April 8th, 2020

Safe voting, everyone!

Supreme Court of Wisconsin – April 6, 2020:

And then on to the U.S. Supreme Court:


When I found this photo, there was no attribution or discussion, but given it was yesterday, it sure looks like “Voting in Wisconsin” to me:

PUC Complaint process? HA!

April 5th, 2020

Association of Freeborn County Landowners filed letters notifying the Public Utilities Commission of prohibited construction ongoing at the Freeborn Wind site, first last Wednesday, and then on Friday, about fiber optic preparation, equipment storage, and stakes:

And Dept of Commerce EERA response:

Friday’s letter was about installation of fiber optic, when supposedly they had been allowed to grade and put in the foundation of substation and O&M building. Here’s the Compliance Filing about that:

From that filing:

Does this look like “project substation and O&M building site preparation (grading in a row crop agricultural field on land owned by Xcel Energy) and pouring of the concrete pad” to you?

Look at the response we got regarding that fiberoptic construction:

And from that DoC-EERA letter:

Complaint process… hmmmm… how did that work for Bernie and Cheryl Hagen? It took, how many complaints, over, what, SEVEN years before resolution through buy-out and settlement? And about the complaints about the MinnCan pipeline construction…

The complaint process was an issue in the Freeborn Wind contested-case, from AFCL’s Initial Brief quoting none other than Rich Davis:

Yes, that’s the testimony of Rich Davis, Commerce-EERA, the same one who wrote both the letters above. Commerce did not revise the complaint process,. Xcel Energy unilaterally provided its “Complaint Process” on December 6, 2019, just prior to the Commission’s December 19, 2019 meeting about the permit amendment:

There was no opportunity to comment on the “Compliance Filing.” The “Complaint Process” as proposed by Xcel Energy was just tacked on to the Permit, Attachment A, and that was the end of it. Review of the complaint process? Nope, didn’t happen. No change, a cut and paste, this time with an Xcel Energy person as the contact. It’s as dysfunctional as ever.

You want to see complaints made under the permit “complaint process?” OK, we can do that. But be assured that they WILL be PUBLIC, and not hidden, as they were for so long for the Bent Tree project, and others too.

Got some catching up to do — I’ve been sick for almost a month now, felt like the sinus crap I get now and then and I did NOT want it to get “Goodhue Wind can’t talk” bad. I started isolating after a meeting March 5 because Alan was sick, I got it March 8, went to Mayo the end of that week, diagnosed as sinus and treated, and was told to screed for COVID the following Monday, when they were starting drive up testing, and was screened out because my symptoms were the opposite of COVID, but when I called in because I was hacking more, they wanted me to come in to test for COVID. OK, I can do that. Drive-up testing, yes, make it a meal… follow the security guy to the ambulance bay, swab up the nose, and wait 48 hours, maybe less, and NEGATIVE. Now, about this sinus crap…

In short, I’m not working much, brain is on vacation. But a lot has come in since we filed on March 18, 2020:

AFCL appeals PUC denial of EAW Petition

I’d filed a Motion for Consolidation and for a Stay on March 29, 2020 because we were STILL waiting on the Commission’s Order and Record of Decision, which the Commission had not filed, 5 weeks later, after their February 6, 2020 meeting (VIEW WEBCAST HERE! ):

So of course two days later, the Public Utilities Commission finally filed not only the Order denying AFCL’s Petition for EAW, but also granting Xcel Energy its Permit Amendment! April Fools? Nooooo, March 31, 2020…

Then on to April Fools Day, time for AFCL’s monthly status update to the Appellate Court:

Then the Respondents’ Statements of the Case came in:

Next was Xcel Energy’s response to our Motion:

And then the Court Order, dismissing the case until we go through the PUC process of Reconsideration and their (likely) denial of our Reconsideration request, then file appeal again, filing fee from this applicable to that. Good, because we HAD to appeal because for an EAW the appeal clock is triggered by the date the Notice of Decision was published, 30 days after that, it’s got to be filed. Didn’t want to lose opportunity by not filing. So now our appeal is locked in, and we’re back to PUC to “exhaust our administrative remedies.”

Yeah, exhausted, and onward we go.

An earlier Legalectric post:

PUC’s Freeborn Wind Order Amending Xcel Site Permit and Denying AFCL’s EAW Petition

From the WTF!? department

March 26th, 2020

Too little, too late. Too much time wasted lying, denying, and profiteering.



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:

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!