Whew… I’m a lot less anxious now

Carol Overland - Legalectric - 3 hours 12 min ago

I’ve been concerned. I’ve been anxious. But much less so after last night’s “debate.” The good news about this election is that, as with all elections, the voting booth is private, and people can vote and there’s no need to report. My hope is that those undecided, and those supporting Drumpf, will consider last night’s “debate” and how unqualified is, that he is crass and flighty, blustery without substance, arrogant, unprepared and ill-advised. How many times did he say “I didn’t say that” when it’s documented that he did, over and over?

This isn’t about Hillary. I’m no fan. That’s public information. But I am assuredly against Drumpf and the view of “great” America he is pushing. It’s antihetical to all I’ve been working for, to my values, to the values and laws of this country, against the most fundamental tenets of Christianity, all those things that are, or should be, the determining factor in our votes. Things like the Constitution. I mean really, he touts “stop & frisk” when it’s been declared unconstitutional? And doesn’t cop to it when challenged? No, this guy has no business being President. Not on my watch.

And yes, after Feelin’ the Bern, this has been a horrible election season.  I don’t want to think about it, yet am drawn to the train wreck.  The prospect of voting for Clinton turns my stomach, there are so many reasons, and it’s disturbing that the Dems do not want to acknowledge the legitimacy of issues many of us have with Clinton, preferring shaming as an election strategy (just STOP it!).  That makes the prospect of voting for Clinton even worse.

Meanwhile, people I know, though not many, are supporting Drumpf.  I’ve been easy on them, really!  Holding back… Just minor interjections now and then, a little reality therapy a la Glasser.

This debate, though, and Drumpf’s performance and lack thereof, to me means that it will be pretty hard to justify a vote for him.  OH… MY… DOG!

And the coverage of this “debate” is so weird:

Words people looked up during Clinton-Trump debate

That people need to look up words like “stamina” and “temperament” is appalling.  Yes, “cavalier” is more than a Chevy… and how about “caprice,” capisce?


Categories: Citizens

Northfield needs Rhonda Pownell for Mayor

Betsey Buckheit - Fri, 09/23/2016 - 3:13am
The choice for Mayor this year is both clear and critically important: Rhonda Pownell is the person Northfield needs to lead the Council and the City forward. Clear choice I served with Rhonda on the Council for 4 years and … Continue reading →
Categories: Citizens

Cannon River Water Rising Sept 22, 2016 – Northfield

See Before and After Flood Pictures from 2010 CLICK HERE

Categories: Citizens

Major flooding in Minnesota, roads closed

Carol Overland - Legalectric - Thu, 09/22/2016 - 12:34pm

Thanks to Nancy Prehn for posting this photo!

Flooding all over southern Minnesota, well, from north of the Metro down to the border, Iowa’s a mess too.

The DOT’s road closure site is overwhelmed…

In Wisconsin, a BNSF train derailed and diesel fuel is leaking into the river:

BNSF train derails at Ferryville amid flooding, landslides

“I saw a fish swimming down the road,” Dagnon said. “I’ve never seen anything like it.”

The Cannon River is roaring, this VIDEO from Tracy Davis.

Street flooding in Fridley Wednesday evening (Photo: Jeremy King via Facebook)

Highway 58 through Zumbrota is closed, this from Heather Carlson tweet: Also from Heather Carlson, Hwy 60 West of Kenyon — our vet might have to canoe to work! Many flooding photos from the STrib HERE!
Categories: Citizens

Focus on Fall

Myrna CG Mibus - Idyllwild - Wed, 09/21/2016 - 9:26pm
This time last year I was gearing up for my first ever century ride. I was feeling pretty fit and had done a ton of biking throughout the season including the super awesome and challenging Box of Frogs ride and a bikepacking adventure. This year I got off to a great start with some winter riding and another round of 30 Days of Biking in April. I was working on a milage challenge and had several organized rides on my calendar. Then my Dad, who had already been dealing with issues from Parkinson's and Lewy Body Dementia, took a bad turn and life changed in more ways than I could have ever imagined.

Even before Dad passed away in early July, I realized that bike riding would not be a priority and that I needed to focus on my family instead. So, save for a few rides and a three session mountain biking class in late July/early August, I really didn't ride bike all summer long.

