Cogwheel Archive

Rotary Cogwheel | November 8.2018

November 8, 2018

Today’s Program | Thursday, November 8, 2018

Today:  Simone Gaetani, Inbound from Italy (Longwich)

Next Week: Sherri Meyers, Classification (Kaczmarek)

Birthdays: Erin Bailey (11/9), Greg Carlso (11/11), Lee Dilley (11/10), Jen Dunn-Foster (11/11), Paul Krause (11/9)

Statement of Purpose: Northfield Rotary Club is dedicated to promoting peace and understanding through service and shared experience. We invite people from all corners of the community to join us as we partner with others to support youth, build sustainable infrastructure and preserve our planet.

Guests:

  • Doris Welke (Peggy Prowe)

Announcements:

  • Andrei Sivanich is looking for volunteers for the upcoming Laura Baker Association Gala. See him if you can help.
  • The film “Age of Consequences” will be shown on Friday, Nov. 9 at 7:00 pm at the Weitz Center. All are invited. Bruce Morland has details.
  • Breakfast Buddies wanted! Lori Williams, Chris Weber and the Literacy Committee are looking for several volunteers to read with students over breakfast at school. Background check required. Talk with Chris Weber to sign up.
  • The Community Action Center is collecting new books for “Operation Joy” holiday gifts. Please give your donations to Lori Williams.
  • Want to interview Youth Exchange applicants? It’s an important part of their application process. Tuesday, Nov. 27 at 5:30 pm at Emmaus Church. Talk with Rachel Estrella to sign up.
  • Want to go to the District’s celebration for Foundation work to end polio? It’s Nov. 10 and our club has a table for 10. See Jean Wakely.
  • The Crazy Holiday Sweater contest will be December 20, so start preparing now

Scholarship Enhancement:  Bob Will

Happy News

  • The 2nd edition of David Koenig’s is in print and it is already doing well in several categories on Amazon
  • The Northfield Fairfield Inn & Suites opened for business on October 30th. Brett Reese thanks everyone who had a part in making it a reality. The public is welcome at the hotel bar, which will serve drinks and appetizers daily from 4pm.

Last Week:

Richard DeBeau has toured 50 states and 9 Canadian provinces on his motorcycle. His life journey began in an abusive home and as a result, he struggled with depression and anger. As a teenager, he expressed those feelings through stealing, vandalism and truancy. He graduated in the bottom half of his class and was a married father at age 18.  Little did he know that this background was preparing him for his life’s work.

Richard got a night shift job at a Mankato factory while he attended college. After graduation he got a job as a probation/parole officer. He then got his masters in criminology and began working with kids and families. He served on several important board and committees and worked to advocate for those in treatment. Richard got a PhD in family sociology and worked with the National Council on Family Relations. He led a young professionals group and has provided counseling to families from 11 different treatment facilities in the state of Minnesota. He also developed an asset-based protocol for diagnostic assessment.

Richard has six children and four grandchildren. Richard knew that his wife Doris on eharmony. He knew she was the one for him when he asked how she liked the motorcycle ride and she replied, “My face hurts because I can’t stop grinning.” They have ridden 60,000 miles together.

The Northfield community benefits from Richard’s involvement as a Red Cross volunteer, Northfield Human Rights Commission member and Citizens Climate Lobby/RCAT member. His favorite bike is a 2002 Honda ST 1100. He owned one but sold it to buy his Gold Wing, and then miraculously found another in great condition on craigslist. As a proud colon cancer survivor, Richard rides in the “Multiple Regressions” motorcycle gang where he is known as “Semi-colon.”

Coming Up:

Nov 22 – Thanksgiving—Turkey Trot, no lunch meeting

Nov 29 — Pedro (“Pepe”) Gomes do Nascimento, Inbound from Brazil (Pokorney)

Rotary Cogwheel | November 1.2018

October 30, 2018

Today’s Program | Thursday, November 1, 2018

Today:  Richard DeBeau, Classification (Davis)

Next Week: Simone Gaetani, Inbound from Italy (Longwich)

Birthdays: Sue Boxrud (11/5), Dave Brown (11/6)

Statement of Purpose: Northfield Rotary Club is dedicated to promoting peace and understanding through service and shared experience. We invite people from all corners of the community to join us as we partner with others to support youth, build sustainable infrastructure and preserve our planet.

Guests:

  • Al Spens (J. Pokorney)
  • John Sauer (Rich) – new member

Announcements:

  • The film “Age of Consequences” will be shown on Friday, Nov. 9 at 7:00 pm at the Weitz Center. All are invited. Bruce Morland has details.
  • Breakfast Buddies wanted! Lori Williams, Chris Weber and the Literacy Committee are looking for several volunteers to read with students over breakfast at school. Background check required. Talk with Chris Weber to sign up.
  • The Community Action Center is collecting new books for “Operation Joy” holiday gifts. Please give your donations to Lori Williams.
  • Want to interview Youth Exchange applicants? It’s an important part of their application process. Tuesday, Nov. 27 at 5:30 pm at Emmaus Church. Talk with Rachel Estrella to sign up.
  • Wendy Sivanich is looking for a family to host an exchange student from Finland (through a different exchange program than Rotary’s). Ask Wendy for details.
  • Want to go to the District’s celebration for Foundation work to end polio? It’s Nov. 10 and our club has a table for 10. See Jean Wakely.
  • Turkey Trot has a new official starter: Our esteemed president Scott Richardson. Even though this plum job has been filled, there’s lots more for volunteers to do! You can sign up via SignUpGenius.com – Robert Bierman has details.

