Southwest Neighborhood files discrimination lawsuit against the City of Northfield for misspelt street signs

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In what is perceived as a social stigma in a two-college town, members of Northfield Southwest Neighborhood Association (NSWNA) have filed a discrimination law suit against the City of Northfield for it’s refusal to replace the four street signs in the neighborhood which have the words ‘W Nineth St’ on them in stead of ‘W Ninth St.’

img-46701Three of the neighbors in particular are perturbed because they are accomplished spellers, finishing 2nd as a Northfield Rotary team in the Friends of the Northfield Public Library Spelling  Bee in 2007. NSWNA neighbors Jeb Flufkin, Ricky Coldman, and Mitch ‘Penny’ Lane say that its not just the image of the neighborhood that’s at stake.

"Northfield is known for it’s educational values and the value of our homes in the neighborhood are likely to be negatively effected the longer that we have to live under this cloud of misspelling," said Flufkin. "My stomache just churns when I drive down the street every day and see those signs."

The group has retained the services of Northfield attorney Dave Hviscerate. "This is yet another sign of the incompetence at City Hall, and their intransigence is unconscionable. How hard or expensive could it be to change four signs? These people have suffered enough. Residents of 9th St. east of Division don’t have to put up with this embarrassment. Neither should those west of Division."

Ward 4 Councilor Jesse Anderson Black declined to comment on the suit but Public Works Director and City Engineer Jose Staphylo said it was with out merit. "We know their misspelt and we plan to fix them. But its not cheap. We tentatively have it in the department budget for 2014. Its not like people will be unable to navigate the neighborhood in the meantime."

Below are photos of the Ninth St. signs west of Division St.

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Rotarians Nancy and Missi know how to handle Amy, much to the benefit of The Key

Nancy Amerman, Amy Merritt, Missi Arens Nancy Amerman, Amy Merritt, Missi Arens

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.

Northfield Rotary welcomes a Group Study Exchange team from Brazil

Rick Estenson, Vicki Dilley, Lee Dilley, Jean Wakely On Friday morning, Rotarians Lee and Vicki Dilley, Rick Estenson, and Jean Wakely had coffee at GBM with members of Rotary District 4550 from Bahia, Brazil.

The Brazilians are part of a Group Study Exchange (GSE) with Northfield Rotary.

This Rotary blog post from last summer has more details:

Group Study Exchange (GSE) is a unique educational experience that furthers international understanding by providing an opportunity for outstanding business and professional people to study another country, its people, its culture and its institutions.  Each GSE team visits a Rotary district in another country for four weeks.  Team members stay in the homes of Rotarians, if possible, and follow an itinerary of educational and cultural points of interest. Travel and living expenses are covered during the exchange by The Rotary Foundation, Rotarians and Rotary District 5960.

A Rotary District 5960 GSE team will visit Rotary District 4550 in Bahia, Brazil, from April 8, 2012 – May 5, 2012.  The focus of the exchange will be public policy, public health and economic development. Rotary offers this opportunity to spend a month living with local Rotarians and seeing the country in a way few will ever experience.

Photo album: To India and Back, Rotary Youth Exchange Fundraiser

 To India and Back, Rotary Youth Exchange Fundraiser
Northfield Rotary held their To India and Back Youth Exchange fundraiser last night at the Northfield Middle School. I only took a baker’s dozen photos because I kept getting distracted by the food.

See the large slideshow (recommended) or SLOW CLICK this small slideshow:

Photo redux 2008: To China and Back, Rotary Youth Exchange Fundraiser

The Rotary’s Youth Exchange fundraiser, To India and Back, is today. In case you’re wondering what goes on at one of these wingdings, I last took a ton of photos at the To China and Back fundraiser in 2008.

See the large slideshow (recommended) or SLOW CLICK this small slideshow:

To India and Back: Tickets on sale now for Rotary’s Youth Exchange fundraiser

James Grabau To India and Back 2012 
Northfield Rotarian James Grabau stopped by my corner office at GBM earlier this week to show me the poster (PDF) for the Northfield Rotary Youth Exchange fundraiser “To India and Back” on February 25 at the Northfield Middle School. Tickets go fast for this event. You can order them now online. Got questions? Email Clarice Grabau.

Photos: Kids bicycle races at the Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Festival. How about for Northfield?

The kids bike races at last weekend’s Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Festival in Crosby, MN were a huge hit: lots of kids participating, lots of people watching and cheering with big smiles.

The kids were grouped into four age categories (something like ages 1-3, 4-5, 6-8, 9-10) and they rode one loop on the grass around the edge of Crosby Memorial Park, adjacent to the bandstand and cook shack. The top three finishers in the two youngest classes then ran a second race, as well as the top three finishers in the two oldest classes.  The parents of those 12 kids then raced each other, competing on their kids’ bikes.  Hilarious.

I think kids bicycle races would be a great addition to one of Northfield’s community celebrations, most obviously the 4th of July when the bike criterium is held downtown, or on the Saturday of the Defeat of Jesse James weekend when the Northfield Rotary Club holds its Jesse James Bike Tour.

Could one of the local bicycle shops take on the organization of the event, or maybe some other non-profit or association?   It could be held close to downtown, eg, Ames Park, Central Park, Riverside Park, or Babcock Park.

See my album of two dozen photos of the kids bike races, view the large slideshow (recommended), or SLOW CLICK this small slideshow:

East Cannon River Trail now under construction. Will it be paved?

