From the Winona Daily News:

Protesters Again Block Modern Transport Terminal

I’m buried in CapX Wisconsin right now, BUT this came across the screen, do check it out:

We have a frac sand mine proposed here, just south of Red Wing in Hay Creek, and that’s going over like a lead balloon.  Same for Winona.

It’s that time of year again…

February 13th, 2012

… first it’s Alan’s Birthday, now officially an old fart and then some.  And then it’s Valentine’s Day, and he just gave me the bestest gift of all:


… a succinct analysis of WI Public Service Commission staff Neumeyer’s testimony!!!

AWWWWWWWWW, what a guy, it’s just what I wanted!!!


February 10th, 2012

I know, TMI, but our dear Summer-doggy really did it this time.

Three months ago or so, we blamed Little Sadie for chewing the tails off the Wubba, we found it tail-less on the floor of the van, lost until this appeared at the “tail” end of a “Summerhenge” a couple days ago:


SUMMER ATE IT…  OH MY DOG!!!  … and it took months to go through… so DUH, ex post facto we checked the van, and there are indeed two of the tails still missing…

Are they in the dog?

Just now, all three were in the van for a bit when we went to lunch, and here’s what we found on taking them back into the house:   NO LEASH!


SUMMER!!!!  There is no trace of any part of the leash in the van, not a thread.  This little red piece is all that’s left.

SUMMER!!!!  We can’t afford surgery on you!  Now what?  And there’s no vet on duty tomorrow… we shall see…

For now, she’s on the floor in her favorite spot, snorin’ and fartin’ as usual, always under my desk or she shoves the lamp out of the way so her big butt fits in the corner.  We’re supposed to feed her canned pumpkin, that’s supposed to be good for moving things around.  And call if emergency…

It’ll probably appear in April!


BIG transmission line from Canada

February 10th, 2012


A little birdie gave me a heads up yesterday… as if a big ol’ MinnCan tar sands pipeline wasn’t enough, now Minnesota Power wants to build a transmission line… make that TWO.  There’s a 500kV line coming down from Canada to somewhere on the range, maybe Hibbing, and then there’s a double circuited 345kV from the west to Duluth.  Fifty miles west of Duluth, that will start where???

Tell me this, MP, if this is intended to bring in hydro as a backup to wind, are you then shutting down the coal plant in Cohasset?  Or are you going to be selling it on the market?

Minnesota Power announces transmission project

And here it is in the STrib:

Canada-to-Iron Range power line proposed

Article by: DAVID SHAFFER , Star Tribune
Updated: February 9, 2012 – 8:30 PM

Minnesota Power said Thursday that it plans to build a 350-mile transmission line from Winnipeg to bring hydropower to its customers in northern Minnesota.

The Duluth-based company, a division of Allete Inc., said it filed an intent to pursue the project with the Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator (MISO), which manages the electrical grid in 11 states and Manitoba.

The project is tied to Minnesota Power’s agreement to purchase 250 megawatts of hydropower from Winnipeg-based Manitoba Hydro beginning in 2020. The power from Manitoba hydroelectric dams will serve as a backup to intermittent wind power generated at Minnesota Power’s wind farms in North Dakota.

Minnesota Power said the 500-kilovolt line would run south from Winnipeg and connect to a substation on the Mesabi Iron Range serving the taconite and paper industries.

Minnesota Power spokeswoman Amy Rutledge said the utility will consider building along existing transmission lines to reduce disruption. Xcel Energy Inc., based in Minneapolis, owns one transmission link to Canada, and Minnesota Power is sole or part owner of two others, she said.

Separately, Minnesota Power said it is evaluating with American Transmission Co. a proposed 50-mile, 345-kilovolt line from the Iron Range to Duluth. The cost and ownership shares of the projects have not been determined, the utility said.

Tomorrow, a documentary about Sami artist Solveig Arneng Johnson, will be shown in Duluth:

Solveig: The Life and Artwork of Solveig Arneng Johnson

4 p.m. Feb. 11

Zinema 2

222 East Superior St.

Duluth, MN

A bio on her – Johnson’s Works as Fresh as Arctic Ice

From the Duluth News Tribune:

Solveig Arneng Johnson was considered an up-and-comer in Norway’s art scene, though the name probably isn’t recognizable to today’s art aficionados.

She married Rudolph Johnson and came to the United States in 1949 and, though she continued to paint and take classes, she gladly made art a secondary priority — family first.

The Duluth artist is the subject of “Solveig: The Life and Artwork of Solveig Arneng Johnson,” a documentary directed and produced by Kiersten Dunbar Chace that will have special preview screening at

4 p.m. Feb. 11 at Zinema 2.

“I came to Duluth and soon realized that a career in art was not possible in Duluth at that time,” Solveig Johnson said. “I decided to paint not for fame and fortune, but for my family and for myself.”

The 39-minute film is Johnson’s life story told in her own voice and through her oil paintings: It tells of her growing up in Kirkenes, Norway, during World War II, gaining recognition for her artwork at a prestigious art school in Oslo, meeting the love of her life and moving with him to Minnesota, the life they built together and her identity as a Sami, the indigenous people of Europe.

Johnson’s art serves as a photo album in the film. There are portraits: her son, Kai, with his classic baby face and rosy cheeks; her father and the red mustache he twisted; her husband fresh from the garden caught in a moment where she stopped him and asked him to pose, and her daughter, pregnant, wearing a sundress and flip-flops.

There also are captured moments: a fox she and her husband encountered on a walk in the woods or the view from an airplane window, different shades of green and brown, a reminder of the time she was flying over Minnesota with her mother and said, “This is my country.”

There are more-abstract pieces: She painted a large-scale piece using Sami colors and images that includes two stick figures as a 25th anniversary gift to her husband.

Chace met Johnson through connections made while working on the documentary, “I’m Not Black, I’m Coloured: Identity Crises at the Cape of Good Hope.” Chace had spent some time in the Sami region of Norway and was told there was a large population of Sami people living in Duluth.

“There was just something about her spirit that I loved,” Chace said of Johnson, a Sami elder. “This one I was led to spiritually; not in a religious way, I just felt a connection.”

Chace intended to make a 15- to 20-minute biography, but when she found out about the artwork the project grew.

“I tried to let the art speak for itself,” Chace said. “I wanted her spirit to show and her artwork to lead the film. The challenge is to take someone no one knows about and make a beautiful story. It’s brought me a lot of joy.”

Chace will show the work at festivals and said she has gotten interest from cultural centers around the country.

Some of Johnson’s work hangs in her home near Chester Creek, and some has been given to friends and family. There are two pieces in the Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum in Decorah, Iowa. She’s had pieces shown at the Duluth Art Institute and the Tweed Museum of Art at the University of Minnesota Duluth.

Johnson, who has macular degeneration, is legally blind and stopped painting about a decade ago.

“The colors aren’t the same,” Johnson said. “It’s discouraging to paint. As my daughter says, ‘I’m on vacation.’ ”