Citizens

Capitalism happens… and sometimes it doesn’t!

Carol Overland - Legalectric - Sun, 12/21/2014 - 7:35pm

Big thanks to everyone who posted photos of yesterday’s action at the MOA. 3,000 or so Minnesotans showed up to demand accountability, professionalism, and basic civil rights — that BLACK LIVES MATTER. ALL LIVES MATTER!

And it’s in the New York Times!
Chanting ‘Black Lives Matter,’ Protesters Shut Down Part of Mall of America

In the STRIB, here’s Keith Ellison:
For Rep. Keith Ellison, recent protests speak of a lifelong struggle

The MOA issued a letter saying that protesters were not to be allowed inside, that they would be restricted to a certain part of a remote parking lot. Bloomington police, MOA and other security were there, looking like they’d just stopped off from the RNC wardrobe warehouse, full riot gear. But that didn’t stop the group from gathering in the mall. They took over the rotunda, and surrounding balconies, and shut it down for a while. YES! Because part of the problem here is that capitalism gets in the way of democracy, so it’s appropriate that one of the biggest shopping days of the year is brought to a screeching halt. A very diverse crowd including a group of Universalist pastors were on hand, a die-in here and there. Demonstrators were joined by shoppers and workers, some of whom were pushed back into a store and the gate slammed down (!). This IS what democracy looks like.

Meanwhile, “Fox News Seizes on NYC Cop Killing to Bash Obama” There’s a particularly slimy post going around equating protesting with police assassination, and police assassination with protesting, with this paragraph in it that… well… here it is:

So while you sit there, sympathizing with the criminals and becoming part of the problem by saying, “Hands up, don’t shoot” or “I can’t breathe” and preaching an ignorant and biased agenda against an individual who would willingly die for you in an instant, no matter if you like them or not; while you sit there with hate and distaste over the fact that they are “all racist” and they can hide behind the badge and without mercy, murder anyone they please-while you sit there and bask in all the hatred that has been ignited this past year, understand that they will ALWAYS be there to help you.

… oh give me a break… are people so incapable of critical thinking? Is it so hard to hold police accountable? To expect them to follow the law like the rest of us? To expect professionalism, that they follow basic policy and procedure in use of deadly force? And if we expect that, if we demand that, then hey, we’re terrorists and assassins? Right…

So on a lighter note, a historical note, is the Maul of America public property? NOT! So says the Minnesota Court of Appeals and the Minnesota Supreme Court. (Did they consider the public subsidies and pork to the Mall, to build it, to expand it, and maybe the protesters were standing on their own piece of the MOA? Naaaah, it doesn’t quite work that way. It’s like transmission lines, even though we pay for it we don’t own it. Go figure…)

Anyway, here are a couple of decisions on that issue, with the Court of Appeals and Minnesota Supreme Court bashing and tossing out the thorough and well-considered decision of Judge Nordby:

Alan says: I highly recommend reading at least the 1999 Final Order from Judge Jack S. Nordby on a demonstration at the MOA and whether it is public property:

Court of Appeals decision

Supreme Court decision

Categories: Citizens

Christmas Bird Count 2014: Quiet

Penelopedia: This & That in Northfield - Sun, 12/21/2014 - 9:04am
Participating in the annual Christmas Bird Count has become a tradition I look forward to eagerly. It's a chance to devote half a day, or more, to looking for birds and documenting the number of each species we see, as well as our time spent and mileage covered by car and on foot, to aid in interpreting the numbers reported. I've also written here about the Christmas Bird Counts of 2009, 20102011, and 2013. As in the past, we were assigned to a rural area east and south of Northfield, as well as a good portion of Northfield's east side.

Relatively mild at about 30-32 F. all morning, it was also gray and chillingly damp, though thankfully not windy. Ponds were frozen, while creeks were open. The mantra of the day for our group of four turned out to be, "Boy, it's really quiet out there." While we saw some decent action at a few homesteads that had well-stocked feeders, we came up dry at many others, including those at my own house. It wasn't always literally quiet, as we had an ample number of crows cawing raucously, but there were a lot of places that seemed unexpectedly bird-free.

