Blogosphere

NUCLEAR?!? What is the Minnesota Senate thinking?

Carol Overland - Legalectric - 1 hour 55 min ago

That’s “our” reactor, the Prairie Island Nuclear Generating Plant, here in Red Wing, it’s within the city limits (which were expanded to include the plant).  I represented Florence Township from 1995, when Xcel, f/k/a NSP, applied to put nuclear waste in Florence Township under the “alternate site mandate,” and that went on, and on, and on, until they finally withdrew their application at the NRC in … what, 1999?  2000?  That’s one I thought would never end.

There are two bills before Senate Energy tomorrow:

  • SF306 is simply worded, deleting the Minn. Stat. 216.243, Subd. 3b prohibition of new construction of a nuclear plant and changes it to “Additional storage of spent nuclear fuel” and over the previous language that states: “Any certificate of need for additional storage of spent nuclear fuel for a facility seeking a license extension shall address the impacts of continued operations over the period for which approval is sought.”  It’s authored by Kiffmeyer, coauthored by Dahms and Anderson .

So we have a blanket repeal of the nuclear construction prohibition, and a specific opening for a Certificate of Need for a nuclear generator at the Monticello site.

Authors contact info is linked above, and emails for Senate Energy committee members and the authors are also listed below.

Whether it’s targeted as a replacement for the Fukushima Daiichi style GE plant, or whether it’s to add and operate a second reactor, WHY?

First, there’s no need.  There is a glut of electricity, as our friend, Xcel’s Ben Fowkes said, when they could no longer keep up the GROW GROW GROW fiction.  Here’s the Seeking Alpha transcript of the XEL Earnings Call, January 31, 2013. 

So I think the economies are in decent shape across all our jurisdictions. Doesn’t necessarily mean it translates to high sales growth. And that’s consistent with our forecast. I mean, we’re not anticipating that we’re going to see a tremendous rebound in sales, even as the economies start to improve. I mean, I think, that’s our new normal, frankly.

For last year:

Finally, NSP-Minnesota sales increased six-tenths of a percent driven by growth in the number of residential and small C&I customers and usage increases in the small C&I class.

From Xcel’s IRP (Docket 15-21), p. 45 of 102:

And here’s what they had to say about that (note they do NOT go back further than 2011, so we don’t get to see the 2000-2010 numbers):

We forecast a period of relatively flat growth such that our median base peak will increase only 0.4 percent in each year of the planning period…

That chart is NOT consistent with the 2014 SEC 10K filing, which shows a 2014 peak demand of 8,848 MW (info below is linked, see p. 9 at 10K link):

Capacity and Demand   Uninterrupted system peak demand for the NSP System’s electric utility for each of the last three years and the forecast for 2015, assuming normal weather, is listed below.                             System Peak Demand (in MW)   2012   2013   2014   2015 Forecast NSP System 9,475     9,524     8,848     9,301  

That lower number is consistent with the 2014 NERC Long Term Reliability Assessment showing growth rates at lowest levels on record:

And here’s the picture for MISO from the 2014 NERC Long Term Reliability Assessment:

2014 NERC Long Term Reliability Assessment, p. 38 (or p. 46 of 115 pdf).

So we don’t “need” it.  So why???

And the “WHY?” may be clearer when taken into context with last week’s hearing at House Energy, where the intent, in part, behind legislation there was to make Minnesota an exporter of energy.  Again, WHY?  Why make the state an exporter of energy?  And if we do what would that do for our rates here?  How does that fit with Xcel’s well funded plan to institute its e21 Initiative, and how does that fit with Xcel’s desire to use ratepayer money to find other market options?  The House bill would let natural gas plants be built without a Certificate of Need, whether by an IPP or regulated utility, with the key being that they are selling into the MISO grid, and not for Minnesota native load.

But nuclear is SO expensive!  First, there’s an immediate example of nuclear construction cost overruns right here in Minnesota, at the Monticello nuclear plant, where they went way beyond what was approved in the Certificate of Need:

Xcel management blamed for cost overruns at Monticello

So what was that about?  Costs more than doubled, increased by a factor of 2.33!!!  From the article:

The project to extend the plant’s life and increase power output ballooned from an estimated $320 million in 2008 to $665 million when it was completed last year. However, the final price tag likely will rise to $748 million, including construction-in-progress financial costs.

