My sweetie, Robbie Wigley, was in the limelight a bit this weekend.
Left: She got an award at the Melaleuca convention in Salt Lake City. Among the hundreds of Senior Directors, she was third in customer retention for the year, this is like getting seal of e-excellence on her field, like the online companies receive.
There is something blissfully naughty about getting intimate in public. In high school, we necked in the back seat of our cars on a deserted road because there was no where else to go, I remember back then I had a Mercedes Benz car lease and I used to love my car more than anything. Then, we grew up, got married and forgot about the thrill of fooling around under the threat of getting caught. Plenty of studies suggest a little hanky panky in public is a great way to heat up your sex life. But let’s be real, we’re southern Minnesotans. We don’t do that kind of thing.
Or do we? When the mood hits and you’re looking for a change of scenery, where do you take your partner? A local park with secluded trails? A dead end road with a great view of the sunset? A boat in the middle of a quiet lake? Let us know, SoMinn, where do you go to fool around in the great outdoors? We’ll use as many of the locations as we can in our upcoming edition of our A&E publication, SCENE.
I added a comment in response to Faribault Daily News editor and article author Jaci Smith:
The April issue of SouthernMinn SCENE is now out in print and online and Jaci Smith’s article, Getting it on in the great outdoors, is on page 42. She included this reference to VitaMN and LoGro:
Closer to home, about six years ago, the Star Tribune’s Vita.mn took an informal poll and discovered that there was plenty of outdoor sex going on in the Twin Cities, particularly in some of the more isolated areas of the University of Minnesota-St. Paul campus.
So, Northfield blogger Griff Wigley did his own informal poll on Locally Grown Northfield, and found out that outdoor sex is alive and well in the city Jesse lames made famous. And Wigley makes a great point, too. Sex al fresco has been going on since the Garden of Eden.
There is a Minnesota state statute (Chapter 331A) requiring local units of government (cities, counties, townships, school boards) to publish public notices in newspapers, everything from minutes and agendas to tax levies, financial reports, project bids, forfeited properties, etc.
I started thinking about this issue again when I saw this article in GovDelivery about the very same issue in the UK: Public notices: the case for radical reform. So I requested information from the City of Northfield and the Northfield School District to see how much this was costing us taxpayers.
1. City of Northfield
The City of Northfield has a contract with Huckle Media LLC, the publishers of the Northfield News, to spend a minimum of $15,000 this year to publish public notices and other city-related ads. (See page 2 of the Jan. 3, 2012 minutes.) The 2012 rate for legal ads is $13.35 per column inch.
Thus far in 2012, over $21,000 has been spent. Last year it was over $18,000.
The above articles contain many of the arguments, pro and con.
One big issue is about government transparency, that requiring notices to be printed in a newspaper helps ensure this. I disagree. Only a very small % of citizens are without internet access these days. (Over 85% of Northfielders had high speed internet access as of 2 years ago.) If local governments are required to post all public notices in public buildings (eg, post offices, libraries, etc) then that’s sufficient. And the tens of thousands of tax dollars saved can then be put to better use.
If, in the normal course of its business, a qualified newspaper maintains a Web site, then as a condition of accepting and publishing public notices, the newspaper must agree to post all the notices on its Web site at no additional cost. The notice must remain on the Web site during the notice’s full publication period. Failure to post or maintain a public notice on the newspaper’s Web site does not affect the validity of the public notice.
I’d like to see our new DFL legislators, Kevin Dahle and David Bly, team up with some of their Republican colleagues and get this antiquated law changed. In 2011, then DFL House Minority Leader Paul Thissen and DFL Senate Minority Leader Tom Bakk were against changing the law.
When KYMN Radio and Northfield Patch began sounding the alarm at around 6 am that one of the suspects had fired at police officers and fled, members of the Northfield Police Department assumed that citizens would respond in droves to help capture one of the suspects who was still at large and believed to be in the Sechler Park area.
By time the Northfield News began covering the story several hours later, gloom was apparent on the faces of the police officers on duty. “We had extra department staff ready to handle the flood of citizen volunteers by deputizing them and issuing them firearms,” said Taylor Marcus, Northfield’s Public Safety Director. “No one showed up. No one emailed. No one tweeted. We had no choice to but to call other law enforcement agencies for help. It was embarrassing.”
When the suspect was finally apprehended mid-morning, the Defeat of Jesse James Days and Northfield Area Chamber of Commerce boards of directors were already in an emergency joint session. “It’s a Category 4 public relations nightmare,” said Chamber Executive Director Marie Schmaltzy. “If word of this colossal failure of our citizens to respond gets out, we’re likely to see a devastating impact on attendance at DJJD next year.”
“I’m not surprised at all,” said Dewayne Reddy, DJJD board member. “Northfielders have essentially become a bunch of yellow-bellied, lily-livered, milk-toasted, panty-waisted wimp chickens. We’ve been riding on the courage of the town’s ancestors from the 1876 bank raid for over 100 years and we’re now morally bankrupt, no pun intended. It’s a sad day. I feel like turning in my spur.”
Noting that the weapon used in today’s robbery had not yet been found, KYMN radio’s Jim Friedman, organizer of the annual DJJD Horseshoe Hunt, said he would attempt to mobilize the citizenry in the morning to help find the suspect’s gun. When asked what he would do to motivate people to participate, Friedman said, “I haven’t got a clue.”
