Cogwheel Archive

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

Rotary Cogwheel | August 30.2018

August 29, 2018

Today’s Program | Thursday, August 30, 2018

Today:  Greg Siems, Classification (Hanson)

Next Week:  Jesse James Bike Tour lunch (Rich/Reese)

Birthdays: Barbara Johnson (8/25), Hannah Puczko (8/28)

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

Elise from France reports that everything has been great in Northfield so far and she has even tried s’mores

Simon from Italy is running a 6.5 minute mile with the Northfield High School cross country team

Tuomas from Finland is playing American football for NHS

Robert and Henry Steed were visiting as guests of their father, Jesse Steed

Rotary Moment

John Opaug shared that our club began on April 28, 1925 with 24 male charter members. We were warned in advance that we were “going to be a small club”. Robert Beirman’s grandfather was one of those founding members. He would probably be shocked to see how small our club really is in 2018.

Scholarship Enhancement

Ron Linde

Announcements

  • 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. Our board members will be table hosts. 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. The event is free, but register in advance at northfieldshares.org or by calling Northfield Shares.
  • The Jesse James Bike tour is Sept 8 and registrations are coming in at a record pace.
  • The Northfield Shares DJJD Run/Walk is Sept 9

Last Week: 

After listening to our club sing a rousing rendition of Born to Be Wild, Susan Brower declared us the most joyful Rotary Club she’s ever seen. She then shared about the impact of Northfield’s changing demographics in the coming years. Susan is no stranger to Northfield: she earned a degree in social work at St. Olaf and her husband was the one who opened Goodbye Blue Monday in Downtown Northfield.

These days she makes population projections in Downtown St. Paul. Susan says aging will bring a lot of changes to Minnesota. 50,000-90,000 people joined the 65+ demographic throughout the 2000s. By 2020 that same age group will add another 285,000-335,000 to the population. That means the 65+ population will grow from 680,000 to 1.3 million in 20 years. The working age population numbers will remain flat, so Minnesota’s growth will rely on immigration. Therefore, it is imperative that we are welcoming to newcomers.

Northfield’s population is currently around 20,000 people including college students. About 3,300 of those are people of color. These demographic changes over the next 15 years will present us with great opportunities to be more diverse.

Coming Up:

Sept 13 – Meredith Galdeen, Classification (Melby)

Rotary Cogwheel | August 23.2018

August 22, 2018

Today’s Program | Thursday, August 23, 2018

Today: Susan Brower, The Impact of Northfield’s Changing Demographics (Blaha)

Next Week: Greg Siems, Classification (Hanson)

Birthdays: Richard Schulte (8/20)

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

First inbound student joined us for lunch – Tuomas Kallioniemi from Finland

Tony Huddle (Quinell)
Kristy Purcel (L. Dilley)

Announcements

Matthew Rich says the bike tour is coming up and so far registration is 10% ahead of last year.  There have been some big changes.  The 10 mile route will be moved to the new bike trail around the Cannon River so that riders don’t have to be on so many of the city streets.  Subway is back for lunch.  Riders will get tokens for drinks at Imminent or Tanzenwald.  If you have questions ask Brett Reese or Matthew Rich.  To volunteer the day of the tour, contact Shelley Holden or Rick Estenson.
David Koenig says the better angels program will be Oct. 18.  It’s training on how-to engage people who have different viewpoints.
Anika Rychner is the co-chair of the Ramble Jam in Farmington for the last year.  She is selling raffle tickets for $10 to help benefit the Farmington Rotary Club.  The Farmington club was sponsored by the Lakeville club, which was sponsored by Northfield – making the Farmington Club Northfield’s granddaughter.  She encourages everyone to help out their granddaughter by purchasing a raffle ticket!
Bob Thacker says that on Sept. 24, author Dan Buettner will be in Northfield. He will discuss his book “The Blue Zones”
Scott Richardson says the submissions for the “Next Big Idea” are being discussed by the board.  The board also has committed $1900 to the water project in Tanzania.

Happy News

Michael Lemming – just sold his house that he’s lived in for 40 years.  He will be taking people to Thailand in Feb.  Rotarians get a discount if they sign up.
Richard Collman officiated his niece’s lakeside wedding where around 140 people attended and partied until 5am!
Kristi Purcell was excited to learn she has been accepted as a member to our club today.  She also has an International student staying with her from Sudan. He will be a freshman at St. Olaf this fall.

