Ed Berger has died…

October 11th, 2008

A depressing email came in from Jan Nye… Ed Berger is off to the big audition, and my guess is he’ll do fine. As he often said, “Tryin’ is lyin’ … if you were tryin’ you’d be doin’ it.” He was doin’ it. I spent a couple years learning a few things about alto from him, and jawin’ at “The Trough” over coffee and his ever-present cigarettes, getting some program reinforcement, a time to stop “tryin” and just start doing it. He has a lot to do with where and who I am today, and I’m grateful for lessons learned. As he would say, “a great human bean...”

Memorial at the AQ tomorrow 5-9 p.m. From the AQ site:

Eddie Berger will be remembered in music and stories by friends and fellow musicians.

* Music starts at 5 p.m. and is expected to go until 9 p.m. or so
* Rhythm section: Mikkel Romstad (piano), Anthony Cox (bass), Phil Hey (drums)
* Anyone else who wants to play—everyone welcome
* Expecting old-school players from Eddie’s past, members of the TC jazz community
* People will share memories, bring food (potluck)

Photo by Tom Gitelson

And in the STrib:

Alto sax player Eddie Berger brought bebop to Minnesota

The Minneapolis man was hailed by musicians and aficionados as a mainstay of the Twin Cities jazz scene.

By BEN COHEN, Star Tribune

When Eddie Berger, a Twin Cities jazz saxophone mainstay, was growing up in Philadelphia, he was a clarinet player.

In his early years, he was partial to swing music, idolizing the likes of Benny Goodman. But after pioneering bebop saxophonist Charlie Parker arrived on the scene, Berger changed his allegiance and his instrument.

Berger moved to Minneapolis in 1959 and established it as a beachhead for bebop in the Upper Midwest. He died of lung disease Oct. 4 in Minneapolis. He was 76.

During the past 16 years, he had been ill with heart disease, emphysema and colon cancer. Still, he performed until a year ago. A respirator was a part of his stage equipment.

He was a towering jazz figure in the Twin Cities, said Phil Hey of Hopkins, a longtime drummer with Berger.

“He taught a whole lot of us around here about the style of Charlie Parker, how you get from note to note, how you put those ideas together, and about the rhythm,” Hey said.

In the early 1950s, Berger served in the Army, playing in a military band in Hawaii. He landed in Minneapolis in 1959, tired of life on the road, touring the country. He established long-running showcases at William’s Pub and the old Artists’ Quarter.

“Ed was a great mentor to a lot of younger musicians, myself included,” said Kenny Horst, a drummer who owns the Artists’ Quarter club in St. Paul. “He was a sweet guy.”

Berger taught at the West Bank School of Music and South High School in Minneapolis and out of his home.

He gave band mates and students more than lessons. “‘Get there early to get how the room feels, and be ready to play,'” Hey said he admonished.

After beating chemical dependency 30 years ago, he also warned of its dangers, and that musicians were especially subject to its allure.

“You either choose life, or you choose death,” Hey quoted him as saying.

Sax player Dave Karr of Minneapolis called him a jazz “purist.”

“When you heard Eddie, you knew you were getting all of him,” Karr said.

After earning a broadcasting degree from the Brown College of Minnesota, he hosted a jazz program on KFAI Radio for 25 years.

He instilled his performances with comedy but was always serious about jazz, said his partner, Nancy Grindland of Minneapolis.

He was an avid sports fan, fond of the Phillies baseball team. He once played semi-professional baseball.

His wife, Darlene, died 35 years ago.

In addition to Nancy, he is survived by his son, Ed Berger, of Mountain Lake, Minn.; daughter, Dawn Voelker, of Belle Plaine; sister, Kay Benvenuto, of Galloway, N.J.; and one granddaughter.

A memorial celebration will be from 5 to 9 p.m. Sunday in the Artists’ Quarter, 408 St. Peter St., St Paul.

Today was the first meeting of the Citizens Advisory Task Force (CATF) for the Prairie Island uprate and dry cask storage expansion. They’re meeting only THREE times over the next three weeks. Let’s see, the purpose of a Task Force is to review and vet the application (yes, Commissioner Reha was quite clear of the importance of vetting the application), to make recommendations about alternatives and issues to address in the EIS, but you wouldn’t know it from tonight’s meeting. And he didn’t have copies of the charge for members. MOES memo from him to Glahn was done 10/6 and efforts to pull it up last night were utterly frustrating, the PUC site was down, I got around in the backdoor, but it took 45 minutes of trying to get the link to work — anyone trying to find it last night was as frustrated as I was. The PUC issued an Order about the Task Force 10/7, but the entire PUC site was down and it was not in the “Orders” section and I couldn’t find away around that block so I’ll post that if it becomes available… AAAAAAAAAAGH!