Put on your purple and stop by the Northfield News office (115 5th St. W.) for “Meows for Maggie,” a cat adoption event in conjunction with Northfield’s Crazy Daze and “Wear Purple Day” for Maggie Lee, longtime employee of the Northfield News and notable resident of the community.
The adoption event, put on by Prairie’s Edge Humane Society, will run from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the News lobby. Maggie has been a long time supporter of the Prairie’s Edge Humane Society and is well known for her love of cats, a regular subject of her weekly Northfield News column. She has adopted cats in the past from PEHS, adopting her most recent cat Cassandra just over a year ago. Maggie is now 91 and residents of Northfield will be honoring her during the annual “Crazy Daze” event in downtown Northfield.
Kittens and adult cats will be available (depending on what is currently at the shelter) for adoption in honor of Maggie, and anyone who adopts a cat from PEHS that day will be recognized on the PEHS website. Those adopting in honor of Maggie will be able to write a personal dedication to Maggie which will be posted on the PEHS website. Those who cannot adopt a cat have the opportunity to sponsor a cat at the shelter for one month for $25 in Maggie’s name. Those people will also be recognized on the website and a sign will be put on the cat kennel for one month at the shelter stating “I’m A Special Friend of Maggie.”
PEHS will also be selling purple cat harnesses and leashes, purple cat collars and purple “wobblers” – a treat and food dispensing toy for cats. All proceeds will benefit the animals at PEHS. Purple cat nip pillows will be given away for anyone who stops to visit, while supplies last.
Then after a day of shopping and entertainment you are invited to an artist reception and unveiling party hosted by Prairie’s Edge Humane Society for the limited edition print "Dogs Along the Cannon" from 6-8 PM at our dog training facility at 2018 Jefferson Rd, Suite 1 here in Northfield. Proceeds from the sale of the print will benefit the Prairie’s Edge Humane Society.
Sarah Thornton of Lintu Art returns to Northfield for a second time to highlight the dogs of Northfield, Dundas, Faribault and surrounding communities for her “Dogs Around the Lakes” and “Dogs Along the River” series of colored pencil limited edition prints. Her inspiration came from walking her own dogs around Lake Harriet and observing the many other owners and dogs enjoying time together in these settings. Sarah has done a previous print “Dogs Along the River” back in 2010 with proceeds benefitting PEHS. We are very excited for the unveiling of the 2012 print! In June Sarah came to Northfield and photographed 36 dogs from the area along the Cannon River. From those 36 dogs, she chose 16 to be on a limited edition print titled “Dogs Along the Cannon”.
Sarah will have prints available for purchase during the event as well as CD’s of the photos of the 36 dogs which were taken back in June from which she selected the dogs for the print.
Everyone is invited to come out and see the print. You are welcome to bring your well behaved, leashed dog to the reception; there will be a-paw-tisers for the dogs and the humans as well!
The Northfield News announced this week that Associate Editor Suzy Rook has been made regional managing editor of the St. Peter Herald, Le Center Leader, Le Sueur News-Herald and the Waseca County News. Her last day, according to this tweet, was yesterday.
The paper’s announcement made no mention of her replacement so I’m assuming this is a cost-cutting move. Rook had acquired a great deal of institutional knowledge of Northfield in her years here, especially City Hall. Despite my occasional criticisms, I think we’re going to miss her reporting.
Who will replace her as the beat reporter on Northfield City Hall? Managing editor Jerry Smith?
We had 2 inches of rain by midnight and I’m not sure how much after that but at 6 am, the Northfield News had the cover story on the front page of the newspaper and in the racks downtown: DOWNPOUR BLANKETS AREA.
Two different sources tell me that two Planning Commission members are, well, behaving badly. One, it seems, took it on him or herself to remove signs they felt were illegally placed. Come to find out, the signs were completely legal and placed in the right-of-way by city workers… The second commissioner cranked things up a few dozens notches, apparently dislodging a bench cemented into a Division Street sidewalk and moving to another location down the street.
I’ve done four fire department/association-related blog posts since January (here, here, here, and here) as well as a three more on attorney David Hvistendahl (here, here, and here) who’s representing the fire and rescue squad associations. It’s a complex and constantly evolving issue.
So it’s really helpful to have a someone else, in this case, Northfield News reporter Suzy Rook, digging into the story, too. And for the first time, the paper cited Locally Grown (twice) in a story:
Fire Department officials, including Fire Chief Gerry Franek, did not respond to several requests from the News for association financial records or comment. Assistant Fire Chief Tom Nelson at an April 24 City Council meeting said documents posted on the blog Locally Grown are 2010 and 2011 relief association check registers. But those registers don’t clearly state how and where monies were spent, and are likely a listing of transactions from several accounts compiled into a single document…
The association had a net revenue of $14,263 in 2011, according to a Gambling Control Board report to the Legislature. Of that, $4,110 was used for what’s termed lawful purpose expenditures. In 2010, its net receipts were $17,730. Of that, $8,354 was used for lawful expenditures. Figures provided to the state Gambling Control Board don’t match the association’s 2010 tax return, a document Assistant Fire Chief Tom Nelson says he provided Locally Grown. According to that document, the association lost $2,209 in 2010.