 

Last Week:

More than 100 people attended our Climate Change forum at the Weitz Center. District Governor Mike Becker of Rochester and District Governor designee Ed Marek of St. Paul attended. Both support our club’s effort to use Rotary International’s geographic reach and influence to address global warming. The cost of inaction is high and would jeopardize Rotary’s humanitarian work in so many areas.

Burning coal, oil and natural gas adds carbon dioxide to the atmosphere
Humankind is burning fossil fuels at an increasing rate each year
Due to the slowness of the natural carbon cycle, CO2 is increasing in the atmosphere, up 46% since the 1800s, from 280 ppm to 410 ppm
CO2 prevents some long wave radiation (heat) from escaping back into space, thus warming the atmosphere
Global air and ocean temperatures are slowly rising, changing the climate as we know it, disrupting weather patterns and raising sea levels toward permanent coastal flooding
Impacts of climate change will impact the world’s poor first and hardest, putting Rotary’s good work at risk
Decreasing CO2 is the main solution. It is possible if we take action!

As we heard multiple times Thursday evening: Global warming is real. It is us, and it is urgent. It is exciting to have taken this first step. We need to keep going. 

Two weeks ago:

Brett Reese joined Rotary in 1985 and was one of the youngest members in the club at that time.  He was the 62nd member in the club and now we have 150 members!  There were also no women members at that time – so much has changed and he is happy about that.  Some things he’s done with Rotary include traveling to Africa for a polio vaccination mission.  He was one of the chairs of the committee for the purchase of the showmobile.  He also remembers working at the taco truck and serving tacos on Bridge Square during DJJD.  He was one of the founders of the bike tour back in 1995.

Brent Nystrom has many Northfield connections.  Both of his parents attended college in Northfield, his father at St. Olaf and his mother at Carleton.  However, they didn’t meet each other until they were on a mission trip to East Africa.  During that trip, his father climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro.

Brent was born in 1970 in Madison, Wisconsin while his father was earning his PhD.  His family moved to Northfield when he was two years old and his dad taught at Carleton College for awhile.  One of his first memories is walking up in the back of his parents ’66 Saab on the way home from his grandparents’ house and seeing the Big Steer truck stop.

When Brent was four, his family moved to Danville, Kentucky where is father worked at Center College.  Because both his parents were educators, the family took many trips in the summertime.  Brent was always an avid Minnesota sports fan.

In 1988, he attended Carleton College (his second time living in Northfield) where he was a geology major. He also likes to say that he minored in Ultimate Frisbee – a game that Carleton is known to be dominating in nationwide.  While his career at Carleton could be called “undistinguished” Brent said one of the highlights was meeting his wife, Jenny there.  After they began dating, they discovered that Jenny’s grandparents had been missionaries in Tanzania where Brent’s parents were missionaries.  They were married in the Gustavus Chapel in St. Peter because Jenny’s grandfather was pastor there.

The couple moved to Bloomington, which was centrally located for them because Brent worked at Carleton and Jenny in Anoka.  During their time in Bloomington, they had two children.  They moved to Northfield (Brent’s third time living in Northfield) in 2004 and purchased the “Rysgaard House.”

They have two children, Kenyon (18), who will be going to Carleton this fall and Elsa (15), who will be a sophomore at Northfield High School.

Brent is involved in many associations and clubs including the Northfield Soccer Association where he is a coach.  He is on the board of directors for the Habitat for Humanity and Northfield HRA.  He volunteers at his church regularly and is the president of the Carleton Ultimate Fund.  He still plays ultimate Frisbee and 4 years ago his team won the national championship in their division.

Prior to his membership in Rotary, the Nystroms hosted Tanzanian exchange student, Wanzita.

