Deer up the bluff — look closely, see the brown spot? That’s a deer about 30 feet up from the “poop deck” off my home office, photo taken from my desk looking up at about a 50 degree angle. Krie was just running around up there yesterday, so I’m suprised they’d stop with fresh dog scent. There are at least 4 who go through probably every day, I’ve seen them between 10 and 11:30 a.m. — I like them up there where they have less of a chance of being another hood ornament or aftermarket groundeffects…


Back to…

What’s up with this rhetorical semantic resistance to reality? Let’s see… I posted the notice I got from nco, verbatim, telling me that they weren’t doing blogs anymore, and Doug Bratland calls it “rumor.” HUH? He blogs:

Weblogs are Alive and Well on

Q: What moves faster than high-speed Internet?

A: The Northfield rumor network!

Of course we’re not eliminating citizen weblogs.

…. stopping hosting of blogs, no more will exist. Sounds like eliminating blogs to me. Sounds like pulling the plug to me! are dead. Long live!

Whatever… I gotta deal with this rumor. I’ve got the domain names, have a … host? server? … So keep your eyes open for Legalectric and OverlandLaw coming soon to a rumor mill near you! In the meantime, I’ll be ruminating… burp!

Yes, I’ve been SWAMPED, too many of these guys hanging around…


Finally, here they are, Letters to the Editor from the Grand Rapids Herald Review, and it’s worth the time — these are examples of why I’m compelled to work on these issues — THE PEOPLE’S VOICE. I’ve just been having that discussion in another context, about the power of blogs, and blogging is just an extension of what we’ve all been doing for centuries, millenia.. . forever… speaking out — that’s our job!

From today’s Grand Rapids Herald Review:

Wind power is more logical solution



I am compelled to write after reading the letter from Kristen Anderson in the Herald-Review, Wednesday, June 14.

Ever since the showing of TV ads touting the production of “clean electricity” from coal, and then there were news stories promoting the funding for the project plus the many letters to the editor regarding the “coal gasification” project, I thought about the eminent pollution possibilities. Kristen certainly did some important research for all of us.
The next thought and question is: Should these Mesaba plants 1 and 2 be built despite popular votes against them? If built, where does the waste go? More particulates and gases into the air? At a time in this century, when scientists tell us that our air is contaminated, do we need to add more contaminants?

Since Minnesota has a Renewable Energy Resources Fund, plus Federal Department of Energy and Iron Range Resources millions of dollars, why are we contemplating using the major portion of it for a project that will be used for converting a non-renewable resource into a lot of pollutants, and then electricity. Senseless! Whose hand is in the public’s pocket?

Look at the situation in Hibbing where there is a 10-acre site with an estimated 2 million cubic yards of coal tar containing a wide variety of contaminants. Do we really want that? Wind power is a more logical solution for our world.

Oh, but then, we wouldn’t have the jobs here. According to the statistics that I have read from Kristenâ??s letter and others, those that would be permanent would be the highly technical jobs.

Has anyone ever noticed the wind propeller on Highway 169 South, near the Elk River landfill? It is providing electricity for something. There are sites in Itasca County and elsewhere, which could do the same. Of course, there are the nay sayers. I say, use the Renewable Energy Resource Fund for just that and not for coal. Parts of our county still are recipients of fall-out from the Clay-Boswell plant in spite of their higher stacks.

Dorothy M. Olds
Grand Rapids

Numbers, by Karl Manning

She referred to Kristen’s letter, Kristen Anderson of Trout Lake Township. Here’s her letter from last Wednesday, June 14, 2006, and keep an eye out for Ed’s LTE!

