And the good news is… the Minnesota Supreme Court has upheld Winona County’s frac sand mining ban:

Check out the court’s rejection of Minnesota Sands’ takings claim, starting on p. 26.


Yesterday was the quarterly meeting of Minnesota’s Mississippi River Parkway Commission.  Attorney Bill Mavity, accompanied by several others from Wisconsin, presented on frac sand mining and impacts on the Great River Road.  He authored and promoted the Pepin County ordinance:

Pepin County Ordinance

He brought up the economic report that they’d completed in association with the Ordinance:

The Potential Impacts of Frac Sand Transport and Mining on Tourism and Property Values in Lake Pepin Communities – 14 May 2013

He noted that the Ordinance is economic regulation, and if challenged, this report essential because it provides the rational basis necessary to support the Ordinance.  This points to the necessity of having an economic analysis for this type of ordinance, without it, or some other substantive support, it is much weaker and susceptible to challenge.

The Minnesota MRPC is sensitive to the impacts of frac sand mining on the Great River Road and the Mississippi, and has agreed to pull together a Resolution similar to that of the Wisconsin MRCP, which they’ll discuss at their November meeting.  They also will be considering a silica sand presentation at the annual convention.

I gave a short update on the completion of permitting for CapX 2020 transmission, what with this week’s Supreme Court denial of Oronoco Township’s Petition for Review.  MRPC submitted comments for a number of the CapX 2020 dockets — CapX 2020 transmission will have a significant impact on the Great River Road.  Any day now they’ll start the 345kV part of the Hampton-La Crosse route which crosses the Mississippi River at Alma.  Staff also got the scoop from me about agencies’ silica sand mining agenda including Standards and Criteria (which includes bluff and road impacts).

This was a very effective presentation by Mavity.  It’s unfortunate that no one else from frac sand mining land showed up!



More frac sand mining promotion!  The Rochester Chamber of Commerce, run for just 7 months, over a decade ago, by none other than illustrious soon-to-be-former Mayor Dennis Egan, is hosting a frac sand event.

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Friday, March 22, 11:30a.m. -1:00p.m.

Honker Events at the Ramada
1517 - 16th St SW
Rochester, Minnesota

Cost: Members $25, Non-members $35 (includes lunch)

Pre-registration Required

Word first arrived on March 14, 2013, as a email from the Rochester Chamber, where Egan was listed as “Mayor of Red Wing & Exec. Director, Minnesota Industrial Sand Council.” They have altered that to say only “Minnesota Industrial Sand Council” on their website:

Rochester Chamber of Commerce email

And from their website:


Experts!  Who are the “experts” in this Rochester Chamber cast of characters?

Vern Baker is clear about his interests!  Good job!

We all know about Dennis Egan and his ethical standards and expertise in frac sand mining…

Jeffery Broberg represents landowners such as David Nisbit who want mines on their property, and who said at a public hearing, “As the applicant’s representative, I have a higher level of rights on these issues.” His promotional bent is clear in his statement after the St. Charles rail site was denied by the City:

Jeff Broberg, a geologic consultant to the frac sand industry who lives near St. Charles, said any meaningful expansion of industrial sand mining in the area will depend on the kind of large-scale, rail-aided logistics envisioned by Minnesota Proppant. He said that in his view, fear-mongering and negative exaggerations poisoned public discussion of the St. Charles proposal. “It’s a setback for the industry and for St. Charles,” Broberg said.

From the NoCapX site, we know an awful lot about Broberg, for example his classic “Exhibit 7” portrayal of the long closed sand-barred boat landing at the White Bridge Road!


Dave Christianson is billed as “Project Manager, Minnesota Department of Transportation.


He was billed as something similar at soon-to-be-former Mayor Egan’s Frac Sand Forum.  What does Google have to say? MnDOT Freight, Rail, & Waterways Staff; City of Winona powerpoint, and he’s all for expansion: “We believe it is very well controlled,” he said. “It’s something we look forward to seeing expanded and properly managed as we go forward.”

So of this lot, all are proponents, and not one speaker is independent, and not one speaker is opposed.  “Advocacy” is part of the title of the Chamber staffer who sent the email, and it’s pretty clear what they’re advocating for!

To attend, you have to pre-register, and pay $35: Members and Non-Members.


Senate File 786 will be heard by the Senate Environment and Energy Committee tomorrow:

S.F. 786 as introduced

There are a lot of things missing, hence:

Overland Comments on S.F. 786 and Exhibits

The bus is going up to the Capitol again tomorrow, here’s the schedule per Land Stewardship Project:

Get on the Bus! Bus Route: Houston – Rushford – Winona – Wabasha – Red Wing – St. Paul

Reserve Your Seat be contacting: Amanda Griggs at 507-896-2165 or .

Bus Schedule

7:00 a.m. leave Houston from Barista’s Coffee House. (Barista’s will open at 6:30 a.m.)

7:15 a.m. in Rushford ­Lynndyn-Bridge Restaurant (102 West Jessie St.)

