Carol Overland - Legalectric

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Carol A. Overland, Overland Law Office -- Utility Regulatory and Land Use Advocacy
Updated: 21 min 42 sec ago

Rick James testimony for Goodhue Wind Truth

Thu, 02/04/2016 - 7:39pm

It’s about time — I’m cleaning and finding things that should have been posted eons ago. Soooo… here’s one — I’ve uploaded the testimony of Rick James, INCE, of E-Coustics Solutions, regarding wind turbine infrasound, in support of written Direct Testimony filed in the Goodhue Wind proceeding on July 22, 2010. You can find his written testimony and many, many exhibits, by searching HERE for docket 08-1233 and scroll and scroll for “Testimony of Rick James” and the exhibits, using the date on the right side to get close in that voluminous docket.


Categories: Citizens

Boomers, we’ve got work to do!

Tue, 02/02/2016 - 10:41am

photo from AP

In the New Yorker:

Bernie Sanders Just Changed the Democratic Party

At eleven forty-five, Sanders addressed his supporters, who were cheering even more wildly than those Clinton’s crowd had been. “Iowa, thank you,” he began, his voice hoarse. “Nine months ago, we came to this beautiful state. We had no political organization, we had no money, we had no name recognition, and we were taking on the most powerful political organization in the United States of America. And tonight, while the results are still not known, it looks like we are in a virtual tie.”

Boomers, we need to get to work.  It’s easy to volunteer for Bernie, just go to and they’ll contact you with options!

Caucus and Primaries:

  • Nevada — Saturday, 12 noon (get there early) February 20, 2016.  Go HERE to find out where to caucus, David Overland, this means you!
  • South Carolina PRIMARY — Saturday, February 27, 2016.  Go HERE to find your polling place.
  • Super Tuesday (includes Minnesota) Tuesday, March 1 Alabama – Primary Alaska – Caucus American Samoa – Caucus Arkansas – Primary Colorado – Caucus Georgia – Primary Massachusetts- Primary Minnesota – Caucus North Dakota – Caucus Oklahoma – Primary Tennessee – Primary Texas – Primary Vermont – Primary Virginia – Primary Wyoming – Caucus

There’s more after that, but let’s get through Super Tuesday!

Categories: Citizens

New task over winter — plan a boat trip!

Mon, 02/01/2016 - 1:43pm

Right there, down the hill from us, is the Mississippi River.  Not only does Amtrak’s Empire Builder run through there, with direct train to Seattle or Portland, and Chicago, but from Chicago to LA or NOLA (how cool is that!), but there’s a river there that’s a highway headed south.  Never been further than the north end of Lake Pepin, but … the boat’s out in the driveway, and I’ve been assigned the task of planning a boat trip to St. Louis (or maybe just north, to Pere Marquette State Park, which has a big marina now).

We’ve got this cheap OLD very used Bayliner Capri, with a cuddy & the full canvas for the back, so it’s a floating tent too, like this, big enough for the Mississippi:

It’s definitely liveable, better than a VW BUS for sure!

First pass at research says a trip to St. Louis & return is doable.  Here’s some folks who went all the way to the Gulf, and it looks like it’s a nine day trip to St. Louis.  Return upriver will take more gas and probably more time.  But how will Little Sadie do on a boat?

The US Army Corps of Engineers has charts online:

Upper Mississippi River Navigation Charts

And better yet, there’s a large “Field Guide” to the Mississippi that has things ranging from hazards to fuel stops:

Mississippi River Historic Sites and Interesting Places

This is a little more complicated than hooking up the trailer and heading down the road.  I get nervous on the river, because it’s not like a lake where you can just cruise along, it keeps moving and requires paying a lot of attention — the Mississippi is NOT that deep, and it’s easy to get hung up or hit the bottom, ask my little bro about that!

Categories: Citizens

FBI video of Oregon stop, arrests, and shooting

Thu, 01/28/2016 - 8:16pm

See for yourself.  The FBI has released video of the roadblock stop, arrests of Ammon Bundy and occupants of the dark Jeep, arrest of one occupant of white truck driven by Finicum, of him taking off, driving for a while and running up into snowbank and getting stuck, jumping out, hand into inside pocket twice or more, and he was shot, flashbangs and gas into white pickup, and arrest/detainment of those left inside.

