Tag Archives | City of Red Wing

“Red Wing sorely lacking in representative government”

My letter published today (December 13, 2017), in the Red Wing Republican Eagle

By global standards, Red Wing is a comfortable and safe place.  It snows, and within hours the roads are plowed.  Potable water, electricity, and gas are almost always available by just turning it on.  Have a medical emergency, and a well-trained ambulance crew will show up promptly.  There is a well-trained fire service.  The streets are paved.  One can walk around day or night without much fear of getting mugged, partly due to an effective police department.  One could go on and on.  We have a lot to be thankful for, that we shouldn’t take for granted.

On the other side of the coin, there are problems with how Red Wing is governed, that are limiting the political, economic, and intellectual development of the community.  Examples: Continue Reading →

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“5 Questions about [Garbage Burner] Ash Mining in Red Wing”

City of Red Wing officials are screwing up yet again:

Some more background here.

Watch the video, then please sign the petition:

Demand NO ASH MINING in Red Wing ….



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Let’s not dig up old incinerator ash

Red Wing is considering a scheme to mine its incinerator ash dump for metals. This is a bad idea for various reasons that are fairly obvious:

•Dump mining has been tried before in Red Wing and the amounts of metal recovered did not cover the costs. If recycling of metals has increased, one would expect to find even less metal in the ash these days.

•Garbage incinerator ash is nasty stuff. It contains dioxins, toxic heavy metal compounds, and other harmful materials. It’s much worse from that point of view than frac sand. Neither workers nor residents should be unnecessarily exposed. The test used to claim that incinerator ash is “non-hazardous” is a leaching test supposed to tell us something about the potential for contamination of groundwater. It tells us nothing about what is actually in the ash, or about the hazards of breathing it.

•Metal recycling facilities, and their workers, would not benefit from receiving scrap dug out of an ash dump and contaminated with toxic crap.

•If there is concern about possible future liability from landfill leaks, as has been stated, the very last thing we should want is to have machines digging around in our dumps, increasing water entry and potentially breaking the liner.

This idea should be a non-starter. The thing to do about incinerator ash is to stop making it by not burning garbage.

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City of Red Wing, MN, screws up.

Xcel Energy 1940s coal plant burning garbage from Ramsey and Washington counties in Red Wing (Goodhue County).  Permit expired since June, 2009

Xcel Energy 1940s coal plant burning garbage from Ramsey and Washington counties in Red Wing (Goodhue County). Permit expired since June, 2009

As a long-time opponent of nuclear power and garbage incineration, and advocate for environmental concerns, it’s ironic to find myself living in a city of 16,000 people containing two nuclear reactors, two garbage incinerator smokestacks, a nuclear waste parking lot, and various garbage and ash dumps both open and closed.  Still, there are many nice things about Red Wing including it’s picturesque location on the Mississippi River and a generally friendly, low-crime atmosphere.

Still, it is hard to understand how the city government can be screwing up so many things related to the environment and public health. Continue Reading →

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