I Voted


For those of you interested in how we got to where we are on this, take a look at what the Olmsted County Regional Railroad Authority has been doing:


Board Packets & Minutes

 Regional Railroad Authority

Meeting Date Packets Minutes
June 23, 2009 Packet (117KB) Minutes (13KB)
January 19, 2010 Packet (38KB) Minutes (9KB)
June 22, 2010 Packet (11KB) Minutes (10KB)
December 14, 2010 Packet (43KB) Minutes (8KB)
January 18, 2011 Packet (49KB) Minutes (13KB)
September 27, 2011 Packet  (837KB) Minutes  (11KB)
October 25, 2011 Packet (69KB) Minutes (29KB)
November 22, 2011 Packet  (23KB) Minutes (14KB)
January 17, 2012 Packet (65KB) Minutes (8KB)
February 21, 2012 Packet (60KB) Minutes  (12KB)
April 24, 2012 Packet (26KB) Minutes (15KB)
September 25, 2012 Packet (1140KB) Minutes  (51KB)
January 22, 2013 Packet (28KB) Minutes (9KB)
August 27, 2013 Packet (161KB) Minutes (17KB)
January 21, 2014 Packet (296KB) Minutes (17KB)
 June 24, 2014 Packet (36KB) Minutes

Good news from the MPCA?

July 29th, 2014

MPCA Web logo

Credit where credit is due!  MPCA, keep at it!  You all know I love to slap up the MPCA, well, any agency, when they’re missing the boat.  Well, I also am a big believer in letting them know when they’re doing something right, and I’m cautiously optimistic that we’re seeing the beginning of something important!

For most of this year, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has been holding meetings about Environmental Justice, and it looks to me like the MPCA is working to shift active identification and recognition of environmental justice issues and impacted parties/resources to the agency.  Agency initiative.   Can this be?

Yesterday’s agenda (and GREAT food!):

28 July Agenda Final_MPCA

Check out the MPCA Environmental Justice Page!

I’m a grizzled old fart, and have been around agencies for entirely too long, but what is apparent is that this agency is taking the initiative to address environmental justice issues, and to be proactive, not just reactive.  And it’s not just me, there are a few other grizzled old farts who are encouraged, excited, and looking forward to progress.  It feels like something may be happening.

What I’ve also noticed is that the “usual suspect” organizations are absent.  There’s a big long list on the MPCA Environmental Justice Page and with one exception, they’re no shows.  Karen Monahan, Sierra Club, has done a lot to get this moving.  Is it that these other groups don’t care?  Is it a coincidence that things are happening in their absence?

The “Framework Elements” are:

  • Core Regulatory Services (Permitting, Compliance and Enforcement, etc.)
  • EJ Area Analysis
  • Enhanced Ouutreach
  • Consideration of Cumulative Impacts
  • Stakeholder Engagement

Hey, MPCA — can you post the handouts from yesterday and contact info and meeting notices?

If you are interested in what they’re doing, contact Ned Brooks, the MPCA’s Environmental Justice Coordinator: Ned.Brooks@state.mn.us



Hobby Lobby decision

June 30th, 2014

Here’s the full decision.  … sigh… read the Dissent:

Hobby Lobby_U.S. Supreme Court Case No. 13-354

A short version of this decision, with some implications, taken from the Ginsberg dissent:

In the Court’s view, RFRA demands accommodation of a for-profit corporation’s religious beliefs no matter the impact that accommodation may have on third parties who do not share the corporation owners’ religious faith—in these cases, thousands of women employed by Hobby Lobby and Conestoga or dependents of persons those corporations employ.

This decision mirrors the track of academic “free speech” which follows the institution, not the teachers or students.  This decision follows the corporation, not employees, allowing the corporation to impose its opinions and beliefs on individual workers.  Gee, thanks.

Read the decision, read the dissent…


The hate continues…

June 3rd, 2014

There are things that I find really offensive about Obama’s policies, most notably that he’s been a corporate toady, toadying for transmission lines, toadying for coal (IGCC and otherwise), his energy policies are a big yawn, much ado about nothing.  But to find him offensive in an offensive way, i.e., based on his actions, ???  I just don’t get it.  And to do this anonymously.  That is a line for me, rather than to publicly own or substantiate opinions or beliefs, rather than to publicly object and act, instead to act out secretly in this way… and given our history of lynching of Indians and African Americans in this country, as volatile as drowning of women deemed witches.  This gives me the creeps.

Dummy with Obama mask found hanging from bridge

And it’s happened before, many times:

Why is a Hangin’ Truck Driving Around NYC With President Obama on a Noose

Bush (a different bush) Arrested For Hanging Obama in Effigy

Obama Effigy Hung in Georgia Town

Neighbors Question Hanging Barak Obama Display

I couldn’t remember, much as Nixon, Reagan, and the Bushes were vilified, much more than protests, I do remember dummies of Nixon, and of course comments on the order of Shawn in the bathroom saying he was “making pictures of Richard Nixon.”  So I did some looking, and I’d forgotten a few:

Pants on Fire Bush effigy tours the US

GW Bush Burns in Effigy

Protesters Hang Nixon in Effigy

And there’s a longstanding history of hanging in effigy:

(and now I can’t find it)   … still looking for a choice article that disappeared…