Adding up the numbers



The coal gasification project proposed on the Scenic Highway is a huge, seemingly overwhelming issue to understand. Using information from Excelsior Energy informational meetings, Excelsiorâ??s reports, and public records, it is helpful to view Excelsior Energy â??by the numbersâ?:
600 – Number of permanent jobs originally proposed in 2003 for plant 1 and 2 (Mesaba 1 and 2)
150 – Permanent jobs proposed in 2004 for Mesaba 1
107 – Permanent jobs proposed in 2005 for Mesaba 1
0 – Number of jobs guaranteed by Excelsior Energy
? – Number of actual jobs for 2011(completion date of Mesaba 1)
447 – Tons of sulfur dioxide to be released each year by Mesaba 1
1,227 – Tons of nitrous oxide to be released each year by Mesaba 1
991 – Tons of Carbon Monoxide to be released each year by Mesaba 1
17.9 – Pounds of Mercury to be released each year by Mesaba 1
174 – Tons of particulate matter (PM2.5) to be released annually by Mesaba 1
6 – Number of phases (plants) planned by Excelsior Energy
18,303 – Estimated work loss days per year due to illness caused by Mesaba 1
10+ – Extra miles of train cars going through Grand Rapids each week
345,000 – Voltage of Transmission lines from Mesaba 1 and 2 to Twin Cities
70 – Increased risk percentage of childhood leukemia within 200 yards of high voltage transmission lines
140 – Height (in feet) of transmission line poles for Excelsior Energyâ??s project
0 – Excelsior equity in Mesaba 1 project
9.5 – Million dollars from IRR for Excelsior Energyâ??s project
10 – Million dollars from state Renewable Energy Resource Fund
36 – Million dollars from federal Department of Energy
800 – Million dollars in federal loan guarantees
12 – Million dollars in state bonding for Itasca County infrastructure
0 – Watts produced thus far by Excelsior Energy
0 – Power plants built thus far by Excelsior Energy
9 – Excelsior Energy â??Our Teamâ? employees
15 – Number of lobbyists working for Excelsior Energy
0 – Acres of green space in original legislation
1,000 – Acres of green space required for Scenic Highway site
0 – Demonstrated need for additional energy in northern Minnesota (in watts)
65 – Percentage of votes opposed to Mesaba project in recent Herald-Review Quick Poll

Kristen Anderson

Train crossing.jpg
Stolen from here

And this one from last weekend’s paper (I can’t figure out if it’s a Saturday or Sunday paper, I think it’s been changing up there…):

Coal project is no fairy tale says reader


The Dirty Coal Choo-Chooâ??a bedtime story.

Once upon a time the wise elders of a northern Minnesota community thought, â??Gee, we like railroad trains and we have railroad tracks running right through townâ??how can we get more trains to come through town? Our subjects need to hear the rumble of trains over the tracks, and the blaring of train horns at all hours of the day. And how fun it is to sit and wait for trains to pass and count railroad cars.â?

The wise elders were contacted by powerful people with lots of money and political connections. The powerful people said, â??We can build a power plant that uses lots of dirty coal. And the best way to bring that dirty, yucky coal from far away Wyoming is by stinky diesel locomotives that chug right through your wonderful northern town.â? And the wise elders were thrilled and bowed to the powerful people and said, â??We will help pay for railroad tracks for your dirty coal trains so that our subjects can be happy and see much dirty coal.â?

So the powerful people told the wise elders, â??If you will support our environmentally unfriendly project we will help make your subjects happy.â? The wise elders were assured that each week five trains, each with 115 cars of dirty coal would travel east through town to the powerful peopleâ??s polluting, monster, power plant and each week five empty trains would travel west through town to return to the dirty coal fields to retrieve more dirty coal to fill the dirty coal cars. And the powerful people told the wise elders that each train with dirty coal would be almost one mile long so that the wise eldersâ?? lucky subjects would be able to see 20 miles of trains with dirty coal each week. The powerful people said, â??Oh how happy your subjects will be and you wise elders will be treated like royalty.â?
And the powerful people said, â??Wise elders, if your subjects are really good and obedient people, we will build another polluting, monster, power plant that uses dirty coal and you will have twice as many dirty coal trains for the subjects to watch.â?

The wise elders were ecstatic as they thought of the joy they would bring to their obedient subjects. The wise elders thought â??our names will live forever! And maybe the powerful people will even name a car that carries dirty coal after each of us. Such an honor!â?

Fairy tale? Nightmare? There is no â??they lived happily ever after.â? Dirty coal trains are but the tip of the iceberg. Learn more about the dirty coal gasification project and you will find that our wise elders are selling out to the powerful people and planning to degrade the quality of our lives and the environment of northern Minnesota.

