Another Xcel deal…

Carol Overland - Legalectric - Thu, 05/23/2019 - 3:16pm
Monticello looms above the Metro…

Over the many years, there have been many “agreements,” and over the many years, time after time, people affected by these “agreements” have come to me for advice, to represent them, as they’re faced with consequences of these agreements. What agreements? The 1994 (Chapter 641) and 2003 (Chapter 11) Prairie Island bills, the
Merger Stipulation Dec 15 1999, the 2005 Transmission Omnibus Bill from Hell (Chapter 97), the e21 Xcel Business Plan pieces dribbling into Omnibus bills 2015 (Chapter 1) and since. Now this:

20195-153019-01_MEC&IRP DealDownload

The two page agreement made public is in that filing. Note the requirements related to this docket and the IRP, to support, to facilitate, to not object to Xcel’s plan. They agree to “supporting the Company’s request to recover the undepreciated balance of the King plant as a regulatory asset through 2037… of the Sherco 3 plant through 2035” [which was just rehabbed and we’re paying for that now]. They agree to Sherco 2 use “on a seasonal basis until its retirement in 2023;” 706.4 GWh of energy efficiency savings annually (not cumulative, methinks?); support of decoupling, support of acquisition of at least 3,00 MW of solar before end of 3020; and support acquisition by bidding process and proposals of build and own.

They’re using this to gain approval of Xcel’s acquisition of the Mankato Energy Center doing an end run around the Integrated Resource Plan, due to be filed any second now.

This first came to my attention when I saw Sierra Club request withdrawal of its comments in the 18-702 docket, regarding Xcel acquisition of the Mankato Energy Center (MEC) gas plant.

20195-153016-01_Sierra Withdrawal RequestDownload

What? Withdraw Comments? That’s not possible. Once something is filed, it cannot be deleted. Hmmmmmm, what on earth is it that they want to withdraw? Here ya go, note these are the “public” comments, so some redactions:

20193-150876-02_Sierra Initial Comments_PublicDownload

Very well done Comments, eh? And note, they’re right in line with the Comments of the Office of the Attorney General – RUD, which concludes:


And in a shorter version, ILSR hits the highlights:


Looking at all of this, I had to weigh in. I’m so tired of these deals that are against the public interest, deals that inflict infrastructure and other harms on unsuspecting people. Unintended consequences? Intended consequences? Reckless actions not caring? It’s not that hard to envision the resulting problems.


Really, I am so tired of these deals that are not in the public interest, and are all about rolling over for Xcel, giving them what they want, and getting a significant kicker for all that “support.” That’s how it’s happened in the past (remember all that funding for pushing transmission and coal gasification?), and odds are it’s no different today.

Remember the signs in so many windows, on so many lawns? How things change…

Categories: Citizens

Lois Riess indicted for the slaying of her husband in rural Blooming Prairie

Northfield News - Thu, 05/23/2019 - 2:11pm
More than 14 months after the body of David Riess was found shot to death in his rural Blooming Prairie home, his wife, Lois Riess, 57, has been indicted on first-degree murder charges by a Dodge County grand jury.
Categories: Local News

Ninth version of ADU ordinance to get second reading; With two pending criminal complaints, Faribault woman gets charged again; Northfield CVB awards Excellence in Tourism 

KYMN Radio - Thu, 05/23/2019 - 12:02pm

By Teri Knight, News Director Four Northfield councilors, Erica Zweifel, Suzie Nakasian, Clarice Grabau and Jessica Peterson-White voted yes on the first reading of the initial version of an Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) ordinance. It came from the Planning Commission with very little regulation regarding parking, size of structure, compatibility and rental rules. Since the

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Project Overview: Edina Home Remodel

Northfield Construction Company - Thu, 05/23/2019 - 11:19am
We recently completed a gorgeous residential remodel in Edina, Minnesota. We structurally changed the vaulted ceiling to a barrel vault. This changed lead to structural modifications in the roof, trusses, walls, and an added footing in the basement. It also created a beautiful gable roof looking out the kitchen windows with a faux beam on....
Categories: Businesses

Gerry Franek

KYMN Radio - Thu, 05/23/2019 - 10:30am

Northfield Area Fire & Rescue Fire Chief Gerry Franek talks about the process for hiring new firefighters.  There is a pool of about 25 qualified, diverse applicants and the goal is to get new firefighters hired by September.    

