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JUG is intended to provide information and opinion about local political and commercial issues.  JUG will also try to provide a place for people to express their opinions.  JUG is not a Blog.  No anonymous comments will be posted here.  If you wish to comment, please feel free to use the e-mail link below.  

I, Me, Mine 2/25/15

A couple of things turned up in the Star/Tribune recently.

First, on the 18th the STRIB reported that the Des Moines Water Works is threatening to sue three rural Iowa counties for allowing pollution to reach their drinking water source, and forcing the city of Des Moines to pay up to $7,000.00 per day to remove nitrates from their drinking water.

The article appears under the headline “A closely watched fight brewing over nitrates in Iowa water”. 

A few excerpts:
“said Bill Stowe, CEO and general manager of the utility. “We’ll continue to get a lot of blowback, but our ratepayers are first and foremost in our minds and they’re tired of paying for other people’s pollution

Four years ago, Deborah Swackhamer, a University of Minnesota water quality researcher, presented the Legislature with a 25-year plan to clean up the state’s waters and recommended stricter pollution limits for farmers. She noted last week that nitrate levels in Minnesota waters are still rising.”

I guess that means Ms. Swackhamer’s plan is now a 29-year plan, and with the results so far, we’re headed in the wrong direction.

Deep in the article, you will find that an Iowa farmer thinks the state should spend more tax dollars to help farmers clean up their runoff.

The link is here:

In another story, Houston County is banning frack sand mines that produce over 60,000 cubic yards of sand per year.

One small excerpt from that story: “We have plenty of documentation that there are harmful effects,” said Commissioner Justin Zmyewski, who introduced the ordinance. “There are concerns about the environment and infrastructure.”

The link to that story is here:

Houston County has concerns and documentation.  Scott County has the documentation, but lacks concerns.  Puzzling.

Picture Time!
Took a ride the other day.  With some help from my son, and his camera, I got the following pictures.  Now, can someone explain to me how ice which is not allowed to collect further upstream on the banks of Sand Creek is going to get past these log jams?

Aside from the silt, nitrates, phosphates, sodium, and whatever else, there are logs in the creek.  Every year.

The creek meanders.  The sharp bends make traps for logs, ice and debris.  In the area of the proposed gravel operation, the railroad track bed, and berms built to protect it constrain the creek on one side. 

Oh, and while I’m thinking about it, if floodwaters are not allowed into the mine area, where will they go? 

Valley Green? Over the banks at the Jordan Public Works building?  The wetland behind Wolf Motors? (not good, since Mr. Wolf is planning expansion, and has flood plain issues now)

Putting vertical steel pipes every 30 feet, along 1700 or so feet of the creek bank (see the proposer’s plan on the right) sounds like a really great way to strain logs from the creek.  We’re not talking about a fairly straight waterway, with lots of room for floodwater to spread out.  And we probably are talking about something that will be beyond private property owners’ ability to maintain in perpetuity.

Unless somebody has some kind of a magic model I don’t know about, preventing floodwater from spreading in one place forces it to spread deeper someplace else.  Sort of like the brouhaha taking place in the Red River Valley up north.

A Plug
Regular readers of JUG will know that I seldom plug businesses.  But on some occasions I catch wind of something that has special merit.  In those cases, I like to get the word out.  This is one such case.

Mark Knutson is a realtor with a twist.  He specializes in handicapped accessible homes.  He can help veterans, disabled, and elderly people find homes to suit their needs.  In my opinion, the world needs more people like Mr. Knutson, doing the kind of work he does.

He is associated with Coldwell Banker/Burnet Realty.  You can reach him at
612 961 9182 (cell)
612 924 7171 (direct)
meknutson@cbburnet.com (email)

The Quote:
“All through the day, I me mine
I me mine, I me mine
All through the night, I me mine
I me mine, I me mine
Now they're frightened of leaving it
Everyone's weaving it
Coming on strong all the time
All through the day I me mine”
George Harrison

Next City Council Meeting, Monday, March 2, 2015

Videos are now on the Video Page


I welcome public comment on this topic. Anyone willing to give his or her name is welcome to respond here. Thom.Boncher@gmail.com  No anonymous responses will be posted.  No obscene language will be permitted.  Threats, personal attacks, and spam will not be posted.  My house, my rules.  But if you have something to say, and if you are willing to put your name on it, I won’t refuse to let you be heard.