  Unedited version:

Edited version:

Categories: Citizens

What’s going on in Oregon?

Wed, 01/27/2016 - 1:56pm

Above, those arrested in OR at the traffic stop, Ammon Bundy, 40; his brother Ryan Bundy, 43; Brian Cavalier, 44; Shawna Cox, 59; and Ryan Payne, 32, and in Burns, OR, Joseph Donald O’Shaughnessy, 45, and Peter Santilli, 50.  Turning himself in down in AZ was Jon Ritzheimer, below:

Well, Bundys didn’t go home, and by setting up a roadblock and arresting the leadership, that seems the best way to go, avoiding an “invasion” of the Refuge.  Robert LaVoy Finicum, who had said he was going to die there, did.  After the arrests, law enforcement has surrounded the Malheur National Wildlife Reserve.

From NBC News:

Oregon Arrests: Feds Intercepted Occupation Leaders As Part of Plan

The FBI and state police staked out a spot along the route to John Day to stop the caravan. At first, both vehicles complied with an order to pull over, but then the lead vehicle took off, the law enforcement official said.

It didn’t get very far, hitting a snow bank. Finicum, the official said, jumped out of that vehicle “brandishing a firearm.” He was shot and killed.

From the Oregonian, links where Mark McConnell who claims to have been there, had this to say about the arrests and shooting of Finicum:

Mark McConnell video on Facebook

Melvin Lee on Youtube (not an eyewitness)

And also from the Oregonian, a link to another witness, 18 year old Victoria Sharp, who was apparently not arrested, in this audio posted on Youtube:

He drove and we all got down on the floorboards and they just started firing at us, shooting at us a bunch of times,” she said, adding that Finicum reached the roadblock and his truck rammed into a snowbank.

With the car running, she said, Finicum “got out of the car and he had his hands in the air and he was like, ‘Just shoot me then, just shoot me.'”

“And they did,” she said. “They shot him dead.”

From OPB:

OPB page on Malheur Occupation

Here’s a live feed (goes off air regularly):

KEX Live video stream from inside Oregon Standoff (may be permanently offline now)

Try this one:

Watchman News Live Feed

Not much going on, talking on phones in background, hear someone walking around… supposedly they’re digging trenches preparing for feds or ?

And from Houston Eagle:

Mug shots released in Oregon occupation arrests

Too late to go home, Bundys.  Meanwhile, funny how Jon Ritzheimer happened to leave and went back home to Arizona just before the arrests.  He’s since been arrested too:

AZ militant arrested in Oregon protests –

Categories: Citizens

Xcel Energy slides into the ditch

Tue, 01/26/2016 - 4:08pm

SNORT — love it when this happens.  Xcel Energy truck slid into the ditch, and note that the trailer didn’t take out the xmsn structure!

Xcel Energy truck slides into ditch in Faribault

Thanks to Faribault Daily News for this!

Categories: Citizens

2nd Petition for Intervention in Xcel Rate Case

Mon, 01/25/2016 - 12:10am

Apparently Judge Oxley did not like the Overland and No CapX 2020 Petition for Intervention in the rate case, late Friday the Order came out.  It was denied, without prejudice.  And yet interventions for Commercial Group, Suburban Rate Authority, and City of Minneapolis were granted…

20161-117574-01_Order Denying Intervention

… sigh… OK… fine…

Just filed at 12:01 a.m. Monday, January 25, 2016:


These transmission issues being raised about CapX 2020 and the MISO MVP 17 Project Portfolio are so important that I’m going to be persistent.

Here’s the schedule, from the First Prehearing Order:

Categories: Citizens

Susan Hedman resigns from EPA over Flint water

Fri, 01/22/2016 - 11:56am

Susan Hedman, head of EPA Region 5 has resigned.  I remember how thrilled I was to see that Susan Hedman, formerly of ELPC in Chicago, was appointed to head EPA Region 5.  I’d dealt with her a little during the Florence Nuclear Waste Daze, when she was an attorney on staff at ELPC, and was impressed with her knowledge and abilities, and was glad to have someone in charge that I believe would take the reins and enforce the law.  How does someone like her screw up so badly, so irresponsibly?  Wow…

Flint water crisis: EPA regional administrator resigns

EPA Administrator Quits Amid Flint Water Crisis

EPA regional chief in Chicago resigns in connection with Flint water crisis

Susan Hedman, regional EPA official, resigns over Flint water crisis

As for EPA responsibility, Hedman did a dodge and weave, and duck and cover:


EPA chief defends agency’s handling of Flint crisis

EPA admits fault, blames Michigan officials over Flint

EPA Implicated in Cover-up of Flint Water Crisis

State View: Federal EPA’s delays on Flint show complete gov’t failure

EPA passive on Flint water

Categories: Citizens

Matt Schuerger on Public Utilities Commission?

