Ode to Summer…

November 26th, 2012



That’s our dear Summer, the hospice dog we took on in April, 2011.  Today she is no more, we took her to the vet and had her put down.  When we got her, little did we know she’d shoulder her way into our hearts with such vigor.


Summer lived life LARGE, ate everything in sight, would drink herself into a burst bladder if allowed, and farted — audibly — and snored like a drunken sailor.  This is the day we brought her home from Ann’s in Wisconsin, who was fostering her for German Shepherd Rescue Alliance of Wisconsin:


Because she was “snarky” with the other pups, it took a bit, but they got along, the sheps becoming friends first, and then with Sadie… I think Sadie was a little too boisterous for Summer, but they finally got so they could even touch a little, though inadvertently:


Sometime after we bought the new house, after there was a dining room table, Alan found her dancing on it — this the dog who often needed help to climb into the van!  One day Alan left a pizza crust or two on a plate, up on top of a pile of “to-do” filing on top of a 4 foot high cabinet, and here’s what we came home to:


SUMMER!!  She’d be sheepish for a few seconds and then back to snarkiness, level 5:



Yes, she really would eat anything and everything in sight, a seat belt, a pink camo wubba, and right after we got her, her first leash was totally consumed except for the metal clip attached to her harness — how did she manage that — it came out little by little over 6 or more months!


She learned how to get into the fridge at the old house, and although we’d put up a baby-gate, she’d rip it down and saunter into the kitchen, dump over the dog food and lay in it, chowing down until she couldn’t eat any more:


She also ate through a paprika jar, and one day she got into a cabinet and drank a bottle pure vanilla extract (hic!) and broke open and lapped up a bottle of dressing, yes, a GLASS bottle:



She also got a nasty Mast cell tumor, and it got in the way of her walking, but the night we noticed her limping and checked it out, with a visit to the vet scheduled for the next day, damned if she didn’t do her own surgery, chewed out the nasty stuff very neatly, and it healed right up, that was so amazingly done and a good health care lesson:



How many cases of pee pills did we go through in the last 19 months???  With Summer, it was always something, and a HUGE thanks to Kenyon Vet Clinic for keeping her together and ticking for 19 months.  Quality and Compassionate Veterinary Care… Fairly Priced! (to put it mildly!)  And on Facebook!

Here she is on the way to Baron Fest I in a rental car just a week or so after we got her:


And on to Baron Fest II, here are two wiped out pups on the way back (can you spell T-O-R-N-A-D-O?  Weird time in Maryland Heights, MO!):


And a photo from Monica from Baron Fest, THANK YOU!!!  One is Summer, one is Honey Bear — which is which?

Here she is making herself at home in the new house:


dsc00991Summer, we will miss you!!!



Summer, f/k/a Daisy, was dumped in the Gary, IN shelter, and little did she realize her life was about to change:

Here she is on the way to GSRAW from Gary, IN:

And at Ann’s house, GSRAW.  Just look at that smile:


And my all time favorite photo of my all time favorite dog, “Summer Smile” from Baron Fest, just a week after we got her, and you can see that she knows she’s safe and loved: summersmile

Starts in Rochester on Tuesday MORNING at 9:30 a.m.  Whose brilliant idea was that, who can show up at 9:30 a.m. on a Tuesday?

How did this slashing of environmental review, started under Gov. Pawlenty, continue under Gov. Mark Dayton?  It started right after Dayton got into office, with Executive Order 11-04, gutting and muzzling the MPCA and DNR:

E.O. 11-04 Establishing Goals and Procedures to Ensure that Certain Environmental Permits are Issued More Efficiently

That E.O. pushed the MPCA and DNR to ram through permits through FAST (and delay has NOT been a demonstrable problem, because the delays have been caused by applicants not providing required information) as if that “improves” environmental review.

