It’s Wednesday, January 3rd, and you can listen live, STARTS AT 10 A.M. JANUARY 3rd:


Yes, folks, this is indeed a “Special” PUC planning meeting, featuring “Permitting Reform” — a “stakeholder” process held behind closed doors:

And here’s what they’ve made public, a “presentation” from Grid North Partners before the “Permitting Reform” streamlining effort:

And this?

MIA – Nothing posted yet.. though the report of Dan Lipschultz, “facilitator” is due sometime today.

Again, the link to the WEBCAST!

Clear-cutting in Red Wing!

December 29th, 2023

Taking Alan to and from Mayo, I’ve been seeing activity on the east and south side of Featherstone, essentially all the land from “Ryan & Gordy’s Glass” on the right, following Featherstone, and down to the bottom of this screenshot, along the bottom to the trees with lots there, Creekview Court, up along the row of houses along the Hillside Drive cul de sac, over “to the point of beginning:

And closer view — the guy who owns that land, it’s a permitted sand pit, where there’s not been ongoing sand mining for ages. The platted cul de sac is named after him, and he owns 3 or 4 lots in there, along Hillside Drive, particularly on the left hand side and the far end. And on the County GIS, you can see he’s using two of those lots to access the hill below — and note, he did NOT cut his big tree down, going around it, and it’s the only one left standing!

And a larger view, you can see the lot lines, the bottom parcel and the one to the left along Featherstone are lots that were mowed without permission, and note the Creekview residential lot lines on the very bottom, and lot lines going up the Hillside Drive cul de sac — it’s bare earth now to the north and west behind those lots! I’ll bet those homeowners are not pleased!

This area here, where Featherstone heads west, looking east, was this:

Now, it’s TOTALLY NUDE! This photo was taken in that little “driveway” parking area, facing the same way:

Looking straight on from Featherstone:

And all that brush and stuff you can see is down to bare earth:

Except where there were big trees yanked out, where there are 2-3 foot stumps that are 2-3 feet across — OLD trees were removed. Where the bulldozer is is bare ground, that’s what caught my attention, thinking of erosion, and the shame of clear-cutting. Anyway, here’s what it looks like, close up (I’ve not captured the big stumps, will get that later today):

Here’s what it looks like from the Mayo back parking lot:

Turns out the plot thickens going beyond those two landowners, the “mower” and “mowee.” See that row of homes up there straight ahead and to the right? Hillside Drive and Creekview Court? They’ve been directing their storm water down there, which wasn’t cool, but wasn’t as much of a problem, but now??? E-R-O-S-I-O-N, and they’re going to have to do something different. Rain barrels, channel into pond, whatever, just not run it down the hill.

Looks to me like the City needs to get on the “mower” about it, and the owner of the land who did NOT give permission for all that destruction on his land should get a tree appraiser and a land appraiser, and calculate the damages, figure out what it would take to restore to original condition, and how, with 20-30 years for growth, to address that. This will be very hard to “fix.” I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around it, how someone could just go and do this, not only to his own land, but to another’s land.

Leukemia update!

December 27th, 2023

It’s been a while, and time for an update.

  • Alan’s doing well since landing in remission in June, following release from captivity June 23, and his numbers are great!
  • We’re still isolating, masking always, but few ventures out into public.
  • 28 day cycles continue until probably March, 8 cycles, with 2 one week delays so far.
  • IV infusions of ARSENIC (arsenic trioxide) continue, daily weekdays of every other 28 day cycle. continues daily the first two weeks of every cycle (with arsenic cycle and alone in ATRA cycle).
  • Alan was switched from PIC line to Port a few months ago, and that’s going well, makes infustions and blood draws so much easier, but ohhhh, it still gives me the willies.
  • Financial details are a mess, but workable, and we’re probably not going to have to declare bankruptcy.
  • Mayo figured out the coding for EKGs so UCare won’t continue overbilling! Time consuming with so many appeals, weekly EKG is ordered, and they screwed it up every week for a couple months.
  • Leukemia and Lymphoma Society has provided a grant to cover some of the co-pays, which are enormous for infusions and ATRA Rx.
  • Did I mention hospitalization, 8 months of daily treatment, masking and forever isolating, it’s exhausting?!?!
Initial platelete count of 9 (NINE!) was life threatening, now all is well.

All things considered, it really could not have gone better, Alan’s recovery is amazing!

Camping at Frontenac to see if we could!
4th of July, knee high
Camper Cabin at Lake Vermilion in November
November temp in the 40s, bizarre, yet same temp as our February trip!

OPE! Time to head to Mayo today!

Spring of 2022, we stopped at Minidoka National Historic Site, a former Japanese internment camp, which opened not that long before we visited.

Hot off the press, in the inbox today:

The Boundary of the Oppressor: Challenging the Use of the Historic Footprint as an Appropriate Property Boundary for the Minidoka TCP

This is the second “internment camp” (prison) we’ve been to, a few years before, Manzanar National Historic Site, near “Independence” (really) California:

Manzanar – Information on Japanese American Internment

posted February 27th, 2017

Both sites obviously prisons:

Back to Minidoka, here’s the layout originally:

Here’s the boundaries of the area declared as a Historical site, maybe a quarter of the prison layout:

From the Addendum Report Defining the Boundary of the TCP (Traditional Cultural Place) Boundary of the Minidoka Concentration Camp:

The viewshed:

Viewshed is an important consideration because of the proposed encroachment of the 1,000MW Lava Ridge Wind Project.

Here’s the BLM Summary of DEIS Comments from August 2023 (EIS is not out yet).

From the BLJ’s Lava Wind Newsletter, September, 2023, here’s the BLM’s project environmental review schedule:

Final EIS a year from now? That’s a LONG wait! Gotta remember what comes after “Record of Decision,” and that goes back over a decade to the Mesaba Project. Seems BLM doesn’t want folks to know what that means.

I just fired off a Data Practices Act Request about the build-up to a “Special Planning Meeting” that’s coming up soon:


Yes, there’s a Public Utilities Committee “Planning Meeting” coming up, and this one is “Special.”

But there’s some history before that, starting with the August 22, 2023 meeting, where they discussed… options to speed up our permitting process… well, ya gotta listen for yourself (starts at 1:30:50, though xmsn presentations before are worth a listen):

Do y’all remember when Beth Soholt and Matt Schuerger were paid to promote transmission? That was when Wind on the Wires was a Izaak Walton program. Now, decades later, Beth Soholt is still being paid to promote transmission, and Matt Schuerger is “Commissioner” Schuerger, permitting transmission. Surprised much? And I have mixed feelings about Matt Schuerger’s participation in transmission issues at the Commission because of his Wind on the Wires “consultant” work and because he probably is the only one on the Commission who really understands the big picture. … sigh… Sullivan does express concern, seems he’s thinking… sigh… again…

Again, starts at 1:30:50. Note Chair Sieben asks for display of “language I worked with our staff” for discussion and decision:

Note the agenda did not have even a hint that this would be considered and that a decision would be made, “language” not posted, probably not handed out at meeting, and no opportunity for public to review and consider what they were doing:

Anyway, the result of this August 22, 2023 meeting, from the minutes, was “stakeholder meetings,” with stakeholders selected by “meeting facilitator” Dan Lipschultz :

There’s no docket for this “streamlining” effort, I don’t recall any notice of the “stakeholder” meetings (though I do get so many notices, could I have missed it?) — so how do we stakeholders who don’t count enough to be part of the group weigh in? There’s not even an agenda posted for the January 3, 2024 meeting, and if the report is due December 31, 2023, will it be posted post haste?!?!