As seen on Hwy. 52 between the Zumbrota exits

Goodhue County is considering modifications of their wind ordinance, and have formed a committee to look at it with county planning staff.

CLICK HERE for the County’s wind page.

And here is the draft ordinance, in pdf’d Track Changes:

Article 18 draft revision 06-14-2010

Here is the report from the Rochester Post Bulletin:

First draft of Goodhue County’s new wind regulations proves unpopular

And from June 15th Beagle:

County seeks more time on wind proposal

We were there to address specifics about proposed changes, and the discussion was wide ranging.

Ben Kerl, National Wind/AWA Goodhue (or whatever their name may be today!) made some astounding statements yesterday.  He actually said, regarding Goodhue County’s ordinance proposal for wind projects, where they proposed to require a copy of the Power Purchase Agreement, to demonstrate it’s not a vaporware project, to help assure “they wouldn’t build an empty building,” and he had the audacity to say that he objected to this requirement, and that he’d have to check with Xcel to see if it could be disclosed.  IF IT COULD BE DISCLOSED!!!

EXCUUUUUUUUSE MEEE?!?!  It’s already public information (redacted a tad-bit), it’s already a public document:

PPA – North Goodhue Wind

PPA – South Goodhue

The PPA provided in the PPA dockets would be sufficient to satisfy the county’s concerns.

That statement of Kerl’s was SO egregious I just couldn’t sit there and let it slide.

These PPAs above are from the Goodhue PPA dockets at the PUC.  To review the full PPA dockets:

  1. Go to; and
  2. Click on “search documents;” and
  3. Search for dockets 09-1348 and 09-1350 (they’re pretty much identical).

Oh, and we were discussing a Property Protection Plan as has been established in other jurisdictions, where the developer essentially guarantees that the property values will not be lower.   Steve Groth raised that issue, and of course Ben Kerl objected, and thought it essentially a black hole of liability that would quash funding.  I raised the “Buy the Farm” provision for transmission as something that is used in transmission to assure that if a landowner wants out, that they could do so.

CLICK HERE for  Minn. Stat. 216E.12 — “Buy the Farm” and go down to Subd. 4.

There’s more, but that requires a little background work, so stay tuned.  In the meantime…

Shame on you, Ben Kerl…


So here I sit in Rochester, and we’ve got a CLE in the Ethics part about blogging and “social media,” which is pretty interesting.  Some examples are a Florida lawyer making a negative blog post (that the judge was an “evil witch”) and lo and behold, the judge found out because she was his “friend” on Facebook.  Another one was a lawyer who was on a jury and was blogging about the case he was on.  DUH, how stupid can you get?!?!

The examples are extreme, i.e., a judge discussing cases on Facebook, again, DUH!

And on another note… A real depressing part of this gathering was the “State of the 3rd District” which was about the struggles to maintain some semblance of a court system (don’t worry, I’m not going to claim any semblance of justice in this gutting) amidst layoffs, and moving court workers to other counties, even telling some that they now had to work 60 miles away, that judges are grossly overloaded and they have 75% of the judges they need for the caseloads, and that they don’t even have individual law clerks now, and are closing the front desk and shutting off the phones one afternoon a week in an attempt to catch up, how absurd can it be?  Do you know that to help mitigate the slashes to the Public Defender budget we attorneys now pay an extra $100 annually?  Is this any way to run a court?  It just made me sick, the 3rd Chief Judge spent about 20 minutes laying all that horrific news out, and then, the moderator introduces the new Pawlenty appointed Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Lorie Skjerven Gildea.  She offered empty platitudes, “we have to work together in this difficult time” or some such… GIVE ME A BREAK, WASN’T SHE LISTENING TO THE “STATE OF THE3RD DISTRICT?”  Her boss is responsible for this sorry state.

Here’s one take on Gildea’s appointment, from an Eric Black column on MinnPost:

It’s awkward.

Gov. Tim Pawlenty yesterday elevated Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Lorie Gildea to be chief justice just eight days after Gildea had published a strong dissent taking Pawlenty’s side in the unallotment case. Awkward.

State Rep. Ryan Winkler, who is also an attorney, used stronger language. In a press release (that means he had time to think about his word choices), he called the appointments “nauseating.” He said Gildea’s promotion was “just a big thank you for the loyal dissent she wrote last week defending Governor Pawlenty’s illegal unallotments.” See if you can guess Rep. Winkler’s political party.

Take a few minutes and read the whole column:

Pawlenty’s Supreme Court picks raise sticky and embarrassing issues


Xcel Energy, or Northern States Power, whichever, has filed its brief in the Routing docket for the Hiawatha Transmission Project.

