Blogosphere roundup for Monday, March 16, 2009


The Northfield Blogosphere Roundup is a good way to see the latest information on many of the area’s blogs. The updates included here show blog posts added approximately within the previous 48 hours. See’s blogosphere aggregator page for an automated, comprehensive listing.

Food and energy is something we cannot go without, and the farther these two come from where we use them, the less sustainable they are, this is a matter of logic and economic fact not a matter of opinion, or political leaning, or weather we agree or disagree on global trade.

The fact is that we don’t account for the full cost of our foods and have been living under the illusion that a banana is really only $0.75 cents a pound. It isn’t, what happens is that we are only paying for a small part of the full cost of producing it, bringing it from Brazil or Central America and delivering it to our stores and picking it up. The carbon emitted, the water, soil and air pollution in the production cycle, and many other costs are just being passed on for others to pay, either down the rivers and oceans, or down to the next generation.

Reginaldo Haslett-Marroquin, Rural Enterprise Center

Kate Wall, Grocery Manager at Just Food Co-op, has received the first grant to be awarded by the Ron Griffith Young Leaders Fund. The grant will enable Kate to attend the three-day Rising Stars Seminar, an interactive management training opportunity in natural foods retails. In anticipating this workshop, Kate says she looks forward “to gaining skills focused on enhancing my management responsibilities, strengthening the department and the store, becoming a better leader in my work place and community, and deepening my understanding of the importance of how we choose to be leaders.”

Just Food Co-operative grocery store

Here’s the problem with going to garden events, such as those I attended this weekend: You get so many ideas that you have to think about adding more space. Maybe I’ll expand my front gardens and add one of the hardy shrub roses Kathy Zuzek recommended, such as ‘Lillian Gibson’ or ‘Harrison Yellow‘. No, wait, how about ‘Candy Oh! Vivid Red,’ a variety hybridized by David Zlesak, a young U of M educator who has written for Northern Gardener.

Mary Schier, My Northern Garden

The NDDC-led initiative on In-fill and Redevelopment moved to the next phase as the Four Economic Development Partners agreed to present the work plan to their boards for formal adoption.

Board and staff members of the NDDC, EDA, and Chamber of Commerce, along with a staff member of the NEC, joined by a number of commercial property owners and the Mayor of Northfield, reviewed the work plan resulting from the series of summits on in-fill and redevelopment held over the past few months on Saturday morning and gave it an initial “thumbs-up”.

Ross Currier, Northfield Downtown Development Corporation

Although the Common Loon is the state bird of Minnesota, here in southern Minnesota we generally see loons only in migration; a pair was spotted on a Northfield pond last spring. However, several species of loons winter along the Pacific coast, among other places. On our recent birdwatching trip in northern California, we saw loons (Common, Pacific, or Red-Throated) most days, in protected salt-water harbors and at Clear Lake.

Penelope Hillemann, Penelopedia

Children: The Challenge, by Dr. Rudolf Dreikurs, delivers to parents multiple techniques and guidance on childrearing. In each chapter, the author fully describes a common childrearing problem and then offers his advice and strategy in handling the problem. For example, he provides guidance to parents on matters such as punishment and reward, maintaining a routine, respect for the child or others, the power struggle, tone of voice, and overprotection. Each chapter is very short and covers only one issue at at time thereby making it a very easy and quick read. It can be read in its entirety, or it can be used as a reference guide.

Always Family Center

OWATONNA, Minn. – The St. Olaf women’s tennis team defeated St. Thomas 6-3 last Saturday at the Owatonna Tennis Center.

In the singles competition, Abigail Ho, Christine Muller, Claire Carlson, and Sarah Carlson were all victorious. At the number one spot Ho and Muller earned a win in the doubles competition along with teammates Sarah Carlson and Ellen Goerss in the number three spot.

Saint Olaf College Athletics

That was one the questions posed by Tim Blodgett from ERM (Energy Resource Management) on his walk through our building last Thursday. To our embarrassment, none of us really knew! Tim had been invited by Todd and a group of students who are investigating the size of our school’s carbon footprint and ways to reduce it.

Simon Tyler, ARTech

As grueling and unpleasant as was last weekend, so this weekend was wonderful and satisfying. Many things contributed: warm and sunny weather, my getting out of the house for a stress-eradicating run, multiple trips to the park, my getting out of the house for a night of rock ‘n’ roll and beer, the provisional (three nights running) success of Operation Get Genevieve to Sleep Without Crying (see here and here), and above all the girls’ general good cheer. We logged, over three trips to the park, about four hours of playtime, crowned with 90 minutes on Sunday afternoon at Northfield’s excellent Spring Creek Park, where the girls found at least a half-dozen friends and acquaintances and had a ridiculous amount of joined-at-the-hip fun. They were an adorable, adventurous pair.