Open water at the creek west of Dennison -- but no birds
The photo above is taken from the highway bridge just west of Dennison. Every year I get my hopes up for this creek, which often offers open water and seems so inviting from a human perspective, but once again there was nothing to see.

Here are our results for the morning. Occasionally birds (mostly chickadees and nuthatches) were identified by sound though not seen.

  • 2 Canada geese
  • 55 mallards, seen in many small groups overhead, flying with their characteristic rapid wingbeats, and in a large congregation on the open creek in the golf course
  • 1 ring-necked pheasant. Pheasant numbers are down so much in the last few years that this was now considered a lucky sighting.
  • 1 sharp-shinned hawk seen flying through woods (I missed seeing this. Darn!)
  • 1 red-tailed hawk
  • 19 rock pigeons (your standard barnyard or urban pigeon) on silos
  • 5 mourning doves
  • 1 red-bellied woodpecker
  • 5 downy woodpeckers
  • 1 hairy woodpecker
  • 12 blue jays
  • 52 American crows
  • 14 black-capped chickadees
  • 7 white-breasted nuthatches
  • 43 dark-eyed juncos, including a flock of 35 seen on the west edge of the Sibley School natural area
  • 5 northern cardinals
  • 39 house finches, the majority of them in one large group at a rural homestead with plenty of large trees and well-stocked feeders
  • 22 house sparrows, mostly in one large group at the pond west of Archibald Street and just north of Jefferson Parkway; we first caught sight of a few of them on top of and going into a wood duck box. 
This total of 18 species is the same as our total in 2011 (the last count I can find detailed notes for). Species seen then that we did not see yesterday included the European starling, wild turkey, American robin, American goldfinch, and northern shrike. Species seen yesterday that we did not see in 2011 included Canada goose, ring-necked pheasant, sharp-shinned hawk, rock pigeon, and hairy woodpecker. I always hope to see snow buntings or horned larks for the CBC, but there were none to be seen yesterday, nor (ambitious hope) a snowy owl, for which there have been sightings in Rice County in the past week or so.
Non-avian sightings included plenty of squirrels and, notably, a mink that was being eyed warily by a pair of mallards on Spring Creek on the east edge of Northfield.
I was happy to see several new participants at our Northfield-based count, including my longtime friend Mary, who came along in our group, as well as the now-familiar friends who are faithful to this effort. Thanks as always to Gene Bauer for organizing the bird count for the Northfield area, Gene and his wife Susan for their hospitality for the pre-count breakfast and post-count lunch, and the other bird enthusiasts, both experienced and developing, who showed up and helped make it a fun day of comradery and citizen science.
Categories: Citizens

News Flash!: I Have Just Published a Poem in MADISON REVIEW’s Online Journal + A Few Photos From Madison, WI

Winona Media (Leslie Schultz) - Fri, 12/19/2014 - 9:17pm

I am pleased to be able to let you all know some truly capital-albeit-personal news–I have just published my first poem in the online MADISON REVIEW. The poem is one I wrote this spring, titled “‘Oh, Mrs. Miller!'”. This is my first time in the pages of Madison Review, and, to celebrate, I am sharing the link above and below some photos taken during about a year and a half ago, on my last trip to Wisconsin’s capitol city, home of my alma mater, the University of Wisconsin. On that trip, I made my first climb to the ‘dome walk’ around the top of the Capitol Building, and I even got a distance shot of the Helen C. White English Department windows, where I spent many happy hours–and participated in my first public reading. (I can still recall how my heart raced!)

This is the view of State Street, looking west to the University.

The long, flat pale building with oblong dark windows, near the lake shore, is Helen C. White.  Below are a few other images from inside and outside the Capitol.

Wishing you a splendid conclusion to this year’s tasks and renewed energy as you step into 2014, 

Categories: Citizens

On Bakken oil in STrib…

Carol Overland - Legalectric - Tue, 12/16/2014 - 11:50am

Alan Stankevitz walks the walk, and  while his solar system powers his home, he tracks developments in oil transport on his DOT-111 Reader site.  In this STrib op ed, he exposes the truth about “regulations” ostensibly to deal with volatility of Bakken oil: “The bottom line is that the limit has been set so high by North Dakota that the mandate is toothless.”

