Wanted to see how, if, camping would work as Alan continues treatment for APL (acute promyelocytic leukemia) for months and months. And it’s doable. We probably have to stay close to home “just in case” but in those cycles where he has no IV arsenic infusions, only oral ATRA for 2 weeks, and for those cycles with 2 weeks off, yes, it’s doable!

Sadie was so happy to be in the woods. She LOVES camping, especially because we’re not exactly roughing it.

The Wawona 6 was too big for the tent site, so had to set up in the “driveway,” but that’s good as it was next to electricity. This was NOT roughing it!

And more good news, the new showerhouse/bathroom building is DONE, and it’s BEAUTIFUL, and includes a sink for dishes, so no worries about soap and collecting grey water.

Yes, this is doable. Now, to find a park and site in the next cycle with off time!

On the shore of Lake Michigan, right next to the beach! Yeah, in the next “time off” cycle, that’ll work…

Hot off the press from Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board, a notice of rulemaking. Here’s the pdf of the Notice – it’s very intense and detailed, a lot crammed into four pages:

Comments are due by September 22, 2023. Send to:

Andrew Olson (andrew.d.olson@state.mn.us)

Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board

190 Centennial Office Building

658 Cedar Street

St. Paul, MN 55155

And the email from Campaign Finance:

To:  Interested members of the public

The Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board is considering adopting, amending, and repealing administrative rules concerning campaign finance regulation and reporting, lobbyist regulation and reporting, and audits and investigations.  The Board may consider other rule topics that arise during the rulemaking process.  A copy of the Board’s Request for Comments, published today in the State Register, is available at cfb.mn.gov/pdf/legal/rulemaking/2023/Request_for_comments.pdf.

Three Board members will serve on a subcommittee that will work with staff to develop the proposed rule language.  The subcommittee meetings will be open to the public and interested parties will have the opportunity to comment on the proposed rule topics and language.  Information related to the rulemaking, including how to comment, how to sign up for the rulemaking notice list, the dates of upcoming subcommittee meetings, copies of official documents, and draft rules when they are ready, will be posted on the Board’s rulemaking docket webpage at cfb.mn.gov/citizen-resources/the-board/statutes-and-rules/rulemaking-docket/.

You are currently subscribed to the Board’s rulemaking notice list.  If you no longer wish to receive notices regarding the Board’s rulemaking efforts, please reply to this email or unsubscribe using the form on the Board’s rulemaking docket webpage linked above.  Please contact me with any questions or concerns related to rulemaking.


Andrew Olson

Legal/Management Analyst



Scoping for the “Northfield AUAR” ended a while ago, and now, it’s the DRAFT!


Comments are due Thursday, August 17, 2023 at 4:30 p.m.

Send comments to Northfield, and I’d recommend you also send to Xcel and Stantec:

Of course, it gets my attention whenever Xcel does anything, and this large AUAR, on the northwest edge of Northfield sure got my attention. My comments, sent in February (5 months ago!):

This AUAR got my attention because it includes a “data center” option:

Note in Development Scenario A, the “Technology Center” takes up 538 acres, the majority of the area:

And what caught my attention initially was that this popped up around the time that Xcel was going back and forth about a big data center near the old Sherco plant site. Then that application was withdrawn.

Funny thing though, two dockets appeared, filed by Xcel, M-22-572 (CONTRACTS FOR PROVISION OF ELECTRIC SERVICE TO A NEW LARGE CUSTOMER’S MINNESOTA DATA CENTER PROJECT), and M-22-579 (CONTRACTS FOR PROVISION OF ELECTRIC SERVICE TO A NEW LARGE CUSTOMER’S MINNESOTA DATA CENTER PROJECT), with Xcel Energy filings in November, 2022. The two initial filings by Xcel in these dockets are both pdfs of 142 pages, 137 of those the Petition and tariff provisions. They seem identical, but I’ve not gone over page by page.

