Civic Stories Project photo essay #12: Erica Zweifel

See photo essay #1 for background on the Civic Stories Project series that I’m blogging here on LoGro.

ERICA ZWEIFEL

See the background page on Erica Zweifel and the St. Olaf students involved, both those in the AmCon class and those in Professor Meg Ojala‘s Intermediate Photography class.

Civic Stories Project photo essay #11: Susan Sanderson

See photo essay #1 for background on the Civic Stories Project series that I’m blogging here on LoGro.

SUSAN SANDERSON

See the background page on Susan Sanderson and the St. Olaf students involved, both those in the AmCon class and those in Professor Meg Ojala‘s Intermediate Photography class.

Civic Stories Project photo essay #10: Jessica Peterson White

See photo essay #1 for background on the Civic Stories Project series that I’m blogging here on LoGro.

JESSICA PETERSON WHITE

See the background page on Jessica Peterson White and the St. Olaf students involved, both those in the AmCon class and those in Professor Meg Ojala‘s Intermediate Photography class.

Civic Stories Project photo essay #9: Kari Nelson

See photo essay #1 for background on the Civic Stories Project series that I’m blogging here on LoGro.

KARI NELSON

See the background page on Kari Nelson and the St. Olaf students involved, both those in the AmCon class and those in Professor Meg Ojala‘s Intermediate Photography class.

Civic Stories Project photo essay #8: Erin Mayberry

See photo essay #1 for background on the Civic Stories Project series that I’m blogging here on LoGro.

ERIN MAYBERRY

See the background page on Erin Mayberry and the St. Olaf students involved, both those in the AmCon class and those in Professor Meg Ojala‘s Intermediate Photography class.

Civic Stories Project photo essay #7: Reginaldo Haslett-Marroquin

See photo essay #1 for background on the Civic Stories Project series that I’m blogging here on LoGro.

REGINALDO HASLETT-MARROQUIN

See the background page on Reginaldo Haslett-Marroquin and the St. Olaf students involved, both those in the AmCon class and those in Professor Meg Ojala‘s Intermediate Photography class.

Civic Stories Project photo essay #6: Sandi Gerdes

See photo essay #1 for background on the Civic Stories Project series that I’m blogging here on LoGro.

SANDI GERDES

See the background page on Sandi Gerdes and the St. Olaf students involved, both those in the AmCon class and those in Professor Meg Ojala‘s Intermediate Photography class.

Civic Stories Project photo essay #5: Bonnie Jean Flom

See photo essay #1 for background on the Civic Stories Project series that I’m blogging here on LoGro.

BONNIE JEAN FLOM

See the background page on Bonnie Jean Flom and the St. Olaf students involved, both those in the AmCon class and those in Professor Meg Ojala‘s Intermediate Photography class.

Civic Stories Project photo essay #4: Father Denny Dempsey

See photo essay #1 for background on the Civic Stories Project series that I’m blogging here on LoGro.

FATHER DENNY DEMPSEY

See the background page on Father Denny Dempsey and the St. Olaf students involved, both those in the AmCon class and those in Professor Meg Ojala‘s Intermediate Photography class.

Civic Stories Project photo essay #3: Ray Cox

See photo essay #1 for background on the Civic Stories Project series that I’m blogging here on LoGro.

RAY COX

See the background page on Ray Cox and the St. Olaf students involved, both those in the AmCon class and those in Professor Meg Ojala‘s Intermediate Photography class.

Civic Stories Project photo essay #2: David Bly

See photo essay #1 for background on the Civic Stories Project series that I’m blogging here on LoGro.

DAVID BLY

See the background page on David Bly and the St. Olaf students involved, both those in the AmCon class and those in Professor Meg Ojala‘s Intermediate Photography class.

Civic Stories Project photo essay #1: Beth Berry

Last November, I blogged about the invitation that several Northfielders got to participate in the American Conversations Program (AmCon) at St. Olaf, me included.

The project ended last spring and I got word last week from Eric Fure-Slocum, Assistant Professor of History, that the Civic Stories Project was now live on the Northfield League of Women Voters site.

