Carol Overland - Legalectric

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Carol A. Overland, Overland Law Office -- Utility Regulatory and Land Use Advocacy
Updated: 41 min 42 sec ago

Ellsworth School District – willful disregard

Fri, 03/27/2020 - 11:07am

This is so disturbing to me, I wrote about it before I became speechless — in the Red Wing Republican Eagle:

Letter: Willful disregard and willful ignorance in Pierce County

I’m fuming. I just read with shock and disbelief that there’s a second case of COVID-19 in Pierce County. The cause of my shock and disbelief stems from the article which said that, “band and choir students were in New Orleans March 9-14, which also was spring break. The person attended the senior high school choir trip, according to the message.”

A school trip March 9-14? COVID was in the news in January and February. There were very public self-isolation and social distancing recommendations, including warnings not to travel, the first week of March. Yet the Ellsworth trip went forward the second week of March?

This display of willful ignorance and willful disregard for people’s health, perhaps their lives, is hard to accept. School administrators, trip organizers and the school board are responsible for the health and safety of those in their care. Parents are responsible for their children. The “children” are senior high students, some maybe “adults,” but in any case, old enough to be thinking for themselves. The responsibility for this ill-advised trip is a shared responsibility.

Thinking “it can’t happen here” or “it won’t happen to me”? There is no rational basis for such ideas, and science says otherwise, it can and will happen. Look around. It is happening, it is happening to people you ostensibly care about, and it is happening to the community around you.To go forward on a school trip when there’s a burgeoning pandemic with isolation, distancing, and no-travel recommendations, it is just so irresponsible. It goes beyond poor judgment – it is willful disregard and willful ignorance – selfish “me first” disregard and ignorance that puts people in harm’s way.

Get to work to fix this mess. What are you doing to help your friends and neighbors who are now or who will become sick, for those who are quarantined and unable to care for themselves? It’s time for continuing education in science, situational ethics, critical thinking, and public health for the district officials, staff, and students alike, with a healthy dose of public service.

Carol A. Overland

Red Wing

Categories: Citizens

Health Care Directive – STAT!

Thu, 03/26/2020 - 1:15pm

DO YOU HAVE A HEALTH CARE DIRECTIVE?

JUST DO IT, NOW. CONTACT YOUR HEALTH CARE PROVIDER ABOUT THEIR FORMS, THEIR PROCESS, AND GET YOUR HEALTH CARE DIRECTIVE ON FILE WITH THEM.

Here in SE Minnesota, it’s Mayo Clinic. Here is their “Living wills and advance directive” page.

Here, as an example, is link to Mayo’s advance directive form , complete with directions, things to think about. Here’s the pdf:

Mayo Health Care Directive – Minnesota, Wisconsin, and IowaDownload

And anyone alive right now is thinking about COVID. It’s the right time to make sure you’ve got your ducks in a row, and that means, for example, aforementioned Health Care Directive.

I’ve been sick now for nearly 3 weeks. I’ve had serious long-term sinus issues before, most notably during the Goodhue Wind hearing, March 15-17, 2011. It was so bad that I couldn’t talk, could only squawk, and it was excruciating for everyone there. I wasn’t in pain, just a bit lethargic and a fuzzy brain, but utterly neutralized with no ability to speak! Not a good place to be for an attorney in a hearing! At that time I had no access to health care, only the Red Wing Care Clinic on Tuesdays. That sucked so bad, particularly having to get to the Care Clinic on that one specific day (I left the hearing early to get there, and of course nobody bothered to tell me they decided to start early the following day, GRRRRR). Getting access to regular health care was life changing, no doubt about it.