Bakken dangers: Both the oil and the rail

Consider these numbers. Let’s dedicate ourselves to ending the smoke-and-mirrors game.

In announcing last week that it will require oil companies to “condition” Bakken oil before shipment, North Dakota’s Industrial Commission stated that “[t]his will significantly change the characteristics of crude oil.” What was not stated, however, is that this will have virtually no impact on the volatility of the oil shipped via rail through our communities and environment. Here’s why:

 The measure that is used to determine the volatility of flammable liquids is called RVP — Reid vapor pressure. The new North Dakota law that will go into effect on April 1 will set the limit on Bakken oil to no more than 13.7 RVP pounds per square inch (psi).

Let’s see how this regulation compares with what is already known (the lower the number, the less volatile the product is):

• Crude oil from the Gulf of Mexico has a RVP psi of approximately 3.

• For crude oil from the Eagle Ford shale formation in Texas, that number is approximately 8.

• For gasoline, it’s approximately 9.

• The Lac-Mégantic oil-train explosion in Quebec had a tested RVP psi just above 9.

• Bakken crude oil typically has a RVP psi between 11.5 and 11.8.

The bottom line is that the limit has been set so high by North Dakota that the mandate is toothless. The same volatile oil that caused the massive explosions in Casselton, N.D., and Lac-Mégantic would still have been allowed to ride the rails, according to this new mandate.

Of course, the petroleum industry has been protesting that the problem isn’t with the oil, it’s with the railroads. Although there is some truth to the fact that railroads should share in the blame, let’s also not forget it’s the petroleum industry that leases the DOT-111 tank cars that ride the rails.

The National Transportation Safety Board has stated numerous times that the DOT-111 tank cars hauling hazardous materials either need to be seriously upgraded or pulled from service completely.

Currently, the U.S. Department of Transportation is considering new rules to phase out some of the DOT-111s by 2020, but that only applies to trains hauling 20 or more of these tank cars. All others will be allowed to stay in service indefinitely.

So how much oil travels through Minnesota per day on these deficient DOT-111s?

From records released this year, we know that approximately 50 oil unit trains pass through Minnesota on a weekly basis. To put this into perspective, that’s about seven oil trains per day. That’s about 500,000 barrels of oil per day via rail. Currently, the Enbridge Alberta Clipper pipeline carries about 450,000 barrels per day.

For all practical purposes, we have a rail pipeline passing through our state — and research has shown that, on a per-mile basis, the accident rate is 3 to 3.5 times higher by rail vs. pipeline.

It’s time to stop this smoke-and-mirrors game. We need the petroleum and rail industries, along with our legislators, to meaningfully reduce the volatility of Bakken oil and to remove from service DOT-111 tank cars that carry all hazardous materials, not just the oil in trains with 20 or more cars. Doing anything less is continuing to put our citizens and environment at great risk.

 

Alan Stankevitz lives in La Crescent, Minn. His website “The DOT-111 Reader” (http://dot111.info) is a clearinghouse for information related to DOT-111 tank cars and subjects related to shipping crude oil via rail.

And another along the same lines, by Lisa Westberg Peters:

New Bakken volatility standards are pointless
  • Article by: LISA WESTBERG PETERS
  • Updated: December 15, 2014 – 6:45 PM

The explosion risk still exists, which emboldens pipeline supporters — but why must our choices be so dismal?

(Photo: Paul Chiasson • The Canadian Press/AP file,) A large swath of Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, was destroyed and 47 people were killed in July 2013 when a train carrying Bakken crude oil derailed, sparking several explosions and forcing the evacuation of up to 1,000 people.

++++++++++++++++++++++++

I’ve seen Bakken crude oil as it comes out of the ground. It was surprising in several ways: It was almost green, quite fluid and downright fizzy with natural gases. It’s the high gas content that makes Bakken shale oil so explosive.

When the state of North Dakota established new limits on vapor pressure last week for the oil shipped out of the state, my first reaction was relief. Flammable liquids with lower vapor pressures are less volatile. We’ve seen several explosive rail accidents in recent years involving Bakken oil; an oil train derailment last year in the small Quebec town of Lac-Mégantic killed 47 people and flattened its downtown. I was pleased that regulators were addressing this problem.

