Carol Overland - Legalectric

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Carol A. Overland, Overland Law Office -- Utility Regulatory and Land Use Advocacy
Updated: 22 min 12 sec ago

Pat Micheletti has kidney transplant

Thu, 05/28/2015 - 6:55am

Fair Use from STrib

In today’s STrib:

Micheletti recovering from transplant after brother donates kidney

Says he was in severe pain and thought he had hip issues… whoa… and then went to Mayo to get checked out:

Doctors believe Pat Micheletti’s kidneys were failing because of years of taking the over-the-counter pain reliever, Motrin (ibuprofen), to deal with discomfort stemming from his hockey-playing career. Alex said his dad plans to start making hockey players aware of the dangers of taking too much ibuprofen.

I’ve not dealt with Pat since Excelsior Energy Mesaba Project days, what a protracted sticky and very painful mess that was.  He’s probably very glad to be out of that… I remember when he was caught in the midst of an ex parte contact blitz:

Excelsior’s indirect ex parte contact July 26th, 2007

I will never forget the packed standing-room-only hearing in Taconite when one of the public commenters drifted up the aisle in flowing clothing and brought a sculpture/collage/birdcage(?) as an exhibit to present to the judge, representing the Mesaba Project and what it meant to her, the devastation it would create, and she said she made it especially for Pat (it might have been his birthday that evening).  He was sitting near the back, on the center aisle, head in hands, shaking his head in disbelief at this odd presentation.  The judge was visibly afraid/concerned, he held his hands up, “stay back” or some such, did not want her to approach with that “exhibit.”  It was one of the most hilarious parts of that long mess.

Categories: Citizens

Bernie Sanders in Mpls on Sunday!

Thu, 05/28/2015 - 6:47am

Time: Sunday, May 31, 2015 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM CDT Host: Bernie Sanders Contact Phone: (802) 862-1505 Location: Minneapolis American Indian Center (Minneapolis, MN)

1530 East Franklin Avenue
Minneapolis, MN 55404 Maps:

Categories: Citizens

10 years? A decade of Legalectric?

Tue, 05/26/2015 - 9:39pm


I realized recently that it’s been 10 years of Legalectric.

LEGISLATIVE CHANGES??? NO!!! April 10th, 2005

It sort of snuck up on me, the anniversary occurring around the same time that I was trying to figure out Alan’s Medicare, receiving the bill for a few months of Part B, how the Rx “benefit” works, and all that.

10 years of blatherings.  I need to change the categories, do some housekeeping, but it’s disturbing the similarities of the themes.  Ten years ago it was “LEGISLATIVE CHANGES??? NO!!!” and today as I try to review the session, I get nauseous and depressed, same old thing, Xcel Energy trying to have their cake and eat it too and charge us for it.  Great, just great.

Nothing changes?  Yeah, nothing changes, just deeper and deeper into the same hole.


And on the other hand:

Governor’s action Veto Ch. 80 05/23/15


Categories: Citizens


Mon, 05/25/2015 - 12:02pm

The miracle was he was brought to the hospital, treated, and released. WHEW!

Who would hold an event with fly-ins of any type next to a big honkin’ transmission line?


From Scripps Channel 5 News
Skydiver Treated, Released From Hospital After Hitting Powerlines

And another version:

And in the Winchester Herald Chronicle:

Skydiver lines jolts Memorial Day event landing in power

Posted on Monday, May 25, 2015 at 9:27 am

STAFF WRITER courtney stachel

A skydiver drifting into a power line from a wind gust Saturday at the Red, White and You Memorial Day event in Winchester was followed by a happy ending when word was given that he had been treated and released from the hospital.

More than 400 spectators witnessed the incident when skydiver John Pitts, of the Fly It Like You Stole It skydiving team, was the first of three divers to exit an airplane and came down toward the ground gracefully while the National Anthem was being played.

A wind gust hit Pitts, causing him to drift into the electrical lines where he was left hanging for less than a minute. He dropped from the lines and fell onto a rocky area next to Tims Ford Lake.

Zachary Colescott, Winchester Municipal Airport manager, said right after the fall that Pitts was conscious and being airlifted.