Flash forward to this year. We were on vacation mid-February to the end of February. Sunday, March 8th, I developed the symptoms of sinus, NO fever, but productive cough, flowing sinuses and nose, and general malaise. Same thing Alan had developed March 3, and he got over before I got sick. By the following Friday, I figured I’d need Z-pak again, so went in, knowing CORVID was around. I got checked out, and was treated for my sinus crap, but was told that because we were coughing and had traveled to Portland and lower Washington, we should be checked out for COVID. OK, whatever, we got checked out, and cleared, not justifying COVID testing (which Mayo had just ramped up that Monday, 3/16).

FOR THE RECORD: If I have CORVID, can’t breathe, and arrest, I’m DNR, DNI, DNT, it’s over, let me go. NO VENTILATOR!!!

NOW is an important time to do your Health Care Directive, f/k/a Living Will, to talk it over with family and friends, and figure out what you want. Most health care providers have their own forms, process, but whatever it is, be sure to do it. Then make sure a copy is on file with provider, with your point people, and a copy on the fridge so emergency responders can find it, one in your bag/glove compartment too. Make sure your point people can handle making the decisions YOU want made, and can advocate fiercely for you (i.e., my mother’s health care provider did not want to follow her wishes to stay out of the hospital, and even Dr. Order of “do not hospitalize” as she was on hospice, it was a fight that shouldn’t have happened).

Just do it! Contact your health care provider today and make sure you have a current Health Care Directive. Your state may also have a Durable Health Care Power of Attorney that gives power of decisions to your point person and beefs up your Health Care Directive. As attorney, I’ve done hundreds of Wills, DHCPoAs and directed folks to their health care providers, this is so important to do, and yes, especially now. JUST DO IT!

Categories: Citizens

2nd Ellsworth COVID case

Mon, 03/23/2020 - 2:26pm

I’m having this “WTF WERE THEY THINKING?” experience. The Ellsworth School District had a choir and band trip that LEFT on March 9, returned on March 14, to New Orleans. This trip LEFT after the pandemic was blooming, after recommendations to self-isolate and for social distancing. There’s just no excuse for this, putting people at risk. And now, the second person from that trip has been officially diagnosed with COVID.

Update: Pierce County COVID-19 cases now number three

From the article:

Band and choir students were in New Orleans March 9-14, which also was spring break. The two people attended the senior high school choir trip, according to the message.

The group consisted of 44 students, 14 parents and two teaching staff, the email said. When the group left on March 9, all Wisconsin schools were still in session. The group returned the day after the governor’s Friday afternoon announcement closing schools and five days prior to the actual mandatory closing of Wisconsin schools.

Listen to this rationalization and denial:

“The trajectory of the virus changed dramatically from the time in which the group left to their point of return. At the time in which the group left for the trip to New Orleans, the State of Louisiana was not listed as an area of community spread. The first case in Louisiana was actually reported on March 9th, the day the group left,” the district email reads. “Spring break was a time in which many of our families traveled throughout the country and to other countries. Due to the many changes that took place in an extremely short period of time, the decision was made to not have all district students return to school after spring break for the three days available prior to the governor’s closing date of March 18, 2020. ”

Is “self-isolation” and “social distancing” so hard to understand? “Do not travel” is pretty self-explanatory. Putting people at risk like this is so wrong, living in denial is no excuse. Willful ignorance, willful disregard…

Categories: Citizens

Sewing masks for you and yours

Sat, 03/21/2020 - 2:27pm

UPDATE: St. Paul fabric store gives away mask-making kits to help fight COVID-19

Pattern for one above HERE!

This one has the most detailed instructions, and design is more intricate:

And this one, recommended by a hospital that is asking for volunteers to make them — and now it’s bee removed. Note that they only want them partially made, but the video shows how to make the whole thing, and MOST IMPORTANT, at the end of the video is info on FILTERS, and they recommend using replaceable HEPA or vacuum cleaner filters, and the design is such that you can replace the filter easily. And the video has been removed… great… it was very well done. Anyway, here’s directions and a pattern. I think something like this is a whole lot better than running around shopping in a bandana (HANDS UP, DON’T SHOOT!).

