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TruthToTell, Monday, June 17−9AM: "MERCY KILLERS": More Need than Ever for Single-Payer?; TruthToTell, June 10: BURNING GARBAGE: HERC Permits Still Firing Disputes - Audio HERE & Video Link Coming

UPCOMING SHOW

Tune in this coming Monday from 9:00 am to 10:00 am on KFAI, (90.3 FM in Minneapolis, and 106.7 FM in St. Paul) to catch our upcoming program:

Monday, June 17, 2013

CALL and Join This Conversation – 612-341-0980 – or Tweet us@TTTAndyDriscoll or post onTruthToTell’s Facebook page.

HELP US BRING YOU THESE IMPORTANT DISCUSSIONS OF COMMUNITY INTEREST – PLEASE DONATE HERE

AND NOW: The KFAI Community Radio App is now up and running!!
That means you can now hear TruthToTell – live – on your mobile - currently available for Android (http://bit.ly/KFAIonAndroid), iPhone (http://bit.ly/TTTon_iPhone), and iPad (http://bit.ly/TTT-on-iPad) mobile devices.

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It could be rationally believed that, with the introduction of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) (read Obamacare)**, single-payer advocates would pull in their horns on the strength of the coming 2014 implementation of that law that would seem to cover everyone (universal coverage) at some reasonable cost – see Health Insurance Exchanges –MNsure in Minnesota.

To that notion, Health Care for All-Minnesota (in league with Physicians for a National Health Plan Minnesota – PNHP) replies, “The federal reforms are a positive step that will provide coverage to many of the uninsured, but they do little to control the costs for those who already have insurance, and the skyrocketing cost of health care must be addressed. By delivering health care in an efficient, common sense manner, the MHP will make health care affordable to all.

MHP is the Minnesota Health Plan – an alternative to the ACA’s Health Insurance Exchanges and MNsure – is proposed as a system to cover everyone, leaving out no one and doing it all for less money, according to these proponents.

A few months ago, TTT’s Community Connections series brought you a one-hour special broadcast live from the Wilder Foundation and featured advocates and arguments in favor of Minnesota’s legislation to create its own version of a federally mandated health insurance exchange – an option for states to establish (some have, some refuse to, meaning the feds will step in and run one) a system allowing those without employer-supplied insurance or medical assistance to purchase some sort of plan. PNHP appeared in support of that plan, but stressed that the real answer for universal coverage at a minimal or no cost to patients while lowering the “skyrocketing” costs of healthcare, period.

And, so the push by supporters of single-payer – a system of mandated coverage paid for by your tax dollars with services provided by the same private providers (clinics and hospitals and professionals) now providing your care – maintain their belief and their campaign – and we’ll ask why all this is necessary under the circumstances.

And we’ll hear cuttings of a powerful one-man play – “Mercy Killers” – live from our studios with that show’s writer and performer, Michael Milligan, here to perform his entire play at HCA-MN and PNHP-MN’s Annual Summer Celebration, this year from the stage of Chanhassen Dinner Theatre this coming Thursday, June 20th. (A few seats are left for only the performance at this writing, so check here for ticket availability.)

TTT’S ANDY DRISCOLL and MICHELLE ALIMORADI bring you a discussion with the proponents of single-payer and an introduction to “Mercy Killers”.

** The Affordable Care Act (ACA) was passed by Congress and signed into law by the President in March 2010. On June 28, 2012, the Supreme Court rendered a final decision to uphold the health care law.

GUESTS:

STATE SENATOR JOHN MARTY (DFL-66) – Member, Health, Human Services and HousingCommittee (Also: Chair, Environment and Energy Committee).

 

ERIN ANDERSON – Executive Director, Health Care for All-Minnesota

 

 

 


MICHAEL MILLIGAN – Creator, Performer, “Mercy Killers.


AND YOU!! CALL US at 612-341-0980 or post a comment at TruthToTell's Facebook Page

 

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MOST RECENT SHOW

Listen to our most recent show here, or browse our archives >

Monday, June 10, 2013

Call and join this conversation – 612-341-0980 – or Tweet us@TTTAndyDriscoll or post onTruthToTell’s Facebook page.

HELP US BRING YOU THESE IMPORTANT DISCUSSIONS OF COMMUNITY INTEREST – PLEASE DONATE HERE!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

As the climate heats up once again around the wisdom of allowing the Hennepin County Energy Recovery Center (HERC) – or as it’s colloquially known – the downtown Minneapolis garbage burner – to up its garbage-burning capacity by 20% over its currently permitted limit, the advocates from every corner – the State Legislature, the MPCA, Hennepin County, Covanta Energy (contractor-operator of the garbage burning generator), Minneapolis, and several citizen commissions and advocates are active again in staking out recalcitrant positions for and against both the facility itself – and its application for increased burning. The heat comes from sometimes totally unrelated arguments regarding the same project:

Is Hennepin County’s and Covanta’s Waste to Energy (WTE) facility – the HERC – better at reducing the city’s and county’s wastes by not dumping them in landfills the way we as a society have done for centuries? Probably. The United States remains one of the very few industrial nations which still landfills nearly 70% of its waste while some European nations actually reuse and recycle up to70% of theirs, some of them almost down to zero landfilling.