Christopher Tassava, Blowing & Drifting

Kathleen Ryor, Associate Professor of Art History, has published an essay entitled, “Wen and Wu in Elite Cultural Practices During the Late Ming,” in Military Culture in Imperial China, ed. Nicola DiCosmo (Harvard University Press, 2008).

Carleton College News

I first met Bill Holm in spring of 1976 when I drove 60 miles from the Molden Farm near Milan to Minneota with my friend Alan Kittelson to attend a class in Modern Scandinavian Literature.

We were a little early and Bill’s cousin Daren answered the door, and a little bashful as we entered the little white house and sat in the living room. Bill filled the room and sat on the piano bench. It wasn’t long before the other students arrived and we quickly began a discussion of Icelandic novelist Halldor Laxness.

David Bly, MN State Representative, 25B

Delaware’s “Governors Energy Advisory Council” of Toadies and Lobbyists has published what’s called an “Energy Plan.” It’s pretty awful, a hodgepodge of random thoughts that has no budget allocated. It sounds like it was written by Delmarva Power and NRG. So what will happen? Not much, given its stream of unconsciousness ramblings — the justifications below each recommendation are sometimes utterly nonsensical … BUT… that’s what they put out.

Carol Overland, Legalectric

J.B. Dudley, of Northfield Physical Therapy, is anointed Grand Marshal of Northfield’s 2009 St. Patrick’s Day parade at Froggy Bottoms on March 14, before the annual parade down Division Street. J.B is Irish on both sides of his family tree and his sister, Shawn (right), served as Grand Marshal in 2006.

Susan Hvistendal, Froggy Bottoms Pub

While I was living in England, my red (“ginger”) beard was a source of predictable amusement to the more puerile inhabitants of the kingdom. Teenagers especially liked to point and laughingly call out “ginger!” Or, sometimes, “ginger pubes!” I was reminded of this last night as I watched George Stevens’ superb 1942 comedy, The Talk of the Town.” The film stars Cary Grant, Jean Arthur, and Ronald Colman. Grant plays Leopold Dilg, who for years has been speaking out about poor conditions at the local woolen mill. When someone torches the mill, causing the death of the foreman, Dilg is immediately suspected and sent to jail.

Rob Hardy, Rough Draft

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. — First-year Simone Childs-Walker (Seattle, Wash./Lakeside) earned All-America honors with her third-place finish in the 5,000-meter run at the 2009 NCAA Division III Indoor Track and Field Championships. Her performance came one day after fellow rookie Clare Franco (Brunswick, Maine) placed 12th in the 400 meter dash at the meet hosted by Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.

Carleton College Athletics

St Patty Day parade 2009 – shortest parade ever

Tim Freeland

Photo gallery of St Patty parade 2009

KYMN Radio

Cannon River STEM School held its first annual enrollment lottery on Saturday, March 14, 2009, at the Just Food Co-op event space in Northfield. We’re happy to announce that we reached our goal of admitting 100 students through the lottery. Parents will now be notified about the results of the lottery. The CRSS board wishes to thank all of the parents and children who turned out for the lottery and our special PI DAY celebration.

Cannon River STEM School

On Thursday, the Minnesota Senate set targets to resolve the budget deficit. Last week we received the final budget forecast which gives us the most accurate picture of the kind of revenue Minnesota can expect over the next several years. It may not come as a surprise to know that the news is not pretty. We are in one of the worst economic downturns in recent memory.

I would like to respond to my constituents who have criticized the legislature for not presenting its own budget in a timely manner. Every Senator and every Representative has been working on this issue from the start. There is a complex array of factors involved when making budget decisions that affect so many Minnesotans. Difficult and gut wrenching cuts will be made that affect our elderly, the disabled, our children, and the poor. Budgets impacting cities and towns, police and fire protection, libraries and homeless shelters are being considered.

Kevin Dahle for Senate District 25

Ronald James Griffith passed away on Thursday, March 12, 2009 from pancreatic cancer. Ron’s brilliant and inquiring intellect, commitment to family and community, outstanding professional leadership, and generous heart will be missed by the many people he touched in Northfield and around the world.

Ron was born Sunday, April 4, 1943 in Harlan, Iowa. Growing up in Cherokee, Iowa, Ron recalled his idyllic childhood with devoted parents, stimulation to learn and support for his interests. He was engaged in Cub Scouts, 4-H, Methodist Youth Fellowship, varsity athletics and numerous school-related clubs and activities. Ron worked continually from age 14 doing either store or farm work until he completed high school. Before graduating from high school in 1960, Ron married Linda Joy Sagness in 1959, welcoming their children Dana and Brian in 1960 and 1961. obituaries

This year we have seven graduating seniors on our staff! This is a particularly special group since it is the final group of instructors who have been with NSS since I founded the program in 2005.

