By stepping off the big-clinic treadmill, where doctors are sometimes asked to see a different patient every 15 minutes, Dr. Batlle has joined the vanguard of physicians trying to redefine health care. These doctors spend more time with patients, emphasize prevention and education to keep them healthy and can handle many medical problems without referrals to specialists.
Kathy Cooper, Rice County Safe Communities, alerted me to the new DWI task force, called the MOD-Squad (“Modifying Driving Behavior”).
Griff, as you probably remember from last year, Rice County was number 11 of the top 15 deadliest counties for alcohol-related deaths and injuries. Unfortunately, we are on the list again… There will be a briefing in Northfield on Friday, December 5 at 2030 hrs.
I blogged last year at this time about Rice County’s dubious distinction of being among the deadliest counties in the state for DWI-related deaths and serious injuries. I guess it didn’t do any good because…
Last week, I spoke to a friend of one of Northfield’s alleged heroin dealers. Since she is 15 years old and talking about a sensitive matter, I decided to keep her name and the name of her friend anonymous, even though she gave me permission to use her name.
An recent op-ed the Sacramento Bee had an interesting angle on some of the traffic and transportation issues facing many parts of the U.S., including Northfield.
We’re stuck with the landscape we’ve built over the past 60 years, much of which is literally uninhabitable without a car. Trying to make our communities less car-dependent simply by adding more buses, streetcars and light rail is like trying to make a bowl of chicken soup vegan simply by picking the chicken out.
The author goes on to explain how our built environment has stacked the deck in favor of the individual automobile, at the expense of community, human health, and the environment. He points out, “Cities and suburbs throughout Western Europe have proven for decades that people will choose walking, bicycling and public transit over personal cars if the price is right and the trip is pleasant.”
But unlike more militant voices, he doesn’t take a hard line against cars per se, instead focusing what we can regain by re-thinking the design of our cities and towns.
… how we use cars, how we plan our economies and communities around cars, and even how we build cars, all have to change. . . Millions upon millions of Europeans are living rich, modern lives without requiring a private car to meet their most basic needs. They’re in communities that function perfectly well with gasoline three times the price as at our pumps, and with the resilience to continue thriving if prices doubled tomorrow. How many places in America can say the same?
He concludes with the point that the way things were built prior to the mid-20th century may also make good sense in how we handle the increasing cost of oil and the fact that it’s a finite resource which is running out.
One of the things I’ve always appreciated about Northfield is the fact that most of it was built to what has come to be called “human scale”, without the speed and enclosure of automobiles to skew our sense of distance. This community is geographically compact, which gives us several advantages IF we make wise decisions about transportation and land use going forward.
What do you think of this whole idea? How is Northfield better or less prepared than other parts of the country to embrace changes like this?
Hi, my name’s Ben Haynor. I’m a math and physics major at Carleton College. I ended up in a journalism class this semester and began looking at Northfield’s opiate problem. I met Bonnie on Friday and we decided to collaborate on a story. We had already been gathering information, conducting interviews and looking at the history of Northfield’s opiate problem this month. When seven were arraigned on drug charges on Monday, we felt prepared to cover the news and we were glad to have a team of two to do so.
In the coming week we’ll be talking with the authorities to learn more about the arrests, get a better sense of what problems our community still faces, and learn how police intend to continue combating problems with heroin. We’ll be speaking with police in other towns that have had similar bouts with heroin dealing to gain perspective on how a community can fight the problem. If you know more about Northfield’s opiate scene, and are willing to speak, please contact Bonnie or me at RepJNorthfield@gmail.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The “slow food” movement, which started in Italy in 1986 to protest a McDonald’s in central Rome, has picked up momentum, with foodie notables like Michael Pollan and Alice Waters actively involved.
In the United States, members of Slow Food USA’s 200 chapters celebrate the amazing bounty of food that is available and work to strengthen the connection between the food on our plates and the health of our planet. Our members are involved in activities such as:
Raising public awareness, improving access and encouraging the enjoyment of foods that are local, seasonal and sustainably grown
Caring for the land and protecting biodiversity for today’s communities and future generations
Performing educational outreach within their communities and working with children in schools and through public programs
Identifying, promoting and protecting fruits, vegetables, grains, animal breeds, wild foods and cooking traditions at risk of disappearance
Advocating for farmers and artisans who grow, produce, market, prepare and serve wholesome food
Promoting the celebration of food as a cornerstone of pleasure, culture and community
That’s a very large vision, but I’ll drink to that.
There’s a local chapter in Northfield, started last year by students at Carleton College. There could be a great town-and-gown opportunity here!
(Minnesota also has Slow Food chapters in Minneapolis, Rochester, and Duluth.) Any LoGro readers have any experience with any of these chapters?
A recent article in the Chicago Tribune about the rising trend of “co-working” space (shared space where the self-employed or telecommuting employee can plug in to work) got me thinking again about the benefits of such a space for Northfield. Is there a market?
The local coffeehouses are serving this function now, but I believe there may be an additional need for a place more conducive to work which still provides the social benefits. Shared work sites across the country have similar features – generally an open room with desks, some meeting rooms, maybe a kitchen; most are in the $150-300/month range.
…co-workers have included computer programmers and Web site developers, road-warrior salesmen who need a quiet place to make sales calls, a graduate student writing his doctoral dissertation and even a woman who runs a dog-walking business.
That’s a typically broad cross section of the people who use coworking sites, part of what author Daniel Pink calls “Free Agent Nation,” the independent contractors and freelance workers who can work anywhere as long as they can plug in a laptop, use their cell phones and hook up to the Internet.
As an indication of how big that nation is becoming, the U.S. Census Bureau reported that the number of single-person businesses increased from 16.5 million in 2000 to 20.4 million in 2005.
Let’s pretend that we had an appropriately configured space here in Northfield. Are there those who would sign up at $150/month? Is there even a need for such a space? I think yes, knowing a large number of self-employed and entrepreneurial types who don’t have dedicated office space.