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Bruce Morlan

KYMN Radio - Thu, 05/23/2019 - 9:36am

Bruce Morlan joins Wayne in the studio.  Bruce is co-host of The Climate Show which airs on the first Wednesday of the month on KYMN radio.

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Tennis duo slated for NCAA Championships

Carleton Sports - Wed, 05/22/2019 - 4:52pm

Two members of the Carleton College men’s tennis team, sophomore Leo Vithoontien and senior Jordon O’Kelly, have been selected to compete at the 2019 NCAA Division III Men’s Tennis Singles and Doubles Championships.

Categories: Colleges

Bridgewater Twp. expected to approve developing incorporation application in June

Northfield News - Wed, 05/22/2019 - 4:20pm
The Bridgewater Township Board of Supervisors reportedly plans to approve developing an application for incorporation next month.
Categories: Local News

Trio of Knights headed to NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships

Carleton Sports - Wed, 05/22/2019 - 3:11pm

Three members of the Carleton College men’s track and field team are gearing up to compete at the 2019 NCAA Division III Outdoor Track and Field Championships, which will be held from Thursday, May 23 through Saturday, May 25 at the SPIRE Institute in Geneva, Ohio

Categories: Colleges

Motorists are urged to use caution in work zones during Memorial Day weekend

Northfield News - Wed, 05/22/2019 - 1:13pm
The Minnesota Department of Transportation encourages motorists to plan ahead before traveling Memorial Day weekend and use extra care while driving through work zones.
Categories: Local News

Alternate work scheduling approved for some City Hall employees

Northfield News - Wed, 05/22/2019 - 12:59pm
The work schedules for the approximately three dozen Northfield city employees who occupy City Hall will become more flexible this summer if certain conditions are met.
Categories: Local News

Youth highlighted at Northfield council meeting; Northfield Rotary offers grants for electric vehicle charging stations; More solid concrete installed at fire hall

KYMN Radio - Wed, 05/22/2019 - 12:02pm

By Teri Knight, News Director Last night was about the kids at the Northfield City Council meeting. From 2nd graders to seniors, the first highlight was the recognition of Arcadia Charter School’s Bella Callery for her accomplishment in winning the National Poetry Out Loud contest. She bested 275,000 other student competitors with her performance of

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Lisa Peterson

KYMN Radio - Wed, 05/22/2019 - 10:37am

Lisa Peterson, new President of the Northfield Area Chamber of Commerce, talks with Wayne about her background and experiences.    

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Spreadsheets: my not-so-secret love affair

Pegasus Librarian - Iris Jastram - Wed, 05/22/2019 - 10:34am

I’ve gotta admit. I love a good spreadsheet now and again. Maybe it’s because they aren’t the only thing I work with day in and day out, but I’m very much a fan of computers doing my grunt work for me, and spreadsheets are very much a part of that picture for me (right along with most of the other light-weight coding I’ve dabbled in).

I’m NOT a fan of using a spreadsheet just because it has columns and rows. Call me a software snob, but if all you need is a table in a document to keep a bunch of text in order, that’s not a spreadsheet. No sense using an extra tool. But if it can automate processes or do your error-checking for you — that my friends is workplace GOLD.

I’ve used spreadsheets to take conference session information as submitted by presenters and wrap each bit up in html, string the html together, and then paste the resulting html into a web page (hundreds of sessions processed in minimal time with minimal human error). I’ve used it to reconfigure 14 years of reference, instruction, and consultation statistics to make the data from various systems from our past match the needs of our new system, flipping people’s names, combining, splitting, reshuffling, and reformatting. The list goes on. If you can teach a computer a pattern, you can probably teach it to do your fiddly work for you.

Case in point: Libguides asset management.

Most of us librarians at this point use Libguides. One of its great strengths is that you can reuse “assets” (links, books, etc) from one guide to another. But over time, duplicate assets multiply like rabbits, and old unused assets clutter up your search results for that one asset you really want to reuse. So over time it becomes easier to make new assets rather than see if that asset already exists in the system. And then you end up in a vicious cycle the spirals your assets out of control and makes one of the great features of Libguides functionally useless.

So every summer I do a big ol’ asset clean-up project. I ask Springshare to delete our unused assets for me (we mere mortals can’t do bulk deletions), and then I work to knit back together all the unnecessarily duplicated assets that have spawned in the system when the librarians either make a new one that already exists or copy boxes or guides to new guides (which duplicates all the assets in the box or guide — asset management hell).