Scholarship Enhancement:  Kyle Nordine

Last Week:

Greg Siems, St. Olaf’s Assistant Director for the Institute of Freedom and Community, introduced speaker Dan Hofrenning, political science professor at St. Olaf.

Dan traced three elements affecting American politics today: political change, campaign finance, and the politics of contentment.

Political change across the country has produced significant long-term shifts – for example, southern states shifting from blue to red over the century – as well as short- and middle-term changes across demographics including education and age.

In campaign finance, Dan points out that the 2018 mid-term elections find Democrats in their strongest fundraising ever, especially in states with tossup races – a strong shift from 2016.

And the politics of contentment? Trust in government has plummeted: In 1956, 70% of Americans trusted government to do well. Now, that’s only 20%. Social capital – including social goodwill for members of service groups like Rotary – is part of the decline: As membership in service organizations falls, so do trust levels in general. Meanwhile, deeply negative views of the other party have more than tripled: In 1994, about 17-20% of Americans felt negatively towards the opposite political party. In 2016, that was 66%.

As Americans do fewer things as a group, social capital and trust decline, and negative impressions of each other increase.

Vote, y’all. And keep building goodwill and better friendships through Rotary.

Coming Up:

Nov 15 – Sherri Meyers, Classification (Kaczmarek)

Nov 22 – Thanksgiving—Turkey Trot, no lunch meeting

Rotary Cogwheel | October 25.2018

October 25, 2018

Today’s Program | Thursday, October 25, 2018

Today:  Dan Hofrenning, Political Landscape (Siems)

Next Week: Richard DeBeau, Classification (Davis)

Birthdays: Barry Carlson (10/22), Doug Crane (10/25), Mark Gleason (10/20), Rob Martin (10/23), Bruce Morlan (10/18), Brett Reese (10/25)

Statement of Purpose: Northfield Rotary Club is dedicated to promoting peace and understanding through service and shared experience. We invite people from all corners of the community to join us as we partner with others to support youth, build sustainable infrastructure and preserve our planet.

Guests:

Pat Richardson (Richardson), Emily Fulton (Atchison), Petra and Hans Rong (Reppmann)

Announcements:

  • Alan Anderson shared an article about climate change from Smithsonian.com and reminded us to take the climate change survey
  • Kurt Larson says the Turkey Trot has already surpassed last year’s corporate sponsorships. Yard signs will be available after Nov. 7. Rick Estenson says runners should sign up by Nov. 9 to get a t-shirt. See Kurt or Rick if you can volunteer to help with the event on Thanksgiving morning.
  • Brett Reese urges everyone to vote on Nov. 6 – two important referendums on the ballot for Northfield Schools and the proposed Cannon River Civic Center
  • Kristi Purcell invited everyone to Keepsake Cidery for the CRWP Membership Appreciation dinner and tour on October 26 from 5:30-8pm. There is a suggested $50 donation for dinner.
  • If you are interested in learning more about human trafficking, Rotary is holding a training event on Saturday, Nov. 3, 9 a.m. to noon at the Southdale Library in Edina. For more information, contact Meg at MLow.ROTARY@gmail.com.
  • The Annual Foundation Celebration Dinner, Saturday evening, Nov. 10, in Oakdale will shine the light on Rotary’s polio eradication campaign. Nancy Barbee will be the keynote speaker. Jean Wakely is planning to attend. Contact her if you are interested. There is a discount on tickets if we reserve a table for eight. 

Scholarship Enhancement:  Carl Behr

Happy News:

  • Virginia Kaczmarek thanks everyone for their support through the years and says she will stay at our Rotary club through November.

Last Week:

You may not know that Bruce Morlan was in the Air Force and was later a mediator in Rice County courts. He is the chair of the Citizens Climate Lobby. He is learning about how people use language as a weapon and shield and once went to Washington DC to speak about being bi-lingual and bi-partisan. You also might not know that Bruce likes to draw political cartoons. He introduced Bill Doherty, a Marriage and Family Therapist who co-founded Better Angels. Bill spoke on Restoring Civility to our Political Discourse.

Political polarization is spiking in America and is now at a historical high. In 1960, 5% of survey respondents were uncomfortable with their son or daughter marrying someone from the other political party. That has now risen to 35-40%.

Bill asked us, “What are the sources of this rise in polarization?” We responded with answers like: media, labels, only reading things you agree with, tailored news, financial insecurity, fear of the future, personal entitlement, destruction of decorum and hate speech. After the 2016 presidential election there were two populations: one feeling buoyed by hope and change and one feeling intense grief. We cannot run our communities with this level of polarization.

Bill toured 8 states and 15 towns on a bus tour to help people learn about communicating across the divide. The name Better Angels comes from an Abraham Lincoln quote that says, “We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory will swell when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.”

