November 22nd, 2014
Today we said good bye to our Kady. Above, there she is on her “Gotcha Day!”
K-K-K-Kady… January 28th, 2010
And here she is in our “new” house a few years ago:
And this morning:
She’s been our dog for five years, the first dog that Alan and I got together, found on Petfinder not long after Krie, the doggy with the winglet ears, died unexpectedly. That was January 2010. I was in the middle of the Susquehanna-Roseland transmission project hearing in Newark, New Jersey, camped out officing at the R.Treat Hotel and I saw this photo and knew she was THE dog:
That’s Kady, and her “pup” in the background, peering out. She was no spring chicken, a middle-aged grrrrl found as a stray in Georgia, with her young pup, and was spayed down there, and headed up the I-95 dog underground railroad to 6th Angel German Shepherd Rescue, where she was treated for heartworm and then fostered out on Long Island. She was there for a year before we saw her listed for adoption.
Kate was then “Lady,” and we were told that she was extremely dog aggressive and shouldn’t go to a home with another dog. Sure… whatever… we filled out the application, went to meet her after the hearing in Newark, and took “Lady” and our Kenya for a walk. They fussed a bit at first, but when we got back to the house and put Ken in the van, “Lady” jumped right in. No doubt about it, she wanted to be our dog. So a week later, after the house visit, we went back to Long Island to pick her up.
“Lady” is no name for a dog of mine, and no name for a German Shepherd, so given all our grrrrrrrrls were “K” grrrrrrls, she became “Kady.” And getting to Delaware was kind of a rude awakening for our new grrrrl, she arrived just in time for FOUR feet of snow:
And she was clearly dog aggressive:
After Kenya died, we were inexplicably drawn to our Little Sadie, and life with Sadie was quite an adjustment for our shep grrrrl, but they became fast friends (one faster than the other!):
And then there’s the day that we brought them east to Co. R. E near Oconomowoc, WI to pick up a third sister, the irrepressible Summer!
Next thing she knows, Kady and the big galoot are headed down to St. Louis for BaronFest I for some GSD bonding, and that did it for these grrrrls:
And these grrrrrls got along famously, when they weren’t being bitches and drawing blood:
And then a year later, BaronFest II:
And then the next year, she was on her own for BaronFest:
(where are the rest of those BaronFest photos???)
Kady was a quiet grrrrrrl, a good match for her rowdy sister Sadie. She loved the neighborhood kids and was oh-so-gentle, and loved to be loved up. She was my constant companion every day, spending most of her time under my desk or behind in her spot with her toes curled around the wheels of my chair — YEOW!
It was time… she’d checked out and was just existing, no fun for her. We will miss her every day. Sadie seems to be pissed at us, and when we got home and she smelled us over good, she ran into the living room, jumped up in “her chair,” and was cowering and shaking, so I guess we need to convince her that we won’t be taking her to the vet any time soon.
November 19th, 2014
There’s a “State Rail Plan” and it’s up for comment NOW! But I’m wondering just what it is that they’re trying to do, and it seems like the goal is to secure public spending for necessary private infrastructure. If not, what’s the goal here?
MN DOT has been holding meetings all over the state, Alan went to one in Red Wing last week, and there’s a couple more coming up:
Nov. 24: Moorhead, MN
Hjemkomst Center 5 – 7 p.m.
Nov. 25: Winona, MN
City Council Chambers 5 – 7 p.m.
What’s up for comment?
Start with this 2010 Report from the DOT website:
And updates to consider:
- DRAFT – Tech Memo 1: Vision for Rail in Minnesota (PDF 2.2 MB)
- DRAFT – Tech Memo 2: Freight Rail Supply and Demand (PDF 6.3 MB)
- DRAFT – Tech Memo 3: Passenger Rail System (PDF 721 KB)
- DRAFT – Tech Memo 4: Integration of Freight and Passenger Planning (PDF 1.2 MB)
- DRAFT – Tech Memo 5: Performance Measures (PDF 190 KB)
- DRAFT – Tech Memo 6: Investment Needs (PDF 2.0 MB)
- DRAFT – Tech Memo 7/8: Institutional Relationships (PDF 1.1 MB)
- DRAFT – Tech Memo 9: Financial and Implementation Plan (PDF 296 KB)
Now check this, from last February:
Why is this news? Isn’t it their job to keep the rails in decent shape, to invest in their own infrastructure, not just to put money in Warren Buffet’s pockets!