Xcel/NSP Post-Hearing Brief

Xcel/NSP Proposed Findings of Fact, Conclusions

Also filed is Notice that the transcripts are now available at local libraries, a big help because the cost is prohibitive, they’re not free here as they are in WI or available via FOIA as they are in New Jersey (called OPRA there):

Notice – Transcripts are in the libraries

Which states:

I write to advise that the transcripts for the evidentiary hearings held in the Hiawatha Transmission Project routing proceeding on April 12 – 21 and April 26 – 30, 2010, have been placed in the following libraries: East Lake Library, Hosmer Library, Franklin Library, Central Library, and Roosevelt Library. We have also provided an extra copy to the Central Library with a request that it forward it to the Nokomis Branch once renovations are complete. The transmittal documents are enclosed.

So those of you writing briefs now know where to go!!!!

There goes the Diamante…

June 19th, 2010

One of those days… the good news is that it wasn’t the van!

(cue the sighs)

I’ve had my Diamante for 5+ years, this brown one a replacement for the dark grey/almost black one that grenaded at 267k after nearly 6 years (colors to match the black & tan dog hair!).  This one only has 232k and though it’s got its minor problems, is going strong and I figured at least another 30, but maybe it could hit 300k!  Until this a.m. when Alan popped Kady in the jump seat and went down the bluff to get some parts for the boat he’s putting together:


… and this yahoo down the block backs out of his driveway without looking, and:



… and his response is to start bitching at Alan… Alan started walking back to the house to get his phone and the cops arrived before he even hit the top of the hill, the guy had called, and the cops have dealt with him before.  Kady supervised the scene, too bad there wasn’t a “K-9 Officer” for her to get acquainted with.  Suffice it to say “Parnelli” got a “Failure to Yield” out of it.


… and what did we get out of it?  Well, there’s the door …  it does open sort of, after a bit of a struggle, opens most of the way, with a several inch drop as it pops out of the frame, and it latches with a few serious slams, the bottom outer part is separated from the inside, the front bumper is a bit folded up, the mirror is all scraped up but not broken, but the worst of it is that there is a scary noise in the steering, turning, particularly to the right… sort of a scrapey rattley sound.

How much is this poor thing worth?  Kelley says $1,100-1,600, but fixing it would be SOOOOOO expensive that I don’t know that it’s worth it, a front bumper, fender and door and whatever is going on mechanically on an 18 year old car with 232k.  And I HATE dealing with insurance companies.  The insurance company would probably total it out (and we’re hoping there is an insurance company on the other end of this!).

I love having an old car that works, is paid for, dependable, and fun to drive.  These cars are the greatest for long and fast road trips, 150 MPH speedo and it just might do that comfortably, and great sound, flying along I-90 with the Meters blaring, getting decent mileage all the while, I was so thrilled to find another one of these just at the right time, but now… well, it’s looking grim.  I think it’s on the way to Freecycle.  We can get the police report Monday.

So now something smaller, only one dog now…  a Mazda or Geo — hatchback or wagon?  Sure can’t afford the depreciation to get a Prius off the lot!


Patricia Joy McGovern died on Thursday, June 17, 2010.  She was 83, and what a packed-full 83 years she had.

The factoid about her that never ceased to amaze me was that she was a professional swimmer AND fire baton twirler, AT THE SAME TIME.  She was in the Aqua Follies (remember that?  If you do, you’re probably even older than me!) and was the one who was right in the middle of everything kicking so that she was almost out of the water and twirling fire batons, yes, AT THE SAME TIME.  That’s a pretty tough act to follow.  She was the best mother-out-law, then mother-in-law, and mother-out-law again, anyway, the best ever, a positive and directive influence way back when, and a joy to be around. I remember the never-ending struggles with overwhelmed washing machines and dryers and cars trying to cope with a larger-than-life family.  My favorite memory is of any meal at her house, with 800 people and as many conversations going on all at the same time.  Her door, her heart, and her ear were always open.


That’s Pat in the middle, flanked by Peggy and I, at the St. Lawrence Band reunion back in August of 2005.  Can’t remember what we were snorting about — that’s just what happens when we all get together.

Here’s her obituary:

Patricia Joy McGovern – Obituary


Tuesday, June 22, 2010 from 5-8 p.m.
Cremation Society of MN, Brooklyn Park
7835 Brooklyn Blvd.
Brooklyn Park, MN 55445

Wednesday, 1 hour before service at Church of Open Door

Funeral Service

Wednesday, June 23, 2010 at 11a.m.
Church of the Open Door
9060 Zanzibar Lane N.
Maple Grove, MN