Anyone who is alert and oriented knows Scott Olson was seriously wounded by Oakland Police last week.  Scott Olson is a common name here in the Midwest, I’ve been working with a Scott Olson on the Susquehanna-Roseland transmission line.  But no, this is a different Scott Olson.

Turns out Occupy Oakland’s Scott Olson is the nephew of George Nygaard, a Viet Nam veteran, long-time energy activist and the transmission cohort who is handling the CETF intervention against CapX 2020’s Hampton to Rochester to LaCrosse line.  Scott had been in Madison weighing in on the Walker regime, got active with Iraq Veterans Against the War and Veterans for Peace, and got involved with the Occupy movement in San Francisco and then Oakland.

The Nation: How the Wounding of a Vet Who Dared to Dissent Stirred a New Wave of Dissent

George has been interviewed a few times about this:

Olsen’s uncle George Nygaard, reached by telephone in Chaseburg, Wis., expressed disgust at the police handling of the situation.

“There had to be a more civil way of meeting the challenge of dealing with these people who wanted to occupy that space than to kick people’s heads around when they have valid concerns about society, what we’re doing and where we’re going,” he said.

And from CNN:

Injured Iraq veteran is face of Occupy movement

October 28, 2011|By Moni Basu, CNN

A vigil is held for Marine Lance Cpl. Scott Olsen, who was injured during an Occupy movement protest in California.

The chaotic scene unfolded with flash-bang grenades, rubber bullets and clouds of smoke. Canisters whizzed through the air amid deafening booms.

Marine Lance Cpl. Scott Olsen went down.

“Medic! Medic!” someone yelled.

Olsen, 24, had seen his share of war in two tours of Iraq as a Marine. He was lucky, returning home physically unscathed.

But Tuesday evening, near the corner of 14th Avenue and Broadway in Oakland, California, Olsen went down.

The video images went viral: streams of crimson flowing down Olsen’s head, his black T-shirt adorned with a white dove of peace, the war veteran carried to a hospital.

And with that, the Occupy movement had a face.

“We are all Scott Olsen,” declared its website.

“It’s ironic,” said his uncle George Nygaard, that Olsen should be the poster child for this movement.

Ironic, said Olsen’s Marine buddy and current roommate Keith Shannon, that a young man who fought for American freedoms should be injured exercising those same freedoms at home.

He was 14 at the time of the September 11 attacks and graduated in 2005 from Onalaska High School with the same sense of patriotism that drove so many young men and women to join the military.

He was working at Lindy’s Subs and Salads when he decided to enlist. Soon, he was in Twentynine Palms in the Mojave Desert for training and the next year on his way to war.

Olsen deployed twice with the 3rd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment to Iraq’s Anbar province, site of some the war’s fiercest battles.

Shannon said they often encountered makeshift bombs in their 2006 tour during which 15 of their fellow Marines died.

Nygaard said Olsen told him about a couple of close calls, one in which he rolled over a roadside bomb that somehow failed to detonate.

Olsen had always been a quiet, shy kid, Nygaard said. A computer whiz, not a jock. And not the type of young man his friends had expected to become an activist.

But war touched Olsen as it does almost everyone who comes that close.

After his last tour of Iraq, he returned home with serious misgivings and gravitated to Nygaard, a former Marine himself who had returned from Vietnam feeling similarly.

In small-town Wisconsin, uncle and nephew talked to each other about the larger issues of war.

“He came back thinking there were better ways to deal with things than war,” Nygaard said.

Olsen’s parents, Nygaard said, didn’t always understand the change in their son. But Nygaard felt an affinity for the young man.

“I am so much more proud of him now than when he was in (the Marine Corps), because he followed through on his convictions,” Nygaard said.

Those convictions led Olsen to Madison this year to join protests of a bill by Gov. Scott Walker to weaken organized labor in Wisconsin.

“Scott thought the workers were getting screwed,” said Nygaard, who was on the streets with his nephew.

This summer, Olsen’s friend Shannon helped him get a job at OPSWAT, a technology firm in San Francisco.

By then, Olsen had become deeply involved with Veterans for Peace and Iraq Veterans Against the War. At one event, he stood with a poster that read: “32 veterans will try to commit suicide every day and 18 will succeed.”

“He worried deeply about his fellow brothers and sisters who are veterans,” Nygaard said.

That’s what prompted him to join the Occupy movement, first in San Francisco and then across the bay in Oakland, Nygaard said. Olsen knew there were many veterans among America’s down and out.

For the past three weeks, he was working during the day and out all night at the Occupy protests, Shannon said. He came home only three or four times to the Daly City apartment the two shared — mainly to do laundry.

Still, the laid-back Olsen was never a screamer. He felt strongly about economic injustice and wanted to add his voice quietly to the fight.

And so, Tuesday night, he was standing there, almost at parade rest, when he went down, witnesses said.

He suffered a skull fracture and was in fair condition in the intensive care unit at Highland Hospital, a hospital spokesman said.

Shannon and Nygaard said Olsen was conscious and communicating by writing on a notepad. Shannon said he has been told Olsen has asked to see him, but doctors have limited visitors. Olsen’s parents were with him at the hospital.

Meanwhile, Oakland police are investigating how Olsen was hurt. Protesters gathered for a vigil in his name.

National outcry over police treatment of the protesters — many others were injured or sickened by tear gas — prompted Oakland Mayor Jean Quan to take responsibility for those who were hurt.

And Scott Olsen became a household name.

But back in Chaseburg, Wisconsin, Nygaard worried for his nephew.