The mission of Better Angels is to depolarize America. They want to help us to find understanding of each other beyond stereotypes and find common ground. Bill says we need to create a structured conversation to help people change their minds about each other. We are all assuming the other side doesn’t care about this country–that we have profound moral differences. But we aren’t that different. Better Angels teach how to set a tone so the other person might be receptive.

Be curious and use good listening skills, speaking in a way that makes them hear you. Even therapists struggle to use their own communication techniques when it comes to politics. Think of it as an interfaith conversation-the goal is not to change their mind. Don’t characterize their position. Stick to characterizing your own side. You can achieve disagreement but you will understand where you differ and where you agree. Better Angels also teaches how to get out of the conversation when there is a meltdown. Don’t answer bait and provocation. Don’t try it in a group, particularly a family group. Try a one-on-one conversation, but not online—people are losing 30-year long friendships. Reds and blues tend to use the same terms differently, which can create mistranslations.

Minnesota has become the hub of this work. St. Olaf held a successful student-led red/blue workshop recently. We have polarization based on geography-states didn’t used to be red or blue. The demoralized middle is seen as a sellout. But people can form a red/blue alliance and diminish this toxic polarization. We need to humanize the other side. We can agree on policy without changing our political identity. Better Angels encourages people to come together and get something done. Visit better-angels.org to learn more and get on their mailing list.

Coming Up:

Nov 8 – Simone Gaetani, Inbound from Italy (Longwich)

Nov 15 – Sherri Meyers, Classification (Kaczmarek)

Rotary Cogwheel | October 18.2018

October 17, 2018

Today’s Program | Thursday, October 18, 2018

Today:  Bill Doherty, Restoring Civility to our Political Discourse (Morlan)

Next Week: Dan Hofrenning, Political Landscape (Siems)

Birthdays: Kelly Dennis (10/18), Mike Krance (10/16), Larry Vorwerk (10/18)

Statement of Purpose: Northfield Rotary Club is dedicated to promoting peace and understanding through service and shared experience. We invite people from all corners of the community to join us as we partner with others to support youth, build sustainable infrastructure and preserve our planet.

Guests:

John Souer (Rich), Renee Moen (Rychner), Brian Scheeler (Longwich)

Induction of New Members:

Barry Carlson welcomed new members who have joined our club over the past few months:

Ann Leming (Dilley), Greg Siems (Melby), Bob Thacker (Koenig), Kristi Purcell (Hager Dee) Jody Gunderson (Richardson), Tony Huettl (Quinnell), Kim Furman (not in attendance)

Announcements:

  • Alan Anderson reminded us that we will be have the opportunity to take a survey about the City’s Climate Action Plan at Rotary on 10/18
  • David Koenig reports that they had a successful 4th annual Ethical Leadership Workshop for 30 high school students. They rated it 3.85 out of 4 stars and gave the food a 10 out of 10.
  • Ron Linde shared a volunteer opportunity for those able to help remove buckthorn at Riverside Park on October 20th from 9am-12pm.
  • Mike Krance says storm cleanup volunteers are still needed. Sign up at northfieldshares.org
  • Kristi Purcell invited everyone to Keepsake Cidery for the CRWP Membership Appreciation dinner and tour on October 26 from 5:30-8pm
  • If you are interested in learning more about human trafficking, Rotary is holding a training on Saturday, Nov. 3, 9 a.m. to noon at the Southdale Library in Edina. For more information, contact Meg at MLow.ROTARY@gmail.com.

Exchange Students:

Scott asked our inbounds about their initial reactions to Northfield. Elise from France says she has made some good friends and it’s been cold. Itty from Indonesia says it is a very beautiful city with friendly people. Simone from Italy says “the people are warm but the weather is not.” Tuomas from Finland says he’s met some great people. Pepe from Brazil says everyone is nice and he saw a bit of snow today. Yuyu from Japan says people are very kind. Welcome, Inbound Students! We’re glad you’re here!

Scholarship Enhancement:  Wendy Sivanich

Last Week:

Jean Wakely introduced our District Governor, Mike Becker. Mike was born and raised in Rochester and has served on every Rotary board position. When he is not doing Rotary work, he works as a senior appraiser. Mike and his wife Nancy have been foster and adoptive parents and enjoy spending time with their six kids and their grandkids.

Mike asked us some great questions:

How many times do we talk about Rotary? Wear our pins? If someone asks you, “What is Rotary?” how do you answer?

Mike likes to answer “It’s the best time I’ve ever had helping people around the world without leaving home.” He recommends that we speak from the heart and tell Northfield stories. We should celebrate all that we do and share tidbits like the fact that we have students from all over the world at our meetings, and that we’re working to eradicate polio.

Mike has made some improvements on the district level, including a strategic plan, six core values, a sexual harassment policy, help with the Club Runner website, a climate action initiative and restructuring of the grant process.

We are thankful for all Mike is doing for our district and our club!

Coming Up:

Nov 1 – Richard DeBeau, Classification (Davis)

Rotary Cogwheel | October 11.2018

October 10, 2018

Today’s Program | Thursday, October 11, 2018

Today: Mike Becker, Rotary District Governor

Next Week: Jennifer Novak, Classification (Rich)

Birthdays: Richard DeBeau (10/11), Larry Defries (10/6), Nathan Heilman (10/10), Kyle Nordine (10/7), Zack Zastrow (10/6)

Statement of Purpose: Northfield Rotary Club is dedicated to promoting peace and understanding through service and shared experience. We invite people from all corners of the community to join us as we partner with others to support youth, build sustainable infrastructure and preserve our planet.