And let’s look at new construction, the first new nuclear plant in the US in 30 years:

C&U disputes Southern Co. claim for $247 million in penalties for cost overruns at Plant Vogtle

The cost punchline on the Vogtle plant?  Southern, Westinghouse and CB&I are already in court over previous cost overruns on the project, which is currently expected to cost $14.5 billion.

Here’s that other project:

Shaw Power Group, Westinghouse, face cost issues at S.C. project.

The cost punch line here?  The NRC is expected to act soon on the Summer license. Summer is projected to cost about $9 billion.

Building new plants?  Well, NEI has some info, BUT it’s outdated, nuclear has not caught up, and this is the most current I can find on the site (HERE’S THE WHOLE REPORT):

So please explain — why would anyone want to build a new nuclear plant?  Why are Reps. Kiffmeyer and Anderson trying to make this a possibility?  Is this for real?  Is it a diversion from some other issue?

Categories: Citizens

Today’s news update -

KYMN Radio - 2 hours 30 min ago

Beyond The Yellow Ribbon Kick Off

Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Kick Off is This Evening from 6 to 8:30PM at the Northfield Armory. Sgt. First Class Kris Nelson notes,” The purpose of the kick-off meeting is to identify and have people in the community step up saying, yes, I will volunteer my time for the specific functions within the organization. Social Organizations, Medical, and Legal professionals are some of the connections hoping to be made at the event. Beyond the Yellow Ribbon is a comprehensive program connecting service members, veterans, and their families with community support. The public is encouraged to attend, learn more about the network and find ways that you might be able to help.  Listen to the full interview with Nelson and organizer Virginia Kaczmarek on our website kymnradio.net.

 

Absentee Voting the March 10th Township Elections

 

Eligible voters are now able to place votes via absentee ballots for the Township Elections March 10. All voters who will be unable to go to their polling place March 10 is encouraged to vote by an absentee ballot. Applications for absentee ballots are available at the Rice County Auditor-Treasurer’s office located at the Rice County Government Services Building. Office hours are 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Monday through Friday.  Absentee voting will also be open on Saturday, March 7th from l0:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. and on Monday, March 9th from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.

Eight Northfield Poets Selected for Publication​

Poets from across Southeastern Minnesota have been selected to have their work professionally printed in a poetry anthology. Southeastern Libraries Cooperating hosts two poetry competitions each year, one for adults and one for young writers. Poets range from ages 14 to 93 this year. The panels reviewed all entries through a blind evaluation process in each competition and helped to determine the final selections for the anthology. Eight Northfield writers were among the selected for publication, including school board member Rob Hardy. A Poetry Bash will be held in honor of this project on Tuesday, April 28, 2015 at the Rochester Civic Theatre.

 

 

Click below to listen to FULL newscast:

Listen for news updates on-air at 6, 7, 8, Noon, 3 and 5

http://kymnradio.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Monday-NEWS1.mp3


Listen for news updates on-air at 6, 7, 8, Noon, 3 and 5

The post Today’s news update - appeared first on KYMN Radio - Northfield, MN.

Feb. 27-March 1 Rice County court logs

Northfield News - 2 hours 35 min ago
Here are the Rice County court dispositions for Feb. 27-March 1.
Categories: Local News

Czyszczenie okien w domu

Ole Store Restaurant - 2 hours 58 min ago
Categories: Businesses

Human Rights Commission

City of Northfield Calendar - 3 hours 17 min ago
Event date: March 12, 2015
Event Time: 07:00 PM - 09:00 PM
Location:
801 Washington Street
Northfield, MN 55057

15 with the Author | ‘That Great Heart – The Life of I.A. O’Shaughessy’ by Doug Hennes 3/2/15

KYMN Radio - 3 hours 30 min ago

Ignatius Aloysius O’Shaughnessy, the thirteenth child of a Minnesota bootmaker, was kicked out of St. John’s University in 1902 after skipping Sunday vespers to drink beer. On his way home, the sixteen-year-old stopped at the College of St. Thomas, bumped into the president, and from that point on, was their biggest benefactor.  On today’s 15 with the Author, Teri Knight’s guest is Doug Hennes who wrote the book on I.A. called “That Great Heart – the life of I.A. O’Shaughnessy, Oilman and Philanthropist”.

