Blogosphere

Duo tours local prisons

Manitou Messenger - 23 min 5 sec ago
Nursing homes, hospitals and churches are popular locations for St. Olaf students to share their musical talent off the Hill, but two Oles are adding an unexpected and underserved location to that lis
Categories: Colleges

How To Disappear Completely

Manitou Messenger - 23 min 5 sec ago
The members of Radiohead are masters of the unconventional album release. In 2007, for In Rainbows, they were the first major act to utilize the pay-what-you-want download model that has since been ad
Categories: Colleges

Lyric Theater’s muscial revue recieves positive reviews

Manitou Messenger - 23 min 5 sec ago
diences with their production of the opera Der Vampyr.  Luckily for everyone who left that show wanting more, Lyric Theater is back at it again with their 2016 spring show, Light.  This year’s product
Categories: Colleges

Myswyken production of Middletown muses on life and death

Manitou Messenger - 23 min 5 sec ago
In the shadow of a town’s insecurities, an awkward but honest quest for human affection and affirmation is laced through with humor and wonder at the stars. Ian Sutherland ’18 directed 10 student acto
Categories: Colleges

Senior art majors to end year with double-show

Manitou Messenger - 23 min 5 sec ago
On Sunday, May 8, senior art majors will have their final pieces on display throughout Dittman Center during “Lasting Legacy” and “The Senior Art Show.”  There are more featured artists than ever bef
Categories: Colleges

Speak Up at Xcel Energy Rate Case Public Hearing

Carol Overland - Legalectric - 53 min 31 sec ago

Wednesday, at 7 p.m. at SE Tech College in Red Wing, there’s a public hearing about the Xcel Energy rate case (PUC Docket 15-826 — to look at all the filings GO HERE TO PUC SEARCH PAGE and search for docket 15-826).

Here’s my LTE in the Red Wing Republican bEagle:

Letter: Speak up at Xcel rate case hearing

To the Editor:

No one is excited about shelling out more money to Xcel, but the utility has requested an increase in rates, and it’s up to us to speak up. Xcel wants more money to cover the cost of transmission its been building and for upgrades to power plants. But there’s more to this story.

As Xcel’s Ben Fowkes notes, the industry has a “new normal.” Wholesale cost of electricity is down and holding. Fuel prices, the main variable cost, are low, whether coal or gas. Cost of energy via power purchase agreements is low. Cost of financing construction is also low. Xcel’s peak demand is down, 8,621 MW for 2015, from the 2006 all-time peak of 9,859. Xcel’s 2016 1Q energy sales are down 1.9 percent despite a 0.9 percent increase in customer growth.

We’re conserving – why should we pay more? Why are residential rates higher than large energy users?

Xcel’s rate case is transmission driven. Four CapX 2020 transmission lines in Minnesota cost $2+ billion. The MISO MVP 17 project portfolio of transmission across the Midwest will cost $5.24 billion-plus, of which we pay a share. This transmission moves electricity through Minnesota to points east, for the private purpose of market sales of electricity, from any point A to any point B in the eastern Interconnect.

And that’s the rub. Transmission is not necessary to serve Xcel’s load in Minnesota — it’s transmission for market access — and we should not bear those costs.

Xcel worked hard to reach consensus with the usual rate case intervenors on its e21 Initiative, including a “Multi Year Rate Plan” based on its corporate business case rather than cost-based rates. Xcel worked hard to ram through e21’s legislation, with those usual suspects sitting quietly in committee as Senate and House toadies greased the skids. What’s in it for those who agreed? What about ratepayers?

Who is speaking for the ratepayers? The judge has rejected intervenors — some who would object to Xcel’s plans are shut out. AARP and the state’s Office of Attorney General-RUD are making a valiant effort, but your voice is needed. If you’re an Xcel ratepayer and are dubious of Xcel’s business plan, if you want Xcel to justify costs, if you want consideration of what costs are recoverable, if you want limitations on recovery for travel, lobbying expenses, or prohibition of market-based infrastructure and activities to sell electricity beyond Xcel’s service territory, here’s your chance.

