R.I.P.: Warren Ringlien

warren-ringlienI just saw Jim Bierman’s post on Northfield.org that Warren Ringlien died last week. I got to know Warren via his regular participation on the old Northfield.org ISSUES discussion list… and later discovered he was a fairly close neighbor of ours.

(I took this photo of Warren at the 2005 Home and Garden Show. Click to enlarge.)

Back in the spring of 2004, Warren posted this to the ISSUES list:

An operation that I think needs attention, is the method of burning brush at the compost site. When the wind is from the southeast, the long smoldering fire really fouls the air, especially during inversion conditions, way up to the High School.

My experience using the open mic at council meetings is that it’s not an effective tool; in the case of the air pollution, talking to the attendant at the recycling site had no impact. I have been told that a “critical mass” or a group effort is required for being noticed, and a voice of one is no voice at all. Is that true?

Subsequent online discussion led to us hosting an online forum examining the issue. That web forum, Warren’s subsequent appointment to the EQC, and the work of that commission with then Director of Public Works/Northfield City Engineer Heidi Hamilton all contributed to getting the policies about burning brush changed. I blogged about it here.

Thanks in part to Warren, we all breathe a little easier here in Northfield.


  1. Ross Currier said:

    Warren’s often repeated request for a hobby store in Northfield lives in the discussions of the Retail Support Strategies Task Force.

    November 7, 2007
  2. Betsey Buckheit said:

    Such sad news. Warren invested much time in Northfield’s local issues, especially environmental concerns. Northfield loses a good citizen and I’ll miss his voice.

    November 7, 2007
  3. Stephanie Henriksen said:

    Yes, Warren was a good soul. A heart attack? When is the funeral? Thanks for posting a recent photo.

    November 7, 2007
  4. Stephanie Henriksen said:

    Accdy to obit, he died after a 7-wk struggle with fungal pneumonia. That really sounds bad. His funeral is at Skinner Chapel at Carleton on Sunday at 2 pm. I picture him, in my mind’s eye, at the big Observatory setting instruments for viewing the stars.

    November 9, 2007

Leave a Reply