Well, life is setting down somewhat and I'm happy to say I've managed to get out on my bike twice so far this week. I'm NOT in shape and certainly am not riding as strong as I'd like. I huff and puff up the hills and haven't ridden more than 10 miles on a ride thus far.

I get sad when I think about how I was able to ride 100 miles this time last year and realize there's no way I could do the same thing now. But, the thing for me to focus on is this - I'm riding again. I love the sound of gravel crunching beneath my tires and the feeling of the wind on my face. I enjoy riding in the fall with the cooler weather and changing leaves.

I may have lost riding this summer...but I have the fall.

Categories: Citizens

International Day of Peace 2016: "Building Blocks"

Rob Hardy - Rough Draft - Wed, 09/21/2016 - 4:54pm
Here's the poem I wrote and read for the student-organized International Day of Peace gathering in Bridge Square on Wednesday, September 21. It's dedicated to the young people of our community, who have so much to teach us about making a more peaceful world.

Building Blocks
“Establishing a lasting peace is the work of education.”--Maria Montessori

Last night I woke to thunder. Safe under my roof, I lay awake listening as it rolled eastward, followed by the peacefulness of rain. In the morning, children bloomedin bright colors on the bus corners,teachers in still classrooms waitedfor the calm to shatter into life. There in the bustle and the noisewere the beginnings of peace. Elsewhere, bombs fall and scatterfear, like shrapnel edgingcloser to our hearts. If all we carryfrom the rubble is our hate, then this is what we build. We closethe borders of ourselves. But last nightI heard a young Assyrian woman,whose father’s village had been bombed,whose people had sufferedfrom centuries of genocide and war, talk about Montessori school,where she learned that we must be the building blocks of peace. Montessori had such a simple idea:teach our children to make peace,and let them show us how it’s done.
Categories: Citizens

Back to School, Back to the Blog

My Musical Family - Joy Riggs - Sun, 09/18/2016 - 4:54pm
I did not intend to take such a long absence from my blog. But the past seven weeks were so filled with activity, I had to move blogging way, way down the list of priorities.

Now that Louisa and Sebastian have both flown the nest for college, and Elias is settling in to his sophomore year of high school, I am hopeful that I can manage a more regular posting schedule — even if it is just once a month.

To bring you up to speed on what I did during my blogging absence, here are some highlights:

• July 28–31: the 2016 Vintage Band Festival attracts enthusiastic crowds and is an artistic and financial success.
Banda La Verdadera of Minneapolis makes its Northfield debut• July 30: My presentation at the Northfield Historical Society, “Get Your Horns, Boys, We’re Starting a Band” attracts a receptive, standing-room-only crowd.
Photo courtesy of my uncle, Bill Lowell• August 3: I watched Elias and his cousin Franny perform in another entertaining Northfield Arts Guild’s Young People’s Theater Workshop.

• August 31: Book chapters 16 and 17 are completed!

• Sept. 1: We enjoy dinner and a Saints game with my parents.

• Sept. 7: Sebastian goes to college!
Steve, Sebastian and me after the Kalamazoo College opening convocation• Sept. 15: Louisa flies to the SCAD campus in Lacoste, France!

I have grand plans for the fall in regards to my book — I am aiming to complete the remaining seven chapters by mid-October. Then I will revise some of the earlier chapters, write a book proposal, and get the manuscript ready for submission to potential publishers. There is much work yet to do, but I am excited about how it is progressing, and I am eager to see where it all leads!  
Categories: Citizens

WRAO & WIRES docs removed from ATC site

Carol Overland - Legalectric - Sun, 09/18/2016 - 1:47pm

Here’s to preservation, download quick to have this bit of history:

WRAO Report on Transmission System Reinforcement in Wisconsin File Size Document Letter of Transmittal to PSCW 22.8KB PDF: 1 page Report (without attachments) 256KB PDF: 33 pages Attachment A1 – WIREs Phase II Study Report 391KB PDF: 79 pages Attachment A2 – WIREs Phase II Study Report (AppendixB) 2,181KB PDF: 100 pages Attachment B – Environmental Review of Phase II WIRE Study for the WRAO

Study area map (summary_map.jpg)

1C Salem – Fitchburg – NorthMadison/Rockdale Analysis
1C Salem – Fitchburg – North Madison/Rockdale map