Coming Up:

Sept 6 – Jesse James Bike Tour lunch (Rich/Reese)

Sept 13 – Meredith Galdeen, Classification (Melby)

Rotary Cogwheel | August 9.2018

August 8, 2018

Today’s Program | Thursday, August 9, 2018

Today:  Brent Nystrom Classification (Reese)

Next Week:  No lunch meeting-Climate Action Team presentation at the Weitz Center 6-8:30pm

Birthdays: David McKee (8/9)

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

Joel Olson, new NHS Activities Director (Hillman)
Tasha Breyer’s sister (Breyer)

Announcements

  • Thanks to everyone who volunteered at the Vintage Band Festival!
  • Virginia asked everyone to take a look at the email regarding the JJ Bike tour. Subway is back for lunch, and tokens will be given out to the riders good for beer or non-alcoholic beverages at Imminent or Tanzenwald. Sign up to volunteer – see Shelley or Rick.
  • Rick Estenson invited everyone to the Rotary Social and Climate Action Event on Thursday, August 16 at 6:00pm at the Weitz Center. Here are Five Reasons why you need to be there:
  1. Get to know each other better.  Even better, bring a guest!
  2. Good food and drinks for FREE!
  3. Wonderful environment.  Check out the changes made to the building and the new, state-of-the-art auditorium!
  4. There will be a lot of sharing of great information on the Climate Action group AND you can meet the District Governor!
  5. You could be on the ground level of starting a new movement!
  • Mike Krantz says that Northfield Shares grant application opens on Sept. 1. The DJJD Run/Walk is happening on Sept. 9. Author Dan Buettner will be in Northfield on Sept. 24.

Happy News

  • Hannah Puczko is glad to be back after a great vacation in Alaska and Vancover!
  • Besty Spethmann is celebrating her 3rd Anniversary of working at the Northfield Hospital
  • Richard Maus’s son was in the paper last Saturday
  • Matt Hillmann just celebrated 21 years of marital bliss 
  • Carl K. reminded us of $6000 in Rotary dollars that are working for the community.
  • Rick Estenson will be celebrating his 30th Anniversary with a mystery vacation starting in London.
  • Richard D. – Had a great neighborhood picnic attended by over 100 people. He is hoping to make it an annual event.
  • Jayne Hager Dee reminds everyone to vote in the primary on the 14th. If you can’t make it that day, vote early!
  • Mike Kranz.had both sons competing in the state swim meet and they made 13 out of 14 points for the team.

Last Week: 

Bruce Morlan remembers going to his grandparents’ farm every weekend as a kid.  It was a great way grow up.  His family had a ¼ acre garden in Rochester.  As an adult he owned a hobby farm and still likes the idea of gardening, but it’s tough to keep up with the weeds.

Kurt Schrader grew up on his family farm in Nerstrand and wanted to be a farmer for as long as he can remember.  When he graduated from high school, his father encouraged him to learn a trade or a skill to help get through the tough times of farming.  Kurt attended Dunwoody College and became an electrician.  After college, Kurt farmed and worked for a few different electrical companies for about 10 years before becoming a master electrician himself.  He is now more flexible and able to farm full-time as well as do electrical contract work as he is able to.  

Kurt’s brother Brian, who is 10 years younger, also wanted to become a farmer.  Their father also encouraged Brian to learn a trade in addition to farming, and Brian is also a licensed heating and refrigeration contractor.  

In 2015, Kurt and his father decided to merge their farms together creating a farm of just over 3700 acres.  In 2017, Brian joined the group and after a major expansion in 2018, they have just over 4900 acres of land that they farm.  

The group owns some of the land they work with, but also rent much of it from about twenty-five different land owners.  They employ two full-time and four part-time workers who do a number of different jobs on the farm.

Kurt said that spring planting of corn is his favorite part of farming.  In the last 10 years it’s become very sophisticated with the technology that’s been developed.  They have also worked very hard to create sustainable farming practices, including using less nitrogen in the soil – and spreading that out over a number of times instead of all at once.  They are also very conscientious about erosion and use different methods of preventing erosion depending on the lay of the land.

The group also works with many trade groups including visitors from China, India and Sri Lanka, who visit their farm and learn new farming techniques.