John Zasada
Grand Rapids

My grey hair is showing… what’s a “database dump and a g’zipped tarball” …

So who’s leaning on them, Tom Micheletti or Karl Rove?

pulling plug.jpg

Just in:


NCO last week made the decision to cut support of all hosted weblogs
on This will allow us to better focus our technical
side toward the main website. I have signed on to handle the migration
of the blogs off

Basically, you have three options for your blog:

Commercial hosting
This isn’t free — you’ll probably spend about $100/year — but it
allows you a lot of freedom. You’d have your own domain (e.g., and you’d have options to upload and share
larger files and other things that you couldn’t get anywhere else.
With this option, I would install the blogging software (it won’t be
Movable Type — the software you currently use — it’d be WordPress),
upload your files, and import your old posts. is a completely free option. You’d get a subdomain
(e.g., I would still import all
your posts, but you will need to upload all of your files (like
pictures you used in your posts) yourself. The interface of the
software you’d be using is identical to the Commercial hosting option.

Dissolve it
If you’re no longer interested in blogging, we’ll provide you with an
archive of your posts and files, which you can restore later if you
change your mind.

One more option: if you’re comfortable with handling this all
yourself, you can choose to do so. I can provide you with a database
dump and a g’zipped tarball of your files.

Please respond as soon as possible: there are many people who need to
be migrated, and it’ll go a lot more smoothly if I can schedule them
seperated out a bit.

I am sorry that we won’t be won’t be able to host your weblog anymore.
As long as you continue blogging, though, your posts will still appear
on the “Blogosphere” page. Your old address
( will redirect your new
blog address for several months after you are removed.

Any blogs that have not been migrated will be removed August 14.

Thank you

I fired off a few points, of course:

Questions – please forward to the board:

1) “better focus our technical side toward the main website.” In what way are blogs such as mine detracting from that focus? Techinical demands, time for training and questions, etc? (on other than mine, I know I’ve had no training and few questions).

2) What is basis for decision?

3) What is cost per blog to nco?

I doubt you all have any idea how much this means to have this repository of documents, and how it makes it possible to get this information out to a broader audience (and in most instances there is ZERO money brought in to me on it, Mesaba is big exception, and the Waseca plant). This to me is what the web is about and a 501(c)(3) mission: provision of information and educaiton. By closing this down, you’re changing the shape, and my bottom line is that I don’t think this is taking resources, either in time or $$$$. Hence 1 and 2 above.

It is a valuable tool with serious political implications that is being silenced. Now I don’t know what’s mission is, but this shift in an age of media constraint and strangulation, the policy silences voices when I think the organization’s purpose is to give community a voice.



Pipeline Route in Scott County

East half - cut.jpg
Eastern half of Transmission Line – Scott & Dakota County

Pipeline Route in Dakota County

Earth to Mars, is anyone paying attention? Ray Cox posted both on the same blog and didn’t even notice…

Look at these maps, folks! Wake up!

And why isn’t there anything on this in the Northfield News?

…zzzzzzzzzzz … everyone’s sleeping at the switch again…

East half - cut.jpg

GRE has served the Notice Plan for the big 345kV line to sweep across the middle of southern Minnesota, from Brookings SD to Hampton Corners (not connecting at PI anymore, but unless the PI-Roch-LaX line originates at Hampton Corners, it will go through PI and there will be upgrades to what’s there). It pretty much parallels Hwy. 19. and the corridor includes Belle Plaine, New Prague, Belle Plaine Twp., Helena Twp., Cedar Lake Twp. and New Market Twp., all in Scott County; in Rice County, it’s Wheatland and Webster and City of Northfield; in Dakota County its Greenvale, Waterford, Eureak, Castle Rock, southern Empire and Hampton Townships and City of Farmington, City of Hampton and City of New Trier. Lots of landowners are affected by this line — not to mention the impact on state energy policy — locking us into a 50+ year commitment to central station power and massive bulk power exports.




Here’s the full map: View image

Here’s the western half: View image

Here’s the eastern half: View image

Here’s the Notice Plan: Download file

Comments are due by 4:30 p.m. on June 29, 2006.

Send Comments to:

121 – 7th Place East, Suite 350
St. Paul, MN 55101

For more info:

PUC – Certificate of Need
Brent Ekness- email
(651) 201-2236

Routing & Environmental Review (formerly EQB)
Deb Pile – email (651) 297-2375

Minnesota state photo.jpg