2E Prairie Island – La Crosse – Columbia Analysis
2E Prairie Island – La Crosse – Columbia map

3J Arrowhead – Weston Analysis
3J Arrowhead – Weston map

5A&B Chisago-Weston (345 kv) & Apple River – Weston (230 kV) Analysis
5A&B Chisago – Weston and Apple River – Weston map

9B Lakefield Junction – Adams – Columbia Analysis
9B Lakefield Junction – Adams – Columbia map

10 King – Eau Claire – Weston Analysis
10 King – Eau Claire – Weston map

Web Page Attachment C – Wisconsin’s Electric Transmission Interconnection Capacity Requirements 120KB PDF: 15 pages Attachment D – White Paper on the Requirement for Geographic Diversity in Transmission Line Route Selection for System Reliability 5,910KB PDF: 41 pages Attachement E – Stakeholder Comments 188KB PDF: 70 pages
Categories: Citizens

Decommission Genoa nuclear?

Carol Overland - Legalectric - Sat, 09/17/2016 - 4:16pm

There’s a NRC meeting on Tuesday about the “License Termination Plan” coming up:

6-8 p.m. on Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Courtyard Mariott

La Crosse Downtown/Mississippi Riverfront

500 Front St. South, La Crosse, WI 

Now think about it… why tear down what’s left of the Genoa plant?  So asks George Nygaard!  Shouldn’t this be a historical site?

Closed in 1987, Genoa nuke plant preparing for demo

My father worked on the conventional side of the Elk River Allis nuclear plant, a demonstration project way back when.  That was decommissioned back in the early 70s and is now a garbage burner.  When the demonstration project was completed, and they tried to sell it, no local utility wanted it!  Good call!  Genoa was another matter, and Dairyland bought it for $1.  Still not a great deal, because here we are now spending millions on decommissioning.  How much?  See below… they’re not telling.

Here’s the NRC page, with zero links:

La Crosse Boiling Water Reactor

Where’s the info on this?  Here’s the press release, does it say why are we having a meeting?

NRC to Discuss La Crosse License Termination Plan…

Well, it looks like it’s to discuss the “License Termination Plan” according to their notice. But what’s to comment on?  Why is there no link?  After much digging, FOUND IT!  From the NRC’s page:

La Crosse Boiling Water Reactor, License Amendment Request for the License Termination Plan.

Accession Number: ML16200A095

Date Released: Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Package Contents

Look at this — how do we comment on redactions?

Some other docs:

Decommissioning Funding Plan for Independent Spent Fuel

Decommissioning & decontamination cost study update

Categories: Citizens

Alabama’s leaking gas pipeline

Carol Overland - Legalectric - Fri, 09/16/2016 - 1:19pm

Inline plugging device used to isolate pipeline segment for recovery efforts.

Gas leaking in Alabama…

Alabama, Georgia declare state of emergency after pipeline spill

Pipeline leak spilled an estimated 250,000 gallons of gasoline

Here’s where to find updates from the pipeline company:

It’s a long, long pipeline:

Note the focus here in the STrib report, on price, not the mess:

Pipeline shutdown in Alabama could send gas prices higher

But that’s how it is everywhere:

Gasoline shortages, price hikes coming to East Coast after pipeline leak

Even though admittedly the pipeline is not “fixed” as of this writing:

Atlanta gas prices rising today, Bama pipeline not fixed

It’s owned by Colonial Pipeline, which is owned by ???

Colonial Pipeline investigating gasoline leak in Shelby County

And it’s the BIGGEST gas pipeline?

Leak From Biggest U.S. Gasoline Pipe Sparks ‘Red Alert’

Here’s an interesting post about Alabama natural gas pipeline explosions and permitting adventures:

A 36 inch pipeline blews (sic) up in Alabama

Categories: Citizens

Circular letter from Pollution Control Agency

Carol Overland - Legalectric - Wed, 09/14/2016 - 9:31pm

From the “Circular Logic” department, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency responded to my rulemaking Petition, looking for them to set wind turbine noise standards, specifically infrasound standards:

Overland – MPCA_Petition for Rulemaking

Overland – PUC Coerespondence re: Petition for Rulemaking

And here’s the response:

20169-124844-01_Letter_MPCA Commissioner Stine_9-12-2016

The bottom line… the full letter:

After consulting with colleagues at the Minnesota Departments of Health and Commerce, I have concluded that the current understanding of wind turbine noise and its potential effects is insufficient to support rulemaking at this time.  Discussions will continue among the agencies listed above, and we will monitor the science (as resources allow) to inform our decision about rulemaking in the future.