Wed, 01/20/2016 - 10:57pm

Matt Schuerger has been appointed to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission?  What is Gov. Dayton thinking?  More on this in a future post…

From the Governor’s website:

Governor Dayton Appoints Matthew Schuerger to Minnesota Public Utilities Commission January 19, 2016 ST. PAUL, MN – Today, Governor Mark Dayton announced his appointment of Matthew Schuerger to serve a six year term on the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission. Mr. Schuerger will be replacing Betsy Wergin, whose term expired on January 4, 2016. “It is my pleasure to appoint Matthew Schuerger to serve on the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission,” said Governor Dayton. “Mr. Schuerger brings with him an impressive record of private-sector experience running a company focused on sustainable energy systems, and has admirably served as a technical advisor to both the State of Minnesota and the University of Minnesota.” Mr. Schuerger is the President of Energy Systems Consulting Services, LLC, an engineering and management consulting firm focused on planning, development, and analysis. His recent work includes serving as a technical advisor to the Minnesota Department of Commerce, the U.S. Department of Energy, and the University of Minnesota. Previously, Mr. Schuerger was the Executive Vice President for District Energy St. Paul, Inc. Mr. Schuerger is a licensed electrical and mechanical engineer, and earned his B.S. from Purdue University, his M.B.A. from the University of St. Thomas, and his M.S. from the University of Minnesota. A headshot of Mr. Schuerger can be found here: About the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission regulates three cornerstone service industries of Minnesota’s economy, including electricity, natural gas, and telephone services. Its mission is to create and maintain a regulatory environment that ensures safe, reliable, and efficient utility services at fair and reasonable rates. For more information about the Public Utilities Commission, visit
Categories: Citizens

Stephanie Henriksen’s Memorial Service tomorrow

Mon, 01/18/2016 - 11:04pm

Photo by David Kamis, taken after Stephanie’s ducks were assassinated

Tomorrow is the Memorial Service for Stephanie Henricksen.  It’s at the UCC in Northfield, gathering at 10 a.m. and service is at 11 a.m. with lunch following.

Photo by Kathleen Doran-Norton, of Stephanie, and there’s Dave & Flo Minar in the background

Here are a couple of posts about her:

Stephanie Henriksen will be missed Stephanie Henriksen at Northfield Arts Guild Key issues to think about — Family Farms

This is a video made of her walking through her “Retrospective” showing at the Northfield Arts Guild, talking about her work.  This is the link, can’t get it to embed properly:

Stephanie Henriksen: Retrospective on Vimeo

And here’s Stephanie dashing out of the store with a dress over her arm:


Categories: Citizens

Zip Rail — Lobbying? Conflict?

Sat, 01/16/2016 - 1:00pm

Yeah, Chucky’s baaaaaack!  And if it walks like a duck, talks like a duck…

Chuck Michael is back and he has been for a while on this Zip Rail project.  And it’s a small world, particularly in this public policy and infrastructure area.

Turns out it’s much smaller, he’s been working a couple of sides of this project, Olmsted County and apparently the North American High Speed Rail Group, meeting with officials in “other states.”  And they’ve been to Washington, together, and have been lobbying hard in Minnesota, both Olmsted County and NAHSR:

Zip Rail backers make their case in Washington, D.C.