And yes, it’s happening again, not enough time… and it’s set up that way. The Task Force members didn’t even have the applications until tonight. They had to shut down at 8:30 rather than 9 as was announced… GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR. But it gets worse. Bill Storm has appointed himself master of the Task Force, claiming that the PUC established the Task Force, that they ordered that he preside over it… like hell… I was at the PUC meeting, they did no such thing. That’s just how Commerce things it should be done — but the people on this Task Force who were around for the Goodhue County nuclear task force know better… Oh, and did I mention there was no tape recorder? No court reporter to take minutes? HUH??? NO RECORD OF THE PROCEEDINGS??? OH MY!!

At that same PUC meeting last week, there was a suggestion that due to the time crunch, if the Task Force could continue as a work group after the EIS Scope was released, proposed by I believe Commissioner Pugh, but maybe Chair Boyd, and Chair Boyd specifically asked Bill Storm if MOES had any objection to a work group and he said NO, NO OBJECTION! Was this raised last night at the meeting? NO!!! And of course the public was not allowed to speak.

Last night, I raised concerns about his proposed “charge” because as stated, it did not address submission by the Task Force of a report. HOW BIZARRE!!! The PUC Commissioners tossed it around and did not order it but said very clearly “They can do one if they want.” Storm is trying to characterize it as “it’s not in the order, they can’t do it.” I don’t think so!

The whole point of all of this is Commerce’s attempts to neuter the public. Over and over and over. Why? Because once people look at these applications, they find there are problems, issues not addressed, and things that call it all into question… can’t have that now, can we?


Meanwhile, the PUC site is down down down, and I finagled this link the final Task Force charge:

Task Force Charge

I hope it works better for you than it has for me! The main Prairie Island uprate page asked for an admin name and password! Supposedly the Prehearing Order also came out, but the PUC side of things, the “Search Documents” is as bad as the Energy Facility Permitting side, nothing comes up when I search any docket…

I found the First Prehearing Order, issued October (now that the PUC site is working again):

First Prehearing Order

Bill Storm claims that there was a PUC order regarding the Task Force but it’s nowhere to be found. There’s the words and a dead link on the MOES site that now no longer requires a password!!!


So now I talked with Janet Gonzalez who referred me to Mike Kaluzniak who sent this… it’s an “Informal Order” which says nothing new:

Commission Meeting Agenda Item #6
September 25, 2008

The above-entitled matter has been considered by the Commission and the following disposition made:

Authorized formation of an Advisory Task Force pursuant to Minn. Stat. § 216E.08 and Minn. Rules, Part 7849.5270. The structure, charge, and duration of the Advisory Task Force shall be as presented in the attached comments of the Minnesota Office of Energy Security, Energy Facility Permitting, with one exception: the composition of the Advisory Task Force shall be expanded to include a representative of the townships of Goodhue County.

The Commission agrees with and adopts the attached recommendations of the Office of Energy Security, modified as to the composition of the Advisory Task Force as set forth above.


Let’s see, this Informal Order is just a prefunctory statement and doesn’t mention their statement that the Task force could continue if it wanted to, there’s no mention of the Task Force being able to write a report if it wanted to, which they DID say. There’s nothing that backs up Bill Storm’s statement that the PUC said he was to PRESIDE over the Task Force, which they assuredly did NOT say.

OK, fine, I’ll get a tape from the PUC…

It’s bad enough that this damn bailout bill passed, HOW DARE THEY!  But worse, they’re reporting on the wrong vote, saying that the bill passed 263-171, when it didn’t.

What on earth is wrong with reporters, papers, etc.

The vote on the Senate Amendment was 263-171. I watched that come down on the ABC life feed… folks, that’s just the House accepting the Senate Amendment to HF1424.



It seems to me too many will get credit for voting against the bill when all they did was vote against the Senate Amendment and they actually voted FOR the bill.

This is too weird…

Weird, the House is voting right now, and the Republicans are essentially tied, but the Democrats are voting for it by far. Hmmmmmmm…

Washington Post Link for live vote

It’s over, passed, the Amendment adopted, more Republicans voted against it than for it, and Democrats voted for it 2-1.

Now they’re voting on whether to suspend the rules and pass it. 276 votes in and not a single “NAY”… It passed, not a single vote against it before they cut away, there were a hand-full of “NV” not voting, but I don’t have the final… DISGUSTING

This is about the Prairie Island nuclear generating plant uprate and dry caskdockets, so first, here’s how to get to that docket on the PUC site.

1) Go to www.puc.state.mn.us

2) Go to “eDockets” on left side

3) Go to “search documents”

4) Search for 08-509

I’d also been to the Scheduling Conference on this docket, and here are my notes on scheduling, the EIS is due out March 17, 2009; the deadline for Intervention is April 15, 2009. These are tentative, and the final scheduling order will be out… ???