When the DOT predicts this level of service (LOS) with or without improvements, are they including improvements such as the $5 billion of BNSF? The DOT seems to be cheerleading for PUBLIC spending on PRIVATE infrastructure! These are private for-profit companies (well, some may be “public” in the corporate sense) and they are responsible for their infrastructure. What is the DOT doing to force the rail companies to upgrade to keep their Level of Service (LOS) at an acceptable rate, SAFELY, so they’re able to handle all the freight that they’re wanting to ram through our communities? It’s not the job of government to subsidize the likes of Warren Buffet!
Here’s a freight survey from their site — note it’s called “Metroquest” so go figure.
Something I found interesting when considering rail is this testimony from the Sandpiper pipeline case (go HERE and plug in dockets 13-473 for Certificate of Need and 13-474 for Routing):
They’re framing this Bakken BOOM! as binary, either rail or pipeline, and whenever something is framed that way, that’s a big red flag to take a closer and more thoughtful look.
DOT says there are going to be “stakeholder” meetings — meetings that should be well attended by people like us! From their site:
- Three major stakeholder meetings are also scheduled, coinciding with the November 2014 Passenger Rail Forum, the December 2014 Freight Summit, and the January 2015 Passenger Rail Forum. A second round of open houses will be held in early 2015.
So when are these meetings? Passenger Rail Forum meetings are supposed to happen monthly but don’t. Just this last Monday, Gov. Dayton’s “Rail Summit” was supposed to have happened. MPCA Commissioner Stine mentioned it at yesterday’s meeting and said there would be another next month, and Frank Hornstein’s fb post, but there’s very little about it in the news other than announcements 10/31 that it would happen, in St. Paul, and of course we all weren’t invited: http://hometownsource.com/2014/10/31/gov-dayton-to-convene-minnesota-rail-summit-on-nov-17/
Here’s how it’s framed by our good friends at KSTP — if you click on the link, it’s pipeline promotion:
KSTP.com-Nov 17, 2014Railroad, agriculture and political leaders will be attending the Governor’s Rail Summit to talk about increasing railway safety, addressing the …
Back to the DOT — look at this “Passenger Rail Forum” and how that’s been “working” — meeting after meeting canceled:
All forum meetings are held from 10 a.m. to noon at the State Office Building unless otherwise specified below. Meetings will be canceled when there are insufficient topics to merit a meeting.
State Office Building, Room 5
100 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd
St. Paul, MN 55155
Location / Time
Jan. 6, 2014 Canceled Feb. 3, 2014 Canceled March 3, 2014 Conference call April 7, 2014 Conference call May 5, 2014 Conference call June 2, 2014 Canceled July 7, 2014 Canceled Aug. 4, 2014 Conference call Sep. 8, 2014 Rescheduled to Sept. 15 via conference call Oct. 6, 2014 Canceled Nov. 10, 2014 State Office Building, Room 5, 10 a.m. to Noon Dec. 1, 2014 State Office Building, Room 5, 10 a.m. to Noon
Check out their site. What are they really doing here? What’s really at issue? I think we’re looking at a scam to get the public to pick up the tab for infrastructure updates that haven’t been made over the last few decades:
These slides are from this presentation — note the date: November 12, 2009… presented at the November 12, 2010 meeting (That’s what the date is on the site, and the 2009 date matches up with the properties date.) ???
November 18th, 2014
The Orders are out! On October 30, 2014, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission ordered that the permit for the Black Oak (10-1240) and Getty (11-831) wind projects be amended. This is the one where they were “NOT” talking about “layout.” Or so the Chair most emphatically said (despite the meeting notice, staff briefing papers, and their order options saying layout was at issue).
The written order came out today — note that the term “layout” is used 27 times in the Order… and then there’s the attached permit for a total of 41 times… oh, and the part about ownership:
And on that note, here are Comments filed yesterday in the Certificate of Need docket:
November 8th, 2014
Defamation laws and truth be damned — KSTP helps police union slam Minneapolis Mayor and Neighborhoods Organizing for Change. Sounds like actual malice to me!
