St. Charles last night

Filed under:RUS EIS — posted by admin on June 19, 2009 @ 10:10 am

dsc002481

Last night, Stephanie Strength of the USDA’s RUS, announced that I would not be allowed to set up my little display, above, in the same room as CapX.  Must be the revolutionary stuff I’m handing out:

Comment Suggestions – Scope EIS

Buy the Farm – Minn. Stat. 216E.12

She said that though I’d been no problem the prior two nights, she’d checked with the head honcho, and they’d decided that I should not be allowed to set up in the meeting room, that I could set up anywhere in the hall.  But wait — the RUS has no rules regarding this, so she told Alan.  They have at least 10 displays, probably more, they have SIXTEEN PEOPLE, they have two or three computers set up to print out maps for landowners, they have three tables piled high wtih projects maps that are at least 6×8 feet, and I’m little ol’ me with one table and display board and a few hastily printed out handouts.  Not exactly even there…

So what’s their basis?  She said that if she let me in, then if anyone else would come, she’d have to let them in too, and they didn’t want any disruption, that people had to hear (HUH?  Where’s the disruption?  Who can’t hear?  If there’s disruption, then deal with disruption.  This is not the way to do it — it’s the same theory the St. Paul Police and Sheriff Fletcher were operating on with the RNC, raid first to prevent disruption, wholly unconstitutional).  It was clear that that was the new rule.  Offensive, but not worth a trip to jail about.

Thing is, she’s said that in her 10 years with RUS, no one has ever done this before, a fact that I find so strange, I’ve been setting up displays wherever there are meetings and hearings, for how long, following project proponents around the state.  I cannot believe that no one else has done this.  The DOE knows from the Mesaba Project that “this is how we do it in Minnesota!”  But then, where is everyone on this project?  No other intervenors have bothered to show up.  What gives?

Methinks that Grant Stevenson had best hurry up with my official CapX nametag, with “NO” scribbled in front of “CapX.”

dsc002492

Anyway, the front hall had its advantages.  Rather than sit back and passively wait for people to stop by, I got to have at least a little discussion with everyone coming and going, so it might even be better!!!  I got a lot of sheets handed out, although the turnout was not as good in St. Charles as it was in Plainview and Wanamingo.   It was looking like it might rain, though it didn’t, so a guy doing music on Main Street was set up in the room next door, and I got to play usher.  “Are you here for the music (indicating door on R) or the song and dance (indicating ahead, to CapX)?”  Many went off to the music on the right with NoCapX 2020 flyers in hand, including the Music Man!

Another thing, the first night, CapX had a flyer with a subheading about “ever increasing demand for electricity” and I couldn’t find that flyer last night.  What gives?  I know it was there somewhere, and hey, I want to object!

All but 10 of  the “Buy the Farm” flyers are gone…

Next week, LaCrescent, Galesville and Fountain City:

June 23, 2009   6-8 p.m.
La Crescent American Legion
509 N. Chestnut
La Crescent, Minnesota

June 24, 2009   6-8 p.m.
Centerville/Town of Trempealeau Community Center
W24854 State Road 54/93
Galesville, Wisconsin

June 25, 2009   6-8 p.m.
Cochrane-Fountain City High School
S2770 State Road 35
Fountain City, Wisconsin

Be there or be square!

Comments can be sent, by June 29, to:

Stephanie Strength
Environmental Protection Specialist
USDA,
Rural Utilities Service
Engineering and Environmental Staff
1400
Independence Avenue, SW., Stop 1571
Washington, DC 20250-1571
stephanie.strength@usda.gov
(202) 720-0468

GET TO WORK, EVERYONE!

GET THOSE COMMENTS IN!

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image: detail of installation by Bronwyn Lace