I pushed for a hearing in Red Wing at the prehearing conference, and it’s next Wednesday: Xcel Rate Case Public Hearing, 7 p.m., Minnesota State College Southeast.

Carol A. Overland

Red Wing

Categories: Citizens

Safety Tips for Homeowners During Construction

Northfield Construction Company - 2 hours 31 min ago

Whenever we start a new project here at Northfield Construction Company, we are thrilled to witness how excited our clients become with the process of building them their dream home. Though it can be tempting to want to be around the project as much as possible, it is crucial that we remember job site safety […]

The post Safety Tips for Homeowners During Construction appeared first on Northfield Construction Company.

Categories: Businesses

Fine Tune #330 a cool wind… 24 July 2016

KYMN Radio - 4 hours 16 sec ago

Host Wendy Nordquist hosts an eclectic hour of acoustic, Americana, jazz, old-time, roots and world music every Sunday evening from 6-7 p.m. Fine Tune 07-24-16 #330 Too hot? here’s a show to blow a cool breeze your way… Ill Wind (You’re Blowin’ Me No Good) / Sam Arlen Wild is the Wind / Esperanza Spalding Magnolia […]

The post Fine Tune #330 a cool wind… 24 July 2016 appeared first on KYMN Radio - Northfield, MN.

Artist in Residence Builds Community

Laura Baker Services Association - 13 hours 55 min ago

Launched in 2006, the artist in residence program at LBSA builds community through creative opportunities that help individuals move from isolation to greater engagement. A collection of recent works that came out of this program is currently on display at the Northfield Arts Guild’s gallery at the Allina Clinic in Northfield, and runs through the end of July. Thank you for supporting the artist in residence program; it is sustained by donations from members of the Northfield community. Read more by clicking here.

The post Artist in Residence Builds Community appeared first on Laura Baker Services Association.

Categories: Organizations

Northfield welcomes Youth Filmmaking Club

Northfield News - Sat, 07/23/2016 - 11:04am
The Northfield Youth Filmmaking Club is a new organization started earlier this summer by Nathaniel Urke.
Categories: Local News

Dundas teen seriously injured in alcohol-involved crash

Northfield News - Fri, 07/22/2016 - 9:41pm
A Dundas man was seriously injured in a Friday afternoon crash involving alcohol.
Categories: Local News

Nick Gerhardt named associate editor of Northfield News

Northfield News - Fri, 07/22/2016 - 8:00pm
Northfield News Sports Editor Nick Gerhardt was named Associate Editor of the newspaper effective Monday (July 25) as part of a county-wide restructuring announced by APG Media of Southern Minnesota.
Categories: Local News

Artist in residence works with LBSA staff and clients to build community

Northfield News - Fri, 07/22/2016 - 2:46pm
It’s a unique opportunity offered where clients served by Laura Baker Services Association, along with the organization’s support staff, can meet in a casual way and find commonality through artistic expression.
Categories: Local News

Northfield Arts Guild concludes theater season with 'Grease'

Northfield News - Fri, 07/22/2016 - 2:37pm
“Chicks” in the Northfield area will be screaming for “Greased Lightning” as the Northfield Arts Guild concludes its 2015-16 theatrical season with a production of the musical “Grease.”
Categories: Local News

Get Your Horns, Boys, the VBF is Coming!

My Musical Family - Joy Riggs - Fri, 07/22/2016 - 1:53pm
The 2016 Vintage Band Festival kicks off on Thursday, and I could not be more excited! If you have not previously attended the multi-day music event (held in Northfield, Minn., every three years) you have been missing out on a great time. But it’s not too late to make plans to attend this year; the free, family-friendly event officially begins Thursday, July 28, and runs through Sunday, July 31.


I will give a presentation on the Saturday of the festival (July 30) about the adventures my great-grandfather, G. Oliver Riggs, had in 1912 as a member of the Montana Cowboy Band. The talk is titled, “Get Your Guns, Boys, We’re Starting a Band.” G. Oliver played cornet in the band, which—along with a group of Blackfeet Indians from newly developed Glacier National Park—traveled to expositions in Minneapolis and Chicago in late 1912 to promote the state of Montana. The trip was arranged by Great Northern Railway President Louis W. Hill, the son of James J. Hill.

