They’re destroying the world, our living spaceship… and the source of all life.
The only thing we can hope is that they stop in time.
The powers that be have trained us to oppress each other via division. We’ve seen too much of that in recent years. The result is that the status quo continues to support the elites, those with power and money, and those who cannot see the oppression of the majority, for whatever reason.
While the vaccine program, rushed and heavily promoted as the ONLY ANSWER, divides families and communities, it seems a failure similar to the ways that Racism and Climate Change have failed… where mostly white elites continue to find no way forward to a new way of life that supports all people and allows for egalitarian access and opportunity.
We see youth, angry and frustrated with the lack of recognition of the urgency with which we need to act.
We have watched as crowds have grown, standing in opposition to Big Oil, Big Pharma, Big Ag. From Minnesota to India, half a world away, we see suppression of the voices of the people most connected to the land.
We see farmers in Minnesota who are left in the dust, literally, as Enbridge dewaters their landscape, draining shallow aquifers and removing water access for the people. [Unfortunately, with Republicans urging a firing of Commissioner Malcolm, a technique they’ve used repeatedly through the pandemic to combat the Walz administration, there may be no September session meaning farmers (and nurses, who were also on the agenda to be helped) may get no relief.]
And we know that the Arab Spring was started by a farmer in Tunisia, Tarek el-Tayeb Mohamed Bouazizi (Arabic: طارق الطيب محمد البوعزيزي), who set himself afire in the market as he realized he had no other options… “His self-immolation was in response to the confiscation of his wares and the harassment and humiliation inflicted on him by a municipal official and her aides.”
So what is to come? I fear the only response remaining is Revolution. People in the streets.
As we watch the eviction moratoriums expire, and we see today – HAPPY LABOR DAY! – the elimination of the unemployment supplement that has kept many hanging on during the pandemic, my guess is, the streets will have plenty of people with little to do except shout for justice.
“When we take to the frontlines, please remember why we are here. We are not here to fight the police. We are not here to intimidate workers. We are here for that water. We are here for each other. We are here for future generations.”
The CDC updated their Breakthrough Case Data as of 5/10/21… giving a HUGE a drop from their 4/26 report of 9245 breakthrough infections to only 1359 cases!! How, you ask?
Well, one reason is that the CDC chose to CHANGE how they count a vaccinated person as a positive Case… They must show positivity by 28 CT vs. 35 CT for unvaccinated people… AND the CDC are now ONLY reporting those folks who are hospitalized or die from Coronavirus after being vaccinated.
So, viola! We makea a buncha cases a-go away, yah?!? [BTW, this sounds so good when I use my shitty French… and then Italian accents to say it – with a huge batch of sarcasm thrown in! Just seemed appropriate to throw in a little Mario and Luigi… for this video game we call life.]
So next time they update, it could be even scarier? (You can read how this compares the jumps this week to those previously reported.)
Yet they’re still (media, politicians, late night hosts, big pharma, your aunt Mary) all pushing vaccines as the cure all? I mean, if it means we don’t need masks anymore, it’s for sure a cure, right!?! Even if not enough of us have the vaccines for herd immunity? It’s like science is a non-thing these days…
I continue to stress:
Wearing a Mask prevents the level of infection that enters your body if you are exposed to SARS-CoV-2. Whether you’re unvaccinated OR… vaccinated and feeling bulletproof – if you run into the B117 or P1 or B1.617.2, or whatever other variant that might arise, you’re gonna have less chance for a BIG EXPOSURE (which, spoiler alert, is what helps the virus take you into a hospital or casket).
Jamism – Mid-May, 2021 (actually, it’s been a long-time quote… just updated for the various new strains here)
Mask Up, Motherfuckers. PLEASE.
If we do… then we can cull the unscientific from our midst and possibly get a chance at saving the planet for human habitation? 🤫[Shhhhh…]
It’s just a thought…
5/18/21 update: as usual, a day later, Chris says it far better than me.
The bigger question is: WHY HASN’T THE U.S. used it (or even really studied it…)?
Perhaps it’s the cost? The cost of treating a 70 kg person (154#) is about 0.3 cents. Not $.03… not 3 cents, but 1/3 of a fucking penny per treatment! That’s practically free.
With no money-making incentive, ‘Murica has apparently found it not worth a look-see. That is because, as we’ve all known for a long time, American Health Care isn’t about Caring for Health, it’s about Driving up Wealth! (Mainly for those who already have plenty…)
Vaccinate NOW! is the new peer pressure. I mean what’s the difference between telling someone to take an unproven vaccine… versus telling them to take a pill to which you have no idea how your body will react? But, hey, this world is fucked, so let’s party!?!
On doctors, I personally find it hard to trust the Doc who helped make this virus more infective… Though at least this one recognizes the futility of shaming, as well as it’s actual effect: creating the thing you are trying to avoid? Even my boy Atul Gawande is pushing vaccines… perhaps he isn’t familiar yet with the Ivermectin research?
Here’s something to ponder… Apparently, it’s A-OK for American men to use Viagra for erectile dysfunction (a drug originally developed for hypertension – and, if you have heart conditions, beware using it… as a friend of mine who suffered a heart attack instead of an orgasm will tell you… But where are the mass-media warnings there???)… [During the heart clinical trials, researchers discovered that the drug was more effective at inducing erections than treating angina.] Yet it’s not recommended to use Ivermectin to prevent Covid because it also treats for parasitic worms??? Meanwhile, most of our military are routinely given anti-parasitics as they live in close quarters.
A Better Question? Why is an anti-parasitic effective against an airborne virus that really looks a lot like TB and HIV had a baby?
It’s sad to think of all those we’ve lost as America discouraged use – or even study – of an effective and safe treatment for COVID. We’re approaching a million dead here in America now… and we could have avoided it… and all the mask fights?… if we’d only thought outside the (money-making) box.
As humans race with track-hoes to pretend they can keep doing what they’ve always done… And the world floods and burns and withers from drought.
As engines beep in movement all around me, building a pipeline for the dirtiest of crude – Tar Sands… it’s hard to pretend we have any notion of saving ourselves.
As we cut down the very beings that provide us oxygen to breathe.
As many grow excited for schools to open… ready to go back to a “normal” economy… [Normal? Are we psychopaths? Apparently so.] … we see the numbers in cases and infections beginning to surge again.
We watch millions focus on dollars and economics… giving not a thought to the water, trees, plants, and bees that make everyday life possible. Will we soon realize how dependent we have become on systems that do not support life but instead bring death?
The fossil fuel industry is taking itself out… as the climate chaos we saw in Texas – and throughout the middle of the country – was a result of the burning we’ve done for centuries now.
And for decades now – longer for those selling the fossil fuels – while we knew exactly what they were delivering… we did nearly nothing? Simply burning fossil fuels faster and faster?
How will our children forgive us? Or rather, will they?
In addition to the fuels and plastics, the oil industry brings death and extinction for life of all kinds. And now – are we realizing… that “life” is ours?