In their time with NSS, all of these coaches have grown tremendously and impacted the lives of hundreds of skaters. They have made huge contributions to our program as leaders, team members, and role models for our athletes. Congrats, seniors, we wish you luck and will miss you dearly!

Northfield Skating School

My wife and I attended the 21st Annual Nobel Peace Prize Forum at St. Olaf College last Friday and Saturday, March 13 and 14. In an arrangement with the Norwegian body that grants the prize, the forums are held at a group of Minnesota and Iowa colleges founded by Norwegian settlers. Since the 2007 Peace Prize was given to Al Gore and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the topic was, of course, climate change. Fortunately for me, the location for this year was St. Olaf.

Bill Ostrem, Northern Letter

St. Olaf President David R. Anderson ’74 has announced that Congressman Erik Paulsen ’87 will speak to the Class of 2009 during the St. Olaf Commencement ceremony May 24. Paulsen represents Minnesota’s 3rd District in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Prior to his election to Congress in 2008, where he represents a number of Minneapolis suburbs, Paulsen served in the Minnesota House of Representatives 1995-2008, where he was majority leader 2003-07. While in office he earned Legislator of the Year awards from the Association of Metropolitan School Districts and the Suburban Transit Association. He also was named Outstanding Legislator by the Minnesota School Boards Association and received the Nature Conservancy’s Government Relations Award for environmental leadership.

Saint Olaf College News

Energy conservation continues to find its way into the headlines, recently it appeared on the cover of the March edition of National Geographic magazine. The image on the cover is an infrared image of the outside of a two-story residential home. With heat showing up as bright oranges, reds, and yellows in infrared it is easy to see this house is losing a great deal of energy through its roof and a few spots in the walls. In the article, titled “Saving Energy: It Starts at Home,” writer Peter Miller records his and his family’s attempt to reduce their carbon emissions by 80% for one month.

Carleton College sustainability blog

The owner of the home we are building in rural Northfield has done the stone work around the fireplace himself. He first set a number of stones that he collected from around the United States. He then infilled around the stones with cultured stones. It creates a very nice fireplace. For the mantle he used a section of oak log that was milled from the site where the home is located.

Northfield Construction Company

This past weekend of the 6th and 7th was the Key’s giant Hip Hop Fest. On Friday, Kanser and their backing band (More than Lights) performed an awesome show with some local yokels like Timmy “Two Tone” Hollinger and his band DEAF (Desiring Every Aspect of Freedom) opening. Saturday saw the amazing Kristoffe Krane play. Krane has been making some major press, including some major play (and acknowledgment) on the Current. Local (as in Twin Cities) legend Eyedea also made a guest appearance.

Union of Youth

Gospel, John 2:13-25 The first temple of Jerusalem was built by Solomon on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite, the highest part of the hill of Ophel, where David had constructed an altar. That temple had been despoiled by the Egyptians shortly after Solomon’s death, later plundered by Joash of Israel around 800 BC, and again in 597 BC by Nebuchadnezzar who had the temple burned and torn down prior to leading the Jewish people into captivity in 587 BC. That temple was rebuilt under the leadership of Ezra and Nehemiah in the post-exilic period. It was a slow process which met a lot of opposition from the Samaritans.

Father Denny Dempsey

St. Patty’s Day is coming soon, and I could not wait. Other holidays, I am happy to wait for, but this one, this time, no, I wasn’t gonna do it. I wasn’t going to miss my chance to get me some Irish soda bread. It is something I did not grow up with, and I rarely got, but when I did, I knew that I had partaken in the Rolls Royce of not too serious breads. And I loved it. I am a not too serious kind of girl, so you see what I mean…we are a perfect match.

Bright’s Northfield Restaurant Blog

Charlie Cogan introduced us to a Rotary project that is rebuilding storm-ravaged school buildings in central Togo.

Both buildings on the Central Primary School of Bassar’s campus were badly damaged by high winds and rain. One has already been rebuilt with the help of several Rotary clubs, including Northfield Rotary, which served as the fiscal agent for the project. Four thousand dollars has been raised for the second building, about half the needed funds.

Northfield Rotary Club

Your spine and nervous system are so intimately connected that if you lose normal alignment or function in your spine, you will also partially lose the connection between your brain and your body (subluxation). This loss of a clear nerve connection leads to the loss of your ability to function normally which then leads to a loss of your natural state of health. Adjustments help you by correcting normal alignment and function of the spine which then restores proper nerve supply and your ability to function normally. Keep in mind, when you are “sick,” it’s not that you have something you shouldn’t have (cold, flu, cancer, pain, diabetes, etc.) it’s that you have lost the ability to function normally. Getting adjusted helps restore your body’s ability to function and heal naturally through a clear neurological connection.