Colescott said the team was concerned about the wind flow the day of the event.

“That was one thing we were worried about was the wind — being so close to the water and the power lines,” he said. “I’m really glad he is okay.”

Despite the scary interruption to the show, acclaimed country singer Lee Greenwood went on to perform as scheduled.

The event lasted all day and held plenty of entertainment for spectators, including the traveling Vietnam memorial wall, musical entertainment and a boat parade.

Jayson Davis, Moore-Cortner Funeral Home family services counselor, said the outcome at the event was surprising.

“There were a lot more people who came out than we expected,” he said. “I’m proud that so many people came out to enjoy the day with us.”

Greenwood was the main attraction. He spoke from the heart in a talking to the Herald Chronicle about small town U.S.A. and how he was looking forward to coming to Winchester and preforming.

“I love the small town flavor as it reminds me how I grew up in California,” he said. “Little towns are becoming big towns, and big towns are becoming big cities. Somewhere in the transition, we are losing the face of America. Winchester, Tennessee, is a reminder of all that is good with the United States.”

For Greenwood, Memorial Day provided the perfect opportunity to spread his message of patriotism.

“Memorial Day is not just about the good food, drinks and fireworks, which thrills the crowds — it’s about remembering those who have sacrificed through the years to give us that chance,” he said. “There are memorials all across the nation that bear witness to the struggle America has had in gaining and maintain our independence. It’s that thought I reflect on when I sing and when we observe this holiday.”

Categories: Citizens

Kentucky: Pipeline company does not have power of eminent domain

Sun, 05/24/2015 - 6:44pm

Great decision this week from the Kentucky Court of Appeals:

Kentucky Court of Appeals – Bluegrass Pipeline Company v. Kentuckians United to Restrain Eminent Domain (KURED) – No Eminent Domain

Here are some choice snippets:

In granting summary judgment, the trial court believed that KRS 278.502 only granted condemnation powers to entities providing public utilities regulated by the Public Service Commission. It also believed that since the pipeline was only going to be utilized to move NGLs to the Gulf of Mexico, the pipelines would not be “in public service.” We agree.

And another logical finding:

If these NGLs are not reaching Kentucky consumers, then Bluegrass and its pipeline cannot be said to be in the public service of Kentucky. We therefore affirm the circuit court’s judgment that Bluegrass does not possess the ability to condemn property through eminent domain.

Categories: Citizens

Fire in Wabasha County last night

Sun, 05/24/2015 - 12:42pm

On the way home from the Rohlfing Raj, on County Road 1 north of Mazeppa, there was a huge fire back behind a farm’s buildings and trees, very violent rolling flames, not like a campfire, bonfire or even a junk pile fire.  Called it in, and then had to turn back because I’d forgotten something, and saw the crew of trucks headed out, filling the farm yard, at least a dozen trucks out there, and they were still there when we returned headed finally home, fire still burning.  Seemed gaslike to me, propane tank?  Much like a mini-Bakken BOOM! train fire:


Categories: Citizens

Recovery can take a while…

Tue, 05/19/2015 - 9:26pm

A couple years ago, ALJ Kathleen Sheehy, now Hennepin County judge, was overseeing the public hearing for the CapX 2020 transmission project, and at one point, she threw up her hands, “ENOUGH ABOUT THE TREES!” and shut down a witness’s testimony about the impact of that project on his tree farm.

But FYI, Judge Sheehy, you can’t ever say enough about the trees… and shrubs and plants of all sorts.  It’s horrible without them, and with some nurturing, they can come back.  New trees are replacing the ones mowed down for the West Avenue project, the plants eaten down to the ground by those damn deer are growing back, seems like the deer are somewhere else this year, even the hostas are thriving.  First load of rhubarb pulled and the rhubarb cheezecake was to die for, lasted all of about 24 hours.

Rhubarb Cheezecake

From this, which really, really sucked:

And this:

And this:

To this — the City says they’ll be done with seeding by June 1, and I want to move a bunch of day lilies in on the boulevard:

And in the back, when the house was abandoned, the garage had a “dog door” and a fence, seems the poor dogs spent a lot of time out there (though there were dog poops on the attached garage roof, someone was letting them out the upstairs door.  From the County Assessor file:

Cleaned up some to sell:

And now a shop, AC, heated, and water too!