As loads of freight remain in place, unmovable with no electricity to fill tanks with gas, ratios of loads to drivers go to astronomical figures… Indy shoots from 7 loads per driver to 37… while in Cincy reefer trucks, normally around the mid-30s, report their status as not available… with over 200 loads and zero drivers to move them. Watch those store shelves as we “catch up” from the backlog caused by the polar vortex we created?
Or will we get to watch as production lines slow… because there is no shipment of already done freight… and before you can make more, you need to move out what you have?
And will we again have loads of milks and potatoes dumped and buried as we have no way to move food in the massive system we’ve created… so un-localized and heavily reliant on fuels?
Can many of us foresee how much worse 2021 will be in comparison to 2020? Even with the vaccinations… and the talk of environmental justice… and green paths going forward… from the all-hands-on-deck portrayed administration that is calming and encouraging so many?
The new managers don’t calm us. Not those of us who’ve seen that already [!!!] we’re headed for 5-6° warming… with 1.5° being a dream scenario that we lost in decades past.
As we watch a Tar Sands pipeline project proceed across the state of Minnesota… just outside the living room window.
As if we can all just… Go back to “normal”.
The worst of the 1918 Spanish Flu were the deaths in the Spring of 1920. Does this still await?
While some caw about vaccines, we also watch as these quick-whip cures kill with cytokine storm jump starts via injection. I see why some aren’t ready… even if they aren’t on the list… of those who can get the magic elixers.
Every day, we watch… as it seems we lose ground… sacrificing the trees and wetlands of Northern Minnesota… to a Canadian corporation treating this place like it’s their colony.
Bought and paid for agencies beholden to their regulatory captors got us into this mess. Will they have the courage to save us? If not, will the courts?
If not, we will simply keep trudging toward extinction… like the elephants seeking water in African deserts… or polar bears seeking another ice island on which to take a breather?
Or will we be running from the flood as it wipes our house away?
Today we see how work done in opposition to Enbridge’s Line 3 tar sands pipeline proposal and documentation of the global Coronavirus pandemic intertwine with this week’s submission to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission from White Earth Band of Ojibwe and Red Lake Band of Chippewa. A Motion for Stay… perhaps just in the nick of time as Enbridge proposes to begin… Monday.
MN Healing Stories wrote the first breaking news as the filing was shared to the public docket at 4:51 PM… the day before Thanksgiving. Good thing we are watching things close as things progress very quickly on the ground up here. I stayed up until 3AM reading the well-written Motion and Memorandum to the PUC. And I’ve spent the last two days writing this up so it can hopefully make easy sense for the general populace.
I’m going to break it down in outtakes and photos from the Memorandum in Support of a Motion to Stay (“Memo”), which clearly and strongly states a valid case for the PUC to STAY their orders “finding the Environmental Impact Statement adequate and approving the Certificate of Need for the Line 3 Replacement Project (“L3RP”) proposed by Enbridge Energy, Limited Partnership (“Enbridge”), pending a final order by the Minnesota Court of Appeals.”
Here We Go.
Following the introduction and procedural background, there is a Statement of Law that describes Minnesota Statute § 216B.53 regarding Suspension of Commission Order.
The second paragraph of Minn. Stat. § 216B.53 governs whether security bonds are required for a stay. It grants this authority only to the reviewing court and not to the Commission. Rather than require bonds for all stays, the statute indicates that the security bonding requirement applies to “the public utility petitioning for review” and then specifies the particular types of damages and compensation allowed to be included in such bond. Thus, Minn. Stat. § 216B.53 does not authorize or require the Commission to impose a security bond as a term of a stay, and it limits the entities that may be required to pay a security bond to public utilities.
Statement of Law Section I.A.2 Authorization to Stay in Minn. Stat. § 216B.53 (p. 6) my emphasis
The Memo further explains (Statement of Law section I.A.3) that the Minnesota Environmental Policy Act‘s authorization to Stay mirrors that in the Minnesota Administrative Procedure Act (specifically Minn. Stat. § 14.65) and Minn. Stat. § 562.02 on Bonding, which do not authorize the PUC to impose terms on a stay as a “bond requirement applies only when agency action relates to bond transactions, government contracts, and alterations to school districts and only the defendant public body may move the court for such bond.”
So basically, no authorization of the PUC for a bond in this instance. There is much more in the Memo regarding the legalities in Statement of Law section I.B “Authorization to Stay in Rule of Civil Procedure 62 and Rule of Civil Appellate Procedure 108” and the final ribbon in the bow comes in section I.C.
Moving on to Judicial and Administrative Precedent.
In regards to Minnesota Judicial Precedent, the PUC is urged to follow the precedent set in State v. Northern Pacific Railroad Company where the MN Supreme Court “confirmed that the courts have inherent discretionary power to stay enforcement of an agency order pending appeal.” And here is the text from Webster v. Hennepin County detailing said ruling:
For real legal junkies, the Memo explains, in addition to Northern Pacific and Webster, the Court of Appeals ruling in DRJ, Inc. v. City of St. Paul, noted protection of the courts when:
Moving on to a consideration of public interest, [Statement of Law section II.A.2] specifically regarding their risk of injury, the Memo notes the Supreme Court’s suggestion that “a failure to favor stays in cases where actions cannot be undone would as a practical matter severely reduce or eliminate the Court of Appeals’ role within our government”, creating a “precedent that the Court of Appeals will generally grant a stay in (Data Practices Act) cases where an order cannot be undone”. It seems that if a stay is not favored where an agency’s ordered action cannot be undone, it eliminates the jurisdiction of the courts and preserving “court jurisdiction weighs heavily against parties that seek to take irreversible actions under agency orders.”
When it comes to risks to the public (Statement of Law section II.A.3), the court in the DRJ decision held that financial impact on denying a stay “must be balanced against the public interests,” indicating the PUC too must weigh the public interest in evaluating this motion. Going further in assuring the public interest is upheld, the Memo notes the PUC should consider:
whether denial of a stay would block the purpose of an appeal;
whether denial of the stay would cause the moving party (Tribes) to suffer irreparable and serious injury;
whether a failure to grant a stay would void the Court of Appeals’ jurisdiction over a case;
whether other risks to the public interest exist, such as safety and welfare matters; and then
weigh these factors against the degree to which the nonmoving party (Enbridge) would suffer “irreparable or disproportionate injury.”
On point 5, the Memo notes that in considering harm to Enbridge, mere adverse impacts do not provide grounds for a stay, and instead, the “irreparable harm” to Enbridge “must be so great and disproportionate” as to moot the Court of Appeals’ jurisdiction and prevent the Tribes “from gaining relief.”
One thing that Minnesota Courts do not allow, as noted in Statement of Law section II.A.4) is consideration of whether the Tribes will prevail on the merits of their case as this is a factor used for an injunction, not a stay.