G. Oliver Riggs is in the back row, second from the right.The talk will begin at 4:30 p.m. at the Northfield Historical Society, 408 Division Street South. If you want to get a seat, I would recommend getting there early. In fact, I recommend you go early anyway and check out the museum before the talk. You can learn all about how the townspeople foiled the James-Younger Gang’s robbery attempt in 1876, you can view the special exhibit on the Malt-O-Meal company, and you can find some cool souvenirs in the museum gift shop (including VBF T-shirts, stickers and pins).

Visit vintagebandfestival.org to view a daily schedule of events, read about the participating bands, and find other helpful pieces of information. You can also buy the official VBF program and other merchandise at VBF headquarters, By All Means Graphics, 17 Bridge Square in downtown Northfield.

We are still looking for volunteers to work during the festival. If you have an hour or two—or four—to spare, we would love to have your help! For more information, follow this link.
Categories: Citizens

DOE “Consent-Based” Nuclear Waste Mtg.

Carol Overland - Legalectric - Fri, 07/22/2016 - 12:48pm

Well, that was interesting… and it took all evening!

First a sidebar, but an important one.  The Agenda CBS Public Meeting-Minneapolis caught my attention, seeing PUC Commissioner John Tuma named front and center. The PUC’s page  on Commissioner ex parte, conflict, and basic decorum has disappeared — I called the PUC about Commissioner Tuma’s appearance (fair warning, prior to event), and noted that the page had disappeared.  Here are the rules (the page was what stressed the importance of avoiding even the appearance of impropriety:

7845.0400 CONFLICT OF INTEREST; IMPROPRIETY.

Subpart 1. General behavior.

A commissioner or employee shall respect and comply with the law and shall behave in a manner that promotes public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the commission’s decision making process.

Subp. 2. Actions prohibited.

Commissioners and employees shall avoid any action that might result in or create a conflict of interest or the appearance of impropriety, including:

A. using public office for private gain;

B. giving preferential treatment to an interested person or entity;

C. impeding the efficiency or economy of commission decision making;

D. losing independence or impartiality of action;

E. making a commission decision outside official channels; and

F. affecting adversely the confidence of the public in the integrity of the commission.

7845.0700 PROHIBITED ACTIVITIES.

Subp. 4. Outside employment.

A commissioner or employee shall not negotiate for or accept outside employment or other involvement in a business or activity that will impair the person’s independence of judgment in the exercise of official duties.

I registered this in a Comment section, provided copies of the rules, and expected something similar to Commissioner Koppendrayer’s response in a similar situation years ago (see below). Commissioner Tuma is new, and being there was not the worst of possible activities, other past and present Commissioners have done much worse, but it’s not OK.  His presence on the panel, on the stage, lends the impression of support of the DOE’s efforts, and nuclear waste, nuclear decommissioning funds, nuclear uprates and rehab, all are issues that have been and will be in front of the Commission in highly contested cases.  It lends the appearance of losing independence, impartiality, and impairment of judgment in future exercise of official duties.

I’ve seen this a few times.  One positive experience was at the Sawmill Inn when Commissioner Koppendrayer was named on a coal gasification love-fest panel when Excelsior’s Mesaba Project was before the PUC, and I’d called the Commission ahead of time and spoken to the then Asst. A.G. who said, not to worry, they knew ex parte and conflict of interest and rules of decorum.  Yet at that meeting, which Koppendrayer DID attend despite advance warning, I jumped up and objected from the back of the room, noting the PUC’s focus on avoiding even the appearance of impropriety, and Koppendrayer said something like “Overland’s got a point, and I should leave” and he did!  He earned quite a few “respect” points that day.   IEDC gets carried away  February 15, 2007.

On the other hand, I’m also remembering Commissioner Phyllis Reha’s coal gasification junket to Belgium via Great Plains Institute, a well-funded toady for coal gasification (and GPI was on panel last night, another cause for concern, how much were they paid!).  How blatant can you get?  MCGP Request for Recusal (Commission saw no problem!).