But when I took a closer look at the numbers, I felt more dismay than relief. Even if oil producers exceed the regulators’ demands — and regulators say they often do — Bakken crude will still be explosive.

The appropriate comparison seems to be gasoline.

Lynn Helms, head of the North Dakota Department of Mineral Resources, said the new vapor pressure standard of 13.7 pounds per square inch (psi) would make Bakken crude no more volatile than the gasoline we put in our cars every day.

In March, an investigation by the Transportation Safety Board of Canada concluded that the Bakken oil in rail cars at Lac-Mégantic was “as volatile as gasoline,” but the vapor pressure was measured at 9 to around 9.5 psi. In other words, the Bakken crude that exploded in Lac-Mégantic was less volatile than what North Dakota regulators are demanding now, and it still exploded.

In a New York Times article last week, Clifford Krauss reported: “Once the rules are in force early next year, transported North Dakota crude oil will have a similar volatility to that of automobile gasoline, which should decrease the risk and size of any fire that might occur once a rail car is punctured in an accident, according to state regulators.” His story never mentioned the findings of the Canadian government.

Why wasn’t this New York Times reporter more skeptical of the assurances of North Dakota oil regulators, especially after the recent New York Times revelations about the leniency of regulators toward the oil industry?

The new vapor pressure standard announced last week is pointless. We will still face danger from exploding oil trains.

This disturbing fact tends to encourage pipeline supporters. Pipelines are safer, they say. In the past, oil transported by pipelines has tended not to explode and kill people; instead it spills and contaminates streams, lakes and aquifers. If you value people’s lives over clean water supply, in the short term, pipelines seem better.

But why do we have to make such lousy choices to keep our domestic energy boom rolling — to keep workers working and our dream of energy independence alive? Let’s do everything we can to encourage the other domestic energy boom, the wind and solar boom, that has already begun and that survives today despite many obstacles, including national policies that still encourage fossil fuel, yesterday’s energy source. If we were to place a price on carbon tomorrow, we would not need as many pipelines and we would be able to reduce the number of oil trains passing through our neighborhoods.

Climate experts urge us to leave much of the world’s remaining fossil fuel, including Bakken crude, in the ground. If we do as they advise, we will disrupt job markets and be forced to rethink the way we do almost everything. Why should we voluntarily face such disruption? One very good reason: We already face the prospect of pervasive disruption posed by a changing climate. It’s far preferable to take well-designed and systematic measures to control disruption than let disruption control us.

 

Lisa Westberg Peters is the author of “Fractured Land: The Price of Inheriting Oil” (Minnesota Historical Society Press, 2014). She lives in Minneapolis with her family.

Categories: Citizens

Passenger Rail to Northfield?

Betsey Buckheit - Tue, 12/16/2014 - 6:05am
Although freight trains move through Northfield daily, it’s been about 45 years since the last passenger train passenger trains stopped at the Northfield Depot. Now grassroots efforts to restore passenger rail from the Twin Cities to Northfield and points south … Continue reading →
Categories: Citizens

Strep Day

Blowing and Drifting - Christopher Tassava - Mon, 12/15/2014 - 2:51pm

The Tassava family has not fared well during Northfield’s current epidemic of strep, pneumonia, influenza, and the stomach flu. Today, Vivi is home with strep. Sick Vivi is lethargic, quiet, and bored – pretty much the opposite of Normal Vivi. At least she has a friend who’s supplying some good purring medicine.

Categories: Citizens

News Flash!: Nancy Soth Publishes New Book, A FIELD GUIDE TO NORTHFIELD

Winona Media (Leslie Schultz) - Mon, 12/15/2014 - 3:05am

Perhaps you’ve heard the recent buzz about Northfield in the national media and want to know more?  Perhaps life has stranded you far from Minnesota, and you’re homesick for Northfield’s mixed habitat of prairie and academe? Whether you are preparing for an actual visit or just a trip down memory lane, you’ll want to have a trusty travel companion.

Nancy Soth, author and long-time Northfield resident, has packaged all the telling details–historically accurate or not–into a charmingly wry, user-friendly field guide.

Fans of Nancy’s earlier book, Fantasy Northfield, have waited thirteen years for this new compilation.