But the questions don’t stop there. Just what are they burning in those furnaces and what by-products of that burning are adversely affecting human health? And, after the burning, what’s left in the ash and where should the ash go? If any or all of these things are as toxic as the burning facility’s critics say they are (and they must be, since it requires a Pollution Control Agency permit to even run the place). We know that deadly mercury, lead, cadmium, hydrochloric acid, Nitrogen Oxides – or NOx – carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide and a couple of other pollutants are emitted in some quantity down there.

Some friends of the HERC insist that the WTE facility has reduced those toxic emissions by massive percentages and that the waste would be dumped in landfills if not burned. It’s opponents absolutely insist this is not so, while also saying that any burning of anything whatsoever is far too detrimental to the public health and adding exponentially to the greenhouse gases (GHG) responsible for climate change.

This is hardly a partisan issue since supporters of both the HERC and its opponents reside in all the parties and across the political spectrum.

Helping to feed the latest controversy was a MinnPost Community Voices columnsubmitted by well-known Minnesota science writer, filmmaker, and novelist, Shawn Lawrence Otto, who bio states that he “lives in a wind-powered, passive solar, superinsulated geothermal home he designed and built with his own hands. He recycles, composts and drives a hybrid car.” In his piece, he plumps for TWE as at least the current answer to landfilling garbage.

As for the process of approvals and appeals submitted to the umpteen agencies in charge:Hennepin County, the City of Minneapolis Planning Commission and City Council, The MN Pollution Control Agency (MPCA-permitting authority)Lara Norkus-Crampton, a nurse who has sat on the Planning Commission continually reminds whoever will listen that

“In the last four years that this Appeal has been dragging out, we have observed the County wanting to talk about anything besides the required findings this proposal couldn't meet to get the Conditional Use Permit to burn 20% more garbage per day at HERC. The issue before us is whether or not a HERC Conditional Use Permit should be allowed to be granted to burn approx 400,000 pounds more garbage per day. The required findings they were judged unable to meet by the Mpls Planning Commission are: 1) Will not endanger or be a detriment to the public health, safety, comfort or general welfare; and 2) Will not be injurious to the use and enjoyment of other property in the vicinity, and will not impede the normal or orderly development and improvement of surrounding property for uses permitted in the district.

“The County and Covanta appealed our denial but in four years have still have not presented the data to prove that this proposal won't impact the health of people living downwind or negatively impact the property rights of those unlucky enough to be getting regular showers of toxic emissions.”

State Rep. Frank Hornstein and Ms. Norkus-Crampton and other opponents will face off a bit with passionate supporter of the increased capacity, Hennepin County Commissioner Peter McLaughlin, as TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and MICHELLE ALIMORADI query some of the key players in this four-year drama of application, appeal, revisions and more appeals and, ultimately to answer the questions we should all be asking: what is the safest alternative to the HERC facility and should it be allowed to burn even more than currently allowed. And what roles do all the elected and appointed officials in each jurisdiction play in all this?

GUESTS:

STATE REPRESENTATIVE FRANK HORNSTEIN (DFL-61A) Mpls – Member of the House Energy Policy and Ways&Means Committees

COMMISSIONER PETER MCLAUGHLIN – Hennepin County Board of Commissioners - Chair, Public Works, Energy & Environment Committee; Member, Solid Waste Management Coordinating Board

 


LARA NORKUS-CRAMPTON, RN – Former Member, Minneapolis Planning Commission; Community and Environmental activist; Presented with Minnesota Nurses Association 2012 Bettye Shogren Health and Safety Award.

ALAN MULLER – International Environmental Watchdog; Founder, Green Delaware; Active opponent of HERC – and all burning.


 

TruthToTell, Monday, June 10-9AM: BURNING GARBAGE: HERC Permits Still Firing Disputes; TruthToTell, June 3: TONY BOUZA: The "Expert Witness"

UPCOMING SHOW

Tune in this coming Monday from 9:00 am to 10:00 am on KFAI, (90.3 FM in Minneapolis, and 106.7 FM in St. Paul) to catch our upcoming program:

Monday, June 10, 2013

Call and join this conversation – 612-341-0980 – or Tweet us@TTTAndyDriscoll or post onTruthToTell’s Facebook page.