Guests:

Jim Bassett (Kyte), Beth Eaves (Kyte), Kim Furman (Maus), Ben Houser (Steed), Emily Fulton (Wopata), Todd Iverson (Sivanich), Leslie Vanderwood (Will)

Announcements:

Virginia Kaczmarek is leaving the Y and our Rotary Club for the Rochester Y and Rotary Club. She will be greatly missed in our community and club!
The Turkey Trot is looking for corporate sponsors and volunteers—see Rick Estenson to get involved
Want to promote the school referendum? See Rick Estenson for vote yes buttons and yard signs.
Want to promote the Cannon River Civic Center? See Brett Reese for vote yes buttons and yard signs.
Meredith Galdeen reminded everyone to use the survey link in the Richardson Report and share what you’d like to see on our new club website
Rotary will be hosting a Thanksgiving dinner at the Key on November 14. See Janine Atchison if you can volunteer to help.
Interested in learning how to speak with someone when you hold different views? Come to Rotary’s Better Angelstraining session Thursday, Oct.18 from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at United Methodist Church. This is part of the district’s initiative to take the four-way test into the community and is one of the projects of our club’s Ethical Leadership Committee. It is open to Rotarians and their guests. If you have questions, contact Bruce Morlan.

Happy News

Erin Bailey is back from maternity leave. Matt Hillmann, the school district and our club are happy to have her back!
David Koenig’s daughter Sylvia turned 16 and the 2nd edition of his book is due to drop soon.
Betsy Spethmann is happy to have both Rick Estenson and Rachel Estrella featured in the latest edition of the Northfield Hospital magazine.
Greg Siems is happy about the turnout at St. Olaf’s recent event

Scholarship Enhancement:  Simone Gaetani

Last Week:

Charlie Kyte and his wife Dianne will celebrate 50 years of marriage this year. He says that having children is just a necessary path to the true joy in life: grandchildren. Charlieintroduced Steve Shier, Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Carleton College. Steve has authored and/or edited 21 books and published numerous articles and essays.

Steve Shier says this is “not a lighthearted time in American politics.” But evidently polarization is not a new phenomenon. 100 years ago, G.K. Chesterton said, The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of Conservatives is to prevent mistakes from being corrected.”

Steve was recently interviewed by French televisionevidence that Minnesota politics are a hot topic right now. Negative ads abound, because people are more likely to believe and remember negative information about public figures. Steve shared insights from the book Microtrends Squared: The New Small Forces Driving the Big Disruptions Today by Mark Penn. Penn has argued that the future is not shaped by society’s broad forces, but by quiet changes within narrow slices of the population.

The “Old Economy Voters” are hard working, religious and family-oriented. They are former democrats who opted for Trump in the presidential election. They make up Minnesota’s 8thDistrict, which is likely to become GOP.

The “Impressionable Elites” trust the media chorus and don’t see what’s actually happening. Whether conservative or liberal, they stick to their ideologies.

The “Militant Dreamers” are here without documentation and may be the most powerful force in the next presidential election.

The “Happy Pessimists” are happy about their personal circumstances, but even though the stock market is up and unemployment is down, they are still pessimistic about the future.

The “Couch Potatoes” don’t pay attention to politics most of the time, then get excited, vote, and return to the couch. They are the people who elected Jesse Ventura in 1998.

The Impressionable Elites dominate the Republican and Democratic ranks. The other groups can move the upcoming election in a variety of directions. The Old Economy voters and the Happy Pessimists are important and volatile groups and the outcome of the 2018 election is highly uncertain. The question is, who will get off the couch and vote? If the Democrats do well it will be primarily because of the anti-Trump women vote and the Millennials. Be sure to vote on November 6th!

Coming Up:

Oct 25 – Dan Hofrenning, Political Landscape (Siems)

Rotary Cogwheel | October 4.2018

October 3, 2018

Today’s Program | Thursday, October 4, 2018

Today:  Steve Schier (Kyte) 2018 Elections

Next Week: Mike Becker, Rotary District Governor

Birthdays: Robert Bierman (9/29), Kurt Larson (9/29) Michelle Lasswell (9/29), Rachel McIves Morey (9/30), Sherri Meyers (10/1), Laurie Williams (9/28)

Statement of Purpose: Northfield Rotary Club is dedicated to promoting peace and understanding through service and shared experience. We invite people from all corners of the community to join us as we partner with others to support youth, build sustainable infrastructure and preserve our planet.