This is where the massive spreadsheet comes in. I need to find all the assets that are actually the same thing, and then map them back together so that they ARE the same thing. And the first part of this is to sort them by name. So I download a spreadsheet of all assets, plunk it into Google Sheets (easier to work on from multiple computers or share with others in the department), and alphabetize by title. But as you may know, neither Libguides nor any spreadsheet software I’m aware of is smart enough to alphabetize by the first “real” word, or to know that “US,” “USA,” “U.S.,” U. S.,” and “United States” are all the same thing. And anything with a quotation mark in front of it will go up into the non-alphabet part of the sort. And the list goes on. Alphabetizing just doesn’t cut it.

So in my google sheet, I add a column for Sort Title, and in the first cell of that column I use a formal to teach it all of the patterns that I know will be a problem with the titles in my asset list. Then I drag that formula down through all 7-9,000 asset records, and Ta-Da! Alphabetizable titles!

I’m a little nervous about sharing my formula for this because I’m a rank amateur and probably used a million IF statements where a simpler solution is possible. But hey, I’m also a rank amateur, so if you’ve never done this you can join me and then improve on what I’ve found! So… if you want to try this out, the basic pattern is “If at the left of the string in the title column you see x string, substitute x string with y string.” The other basic pattern is “If at the left of the string in the title column you see x string, delete it.” If your Title column is in column E, and you’re starting on row 2 (because row 2 is your header row). My current formula, which accounts for the patterns I’m currently seeing in my title list, looks like this:

=IF(LEFT(E2,2)="A ",RIGHT(E2,len(E2)-2),IF(LEFT(E2,3)="An ",RIGHT(E2,len(E2)-3),IF(LEFT(E2,4)="The ",RIGHT(E2,len(E2)-4),IF(LEFT(E2,6)=""",SUBSTITUTE(E2,""",""),IF(LEFT(E2,5)="U.S. ",SUBSTITUTE(E2,"U.S. ","US "),IF(LEFT(E2,14)="United States ",SUBSTITUTE(E2,"United States ","US "),IF(LEFT(E2,4)="USA ",SUBSTITUTE(E2,"USA ","US "),IF(LEFT(E2,6)="U. S. ",SUBSTITUTE(E2,"U. S. ","US "),IF(LEFT(E2,11)="University ", SUBSTITUTE(E2,"University ","U "),IF(LEFT(E2, 5)="U.K. ",SUBSTITUTE(E2,"U.K. ","UK "),IF(LEFT(E2, 5)="U.N. ",SUBSTITUTE(E2,"U.N. ","UN "),IF(LEFT(E2,15)="United Nations ",SUBSTITUTE(E2,"United Nations ","UN "),IF(LEFT(E2, 15)="United Kingdom ",SUBSTITUTE(E2,"United Kingdom ","UK "),E2)))))))))))))))))))))))

So, it’s IF(logical statement, result if true, result if false), and in the “result if false” section, that’s where I put the next IF statement. The very last “result if false” is just “show me the full title from the title column” because by that time the title is probably just fine without alteration. Each logical statement here tests the characters at the left of the title column, since that’s what I’ll be alphabetizing on. Then each “result if true” section tells it how to transform those left-hand characters so that they’ll alphabetize properly.

So that’s my spreadsheet love story of the week! I can’t believe that last year I sat there and used successive “find/replace” searches and thought I was being efficient. Live and learn!

Categories: Citizens

Senator Tina Smith

KYMN Radio - Wed, 05/22/2019 - 10:10am

U.S. Senator Tina Smith talks about two of her bills; one relating to rural broadband, and one relating to modernization of health care in rural communities such as telephone help from rural clinics.

The post Senator Tina Smith appeared first on KYMN Radio · Northfield, MN · AM 1080 & FM 95.1.

Shelley Holden and DawnMarie Vihrachoff

KYMN Radio - Wed, 05/22/2019 - 9:48am

Shelley Holden, VP of Housing & Community Outreach, and DawnMarie Vihrachoff, VP of Fund Development from the Northfield Retirement Community talk about celebrating the 50-year anniversary of NRC, and the annual fundraising Golf Classic scheduled for June 6.

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Rhonda Pownell and Ben Martig

KYMN Radio - Wed, 05/22/2019 - 9:39am

Northfield Mayor Rhonda Pownell and City Administrator Ben Martig review the May 21 City Council meeting.

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