Like its predecessor, A Field Guide to Northfield includes too-true quirky embellishments. You will find ephemeral gems from such sources as the local Police Log, Carleton Security Blotter, and (in a hat tip to social media) Facebook gleanings on the topic of “I’m so Northfield that….!” The inspired Venn diagram on the cover gives graphic expression to the Northfield motto: “Cows, Colleges, and Contentment.”

The two volumes together make a handsome cornerstone to Northfield history. They have a permanent place on my local history shelf, right between Carleton: The First Century and the cookbook Cows in the Kitchen.

The perfect holiday gift for Northfield lovers everywhere, copies of A Field Guide to Northfield can be purchased locally at Content Book Store on Division Street. Out-of-towners can drop Nancy an email for purchasing suggestions: nancy.soth@gmail.com.

(Nancy Soth at a recent pop-up signing at 114 Winona Street!)

Happy Reading!

 

Categories: Citizens

Postcard: December 15, 2014

Winona Media (Leslie Schultz) - Sun, 12/14/2014 - 6:45pm

Categories: Citizens

The Real Christmas Workshop

Blowing and Drifting - Christopher Tassava - Sun, 12/14/2014 - 9:51am

Forget Santa’s workshop at the North Pole: Julia’s workshop at the kitchen table is where the real magic is happening. She’s made amazing presents here for Shannon and Genevieve. I can’t wait to see what she makes for me!

Categories: Citizens

Jingle Bell Runners (and Bikers)

Blowing and Drifting - Christopher Tassava - Sat, 12/13/2014 - 12:15pm

Last year, the Northfield YMCA asked our local bike club if anyone would like to lead out the annual Jingle Bell Run downtown. Several of us fatbikers were interested, and had fun leading racers over the slick, cold course.

This year the Y asked us again, so again a bunch of us showed up, though the weather today was warm and gray and wet – not optimal fatbiking conditions. Still, it was fun to see the throng off and lead them along the courses. Shannon, Julia, and Genevieve were running the 2k race along with their BFFs, so I rode that course with my friend Michael and his son. Viewing conditions were perfect!

They all ran the entire course, which made me happy, since 1.25 miles is quite a long way for little kids!

After watching them finish, I looped back up the course to see the winner of the 5k zoom past

and admire the sight of the fatbikers cheering on other finishers as they rounded the last corner. We looked good, I think.

All in all, a great morning!

Categories: Citizens

It’s the 2014 NERC Report!

Carol Overland - Legalectric - Fri, 12/12/2014 - 8:37pm

EEEEEEEEEE-HA!  The NERC Report is out:

2014 NERC Reliability Assessment

I love the NERC Report — the annual Long Term Reliability Assessment from the North American Electric Reliability Corporation.  Why?  Well, it’s a nice offset to the gloom and doom of the MTEP promotional pieces because NERC features tables like this:

What’s not to like about “NERC_Wide Demand: 10-Year Growth Rates (Summer and Winter) at Lowest Levels on Record” as a leading table?

Better yet, they go area by area, and show, even using utility provided data, that it’s not nearly as bad as the utilities claim in their hystrionic applications and testimony.  Let’s look at the bottom line in the section about MISO (click on table for larger view):

NERC Reliability Assessment, p. 38 (or p. 46 of 115 pdf).  Note how this is NOT scary histrionic data here?!?!  Also note, they use coincident peak for forecasting, as they should.  If I hear one more “non-coincident peak” being used, I shall scream!

Again, it’s the 2014 NERC Reliability Assessment.  Check this out for a more rational view.

 

Categories: Citizens

12/19 – Power Plant Siting Act Annual Hearing

Carol Overland - Legalectric - Fri, 12/12/2014 - 11:27am

It’s that time of year… the time that we get to tell the Public Utilities Commission what does and does not work about the Power Plant Siting Act.  We’ve been doing it for years, 15 or so years, and have spent over a year now in a rulemaking on the PUC’s rules, Ch. 7849 (Certificate of Need) and Ch. 7850 (Power Plant & Transmission Siting) where some of these long complained of problems will be address (with any luck).  And now, again, it’s time to reinforce those comments with another round of comments:

After the hearing, now officiated by an Administrative Law Judge (new as of a few years ago), a report is issued to the PUC and then ???  It used to go to the legislature, and it used to go to the EQB… guess I have to find out what happens now.