 

Click below to listen to the full interview:

That Great Heart by Doug Hennes

The post 15 with the Author | ‘That Great Heart – The Life of I.A. O’Shaughessy’ by Doug Hennes 3/2/15 appeared first on KYMN Radio - Northfield, MN.

Lecture series looks at ‘Community, Race, and Policing in America’

St. Olaf College - 3 hours 54 min ago

Victor Rios will deliver a March 4 lecture questioning the “broken windows” theory of policing.

Does preventing small crimes — such as vandalism and public drinking — prevent more serious crimes from happening? Or does it contribute to the over-policing of America? And what effects do these criminal convictions have on communities?

These are the questions that will be examined in a St. Olaf College lecture series titled Community, Race, and Policing in America.

The series, hosted by the college’s new Institute for Freedom and Community, will bring three highly regarded academics to campus to discuss their research and engage in thoughtful conversation.

George Kelling ’56 will deliver an April 14 lecture examining the “broken windows” theory and its role in American policing.

The first two lectures examine the “broken windows” theory of policing. The theory, co-authored by St. Olaf alumnus George Kelling ’56, uses the analogy of a broken window — “If a window in a building is broken and is left unrepaired, all the rest of the windows will soon be broken”— to argue that preventing relatively minor crimes prevents more serious crimes from occurring.

The theory has come under sharp criticism recently from observers who think it has contributed to over-policing in America.

Traci Burch will deliver an April 20 lecture that examines the effects of the criminal justice system on low-income communities.

University of California, Santa Barbara Associate Professor of Sociology Victor Rios, the author of Punished: Policing the Lives of Black and Latino Boys, will deliver a lecture March 4 questioning the “broken windows” theory. He will discuss his research, which tracks the effects of policing and the criminal justice system on low-income young people of color.

Kelling, now a senior fellow with the Manhattan Institute, will deliver a lecture April 14 examining the “broken windows” strategy and its role in American policing. Kelling and others contend that it has led to crime reductions in New York and other places. He will develop the theory during his lecture and then invite questions.

In the third lecture, Northwestern University Associate Professor of Political Science Traci Burch will examine the effects of the criminal justice system on low-income communities. Her April 20 lecture is titled The Collateral Consequences of Mass Imprisonment. Burch, who is also a research professor at the American Bar Foundation, is the author of the award-winning book Trading Democracy for Justice: Criminal Convictions and the Decline of Neighborhood Political Participation.

Categories: Colleges

Jim Westlund

Knecht’s Nurseries & Landscaping is pleased to announce the promotion of our long time Landscape Division Manager, Jim Westlund, to the position of General Manager, Vice President and Partner.

For the past ten years, Jim has blended his amazing work ethic, winning personality, attention to detail, intelligence, boundless energy, and plenty of common sense to create beautiful landscapes for our customers, and has helped the plant production and retail nursery sales parts of Knecht’s grow into a premier destination for southern Minnesota plant lovers.

We are confident that Jim’s increased leadership role will enable Knecht’s Nurseries to continually improve the quality and wide selection of the new and exciting perennials, shrubs and trees we will be making available to our retail customers; and also for our landscape design/build customers who entrust us with the mission to bring enduring beauty to their landscapes.

Congratulations Jim!   We look forward to having you as our partner in bringing beauty to the eyes, and joy in the hearts of the many people who choose to do business with Knecht’s!

The post Jim Westlund appeared first on Knecht's Nurseries & Landscaping.