What I do note, in these days of focus on energy conservation, is the load predicted, on page 6 of both, expecting quite a load suck:

“The initial data center Premise is expected to achieve an initial load of at least 10 MW and grow to exceed 75 MW by the end of its first 10 years in service.

It’s important to consider the electrical service to these sites, locations unknown. What new infrastructure would be needed? One data center I know of was set in the middle of Glencoe, and is a nuisance to neighbors, violating the MPCA’s noise standards. How is location of data centers determined, what factors are considered? With the Northfield AUAR proposed by Xcel, in the Xcel service territory, and anticipating 538 acres for a “technology center,” it’s at the very least within the realm of possibilities.

The most recent posting in both of these dockets was from “Amber Kestral” (reminds me of the names for transmission line conductors!), not Xcel.

There were identical one page filings from “Amber Kestral,” stating a request for a pause:

In transmission, we’ve noted for decades that “it’s all connected.”

Do review the Xcel/Northfield AUAR and send in comments by August 17th!


And after I saw the PurpleAir report, and looked again today, the horrible air has moved south, and we’re likely in yellow or even green today. Whew. And some ideas occurred to me, as I was asked yesterday what the City could do:

I’m not sure what we can do about the smoke from Canada to improve the air quality.  What would you propose we do?


Air monitoring won’t help with the smoke it will tell us what we already know. What is your solution to the bad air we can see? 

So after some thought, with #1 and 2 below immediately, and then 3 and 4 later, I sent a follow up missive to the Council:

All –

FYI, yesterday someone did post a PurpleAir monitor reading for our area:

That was yesterday. Today, the local PurpleAir monitor is not online, but https://fire.airnow.gov/ shows improvement for our area:  

When asked, “What is your solution to the bad air we can see?,” obviously we can’t do anything about the Canadian and US fires (they’re all over the country, see map: ). However, there are precautionary steps the City could and should take. The City does have a responsibility to protect the public health and safety of our community. A very good start would be:

1) Start acting on air quality, i.e., to not add any air emissions from any of our big polluters, like Xcel, USG, ADM, etc.;

2) Advocate and agitate MPCA repeatedly to get all the expired permits reviewed;

3) It also occurred to me later that when it’s this bad, the City should issue warnings, urge people to mask up if outside (oh, that’ll go over well, but it’s their health or lack thereof) and to stay inside and use air filters. Yesterday at Menards, there were MANY people coming out with air filters, probably to build those cheap and easy box fan filters).

4) The City should set a threshold for AQI index where outside events would be cancelled, as was done in the last round of extremely high AQIs made attending outside events hazardous for those of us who breathe.

I’m debating getting a PurpleAir monitor (the Zen model: https://www2.purpleair.com/products/list) and connecting to NOAA, though given the medical expense cash crunch now, yes, it is a matter of debate here.

If the City isn’t willing to get on MPCA to install air monitors, the City should spend the $299 x ? to put up a few here and there around town and link them to NOAA. We residents do deserve to know the AQI. Also, there should be one installed near every one of our big emitters in town, location based on the wind rose, for consideration when MPCA, if ever, gets around to permit renewal review, and for when any of these want to contract for more burning.

Again, the City has a responsibility for the health and safety of its residents, and you’re the policy setters.

Carol, a breather whose health is affected by unhealthy air.

Really bad air here in Red Wing today, so I sent another Air Quality (and lack thereof) missive to the City Council:

All –

Once again, it is likely a very bad air day, red dots, orange dots, and we have no monitors, much less a baseline for air “quality,” or lack thereof, in Red Wing.  https://fire.airnow.gov/

What are you, each of you, doing to protect the health and safety of our community? That’s the primary job of the City and the City’s electeds.

Carol A. Overland, loading some things in the car and feeling the PM2.5

Checking later in the day, after some exertion outside that had quite an impact, I found this on that site, our blue dot on the map accompanied by a red square, a “Purple Air” monitor:

Yeah, that’s pretty grim.