And look how he’s represented for the conference, Twin Cities HSR Passenger Corridor, on which that article above was based, where an Olmsted County representative and a NAHSR rep are also on the bill:

U.S. High Speed Rail Conference

Hear about the new private high speed rail project advancing in Minnesota being developed by Zip Rail and North American High Speed Rail Group, a Minnesota company set up to develop, construct, own and operate electric high speed rail systems in the USA.
-Ken Brown, Olmsted County
-Chuck Michael, Twin Cities HSR Passenger Corridor -Wendy Meadley, NAHSR

A project from Las Vegas to LA was waved around as competition to this Metro – Rochester Zip Rail, as in a threat of “build Zip Rail and if not we’ll go to Vegas,” and if so, doesn’t that “competition” mean it’s a conflict, and not working in the interests of Olmsted County?  Or is it that Michael went “out of state” as in to Washington?  It doesn’t say what project he was working on “out of state,” whether it was Zip Rail or something else.  That should be disclosed.

But big picture, I don’t see this as much as a “conflict” as an “reporting” issue, because based on the conference presentation above, their lobbying together, because I’d guess the parties’ interests regarding Zip Rail, the positions/interests of Olmsted County and NAHSR are pretty much the same, though Olmsted County should have more of a sense of working in the public interest.  THAT is a problem, and it’s Olmsted County’s problem and the voters there should address this!

More of an issue is declaration of those interests and where and how much money is devoted to pushing those interests.  Who’s registered with Campaign Finance Board?  Chuck Michael is not registered as a lobbyist under any entity.  Nada…   The essence of his job is lobbying, in Minnesota and nationally, and he’s not listed with the Campaign Finance Board.  Not Olmsted County, and not North American High Speed Rail.   I think it’s time Chuck Michael and the associations he’s working for on this project register and disclose.

Anyone that had anything to do with Excelsior Energy’s Mesaba Project, as Chuck Michael did, needs high scrutiny.


Categories: Citizens

Wabash Valley coal gasification plant closing!

Wed, 01/13/2016 - 12:04pm

The Wabash Valley IGCC (coal gasification) generating plant was built as a demonstration project, and oh what a miserable failure that was.  Such a failure that they’re now shutting down the coal gasification part and will be running only on natural gas.

After it was “finished” it took years of work, with at times 22 engineering contractors, to cobble it together and make it run.  It rarely ran at capacity, and often didn’t run at all.  Operating costs were through the roof.  It also exploded and killed two workers, which made headlines just as our opposition to the Mesaba Project was getting into full swing, yet that explosion was just the tip of the iceberg in the many problems with this project.

Wabash River IGCC plant explodes, two workers killed More on coal gasification plant explosion Coal gasification explosion: metal fitting broke, released gas Wabash River Final Technical Report(it was “routinely” in violation of its water permit for selenium, cyanide and arsenic)

And here’s the good news — IT’S SHUTTING DOWN FOR GOOD!

47 employees will be laid off. Wabash Valley Power Association to cease operations at sgSOLUTIONS


Company to shutter some energy production at West Terre Haute plant By Nick Hedrick Tribune-Star Citing increased operational costs and the ongoing decline in natural gas prices, Wabash Valley Power Association announced plans Tuesday to close its synthetic gas plant and one steam turbine in West Terre Haute. The cooperative plans to operate the sgSolutions synthetic gas plant and the turbine at Unit 1 of the neighboring Wabash River generating station through May 1, communications manager Lisa Richardson told the Tribune-Star. Following the shutdown, the remaining turbine will operate by natural gas from an existing pipeline at the site on Bolton Road. Based in Indianapolis, the nonprofit association provides wholesale electricity to 23 distribution co-ops in Indiana, Illinois and Missouri, including Parke County REMC and Enerstar Electric in Paris. Approximately 47 employees will be laid off, and Richardson said the cooperative will offer a comprehensive severance package to those affected. About 25 contractors who typically work at the facility each day are also impacted by the decision, she said. The association purchased sgSolutions from Duke Energy in 2005. sgSolutions converts solid fuels like coal into a synthetic gas, which currently fuels the generating station, according to a cooperative news release. Richardson said the station will operate from natural gas once the plant closes. The station currently operates from either synthetic or natural gas. “It’s no longer economically feasible to run the sgSolutions plant and the steam turbine,” Richardson said. Winter natural gas futures prices are “significantly lower” than in previous years, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.  The agency pointed to record high production and storage levels and the forecast for warmer than average weather this winter in the northern and western U.S., resulting in an expected decline of residential natural gas consumption. Wabash Valley Power says the moves will increase efficiency and reduce wholesale electricity costs to distribution members. The station currently generates 260 megawatts of electricity per day, Richardson said. That output will drop to 180 megawatts daily once the station is fueled solely by natural gas. Richardson said the cooperative is confident there will be enough electricity to serve customer needs. Several other plants operated by Wabash Valley Power can feed the system in the event of an outage with the remaining turbine, she said.
Categories: Citizens