… and there’s her stumping for CapX 2020 transmission: PUC Commissioner Reha: Enhancing the Nation’s Electricity Delivery System.  That was the basis of another Motion, but of course, Commissioner Reha and the Commission saw no problem with her actions!  NoCapX Motion to Recuse Commissioner Reha & Exhibit A – Reha Power Point Presentation.

And then there’s Great Plains Institute’s involvement.  After their intense and well funded toadying for coal gasification ($437,000 over 21 months), and transmission, and then Xcel Energy’s e21, Dog help us!  Anything GPISD in involved with has got my attention, and not in a good way!

Last night’s agenda was packed, and we got a lot done.  A guy name Scott Thomas (the NSP engineer perhaps?) was at my table and jumped up and objected when we had a bit of opposition theater, I jumped up to counter, DOH, every hear of freedom of speech.  I mean really, it took all of 5 minutes, let people speak up!

Here’s my comment, in large part based on “consent” a la SNUY’s approach for sexual consent, substituting “nuclear” for sexual — if we’re going to get screwed, this is the best possible of consent definitions:

DOE – Overland Comment 7-21-2016

Here’s the DOE’s Consent-Based Siting page.  Notice was in the Federal Register, who reads that? Invitation for Public Comment in the Federal Register.  Comments are being taken through July 31 or email to them at consentbasedsiting@hq.doe.gov.

Here’s how they’re framing it, with questions to be answered:

  • How can the Department ensure that the process for selecting a site is fair?
  • What models and experience should the Department use in designing the process?
  • Who should be involved in the process for selecting a site, and what is their role?
  • What information and resources do you think would facilitate your participation?
  • What else should be considered?

We broke into small groups and actually had a pretty good discussion.  Peggy Rehder, Red Wing City Council, was also at “Table 2” and of course we’re disagreeing.  She’s frustrated at having spent 6 years on this and getting nowhere, but in terms of nuclear waste, 6 years is but a second or two…  I’ve got 22 years in, and some there had many more.  A key point was that the DOE must restore trust if it wants to get anywhere, and how would that happen?  Stopping production of more nuclear waste is a key step.  Dream on… this process is a move to enable continued generation of nuclear waste, continued operation of nuclear plants, now being relicensed, uprated, nuclear waste expanded.

Prairie Island’s President Shelly Buck was on the panel, and that was good — PIIC is in such a mess, the plant and nuclear waste right next door, and they’ve been screwed over so many ways, so many times.  Will they be regarded as a “stakeholder” this time around?  They’ve intervened in so many nuclear matters, doing everything they can to protect the Community…

Parts of it were webcast.  There will be a video of the evening’s festivities sometime, LINK HERE (when it’s posted, scroll down to “Minneapolis”) and there was a photographer snapping shots every few seconds (hmmmm, well, I guess that will be added to all our files!).

Karen Hadden, SEED Coalition (that SEED Coalition grew from Energy Foundation funding, same as MN’s defunct “SEED Coalition” which morphed into “RE-AMP” about 2005), was present, and vocal (YES!), regarding their concerns about nuclear waste siting in Texas and New Mexico, particularly about a recent application to NRC for a nuclear waste storage facility in western Texas, near the New Mexico border. See www.NoNuclearWasteAqui.org for more info.

Alan Muller, environmental consultant in Minnesota, and Exec. Dir. of Green Delaware, spoke of his having TWO Prairie Island reactors on the other side of town here in Red Wing, and the THREE Salem and Hope Creek reactors, visible from the office window in Port Penn, Delaware.

Here’s the Arizona meeting, CHECK OUT THE VIDEO HERE.  Well worth the listen, the panel is much better qualified than the one in Minnesota (with the exception of Prairie Island’s Shelly Buck, and Canada’s Kathryn Shaver from their Adaptive Phases Management Engagement and Site Selection, Nuclear Waste Management Organization, listen up to them when Mpls. video is released).

