Rotary International and the Northfield Rotary Club‘s logo is a cogwheel (some background info here.) Northfield area bikers like me see more in it than that, especially when I ride across the Peggy Prowe Pedestrian Bridge to the Sechler Park Mountain Bike Trail, opened recently by CROCT (Cannon River Offroad Cycling & Trails) where I’m a board member. Thank you, Northfield Rotary, for all you do for bicycling in the area.
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.’
Three 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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.