And as if that were not enough, the Memo further explains that “motions for injunctions typically arise… between private parties” while “motions to stay agency action are typically public matters” where the courts hold a responsibility to ensure agency compliance to the law.
Minnesota courts have stated a clear priority for using stays to preserve judicial review of agency action, and have rejected a requirement that motions for stay show a likelihood of success on the merits.”
Statement of Law Section II.A.4 The Minnesota Courts Do Not Include Consideration of the Likelihood of Success on the Merits as a Required Stay Factor (p. 19)
The final Statement of Law section (II.A.5) on MN Judicial precedent explains, citing Minnesota Supreme Court case No Power Line, Inc. v. Minn. Envtl. Quality Council, that when “unique circumstances of a particular case makes it in the public interest to order such a stay”, the Court “has inherent power to order a stay… without… a… bond.” [And, gee, the circumstances in that case sound awful familiar to those we’ve seen in the Line 3 proceedings… a highly controversial project, with citizen appellants, in a case claiming agency error of law in approving a corridor and certificate of need, and with appellants raising questions around agency jurisdiction, non-compliance with MEPA and the certificate of need statute, and the scope of considered alternatives.]
With regard to the Public Utilities Commission, which understands it is governed by the same standards applicable to the Courts, it is clear that a review based on merits would be redundant and that, rejection of the motion for stay – based on a unlikelihood to prevail on appeal – would be over-ridden by the factors noted in Northern Pacific, specifically, as has been laid out explicitly in the Memo, items 1-5 above in the discussion of risks to the public.
The Arguments within the Memo state that the PUC should grant the motion for stay due to multiple factors:
The need to maintain meaning for the Tribal Appeals. An appeal that the Need for the pipeline has not been proven is meaningless if the pipeline is already built. The claim that the PUC decision – made in fear of the safety of the current Line 3 – was outside their jurisdiction means nothing if the pipeline is simply constructed anyway. And if the appeal that the Environmental Impact Statement did not accurately analyze the impacts of a spill is correct, it does nothing to protect us when said pipeline is already carrying oil, regardless of the risks.
The irreparable harms to the Tribes, both as noted in the Line 3 Record and because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Memo reiterates how the Line 3 project record and EIS are full of outright admissions that the effects of this pipeline would bring “disproportionate and adverse impacts” to the Anishibaabeg whose “culture and belief system is dependent upon the natural environment.” In addition, the Memo clearly notes: “Death is irreparable.” And death is marching across this country in the form of a global pandemic. While Minnesotans are being asked to not visit with family for the winter holiday season, the Walz Administration continues to fail in asking for a Delay for the Line 3 project during the pandemic. The Memo notes that, even with Executive Orders and other state efforts to control spread, “COVID-19 is spreading faster and faster,” showing current methods insufficient “either in their terms or because of a lack of compliance by people within the state.”
The potential harms to Enbridge, their customers, and petroleum customers are not irreparable or disproportionate. Due to a host of reasons, including the “ongoing low crude oil prices as exacerbated by the global reduction… in response to the COVID-19 pandemic” and “efficiency improvements and upgrades” which leave Enbridge with a current excess unused capacity of more than what the Line 3 project would add, “a stay would not have irreparable or disproportionate impacts on Enbridge’s financial circumstances or on the oil industry.” The Memo further states, “If a stay is granted, the impact on Enbridge would be temporary and economic,” as Enbridge could “recover the costs resulting from the stay through its federal tariffs … or via another cost recovery arrangement with its customers.” [There is much to learn about how well our government has always and endlessly propped up the oil industry to keep it afloat. Those old-timey lobbyists were not fucking around!] Enbridge themselves admitted in their Q2-2020 Form 6Q filing with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission that, while they anticipated some uncertainty around the L3 permitting process, “we do not anticipate any capital cost impacts that would be material to our financial position and outlook.” The Memo further notes that “it appears that Enbridge and its customers have agreed to allow Enbridge to recover the L3RP’s development costs on an ongoing basis, and that these costs are rolled into the overall tariff for use of the Mainline System.” [See quote below from Memo, page 45.]
That a decision in the Tribes’ favor would require a reversal. As noted above in item 1, the Tribes have “raised a number of important questions of law” necessitating a Stay because, as noted in the Memo, “If any one of these questions of law is decided in Tribes’ favor, the Commission’s error would be significant and require remand for a contested case hearing and decision in accordance with law. A stay pending resolution of judicial appeal is necessary to preserve these issues for judicial determination.”
A stay protects the Court of Appeals’ jurisdiction. Because it concerns “actions that cannot be undone”, a stay of these orders is necessary until proceedings in the Court of Appeals can conclude whether “the Commission has violated the law, and if it has, to require Commission action in compliance with law. Absent a stay, it would be impossible for the Court of Appeals to exercise its jurisdiction here.” As the Court of Appeals would favor a Stay “where its jurisdiction will be lost, the Commission should stay the L3RP Orders pending a decision by the Court of Appeals.”
The balance of equities favors a Stay. A Stay would prevent the Tribal appeals from becoming moot, protect Tribes from irreparable harms (in this instance, death), not cause irreparable or disproportionate harms to the Applicant (Enbridge) [if Tribal appeals are not affirmed], preserves important questions of law, and serves the public interest protecting both the judiciary jurisdiction and the health and welfare of the public (again, from literal death).
Tribes are extremely concerned about the potential for construction of the L3RP to exacerbate the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, which is currently ravaging the people of northern Minnesota and worsening by the day. Importing thousands of workers from out-of-state and moving thousands more within the state during the ongoing surge in infections increases the risk that Tribal members will contract COVID-19, including the elderly and those with pre-existing health conditions that substantially increase the risk of severe infection and death.”
Argument Section I.I The Balance of Equities Favors a Stay (p. 53)
Given Enbridge’s past and planned capacity additions, the ongoing reduction in demand for its services, the dramatic worsening of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the likely long-term suppression of North American and global oil demand, it is unlikely that Enbridge’s customers will need the additional capacity that would be provided by the L3RP in 2021, and very likely they will never need more import capacity on the Mainline System than currently exists.”
Argument Section I.C.2 (p. 45)
There is a final section on why the PUC may not require a security bond, in large part because of Tribal exemption, before requests for Relief in the form of a Stay to the Line 3 PUC Orders pending the 2020 Appeals and a denial of any security bond Enbridge might present and a final appeal for an Expedited Decision.
As COVID-19 ravages Northern Minnesota, it seems clear that a Stay MUST be granted if – as Governor Walz is fond of reminding us – Minnesota hopes to preserve the Health, Safety, and Well-Being of its citizens.
The messaging is mixed, that is clear. Yet it is consistent in maintaining conflicting standards. MDH can take a day off while workers caring for victims of the pandemic cannot. And while Minnesotans are on a new lock-down, Enbridge seems free to flood the state with their workers, many who are coming from COVID-19 hot-spot states like Texas, North Dakota, and Wisconsin.
