Photo Fair Use from Plymouth Foundation via MinnPost

The other day we were coming back from the Reuse Center or somewhere, oh, it was the Xcel Rate Case hearing at Sabathani, got there 15 minutes too late… and anyway, I saw this building I hadn’t noticed before, that happens when you’re an old fart… it’s near Mayflower , next to it.  That was my parent’s church, and I had to go until I got out of the house, back then it was at what is now the Museum of Russian Art, beautifully rehabbed, well recovered from that fire back in the early ’70s.  Anyway, there IS a new building, it wasn’t my imagination, today in MinnPost:

Minneapolis church gives up land for a greater good: ‘workforce housing’

I remember my mother talking about Jean and Dwight Wagenius’ buns…


… really, seems it’s an Easter tradition, every year they make and bring Hot Cross Buns to church.  Now that Dwight has a church of his own (there is life after being an Asst. A.G.) does the tradition expand?


Spring in Red Wing!

April 15th, 2011


So I’m sitting here working and staring out the window, looking up the bluff, and a deer saunters across, about 30 feet above the poop deck outside my office, and then coming down and down the bluff into my back 40 (40″ that is, behind the kitchen and laundry room, 4o” of flat land behind the house before the retaining wall up the bluff).  She liked the day lilies, and over there, there are more than enough to keep a few young deer going.


That’s out the back kitchen window, over the dog kennel, where the deer’s having a little brunch.

There’s deer hunting in Red Wing, this house is in the official “Hunting Zone.”  I could bow hunt off my deck, or open my office window, and the deer are probably glad I’m a veggie… a Sagittarian with a bow is a dangerous thing.


Here’s a flyover that says it all…

Fukushima: ‘much bigger than Chernobyl:’ expert

Although I’d argue that it’s certainly a lot worse than that:
Fukushima is now the radioactive Deepwater Horizon of the Pacific

On Sunday, it’s Summer!

April 7th, 2011


Noooooo, we know it’s spring, but on Sunday, we’re going to Wisconsin to meet, and likely bring home, our new adopted doggy, a 12 y.o.  GSD named Summer.  She needs a retirement home, and that’s something we’re good at.  What struck me about her is she’s Kenya’s twin, that perky smile, bright eyes (even if they can’t see) and this dear dog has 4 legs that work.


She doesn’t eat cats, and in case you didn’t notice, she’s a big’un, 120 pounds, WOW, that’s bigger than Krie the Big Galoot!  She has some health issues, but nothing we can’t handle, and with her good attitude, she should fit right in with Kady and Little Sadie.

summer3Who can resist a smile like that?


There’s a problem with not having a dog in the fight, and that is that I’ve not been tracking what’s going on in the Hiawatha Project Certificate of Need docket, or more correctly, what’s NOT going on.  OH MY!  Look what I just learned!


Yup, really, here’s the notice:

PUC’s Notice of Comment Period

That was sent out in early March, setting the deadline for Initial Comments as March 31, 2011, and Reply Comments for April 29, 2011.

This Certificate of Need is going through the “informal process,” something arbitrary set up by the PUC and MOES, with no rules, and oh, it is going weirdly.  Here’s the PUC Order authorizing the “informal process” that was issued in February:

Order of PUC establishing “informal process”

Let me see if I understand this.  The Environmental Report is not done, in fact it’s not yet begun, the Scoping Comments were due yesterday, April 6, 2011.   And the notice for the Scoping of the Environmental Report notes that there will be a public hearing on need, as required by the statute and rules, after the Environmental Report is released.

… but the initial Comment period is closed, the Reply comment period ends April 29, 2011, and all of that will be over before the Environmental Report is done and before the “Public Hearing.”  HUH?  This makes no sense.

Worse, the only party to file comments by the March 31, 2011 deadline was MOES!  There were how many intervenors in the Routing docket, and they raised such a stink about the need for a Certificate of Need proceeding that they rammed through a bill requiring it, and now that it’s begun (and now that their $90k was line-item vetoed by Pawlenty) they are all absent, not a one has bothered to show up and submit a single Comment.  Give me a break!  What does it take to put a comment in?  And not one… and a few have submitted letters saying they won’t be intervening, notably the large funded intervenors:

Letter from Hennepin County, City of Minneapolis and Midtown Greenway Coalition, stating they have no intention of intervening

…sigh… gee, I wonder why they’re not intervening…

Anyway, here’s what MOES has to say, and remember this is the beginning, not nearly the end:

MOES – Comments and Recommendation

So once again, let me see if I understand this.  MOES has submitted Initial Comments recommending that this Certificate of Need be approved, and is basing that on the Application, and to support that Recommendation, using demand data from 2006, and using the Chisago Project record from 2007 as the basis for saying that a determination regarding undergrounding should be made in the routing docket.  Really, that’s what it says, PLEASE read it!


Look what Xcel filed on January 6th, 2011, as a “Supplemental Filing” replacing their “Appendix B, Figure 7, Monthly Demand and Capability” chart (click to enlarge):


Compare that “Net Peak Demand” with the original chart — there’s a LOT more capability than demand… but hey, we knew that:


So can you believe this MOES Recommendation to grant the Certificate of Need?  Where are my waders…


MOES clearly has not taken this chart into account showing a 10-15% decrease in demand.  Plus MOES is not taking into account any Comments because theirs were filed on the first deadline!  They’re taking everything Xcel says in its application and presuming it’s fact!  Even the 55MW need claim based on 2006 data.  HELLO?!?!

A Recommendation should come at the end of the process, not the beginning.  DUH!

Well, here we go… Reply Comments due April 29, 2011.

Duck and cover!