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.
The weather was perfect for St. Olaf’s Reunion Weekend this past weekend. St. 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:
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.
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:
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.
Hi 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.
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!
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.
… 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.
During 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
Helen Albers: A big Tree Hug to all of our town tree-lovers! With thanks to all who have responded to express their appreciation of trees! Happy Holidays! Helen Albers
Beth Kallestad: Thank you Helen for your tree planting and reminding us of the need to protect those trees!
John S. Thomas: It truly is a beautiful tree. I am still “sick” of the way the trees on Fourth Street look. It will be MANY years before they mature… and I hope they do!
Marsha Kitchel: What a lovely photo of Helen Albers, beautiful in red, hugging her red maple. Hold on for dear life if “new and improved” means touching this gorgeous tree or any of the trees on Bridge Square. Northfielders would be...
Griff Wigley: Northfield City Engineer Joe Stapf sent me these photos today of the repairs to Armstrong Road and the adjacent Mill Towns Trail. Joe wrote: The trail paving is complete (still being rolled so not yet open), and the roadway is...
Doug Peterson: Hi Griff, After reading Jan Hill’s reply, I realize my mis-understanding on “riding the rails”. You got me. Can I blame that on getting old?
Jan Hill: I knew this was a send-up, Griff, having investigated possible routes ourselves (and knowing you!) But I thought for sure the cyclist on the rail was a fake–until I watched the video. Now that’s scary.
Griff Wigley: Nick, I’ve heard from another Northfielder on this who wrote via email: The part where you suggest that riders go on to the active rail line does not make good common sense to me. I have worked on the railroad as a head...
Nick Benson: Your non-pussy readers should note that trespassing on railroad tracks, as shown there, is both dangerous and illegal; trains can be surprisingly quiet when approaching on smooth welded rail like that, which doesn’t...
Ross Currier: I just walked through Bridge Square and ALL THREE of the tables were occupied. It didn’t look like they were playing chess, though, more like eating lunch… …and what a day for it, in beautiful downtown Northfield,...
Griff Wigley: The three picnic tables were installed last week. Each has an inlaid backgammon and chess/checkerboard. I’ve added photos to the blog post above.
Griff Wigley: Joe, thanks for that explanation. And if your eighth grade English teacher, Mrs. Gentilini, is still around, I think she might approve of your communications style.
kiffi summa: Joe or Mr. Stapf… Thanks for the explanation; I think its/they’re great, and long overdue… I just didn’t want anything to put off the Bridge Square redesign implementation … and often it’s...
Joe Stapf: Ah-h-h-h, yes, The Gaming Tables… Question #1) Who authorized them!!!??? I did. The picnic tables (if you recall, a trial) were deemed by me to have been a success. We received absolutely 100%, pure, unadulterated positive feedback...
Griff Wigley: Two new parking-related blog posts: A bicycle field trip with Dale Gehring to get smarter about ‘making the connections’ http://northfielddowntownparki ng.org/2013/08/30/a-bicycle-fi eld-trip-with-dale-gehring-...
Griff Wigley: New blog post: Proposed layout of directional and way-finding signs for public parking
Griff Wigley: New blog post: Washington St. lot restriped to optimize parking spaces
Griff Wigley: Blog post update: recommended downtown parking management action steps for Aug. 13 Council work session
Griff Wigley: Blog post update: July 31 parking management planning meeting at City Hall
Griff Wigley: There is a Prayer Walk for the Northfield School District today, 4-8 pm: By Maria KayLynn Olson and Kiersten-Kiwi Williams Bielenberg Schedule: 4:00-4:25 Prairie Creek 4:30-4:55 Arcadia 5:00-5:25 Greenvale 5:30-5:55 Sibley 6:00-6:25...
Griff Wigley: Hi Marie, thanks for asking. I’ll contact you via email.
Marie Wright: I’d like to use this photo on my website. My theme is vintage Main Street USA. I feel that I need your permission to copy this photo and use it. (Julia Rose Grey is my pen name for my genre of novels.)
Griff Wigley: Dave, I like the two-prong attack, too. Can you let us know when the short-term task force is due to meet? I’d like to attend, and I’m sure some of the neighbors would as well. And make sure that pizza with mushroom...
Griff Wigley: Nfld News article on Tuesday’s Council action on this issue: Subcommittee to explore fixes for tax-forfeited land acquired by Northfield During heavy rain, water has overtaken the yards and basements of Karen Moldenhauer and...
David DeLong: Griff, I’m told there’s over 50,000 cubic yards of dirt in the pile which translates to over 2,500 dump truck loads. I think there’s enough to go around. The problem is moving all that over residential streets, if we sell it or...
Griff Wigley: At last night’s meeting, the City Council opted to A) form a 4-week task force of 3 council members plus engineering staff and citizens to deal with the runoff problem in the neighborhood; and B) ask the Parks & Rec...
kiffi summa: good to know, Griff… I trust that you’re correct about the amount of dirt needed for the create of a bike park. Maybe if there’s so much more than needed, a berm could be created between the park and the houses, if...
Nancy Averill: Ah KDWB. THE best radio station ever. We had the KDW-Beatles. We had the KDW-Beach Boys. We were color radio. We had leaky billboards. I maintain that Professor James Francis Patrick O’Neill is the very basis of my humor. We...
Griff Wigley: Paul/George, they reopened the old culvert and put in a new larger secondary one. I’ll try to get photos.
Griff Wigley: Thanks everyone for your kind comments about the photos. I’ve added a few of downtown to the blog post above. See Rob Hardy’s comprehensive listing of links related to the flooding on Northfield.org.