Guests:

Dawn and Ronnie Lesley (Dilley), Kim Furman (Maus), Jerry and Susy Blake (Stevens), Thomas Lako (Purcell), Mike Ericson (Atchison), Hoff Family and Mike Puppe (Kallioniemi)

Announcements:

  • Brent Nystrom has some extra JJBT t-shirts for sale for $5
  • Todd Thompson will lead another sing-along at Imminent on October 4th
  • Alan Anderson invites everyone to tune in for the Climate Show on KYMN radio on the first Wednesday of every month
  • Penny Hilleman announced that the United Way campaign is underway. Visit northfieldunitedway.org for more information or to make a donation.
  • Mayor Rhonda Pownell says recruitment for City boards and commissions will be starting soon.
  • Interested in learning how to speak with someone when you hold different views? Come to Rotary’s Better Angels training session Thursday, Oct.18 from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at United Methodist Church. This is part of the district’s initiative to take the four-way test into the community and is one of the projects of our club’s Ethical Leadership Committee. It is open to Rotarians and their guests. If you have questions, contact Bruce Morlan.

Happy News

  • Rachel Morey offered thanks to the community for the wonderful support the Methodist Church received after the storm
  • Barry Carlson enjoyed reading with elementary students at Sibley through our Breakfast Buddies program
  • Jake Conway thanked everyone for their help with storm damage, especially Ryan Blumhoefer who worked on his birthday
  • Dave Brown’s daughter had research published in Nature

Scholarship Enhancement:  John Stull

Last Week:

Jesse Steed has led an interesting life. He was homeschooled, went to Kalamazoo College, studied French Literature, was in the Yacht Club, played Ultimate Frisbee and studied abroad. He taught English in France from 2002-2003, worked for a mortgage company and for a construction company before getting his real estate license in 2004. He and his wife moved to Northfield in 2010 for her job at Carleton and he now works at Edina Realty.

Tuomas Kallioniemi is a 2018-19 inbound exchange student from the Sepanhaka Rotary Club in Finland. He comes to us from the town of Forssa, population 17,000,which is located an hour and a half away from Helsinki. His father Perti is a farmer, his mother Leona is a dentist and he has two younger brothers.

In his free time, Tuomas likes to play hockey. His favorite sport is hockey, and his hobbies include…hockey. When he’s not playing hockey, Tuomas enjoys fishing and tubing on the many lakes of Finland. His mother’s home is in Forssa and his father’s farm is located just ten kilometers away. “I’m a pretty clean guy,” Tuomas said, as he showed us photos of his tidy bedrooms at both parents’ houses.

Finland has a population of 5.5 million people and is spread over 338,448 square miles. They enjoy incredible displays of northern lights from August to April. Finland is very similar to Minnesota, with thousands of lakes and temperatures of -31 degrees F in the winter and 95 degrees F in the summer. However, one major difference is that the sun does not go down at all during the summer in northern Finland. Finland also boasts the most saunas in the world. After getting warm in the sauna, people often go ice swimming or roll around in the snow. However, contrary to popular belief, there are no polar bears in Finland.

Tuomas says they “pay big taxes” but enjoy free healthcare and education, including free university schooling. Favorite Finnish foods include Karelian Hot Pot made with potatoes and pork, Pasty, and Rye Bread.

He thanks us for choosing good host families for him—he is very happy with our choices. If anyone has odd jobs for Tuomas, he is raising money for the East Coast trip. “If you have work, I can do it” is his motto. Welcome to Northfield, Tuomas!

Coming Up:

Oct. 18 – Jennifer Novak, Classification (Rich)

Oct 25 – Dan Hofrenning, Political Landscape (Siems)

Rotary Cogwheel | September 27.2018

September 26, 2018

Today’s Program | Thursday, September 27, 2018

Today:  Tuomas Kallioniemi (Steed) Inbound from Finland

Next Week: Steve Schier (Kyte) 2018 Elections

Birthdays: Jim Blaha (9/27), Ryan Blumhoefer (9/21), Chad Hjellming (9/27), Jack Hoschouer

Statement of Purpose: Northfield Rotary Club is dedicated to promoting peace and understanding through service and shared experience. We invite people from all corners of the community to join us as we partner with others to support youth, build sustainable infrastructure and preserve our planet.

Guests:

RayJean Schulte (Schulte), Mike Ericson (Atchison), John Fossum (Richardson), Eleanor Morse (Longwich), Leah Rich (Rich)

Announcements:

  • Chris Weber has volunteer opportunities in the Breakfast Buddies program.  If you would like to have an impact in the life and literacy of elementary school students by reading to them during school breakfast, see Chris.
  • Pat O’Neill gave a funny and friendly roast of Jim Blaha in celebration of his retirement from the CAC. Jim thanked us for the opportunity to serve our community and our Rotary club.
  • Penny Hilleman has tickets to the Riverbend Ramble dinner and auction to benefit Riverbend Nature Center. Tickets are $50 and she has raffle tickets, as well.
  • John Fossum is selling 20 roses for $12 to benefit Faribault Rotary club.
  • Interested in learning how to speak with someone when you hold different views? Come to Rotary’s Better Angels training session Thursday, Oct.18 from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at United Methodist Church. This is part of the district’s initiative to take the four-way test into the community and is one of the projects of our club’s Ethical Leadership Committee. It is open to Rotarians and their guests. If you have questions, contact Bruce Morlan.