Black Friday’s figures showed our highest death count yet – 101 in a single day. Some thought it was a combination of Wednesday and Thursday data but, the @Minnesota Department of Health reported: “In observance of the Thanksgiving holiday, we did not update the data on this page on Thursday, Nov. 26. Today’s post will be for data as of Wednesday, Nov. 25.” I’m not expecting much good news, though weekends do tend toward lower figures. Perhaps that is what drives our misunderstanding of the dangers?
The human brain finds exponential growth difficult to fathom, so communities across the country and around the world have found themselves fine one day and completely overwhelmed the next.
Here in Minnesota, our first thousand COVID-19 dead occurred over four to five months (May 30); the second thousand in four months (Sept. 26). Our third thousand died in just the past 7.5 weeks (Nov. 18). And if the trend continues, we’ll exceed 4,000 dead by Christmas… or sooner.
If you’re a local politician pushing for Line 3, have you considered how many of your constituents you are willing to sacrifice to a Canadian oil corporation?”
I suspect, I may have been far too generous with my original thought of Santa Lucia harkening the arrival of our 4000th COVID-19 death here in Minnesota. At the rate we’re going, I’m not sure she’s gonna wait until December.
Update: Today’s MN COVID figures – for Thursday and Friday – showed a 25.1% positivity rate but lower than expected figures… perhaps due to the holiday? Perhaps due to limited staff? Surely coming days will inform. Here’s the details:
9040 new infections (466 probable cases)… here’s the counties along the pipeline proposed route:
Aitkin 36/0, Becker 59/0, Beltrami 90/1, Carlton 63/8, Cass 50/1, Clearwater 23/0, Crow Wing 86/5, Hubbard 44/0, Itasca 62/0, Kanabec 38/1, Kittson 11/0, Mahnomen 6/0, Marshall 26/0, Mille Lacs 45/1, Morrison 39/1, Norman 11/0, Otter Tail 116/3, Pennington 13/1, Pine 32/3, Polk 102/4, Red Lake 2/1, Roseau 36/2, St. Louis 262/28, Todd 45/0, Wadena 27/0
60 of the 466 probable cases are along the pipeline route – where FEW ppl live, compared to the Cities (Anoka & Hennepin accounted for 160 of the cases)
45 new dead … Split between LT care and private homes. Only one under 65 yo. Losing a bunch of our elders today – a dozen over 90 yo. Low day along route counties, thank goodness and… RIP: Carlton 1, Clearwater 1, Hubbard 1, Kittson 1, Morrison 2, Otter Tail 2, Todd 1
Well, I’ve been focusing in recent blogs on the failings of Minnesota government (from the PUC – yeah, them – to the MEQB to the MPCA to the Governor) to protect not only the environment, but citizens as well. This week I thought a HARN update would be good as many use this time of year to give thanks.
Though it’s a hard time to be thankful as we watch cases and dead continue to pile up this week along the proposed Line 3 corridor, more and more voices are speaking on the subject, and that gives me gratitude.
Minnesotans are calling the Governor (1-800-657-3717), the Attorney General (1-800-657-3787), and now the Minnesota Department of Health (1-800-657-3504) regarding the atrocity of continuing to support an unnecessary pipeline project during a pandemic. Flooding northern Minnesota – and its fragile health care resources – with thousands of pipeliners from states like Texas and North Dakota can only be described as INSANE, when you are, at the SAME FUCKING TIME, dialing back the citizens of said region as Governor Walz is doing. How that is not negligent homicide is beyond me.
Our nearest neighbors — North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, and Wisconsin— are experiencing some of the highest nationwide per capita increases in COVID-19 cases, and 48 states are now in the Task Force “Red Zone” for new COVID-19 cases. It is simply not a good time for out-of-state travel that is anything short of essential, so this Order clarifies my recommendation that Minnesotans refrain from unnecessary out-of-state travel for the next four weeks and self-quarantine upon their return if they do decide to travel.”
We have to STAY HOME but it’s OK for… thousands of pipeliners from these “hot” states to come HERE… for an UNESSENTIAL TAR SANDS PIPELINE? WTF?
No amount of industry protocols can protect if we’re seeing nurses and doctors, in the most critically sanitized workplaces, falling to this illness. Community spread is a real thing and, with limited enforcement or willingness in this region to wear a mask [even among those who should know better (FFS)], we are all at high risk.
So I spent the last week writing about this, calling folks myself, praying at the river, and seeing what I can do to help mitigate the dangers that COVID-19 and Enbridge’s Tar Sands Pipeline threaten. I got confirmation today of one LTE that WILL be printing!!! So… not for naught I guess.
And… we got a KITTEN!!!
This is Gaazhagens (Ojibwemowin for Cat), Gaazh (or Gaazhii) for short!
He’s VERY HAPPY today as a package arrived from my mom (Thanks, Mom!!) with lots of goodies. So far we opened one that he spent LOTS of time on… until he was exhausted! I replaced the crazy red flashy ball with a golf ball for my own sanity but late night disco ball will come out tonight! (Thanks, Dad! I wondered what the box of golfballs would be good for when I cleaned up the HARN in preparation for Gaazh… now I know! I have no doubt he will be able to pull it from the groove in no time! We’ll need replacements.)
The biggest issue is his eating. Gaazh is a rescue cat [Thanks, Ralph & Paulette Friday!] and he eats like everything MUST BE KILLED and INHALED. He is learning to slow down. Even chewing sometimes!
The decision to bring in a new roomie was predicated on cleaning and rearranging the entire house.
This was cathardic, calorie-burning, and, in the end, energizing! It’s so nice to have everything organized again. And dusted! Chests have been swept clear of underlying dustbunnies, the living/craft room is now one giant space instead of divided (…may that bring good unifying energy for all!), and Gaazh has his own private bathroom space! I am loving the little hand vac we picked up at a sale somewhere for $3 as it helps keep the minimal litter in front of the box swept up – or was that gifted to us by someone else who spent the $3? Who knows… I’m even doing dishes more than once a week now as we keep things organized… for as long as possible!
We don’t use many dishes here… though Gaazh has made clear that dishes on the counter are his… once everyone goes to bed!! Dan tried leaving out leftovers the first night and someone left little tongue prints in the dish after flipping back the towel over it. Three times! 😀
GG is so little but he sure can tear through – pushing rugs and such this way and that – as he speeds through the HARN. And I’m sure he’ll be a big cat before we know it but for today, we’re enjoying how tiny and fun he is. And preparing him to be a lap kitty as much as we can. Every body brings good warmth to the HARN.
Wishing you all good warmth in this season of thanks.
And giving thanks for a good year… regardless of all that we’ve been through. There is good in every day. And every thing. And every one.