Concussions, he said, can come back to haunt you, even after you get over the bruises. A lot of veterans know that from Iraq and Afghanistan, where head injuries have been common. Only Olsen’s luck ran out here, in America. Nygaard just hopes his nephew will recover to tell his own story.

hiawathaprojectplusmap-3(above – Overland’s take on what’s really happening here, that Hiawatha is “B to C” of a much larger project, one that’s been in progress for years, check the upgrades at that 280 and East Hennepin substation, and at the Wilson sub at 494 and Nicollet, if you want some concrete and steel proof)

Comments are due tomorrow by 4:30 on Xcel Energy’s Hiawatha Project.  Send to:

Beverly Jones Heydinger, ALJ

Office of Administrative Hearings

P.O. Box 64620

St. Paul, MN  55164-0620

or email:

Some documents you might want to check out are:

Xcel’s filing today – Substation location maps

For an even better showing of substations and which serve what area, where you can see that the Southtown Sub stretches to the southwest beyond the study zone, and that Aldrich serves a significant part of the study zone, and St. Louis Park a little bit.  Check the Application, Appendix A, p. 24 of 102 (click for larger version):


And be sure to take a look at the Zima Schedule 2 and 3, I particularly like Sched. 3, that shows that there is a lot of wiggle room there for the transformers, look at Aldrich, even Elliot Park with the smaller transformers.  Here’s Schedule 3 — click for a larger view.


Here are the exhibits that I entered at the public hearing:

10-694 – Ex. 27 – South Mpls Electric Reliability Study

10-694 – Ex. 28 – South Mpls Electric Distribution Delivery System Plan

10-694 Ex. 29 – pages from 2007 Transmission Plan

10-694 Ex 30-MAPP NM-SPG Meeting Minutes 7/24/2008

10-694 Ex 31 From SW MN 345kv Application, Appendix 7 Conductor Specs

Two things to check out to compare with their “forecasting” for this project:

MISO’s Futures Matrix for MTEP 12

MISO Peak Forecasting Metholodogy Review Whitepaper 2011

PSEG’s mowing trees today

October 22nd, 2011


“We make things work for you.”  Oh, ja,  sure, you betcha…

And then there’s Obama’s “fast tracking” and PSEG’s Susquehanna-Roseland transmission line is one of the seven transmission lines Obama picked to ram through.  Northwestern New Jersey is beautiful, a lot like the Minnesota “Range,” lots of rugged terrain, granite, and pine trees.  My clients, Stop the Lines, are based in Newton, NJ, and Fredon Township, which are just west of the New Jersey Highlands, and just east of the Delaware Water Gap.  It’s is such beautiful country.  Not for long if PSEG has anything to say about it.


Guess what they’re doing at 7 a.m. on a beautiful fall morning?  THEY’RE MOWING TREES DOWN:


This is a view off Verdona Road, a cul de sac off of Stillwater Road in Fredon Township.  They started on Tuesday, and were out there today at 7:00 a.m. mowing down everything down to dirt.  There was no notice to landowners and neighbors, just equipment out there clearcutting everything.

I’ve asked neighbors for more photos, will post if they arrive in the inbox.

Jeff Broberg is at it again!

October 22nd, 2011


Jeff Broberg, of McGhie & Betts, is at it again, trying so hard to out do his past antics!

Thanks to Darrel Gerber and Sally Jo Sorensen for this – it is SO Broberg, who said, speaking at a meeting in Winona County:

Broberg’s time at the podium eventually caused contention, and after he was challenged to stick to the recommended two-minute time limit, he responded:

“As the applicant’s representative, I have a higher level of rights on these issues,” Broberg said.

The crowd booed.

Sounds about right, classic Broberg and perfect response.

From the Winona Daily News:

Jeff Broberg spoke on behalf of landowner David Nisbit, one of three residents who owns land where mines have been proposed. Broberg, who represented Rochester-based development company McGhie & Betts, spoke for about 40 minutes about both the site he represents, as well as the increasing demand for mining the region’s silica sand favored in hydraulic fracturing (or “fracking”) operations, where pressurized sand, water and chemicals are shot into the earth to release natural gas and oil deposits.

“We mine sand safely now all throughout southeastern Minnesota in a variety of purposes, and there should be no fear of the consequences of this,” said Broberg, a former county planning commission member.

“I think that this is not a big deal, and clearly inappropriate and untimely and prejudicial to consider forgetting about this application for a year.”

Just how many silica sand mines are operating in Winona County?  Probably it’s like Goodhue County, ZERO.
Remember Krass and Broberg’s “Exhibit 89” for Oronoco Township:

Oronoco Twp’s Exhibit 89

Then he tries to say “OH, NOOOOO, that wasn’t really a route we proposed, we didn’t mean that…”

CapX Hampton-LaCrosse line in the news

And worse, then he says to the Rochester Post-Bulletin, published Saturday Sept. 24:
Still, Broberg expresses guarded optimism for Oronoco Township’s chances for success — chances bolstered, he says by a bugus route alternative he introduced as a gambit at the most recent project hearing, held before an administrative law judge.

“We didn’t do that for a minute thinking that was a viable option — we knew it wasn’t,” he said. “We needed to have decision-makers really focus on Oronoco Township and really spend m0re time looking at the maps, so we were confident that the judge understood what our issues were.  There wasn’t another subject we spent 45 minutes on in that meeting.”
There he goes again… how dare he.  Judging by the language, tone and style of the Oronoco “Reply” Brief, I’m thinking he wrote a lot of it, and it was so bad, really, Xcel wrote a letter to the judge in awe of its bullshit, read it here:
… and once more with feeling, as I asked at the Rochester forum, “and you didn’t get FIRED?”

Progress, but not done yet!

October 19th, 2011

It just goes on and on and on and on…

Before, and then after:




And the not yet done “after” of floors, walls and woodwork:




Soon… but not soon enough!!