HELP US BRING YOU THESE IMPORTANT DISCUSSIONS OF COMMUNITY INTEREST – PLEASE DONATE HERE!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

As the climate heats up once again around the wisdom of allowing the Hennepin County Energy Recovery Center (HERC) – or as it’s colloquially known – the downtown Minneapolis garbage burner – to up its garbage-burning capacity by 20% over its currently permitted limit, the advocates from every corner – the State Legislature, the MPCA, Hennepin County, Covanta Energy (contractor-operator of the garbage burning generator), Minneapolis, and several citizen commissions and advocates are active again in staking out recalcitrant positions for and against both the facility itself – and its application for increased burning. The heat comes from sometimes totally unrelated arguments regarding the same project:

Is Hennepin County’s and Covanta’s Waste to Energy (WTE) facility – the HERC – better at reducing the city’s and county’s wastes by not dumping them in landfills the way we as a society have done for centuries? Probably. The United States remains one of the very few industrial nations which still landfills nearly 70% of its waste while some European nations actually reuse and recycle up to70% of theirs, some of them almost down to zero landfilling.

But the questions don’t stop there. Just what are they burning in those furnaces and what by-products of that burning are adversely affecting human health? And, after the burning, what’s left in the ash and where should the ash go? If any or all of these things are as toxic as the burning facility’s critics say they are (and they must be, since it requires a Pollution Control Agency permit to even run the place). We know that deadly mercury, lead, cadmium, hydrochloric acid, Nitrogen Oxides – or NOx – carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide and a couple of other pollutants are emitted in some quantity down there.

Some friends of the HERC insist that the WTE facility has reduced those toxic emissions by massive percentages and that the waste would be dumped in landfills if not burned. It’s opponents absolutely insist this is not so, while also saying that any burning of anything whatsoever is far too detrimental to the public health and adding exponentially to the greenhouse gases (GHG) responsible for climate change.

This is hardly a partisan issue since supporters of both the HERC and its opponents reside in all the parties and across the political spectrum.

Helping to feed the latest controversy was a MinnPost Community Voices columnsubmitted by well-known Minnesota science writer, filmmaker, and novelist, Shawn Lawrence Otto, who bio states that he “lives in a wind-powered, passive solar, superinsulated geothermal home he designed and built with his own hands. He recycles, composts and drives a hybrid car.” In his piece, he plumps for TWE as at least the current answer to landfilling garbage.

As for the process of approvals and appeals submitted to the umpteen agencies in charge:Hennepin County, the City of Minneapolis Planning Commission and City Council, The MN Pollution Control Agency (MPCA-permitting authority)Lara Norkus-Crampton, a nurse who has sat on the Planning Commission continually reminds whoever will listen that

“In the last four years that this Appeal has been dragging out, we have observed the County wanting to talk about anything besides the required findings this proposal couldn't meet to get the Conditional Use Permit to burn 20% more garbage per day at HERC. The issue before us is whether or not a HERC Conditional Use Permit should be allowed to be granted to burn approx 400,000 pounds more garbage per day. The required findings they were judged unable to meet by the Mpls Planning Commission are: 1) Will not endanger or be a detriment to the public health, safety, comfort or general welfare; and 2) Will not be injurious to the use and enjoyment of other property in the vicinity, and will not impede the normal or orderly development and improvement of surrounding property for uses permitted in the district.

“The County and Covanta appealed our denial but in four years have still have not presented the data to prove that this proposal won't impact the health of people living downwind or negatively impact the property rights of those unlucky enough to be getting regular showers of toxic emissions.”

State Rep. Frank Hornstein and Ms. Norkus-Crampton and other opponents will face off a bit with passionate supporter of the increased capacity, Hennepin County Commissioner Peter McLaughlin, as TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and MICHELLE ALIMORADI query some of the key players in this four-year drama of application, appeal, revisions and more appeals and, ultimately to answer the questions we should all be asking: what is the safest alternative to the HERC facility and should it be allowed to burn even more than currently allowed. And what roles do all the elected and appointed officials in each jurisdiction play in all this?

GUESTS:

STATE REPRESENTATIVE FRANK HORNSTEIN (DFL-61A) Mpls – Member of the House Energy Policy and Ways&Means Committees

COMMISSIONER PETER MCLAUGHLIN – Hennepin County Board of Commissioners - Chair, Public Works, Energy & Environment Committee; Member, Solid Waste Management Coordinating Board

 


LARA NORKUS-CRAMPTON, RN – Former Member, Minneapolis Planning Commission; Community and Environmental activist; Presented with Minnesota Nurses Association 2012 Bettye Shogren Health and Safety Award.

ALAN MULLER – International Environmental Watchdog; Founder, Green Delaware; Active opponent of HERC – and all burning.

 


JUSTIN EIBENHOLZL – Former Southeast Como Environmental Director; Founder, Como Green Village; Co-founder, Southeast Como Solar Pilot Project & the former MIMO (Move In/Move Out Waste Reduction Program); Co-founder, Clean Energy Now! (Coal-fired plant mitigation)

No comments yet - be the first!

