Cogwheel Archive

Rotary Cogwheel | 09.08.2016

September 7, 2016

Today’s Program | Thursday, Sept. 8, 2016

Today: Bike Tour Volunteers and Chalk Talk

Birthdays: Chris Richardson (9/6) and Therese Whitesong (9/9)

Next Week: ENT Gerard O’Halloran, MD, “What I Wish My Patients Knew” (Spethmann)

Last Week:
Each year eight to 10 Northfield eighth grade students have the opportunity to explore Northfield history through a program called Student Community Outreach Program Experience (SCOPE).

Coordinator Earl Weinmann, a Middle School Social Studies teacher, said this is an educational collaboration between Northfield Public Schools, Northfield Historical Society and Carleton College History Department which dates back to 1992. Over time, students have produced a third-grade text book on Northfield History, titled “Our Story;” created a Museum of Northfield Education at the middle school; and written a comprehensive history of Northfield through 1976.

Now, SCOPE students have turned their attention to local immigration patterns. Through interviews and research the students are shedding light on the “push-pull” factors that have attracted 26,000 Vietnamese and 67,000 Mexicans to Minnesota since the 1970s.

Northfield, itself, sponsored some 121 Vietnamese families between 1975 and 1999 through Northfield Refugee Committee. Many immigrants from Maltrata, Mexico now call Northfield home.

These migrations have had implications for Northfield. Northfield Community Action Center started a Hispanic Project in 1991 to provide basic resource help to immigrants new to Northfield. St. Dominic’s has supported Mexican families with Spanish masses. English as a Second Language (ESL) program was introduced into Northfield schools in 1995.

The students have also wrestled with concepts of both overt and covert discrimination and the tension between assimilation and ethnic pride. They suggest the time-honored metaphor of the American “melting pot” or “salad” should give way to the notion of a rich, flavorful fondue.

For more on the student research, stop in at the Northfield Historical Society.


Leo Lawlor came to Northfield from Ames, Iowa seven years ago.  He had been a media coordinator and speech specialist in the school system there for 30 years.  He is happy to call Northfield home now.

The Rev. Pam Fickenscher of St. John’s Lutheran Church (Weber), our exchange students: Emma, Denmark; Nico, Columbia; Ally, Tanzania (Lasswell).

Scholarship Enhancement: Jack Hoschauer

President Lasswell encouraged us to check our  online directory to see if everything is up to date.  Let her know if there are changes to be made.

As of last week, 300 riders had pre-registered for the bike tour. This is on par with last year, but trails our high water mark of 2014.  Committee chair Chris Heineman said two-thirds of these riders are signed up for the 60 or 100 mile routes.  He invited us to “like” the bike tour on Facebook to add to our promotion.

Charlie Cogan’s  article on the progress to eradicate polio appeared in the Star Tribune on September 2.

Jean Wakely encouraged club members to use Facebook to promote club activities such as the bike tour on an ongoing basis. She also announced that we have a new box of flags to take on trips to other states and countries where you would be attending a Rotary meeting.  Use the club finder or to find a club on your travels.

We need three or four more volunteers to help with the Rotary Ethics Workshop Tuesday, Oct. 25. See David Koenig if you can help.

Cannon River Watershed Partnership (CRWP) will hold a river cleanup Saturday, Sept. 17. Work will be done at three sites — Sechler Park, Carleton College’s Cowling Arboretum and Riverside Park in Cannon Falls — beginning at 9 a.m. All volunteers are invited to a post-cleanup celebration at Bay Point Park in Red Wing at 3 p.m. where there will be bluegrass music and food. If you can help, see Jake Conway.

Members of the intrepid Turkey Trot Committee refuse to stand still. This year they are adding a new wrinkle to boost participation and our net dollars. It’s called the “Wild Turkey Trot.” The plan is to use social media to encourage all of our friends and supporters, especially exchange student alumni, to participate long distance if they cannot physically be in town for Thanksgiving. People can sign up online ( and for $20 receive an event T-shirt in the mail prior to the event. They will be encouraged to take a photo or video which will be shared on our website. These will be viewed and voted on by the masses and a prize awarded for the wildest “Wild Turkey Trot.”

Mike Leming announced the celebrated storyteller Kevin Kling will performing Saturday evening, Oct. 28, at Northfield High School for a fundraiser that will benefit Interact Center for the Visual and Performing Arts. Interact is national leader in creating art opportunities for artists with disabilities. Tickets are $25 and available at

Our 2016-17 outbound students are:

Sage Brinton, Argentina

McKenna Dale, Brazil

Caroline Hummel, Norway

Noah Klein, South Korea

Jane Ludwig, Colombia

Yizel Marcial, Germany

Daiki Nishioka, Taiwan

Liliana (Lily) Noble, Italy

Madison Peterson-Bradford,  Brazil

Emma Pritchard, Taiwan

Nathaniel Urke, Brazil.