Categories: Businesses

Ukraine conflict dismal at best

Manitou Messenger - 4 hours 13 min ago

Ukraine is losing the war. Read it on BBC or CNN and you will see Ukrainian troops withdrawing from Debaltseve. While accurate, those stories mask the real situation on the ground. To combat this surge of separatist forces, the U.S. is weighing whether to arm Ukraine or not. Such a notion is idealistic at best and will not solve Ukraine’s current problems, will fail to make Ukraine’s armed forces effective and will not bring peace to the situation in Ukraine. 

Ukraine’s troop numbers are dwindling, and their best troops got caught up in the meat grinder that became the Donetsk airport. Each recruitment drive yields lower troop numbers. The last drive picked up a five percent success rate. While Ukraine reinstated conscription last May, the military recently began drafting women to fill its ranks. 

On top of this lack of troops, Ukraine can hardly keep its head above water economically. The Ukrainian economy has not reported real growth since the fall of the Soviet Union. However, whatever economic potential did exist in Ukraine continues to erode. GDP for Ukraine shrank last year by five percent, with next year’s predictions posed at an eight percent loss.

In order to secure loans from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which is now a prerequisite to having a semi-functional Ukrainian government, Prime Minister Yatsenyuk proposed cutting the national budget by 10 percent. These cuts take out hundreds of thousands of public sector jobs, cut gas and electricity subsidies, hack pension checks and increase taxes. In addition, the proposal cuts out the few goods things to hold over from the Soviet Union: free health care and education. Yatsenyuk’s plan begins with the privatization of education and health care, students experiencing tuition payments for the first time in history and the pharmaceutical market shedding all regulation control. After the proposal passed, a new wave of protests swept through the streets of Kiev to stop the country from ignoring its populace.

Ukrainians now flee in massive numbers. Even the former Maiden protesters are leaving. Ukrainian refugees in Russia now number around 700,000. Many of those refugees turn to separatist forces, not as much for ideological reasons but as a means to survive. Many refugees flock to the $500 monthly salary for fighting with the separatists, a sizeable sum in Eastern Europe. To stop faltering numbers, Ukraine authorized the shooting of deserters and retreaters on site.

Now, separatist forces are closing in around Mariupol, a coastal city in the east where the elite Azov battalion is stationed. A new wave of social protests is gaining steam against the harsh austerity measures. Ukrainians are fleeing their homeland for better lives. Yet, the U.S. believes that equipping a military that can’t keep its troops supplied or in the field will beat back separatists.

Any armament campaign would give Russia a clear reason to intervene in Ukraine. No matter how well-equipped or trained Ukraine forces are after American assistance, Russian forces could enter Kiev in a matter of weeks. One must only look at the 2008 Georgian conflict, during which the U.S. supplied and trained a Georgian army that lasted three days against the Russians. The U.S. needs to understand that provocation will only cause the situation to spiral out of control. Weapons won’t solve the gutting of pensions or Ukrainians’ dissatisfaction with the right-wing government in Kiev. Weapons won’t keep soldiers in the field or keep them from switching sides for better pay. The only thing more weapons will do is cause more death and destruction in Ukraine.

Seth Ellingson ’15 (ellingss@stolaf.edu) is from Powder Springs, Ga. He majors in history and Russian.

Graphic Credit: ETHAN BOOTE/MANITOU MESSENGER

Categories: Colleges

Flaten Art Lecture Series inspires artists

Manitou Messenger - 4 hours 35 min ago

This year’s annual Flaten Art Lectures kicked off on Feb. 16 with Sarah Millfelt’s lecture on her journey as a professional in the field of studio arts, specifically working with ceramics.

The Flaten Art Lecture Series started in 1981, using funds from the family of the late Professor Arnold Flaten, founder of the art department at St. Olaf College and through donations from alumni. The series has occurred annually since then, also serving as a requirement for the senior art major seminar.

Over the history of the lecture series, a wide range of artists have spoken but they all are chosen based on their abilities as both an artist and a speaker. The talks have proven beneficial to both students – for networking and learning opportunities – and the speakers, for publicity and speaking practice.

The speakers typically talk about their journeys, as Milfelt did. Despite the wide range of media that artists have come from, there is an even bigger range in their stories. Professor of Art Wendell Arneson said, “Every artist’s journey is different from the other, and there’s no one right way to [be successful], other than to be passionate about it.”