 

MOST RECENT SHOW

Listen to our most recent show here, or browse our archives >

Monday, June 3, 2013

HELP US BRING YOU THESE IMPORTANT DISCUSSIONS OF COMMUNITY INTEREST – PLEASE DONATE HERE!

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The guy can drive you nuts. Just when you think he’s about to encase himself in a predictable cloak of political or public safety polarization, out he comes with sometimes shocking contradiction. This is Tony Bouza and his oft-quoted remark: 

“I am an unapologetic supporter of the use of police violence, even lethal force, but it has to be guided by the law, the standards of reasonableness and the U.S. Constitution. I have presided over clubbings, shootings, gassings, and other assaults by the police. I see violence as a key weapon in the police arsenal and trained cops in the full range of possibilities available to us.

"My only caveat is that the use of force has to be legally justified, measured, and appropriate, and that the weapons have to be in conformance with the law."

This is part of the Preface of Tony Bouza’s latest book, Expert Witness: Breaking the Policemen’s Blue Code of Silence, a volume of case files in which the former Minneapolis police chief, considered by most to be a maverick cop, remains a conscientious defender of ethics in policing – this, despite the statement above.

Those on the receiving end of police violence – especially serious advocates of reining in all police abuse – might dispute even this reasoning on its use in enforcing the law. And yet:

This is also the guy writing books and running around the country testifying against police abuse, abuse too often forgiven by chiefs, prosecutors, judges and juries, more often than not pitting the word of men (and some women) of color against cops known to their colleagues and other witnesses as “thumpers” or worse – killers – many willing to lie on reports and cover for each other, no matter how straight most of them may be – because the Blue Code of Silence is like the Mafia’s Black Hand: you never, but never fink on a fellow cop.

Multiply Rodney King times a million or more victims of out-of-control street muggings by uniformed police officers, unafraid of rolling cameras and cell phone videos, knowing the chances are somewhere in the neighborhood of 90% that the cops will get off, despite the visual evidence. Pictures don’t matter much when the public is scared to death – either of criminals or cops – and refuse to convict. The rare conviction usually means one’s network has failed him (or her – almost never her).

Tony Bouza’s years as a cop and his rebellious nature as chief lend him a certain cache of credibility as an expert witness in criminal and civil cases calling out his former brothers in blue for their arrogant excesses, similar to a few other ex-police officers, like author and retired Minneapolis supervisor, Mike Quinn. Quinn’s book, Walking with the Devil: The Police Code of Silence, like Bouza’s, depicts cops as dedicated law enforcement officers – until they lose it – and they lose it often, especially those in Minneapolis Police uniforms. But the criticism remains and some very broken heads and dead bodies have resulted in the name of “protecting and serving.”

As MPR reporter Dan Olson suggested in his 2004 interview of Quinn: “If observing the code protects police, protects citizens and puts bad people away, isn't it at worst, harmless and at best, beneficial?” Quinn says no. He says the code changes the police motto "protect and serve" to "convict and incarcerate." It encourages police to take the law into their own hands, because they know there's little chance their wrongdoing will be exposed by other officers.

‘Then we start having problems," Quinn says, "because then we start seeing that it's OK to start kicking in doors without warrants, that it's OK to make that drug arrest without really seeing them drop the drugs.’”

But that may only be the half of it. The very notion of such codes bespeaks a corrupting culture that may give a false sense of security to those who stay away from criminality or even legal dissent, but get in the face of any officer, and you will find the most innocent of democratic values may mean nothing to the uniform in front of you, one accompanied by a very large gun, a baton and a can of pepper spray.

TTT’s Andy Driscoll talks with a returning Tony Bouza, now author of some twelve books, about his latest, Expert Witness: Breaking the Policemen’s Blue Code of Silence.

Former Minneapolis Police Chief Tony Bouza

 

TruthToTell, June 10: BURNING GARBAGE: HERC Permits Still Firing Disputes - Audio & Video Links BELOW

On-air date: 
Mon, 06/10/2013
Listen to or download this episode here: 

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HELP US BRING YOU THESE IMPORTANT DISCUSSIONS OF COMMUNITY INTEREST – PLEASE DONATE HERE!

VIDEO HERE

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

As the climate heats up once again around the wisdom of allowing the Hennepin County Energy Recovery Center (HERC) – or as it’s colloquially known – the downtown Minneapolis garbage burner – to up its garbage-burning capacity by 20% over its currently permitted limit, the advocates from every corner – the State Legislature, the MPCA, Hennepin County, Covanta Energy (contractor-operator of the garbage burning generator), Minneapolis, and several citizen commissions and advocates are active again in staking out recalcitrant positions for and against both the facility itself – and its application for increased burning. The heat comes from sometimes totally unrelated arguments regarding the same project:

Is Hennepin County’s and Covanta’s Waste to Energy (WTE) facility – the HERC – better at reducing the city’s and county’s wastes by not dumping them in landfills the way we as a society have done for centuries? Probably. The United States remains one of the very few industrial nations which still landfills nearly 70% of its waste while some European nations actually reuse and recycle up to70% of theirs, some of them almost down to zero landfilling.