Steiner’s grave under the hosta, with the pink bleeding heart and “liberal” (white one!), and the peony by the A/C over Tippicanoe.

Spireas were eaten to the ground by deer a couple years ago, and last year but not as much, and now they’re taking off!

Although one of the barberry shrubs from the other house didn’t survive:

And the honeysuckle is going nuts, the one on the other side is too shaded, but it’ll grow.  Along the day lilies is where the drainage tube went all the way to the street, the City has been good about helping with drainage:


Categories: Citizens

Amtrak wreck — too close to tankers!

Thu, 05/14/2015 - 8:49am

As if that 106 MPH Amtrak wreck wasn’t bad enough, look how close it was to those black tankers!  Maybe 15 feet?  What’s in those black tanker cars?  Bakken BOOM! crude?  We know lots of it goes through Philly, some from there to the Delaware City refinery.  Seven killed, hundreds injured.  All this next to a rail yard with tankers.

When is rail safety going to be taken seriously?

Categories: Citizens

StB Frac Sand Conference in Lake City

Sat, 05/09/2015 - 4:04pm

Today was the Save the Bluffs sponsored “Conference for Frac Sand Activists: Networking, Learning, Advocating.”  Katie Himanga did a tremendous job organizing this, great turnout, and I came back energized!

Here’s my presentation on “Opportunities for Legal Intervention” (as opposed to not so legal??? hmmmmm):

Overland Handout LOBBYISTS ‘R’ US (this is OLD!)

People were VERY interested in both Intervention in a permitting and proceeding and in Application for a change in Zoning Ordinance.  Both of these are important because they put “the people” in the driver’s seat, through becoming a party in the proceeding, or through becoming the applicant.


Intervention in a permitting proceeding is authorized under Minn. Stat. 116B.09, Subd. 1.  This is useful where a project has been proposed and applied for, because it gives you a seat at the table:

Here’s an example where a party has intervened, in this case in a City of Minneapolis permitting proceeding:

Friends of the Riverfront, et al., Relators, vs. DeLaSalle High School, Respondent, City of Minneapolis, Respondent

Here’s an example of a simple Petition (I’d recommend adding more narrative and supporting documents):

City of Scandia – Notice of Intervention (Final – 7-21-09)


Pretty much anyone can apply for a Zoning Ordinance change.  It was done to get the Goodhue County Wind Ordinance moving, and got a county Wind Study Committee started under the Planning Advisory Committee to put the Ordinance together.  The same thing happened with Silica Sand mining, a Silica Sand study committee was formed, but it wasn’t utilized in this instance nearly as much as it was for the Wind Ordinance.

Here’s the Application for Goodhue County, which also explains how the process works, what to do, etc.  It’s pretty simple, apply and the process begins slowly grinding forward.  Most Counties will have their application online:

Goodhue County_2015 Change of Zone_201501090914372783

Here’s the Save the Bluff’s Petition for a Goodhue County Zoning change that got StB a seat at the table:

Binder-Zoning Change Application-FINAL

Here are a few of posts from PAC and County Board meetings during that time as it slowly went through the county process:

Silica Sand Mining 1,000 ft setback from Public Waters – August 19th, 2014 Monday 6p – Silica sand at Goodhue PAC Meeting  -November 16th, 2013 Most interesting Goodhue PAC meeting – August 20th, 2013 Goodhue County extends moratorium – August 6th, 2013 Save the Bluffs files Application for Zoning Ordinance Change - July 15th, 2013

Categories: Citizens

Patriot Act in federal Appellate Court

Thu, 05/07/2015 - 2:46pm

Thanks to Kent Laugen, attorney here in Red Wing, for notice of this decision:

N.S.A. Phone Data Collection Is Illegal, Appeals Court Rules

The good news is that §215 has been amended and amended, and is due to expire on June 1, 2015.