Scholarship Enhancement:  Richard Maus

Last Week:

We heard more details on both questions appearing on the November 6 ballot in Northfield. Matt Hillmann presented information on the school bond referendum, along with school board member Noel Stratmoen. The Northfield Public Schools vision statement includes the desire to “prepare every student for lifelong success within a world class learning environment.” This referendum will help make that vision a reality by providing a strong start and secure schools. If approved, the bond would build a new two-story elementary school and an early childhood center at Greenvale. Sibley would get a new cafeteria and media center. Bridgewater would get a secure front office. Longfellow would house the district office, which would free up lots of space at the high school. The referendum is basically the same as the one on the last ballot, without the construction of a new high school. The bond is for $40.975 million and will be paid back over 20 years. If it is approved, a $250,000 home in Northfield would see a property tax increase of just $27/year.

Funding for a new Cannon River Civic Center is the other question on the ballot this November. Ben Martig and Chris Kennelly said the center would be used for much more than hockey. Proposed uses include: figure skating, baseball, softball, lacrosse, cycling, walking, concerts and conventions. The project cost is $21.1 million. The Civic Center would be built on 7 acres of donated land valued at $850,000. On the ballot in Northfield and Dundas will be a ½ cent local option sales tax. This sales tax would generate $7-$10 million over 20 years and 30% of that tax would go to support parks, recreation and trails. The Northfield ballot will also have a property tax increase question. If approved, this would cost the average taxpayer $10 per month and would bring in $8.8 million for the Civic Center. Other sources of non-taxpayer funding include a $2 million Mighty Ducks grant and $3.4 million in private donations. The Civic Center would bring events and overnight guests to Northfield and the economic impact is estimated at $1.8 million.

In summary, if both ballot questions pass, a homeowner with a $250,000 house would see a property tax increase of $147 per year. More information about the ballot questions can be found at https://www.cannonriverciviccenter.org/ and https://northfieldschools.org/referendum2018/

Coming Up:

Oct. 11 – Mike Becker, Rotary District Governor

Oct. 18 – Jennifer Novak, Classification (Rich)

Oct 25 – Dan Hofrenning, Political Landscape (Melby)

Rotary Cogwheel | September 20.2018

September 19, 2018

Today’s Program | Thursday, September 20, 2018

Today:  Information on the proposed Greenvale School and Cannon Valley Civic Center projects (School and City Administrators)

Next Week: Tuomas Kallioniemi (Steed) Inbound from Finland

Birthdays: Kate Andrew (9/14), Chris Weber (9/15)

Statement of Purpose: Northfield Rotary Club is dedicated to promoting peace and understanding through service and shared experience. We invite people from all corners of the community to join us as we partner with others to support youth, build sustainable infrastructure and preserve our planet. 

Guests:

Arne from Germany, Philippa – former inbound from Germany and her sister Lena

Announcements:

  • Dave Wolf accepted a donation of $4000 from Jesse Steed.
  • Wendy Sevanich could use a few volunteers to help with the exchange student BBQ at Rick’s barn on September 23.
  • The literacy committee needs a volunteer to help pick up used books from the schools
  • Brent Nystrom invited us to a Habitat for Humanity event at Imminent Brewing on Oct 2 from 5-7 pm
  • Charlie Cogan invited folks to the Books for Africa Gala celebration on 9/28 from 5-9pm at the Nicollet Island Pavillion. Tickets are $100 but they are 50% tax-deductible
  • Rick Estenson says plans are underway for the Turkey Trot. See him if you would like to help.
  • Rotarians are invited to a reception in Jim Blaha’s honor Thursday, Sept. 20, 4 to 6 p.m. on the FiftyNorth patio. Jim is retiring from his position of executive director of the Community Action Center at the end of the month.
  • Northfield Shares invites all Rotarians to a free educational event on Monday, Sept. 24, at 6 p.m. in the Northfield Middle School Auditorium. Dan Buettner, author of the bestselling Blue Zones® book series, will be sharing the secrets to living a longer and healthier life. As seating is limited, we are asking those interested in attending to register online or by calling the Northfield Shares office at 507-403-9755. For more information about Northfield Shares or the Buettner event, go to: northfieldshares.org.
  • Interested in learning how to speak with someone when you hold different views? Come to Rotary’s Better Angels training session Thursday, Oct.18 from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at United Methodist Church. This is part of the district’s initiative to take the four-way test into the community and is one of the projects of our club’s Ethical Leadership Committee. It is open to Rotarians and their guests. If you have questions, contact Karen Allawala, who is working with Rachel Morey and Bruce Morlan to coordinate the local program.

Scholarship Enhancement:  Zac Zastrow

Last Week: 

Alyssa Melby is the Assistant Director for Academic Civic Engagement (aka Service Learning) at St. Olaf. One little-known fact about Alyssa is that she used to play the tuba. She started in 6th grade and had to sit on a stack of phone books to reach the mouthpiece. You might see her driving around town listening to polka music in her car.

Meredith Galdeen was born in 1978 in Garden City, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit. Her dad Craig and mom Diana still live in the house where she grew up with her younger sister Andrea. She was an achiever in high school, serving on the student council and as the editor of the yearbook. After high school she attended college at Grand Valley State University where she met her husband Shawn. During college she studied abroad near London, England. She earned a degree in biology in 2001 and moved to Minnesota when her husband came to the U of M to get his PhD in cell and molecular biology.