7:45 a.m. in Winona ­ JC Penney parking lot (Hwy. 61 and Pelzer St.)

8:45 a.m. in Wabasha ­ City of Wabasha overflow parking lot across from Supervalu.

9:45 a.m. in Red Wing ­ Target Store parking lot just off Tyler Road on the north side of town.

10:40 a.m. Arrive at the Capitol.

3:00 p.m. Return to SE Minnesota


7 p.m. February 25, 2013

Red Wing City Hall

Tonight’s the night — be there or be square!  Tell the Red Wing City Council what you think about having the “voice of frac sand mining” as Mayor of Red Wing.  Should he be allowed to remain in office until April Fools Day?,,,,,,

Tonight the Red Wing City Council will be addressing the Mayor’s offer to resign as of April 1, 2013.  April Fools?  I hope not.

If you can’t attend the meeting, CLICK HERE FOR LIVE WEBCAST:

IS HIS RESIGNATION IN WRITING? There’s no reason to wait so long — he should resign immediately.  He should resign before the legislative session goes any further.  He should resign before any meetings where he’d be going to represent the City of Red Wing.  He’s tainted.  This is about character, and he’s had many opportunities to display his character, and what I’ve seen is disturbing.  If he doesn’t resign, he should be booted out, as the City Council has power to do under the City Charter.


The agenda item about Dennis Egan begins at 36:13.

Dennis Egan’s comments 51:26 – 1:03:55.

Throughout, he remains resolutely firm in stating there is no problem with his actions, and very long-windedly states when put on the spot, that he will not consider resigning.  No direct answers.

Egan begins not by addressing his own egregious behavior, but by objecting to emails sent that questioned the ethics and motives of City Administrator Kay Kuhlman, that it was “out of bounds and out of line, unfair and uncalled for.”  WOW.  Here’s what was in the STrib, from Egan, about talking to Kuhlman about his frac sand mining lobbying job:

Egan said he talked to City Administrator Kay Kuhlmann before signing his employment contract last week with the sand council. He declined to say how much the group is paying him.

“She didn’t raise any red flags at that time,” said Egan, who was re-elected in November to a four-year term.

Kuhlmann did not return a phone call Tuesday afternoon.

And in the Post Bulletin, he also raises Kuhlman’s involvement:

Egan said he informed Red Wing City Administrator Kay Kuhlmann of the job offer prior to accepting; Kuhlmann was not available for comment.

He seems to be using her to hid behind, that “She didn’t raise any red flags at that time,” and that he “informed” her “prior to accepting.” Maybe that conversation didn’t happen, she wasn’t informed, and she’s collateral damage.  Maybe he’s dropping her name to help bolster his position.  Whatever occurred, he’s putting her in a bad position.  What was that conversation, the subject, the date, what all did he disclose to Kuhlman?  The City Council and the public should know.

Based on the Kuhlman reference in the STrib and Post Bulletin, here’s a Comment of mine on the Post Bulletin site:

Hmmmmm, my comment disappeared… here we go again: It’s not just Egan’s duplicity that’s on the Council agenda Monday, the city’s legislative position on frac sand mining is also to be decided. There’s a lot of passive and minimizing language in this article. Egan didn’t “find himself” lobbying for frac sand mining interests, he put himself there. He didn’t disclose to the Council, nor apparently did Kuhlman. Administrator Kuhlman is not an attorney or does a City Administrator have any authority regarding conflict-of-interest issues — to not raise the impropriety of Egan’s actions brings Kuhlman’s ethics into question (though we don’t know much about their discussion). Recusal by Egan is not sufficient. It’s time to resign. That he doesn’t regard it as improper is astounding. Egan may not care, but this constituent and many others do. Maybe after Monday’s City Council meeting he’ll have a sense of the ethical issues and the line he’s crossed.

The bottom line is that Not-soon-enough-to-be-ex-Mayor Dennis Egan did not disclose to the City Council.  If Not-soon-enough-to-be-ex-Mayor Dennis Egan did disclose to City Administrator Kay Kuhlman, she did not disclose to the City Council.  If he’s tossing her name around to bolster his position and he didn’t disclose his position to Kay Kuhlman as he said he did, then it’s even worse for him.  Because he raised this issue so defensively right out of the gate (CLICK HERE, at 51:26), I think there’s more going on here.  What’s the rest of the story?

This is about character.  This is about Dennis Egan’s value system.  Dennis Egan has demonstrated his character and value system, and he is not fit to be Mayor.  He should not represent the City in any way.

Timing is important.  The legislature is in session and will be until after April 1, 2013.  Egan should not be Mayor while a registered lobbyist for the frac sand mining industry.  I believe there is a national conference in March that Egan is to attend representing the City of Red Wing, and if so, the City should send someone else.

Keep those emails coming to the Red Wing City Council members — tell them what you think of this situation, let them know whether you think Egan should remain in office until April Fools Day (in previous posts, I’d not copied the “j” of — APOLOGIES — it’s correct below):,,,,,,

Tonight — 7 p.m. February 25, 2013 at Red Wing City Hall.  Be there or be square.