Take some time and consider the DOE’s informational booklet.  Put your thoughts together and send in comments: consentbasedsiting@hq.doe.gov.

I think it’s worth trotting out the EQB Citizens Advisory Task Force report on nuclear waste, from the Florence Township Nuclear Waste Daze:

Florence Twp Site – Citizens Advisory Task Force – Nuclear Dry Cask Storage

And also thing about the many casks on Prairie Island — those TN-40s and TN-29 have aluminum seals that need to be replaced EVERY 20 YEARS, and to my knowledge they’ve not been replaced, and there are casks that have been loaded and sitting there for more than 20 years.  What’s up with that?  What’s the plan?  Back when they were permitting that, there was no plan.  So…

Consider this 3 Stooges approach to cask unloading — don’t know of any other attempt to unload casks, maybe that’s one of the lessons learned here:

INEL TN-24P stuck

Here’s an INEL report on a TN24 leak:

10813-TN-24P leak

And an NRC report on unloading:

NRC INFORMATION NOTICE 97-51: PROBLEMS EXPERIENCED WITH LOADING AND UNLOADING SPENT NUCLEAR FUEL STORAGE AND TRANSPORTATION CASKS

Here’s an EPRI report on (these technical reports are important!) Creep and Crud, which occurs with storage:

100217 – Creep & Crud

Here’s a report generated after the “ignition event” at Pt. Beach, where spent fuel was loaded in a cask, then set out of the pool, and let sit overnight, then they attempted to well it, well, welding cask full of bubbles of hydrogen from the interaction of zinc and the acidic solution the assemblies are sitting in, left overnight, BOOM!

NRC_ Bulletin 96-04_ Chemical, Galvanic, or Other Reactions in Spent Fuel Storage and Transportation Casks

Where are all the reports about the weld flaws on the VSC-24 casks?  They’re in Pt. Beach, Palisades, and Arkansas One.

Estimated Risk Contribution for Dry Spent Fuel Storage Cask

Failure Modes and Effects Analysis of Welded Stainless Steel Canisters for Dry Cask Storage Systems – EPRI

And here’s a report relevant to us here in Minnesota, given all our granite and our “2nd place” position in the federal site selection resulting in “choice” of Yucca Mountain:

Granite report SAND2011 6203

 

Categories: Citizens

Today’s news update – Nfld Hosp refi will save major $; Northfield to sell bonds to fund fire trucks and more; DNR buys land for Mill Towns Trail; Main Street Project recognized; Sign up for Safety Camp

KYMN Radio - Fri, 07/22/2016 - 12:02pm

Nfld Hosp refi will save major $ Northfield Council is considering acting as a conduit for Northfield Hospital and Clinics as they refinance.  The Hospital’s CFO, Scott Edin told Council they have nearly $25 million in existing bonds that they can refinance and realize some very significant savings, potentially as much as $600,000 of interest savings […]

The post Today’s news update – Nfld Hosp refi will save major $; Northfield to sell bonds to fund fire trucks and more; DNR buys land for Mill Towns Trail; Main Street Project recognized; Sign up for Safety Camp appeared first on KYMN Radio - Northfield, MN.

PORTRAITS: Alvarez bridging gap between Latinos and greater community

Northfield News - Fri, 07/22/2016 - 12:00pm
Northfield English Learner teacher Ruben Alvarez knows what it means to feel disconnected.
Categories: Local News

ArtZany!-Radio for the Imagination | Grease at the Arts Guild 07/22/2016

KYMN Radio - Fri, 07/22/2016 - 10:37am

Listen Fridays at 9:00am (replayed on Saturday at 9:00am) to Paula Granquist on ArtZany! – Radio for the Imagination Today in the ArtZany! Radio studio Paula Granquist welcomesfrom the Northfield Arts Guild production of Grease, director Joe Jorgenson and actors Chris Flicek (Danny), Emily Oberto (Sandy). Click here to listen to the show! ArtZany! – Radio […]

The post ArtZany!-Radio for the Imagination | Grease at the Arts Guild 07/22/2016 appeared first on KYMN Radio - Northfield, MN.

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