Let’s start with an explanation a second-grader could understand on Line 3 happenings last week: Healing Minnesota Stories blog, The pipeline company that cried “Wolf!’. Their simple explanation tells how Enbridge has continued to plea that they NEED a NEW pipeline… all while ALREADY SHIPPING more crude than they hope to add with said new pipeline! In fact, Enbridge currently has an EXCESS of unused capacity equal to MORE than the NEW Line 3 would be able to ship for them! Yet the powers that be still fail to listen. [And Enbridge has plans to expand MORE… FFS.]
Surprise, Surprise! We DON’T have to build a new Line 3 AFTER ALL!
Honor the Earth‘s Paul Blackburn and Frank Bibeau have filed a Complaint and Petition for Investigation regarding Enbridge’s mainline system capacities. It seems Enbridge has been less than forthcoming with their true mainline system capacities!
The filing opens quickly to the heart of the concern:
In the first quarter of 2020, before the pandemic impacted oil demand, U.S. federal and Canadian crude oil shipment data shows that in the first quarter of 2020 Enbridge successfully operated its Mainline System at a flow rate of over 2.8 million barrels per day (“bpd”) on a sustained basis. This flow is approximately 400,000 bpd more crude oil than the maximum effective Mainline System capacity claimed by Enbridge during the L3RP evidentiary hearings of 2.4 million bpd. It is also more oil than the net increase in capacity that would be provided by the Line 3 Replacement Project (“L3RP”) of 370,000 bpd, should it be constructed.
The petition goes on… “The evidence presented herein shows that:
Enbridge started its effort to add capacity to the Mainline System in 2016, before the L3RP evidentiary hearing;
Enbridge was able to transport 2.6 million bpd in November 2017, at the time of the evidentiary hearing, approximately 200,000 bpd more oil than its experts claimed was possible;
Enbridge continued its capacity addition efforts during the remainder of the L3RP hearing process; and
Enbridge is continuing to this day to add capacity through upgrades and efficiency improvements.”
And notes also:
With regard to its ongoing capacity addition efforts, Enbridge seeks to further increase Mainline System capacity through its imminent capacity additions to Lines 4 and 67. In August 2020, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources issued a public notice of an air pollution permit application stating that Enbridge intends to increase the flow of crude oil through Lines 4 and 67 by a total of 178,400 bpd through efficiency-based measures. Once these capacity additions come online, the Mainline System would be able to transport approximately 600,000 bpd, a 25 percent capacity increase relative to the 2.4 million bpd cap claimed by Enbridge in the L3RP evidentiary hearing. Yet to Honor the Earth’s knowledge, Enbridge has not reported these completed and planned capacity increases to the Commission. Given that all of the quantitative need and apportionment data submitted by Enbridge in the L3RP docket (Docket No. PL9/CN-14-916) capped future Mainline System capacity at 2.4 million bpd through 2035, the fact that Enbridge now has the undeniable ability to ship more than 2.8 million bpd, and will shortly be able to ship approximately 3 million bpd, casts significant doubt on the efficacy of Enbridge’s forecasts. Since the Commission in Docket PL9/CN-14-916 did not consider the need for pipeline capacity beyond the 370,000 bpd of net capacity that would be provided by the L3RP, Enbridge through its efficiency-based capacity additions has apparently already met the commercial need for which the Commission approved the L3RP, and it will soon create additional capacity that will significantly exceed this need. The remarkable amount of additional capacity created by 3 Enbridge through efficiency improvements, optimization, and upgrades to existing pipelines has dramatically impacted the need for construction of a new pipeline.”
And just like that, we realize there is no longer a need for Line 3. Especially not when the still have another ~350K bpd in expansions they’re holding close to the vest… as this Attachment G figure from the Complaint and Petition for Investigation shows:
…the petition filed by Honor the Earth claims that capacity additions made by Enbridge between 2016 and 2019, including to lines 2, 4 and 65, have allowed the company to import an additional 400,000 barrels through Minnesota per day.
Honor the Earth also points to expansions to Lines 4 and 67 that would increase capacity by 178,400 barrels of crude oil per day.
Coupled with a decreased demand for Canadian crude oil due to COVID-19, the petition claims that the existing expansions outweigh the need for the Line 3 project, which it says would bring in 370,000 barrels per day.
“Together, these efficiency-based expansions create far more capacity than would be provided by the proposed Line 3 Pipeline’s net capacity increase of 370,000 bpd,” said Paul Blackburn, staff attorney for Honor the Earth, in a statement. “As a result, Enbridge has already met the need that formed the basis for the PUC’s approval of the Line 3 Replacement Project.”
Bottom line, Minnesota need not let Enbridge tear through Northern Minnesota Indian Country to put in a pipeline… especially not during a pandemic that is exploding up here in recent weeks.
If they move forward – ignoring the petition… it would seem that the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission could – without TRUE consideration of DEMAND – force Minnesotans to pay for the installation of this new pipeline! [We all do pay for it as the oil companies are guaranteed a profit, meaning gas prices will be going up to justify the cost of the build… if it happens. It always amazes me how Enbridge can convince people that putting in a new pipeline will help them keep gas flowing… but never explains that, in order to make tar sands gas affordable, we’ll all be paying MUCH higher prices at the pump.]
This chart makes it pretty easy to see that Enbridge was lying. And… Enbridge isn’t denying the charges!
Calgary-based Enbridge said it has been adding capacity to its “mainline” across Minnesota through various improvements.
“There have been several initiatives that Enbridge has implemented in recent years to optimize its pipeline network to better meet customer demands,” the company said in a statement. “We’ve talked about these optimizations and efficiency-led capacity increases in a variety of public forums.”
AP reports Enbridge does not deny these increases to capacity. 10/30/20
While Enbridge’s website says nothing of this latest monkey wrench, they have posted about the great benefits they just delivered to North Dakota: “About 400 construction workers recently packed up their tools and departed the northeastern corner of North Dakota. What did they leave behind? A state-of-the-art energy pipeline—and plenty of community prosperity.” What?!? No mention of the COVID spike now killing North Dakotans? Wonder if the grieving will still find Enbridge’s work “worth it” when they realize the expenses of caring for their sick and burying their dead. Will those few weeks of Enbridge workers buying things in your store or spending money on your rental cover the cost of a casket?
Since August, when Enbridge work started in North Dakota, we’ve seen COVID escalate rapidly in the state:
And this weekend Bismark Tribune reported: “Seven counties — Cavalier, Griggs, Pembina, Ramsey, Rolette, Ward and Wells — posted record single-day new cases.” Pembina houses the Line 3 project and Cavalier is just next door. Thus far, Pembina has not reported any Covid dead.
What we know: Enbridge lied.
What we don’t yet know: How many will die because of their lies?
Once upon a time, I had a friend. Let’s call her Maggie.
Maggie had a boyfriend. Let’s call him DJ.
DJ had an ex-wife. Let’s call her Donna.
One day, mutual friend Greg called and said, “I just saw DJ and Donna necking in his truck! Don’t you think we should let Maggie know?”
So I called Maggie and shared with her what was shared with me.
Later, Maggie called me and said, “Everything is fine. DJ explained it all to me. There’s nothing to worry about.”