This is all about police harassment of Neighborhoods Organizing for Change, police harassment of Navelle Gordon, and slapping up the Mayor of Minneapolis to divert attention. Very naughty…
Seems #pointergate is missing a big part of the story. It’s not just that the KSTP “story” just absurd, but it’s it’s worse… the public flap is focused on gang signals and the Mayor, but is avoiding the point that KSTP is complicit in their promotion of the police union party line. Does KSTP not know or care that the guy in question, Navell Gordon, is one of the Neighborhoods Organizing for Change workers that police harassed arrested for canvassing? Does KSTP know or care that police have been harassing Neighborhoods Organizing for Change? Why isn’t that the news? The STrib did link the KSTP story to Gordon’s arrest this morning in a buried paragraph, saying, “Activists also stood up for Gordon in September after cops allegedly tackled and handcuffed him while he was collecting signatures outside Cub Foods.” But folks, shouldn’t that arrest be the headline when discussing the backstory of why this is front page news?
The Mayor and Chief of Police were out with Neighborhoods Organizing for Change canvassers doing GOTV. And the police union and KSTP put this twist on it? The police chief has been under fire for police behavior, video cameras are now part of the uniform, and it’s good she’s getting into the neighborhood, out in public on the streets. There’s a systemic problem here with police harassment of Neighbors Organizing for Change.
In the #pointergate blather, I’ve yet to see FOCUS on the retaliation by police for the challenges to their roughing up and improper arrest of NOC organizer Navell Gordon when he was canvassing outside of CUB foods on September 14. Police also improperly arrested NOC’s Wintana Melekin when she was checking up on her organizer’s arrest. Pre-election, police were called on NOC by School Board candidate Don Samuels for handing out hotdogs!!! — and those cases winding through the court system are going to expose this harassment. NOC’s
Wintana Melekin of NOC is the one here leading the Pledge of Allegiance when Michelle Obama was in town:
Here’s the video of Melekin’s arrest when she was interviewing witnesses to her organizer’s arrest, an eyewitness who was told by police to leave or they’d shoot her. They told her she was trespassing and arrested her, the witnesss challenged police:
MPR’s Explaining #pointergate: The missing context misses the main point! SO bizarre, when MPR reports about the “missing context” they don’t even mention the bogus pre-election arrest of Gordon or the harassment of Neighborhoods Organizing for Change:
Article by: Libor Jany
September 15, 2014 – 11:28 PM
Community activists said Monday that a Minneapolis police officer used excessive force when arresting an outreach worker and then threatened to shoot witnesses to the incident.
Neighborhoods Organizing for Change (NOC) officials said that Navell Gordon, 22, of Minneapolis, was collecting signatures for a petition to restore felons’ voting rights outside Cub Foods at 701 W. Broadway on Thursday when an employee asked him to leave.
Officials claim that Gordon was approached by an officer, identified in a police report as Tyrone Barze Jr., who, after a brief exchange, tackled and handcuffed him.
When several witnesses protested, Barze reportedly threatened to shoot them if they persisted, said Wintana Melekin, NOC’s community engagement director.
Melekin said she rushed to the scene after learning of Gordon’s arrest and was arrested after confronting Barze.
A three-minute YouTube video, at tinyurl.com/o3za4wv, purportedly of the exchange showed an officer repeatedly asking Melekin to leave the store or face arrest. After escorting her outside, it appeared that Melekin tried to go back into the store, at which point the officer arrested her.
The incident happened about 7:30 p.m. Thursday.
Both Melekin and Gordon were charged with trespassing and released at the scene.
Police spokesman Lt. John Elder said he couldn’t comment, because the investigation is ongoing.
“Generally speaking, people have the right to do political canvassing, to talk to people, to hand out literature on what are known as public forums, which are public streets and public sidewalks,” said Teresa Nelson, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota.
Melekin said Gordon was standing on Cub property at the time of his arrest, but said she believed that the officer’s use of force far exceeded what was needed.
Barze, a five-year veteran of the force, has been named in at least two recent lawsuits, including one in which he was accused of using a “neck restraint” to control a combative high school student, causing the teenager to lose consciousness. Barze could not be reached for comment.