The Flaten Memorial Lecture Series provides insight into different career and life paths, while connecting students with professionals. Art students interested in the speakers’ specific fields can request to have their work critiqued as well. Additionally, the talks are free and open to the public, consistently bringing in curious community members. Their focus on life skills, such as making good connections and finding a vocation you are passionate about, are valuable lessons not only for art students, but for everybody.

Millfelt introduced herself as the director at Northern Clay Center in Minneapolis, a tourist, an avid gardener and baker and a typical middle child. She set the tone of the lecture as being a comfortable, relaxed atmosphere. After some technical difficulties with her PowerPoint presentation, she said, “It’s all about humor – it’s being able to laugh at yourself.”

The presentation was titled: “How did I get here? The Sarah Millfelt Story.” She focused on her journey as an artist and administrator, including her relatable experience of changing her plans for a major in college from environmental engineering to journalism and finally, to a fine arts degree in ceramics and photography. Millfelt graduated from University of Wisconsin-River Falls after working as a manager at McDonald’s and as a photojournalist to pay for her own education. Millfelt defined her path as a discovery of her vocation through pursuing the things she loved.

Millfelt described the importance of traveling and spoke to the value of participating in a new routine and culture. Her first experience out of the country was during college, when she studied in Italy for a semester and fell in love with the country and the culture.

She also emphasized the importance of “keeping your soul fed,” which she did with photography and staying creative in her free time. She even started her own business as a wedding photographer to increase her creative talents and experiences.

At home, Millfelt landscapes and gardens for fun and describes her two sons, ages nine and 11, as a creative outlet for her as well. She lamented that having a professional career sometimes created challenges in staying creative. Overall, however, she appears to have struck a balance in her life of work, family and art.

A theme of Millfelt’s talk was the importance of networking and professionalism in building a career. She started at Northern Clay Center 16 years ago at an entry-level position, and she worked her way up the nonprofit corporate ladder through dedication and gaining experience.

Millfelt’s audience benefited from advice that she provided regarding success in the professional art field. This included: diversifying your portfolio, getting internships, networking effectively, being honest, identifying a mentor and developing interview skills. She also warned against the dangers of social media in damaging your image.

Finally, Millfelt highlighted the imperative role of peers and colleagues in success.

“You need to surround yourself with the right people… who understand what you do and why you do it,” she said.

While Millfelt provided plenty of advice for the audience of students, community members and faculty gathered in Dittman, she assured that there was no “one right path” to success. While illustrating her own story, she demonstrated that success is determined more by passion, genuineness and people skills than anything else.

The 2015 Arnold Flaten Memorial Lecture Series continues with lectures on every Monday night through March 23. Upcoming talks will feature installation, photography, new media and art history.

meeder@stolaf.edu

Categories: Colleges

Luck

Manitou Messenger - 4 hours 35 min ago

If you call tails

But flip heads,

Where do you end up?

I thought tails never fails.

Without a push from fate

Or statistics

Your piece could take a bad bounce

Off each peg on the Plinko board

And plummet to the

Leftmost place

While you plead for a prize

Worth playing for.

And when you scratch off

the metallic shavings,

Who knows if “Try Again,”

Is a command or

Just arrogance.

We scratch to even the scorecard,

To string out already strung out hopes.

We try to savor luck as our savior

But sadly the odds are stacked,

So we squander all sanity by

Thinking the same result will switch.

You can court lady luck

Dress up nice and buy her flowers,

But there’s a reason the banker

Always wins in monopoly.