St. Olaf students in the American Conversations 102 and Intermediate Photography classes worked in partnership with the League of Women Voters to create these photo essays about Northfield-area community leaders. The fourteen leaders profiled in these photo essays are involved in a range of political, civic, and humanitarian endeavors in the local community and beyond (more about the project).

I’ll blog one photo essay per day over the next two weeks.

BETH BERRY

See the background page on Beth Berry and the St. Olaf students involved, both those in the AmCon class and those in Professor Meg Ojala‘s Intermediate Photography class.

St. Olaf Reunion Weekend: reinforcing the connection to Northfield, not just the college

The weather was perfect for St. Olaf’s Reunion Weekend this past weekend. ReunionLogoGoldSt. Olaf schedules many of the reunion weekend events in and around Northfield. This year, venues included J. Grundy’s Rueb ‘n’ Stein, The Grand Event Center, Jesse James Lanes, Northfield Golf Club, Contented Cow, Froggy Bottoms River Pub, Willinger’s Golf Club, and the Northfield Historical Society.  Bus shuttle service was available to all off-campus locations.

The big entertainment tent downtown on Sesquicentennial Plaza was also good for Northfield-area businesses. From the last page of the schedule:

Special Thanks To: College City Beverage for its signs and hospitality; the Grand Event Center for providing beer and wine service at the entertainment tent; the City of Northfield for their support and coordination; the Defeat of Jesse James Days Volunteer Committee for its coordination and rentals; and the Quarterback Club for its catering services.

I took some photos Saturday night of the entertainment tent area:

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Something’s happening here. What it is ain’t exactly clear. So guess.

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Construction of a building has begun adjacent to the wind turbine at St. Olaf.

Hint #1: it has nothing to do with the turbine.

Hint #2: the wood under the tarp is an indicator.

Update 3/31: Here’s a photo of the Arnold Flaten Art Barn, which I’ve grabbed from a Jan. 2011 Northfield News story, which they got from a story in St. Olaf Magazine.

Arnold Flaten Art Barn

Only in Northfield: Dance to Country Norwegian music performed by an accordion club this Friday

Todd Nichol and Evan Thomas-Richards The Runestones accordion club  Todd Nichol and The Runestones accordion club  Todd Nichol and The Runestones accordion club
St. Olaf Professor Todd Nichol is another one of the early morning regulars at GBM. A couple weeks ago, he barged into my corner office to inform me about the 2nd Annual Grand Old Time Spring Dance coming up this Friday night in the Lion’s Pause at Buntrock Commons. He’s one of the faculty advisors for the The Runestones accordion club that will be performing at the dance and last week, I attended one of their practice sessions.

The Runestones is a come-when-you-can, just for fun student group of accordion players. We play mostly Nordic tunes, but you never know what we’ll do next. Think fusion. If you’ve never heard Cajun Norwegian or Country Western Danish, you are missing something.

KYMN’s Paula Granquist featured the group on her ArtZany! radio show last week.  Terri Lindgren wrote in her blog post:

A dance for everybody! A time to dance the polka, the waltz, and the schottische. Brief lessons will be given throughout the evening. Free. Open to the public. Families with children welcome. Refreshments and parking available.

The guy taking my photo in the left photo above with Todd? Evan Thomas-Richards, an Ole working with the AmCon group that I blogged about back in Nov. Dang paparazzi.

Here’s a 38-second video clip of The Runestones practicing:

St. Olaf’s Condom Olympics: a competition at which I did not rise to the occasion

DSC08002I came arrived too late for last night’s Condom Olympics in the Lion’s Pause at St. Olaf’s Buntrock Commons.

I was hoping to get photos of the condom relay race but only managed a photo of the sign.

What are the Condom Olympics?

Back by popular demand, the Wellness Center is hosting a team-based competition that tests students’ knowledge of sexual health, reproductive anatomy, and STI statistics.

It all culminates in an intense relay race to properly put on a condom while wearing ‘beer goggles.’

Come and bring your friends!

The wording of that last sentence is an invitation to the bravest of LoGro’s punsters.

Geoff Swanson wants you to laugh: The Second City Improv All Stars are at the Lion’s Pause tonight

I got this email yesterday from Geoff Swanson, Assistant Director at St. Olaf’s Office of Student Activities. He showed up for the photo this morning at my corner GBM office where he used to work when he was a student.