Here’s the actual decision:

Patriot Act_NSA_ca2_20150507

On the first page of narrative, as the court recites the procedural posture, dig this:

The district court held that §215 of the PATRIOT Act impliedly precludes judicial review…

Really?  Getting over this hurdle at the Appellate Court is a huge relief, and this is the part that I’m so glad to see.  This section is from p. 32 – p. 53.  Here’s the bottom line:

There’s also a lengthy section considering, and then rejecting, an analogy of NSA metadata collection with grand jury collection of information by subpoena, and for those interested in workings of a grand jury, this might provide some insight.  The court carefully notes that:

§ 215 does not permit an investigative demand for any information relevant to fighting the war on terror, or anything relevant to whatever the government might want to know.  It permits demands for documents “relevant to an authorized investigation.”

Decision, p. 66.  General broad fishing expeditions are not OK.

The government also tried to argue, unsuccessfully, that the repeated ratification of the PATRIOT Act meant that Congress knew, understood, accepted, and approved of the administrative interpretation, that NSA was authorized to collect this metadata.  That argument fell flat too, with the court noting that there was no discussion of scope, only Congressional inaction regarding interpretation:

Congress cannot reasonably be said to have ratified a program of which many members of Congress — and all members of the public — were not aware.

And the Court goes on:

Because they reached this decision, as above, they sidestepped the Constitutional issues for another day…

Categories: Citizens

Another Bakken BOOM! train explodes

Wed, 05/06/2015 - 12:31pm

This photo was taken by neighbor Jennifer Willi, who lives about 1/2 mile from the scene of the derailment, near Heimdal, North Dakota.  At least 10 cars exploded and are burning.  They should publish the destination of the cars so people will know the reach of these trains!  They line up outside the Delaware City refinery; blew up in Lac Megantic, Ontario; Lynchburg, VA.  We are all at risk!

Some coverage, with a snippet from each:

Crude oil train derails in North Dakota, residents evacuate town

“It’s all over the place,” Wells County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Janelle Pepple told the Daily News. “Thick, billowing black smoke; flames shooting 100 feet in the air. It’s a pretty spectacular-looking fire.”

North Dakota Town Evacuated After Train Derailment

North Dakota Town Evacuated After Oil Cars Derail And Catch Fire

Roehrich said she couldn’t get close enough to the train to see whether it was exploding or just burning. “It looks a lot like Casselton,” she said, referring to the fiery train wreck of oil tankers near Casselton in late 2013.

Oil train derailment prompts evacuation

(with the admission that new cars don’t really matter)
BNSF said the tank cars that derailed were constructed under a 2011 voluntary rail industry standard intended to make them tougher than older cars that were long known to pose a safety risk. But the new cars have proved equally dangerous. The five major oil train accidents so far this year in the U.S. and Canada all involved the newer cars, each of which can hold about 30,000 gallons of fuel.

From KMSP:

A new MnDOT analysis released in March shows 326,170 Minnesotans live within the half-mile evacuation zones along state oil train routes.

This video was up on KMSP’s site, then disappeared, maybe it will come back:


Categories: Citizens

SF 1735 – SHAME on each Senator who voted for it

Tue, 05/05/2015 - 12:55pm

UPDATE: It’s over… the Senate Rules committee let it go to the floor…

So this morning, SF 1735 was up before the Senate Rules committee.  It was “late” and so Sen. John Marty brought it to Rules with a Motion to suspend the rules and let it go to the floor, late as it was.  And that passed, and so now it is going on to the Senate floor.

Unbelievable… SHAME on Sen. John Marty and the Senate Energy Committee for ramming this through despite all those testifying against it.  SHAME on the Rules committee for letting this bill go through.  SHAME on all those funded “environmental” groups who sat through watching this happen, sat there silently.  SHAME on Bill Grant, now Deputy Commissioner of Commerce, f/k/a Ass. Director of Izaak Walton League, for shepherding this through.


Again, this may be the last meaningful opportunity to influence S.F. 1735.  Suggestions:

Senate Rules and Administration Committee emails:,,,,, (Committee page for links to those who use “contact” forms, CLICK HERE).  Chair, Tom Bakk, 651-296-8881

Call/Email Sen. John Marty asking him to WITHDRAW S.F 1735, the Xcel deregulation bill, but act to defend the Community Solar Garden law: (651) 296-5645,



Categories: Citizens

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