Coming Up:

Aug 23 – Susan Brower, The Impact of Northfield’s Changing Demographics (Blaha)

Aug 30 – Greg Siems, Classification (Hanson)

Sept 6 – Jesse James Bike Tour lunch (Rich/Reese)

Sept 13 – Meredith Galdeen, Classification (Melby)

Rotary Cogwheel | August 2.2018

August 1, 2018

Today’s Program | Thursday, August 2, 2018

Today:  Kurt Schrader on Large Scale Farming (Morlan)

Next Week: Brent Nystrom Classification (Reese)

Birthdays: Brent Nystrom (8/7)

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

Kristi Purcell (Hager Dee)

Announcements

  • John Ophaug shared the “Rotary Almanac” with us, giving background on “Mr. Rotary” Les Gustafson. Les served as President of the Austin, Owatonna and Northfield clubs. He worked as a Principal and Superintendent at Owatonna before joining the faculty at St. Olaf. The Northfield club celebrated Les Gustafson day and when Les was asked “What does Rotary mean to you,” he replied, “I’m here to become a better person.” This was especially remarkable considering that Les was in his 80’s with late stage cancer at the time. What a great perspective from a 55-year Rotarian!
  • Rick Estenson reminded us how fitting it was that our meeting was held in the Amerman Pavilion. Rotary and more than 100 individuals donated to raise the funds to build it in honor of Jeff Amerman.
  • Larry Vorwerk reminded us of the many negative effects of climate change. Extreme weather affects mammals, birds, insects, trees, oceans, coral reefs and sea life. Come to the Climate Change event on August 16th at the Weitz Center from 6-8:30pm to hear more.
  • If you haven’t volunteered for the Jesse James Bike Tour, see Shelley Holden to sign up.
  • Jim Holden says that his book sales raised $240 for the Rotary Foundation. He is also offering free fly fishing lessons with a donation to the Rotary foundation. See Jim to sign up.

Last Week: 

Chris Weber was born in Evanston, Illinois and grew up in the North Chicago area. He studied economics and political science before meeting his wife Deanne. They moved to Northfield in 1999 where he is now an Investment Manager at Community Resource Bank. They have a daughter who will be a senior in high school and a son who will be in 8th grade. Chris credits their academic success with early literacy and is a big part of our club’s literacy efforts. Rotary supports the book collection box program where the community can donate books for children. We purchased bookshelves to hold the books in the waiting areas of local businesses. Through a SMIF grant, we were able to purchase more books written in Spanish. Our club also helped the Northfield Library purchase the new Bookmobile and participates in the Rotary Readers program in our local elementary schools. These literacy initiatives are made possible by collaboration with HCI, the Y and the Northfield School District.

Laura Turek is the Northfield Promise Coordinator at HCI. She shared more about the great work that is happening through the literacy initiative. Every three-year-old child in Northfield receives a birthday card, which contains early childhood screening information. It is very important to build readers at an early age to help get them ready for kindergarten. 301 children ages 3-5 completed early childhood screening. HCI is reaching out to daycares and preschools and each child who completes a screening gets a free prize provided by Rotary.

Some of the work that has been accomplished includes the Bookmobile, the Book Bike, book baskets, and the breakfast buddy program (which boasts 30 Rotarians). There are 90 students who eat breakfast at Greenvale, 60 at Bridgewater and 30 at Sibley every Monday through Friday during the school year. If you would like to become a breakfast buddy, watch for the signup in August. You can also volunteer with the summer reading program at the Y for a few more weeks.

Coming Up:

Aug 16 – no lunch meeting, Climate Action Team presentation at the Weitz Center 6-8:30pm

Aug 23 – Susan Brower, The Impact of Northfield’s Changing Demographics (Blaha)

Aug 30 – Greg Siems, Classification (Hanson)

Sept 6 – Jesse James Bike Tour lunch (Rich/Reese)

Sept 13 – Meredith Galdeen, Classification (Melby)

Our club’s giving for the 2017-18 Budget Year:

Ruth’s House $500

Habitat for Humanity $500

Hope Center $500

Project Friendship $350

Northfield Arts Guild ‘Art Out & About Program’ $500

Martin Luther King Day Celebration $150

Northfield Earth Day $500

Health Finders $500

Operation Backpack $300

Community Action Center $500

Northfield Community Band $250

Laura Baker Services $250

Northfield Youth Sports Collaborative $300

Northfield Union of Youth $500

Cannon River Watershed Partnership $400

Total $6000