What did I learn?
People believe what they want to believe.
Kinda like the Emperor we have now, naked… though many still see and admire his fine adornment.
It’s hard to know the danger of the wolf at the door… if you refuse to acknowledge his teeth.
What did I do then? I basically told Maggie that, moving forward, DJ could be fucking someone on my front lawn and I wouldn’t bother to call her about it.
Why is this applicable now? Well, let’s just say I have gotten really tired of trying to convince anyone of the dangers of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. So, if you’re not wearing a mask in public as we work to prevent our healthcare workers from being overrun with COVID patients, then don’t be surprised if I give you a stink eye when I see you.
Though I’m guessing I will not likely have an opportunity for stink eyes for a while… Since we’re likely all gonna stay on lock-down a little while longer.
So Friday, March 19th the Minnesota State Government took time for a press conference to update citizens about what they are doing I’m gonna give you a summary based on the FB Comments I made during the presentation. [Not sure the time stamps match his live feed video… technology…] And then at the bottom, is an update from Monday, March 23rd. The difference in these two press conferences was stark and I wonder what I will think when this blog posts in a week.
Governor Walz starts off with a note that “this is how it will be” as a daily press conference. [Little did he know he’d be in quarantine by Monday… This thing move quick and this blog is mainly a record of what happening in MN as they began to respond to Coronarivus (COVID-19).] He does stress that this is moving dramatically…
Walz: 26 more positive cases to 115. 2 in ICU. Upside is Mayo Clinic!! Reduced queue for sample testing. Still struggling to get all the reagents needed… [That is not good. Without reagents, no tests.] Defense Production Act – gives government authority to convert factories for fighting COVID-19. Anderson Fabrics stepping up!! Transitioning to make scrubs… Mall of America – open space to convert to whatever we need in an emergency.
2:08 Food will be the MAIN JOB this year There was a strong focus on food being a primary job for us this year.
2:09 Federal healthcare for Tribes. TOTALLY Unprepared. That is criminal. Walz noted federal guarantee for education and health care but 571 Tribes with 2.5M members – health 37 ICU beds & 181 ventilators across the country…
2:10 Good financial reliefs. 30-day sales tax, moving income tax filings and payments to 7/15.
2:11 What about rural hospitals who will be understaffed? Executive Order 2019 stops elective surgeries. PPE limits. Looking at PPE inventories. Strategic National Stockpile wait has been fruitless…
2:12 National Guard being federalized sucks. MN can do better than that clown car crew. Walz talked about being part of the Govern’s Council and how National Guard is commanded by Governor – Title 10 federalizes them for service and MN is asking for Title 32 authority – Allows State Duty with Feds footing the bill.
2:23 Its trying to balance Overwhelmning our Hospitals with Isolation, with keeping things running economically (at least enough to keep people fed). Isolate too much and economy dies. Produce too much and you increase contagion and soon overwhelm hospitals. Delicate balance. Want to know more? Peak Prosperity on YouTube. Chris Martenson has been laying it out for the last 57 days. https://youtu.be/QVQC1hAYZBs?t=1406Walz discussing current state – mostly good but not as thoroughly as Martenson does. EO signed to prohibit price gouging. Notes he couldn’t get things through the Senate but is doing EOs to get needed things done. [Are Republicans working for their monied base while Dems are working to save lives of their constituents? Hmmm…]
Chris Harrisman takes over… “Thank you Governor. Let me start by saying globally we are at more than 246,000 cases and 10,000 deaths. The United States has reported more than 14,000 confirmed cases and 205 deaths as of this morning. In Minnesota, as the Governor said, we added 26 new laboratory confirmed cases of COVID-19 today, for a total of 115 cases. The age range of our cases remains the same at 17 years to 94 years. We have not yet had any cases in children. New cases are from the following counties; Hennepin, Ramsey, Chisago, Fillmoore, Olmsted, Martin, Scott and Rice counties.” [Thanks for the transcript, Rev Transcripts!!]
2:25 No treatment. You are contagious before you know it. By the time you have symptoms, you likely already have lung damage (that may be long lasting). You DO NOT want to get this. STAY HOME!! 2:26 Shelter in place please Harrisman was clear about no counties being safe in MN. 4000 tests since March 1st. 8 of 15 cases hospitalized; most healing at home. Closings designed to SLOW THE SPREAD. Sick pppl going to work or being in public is exacerbating the problem. Don’t call doc if you wouldn’t have last year for same symptoms. No Treatment. No meds to prescribe. Seek medical care for breathing difficulties. Testing (prioritized) is being completed as we have capacity.
2:27 This is what we have left of a government. Listen close people. 2:28 Lockdown coming – maybe today??? If we’re smart. NOW. The longer we wait, the bigger the possibility to overwhelm hospitals to a point where we are making VERY DIFFICULT decisions. Like who gets a bed and who is sent home to die. Food will be our focus. That is a good sign.
Transition to Emergency Manager Joe Kelly. “I’m Joe Kelly. I’m the state Emergency Management Director. I want to talk for just a few minutes about what we do in the State Emergency Operations Center. Most Minnesotans probably aren’t familiar with it. It’s a facility that’s hosted by the Department of Public Safety and it really serves as a single point of coordination for state government, and as the Governor pointed out, our interaction with the Federal government.”Volunteers at food banks are a big need.
Transition to Steve Grove @ Employment & Economic Development. “Hello everybody. I want to give a brief update on how our economy is doing. The most effective way to do that is to talk a little bit about the state’s unemployment insurance program. As you saw earlier this week, the Governor has opened up that program to any worker who was affected by the Covid-19 epidemic, so we’ve seen of course an influx of calls and applications into our state’s unemployment insurance program. So far, as of 8:00 PM last night, we’ve seen 95,352 applicants to unemployment insurance in Minnesota. Just to give you some context, the previous record in a given week was about 18,000, so these are some pretty historic numbers. About a third of the individuals applying thus far have come from the restaurants, bar, and entertainment industry, that’s 36,942, and about 85% of the people applying right now have never been on unemployment insurance before, so they’re learning about this new system, the benefits, how it works, why it matters.”
2:29 ~100K applicants 5X WOW. 2:31 By Monday. Good plan. I think the call center just went down… people gonna be calling now!!! Put citizens on remote work doing call center work? Steve Grove?
Transition to Heather Mueller @ Dept of Education. “I would like to take this opportunity to thank our state agencies for really lifting up and supporting our students and families and ensuring that throughout our communities that we continue to work toward their safety and their health and wellbeing. As the Governor alluded to, our educators throughout the state have been committed to ensuring that our families have and students have the food that they need as well as the healthcare that we need, the childcare support that we need for our healthcare workers and our first responders. And yesterday, as an example of just a snapshot of one day, we had 118,238 meals served as well as 5,190 students who are school age, who are in our schools getting the support they needed so that our healthcare workers in our first responders could attend to the needs of our community.”
