Category Archives: Life

Downtown Northfield is Twins Territory

ross_twins_sized.jpgYeah, I’m pretty psyched that the Twins have matched the Tigers’ record. With three games left for Minnesota to pass Detroit, the Division Title is within reach.

I was confident that they’d clinch the Wild Card spot and believed that they’d have a chance for more. Now every game, every inning, every at-bat matters. What a great time to be watching baseball.

I’ll be at one of those three games with Bruce Anderson, of RENew Northfield, and our families, to get up close and personal with the cheering. We’ve got a Rotary Student from Germany staying with us and we’ll be giving her a great taste of America watching the Twin Cities take on Chicago at the Dome.

To summarize, “Go Twins!”


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EDA to study fiber for Northfield’s economic development diet

IMG_4038w800.jpgAt this morning’s EDA meeting at City Hall, members had this item on their agenda (see page 6 of the packet pdf on the Sept. 28 meeting page): “The EDA will review the draft agenda and purpose of the fiber network task force meeting.” Carleton’s Joel Cooper was invited to the table to give an overview. And I was allowed to contribute a couple of comments. I reiterated the points I made in my Lack of fiber in Northfield’s economic diet blog post about this two weeks ago about “Attracting and retaining talent,” especially college students who’ve graduated; and the City of Burnsville’s push for fiber as a means of supporting/developing their medical technology industry. So I’m thrilled with this development and delighted that Locally Grown’s own Tracy Davis is leading the initial charge. You rock, Tracy!

We divert our topic a bit into our health, there’s this new Nutrisystem diet plan has become indeed popular in the country as it offers amazing weight loss results. It is purely a meal delivery program designed to offer weight loss solutions to people. They sold it in packages or individual, are nutrisystem foods sold in stores?

L to R in the photo (click to enlarge): Tracy Davis, Dixon Bond, Joel Cooper, Rick Estenson, Mark Moors, Galen Malecha, Deanna Kuennen.


Click to play. 30 minutes.

Something Else To Do With Sidewalks

We can walk on them, dine on them (well, maybe someday), and we can……create art on them?

Recently, I saw some photos of the Sacramento Chalk-It-Up festival, which brings out the artist in everyone. The Sacramento event is a fund-raiser for education and the arts, and the sidewalk art created over Labor Day weekend is left for all to enjoy through the entire month of September.

Our weather might not be quite so cooperative, but the idea still has possibilities. Wouldn’t this be a great way to enjoy those late spring afternoons and get the college students mingling with the townees and local kids? It’s not too early to start thinking about it.

The upcoming Spelling Bee to benefit the Northfield Public Library set me to thinking about developing more opportunities for grown-ups to play like kids, so the sidewalk art caught my attention.

You can see more pictures of the chalk art here.

Annoying toy selling out; may have redeeming purpose

My daughter Gilly works at Target here in Northfield part-time and told me today that this Tickle Me Elmo X (Extreme!) is flying off the shelves. It’s funny to watch the YouTube video once, but I’d take a hammer to it if I had to be in the same room with it for more than 5 minutes. However, it might be cool to bring it to a public meeting and tickle it at strategic moments. And yes, we now have a category here called Fluff.

Lack of fiber in Northfield’s economic diet

joel_cooper_krlx.jpgBack in April, we did a show on Northfield’s ultra high-speed broadband infrastructure with guest, Joel Cooper, Carleton’s Director of Information Technology Services. I think we should do another one, as municipal constipation may be setting in.

Earlier this week in the the Strib: College debuts Internet so fast, it almost gives you whiplash

Preparing for increased convergence of technology and media, Century College in White Bear Lake opened a new technology center featuring lightning-fast connections… He said the school developed the Kopp Center over the past five years with the idea that television will eventually be Internet-based and that as the Internet expands there will be more desktop video, more Internet TV, more bi-directional education, and so on.

There was also a Strib article in July that included info on fiber/ultra high speed: Should cities play role in providing Internet?

sBurnsville wants to make sure inadequate, high-cost Internet doesn’t slow growth, said Council Member Dan Gustafson. “We’re very focused on the medical technologies in Burnsville, and fiber is going to be very important for that industry.”

fiber.gifApple announced its TV/movie distribution service this week (BW article) following a similar Amazon announcement recently.

So what does all this mean? I think it means that the City of Northfield should examine more closely how ultra high-speed broadband infrastructure can help it achieve two of the three main strategies that are laid out in the recently approved 2006 economic development plan:

  • 1) Diversifying Northfield’s economic base
    The targeted industries include medical: “Healthcare/medical. Industry activities that range here and from direct patient care to diagnostic services to medical research.” If Burnsville sees the need for fiber for its medical technology industry, shouldn’t Northfield?

  • 3) Attracting and retaining talent
    Isn’t it likely that the college students we want to retain and others we want to attract would be enticed in part by the benefits offered by our fiber infrastructure? In the Dallas suburb of Keller, in Tampa, and in Huntington Beach, California, Verizon is rolling out FTTP (fiber-to-the-premises) for local customers “… as it can make applications like video chat and conferencing, digital movie downloads, and interactive multi-player games a part of their daily lives.” See Verizon’s FIOS website for more.

It’s time Northfield got serious about these developments. (Blandin is having a conference in October: Next Generation Broadband. City officials should attend.) Nothing has happened with city-wide wi-fi since the NDDC held a forum on it many months ago and I fear nothing is going to happen with fiber. (Yes, I’d like to see fiber brought to Northfield Crossing since I’m going to be living there next spring. Plus, I think it would help them sell more condos in this current real estate downturn.)

I plan to visit an upcoming EDA meeting and make my sentiments known. In the meantime, make your sentiments about this issue known by attaching comments here.