Right…  And note there was no consultation with the Environmental Quality Board.

On to the next step.  It never ends.

For more info, check the video of testimony of Rick James, INCE, at the Goodhue Wind Project public hearing:

Rick James testimony for Goodhue Wind Truth

And prefiled testimony:

testimony of Richard R. James, INCE, for Wednesday’s hearing over in Goodhue:

Direct Testimony – Richard R. James, INCE

A must read:

The “How-To” Guide to Siting Wind Turbines to Prevent Health Risks from Sound

And this was published earlier this month:

Wind Turbine Noise – What Audiologists Should Know

Categories: Citizens

Withdrawal of Clearbrook transmission line!!!

Carol Overland - Legalectric - Tue, 09/13/2016 - 6:57pm

Just in (well, it came in a while ago, but I was being tortured at the U of M Dental Clinic):

Minnkota Request for Withdrawal of Clearbrook-Clearbrook West 115kV Transmission Line  20169-124828-01

YES!!  Now, a quick Comment for the record, essentially a thank you note, PUC staff Briefing Papers, a Commission meeting, and Clearbrook is DONE!

Categories: Citizens

Sandpiper Withdrawal? Comments filed today!

Carol Overland - Legalectric - Mon, 09/12/2016 - 6:35pm

Today was Deadline #1 for Comments on NDPC’s Petition for Withdrawal of the Sandpiper pipeline Certificate of Need and Route applications.  Here’s what was filed:

Sandpiper_Landowner Comments_Xmsn

Yup, that’s it.  My Sandpiper transmission clients weighed in.  I’ve been watching the docket, watching the inbox for service…. NO other comments, nothing, nada…

Just get to it.  Quick – take a few minutes and send a missive to the Public Utilities Commission encouraging them to allow Enbridge to withdraw their application for the Sandpiper pipeline WITH PREJUDICE so that they can’t refile it again.  Send to:

Daniel P. Wolf, Executive Secretary  (                        Minnesota Public Utilities Commission                                                           121 Seventh Place East, Suite 350                                                                    Saint Paul, MN  55101-2147

Ann O’Reilly and James La Fave, Administrative Law Judges
Office of Administrative Hearings
600 North Robert Street
P.O. Box 64620
St. Paul, MN 55164-0620

But it doesn’t end there, with zip comments… it gets weirder.  I’d saw there was no notice from the PUC about a comment period, nothing.  Here’s what they did with Hollydale, Notice, and there was a comment period and reply comments!  In that docket, Xcel Energy filed to withdraw its Hollydale applications on December 10, 2013, and this notice was issued on January 10, 2014:

20141-95340-02 Notice of Comment Period

Here’s what we got:

And when I asked:

Here’s the response:

Oh my… what do I do with that?  Guess I write a post about it!!!




Categories: Citizens

TODAY – ask that Sandpiper pipeline be withdrawn!

Carol Overland - Legalectric - Mon, 09/12/2016 - 12:18pm

Enbridge has asked the PUC to withdraw its Certificate of Need and Route applications for the Sandpiper pipeline.  Quick – take a few minutes and send a missive to the Public Utilities Commission encouraging them to allow Enbridge to withdraw their application for the Sandpiper pipeline WITH PREJUDICE so that they can’t refile it again.  Send to:

Daniel P. Wolf, Executive Secretary  (                        Minnesota Public Utilities Commission                                                           121 Seventh Place East, Suite 350                                                                    Saint Paul, MN  55101-2147

Ann O’Reilly and James La Fave, Administrative Law Judges
Office of Administrative Hearings
600 North Robert Street
P.O. Box 64620
St. Paul, MN 55164-0620

Where’s the Sandpiper withdrawal on the PUC’s “Speak Up!” page?


Prior Legalectric posts:

Comment on Enbridge’s withdrawal of Sandpiper NOW!