Transition back to Walz. “The thing I would say that we need to guard against: rumors, misinformation. We need to understand that there will be changing data. That’s one of the reasons standing up this event and using the trusted websites where you get information about what’s happening in Minnesota so that we keep people in a place where they understand there are systems, there are protocols, there are people there and Minnesotans take care of one another. So I can tell you that will not change.”
Walz: “So my pledge to you Minnesotans is to understand and I want to make clear to employees, employers, and everyone, this is an unprecedented decision that has not happened in our country, that these either mayors or governors are making. They are doing it with the best information possible to save lives. And you can rest assured here that Minnesota is well-positioned with experts in infectious disease. It’s almost every night, most of the guests are from Minnesota that are on addressing the nation about what needs to be done. Next.” …
Walz: “And I think what you’ve seen out of this team before those decisions are made as many of the contingencies, and I’ll be just candid with you, we can’t think of all of them. We’re doing the best we can. But for example with school closings to make sure there was a place for meals and daycare before we announced it. And as you’re seeing because that decision was made, we are serving those people. Same thing before we were going to close bars and restaurants, I needed to have the capacity to provide unemployment insurance immediately, and I needed to make sure I could waive that waiting period, so checks start arriving next week for people to continue on. I will tell you that that same decision-making process is in place with this. I understand that just I believe since we came in here that Governor Pritzker of Illinois has made this decision. You’re going to see this start to happen. I think states are at different positions along the spectrum of this. The testing capacity we have and some of the modeling that we are now doing with experts both inside government, with the University of Minnesota, and outside government is giving us a better picture.”
2:33 This thing is way more deadly than you can imagine. Look at Italy and tell me why OUR lungs are any different than THEIR lungs… Walz stressed it is important to NOT overwhelm the health care system, which ALSO has to continue doing all the regular work of broken legs and such.
2:34 D for Diploma!! Federal waiver possible… Kids may get school cancelled for this year… and seniors might be granted diplomas based on current standings.
2:38 Work on the video for tomorrow. Really need a closer look at speakers when they present. And access to the visuals that are readable. And hopefully all the sound glitches will be easy to fix. But overall? This is a VERY COMFORTING and seemingly PREPARED and HONEST look at what is needed. Finally seeing your value Governor Tim Walz Well done, sir. Already on Day 11 of self-isolation. But been locked down since 3/3 except for a quick run to the store on 3/9. Nice job on that school transition.
2:41 10 Governors kick one irresponsible and self-absorbed President’s ass. Media is essential. Walz agreed. He’d mentioned his Governor’s council too.
2:43 Shelter in Place ASAP for best results. Too late to bend the hockey stick… Don’t have SIP yet… but we will.
2:46 This is going to spur innovation… re-tooling for what the people as a whole need. Working together. ❤ Jan Malcolm: “We’re still trying to get more clarity from what we might expect from the federal government, but as the governor said, we’re also looking to make sure that if there’s anything we can do at the regional or state level to increase, diversify the supply chain, we’ll be doing that.”
Walz: “All I can tell Minnesotans is that the reagents and the things necessary to do the test are not available anymore, and so we are out searching. Mayo is doing this. One of the things I’ve asked our team to explore is let’s just make it here. If we need to, let’s just start manufacturing here. I say that not knowing how long it takes to stand up a factory to make reagents. Those are things I’m asking my team to get to us so that we can become self-contained.”
2:49 Good TRANSPARENCY on the Tax info, Governor Tim Walz 2:50 Just found out the IRS changed… we’re already working on it. But will assure that info was accurate… OMFG. That is hilarious!! Cynthia Bauerly: (39:17) Governor, we need the notice from the IRS. The IRS has not published anything. Governor Walz: (39:20) Very good. We need a notice from the IRS officially. I was speaking from the guidance out of the president’s press conference. Probably a good idea we get it verified, so thank you for that.
This was an interesting and revealing question: “The last part of that was just about the supply chain with medical protective equipment. The feds said today that FEMA has helped clear up some confusion by states on where to get things can. Can you tell us, how confident are we that we’ll start seeing some of those federal supplies or some of those supplies coming in, even any kind of timeline?” Walz: “Yeah, I may defer to Joe on this. I just tell you, with my experience of working with FEMA and the regional directors on flooding, these are career professionals who’ve done this type of stuff before. They’ve got us different types of equipment. I think that should help clear that up. But to be candid with you on the question, I don’t believe we can… And we haven’t. We’ve simply gone on our own, and you heard this. Governor Baker from Massachusetts, and we’re doing this too, we’re going out and trying to purchase these things where we can. In his state, they had two purchases ready to go. They got outbid. The outbidder was the federal government, and then took that into the national system away from the state. We hope, and Joe, maybe you can speak to this, we hope this eliminates some of those types of things and puts a much more streamlined supply chain in place.”
Question on unemployment insurance… Steve Grove: “Okay. The question on unemployment insurance, we are not worried about the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund. We have $1.5 billion in that trust fund, and I said before we have about 95,000 applicants thus far this week. We’ve done some modeling to look at how long that trust fund itself will stand solid. If we had, let’s say, 120,000 applicants to UI over this time, and they took the average amount of payout, which is around $400 a week, we’d only go through a third of that in 12 weeks. Now, those numbers certainly could be higher than 120,000. If we had 300,000 workers on the program, for example, which would be about 10% unemployment, we would go through that trust fund in 12 weeks, but the federal government has always been clear in situations today and in the past that when state trust funds run out, they provide 0% interest loans to back up that fund, and so we aren’t worried about the validity of the fund.”Independent contractors and others will be assisted as well – looking at that…
2:53 Good thinking outside the box on ideas for exercise… What is safe? 2:56 Good question… We’re all in prison now… Golf courses open for access – no clubhouse – good idea!
Department of Corrections also a concern… Food and cleaning are main concerns per Walz. As well as justice work…
2:31 Modeling… Good question. Also asked about possible shortages on beds/ventilators. Malcolm: “Just been working… 3 days or so… model is being built.” Walz: Lack of testing inhibited model. “Getting R under 1″ models estimate – will get to you. . numbers too rough now to have a sense of confidence about them.” Malcolm: Can’t have a MN specific model yet… Community mitigation measures in place… “don’t have numerical precision”… “range estimates not as precise” When do you expect to have it? Walz: U of MN national experts… Going to get it to me over this weekend. 2:59 Yes it does… They know the numbers. They are too afraid to tell you what they are… That is NOT a difficult model… Watch Peak Prosperity on Youtube. 3:00 Exponential Growth. He knows about R0 so he KNOWS what the models show. We WILL BE overrun. 3:01 Look At Italy. Two weeks from now, it’s the US. In MN, TC will be hit first. 3:02 Rural hospitals have about 4-8 weeks.
Question about Alcohol/Food delivery take-out. Walz says a STRONG online presence for this!!