OlsonMask_wPattern_v3-Unity Point Health System Cedar RapidsDownload

I don’t really like these kind, but they’re pretty easy to make:

Categories: Citizens

AFCL appeals PUC denial of EAW Petition

Fri, 03/20/2020 - 12:19pm

On Wednesday, Association of Freeborn County Landowners filed an appeal of the Public Utilities Commission’s denial of AFCL’s Petition for and Environmental Assessment Worksheet. It was mailed Certified Mail yesterday, as required by statute, and today, filed on the PUC’s eDockets:

AFCL Appeal – PUC 3-20-2020_CorrespondenceDownload

The PUC really screwed this up, in so many ways. Granted there are few Petitions for EAW to the Commission, and Commission staff may not be familiar with EQB rules and process. However, in the only other Petition for Environmental Assessment Worksheet/EIS, they denied a Motion and then a Petition for EAW forwarded by the EQB, and it was sent back to the Commission by the Appellate Court:

In the Matter of Minnesota Power’s Petition for Approval of the EnergyForward Resource Package

Lesson not learned. We’ve been trying to get environmental review of wind projects for how long now, particularly given the demonstrable impacts, actual and constructive notice, beyond the “potential” for environmental impacts. Bent Tree noise excedences and landowner settlements? What more is needed?

Bent Tree Order filed by PUC

In the Staff Briefing Papers, which is staff’s recommendation to the Commission, over and over it was said that the Petition was insufficient because there were not 100 signatures, but there were 380+ signatures! In the Staff Briefing Papers, over and over it was said that the Commission could declare the Petition insufficient, when it is NOT the Commission’s job to address sufficiency, that was already determined by the Environmental Quality Board, which validated the Petition and forwarded it to the Commission for action! Read the Briefing Papers… really, it’s that absurd:

Attachment E_PUC Staff Briefing PapersDownload

I fired off a letter requesting correction, which never happened:

Attachment F_AFCL to PUC-False StatementsDownload

And even after denying AFCL’s Petition, they went further, and provided “notice” in an email to the EQB that the Board had made its decision:

Attachment B_PUC Notice to EQB 2-13-2020Download

And that “notice” was published in the EQB Monitor on February 18, 2020:

Attachment A_EQB Monitor-2-18-2020Download

And yet to this date, they’ve not filed an Order or the Record of Decision on this decision! WHAT?!?! Yes, really!!

I’d sent a letter to the EQB about the Commission’s failure to file the Order and Record of Decision nearly a month ago:

Attachment C_AFCL Letter to EQB 2-28-2020Download

STILL NO ORDER OR RECORD OF DECISION. There are no Findings of Facts to explain, to support, the Commission’s decision. I guess it’s harder to make them up than staff thought?!?!

Meanwhile, the appeal deadline of a decision on an EAW Petition is 30 days after the notice is published in the EQB Monitor. Minn. Stat. 116D.04, Subd. 10. It’s kind of hard to Appeal a decision without the necessary documents, so I can guess that’s one more reason the Commission has chosen not to file! Oh well… ONWARD!

Prior posts on AFCL’s Petition for Environmental Assessment Worksheet:

Freeborn EAW – more time! EQB forwards EAW Petition to PUC Petition for EAW – Freeborn Wind
Categories: Citizens

STAY HOME!

Mon, 03/16/2020 - 1:14pm

From the STrib: Tracking Coronavirus in Minnesota

Just do it — no excuses. Neighbors, relatives, friends, need to help each other get through this, self-isolation and social distancing is not easy, and is for sure nearly impossible for too many. HELP AS YOU CAN!

Coronavirus and the Sun: a Lesson from the 1918 Influenza Pandemic
Categories: Citizens

2019 PJM State of Market

Thu, 03/12/2020 - 1:53pm

PJM’s annual State of the Market Report has been released by Marketing Analytics:

2019-SoM-PJM-Volume 1Download 2019-SoM-PJM-Volume 2Download

What I’m looking for first is demand info, so I’m searching. Here ya go:

It looks like peak demand/load, at 148,228MW is above what it was in 2006. From FERC – Electric Power Markets PJM:

All time peak demand: 144,644 MW (set August 2, 2006), and down to 139,438 in 2007.