Enbridge files to withdraw Sandpiper applications!
Categories: Citizens

Collegiate Adventures Commence: New Student Week for Carleton Class of 2020

Winona Media (Leslie Schultz) - Sun, 09/11/2016 - 8:24pm


Founded in 1866, Carleton College is celebrating its sesquicentennial this year as it also welcomes Julia and 572 other members of the Class of 2020. The first day of New Student Week–Tuesday, September 6–dawned with a heavy soaking rain that continued into the next day. Nothing could dampen the high spirits of the new students, though.

This week, with returning students on campus as well, the ten-week term will be in full swing. Julia is signed up for Environmental Science 120, Beginning Russian, an Argument and Inquiry freshman seminar called “Religion and the American Landscape,” and a Phy Ed class in folkdance. She’ll be doing eight hours each week of work study (four at the Dacie Moses House (cleaning and baking) and four at the Theater Costume Shop (sewing). In addition, she is investigating opportunities to continue her recorder playing and her love of early music.

Below are a few photos from that rain-swept but upbeat day last week!


Categories: Citizens


Blowing and Drifting - Christopher Tassava - Thu, 09/08/2016 - 9:31pm

I don’t think I’ve thought about what it might be like to be an animal for decades – probably since I was a little kid. Well, maybe I do a little imagining now and then. Swooping down a long hill on my bike, I might wonder if I feel anything like how a hawk might feel as it dives out on the clouds onto a hapless rabbit. 

That imagining pales next to the deep and deeply weird imaginings and the even weirder doings that British writer Charles Foster describes in his book, Being a Beast. Concerned – obsessed – with the experience of being an animal, Foster states on the first page of the book, “I want to know what it is like to be a wild thing.” He not only tries to think about what it must be like to be a badger or a fox or a swift, but even tries to be a badger and a fox and a swift, going so far as to eat earthworms like a badger, to skulk through urban streets like a fox, and to – well, he can’t be much like a swift, which spends weeks aloft migrating between Europe and Africa. Mindbendingly bizarre, these experiences are also – thanks to Foster’s human command of language – entertaining examinations of the biology and psychology of being a beast (all of which include scores of engrossing facts about the natural world) and a set of cases in which Foster tries to be those different beasts. 

It’s safe to say, I think, that very few people – at least in the industrialized West, where we have so safely and brutally segregated our lives from nature – are willing to go to Fosterian lengths in imagining an animal’s existence. Hunters, as he shows in the red stag chapter, might come closest, trying to duplicate aspects of wolf-ness. I like certain kinds of extreme fun in nature, but I don’t think I’d sleep in a cave in a riverbank like Badger Foster, belly-surf down a river like Otter Foster, run through the fields like Stag Foster, or eat trash scavenged from a garbage bin like Fox Foster. 

Maybe because most of us aren’t willing to go one-twentieth as far toward animal-ness as Foster, Being a Beast serves as an extended essay on a wild kind of human eccentricity and a moving consideration of a human kind of longing for the wild. For many of us, segregated in our cars and houses, this longing is imagining the freedom that we think is at the core of animal experiences. Animals experience more than freedom, of course: hunger, exhaustion, terror, as well as satiety, restedness, calm – and maybe even a sense of happiness in doing the things that make them what they are. Foster writes:

I can’t always be in the wild. Sometimes I have to be in places that smell of fear, fumes, and ambition. When I’m there, it helps very much to know that badgers are asleep inside a Welsh hill, than an otter is turning over stones in one of the Rockford pools, that a fox is blinking in the same sun that makes me sweat in my tweed coat, that a red stag is cudding among ghost trees by a stone circle near Hoar Oak, and that there’s a swift, hatched above my Oxford study, hunting, almost beyond human sight, in the high hot blue over the Congo River. That these things should be a comfort is strange. They should taunt. They should say, “You’re not there. Ha, ha, ha.”

This knowledge that animals are leading their unknowable lives while we lead ours is a comfort to me too. I find my own mind wandering, when I’m tired or stressed but also when I’m satisfied or calm, to visions – experienced directly, stolen from photos and films, and fully imagined – of bison, my favorite unknowable animals, out there in America, doing bison things. It’s a relief and a pleasure to know they’re there while I’m here. That there are wild beasts that I’ll never become. 

Teton Bison, January 2015
Categories: Citizens

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