Construction of East Cannon River Trail in Northfield Construction of East Cannon River Trail in Northfield Construction of East Cannon River Trail in NorthfieldEast Cannon River Trail map
As the Babcock Park Lift Station & Interceptor Sewer Project nears completion, construction of the East Cannon River Trail (part of the Greenway Corridor) between Babcock Park and Dundas has begun.  I took the above photos behind the Northfield Ice Arena and Northfield Athletic Club on Friday.

P. 52 of the March 15 City Council packet has background  info:

Northfield applied for funding for the construction of a 3-mile trail from Babcock Park to Dundas through the 2009 Trail Legacy program and was granted $150,000 of the $500,000 requested. In addition the Rotary committed $100,000 to development of the trail along with a commitment from Dundas for $7,000. Due to the budget shortfall, cuts were made to the project including eliminating part of the proposed connecting trail section and paving the trail using crushed rock for the trail surface rather than bituminous as proposed.

Subsequently the City submitted two applications for the 2010 Legacy Grants to help fund the portions of the project that were eliminated. The City received $45,000 for construction of the connecting spur to Honeylocust. The City was not successful funding the paving portion of the project.

Completion of the paving portion of the trail project would provide the community with a few benefits. It would open the trail up to more user types such as inline skaters, skate skiers and those with mobility challenges. Paving would also provide a more stable and sustainable surface, holding up better in an area that is prone to flooding from time to time.

I’m not sure what’s happened since the March 15 meeting. Anyone have details on whether the trail will be paved this year? I checked the Mill Towns Trail news page and the Northfield Rotary news page, but alas, nothing.

NDDC/Rotary wingding: anyone got photos or video?

Winter Dance Party at the Grand Event CenterAlas, I wasn’t able to stick around and take photos tonight at the Winter Dance Party at the Grand Event Center, sponsored by the Rotary Club of Northfield and the Northfield Downtown Development Corporation (NDDC).

If you have photos or know of any posted online anywhere, let us know.

Trailer Trash Dance Party, Friday Feb 11

Trailer Trash in NorthfieldJoin the Rotary Club of Northfield and the Northfield Downtown Development Corporation (NDDC) for a Winter Dance Party at the Grand Event Center with Trailer Trash, Minnesota’s premier Honky-Tonk Band!

  • Swing Dance Instruction begins at 8pm
  • Music starts at 8:30
  • ONLY $10 at the door
  • Be Local – Dance Local!

For more, see Ross Currier’s NDDC blog post: NDDC and Rotary Celebrate Our Community at The Grand.

The theme is “We (Heart) Northfield”.  We (Heart) our authentic downtown, our historic architecture, our wild and scenic river, our quality businesses and cultural institutions, and our fine schools and medical facilities.  The list could go on…and will go on, at our upcoming event at the Grand.

We’ll start it off by thanking our partners and members, and then we’ll open the doors to the entire community to celebrate Northfield.  It’ll be an opportunity to recognize the accomplishments of the NDDC, the Rotary, and all of the community-based organizations in Northfield…and have a whole lot of fun in the process.

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Celebrate Carnaval in Northfield

On Sat., Feb. 20, the Northfield Rotary Club & the Northfield Public Schools Community Services Division are hosting To Brasil and Back: An evening of Brazilian music, culture and food at the  Northfield Middle School. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. Proceeds benefit the Rotary Youth Exchange.

General admission tickets are $20. You can order tickets online. See the poster PDF and the ‘To Brasil and Back’ blog post for more info.

Is Northfield’s train depot worth saving?

Northfield's train depot Northfield's train depot Northfield's train depot 
Ross Currier sent out a Tweet yesterday morning that he was "Trying to arrange my schedule so I can attend a gathering of few motivated citizens to discuss the potential of the historic railroad depot." About the same time, I was chatting with Bob Will about it at GBM. Bob indicated that the Northfield Rotary Club was considering it as one of their long-term projects. (continued)

Continue reading Is Northfield’s train depot worth saving?

Four of Northfield Rotary’s Youth Exchange students join the blogosphere

The Northfield Rotary Club has ten outbound Youth Exchange students for 2009-10 and thus far, four of them have blogs:

Sam Estenson  Samantha Weaver Rachael Stets Lauren Reed

Photo redux: Jesse James Bike Tour 06, 07, 07

jjbt-sshot Saturday is Northfield Rotary’s annual Jesse James Bike Tour.

See my photo albums from 2006, 2007, and this one from 2008, its large slideshow, or its small slideshow:

Dedication ceremony for the Peggy Prowe Pedestrian Bridge set for Saturday

Peggy Prowe Peggy Prowe Pedestrian Bridge Rotary logo Tour d' Art poster
Saturday’s Tour d’ Art bike tour (part of ArtSwirl) begins with a dedication ceremony for the Peggy Prowe Pedestrian Bridge, part of the Mill Towns Trail. There’s now a bronze Rotary International plaque on the bridge, as the Northfield Rotary Club has raised tens of thousands of dollars for the bridge, primarily via its annual Jesse James Bike Tour. See the poster (PDF) for more details.

Mill Towns Trail update: bridge construction begins; Rotary’s JJBT donates $20K

Mill Towns Trail bridge construction Ed Lufkin, an increasingly active blogger for 3 Northfield area organizations, posted to the Rotary’s blog last week a photo of Jesse James Bike Tour (JJBT) chair Neil Lutsky presenting a check for $20,000 to Peggy Prowe of the Mill Towns Trail.  Today I noticed that construction on the bridge has visibly progressed. The bridge was supposed to have been constructed last year. (continued)

Continue reading Mill Towns Trail update: bridge construction begins; Rotary’s JJBT donates $20K

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