So flip again,

But in the end,

You make your own luck is just

An empty promise,

If you don’t own

A two-headed coin.

pelegano@stolaf.edu

Categories: Colleges

Orchestra celebrates the winter season with a special performance

Carleton College News - 5 hours 28 min ago
On Friday, March 6 from 8 to 9:30 p.m. in the Concert Hall, the Carleton College Orchestra, led by Hector Valdivia, will celebrate the winter season with a special performance featuring Robert Schumann’s Adagio and Allegro Brillante, Op. 13 b; a world premiere performance of How to Build Fences and Gates, a work for orchestra and electronics by visiting composer Jeffrey Treviño; and Gustav Mahler’s titanic Symphony No. 1.
Categories: Colleges

2-27 Rice County public safety report

Northfield News - 5 hours 34 min ago
For the full log of police calls, visit northfieldnews.com/news/local. You can also check out the Rice County Interactive Crime Map at northfieldnews.com.
Categories: Local News

Szybkie Secrets dla kwiatów dostawy online w Wielkiej Brytanii

Ole Store Restaurant - 6 hours 59 min ago

Przez gifting kwiaty komunikować emocje pakowania kwiatów zostały również problem podczas wysyłania go pocztą lub za pośrednictwem kuriera . Tak jak wszystko, netto najlepiej robimy biznes kwiatowe specjalne rozwiązania. Jesteś będą niewątpliwie dostawy przeniósł go w katalogu nowy adres . Kwiaty z Irlandii do Polski To Ceremonia odbywa się w zaprojektowane przez tym celu ogród lub ciągu łazienki .

Categories: Businesses

Depth Leads Knights to 5-4 Win Over St. Thomas

Carleton Sports - Sun, 03/01/2015 - 11:40pm

The Carleton College men’s tennis team just keeps on winning. The Knights overcame an early doubles deficit to post the 5-4 triumph over University of St. Thomas. The Tommies earned their four points atop the lineup—with wins at the first two spots in both the doubles and singles flights—but the Knights’ depth was the difference on this evening. Senior Mauricio Gonzalez notched crucial wins in both singles and doubles action.

Categories: Colleges

Another Day, Another Split for the Knights

Carleton Sports - Sun, 03/01/2015 - 10:31pm

An injury limited Cassie Clarke to only eight games her rookie campaign, but the sophomore infielder is doing her best to make up for missed time. Clarke collected five more hits on Sunday—including a pair of home runs—to raise her season average .538. The Carleton College softball team played two more early season contests, defeating Millikin (Ill.) University, 10-2 in five innings, then dropping a 12-4 result to national No. 18 Luther (Iowa) College.

Categories: Colleges

Knights Fall to D-I Minnesota, Absorb First Loss of the Season

Carleton Sports - Sun, 03/01/2015 - 9:37pm

For the seventh time in the last eight seasons, the Carleton College women’s tennis team has had the opportunity to play two levels up as the Knights test themselves against the University of Minnesota, a nationally-ranked NCAA Division I program. Carleton (5-1) absorbed its first loss of the season, falling by a 7-0 tally.

Categories: Colleges

Photo album: CROCT group ride on doubletrack at the River Bend Nature Center

Mountain Bike Geezer - Sun, 03/01/2015 - 9:22pm

With the gorgeous and ample snow in Rice County, we moved our CROCT group ride to the River Bend Nature Center in Faribault yesterday instead of a return visit to the MN River Bottoms as planned back in January.

It turned out to be a good decision. The grooming of the two-way doubletrack trails by members of the Faribault Flyers club was perfect, making it easy to share the trails with XC skiers, one of whom joined us for much of our group ride.

I was tail guide (sweep) this time instead of lead guide. I felt useful as I helped one rider with a chain that had come off and jammed in the front derailleur. And I did a hike-a-bike up a few steep climbs with another rider whose recent medical condition made the ride more difficult at times than they expected. I was actually glad for those hike-a-bikes as I was more out of shape than I thought.

Another rider broke a chain, just like on the last group ride. Fortunately, they had a chain link tool and knew what to do. This made me realize that A) I need to carry a chain tool with me at all times; B) I need to regularly rehearse how to use it so that I can do it quickly when it’s cold out. It would not have been fun yesterday, as it was 10 degrees F and windy.

See the album of 21 photos.

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

  1. The free 6-part 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 Photo album: CROCT group ride on doubletrack at the River Bend Nature Center appeared first on Mountain Bike Geezer.

Categories: Citizens

Bookmark and Share

Syndicate content