December 19, 2014 beginning at 9:30 a.m. Public Utilities Commission 3rd Floor Large Hearing Room 121 – 7th Place East St. Paul, MN  55101

Each of you who have experience siting and routing of large electric energy facilities — this is the time to weigh in.  Remember that this is NOT project specific, it’s not about where a project goes of whether it does, but it’s about how the process works or doesn’t, so for example, it’s the time to let them know that notice isn’t being provided, or that witnesses should be sworn on oath so that testimony will be given more weight, etc.   You can do it in person, and you can do it by filing comments.

Here is the Power Plant Siting Act, which governs the siting and routing of large energy facilities:

Power Plant Siting Act – 216E

Here are some prior dockets (to access the entire docket, individual comments, etc., go to the PUC’s “SEARCH” site and plug in the docket numbers :

2000 Summary of Proceedings

2000 Report EQB

2001 Summary of Proceedings

2001 Report EQB

2002 Summary of Proceedings

2002 Report to EQB

2003 Summary of Proceedings

2003 Report to EQB

2004 Summary of Proceedings

2004 Report to EQB

2005 Report to PUC

2006 Report to PUC – Docket 06-1733

2007 Report to PUC – Docket 07-1579

2008 Report to PUC - Docket 08-1426

2009 Report to PUC – Docket 09-1351

2010 Report to PUC – Docket 10-222

2011 Report to PUC – Docket 11-324

2012 Report – Docket 12-360 -2012 Report Exhibits

2013 Report  – Docket 13-9650143-96999-01

Categories: Citizens

Embedding an MTB Project trail map

Mountain Bike Geezer - Wed, 12/10/2014 - 10:03am

MTB Project bills itself as the “next generation of mountain bike trail maps” and is in partnership with IMBA. Among their many map-related features and tools, they make it possible to embed their maps on a website. I’m the webmaster for CROCT and we now have a Sechler Park Trail page where we’ve done this. 

(See the MTB Project site for a full-description of the Sechler Park trail and a virtual ride.  The map there can be toggled full screen.)

If you’re using a mobile device, get one the MTB Project mobile apps. One of the best features? “Works with no cell signal, including all mapping and geolocating features.”

 

GET IT THROUGH YOUR THICK SKULL

Subscribe to my free Thick Skull MTB Skills/Mountain Bike Geezer newsletter and get:

  1. The free 3-part video series, 'Light Hands, Heavy Feet': 17 mountain bike drills to develop the 'light hands' habit and make your riding more stable no matter what the terrain
  2. Exclusive how-to-ride related content every week that I don't post on my blog.

So do it. Get it through your Thick Skull.

The post Embedding an MTB Project trail map appeared first on Mountain Bike Geezer.

Categories: Citizens

No fun urbanism

Betsey Buckheit - Wed, 12/10/2014 - 6:36am
Sarah Goodyear doesn’t want us to have fun.  She complains fun urban tricks like swings, slides and games are “dangerously beside the point” of making cities safer, cleaner and more livable. I think this criticism misses the point.  Swings and … Continue reading →
Categories: Citizens

Postcard: December 8, 2014

Winona Media (Leslie Schultz) - Sun, 12/07/2014 - 4:51pm

Categories: Citizens

It’s Polar Express time again!!!

Carol Overland - Legalectric - Sat, 12/06/2014 - 1:01pm

One year ago — Bark & Ride Transport Polar Express

Here we go again!  21 dogs this time, including a nursing mother and her 8 pups, quite a van full.  Off to shelter soon to pick up crates.