CNC Chiropractic

In today’s Star Tribune there is an article about the Ghost Town of Lewiston. It is a manuscript that was jointly published by the Dakota County Historical Society and NHS. The manuscript was written by long time rural Northfield Mail Carrier Alvin Houston. We have to thank Susan Hvistendahl for editing the manuscript, Orrin DeLong for moving the project along and the Dakota County Historical Society for publishing the manuscript. Finally, we have to thank the Houston Trust for helping fund the project.

Northfield Historical Society

People with a hankering for cheap stuff are still teeming into River City Books! As my handy photographying clearly shows—for the four people who don’t know, pictured is lifetime Northfield resident and RCB bookseller Beth Vivant—often a sturdy bag is required to hold all of the trade books, bargain books, gifts, clothing, CDs, DVDs and warm memories that are being carrying out the front door. Just to be clear, in case I haven’t yet been, inventory is not being replaced. Get what you want while you still can!

River City Books

I’ve been working with (L to R) Bill Carlson, Ray Eng, and Ed Lufkin to convert the Cannon Valley Elder Collegium website (CVEC) to a WordPress-based blog site. It went live last week, with the CVEC blog on a separate page.

Wigley and Associates

When I last walked out of an office where I was employed in a full-time permanent job, Hilary Clinton had just been appointed to a high-level Administration position–heading husband Bill’s health care reform initiative in 1993. Since then, I’ve done a lot of interesting things: I was a full-time, stay-at-home dad with my two young kids for several years; worked part-time at the Northfield Public Library, ran a sideline beekeeping business; became a volunteer community energy activist, helping form and run RENew Northfield while schlepping mail for the US Postal Service as a casual employee, then working at St. Olaf College’s Rolvaag Library; and enjoyed several years of working as an energy and sustainability consultant through my business, Sustainable Community Solutions.

Sustainable Community Solutions

So my son Peter and I were noodling back and forth by e-mail, as we do now and again when some vagrant idea catches our fancy, and along the way it occurred to me that there were some points that might be of interest to onlookers. So, with his permission (and mine if he wants to post it on his blog) is a slightly edited version [with comments in brackets].

For background, Peter, now in his mid-30s, is autistic, but formally diagnosed only a year or so ago. And his spouse Jesse Hajicek has published (with a print-on-demand house called Lulu) a novel titled The God Eaters, which has sold passably well on Amazon.

Linda Seebach, The Eclectic Linda

The lightest and most aero seatbag on the market.
Pedro’s new Ethik Seat Bag is the first product of its type with sustainability designed into the bag. Great features too: Dry-bag closure Compression strap to reduce sway; Narrow profile tucks below the sleekest saddles; Used inner-tube strap keeper; Recycle it when you’re done!

Monkey See, Monkey Read

This Thursday evening (March 12) , Beef O’ Brady’s is hosting a special fundraiser to benefit the Skateboard Coalition.

Stop by the restaurant from 4:00-8:00 p.m. After you have enjoyed a delicious meal, drop your receipt in the bucket by the door and the Skateboard Coalition will receive 20% of what you spent!

Northfield Healthy Community Initiative

God’s covenant with Abraham and Sarah was really a set of extravagant promises — promises that we have inherited. Today I reflect about those covenants, and what they mean for us ..

Promises in the Wilderness

Genesis 17:1-7, 15-16 Psalm 22:23-31

In the United Church of Christ we often speak about covenants. In fact, our church is knit together by a whole series of covenants:

covenants among individuals as members of local churches, covenants among congregations that make up Associations and Conferences, and covenants among Conferences that make up our wider church, including our ministries in the national setting. All of these covenants are comprises of faithful and mutual promises made by the various individuals and institutions that are part of the UCC.

First United Church of Christ

Late fall, and in these unsettled economic times a camping trip reminds us that seasonal cycles are larger than stock market fluctuations. Southeast Minnesota is the driftless area, where non-glaciated areas were scoured by the melting glaciers long before the first shares of stock were traded. The resulting bluffs tower above valley floors and the mixed hardwoods now shine gold, bronze and yellow in the pale autumn sun.

Duck Fat and Politics

Are you sick of winter? Does the economy have you down? Would you like to donate to your favorite charity, but cash is tight? Would you like to unclutter your home and have an excuse to get your garage cleaned out? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then we have a great service opportunity for you: Get involved in 5th Bridge’s 2nd Annual “Goods for Good”, Great Northfield Rummage Raid for Charity.

5th Bridge

I think the best kept secret in Northfield in definitely a Youth Membership at Y. Most our new members are Family or Adult Members and I think that’s because we are still working hard to get the word out – so every one knows what we have to offer.

Northfield YMCA

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