Peak demand growth (2006-2007): Peak demand declined 3.6%. See PJM State of the Market 2008, below.

2006Summer Peak Demand (MW)144,644 139,438(Source: PJM)

CLICK HERE FOR:  PJM State of the Market – 2008

And about wholesale cost, from the 2019 State of the Market report:

One of the benefits of competitive power markets is that changes in input prices and changes in the balance of supply and demand are reflected immediately in energy prices. PJM real-time energy market prices decreased significantly in 2019 compared to 2018. The load weighted,average real-time LMP was 28.6 percent lower in 2019 than in 2018, $27.32 per MWh versus $38.24per MWh. Of the $10.92 per MWh decrease, 41.5 percent was a result of lower fuel costs. Other contributors to the decrease were the dispatch of lower cost units, decreased load and lower markups (2019 SoM,Intro, p 3).

Once more with feeling –wholesale energy costs and prices are DOWN, DOWN, DOWN, yet rates are going UP, UP, UP. DOH! It’s because, like Xcel, utilities are changing their business plan. They’re not making the money anymore on selling electricity, and can make a LOT more by building infrastructure that we don’t need and charging us ratepayers for it. Transmission costing billions; the rebuild and start up of Sherco 3 after 22 months off-line, and then announcing shut down of 1 & 2; the rebuild of Monticello costing twice the estimate; request to PUC to sell surplus Sherco and King plant generation on MISO market (just how is running it for sale elsewhere consistent with cutting CO2?!?!?)…

Another thing I do see is that the Capacity Market is deemed “Not Competitive,” and this has been a documented problem since 2007. DOH! Yet it continues.

Vol 1, Intro, p. 8

If it’s not competitive, why hasn’t the market structure been changed? After all, it’s all about “let the free market decide,” and where it’s not competitive, that isn’t happening, eh? As Marketing Analytics states, “Structural market power is endemic to the capacity market.” From a wiki definition of endemic, “In epidemiology, an infection is said to be endemic in a population when that infection is constantly maintained at a baseline level…” Houston, methinks we have a market problem…

More to follow, but wanted to get these tidbits out there.

Categories: Citizens

Winona County frac sand mining ban upheld

Wed, 03/11/2020 - 4:42pm

And the good news is… the Minnesota Supreme Court has upheld Winona County’s frac sand mining ban:

OPA180090-031020-2Download

Check out the court’s rejection of Minnesota Sands’ takings claim, starting on p. 26.

Categories: Citizens

9th Anniversary of Fukushima Daiichi meltdown

Wed, 03/11/2020 - 3:34pm

Nine years ago, when this happened, I posted as much as I could find about it, and it was hard to nail info down, but this photo above pretty much said it all, massive explosion.

Today, the release of SimplyInfo.org’s 9th Anniversary report:

View The 9th Anniversary Annual Report Here

SimplyInfo.org, a group of talented volunteers deep-researching this issue, has been tracking this for 9 years now. From their site’s “about us” page:

Our group began out of a live blog run by Reuters during the Great East Japan Earthquake and the related Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident. We wanted the real news and a way to do something about this unprecedented tragedy. Our strength is in our diversity. People from around the globe, from varied professions and industries came together to research, investigate, analyze and educate about this ongoing incident. Using the knowledge of the crowd for research and analysis of both the technical and humanitarian aspects of complex incidents and concerns without focus on profit.

Back when it happened, I put these up on my Legalectricsite, and shortly after it happened, Day 3 I believe, I had over 4,000 hits in ONE DAY! People were hungry, desperate, for information. When I’d reported the explosion, the first one, someone commented that “no way was it melting down,” and that made no sense, even given what little objective information we had. And in fact, it was a lot worse than those folks thought. I knew it was a disaster, but as it kept getting worse, well, stunning… and the impacts are still affecting us, will be for thousands of years. Right now, they’re on the verge of dumping radioactive water into the ocean!