And then comes Gov. Dayton’s Executive Order 11-32, which started this round:

Executive Order 11-32

He’s pushing for “streamlining” and those words are just so wrongheaded.  And they way he’s doing it, all this activity at the EQB making recommendations on “improving environmental review” and “governance and coordination” BEFORE they have the public meetings and this “Environmental Congress.”  So tell me, how is it that the fix isn’t in, and we’re now going through the motions after it’s already a done deal?  Do tell, how are these “oh-so-proud we’re DFL” Democrats any better than the “strip-the-funding-until-regulation-collapses” Republicans?  It’s bad news any way you look at it.

But yes, let’s look at it.

Here’s what the EQB released last week.  Deputy Commissioner Bill Grant (Settlement Agreement – ME3(Fresh Energy), Izaak Walton League, Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy, North American Water Office) now in charge of Energy Facilities Permitting, and Matt Langan (who now works for Xcel, so two different sources have said, way to go Matt… sigh… after blowing environmental review on CapX Hampton-La Crosse, omitting transmission where there’s a HUGE corridor, and saying there’s transmission where there is none, GOOD JOB!) were to do the “Report Card.”  They have no business doing any such thing, are uniquely disqualified.  But Matt left, leaving Bill Grant… that environmental review is in any way in his hands is disturbing.

Reading the Evaluation and Recommendations for Improving Environmental Review, maybe the Comments got through to some extent.  The ultimate recommendations are better than the draft, for sure.

OH MY!  The Recommendations for Environmental Governance and Coordination are even better, recommending no changes to recognizing that there isn’t sufficient staff to do the work.  The MPCA part could still be a problem, as it recommends MPCA address how to change, so keep on it!

Some of the meetings are this week, starting Tuesday at TOO EARLY O’CLOCK!  It looks to me that Ellen Anderson is doing for Dayton what Mike Bull did for Pawlenty (well, among other things), these dog and pony shows across the state.  I’ve been passing out handouts about this hoping to get folks to turn out and give them a piece of their mind about what “improvement” of environmental review should mean.   Handout – RW Forum

Blue Check Mark November 27 – Rochester, Wood Lake Meeting Center 9:30am – 12:00pm

Blue Check Mark November 27 – Bloomington, Normandale Community College 6:30pm – 9:00pm

Blue Check Mark November 28 – Duluth, Lake Superior College 5:30pm – 8:00pm

Blue Check Mark December 10 – Worthington, Worthington High School 3:30pm – 6:00pm

Blue Check Mark December 12 – St. Cloud, Stearns County Service Center 5:30pm – 8:00pm

Blue Check Mark December 14 – Moorhead, Minnesota State University 3:00pm – 5:30pm


Delaware Audubon Society will give Alan Muller its Conservation Award at its Annual Dinner, coming up on December 7, 2012.  Alan doesn’t like to toot his own horn, but that’s part of what I’ve got a blog for!  Please join us at the Annual Meeting and Dinner!

205 N. Market Street, Wilmington, DE


If the link doesn’t work, go to the Annual Dinner site!

What’s the Conservation Award?  Well, in this case, maybe it’s a thank you, maybe it’s a send-off, maybe they’re just glad to see Alan spending so much time in Minnesota, but whatever it is, it’s recognition of all that he’s done in Delaware.


Special thanks to Matt Del Pizzo and Linda Whaley who are working so hard to pull this together.  Alan and Matt got a lot done back when Matt was head of Audubon not so long ago, and appreciated their ability to work together to make a difference in Delaware.

As a recipient of the Conservation Award, Alan’s in interesting company — we’re especially partial to 1988’s Jake Kreshtool, he’s pretty much adopted us and is the best mentor of activism we could hope to find in Delaware, an attorney who was on the Steering Committee of Green Delaware, and way way back, he fought the big transmission line crossing the Delaware River at New Castle.  Here’s their list of past recipients:

Past Honorees:
2011 Howard P. Brokaw
2010 Andy Ednie
2009 Chad Tolman
2008 Citizens for Clean Power
2007 Debbie Heaton
2006 Andy Urquhart
2005 Richard and Lorraine Fleming
2004 Warren Lauder
2003 Albert S. Matlack
2002 Ann Rydgren
2001 Thomas Sharp
2000 Lynn Williams
1999 Edward W. Cooch, Jr.
1998 Dorothy Miller
1997 Grace Pierce-Beck
1996 Russell Peterson
1995 Winston Wayne
1994 Joseph R. Biden, Jr.
1993 Ruth Ann Minner
1992 Leah Roedel
1991 Barbara Lundberg
1990 Don Sharpe
1989 Til Purnell
1988 Jacob Kreshtool
1987 Rick West
1986 Gwynne Smith
1985 Lynne Frink
1984 Peggy Jahn