During her time in Minneapolis, Meredith volunteered at the Ronald McDonald House as an assistant teacher in the K-12 homeschool program for patients and their siblings. They hired her in an administrative role and she began working with the development team. After Shawn graduated with his PhD, they moved to Massachusetts. Meredith began working for Blackbaud and has now been there for 11 years. She now works for a division called Altrue, helping nonprofits to use fundraising software. 

Shawn is now the equipment and lab manager for the Carleton biology department. Their journey has also included stops in the Bronx in New York City and Indiana. Meredith loves to travel and experience new cultures and meet new people. By high school graduation, she had visited 37 of the 50 states and she has now seen 47.

Coming Up:

Oct. 4 – Steve Schier (Kyte) 2018 Elections

Oct. 11 – Mike Becker, District Governor

Oct. 18 – Jennifer Novak, Classification (Rich)

Rotary Cogwheel | September 13.2018

September 12, 2018

Today’s Program | Thursday, September 13, 2018

Today:  Meredith Galdeen, Classification (Melby)

Next Week: Information on the proposed Greenvale School and Cannon Valley Civic Center projects (School and City Administrators)

Birthdays: Shelley Holden (9/9), David McKee (9/8)

Statement of Purpose: Northfield Rotary Club is dedicated to promoting peace and understanding through service and shared experience. We invite people from all corners of the community to join us as we partner with others to support youth, build sustainable infrastructure and preserve our planet.

Announcements:

  • Gary Campbell was visiting from the Anoka Rotary Club. On behalf of The Rotary Foundation, he presented Charlie Cogan and our club with a district matching check for $1,450. This was an international project grant that was submitted by our club. Proceeds will be used for a school in Togo (to build a basketball court and to buy computers for a computer lab). Clubs receive matching funds based on how much we give to The Rotary Foundation and how much we are involved in International Projects. Rice Lake Rotary Club recently sent us $500 for the project and we are still looking for more partners. The total project is estimated at $4,000. 
  • Siri Hoff, our outbound exchange student to Milan, Italy, sent a heartfelt thank you for the opportunity Rotary is presenting her. She left September 5. She said she is grateful for the support Rotary provided to prepare for this experience.
  • Mac Gimse spoke to club members about the Dundas Trailhead Sculpture. Mac designed the sculpture and told us about the history in getting to the final 24-foot sculpture. He thanked our club for providing support. 
  • Brett Reese and Matthew Rich shared that this is the 24th year of the JJBT and provided information and preparation for the tour on September 8.
  • The National Hispanic Heritage Celebration will be held this Saturday, Sept. 18, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Northfield Public Library. We are promised music, dance, food and fun. Rotary is supporting this new event with a $400 donation. 
  • Rotarians are invited to a reception in Jim Blaha’s honor Thursday, Sept. 20, 4 to 6 p.m. on the FiftyNorth patio. Jim is retiring from his position of executive director of the Community Action Center at the end of the month.
  • District 5960 will be holding one of its fall One Rotary Summits in Northfield Tuesday, Sept. 18, 5:45 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. at the Methodist Church. It is an opportunity to bring together Rotarians from all of the district’s clubs to talk about why and how Rotary is changing lives in our communities and around the world. You will have the opportunity to explore best practices in the areas of membership, public image and service. Our board members will serve as table hosts at this event. If anyone else, would like to attend, see Scott Richardson or Jean Wakely. 
  • Northfield Shares invites all Rotarians to a free educational event on Monday, Sept. 24, at 6 p.m. in the Northfield Middle School Auditorium. Dan Buettner, author of the bestselling Blue Zones® book series, will be sharing the secrets to living a longer and healthier life. As seating is limited, we are asking those interested in attending to register online or by calling the Northfield Shares office at 507-403-9755. For more information about Northfield Shares or the Buettner event, go to: northfieldshares.org.
  • Interested in learning how to speak with someone when you hold different views? Come to Rotary’s Better Angels training session Thursday, Oct.18 from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at United Methodist Church. This is part of the district’s initiative to take the four-way test into the community and is one of the projects of our club’s Ethical Leadership Committee. It is open to Rotarians and their guests. If you have questions, contact Karen Allawala, who is working with Rachel Morey and Bruce Morlan to coordinate the local program.

Last Week:

It was a full house of volunteers, both Rotarian and non-Rotarian, ready to organize the Jesse James Bike Tour. Club President Scott Richardson welcomed everyone and thanked the non-Rotarians for their much-needed help with the race on Saturday. Volunteers gathered in their groups to get more specific direction on their duties during the bike tour.

Bike Tour Recap:

The Rotary Club of Northfield hosted the 24th annual Jesse James Bike Tour on Saturday, September 8th. This “all hands on deck” event featured scores of non-Rotarian volunteers and continues to be one of our club’s largest fundraisers of the year. We had to make some last minute adjustments to some of the routes do to local flooding, but everything was squared away in time for the ride thanks to route master Denny Hanson. Perfect weather and excellent marketing and promoting led to a 10% increase in riders over last year. Nearly 900 riders took to their bikes to enjoy the scenic routes, tasty treats and smiling volunteers at the aid stations, and glorious sunshine. Thank you to all of the Rotarians who volunteered on Saturday. A very special thanks to all those who served on the planning committee, including: David Wolf, Brad Frago, Jayne Hager Dee, Virginia Kaczmarek, Denny Hanson, Dale Ness, Rick Estenson, Shelley Holden, Brent Nystrom, Neil Lutsky, George Davis, Brett Reese, and Matthew Rich.

