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Friday, July 17, 2009

Another Great post from Two Putt

I thought I would post this. For those of you who are looking for a good blog to read it’s at:
I read it every day.

Thank you Tommy! TPL

What I Said Last Night (+)
by: TwoPuttTommy
Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 11:51:39 AM CDT

Two weeks ago I wrote a post entitled "Protecting A Parking Lot" where Park Watch's June 17th testimony to the Park Board was duly noted and dismissed as the junk it was. I was going to fisk that junk; but other things got in the way. So, I thought I'd attend last night's Minneapolis Park Board meeting, and do some fisking there. Here's what I wanted to say; I gave an abridged version as I thought I'd have three minutes but was only given two:

Mr. President, Ms. Vice President, Commissioners: My name is Tommy Johnson. Most of you know me as TwoPutt Tommy. I am a blogger at MNProgressiveProject. I am here to speak about blogging, ParkWatch, and a little bit about Crown Hydro.
MNProgressiveProject is a group of bloggers that speak for no one but ourselves. We cover issues all over the state of Minnesota. Like all reputable blogs, we try to follow something loosely called the Blogger's Code of Ethics. There are two basic elements we go by.

First, be honest in gathering, reporting and interpreting information. This means checking facts. One of the tenets of this guideline is to distinguish between advocacy, commentary and factual information. Even advocacy writing and commentary should not misrepresent fact or context.

Second, be accountable. We admit our mistakes, and correct our posts.
In the course of my blogging, I covered the issue of Crown Hydro, and became aware of ParkWatch. The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board is covered extensively by the blog ParkWatch, and they are also activists against certain projects, such as Crown Hydro. On June 17th a blogger from ParkWatch addressed the Park Board and posted said comments on their blog.

I made a brief blog post about this on Friday, June 19th - I brefly touched on Park Watch's comments, but didn't get into specifics. Tonight, I'd like to.
On June 17th, a Park Watch member, Arlene Fried, made the following comments:
She said, and I quote: "We know that the public will lose control over St. Anthony Falls to a private developer and the FERC. No one can predict water flows over the next 50 to 100 years, and an EAW will not enlighten you on this topic. The FERC will have the authority to let the Falls run dry in order to produce energy."

This is completely at odds with what the FERC License says. The FERC license Article 309 requires Crown Hydro to work with the other water users on a flow plan. (1) They did this. (2) There are 4 water users at this elevation, the City, the Army Corps and Xcel Energy. Crown Hydro has last use. First to turn off, last to turn on, and will never run at times of low flow. Article 404 (3) requires them to have a plan to implement this. And finally, the lease terms negotiated by the Park Board indicate the Park Board has control of water diversion when flows are at 1000 cfs or below. (4) This lease term becomes part of the FERC license, in essence, fully enforceable federal law. Some people might call what Ms. Fried said untrue; I'll simply say the license contradicts what she said.

The second statement she made, and I quote: "We know that a FERC hydropower license will preempt local control of historic preservation issues."
Again, completely at odds with everything I've read. This is local park land, on a federal waterway, in part of a national park. The Minneapolis Heritage Preservation office will work with the State Historic Preservation Office and the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board to create a Programmatic Agreement that addresses historic preservation issues. Some people might call what Ms. Fried said untrue; I'll simply say the record contradicts what she said.

I hope the ParkWatch blog accepts these fact corrections and edits their blog accordingly.
1 - pages 10 and 17 of FERC License, 19 March 1999
2 - System-Wide Low-Flow Management Plan, Mississippi River above St. Paul, revised 11 March 2004
3 - pages 10 and 20 of FERC License, 19 March 1999
4 - Crown Hydro Proposed Lease Term Sheet

Quite frankly, the Park Watch people don't source their work and for the most part their work is junk. When people have to make stuff up to make a point, their point isn't worth making.

Recently, I mocked, ridiculed, and scorned the ParkWatch folk. Shortly thereafter, I recived an e-mail, notifying me of a new blog, Minneapolis Park Watch Watch, which is now mocking, ridiculing, and scorning the Park Watch folk.

FOR THE RECORD: I was not involved in forming the Minneapolis Park Watch Watch blog, I have not been invoved, nor am I now involved. But, I'd like to think that my mocking, ridiculing, and scorning of the Park Watch folk was part of the inspiration to the people that did. And who knows? Down the road, I might just make a post or three or more over there...

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