hat First National Bank Northfield hat First National Bank Northfield hat First National Bank Northfield hat
Is it something with the hats?

First National Bank Northfield bullet First National Bank Northfield bullet

First National Bank Northfield bullet First National Bank Northfield bullet
Is it something with the bullets?

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

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