Coming Up:

Sept. 27 – Tuomas Kallioniemi (Steed) Inbound from Finland

Oct. 4 – Steve Schier (Kyte) 2018 Elections

Rotary Cogwheel | September 6.2018

September 5, 2018

Today’s Program | Thursday, September 6, 2018

Today:  Jesse James Bike Tour lunch (Rich/Reese)

Next Week: Meredith Galdeen, Classification (Melby)

Birthdays: Jeff McLaughlin (9/5), Chris Richardson (9/6)

Statement of Purpose: Northfield Rotary Club is dedicated to promoting peace and understanding through service and shared experience. We invite people from all corners of the community to join us as we partner with others to support youth, build sustainable infrastructure and preserve our planet. 

Guests

Ryan Torbenson (Reese)

Sylvia Koenig (Koenig) and Elsa Nystrom (Nystrom)

Danny Pavek is visiting from the Central Lakes Rotary Club (Estrella)

Susan March (Dilley)

Presentation

Chris Heineman, Rotary Board Member and City of Northfield Community Development Director bid us farewell as he moves on to the position of City Administrator in Little Canada. His last day in Northfield will by September 7th. Rotary has played an important role in his time here – he appreciates us all – and we appreciate him!

Scholarship Enhancement

Zac Zastrow

Announcements

  • Charlie Cogan gave an update on projects funded by Rotary Foundation dollars. Our district has raised $1.5 million for Polio since 2007 and our club is #2 in the district. $57,000 has gone to the Guatemala water project. Without our members supporting the Foundation, we wouldn’t be able to accomplish these important initiatives.
  • Wendy Sivanich introduced all of our new inbound students, Simone from Italy, Yuyu from Japan, Itty from Indonesia, Elise from France, Tuomas from Finland, Pepe from Brazil
  • JJBT registration is up 17% from last year—next week we’ll meet to organize the volunteer efforts
  • Andre Sivanich says Laura Baker is hosting a forum on affordable health care – Sept 7 at 10am. In other news, his tennis tournament raised $725 for the climate change initiative!
  • Anika Rychner invited everyone to a reception for Jim Blaha’s retirement from the CAC. It will be held from 4-6pm on Sept 20 at the Fifty North patio.
  • Lisa Peterson says the #ONLYINMN sign is in Bridge Square. Take pics and use the hashtag #thisisnorthfield on your social media posts
  • Kristy Purcell said Sept 15 is the Cannon River Watershed cleanup. Meet at Riverside Park or the Carleton Arb to help and you’ll get a token to Imminent brewing.
  • Happy News—Penny Hilleman’s son Henry arrived safely in Zimbabwe; David Koenig dropped off his son Anders at Creighton and his daughter Sylvia was named an Academic All-American for AAU volleyball; Jim Blaha had a successful celebration of 50 years of the CAC – the auction raised $93,000+ for affordable housing in Northfield

Last Week: 

Jan Hanson grew up north of Madison, Wisconsin on a dairy farm. She has been married to her husband Don for 45 years. They have two sons and four grandkids, who range in age from 7 weeks to 25 years. She has worked in higher education for her entire career, at U of Wisconsin campuses and at two private colleges. She has served as the Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at St. Olaf for the last 4.5 years.

Jan enjoys spending time at her cabin near the Wisconsin Dells, and riding on the back of her husband’s motorcycle.

Greg Siems is the Assistant Director of the Institute for Freedom and Community at St. Olaf. He and his wife Mandy moved here in April from Austin, Minnesota. Before taking the position at St. Olaf, Greg served as the Director of Vision 2020, a volunteer-driven community development organization in Austin. He earned a bachelors from Luther College and a masters from Notre Dame.

Greg grew up in Iowa City and hopes we won’t hold it against him that he is both a Hawkeye fan and a Norse fan. He met his wife in 2008 and they were married in Decorah. While at Luther, Greg traveled to Russia with his string ensemble, and later spent a summer there on a language scholarship. Then it was on to South Bend Indiana for grad school, where he lived close enough to the football stadium to hear the crowd roar. They then moved to Austin, Minnesota where Mandy grew up. He worked to improve education, recreation and community opportunities as a part of his job at Vision 2020. People told him “If you want to get anything done in this town you need to join Rotary,” so he joined the Austin club. He is a proud cat parent of “Tony” the orange striped tiger cat. 

Greg is enjoying his job at St. Olaf, doing marketing, student engagement and other duties as assigned. His department works to promote civil discourse and diversity. He organizes new activities for students like workshops on campus from the Better Angels organization, promoting conversations across the political divide.

St. Olaf is hosting a fall series of speakers, which is open to the public. The lineup includes David Brooks on Sept 24, Theater of Public Policy on Oct 4, Walter Russell Mead on Oct 30 and more. In his spare time, Greg enjoys gardening, hiking, biking—and enjoying Northfield.

Coming Up:

Sept. 20 – RYLA Students (Hillmann)

Sept. 27 – Tuomas Kallioniemi (Steed) Inbound from Finland

Oct. 4 – Steve Schier (Kyte) 2018 Elections