These Legalectric posts below were no real scoop, “just information lite,” a compilation of public info, news reports, but its information that we in Minnesota should take into account because our Monticello nuclear plant is the same design as Fukushima Diiachi:

The “peaceful atom” strikes Japan March 12th, 2011 Fukushima Reactor 3 blows… March 13th, 2011 Nuclear saga continues in Japan March 21st, 2011 Fukushima Daiichi update March 26th, 2011 Another Fukushima Daiichi update March 30th, 2011 More on Fukushima nuclear disaster April 8th, 2011 Fukushima can’t happen here? Uh-huh… right… June 6th, 2011 Fukushima admittedly a mess… August 9th, 2011 One year after Fukushima Daiichi meltdown March 10th, 2012 Fukushima Daiichi — 4 years ago today March 11th, 2015
Categories: Citizens

Sick with COVFEFE-20!

Wed, 03/11/2020 - 11:24am

Repeated sternutation, over and over. Hacking and wheezing for two days. Alan had it first, now moi. How do I know it’s not corona/COVID-19? No fever. Yup, for the record: NO FEVER, no aches and pains, just a head stuff to the extreme and going to explode, utterly unable to sleep. Until yesterday, slept all day. No work done whatsoever!

SO, if you’re looking for me to produce something, put your feet up, it’ll be a while. Drafting and pontificating on the computer is not a good idea when this loopy! Thanks PUC, Xcel, and whoever else, for stalling!

Categories: Citizens

Alan Muller on Fox and Friends

Tue, 03/03/2020 - 9:46am

From their main page, with… ALAN!! Linked below:

Breakfast with ‘Friends’: Who will Minnesota voters choose on Super Tuesday?

Here’s another clip:

Breakfast with Friends – longer clip

The guy asked Alan what broadcast media he relied on, and Alan told him we don’t have a TV and that he’s never seen their show before. Yeah, that says it all!

Categories: Citizens

Ken Cuccinelli unlawfully appointed

Sun, 03/01/2020 - 10:23pm

Hot off the press from RAICES, the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services, another big win in immigration, and a big slap upside the head to the tRump administration:

Ken Cuccinelli was improperly appointed to head U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services! Details are in today’s court decision below:

Decision PDF

From a RAICES email just in:

USCIS is an agency of the Department of Homeland Security and processes applications for asylum, refugee status, work visas, and citizenship. And If you don’t recall, Ken recently suggested the words inscribed on the Statue of Liberty be changed. The leader of USCIS should not be a person who blatantly attempts to erase the history and values of America. And the court’s strong rebuke in today’s ruling now sends a powerful message to the Administration that it cannot escape the lawful process for appointments.

The bottom line?

The Court concludes that it has jurisdiction over Plaintiffs’ challenges to the reduced-time-to-consult and prohibition-on-extensions directives and that it lacks jurisdiction over Plaintiffs’ challenge relating to the in-person-orientation directive. The Court also concludes that Cuccinelli was not lawfully appointed to serve as the acting Director of USCIS and that, accordingly, the reduced-time-to-consult and prohibition-on-extensions directives must be set aside as ultra vires under both the FVRA, 5 U.S.C. § 3348(d)(1), and the APA, 5 U.S.C. §706(2)(A). Finally, the Court sets aside the individual Plaintiffs’ negative credible-fear determinations and expedited removal orders and remands to USCIS for further proceedings consistent with this decision.

Like WOW… and on a Sunday, no less!

CKICJ HERE to donate to RAICES and support this intense and successful work.

Categories: Citizens

Generating more than what we use!

Sun, 03/01/2020 - 11:02am

And it’s only March 1st!


Categories: Citizens