 

 

Over the years, I’ve had a lot of rescue dogs, and since I’ve moved to Red Wing, I’ve adopted Katze, Kenya, Krie, Kady, Little Sadie, and Summer.   The only one left now is Little Sadie, who I hope has another decade of life.  But there are so many dogs who need help.  I’ve been on the Board of Humane Society for Goodhue County for a few years now, but that’s different than direct work for animals.  Our grrrrrrls have been either from the shelter here in Red Wing (Katze, Krie, and Little Sadie), or from rescues who got them out of difficult or horrible situations.  Kenya was in the middle of two divorces and left with no where to live twice in her five years before I got her.   Kady came up from Georgia, on an I-95 transport, up to Marcus Hook to 6th Angel German Shepherd Rescue, and then fostered on Long Island as she recovered from heartworm treatment and, though her pup was adopted, she spent a year waiting for us — we were luck she was there and she decided she wanted to come home with us.

Anyway, we started doing occasional dog transports, the first, a year ago for the 2013 Polar Express, where we met Birdo:

And an adorable pile o’ pooping puppies (they seem to let loose about half an hour after transfer into the van!):

And then last July, Nora and another van full (there’s always got to be one lap dog, that’s Alan’s favorite part of this!):

So here we go, doing dog laundry and cleaning crates, on the road again!

 

Categories: Citizens

Video: Logover analysis

Mountain Bike Geezer - Sat, 12/06/2014 - 8:17am

The results are in and my logover analysis is finished. (See last Monday’s blog post, Straw poll: Analyze these two attempts at a logover.)

Watch this 7-minute video. The comments thread is open for discussion. 

 

GET IT THROUGH YOUR THICK SKULL

Subscribe to my free Thick Skull MTB Skills/Mountain Bike Geezer newsletter and get:

  1. The free 3-part video series, 'Light Hands, Heavy Feet': 17 mountain bike drills to develop the 'light hands' habit and make your riding more stable no matter what the terrain
  2. Exclusive how-to-ride related content every week that I don't post on my blog.

So do it. Get it through your Thick Skull.

The post Video: Logover analysis appeared first on Mountain Bike Geezer.

Categories: Citizens

Silica Sand Rulemaking — winding up!

Carol Overland - Legalectric - Fri, 12/05/2014 - 2:06pm

The silica sand rulemaking process drags on and will probably end soon.  Meetings have been going on for a year now, and what is there to show for it?  Not much.  But as of yesterday, there are some draft rules!  YES!  About time…

There was a Comment Period that ended in November, and here are the Comments:

MPCA’s rulemaking – Response to second request for comments

Very few comments were filed — only 10 (I’d attached a previous comment to this one, but it was stuck separately at the top of the pile) — why so few comments, what’s up with that?

As for rulemaking, there’s been a little bit of progress reported by Katie Himanga (THANK YOU, Katie!) after yesterday’s meeting of the “Advisory Panel.”  Word from that meeting is that “ALL AGENCIES PLAN TO GO TO PUBLIC NOTICE IN THE 1ST QUARTER OF 2015.“  And so it looks like the January 8 meeting will be the last one, January 8 is scheduled, and no others show on the Advisory Panel site (but they could always add more, as they have in the past).

The Agenda is posted, but the meeting materials weren’t there yet.  So I checked with Nathan Cooley, and he sent them right over:

20141204 10th SSRAP Agenda

20141125 Draft Silica Sand Emission Rule (Draft Proposed Rules Governing Emissions from Silica Sand Projects)

DEFINITIONS_EQB (silica sand related definitions, rule and statute)

EXHIBIT M (AMBIENT AIR MONITORING PROCEDURES for
DETERMINATION OF COMPLIANCE, 12/18/2013)

SSRAP__DRAFT EQB__12__4__2014_CLEAN (this is proposed language to insert silica sand mines/project/facilities into EAW and EIS categories)

Here’s how Cooley ended that missive, definitely a “don’t call me, I’ll call you” sort of finale:

There is no current request for public comment on silica sand rulemaking. We remain focused on seeking representative input from the SSRAP panel. Thanks for your interest and your understanding.

Well, Advisory Panel, he’s saying it’s up to you!  You’re our representatives!

Categories: Citizens

The Sixth Extinction

Carol Overland - Legalectric - Thu, 12/04/2014 - 9:11am

I’ve been reading The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History, and get thee to the library and reserve it.  It’s about our impact on the earth, and it’s depressing, but reality often is.  Particularly the recount of the deaths of the last Great Auk pair at Edly, a rock cropping of an island off of Iceland.

And this morning, Jeanne Warren found this:

 

Categories: Citizens

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