But the questions don’t stop there. Just what are they burning in those furnaces and what by-products of that burning are adversely affecting human health? And, after the burning, what’s left in the ash and where should the ash go? If any or all of these things are as toxic as the burning facility’s critics say they are (and they must be, since it requires a Pollution Control Agency permit to even run the place). We know that deadly mercury, lead, cadmium, hydrochloric acid, Nitrogen Oxides – or NOx – carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide and a couple of other pollutants are emitted in some quantity down there.

Some friends of the HERC insist that the WTE facility has reduced those toxic emissions by massive percentages and that the waste would be dumped in landfills if not burned. It’s opponents absolutely insist this is not so, while also saying that any burning of anything whatsoever is far too detrimental to the public health and adding exponentially to the greenhouse gases (GHG) responsible for climate change.

This is hardly a partisan issue since supporters of both the HERC and its opponents reside in all the parties and across the political spectrum.

Helping to feed the latest controversy was a MinnPost Community Voices column submitted by well-known Minnesota science writer, filmmaker, and novelist, Shawn Lawrence Otto, who bio states that he “lives in a wind-powered, passive solar, superinsulated geothermal home he designed and built with his own hands. He recycles, composts and drives a hybrid car.” In his piece, he plumps for TWE as at least the current answer to landfilling garbage.

As for the process of approvals and appeals submitted to the umpteen agencies in charge: Hennepin County, the City of Minneapolis Planning Commission and City Council, The MN Pollution Control Agency (MPCA-permitting authority). Lara Norkus-Crampton, a nurse who has sat on the Planning Commission continually reminds whoever will listen that

“In the last four years that this Appeal has been dragging out, we have observed the County wanting to talk about anything besides the required findings this proposal couldn't meet to get the Conditional Use Permit to burn 20% more garbage per day at HERC. The issue before us is whether or not a HERC Conditional Use Permit should be allowed to be granted to burn approx 400,000 pounds more garbage per day. The required findings they were judged unable to meet by the Mpls Planning Commission are: 1) Will not endanger or be a detriment to the public health, safety, comfort or general welfare; and 2) Will not be injurious to the use and enjoyment of other property in the vicinity, and will not impede the normal or orderly development and improvement of surrounding property for uses permitted in the district.

“The County and Covanta appealed our denial but in four years have still have not presented the data to prove that this proposal won't impact the health of people living downwind or negatively impact the property rights of those unlucky enough to be getting regular showers of toxic emissions.”

State Rep. Frank Hornstein and Ms. Norkus-Crampton and other opponents face off a bit with passionate supporter of the increased capacity, Hennepin County Commissioner Peter McLaughlin, as TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and MICHELLE ALIMORADI query some of the key players in this four-year drama of application, appeal, revisions and more appeals and, ultimately to answer the questions we should all be asking: what is the safest alternative to the HERC facility and should it be allowed to burn even more than currently allowed. And what roles do all the elected and appointed officials in each jurisdiction play in all this?

GUESTS:

STATE REPRESENTATIVE FRANK HORNSTEIN (DFL-61A) Mpls – Member of the House Energy Policy and Ways&Means Committees

COMMISSIONER PETER MCLAUGHLIN – Hennepin County Board of Commissioners - Chair, Public Works, Energy & Environment Committee; Member, Solid Waste Management Coordinating Board

 


LARA NORKUS-CRAMPTON, RN – Former Member, Minneapolis Planning Commission; Community and Environmental activist; Presented with Minnesota Nurses Association 2012 Bettye Shogren Health and Safety Award.

ALAN MULLER – International Environmental Watchdog; Founder, Green Delaware; Active opponent of HERC – and all burning.


TruthToTell Feb 27@9AM: HENNEPIN COUNTY BURNER: Renewable Energy? Or Deadly Polluter? - KFAI FM 90.3/106.7/Online @KFAI.org

Remember – call and join the conversation – 612-341-0980 – or Tweet us @TTTAndyDriscoll or post onTruthToTell’s Facebook page.

HELP US BRING YOU THESE IMPORTANT DISCUSSIONS OF COMMUNITY INTEREST – PLEASE DONATE HERE!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Remember – call and join the conversation – 612-341-0980 – or Tweet us @TTTAndyDriscoll or post onTruthToTell’s Facebook page.

HELP US BRING YOU THESE IMPORTANT DISCUSSIONS OF COMMUNITY INTEREST – PLEASE DONATE HERE!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

TruthToTell Feb 27@9AM: HENNEPIN COUNTY BURNER: Renewable Energy? Or Deadly Polluter? - KFAI FM 90.3/106.7/Online @KFAI.org

Should Hennepin County garbage burner operator Covanta Energy be allowed to increase its burning volume by almost 20%?