Stephanie Henriksen will be missed

Tue, 01/12/2016 - 8:45pm

In the Northfield News today:

By Carol A. Overland and Alan Muller, Special to the News

Stephanie Henriksen will be missed

Stephanie Henriksen’s death last month leaves a big gap in this part of the world.

She was a complex person, not easily described in a few words. Did you know she was a serious saxophone player? Animals in need would show up at her farm, and she’d take them in. Her life’s artwork filled the Northfield Arts Guild in “Retrospective” showing, and she organized the “Farm Art” show tour years ago.

And as most of us know, she was a devoted and driven activist and tireless advocate, working on her own and with others on farm, water, clean air and land-use issues for decades.

For some, Stephanie was an acquired taste, or, to be more blunt, a pain in the rear. Her adversaries and allies alike knew she was usually on target, and she could be counted on to show up.

Her activism and advocacy put her on the front lines, with her many successes coming at a high personal cost, such as stress, assassinated ducks, animal parts strewn on her mailbox, and impacts on her health.

Just before she died, she was worked up about another ill-advised scheme in the community, ready to launch into action. That’s the essence of Stephanie Henriksen.

Stephanie Henriksen gave her all, and then some. Every now and then, as we go forward, let’s take an extra step forward, in honor of Stephanie, and stand up, weigh in on an issue, talk to the deciders, and work to make this world a better place.


Memorial Service

Stephanie Henriksen’s memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Jan. 19 at United Church of Christ in Northfield.

Categories: Citizens

The Bundy Brigade and the Constitution

Mon, 01/11/2016 - 2:24pm

Can we scrounge up some legal counsel for the Bundy Brigade?  Throughout this Bundy occupation in Oregon, they’re railing about the Constitution, that it’s against the Constitution for the federal government to own land.  In defense of this position, they’re citing “Article 1, Section 8, clause 17.”

Just google “Bundy” and “Article 1, Section 8, Clause 17” for examples of this reliance.

Here’s a cut and past of Article 1, Section 8:

Section 8 – The Text
The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defense and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

To borrow Money on the credit of the United States;

To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian Tribes;

To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;

To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;

To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States;

To establish Post Offices and post Roads;

To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;

To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court;

To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offences against the Law of Nations;

To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;

To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;

To provide and maintain a Navy;

To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;

To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;

To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the Acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings; —And

To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.

Ummmmmm, where do they get these ideas?

How do they square that with Article IV, Section 3 (in red below):

Article. IV.

Section. 1.

Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each State to the public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of every other State. And the Congress may by general Laws prescribe the Manner in which such Acts, Records and Proceedings shall be proved, and the Effect thereof.

Section. 2.

The Citizens of each State shall be entitled to all Privileges and Immunities of Citizens in the several States.

A Person charged in any State with Treason, Felony, or other Crime, who shall flee from Justice, and be found in another State, shall on Demand of the executive Authority of the State from which he fled, be delivered up, to be removed to the State having Jurisdiction of the Crime.

No Person held to Service or Labour in one State, under the Laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in Consequence of any Law or Regulation therein, be discharged from such Service or Labour, but shall be delivered up on Claim of the Party to whom such Service or Labour may be due.

Section. 3.

New States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union; but no new State shall be formed or erected within the Jurisdiction of any other State; nor any State be formed by the Junction of two or more States, or Parts of States, without the Consent of the Legislatures of the States concerned as well as of the Congress.

The Congress shall have Power to dispose of and make all needful Rules and Regulations respecting the Territory or other Property belonging to the United States; and nothing in this Constitution shall be so construed as to Prejudice any Claims of the United States, or of any particular State.

Section. 4.

The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened), against domestic Violence.

And to add a little levity — but as smh inducing — their updated wishlist.  Can someone explain why they’d need “ice chests?”  It’s winter…

Categories: Citizens

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