Here are two profiles of Muller:

The Eco-Activists – Alan Muller Profile

A Profile of Alan Muller of Port Penn: An Environmental Activist and Director of Green Delaware

A look at the work of Muller and Green Delaware shows how much he’s gotten done in a difficult environment, particularly Alan’s favorite accomplishment,  Delaware’s legislative ban of incineration.


Alan speaking at Macalaster for Neighbors Against the Burner:


Alan officing at Itasca State Park:


Alan at the raw sewage outlet (where’s that photo of him in his jailbird suit behind these bars?):



The Public Utilities Commission has been trying to get information out of “New Era Wind Farm, LLC” about the Goodhue Wind Project.  Search Legalectric for “Goodhue” and you’ll find a LOT about it.

Here are the latest PUC Information Requests:

PUC’s Information Request, October 11, 2012

And today, Peter Mastic … hmmmmmm… in the summer, would we call him “Tan Mastic” and is that the key to how he it all holds together?


Anyway, Peter Mastic filed responses last week, probably from his new Goodhue, Minnesota office…


… and the PUC eFiled them today:

New Era Response to PUC Information Requests – Nov 19 2012

Some of the responses are VERRRRRRRRRRY INTERESTING…

Here’s the final response and the most interesting one, raising Force d’ Manure (click for larger view, or download the info request responses and scroll down to the end):

December, 2011, that’s when Trishe Wind bought National Wind, and Trishe didn’t take on the Goodhue Wind project, wanted nothing to do with it.  So when exactly did that happen?  Likely in December, 2011, when Trishe Wind bought National Wind, and if so, well, that was nearly a year ago.  We’d just found out about Trishe in what, September?  And we find out about this Force de Manure notice now and the notice was given to Xcel Energy last December?  Ummmmm… I’d think this is something the Commission should have received notice on… and the public too, of course.

I’m going to print these out and read them as I make some bread — the oven’s fixed now and I’m not about to start buying bread anytime soon!

And for those looking to remove Mastic, here’s just the folks to do it:

Flooring Authority, Inc – Surface Preparation

They note that “When flooring is removed often there is one or many layers of “sticky stuff” aka…mastic, that needs to be removed.  Complete floor mastic removal is always best.”  Mastic removal?  OK, let’s get to it!



Today Comments were due on Minnesota Power’s Great Northern Transmission Line.  I’m sorry, but I just can’t bring myself to call a transmission line “Great” and that’s just how it is…  Anyway, Minnesota Power is getting ready to file a Certificate of Need application, this is the lead up, what they have to do to provide notice to people when they actually file.  So here’s their draft plan:

Minnesota Power’s Notice Plan for Great Northern Transmission Line

Comments on that plan were due today.  Here’s what I filed:

Overland’s Notice Plan Comments, November 19, 2012

Here’s what Commerce filed earlier today:

MOES Comment – GNTL Notice Plan


Haven’t gotten word on any others.

To keep an eye on what’s going on in this docket, go HERE and search for docket 12-1163.

A little sidebar here — while looking for a logo, some things popped out — did you know that Minnesota Power sponsors, with the Lignite Energy Council, a “Teachers Seminar” on coal?  It’s the only teacher workshop listed, though there are multiple listings under “School Programs” and “Educational Materials.”

Lignite Education Seminar

OH MY!  Check their “Electricity 101” pdf:

Electricity 101

p. 7:

1929—Stock market crash revealed that many holding companies were over-leveraged

–As a result, federal and state governments strengthened utility regulation.

There are some interesting charts and graphs in Electricity 101 that are interesting and that I’d like to see updated.  Hear that, MP!?!?!