State  and city permits currently allow Hennepin County and Covanta to incinerate 1,000 tons of Minneapolis and near-ring suburban garbage at the HERC (Hennepin Energy Resource Center) facility in the heart of downtown (in Target Field’s backyard, so to speak). Covanta and the county want to up that by 212 tons per day, the maximum the plant could handle.

Here’s what Hennepin County’s HERC page proclaims (boldface ours):

About 365,000 tons of garbage (1,000 per day) is burned at HERC to provide enough electricity for 25,000 homes each year. Electricity generated at HERC is sold to Xcel Energy. (Covanta labels the 33.7 megawatts they sell to Xcel Energy as “renewable”.)

Through the steam line, HERC provides enough steam for the annual natural gas needs of 1,500 homes to buildings in downtown Minneapolis and Target Field.

Residents and businesses in Hennepin County generate 1 million tons of garbage every year. Processing waste at HERC is an environmentally preferable alternative to landfilling waste.

More than 11,000 tons of ferrous metal are recovered every year at HERC and recycled.

Processing one ton of waste at HERC prevents the release of one ton of greenhouse gas emissions. Since HERC opened in 1990, processing waste has prevented the release of 3 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions.

Is burning garbage really the best way to a) manage our waste without landfilling it? and/or b) generate electricity or other forms of energy? Whatever happened to the recycling, composting and reducing waste targets developed years ago now? Is this WTE – waste-to-energy – system the healthiest alternative?

Burned materials of all kinds pour pollutants into the air we breathe – and choke on, creating unprecedented percentages of respiratory problems in children and adults, especially adults with chronic health problems.

Lead, cadmium and other heavy metals are released into the air over Minneapolis and blow in different directions at different times of the year, settling in the systems of residents all around the Twin Cities. Remember, this is added to other burning and pollutants from other sources, including energy and manufacturing companies dotting the Metro.

Even with all the money generated for Hennepin County by this burning operation, can the health protection mandate of the county and the state justify such data as an 11.4% rate of children’s asthma in Minneapolis or 9.2% county-wide?

Two years ago, the Minneapolis Planning Commission bucked its own staff’s recommendation and turned down Covanta’s and Hennepin’s request for changing the city’s conditional use permit to allow for the increased burning. Covanta started to appeal that decision to the City Council, but could see the media coverage and count the votes on the City Council Zoning and Planning Committee and pulled it back to consult with the Pollution Control Agency about modifying THAT permit to burn.

Their appeal was coming up again in Minneapolis this month - now they’ve asked for another extension for that – to October. Anti-burning advocates and other environmentalists are pressing hard to keep any more garbage from being burnt there, insisting that all burning, not just the increase, is killing people. (Watch an interview between guests Lara Norkus-Crampton and Rep. Frank Hornstein.)

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and MICHELLE ALIMORADI talk with anti burner and anti-burning advocates and two of the legislators who support them.

GUESTS:

 State Rep KAREN CLARK (DFL-Mpls), RN – Public health nurse; DFL Lead Housing: MN House Jobs and Economic Development Finance Committee; Executive Director, Women’s Environmental Institute

State Rep. FRANK HORNSTEIN (DFL-Mpls) – Minnesota House Ways and Means; M.A., urban and environmental policy

 LARA NORKUS-CRAMPTON, RN – Public Health Nurse; former member, Minneapolis Planning Commission; Anti-HERC Advocate

 ALAN MULLER – Executive Director, Green Delaware; Anti-burning advocate

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TruthToTell Feb 27@9AM: HENNEPIN COUNTY BURNER: Renewable Energy? Or Deadly Polluter? - KFAI FM 90.3/106.7/Online @KFAI.org


Should Hennepin County garbage burner operator Covanta Energy be allowed to increase its burning volume by almost 20%?

State  and city permits currently allow Hennepin County and Covanta to incinerate 1,000 tons of Minneapolis and near-ring suburban garbage at the HERC (Hennepin Energy Resource Center) facility in the heart of downtown (in Target Field’s backyard, so to speak). Covanta and the county want to up that by 212 tons per day, the maximum the plant could handle.

Here’s what Hennepin County’s HERC page proclaims (boldface ours):

About 365,000 tons of garbage (1,000 per day) is burned at HERC to provide enough electricity for 25,000 homes each year. Electricity generated at HERC is sold to Xcel Energy. (Covanta labels the 33.7 megawatts they sell to Xcel Energy as “renewable”.)

Through the steam line, HERC provides enough steam for the annual natural gas needs of 1,500 homes to buildings in downtown Minneapolis and Target Field.

Residents and businesses in Hennepin County generate 1 million tons of garbage every year. Processing waste at HERC is an environmentally preferable alternative to landfilling waste.

More than 11,000 tons of ferrous metal are recovered every year at HERC and recycled.

Processing one ton of waste at HERC prevents the release of one ton of greenhouse gas emissions. Since HERC opened in 1990, processing waste has prevented the release of 3 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions.

