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Thursday, September 3, 2009

Fried wants MPRB to help her rewrite history

Park Watch co founder Arlene Fried has requested that a statement be added to the public record. A hearing on this matter will be conducted at the next MPRB meeting this month, once again proving the point that time and taxpayer’s dollars are wasted by Park Watch:

Fried was bothered by this statement:

"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

Note: We had incorrectly asserted that Arlene Fried had asked for Mr. Johnson’s statement be removed from the public record. We amended this post to correctly show that Fried has asked to have a statement added to the previously approved minuets.

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