DSC06407Hi Griff, I’m just sending a shameless plug for Second City’s performance here at St. Olaf tomorrow (Friday, the 13th) in the Lion’s Pause at St. Olaf. This is the show’s touring improv group and the event should be a riot.

Show starts at 8pm (doors at 7:45) and general admission to the public is $5 each. For more details people can contact myself or follow this link.

Description:

The Second City is always original, daring, and hilarious. Based in Chicago this comedy club’s alumni list is a veritable "Who’s Who" of comedy including Bill Murray, John & Jim Belushi, Steve Carell, George Wendt, Tina Fey, Tim Meadows, Joan Rivers, John Candy, Bonnie Hunt, Stephen Colbert, Chris Farley, Harold Ramis, Rick Moranis, Jack McBrayer, Jason Sudeikis and so many more. Don’t miss what is sure to be a hilarious hour of improve-based sketch comedy as five of Second City’s touring comedians take the Pause Mane Stage!

See The Second City web site for more.

It’s safe to be an atheist and an Ole

Ask an Athiest poster - SANRA - St. Olaf Agnostics, Non-Religious, and Atheists Ask an Athiest panel discussion - SANRA - St. Olaf Agnostics, Non-Religious, and Atheists
I saw this  ‘Ask an Atheist’ discussion panel poster while walking through St. Olaf’s Buntrock Commons a couple weeks ago, so I went.  It was sponsored by a student organization named SANRA – St. Olaf Agnostics, Non-Religious, and Atheists, which:

aims to represent the non-religious students on campus. As an organization at a Lutheran college, it is important to provide the opportunity for secular students to engage in open-minded conversation and form relationships with students of similar belief systems. SANRA will create dialogue about secular thought, help grow a strong and visible non-religious community, and develop a safe and accepting environment for secular students on campus. Members of SANRA will spread awareness about non-religion, serve the wider community, and work to dispel myths about non-religious stereotypes.

The quality of the discussion was impressive, both the questions from the 30+ students in the audience and the answers from/conversation among the 7 student panelists. Props to SANRA and St. Olaf.

Casey and Zaq: will they be sitizens or citizens?

Casey Groskreutz and Zaq BakerI met with two St. Olaf students yesterday, Casey Groskreutz (Madison, WI) and Zaq Baker (Eden Prairie, MN). 

They’re taking the American Conversations Program (AmCon) and this year, according to Nate Jacobi, Associate Director, Civic Engagement:

Nate Jacobi… we have begun to build in an experiential component to the program. The students’ experiential work is designed to help them better engage with the community beyond St. Olaf’s boundaries and to explore the many dimensions of a key theme in American life.

In this case, students will explore the historical, ethical and political dimensions of citizenship in both their academic and experiential learning.

AmCon has the students paired up with engaged/active Northfield area citizens and I guess I’m one. Other "American Conversations Community Partners" participating: Beth Berry, David Bly, Ray Cox, Dennis Dempsey, Sandi Gerdes, Bonnie Jean Flom, Erin Mayberry, Reginaldo Haslett-Marroquin, Kari Nelson, Rhonda Pownell, Susan Sanderson, Jessica Peterson White, Erica Zweifel.

What’s planned? Eric Fure-Slocum, Assistant Professor of History, says:

Eric Fure-SlocumDuring the fall semester, we expect that students will meet and conduct interviews with community members.

In the spring, the American Conversations students will collaborate with a digital photography class to create photo/audio essays that will be used by the League of Women Voters to encourage informed and lively participation in public and civic life.

See the American Conversations Program web page for more, as well as an article in the 2009 issue of the St. Olaf Magazine about the program titled What Makes America America? which is where I got "sitizens vs. citizens" for the title of this blog post.

What Makes America America

Abby Benson abandons Northfield for points west

GBM send-off for Abby Benson Abby Benson
Today was Abby Benson’s last day at Goodbye Blue Monday where she’s worked for over three years.  Proprietors Dan Riggins and Catherine Dominguez along with several of her co-workers gave her a little send-off this morning. The 2011 St. Olaf grad is also known to the Northfield community for her work with STOGROW and the SEEDS Farms (see this Relish.com article about her).  She’s heading to Portland, OR for a life of quiet desperation productive and satisfying experience doing who-knows-what.