Question on whether this is only in the four counties of concern. Malcolm: 15 now but important to reiterate community transmission is happening across the sate. 3:06 YES. It is everywhere. Maybe those remote farms are safe if they don’t leave. Assume you’re gonna be exposed if you don’t isolate soon.
Partial order from National Stockpile received… not clear on remainder of shipment.
3:08 Probably want to assure these stay open… even if it means National Guard… This medicates us… On liquor stores. Walz gave some great stories in last 4 minutes of the conference and recognized the needs of some who have few resources. Stay Home MN.
3:09 Be nice to your local Millennial!! You’re gonna need internet connection.Walz notes to thank those serving us.
Posted after the Press Conference:
Governor Time Walz SURPRISES THE FUCK out of Daniel and me. We listened to this entire thing and found the group to be solution focused – all the way up to “can we make reagents here?” YES. SMART people are working on this for Minnesotans. And they were largely transparent… with one critical exception – on when hospitals will overload. (They know what the model says already. We are behind the eight ball and they know it. Perhaps hoping all this other good news will make up for the bad news we will be getting shortly…) Lots of good news in here though!! Especially his focus on FEEDING ALL the people. And re-tooling manufacturing as Healthcare becomes our new economy. … Good news for Minnesota. Looks like OUR government is stepping up and doing all they can to keep us safe.
3/23/20 Live Update from the Walz Administration [My comments in brackets,,, with Dan’s input.]
Heard before call: Governor is now in self-quarantine – Bodyguard tested positive. Peggy Flanagan’s brother (TN) died from CV. Governor Walz added: Amy Klobuchar’s husband is hospitalized.
Here are my notes from the call:
Walz: 40-80% infection expected – vast majority without hospitalization. Cases went from 169 to 235 –> Better feel. 982 tested yesterday. Reagent supply chain issues… Exec Order pending – putting off elective veterinary surgery to manage supplies for people. Gov/VP call – request for Title 32 from President – 502 authority to be expanded… Can use the National Guard with federal dollar support. PPE too. Moving toward feds meeting our needs… (not there yet). Models… getting preliminary data. [I call BS… they just don’t want you to know the numbers…]
Two impacts: R0 – how many people are affected by exposure Medical care – ramp up ICU/Ventilators/PPE/Tests MN Revenues and expenditures – postponing revenues coming in… less resources to do work. EO 2013 – National Guard – moving PPE from Camp Ripley. Delivering food and other work pending. #StayHomeMN EO 2014 – Suspends evictions statewide moratorium EO 2015 – Small business relief (unemployment) SB and Independent Loan Program – forgivable? (for next few weeks?) EO 2016 – PPE inventory EO 2017 – adding elective veterinary surgery to EO 2008
Complex, ever-moving. Trying to clarify and think of all situations. No revenue April, May, June (tax relief)
Jan Malcolm @ HHS – cases/deaths continue to rise 350K+ globally. 35,241 with 473 deaths in US. Learning from speed of spread in other states. Half of cases are in NY (17K) with big #s elsewhere WA (2K) NJ, CA, FL (1K) 21 patients in MN hospital w/ 12 remaining/5 ICU – other recovered.Front Lines are being tested. Virus is circulating in ALL communities. Ill? Stay home and monitor symptoms. 800 calls had a light day. Open 7A-7P daily 651-201-3920
[Then she fucked up (IMO)… ]
HealthCareWorkers w/ COVID-19 – strictly based on occupation, not signaling exposure at work. No exposures from patient care. [WTF??? Maybe not YET… WHY ARE YOU SAYING it is NOT – “based on our data”… when we KNOW it IS a risk from around the world???]
Joe Kelly @ Homeland Security: Acquiring and distributing PPE (National Guard helping) Self-service gas is a risk – if you touch a surface, wash hands. Wipe surfaces we share.
Steve Grove @ Employment & Economic Development: Unemployment Insurance & SBA Disaster Loans available – Emergency loans to bridge gaps from Federal funds available $2500-$35K 50% forgivable and 0% APR (will help 1200-5000 businesses statewide) [How many in State total??] Available later this week.
Localities have $58M in city and county loan funds possibly contributing more [To keep groceries running?]
Heather Mueller @ Education: Serving meals and giving school age student care.
Walz: Backlog on unemployment insurance approvals – to assure no fraud. Guard leadership taking care. [Dan: Likely to be deployed Friday… when checks stop coming.] Assisted living cases. [We SHOULD have started that work when the first case hit Washington.]
Q: Coughing? Jan: take all symptoms seriously. Difficulty breathing or Fever over 104degrees? Seek medical care. Not fine to circulate if you have symptoms.
Q: Inventory reporting by businesses – gonna commandeer? Walz: State has capacity should we need these supplies. Businesses are voluntarily doing this already. Will ask but we do have Executive Authority.
Q: How soon until Shelter in Place? Walz: 7-8 states already in place. Spoke with Ebers/Whitmer over weekend. MI early today, WI tomorrow. MN??? Decisions to be made with best data we have. Not total agreement. Has it worked to shut down restaurants/schools? What does modeling show? Real time data now. [We don’t have time to wait for the modeling. But you know that…] Need social compliance to keep people in for a longer time-period. Won’t just be “Shut down for two weeks and it will pass”. [REALLY glad he is saying this EARLY. First official we’ve heard.] Need people working to keep things running. See where states are moving… Taking a hard look. People can go to stores, stores will be stocked. Pick up Rx at curbside stop. Not announcing today. Data and science provide no clear-cut answer but will decide in best way for Minnesotans to keep people from the hospital as long as possible.
Q1: What are WI/MI seeing that you are not yet seeing? Walz (answered after below question): Hard decision. Agonizing. Lack of data… Best judgment. [Dan: Just tell them, Tim, you’re balancing flattening the curve with keeping the economy from crashing.] Learning to this not being a shelter in place for 1-2 weeks; looks like multiple weeks to months. Didn’t have testing – but now we do. [Dan: You know why all our disaster movies are people escaping just in the nick of time? Because that’s what humans do…]
Q2: Extending school/business closures past end of this week? Walz: YES. Not wanting to send a mixed message in transition.
Summary Walz: Need compliance to stop the spread. [And they’re working to gear up the National Guard for the pending riots.] Minnesotans seem to be spacing, wearing protective gear. Even a complete shutdown will allow people to get groceries and required services.
What can people do?
If you are able and financially capable, stay home.
Food Shelves are #1.
Blood donations needed.
Don’t panic buy at stores and help a neighbor.
Q – Steve at AP: Virginia cancelled classes for the year. Considering that? Walz: Considered everything. May be necessary and we’re trying to project for people to give insight. Meanwhile we’re doing well now to provide kids with education. Teachers are being appreciated!
This phone system is how this will work. I am overwhelmed with asks of what people can do. And companies are stepping up here. And Minnesota is helping other states.
That’s the update. Now that we’re here – Monday March 29th – I’m interested to see how different a state we are in one week from the day this writing was done.