Last week I was working in The HideAway, one of my other Division St offices, when I spotted these women in a corner, appearing to be working/collaborating/scheming. Northfield Rotary Club members Missi Arens and Nancy Amerman were meeting with Amy Merritt, Director of the Northfield Union of Youth (The Key). Amy is famously camera-shy but with a little bit of arm twisting from Nancy, she caved.
I asked Nancy to send me a blurb about what they were meeting about:
We were meeting to discuss our organizations’ collaborative efforts to fundraise for The Key’s capital campaign. The Rotary Club of Northfield and The Key joined forces in 2010 and have worked together on the Rotary fun runs, car raffle, canoe sale, and The Key’s Valentine’s Day Rose Sale among other projects.
It’s not often I get treated to a meal with my LoGro hat on, but it happened yesterday. My beneficiaries: regular commenter and resident punster John George; and Nancy Amerman, an occasional object of my blog spoofs. We ate at the HideAway Coffeehouse & Winebar.
John and Nancy are members of Transformation Northfield and Nancy is a member of Rejoice! Church. Both organizations have been the subject of, um, my critical attention here on LoGro (TN tags here, Rejoice! tags here).
Was I worried?
Initially, no, but when I noticed a plainclothes Northfield police officer (once again in really plain clothes) pretending to be reading a newspaper at an adjacent table, it gave me pause. Was he expecting things to get out of hand? And how did he know we’d be there? Was he following me on Foursquare? Tracking my tweets? Does he know where I live?
As it turned out, we didn’t even talk religion so violence wasn’t an issue. We kept to non-controversial topics, like politics. We had fun, as you can see. So no worries. Move along now. Nothing to see here.
When I was up at St. Olaf’s Buntrock Commons a couple weeks ago for the Eat Local Challenge, I noticed a big NDDC poster outside of The Lion’s Pause with the headline: Locate your business in downtown Northfield.
NDDC Executive Director Ross Currier published an Oct. 3 blog post that explains. An excerpt:
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.
The City of Northfield has formed a Parking Quality Control Commission (PQCC) to address the problem of irresponsible use of parallel parking spots in downtown Northfield. Councillor Jim Pokorney introduced the measure at last week’s Council meeting. Pokorney nominated Ken Bank, Jim Gleason, and Joel Pumper to be the initial members of the commission, with four others to be appointed a later date. The measure passed unanimously.
“It’s gotten to the point where some drivers — and I don’t have to tell you what gender I’m talking about — are treating parallel parking spots as diagonal parking. It’s starting to have a negative economic impact on downtown businesses. We have an Environmental Quality Commission (EQC). It’s time we did the same for parking quality.”
On Saturday morning, the new PQCC (left photo, click to enlarge) went into action in front of the Goodbye Blue Monday when an unidentified woman from the group of runners parked her van and joined her friends inside. She was issued a warning citation which was forwarded to the Northfield Police Department. The department now has the option of using a GPS device to track the vehicle so that one of its officers can issue a parking citation ($25) should the violation be observed again.
“They should be called the Parking Control Vigilante Group,” said
Nancy Amerman Anne Meyer Ruppel Nancy Amerman (3rd from right in right photo above). “It wasn’t my car — I parked in the back to avoid their intimidation tactics — but somehow this isn’t right. Women are being targeted unfairly here. How would they like it if there was an ordinance regulating the display of protruding middle-aged male bellies — a clear blight on our sidewalks?”