I know her dad, Marty Benson, from playing racquetball and her mom, Jean Callister-Benson from way back when she worked at the Y in Faribault. As parents, they are reportedly thrilled that they no longer have Abby’s expensive mouth to feed proud that Abby’s launching her life as a full-fledged adult.

Photo fraud committed for NDDC alumni entrepreneur recruitment poster

NDDC poster, The Lion's Pause, St. Olaf NDDC poster, The Lion's Pause, St. Olaf 
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.

Creative class working at the Goodbye Blue Monday coffeehouse, Northfield, MNAll 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.

Locally Grown wins the Eat Local Challenge at the college ranked #1 for food in the USA: St. Olaf

I got an email on Monday from Northfielder Randy Clay, Board Manager for Bon Appetit Dining Services at St. Olaf, inviting me to lunch on Tuesday for their 7th Annual Eat Local Challenge:

Eat Local Challenge St. Olaf 2011I am attaching a release [PDF] about our Eat Local Challenge event tomorrow. I would love it if you would come have lunch on us!

If you have not visited our Dining Hall recently, tomorrow is a great opportunity to see what we are all about, as we will be showcasing our efforts to support eating locally.

Newsweek - Best Food - College Rankings 2011So Robbie and I took him up on the offer. How could we not have a free lunch at the best college food program in the USA?

Yep, Newsweek’s 2011 College rankings for Best Food ranked St. Olaf as #1.

And MinnPost’s Beth Hawkins authored this article a couple weeks ago: From Parmesan risotto to cider-brined pork, St. Olaf’s food dubbed best in nation.

Griff Wigley, Randy Clay, Matthew Fogarty Marlys Proehl  Todd Lien, Thousand Hills Cattle Company Griff Wigley, hungry man 
L to R: Randy introduced me to Bob Appetit Executive Chef Mathew Fogarty; I got a free pass from Northfielder and Just Food Co-op member/fan Marlys Proehl; I got served Thousand Hills Cattle Company beef by company rep and Northfielder Todd Lien; and then I sat down and pigged out with my sweetie. 

So yes, Locally Grown won the  7th Annual Eat Local Challenge, along with a few thousand other Oles, and a long list of those who produce locally grown (heh) food. Yum.

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St. Olaf debuts cool bike repair stations. We need these downtown.

 Bike repair stand at St. Olaf's Buntrock Commons Bike repair stand at St. Olaf's Buntrock Commons Bike repair stand at St. Olaf's Buntrock Commons Jim Fisher, Grounds Manager at St. Olaf
I got a call today from Jim Fisher, Grounds Manager at St. Olaf, alerting me to the new bike repair stands that he was installing today around the campus. I took these photos of the one on the northside of Buntrock Commons, adjacent to the entrance to Lion’s Pause.

Tools with a Dero Fixit bike repair stand  air pump and guage with a Dero Fixit bike repair stand  Dero Fixit bike repair stand
The bike repair stand (Dero Fixit) includes an air pump with a gauge, and seven tools, all tethered with security cables.  You can hang your bike on the stand by its seat post so you can more easily work on it.

Northfield’s downtown Streetscape Task Force should consider installing one or more of these downtown.

Update Aug. 13:

 Bike racks and bike repair station at St. Olaf dorm Bike racks and bike repair station at St. Olaf dorm Bike racks and bike repair station at St. Olaf dorm
Jim Fisher alerted me to another bike repair he installed at one of the St. Olaf dorms, this time with new bike racks… with an artistic flair.

Oles & Carls toss cans, bottles & Zamboni tires on ice during club hockey brawl; ref injured, police called. This is a friendly rivalry?

St. Olaf Carleton hockey brawl - photo by JULIA AAKERMANITOU MESSENGERSt. Olaf Carleton hockey brawlA college club hockey game at Northfield’s ice arena was the scene of an ugly incident a month ago involving Carleton and St. Olaf students, both players and spectators. I just found out about it this week when a LoGro reader alerted me.