Is burning garbage really the best way to a) manage our waste without landfilling it? and/or b) generate electricity or other forms of energy? Whatever happened to the recycling, composting and reducing waste targets developed years ago now? Is this WTE – waste-to-energy – system the healthiest alternative?

Burned materials of all kinds pour pollutants into the air we breathe – and choke on, creating unprecedented percentages of respiratory problems in children and adults, especially adults with chronic health problems.

Lead, cadmium and other heavy metals are released into the air over Minneapolis and blow in different directions at different times of the year, settling in the systems of residents all around the Twin Cities. Remember, this is added to other burning and pollutants from other sources, including energy and manufacturing companies dotting the Metro.

Even with all the money generated for Hennepin County by this burning operation, can the health protection mandate of the county and the state justify such data as an 11.4% rate of children’s asthma in Minneapolis or 9.2% county-wide?

Two years ago, the Minneapolis Planning Commission bucked its own staff’s recommendation and turned down Covanta’s and Hennepin’s request for changing the city’s conditional use permit to allow for the increased burning. Covanta started to appeal that decision to the City Council, but could see the media coverage and count the votes on the City Council Zoning and Planning Committee and pulled it back to consult with the Pollution Control Agency about modifying THAT permit to burn.

Their appeal was coming up again in Minneapolis this month - now they’ve asked for another extension for that – to October. Anti-burning advocates and other environmentalists are pressing hard to keep any more garbage from being burnt there, insisting that all burning, not just the increase, is killing people. (Watch an interview between guests Lara Norkus-Crampton and Rep. Frank Hornstein.)

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and MICHELLE ALIMORADI talk with anti burner and anti-burning advocates and two of the legislators who support them.

GUESTS:

 State Rep KAREN CLARK (DFL-Mpls), RN – Public health nurse; DFL Lead Housing: MN House Jobs and Economic Development Finance Committee; Executive Director, Women’s Environmental Institute

State Rep. FRANK HORNSTEIN (DFL-Mpls) – Minnesota House Ways and Means; M.A., urban and environmental policy

 LARA NORKUS-CRAMPTON, RN – Public Health Nurse; former member, Minneapolis Planning Commission; Anti-HERC Advocate

 ALAN MULLER – Executive Director, Green Delaware; Anti-burning advocate

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TruthToTell Feb 20: SELECTING OUR JUDGES: Retention? Or Election? - Audio HERE

Minnesota’s system of electing judges once relied on an important caveat in the little known law known as the Canon of Judicial Ethics or Minnesota Code of Judicial Conduct. That caveat, known as Canon #5, prevented judicial candidates from taking political stands on issues that might well come before them as judges or justices. It was an important rule for most of the lawyers and judges – of any political persuasion –  practicing before the bar (the term for the legal community) to keep the process relatively clear of politics. Politics, they insist(ed), have no place in seeking judgeships because of the neutrality that serves as the ideal for presiding over trials and considering appeals.

Of course, it’s something of a myth that politics – or at least one’s personal and political bent – doesn’t find its way into many of the court’s judgments, but, at least campaigns for judge could speak more to qualifications for the bench and less about the way a judge would likely rule in most cases.

However, a relative minority of the legal community, more often than not from the ideological right, but certainly not limited to that stripe, argued and still argue that the public has an inherent right in elections to hear about where a judicial candidate stands on key issues facing society, or, perhaps, even how they would rule in some cases.

One Minnesota lawyer, Gregory Wersal, himself a repeated candidate for the Minnesota Supreme Court, challenged what he considered the inappropriately restrictive Canon 5 and took that case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, where he won a landmark 5-4 decision (Republican Party of MN v. White) that has since opened the door to highly politicized judicial races across the country (since most states’ Canons contained similar prohibitions).

Actually, most judges, once in office, are almost never challenged unless they committed mayhem of some sort. Those who do go after a sitting judge are considered a bit dumb because the lack of voter engagement almost always reelects the judge and the former opponent is now likely to come before this judge in a courtroom. While theoretically committed to impartiality in such cases, judges may, indeed, hold a grudge for having been dragged through an expensive and, perhaps, embarrassing campaign for reelection. Result: most sitting judges run unopposed.

This is why Wersal was considered outside the mainstream and thus dismissed as a fly in the ointment – until his argument received the blessing of the Supremes.

For many respected present and former justices and judges, this was and abandonment of the fundamental principles of English Common Law, let alone a longstanding ethic that kept the courts and campaigns for them clear of open ideological battles. While Minnesota has not quite yet descended into the degrading contests the legal community feared in opposing Wersal, nasty campaigns in Wisconsin and several other states have shown them that Minnesota, at least, should establish a satisfactory (and more dignified, to be sure) alternative to wide open elections.

Wisconsin’s degeneration into one Supreme Court justice choking his female colleague represents to many the state of the judiciary in our neighboring state.