Coming Up

September 22 — Patrick Donahue, James J. Hill Center (K. Hargis)

September 29 — Joe Wakely, Clean Drinking Water in Guatemala (Halverson)

October 6 — Bruce Morlan, Classified.

October 13 — Mike Strobel, The Making of Aurora Pharmaceuticals (Reese)

September  1, 2016 Rotary Meeting Minutes

  • Song:  The Rouser (with Gopher and Raider verses)
  • Guests:  Exchange Students …;

Pr. Pam Fickensher (Weber)

  • Mini Classification SCOPE
    • Earl Weinmann:  SCOPE started in 1992 with the support of then superintendent Charlie Kyte.  Thank you to Charlie, Matt Hillman and Chris Richardson for their support of the program.  SCOPE is a collaboration between the Northfield Public Schools, Northfield Historical Society, and Carleton College’s History Department.  Each year, a small group of about 5-10 eighth graders are selected to participate in SCOPE.The initial project for SCOPE was to write a comprehensive history of Northfield through 1976 when the Historical Society was founded.  That project finished up in 2015, so they needed to find a new focus for the 2015-16 school year and beyond.   Students this year adopted a new focus on Vietnamese and Mexican immigrants in Northfield.
    • The SCOPE group started by discussing  a number of push and pull factors that caused approximately 26000 Vietnamese and 67000 Mexicans to immigrate to Minnesota.  A push factor is something in their home country that encouraged them to leave, usually political and economic or both.  Pull factors, such as the American Dream, higher paying jobs, or education, are factors that encouraged them to come to this country and Northfield.
    • The SCOPE group interviewed several immigrants and community members involved with those communities about their experiences.
    • Vietnamese immigration happened in three waves:  the military in 1975, the boat people in 1976, and the extended families of those groups as well as families and children of servicemen afterward.
    • They noted that transition, especially climate, can be difficult.
    • The SCOPE group discussed a number of issues related to community and culture with respect to Vietnamese and Mexican immigrants in Northfield.
      • The school district introduced  their ESL (English as a Second Language) program in 1995 which continues today.  ESL is helpful, but it has its flaws, such as taking students away from the mainstream curriculum causing them to fall behind in other areas.  Sometimes, stereotypes developed that cause placement into ESL simply because a name is of Mexican origin, even though the child speaks fluent English.
      • Immigrant rights groups sprouted up in the community in 1995 as a result of INS raids.
      • The Northfield Refugee Committee  sponsored 121 Vietnamese from 1975-1999.  The NRC was sponsored by 8 churches and finally disbanded when they felt there services were no longer needed.
      • The Community Action Center started their Hispanic Project in 1991 to provide food, clothing, and housing to immigrants in Northfield.
      • St Dominic’s helped sustain the Mexican community and culture by providing 4 masses in 2 different languages.  This helps sustain the Mexican community, but also separates the white community from the Mexican community.
    • The SCOPE group emphasized the importance of family in both groups.
      • Maintaining family is important to Mexicans.  They often support family both in the US and in Mexico.
      • A large number of the Mexican community in Northfield came from Maltrata, Mexico.
      • 50 members of Dao Hella’s family resettled in Northfield.  Dao was a primary interviewee for the group.
      • They like to maintain traditions, especially food and holidays.
    • Assimilation and Americanization
      • There can be discrimination for assimilating and not assimilating.
      • An example of overt discrimination is excluding an individual from an event.
      • An example of covert discrimination is not accepting a person on a team.  This is passive discrimination and sometimes not verbal.
      • Segregation is still prevalent.  Mexican immigrants do not feel safe downtown, so they often stay in the area of Viking Terrace.
      • The language barrier is an obstacle for Mexican immigrants.  Masses are segregated at St Dominic’s.  They often are afraid to speak because they don’t want to feel stupid.
      • The Northfield Refugee Committee was helpful to the Vietnamese overcome their language barriers and being a segregated community.
    • The SCOPE group told us to think of the traditional American melting pot where you give into American culture and become an American.  They also told us to think of a salad bowl where there are different vegetables doing their own thing and keeping their flavors (i.e. –  their traditions).  Rather than try to fit being a melting pot or a salad bowl, they suggested the immigrant community currently and in the future should be considered Fondue!  That is, a mix of both traditional flavor and that from the pot.
    • Mr. Weinmann said there if we were more interested in the subject of Vietnamese and Mexican immigrants, there is more available at the Northfield Historical Society.