PI Schedule proposed by MOES

As you may recall, I supported having a Citizen Advisory Task Force and submitted the following letter and exhibits, and went to the PUC to argue the point. Commerce once again strongly opposed a CATF. WHY? We can guess… anyway, we won:

Letter – Citizen Advisory Task Force September 24, 2008

Exhibit A – City of Lindstrom Motion for Extension of Task Force

Exhibit B – Mesaba – EPA Comment on DEIS

Exhibit C – Mesaba Project – US Army Corps of Engineers Comment

The focus of this was first, the necessity of a Citizen Advisory Task Force, and secondly, the necessity of a Task Force being done correctly, i.e., allowed sufficient time to do the job, which has not happened lately, time has been too short and no one cares. The Task Force struggles, but without sufficient, the alternatives presented for analysis are too few, not covering a reasonable spectrum of possibilities, and in the case of Mesaba, federal agencies participating in the EIS are saying the alternatives analysis just isn’t up to snuff, “INADEQUATE,” and they just can’t get the EIS done now! It’s that bad a job. So I warned the PUC about this and urged them not to set it up similarly, that they should appoint the Task Force and allow enough time to analyze the application, address issues for scoping, and propose alternatives. Simple enough… well, we got the task force.

So today I learn that there’s a “Special” Red Wing City Council meeting to pass a resolution about Prairie Island. I wasn’t expecting much, given the city’s long term support of the plant and the convoluted relationship between Prairie Island and Red Wing — I regard it as an abusive relationship where Red Wing is constantly getting screwed, what with Prairie Island/Xcel successful in cutting the utility personal property tax base out from under us after using the city and county to lobby for them in 1994. Despite all the abuse, Red Wing says, “But I love Prairie Island Nuclear Generation Plant” and they just won’t stand up.

Here’s the Resolution they passed, with just a couple changes, minor typo or forgotten word types of changes:

Red Wing City Council Resolution

And here’s the one that I find disturbing, the cover letter. Why? Because there’s a few pretty wild statements that are a stretch:

Cover Letter – Red Wing City Council Resolution

They were in a hurry to get this in because October 7, Monday, is the deadline for submitting Comments, and there’s no council meeting before then. But did they understand that the purpose of Comments isn’t support or rejection of the project, but issues to raise in the environmental review? I don’t think they really got it, and there were at least three questions that showed they don’t know the process or what’s at issue yet, so it’s premature for them to be making any substantive comments. Scoping comments are mostly just light sketches ofissues to be raised, so that they can do. What’s troubling about their resolution is that they made some conclusory statements that they have no basis in fact to make… well, let me back up a bit here… did I mention that it was said at the meeting tonight that “their” Resolution was reviewed and approved by Mike Wadley and Glen Kuhl? MICHAEL WADLEY, WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING?? More likely than not they wrote it or put in the guts of it… ‘nough said… here are a couple quotes, and what’s most interesting is that I see big red flags on Xcel’s weaknessess, or perceived weaknesses:

The City of Red Wing believes that nuclear energy is a reliable and safe source of energy.

I guess they’ve not read the nuclear calendar or gone to Target, official distributor, to get their Potassium Iodide ration…

The City of Red Win requests that the City be given “partner” status in the review/evaluation process.

Confusing… at the time, I assumed it meant “party” status, which will require Intervention, but then the thought occurs to me that it means “partner” as in they’re joining in presenting/requestion uprate and dry cask storage? Hmmm… better check this out. OK, now here’s one that’s hilarious:

WHEREAS, The City of Red Wing believes the 3-4 degree temperature increase in water temperature (mostly winter time). We think it will not affect living matter, but DNR is the expert on this. The consumption of water from the river including increased evaporation rate will raise the amount of water needed from approximately 39 cubic feet per second to 43 cubic cfs;

OK, let’s be honest here. What do members of the City Council know about impact of water temperature increase? What do they know about the evaporation rate? Have they done the math of 39cfs and 43 cfs, raise it 4 cf/second. There’s 7.48052 gallons/cf, so that’s 19299.7416 gallons per minute, 1,157,984/hr, and 27,791,627/day, 1,043,944,184 gallons annually. The increase is 4cfs, or 29.9 gps, 1795 gpm, 107,719 gph, 2,585,267 gpd, and 943,622,714 gallons annually. That adds up quickly. Did anyone on the council do the math? Maybe Mike Hall, as a part of his job at Prairie Island…

Here’s another one that’s a hoot:

WHEREAS, The City of Red Wing acknowledgtes that the extended power upgrade used will have a slightly larger diameter fuel pellet changing the uranium in the reactor at the beginning of the fueling cycle from 1650MWt to 1805MWt. This may raise the radioactivity and radionuclitides emitted about one-half millirem, still very much within safety standards…

Uh-huh… so how many on the council can explain what “MWt” is?

I’m not to worried about stuff like this, other than it being an embarrassment to the Council, voting on things they know nothing about, but the purpose of this is a Comment for scoping of the EIS, and the issues are raised, and it’s for the Task Force to supplement the record as they can on issues they’re concerned about, the EIS will not just list but MUST analyze the issues and impacts, and its’ for us to Comment on them substantively during the process. So I’d say there’s a lot of edumacation about to happen…

In the meantime, dig this:

Equipment glitches triggered shutdown at Monticello nuke plant