Having behaved badly at times during my college days at St. Thomas, I’m not quick to make a big deal over college kids doing stupid or offensive stuff. But this was over the top.

As far as I know, there have been no public statements about this incident from the administrations of either St. Olaf or Carleton.

Here’s what’s been reported:

Manitou Messenger news: Club hockey team brawls with rival Carls; Team injures referee, prompting police intervention

Spectators howled and jeered as game play took a violent turn in the St. Olaf versus Carleton club hockey game on Friday, March 4 at the Northfield Ice Arena.  The stands were packed with students, predominantly Oles, many of whom began the evening shouting profanities and other negative cheers, including the standard “Carleton sucks!”

The St. Olaf players were just as rambunctious as the fans. “St. Olaf had about as many penalty minutes as they had game minutes,” spectator Thomas Hegland ’13 said. When the crowd threw soda cans and bottles onto the ice, St. Olaf was penalized, and additional bottles and cans along with zamboni tires were thrown onto the ice in retaliation.

Manitou Messenger editorial: Club hockey brawl triggers shame and stitches

After several minutes the fight finally ended, leaving gear strewn across the ice. There were drops of blood from a referee, who had been “seriously injured,” as the St. Olaf student announcer stated over the loud speaker. The referee attempted to pull players apart. As he skated to the bench the fight left a deep sense of shame and disappointment in me.

Not only did I feel shame because of the fight, but also because of the cheers of “F— you, Carleton,” “F— you, Olaf,” “ugly b—-es,” etc., and because of the constant throwing of trash onto the ice. I was even more surprised that one of the St. Olaf students on the bench threw tires onto the ice and then walked out of the arena.

College Confidential story: Hockey Brawl with St. Olaf

There were several other incidents that weren’t in the articles. I have no idea what happened in the St. Olaf locker rooms, but I do know that one of the Carleton players asked the police to watch the Carleton locker room, because St. Olaf fans were lined up outside the locker room when they went back in between periods. My friend’s stick and gloves were stolen when he was in the bathroom. I don’t know what happened in the Ole locker rooms, but I’m sure it wasn’t exactly peaceful either.

Lastly – the fight was ugly and intense. In addition to the players, several spectators actually jumped over the glass onto the ice so that they could join the fight – it was ridiculous. I have no idea who hit the ref, but both schools were equally at fault and it was really startling. I wasn’t aware that the game was called a draw, but it doesn’t surprise me.

In short, it was an ugly game. There were a lot of drunk fans from both schools, and the tensions elevated really quickly. I don’t expect another Carleton-St. Olaf game for a while.

Badjocks.com story: College Hockey Game Turns Into Brawl, Ends With Referee Slashed in Face w. Skate

Naturally, the game was called a draw and the police spent hours afterwords clearing up the brawls OUTSIDE the arena.

The Northfield police report for March 4 only says:

Event Number: LNO110304002932
Date/Time Incident: 03/4/2011 9: 7: 9 PM
Type:  L/EXTRA PATROL
Address:  12XX BOLLENBACHER DR
Disposition: ADVISED OR ASSISTED

This 2008 Carletonian article tells the story of local police ticketing students for alcohol consumption at club hockey games:  Strong Northfield police presence at recent Chiefs game

The question may remain unsolvable. For the more immediate future, one of the written-up students suggested that the school warn students if there is knowledge of likely increased police activity. “I think the school really made a faux pas in this circumstance,” said the student. “A heads-up could have gone a long way… the school knows that students go to the hockey games inebriated.”

CRWP and St. Olaf to screen film ‘Troubled Waters’

TroubledWaters

The Cannon River Watershed Partnership and St. Olaf College will be hosting a screening of the much publicized film Troubled Waters: A Mississippi River Story produced by the University of Minnesota Bell Museum of Natural History.

This film traces the development of America’s bountiful heartland and its effect on the legendary river. Through beautiful photography and inspiring narrative, the film offers solutions to the river’s troubles through fresh ideas and concrete solutions.

As the Cannon River is a contributor to the Mississippi River, its problems are our problems.  Join us for this screening and thoughtful discussion after the film.  The event is free and open to the public.

February 10, 2011, 7 PM  – 9 PM; St. Olaf College, Regents Hall – Room 310.

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