Save the date: NCO/ birthday bash, January 20th


  1. George Kinney said:

    How time flies — I well remember the dial-up and the interface. Probably working on computer #2 with a few kilobytes of memory.

    January 5, 2012
  2. Griff Wigley said:

    It’s looking like nearly all of the original NCO board members can attend the bash:

    Steve Hatle
    Bob Courchaine
    Bruce Morlan
    Tracy Davis
    John Hatch
    Lynne Young
    George Kinney

    We’re trying to find Dave Diehl and Kent Rebehl but thus far without success.

    Andrea Christianson currently lives in Rhode Island and sends us this update:

    Honored to be included and I so wish I could be there in person to celebrate but it is not looking good.

    All my files are in storage or I would look, I think I still have some old NCO papers from ’92, but my electronic copies were on little squares of magical metal and plastic that have long been retired to a better place.

    I know when you (Griff) and I first sat down and talked it seemed that over the next few months we had one more face at each meeting when we really had yet to formalize what we were becoming.

    And if any of you are interested in a rambling update…..

    I left TN ( and I am glad to be out of the south) and moved to the north east last month to be closer to my grand-daughter (well my son and daughter-in-law too, but let’s face it, the grandkids- number 2 coming this summer – are the big draw).

    Derek is farming (–, he has a CSA, farm stand and participates in the New Bedford Farmers Market. He is also very involved in the food security, local food/sustainability efforts in SE Mass South Coast area.

    When we moved to Northfield in ’87 I don’t think he ever dreamed he would farm ( he came home almost in tears after his first bus ride to school in Nerstrand because no one knew what the soccer ball was and he thought we maybe should go back to the city! He later told a neighbor big farmer he wanted to hang a DARE banner over his drive way and it should mean’ no drugs in the ground!’). I guess years of tasty MN CSA and farmers market offerings followed by his Freshman seminar in college – ‘Feeding the World” ( and maybe a little parental influence) spurred a growing interest in food security and also soil fertility and its relationship to our health. I am proud of him and hope to see him more now that I am close, but he seems to have inherited his mom’s tendency to community involvement and maybe also the temptation to over commit his time, so that between that and the work of the farm he keeps very busy. And while his involvement necessitates computer use, the cell phone was only turned on when Katie was close to birth (during spring planting season) and they strives to keep Mariah away from electronics (20 months).

    It has prompted some interesting family discussions about the use and dependence on technology, and was brought home last Monday when some friends of mine formerly from TN came to visit with their toddler and baby. While I played with animal cards and books with Mariah, the iPad was whipped out for the other toddler to look at her electronic books when she was getting cranky. No judgments about choices others make, but food for thought about how we raise children today. And as I work to help bring babies into the world gently at home, I can see and support the draw of non-technological parenting even if I at times am frustrated when I can’t reach him and think ‘if he only had his cell with him and on’…

    I will be practicing just part time with the home birth practice in Rhode Island and also doing a stint of clinical teaching for URI RN students once a week for the semester which starts on the 23rd which is why the trip to Northfield seems remote. I suspect I will have to be with you all in spirit. I will have a vicarious party and imagine you are being simulcast!

    I think of you all more often than you might think. Ironically, I am sitting in the Charlestown Cross Mills Public Library using their WiFi (it’s a lovely little library Lynn J). I am trying to use cell phone tethering while I am in temp space (while looking for a long term rental) and tend to use my allotted data plan up faster than the days in the month. Being without easy web access brings back memories of my 14k land line in rural Northfield. Listening to NPR last night talk about the Iowa caucus brings many MN images also (no TV here since I don’t want to spend $ for a few months so tried to hook up an indoor antenna and only got ION L)

    -which is to say that I am remembering how dependent we are on connectivity and how difficult it was for many looking for ways to both embrace the growth of technology and yet still maintain or create community. So for now radio and the library provide my linkage with the world with lots of time for reflection. I suspect that this will or should be an ongoing ever evolving discussion as we (I ) struggle for simplicity, authenticity and balance in a growingly complex world. Continuing to watch for how these electronic beings will reduce paper use, etc. etc. etc….

    I think of a talk Alvin Toffler did at a hospital in CA in 1970. We had just gotten a Federal grant to implement the first MIS system in the nation – as the system was close to going online they brought him in to talk to us about ‘future shock and technology’. Some days I am still waiting for the outcomes envisioned at that time, and some days we have come so far that I feel more illiterate the more the years go by!

    Have a great celebration!! I love reading the Locally Grown and keeping up from a distance.


    Andrea Christianson
    PO 389
    Charlestown RI 02813-0389

    January 6, 2012
  3. Griff Wigley said:

    Ooh, I think I’ve found Dave Diehl and Kent Rebehl on LinkedIn and maybe Facebook. We’ll soon see!

    January 6, 2012
  4. Griff Wigley said:

    Press release via Amy Acheson, Acheson Creative: Celebrates 20 Years!

    Northfield Citizens Online (a.k.a is hosting a 20th Birthday Bash on January 20th, 2012, at The Grand Event Center starting at 8:00 p.m. The online community — supported by area journalists, technical experts and you the public — has been delivering fast, event-packed Northfield stories for a couple of decades now, and it’s time to CELEBRATE!

    The “Northfield Free-Net” concept born out of a living room salon 20 years ago — like other great ideas that often don’t happen in the office between the hours of 8 to 5 – has been piling up some voluminous clips, of its own, through the years.

    The all-volunteer organization’s mission is “to create an electronic commons that strengthens the fabric of community in the greater Northfield area.” Event planners, community builders, and those willing to share their stories make up the unique “voice” of our town as seen daily on Citizens are encouraged to contribute; it’s a place for hyper local content to be shared. Find calendar listings, articles, blogs, as well as links to community groups and other resources for a general know-how/insider’s scoop to the area.

    Event highlights for’s 20th Birthday Bash will be a flashback over 20 years – its high points, its low points, and all the pops and buzzes in between, an interactive trivia game with fabulous prizes, special appearances from the founders, awards, prizes, food and more! Plus Matt Arthur & The Bratlanders are playing, providing us with an unparalleled music scene rarely found in a small rural town.

    Post it to your calendar. It’s a not-to-be-missed event! See you on the 20th. 2012 Board of Directors

    January 7, 2012
  5. Nathan White said:

    Did you hear anything back from Dave or Kent? I’m delighted so many of the folks from the early days will be attending!

    January 13, 2012
  6. Griff Wigley said:

    I’ve not heard back, Nate. But maybe you could try and include an explanation?

    January 13, 2012

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