Since then, such legal luminaries as former US Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor (who voted "aye" in the 5-4 decision and would later regret it); former Vice President Walter Mondale; former Governor Al Quie; current State Supreme Court Justice Alan Page; retired Chief Justice Kathleen Blatz (and former Republican House member); current Hennepin County Judge Kevin Burke; former Chief Judge and now president of the American Judges Association; and recently retired Chief Justice Eric Magnuson, now a regular legal representative of Republicans and Republican causes, are among many who have come forward with an entire new system of judicial selection for Minnesota – Merit Selection and Retention Elections.

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL will talk with staff and officers of the Coalition for Impartial Justice about the proposed system and why it’s better than what some might call democracy.

TruthToTell Feb 27: HENNEPIN COUNTY BURNER: Renewable Energy? Or Deadly Polluter? PLUS Larry Long sings of Sulfide Mines-Listen

On-air date: 
Mon, 02/27/2012

Remember – call and join the conversation – 612-341-0980 – or Tweet us @TTTAndyDriscoll or post on TruthToTell’s Facebook page.

HELP US BRING YOU THESE IMPORTANT DISCUSSIONS OF COMMUNITY INTEREST – PLEASE DONATE HERE!

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Should Hennepin County garbage burner operator Covanta Energy be allowed to increase its burning volume by almost 20%?

State  and city permits currently allow Hennepin County and Covanta to incinerate 1,000 tons of Minneapolis and near-ring suburban garbage at the HERC (Hennepin Energy Resource Center) facility in the heart of downtown (in Target Field’s backyard, so to speak). Covanta and the county want to up that by 212 tons per day, the maximum the plant could handle.

Here’s what Hennepin County’s HERC page proclaims (boldface ours):

About 365,000 tons of garbage (1,000 per day) is burned at HERC to provide enough electricity for 25,000 homes each year. Electricity generated at HERC is sold to Xcel Energy. (Covanta labels the 33.7 megawatts they sell to Xcel Energy as “renewable”.)

Through the steam line, HERC provides enough steam for the annual natural gas needs of 1,500 homes to buildings in downtown Minneapolis and Target Field.

Residents and businesses in Hennepin County generate 1 million tons of garbage every year. Processing waste at HERC is an environmentally preferable alternative to landfilling waste.

More than 11,000 tons of ferrous metal are recovered every year at HERC and recycled.

Processing one ton of waste at HERC prevents the release of one ton of greenhouse gas emissions. Since HERC opened in 1990, processing waste has prevented the release of 3 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions.

Is burning garbage really the best way to a) manage our waste without landfilling it? and/or b) generate electricity or other forms of energy? Whatever happened to the recycling, composting and reducing waste targets developed years ago now? Is this WTE – waste-to-energy – system the healthiest alternative?

Burned materials of all kinds pour pollutants into the air we breathe – and choke on, creating unprecedented percentages of respiratory problems in children and adults, especially adults with chronic health problems.

Lead, cadmium and other heavy metals are released into the air over Minneapolis and blow in different directions at different times of the year, settling in the systems of residents all around the Twin Cities. Remember, this is added to other burning and pollutants from other sources, including energy and manufacturing companies dotting the Metro.

Even with all the money generated for Hennepin County by this burning operation, can the health protection mandate of the county and the state justify such data as an 11.4% rate of children’s asthma in Minneapolis or 9.2% county-wide?

Two years ago, the Minneapolis Planning Commission bucked its own staff’s recommendation and turned down Covanta’s and Hennepin’s request for changing the city’s conditional use permit to allow for the increased burning. Covanta started to appeal that decision to the City Council, but could see the media coverage and count the votes on the City Council Zoning and Planning Committee and pulled it back to consult with the Pollution Control Agency about modifying THAT permit to burn.

Their appeal was coming up again in Minneapolis this month - now they’ve asked for another extension for that – to October. Anti-burning advocates and other environmentalists are pressing hard to keep any more garbage from being burnt there, insisting that all burning, not just the increase, is killing people. (Watch an interview between guests Lara Norkus-Crampton and Rep. Frank Hornstein.)

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and MICHELLE ALIMORADI talk with anti burner and anti-burning advocates and two of the legislators who support them.

GUESTS:

State Rep. FRANK HORNSTEIN (DFL-Mpls) – Minnesota House Ways and Means; M.A., urban and environmental policy

LARA NORKUS-CRAMPTON, RN – Public Health Nurse; former member, Minneapolis Planning Commission; Anti-HERC Advocate

ALAN MULLER – Executive Director, Green Delaware; Anti-burning advocate

PLUS: Troubadour LARRY LONG sings his latest song: "Generations 2 Come". This song was written with help from artist Jan Attridge and advocates Diadra Decker, Marco Good and Betsy Bowen.  (Recording comes at about 50 minutes into the show.)


55:37 minutes (50.93 MB)