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Clean energy groups, industrials unite in opposition to Minnesota gas plant

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Energy News Network:In an unusual convergence of opinion, clean energy groups and large industrial companies are asking Minnesota regulators to block a utility’s investment in a new combined-cycle natural gas power plant. While the groups’ reasons for disapproving the project differ, both camps concluded that Minnesota Power hasn’t done enough to justify its stake in the proposed $700 million power plant, and an administrative law judge recently agreed.The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission holds a hearing Thursday in Duluth to determine whether to approve the utility’s plan to invest nearly $350 million in the Nemadji Trail Energy Center in Superior, Wisconsin. The plant’s cost and up to 550-megawatt output would be shared with Wisconsin’s Dairyland Power Cooperative. The proposal is also currently going through Wisconsin’s regulatory process.The gas plant has drawn criticism from the utility’s large business customers, environmentalists, clean energy organizations and residential ratepayers. More than 1,500 people submitted letters, most of them against it. A poll of 552 Minnesota Power customers by the Citizens Utility Board last year found 77 percent did not support the proposed plant and 92 percent called for a full analysis.Clean energy organizations say the utility’s generation projections drastically overestimate its need for electricity and that carbon emissions are too great. Other alternatives such as energy efficiency, load shifting, and renewables were not seriously considered, they argue.Less expected was the opposition from large power users, a group of mining companies, paper mills and other businesses that uses most of the utility’s generation. Their objections reflect an understanding that they will pay for much of the plant because of the utility’s unique customer makeup, unlike almost any other in the country. Minnesota Power’s industrial customers absorb 74 percent of its energy generation, compared to 28 percent on average nationally. Residents and small commercial businesses split the different at 13 percent each, roughly a third of the national average for those segments.The intervenors charge that the utility has not fully explored options for cutting energy demand and tapping other sources. “The Company has not demonstrated that its proposed purchase of 250 MW NTEC purchase is the best and lowest cost option to meet its projected energy and capacity needs due to deficiencies in its modeling and procurement process,” the Large Power Intervenors said in a PUC filing.More: Customers, clean energy groups unite against Minnesota natural gas plant Clean energy groups, industrials unite in opposition to Minnesota gas plantlast_img read more

Foster children are in need of representation

first_img Foster children are in need of representation Fostering Independence is a new program designed to serve underrepresented kids aged 14 to 19 Jan Pudlow Senior Editor Angela Orkin, director of the Florida Guardian ad Litem Program, ran into Florida Bar President Alan Bookman at an airport.They chatted about her challenge in recruiting lawyers to represent abused and neglected children in dependency court.“Anything I can do to help,” Bookman offered before boarding the plane.Orkin took him up on his offer, visiting him at his Pensacola law office, explaining Fostering Independence, a new program designed to serve an underrepresented age group of 14- to 19-year-old foster kids.Bookman agreed to send out brochures in efforts to recruit more attorney guardians and to talk about the project during speaking engagements around the state.“After all the offers of that help, I thought to myself, ‘This is a stretch, but I’m going to do it anyway,’” Orkin recalls with a chuckle.“Let me ask you one more question. Would you take a case?”And the dirt lawyer who has never set foot in dependency court before said, “Yes.”“I have agreed to accept a case, as I feel this is an obligation all attorneys should undertake,” Bookman said.“Pro bono representation of children in difficult circumstances is one of our profession’s highest callings. I’ve never represented a child. Years and years ago, I had some matters in juvenile court. I don’t do any work in that area whatsoever. When we are talking about dependency matters and children’s rights, I think it’s important to be represented by counsel. I will go through the training.”He invites other Florida lawyers to take the plunge.And Orkin assures you that if you, too, say “yes,” plenty of help and convenient training will be provided.Instead of the usual 30-hour training lay volunteers go through, she has streamlined it to eight hours of training on videotape and available on DVDs you can watch from the comfort of your own home. The eight-hour training is free of charge and qualifies for CLE credit and an hour of ethics is included.You won’t be flung out on your own in unfamiliar territory, Orkin assures. You will have the support of the GAL program attorney and social worker.“They will be part of a team,” Orkin said. “The main difference is that attorneys serving as guardians ad litem will be able to draft motions and do legal work. That’s another reason we think it’s a good way to bring attorneys into dependency court, because they will have that support.”Because there are only enough guardians ad litem to represent about half of Florida’s 43,300 abused and neglected foster children in dependency court, the teens “don’t get GALs as much as the younger kids do,” Orkin said.“We recognize this age group is underrepresented,” she said. “Once a kid reaches 13 or 14, the focus is on what is permanency for that child. Are they getting education and independent living skills? Some of these kids don’t want to be adopted. What are they going to do? Are they on track to graduate from high school? Their 18th birthday is coming up. What are we going to do to make sure this child is prepared? So our eight hours of training is based on the needs of these teens,” Orkin said.She noted that this past legislative session the jurisdiction for foster children was extended a year to age 19.“One of the provisions of the Independent Living bill said the court would encourage the GAL program to provide greater representation,” Orkin said.If you are willing to take a case, call toll-free 866-341-1GAL and you will be put in touch with the local GAL program office in your circuit. September 15, 2005 Senior Editor Regular News Foster children are in need of representationlast_img read more

‘Millionaires’ row’ mansion sells for mega price after nearly two years on the market

first_img“Appassionata” at 109 Herron Rd, Pullenvale, has sold.Despite their Greek heritage, the owners annually travelled to Italy which, is where they sourced a plaque for “Appassionata”.It’s set in one of two stone pillars framing the entrance gates.Pullenvale is 15km from Brisbane’s CBD and has a median house price of $1.1375 million. The outlook from the home at 109 Herron Rd, Pullenvale.It is the third highest sale price for a residential property in the suburb, according to CoreLogic, with the home next door at 105 Herron Road holding the record at $6.7 million.The suburb is known for its secluded acreage properties and big houses, which often draw seven-figure sale prices.Selling agent Scott Gemmell of LJ Hooker New Farm recently took over the listing of 109 Herrod Rd from another agency and soon ended up with three offers, before continuing negotiations with the buyer. The impressive design inside 109 Herron Rd, Pullenvale. Big bucks for luxury lifestyle Middle ring units cheaper than land Construction juggernaut not slowing Every room has been created using the finest granite, limestone and marble with rich antique furnishings.There’s an abundance of crystal chandeliers, including one that lights up an opulent foyer dominated by twin French wrought-iron staircases and lined with blackbutt parquetry flooring.The property also features a media room, library, wine cellar, open fireplace, airconditioning and ducted vacuum system, and includes a nearby summer house. This mansion at 109 Herron Rd, Pullenvale, has sold after being on the market for two years.AN extravagant mansion in the ‘millionaires’ row’ of Brisbane’s western suburbs has sold for close to $4.8 million after nearly two years on the market.The luxury acreage home at 109 Herron Road, Pullenvale, was first advertised for sale in October 2015, but has finally changed hands after lengthy negotiations.The 1.21ha property, known as “Appassionata”, sold to a local Brisbane family looking for the lifestyle Pullenvale offers.center_img The opulent furnishings inside 109 Herron Rd, Pullenvale. GET THE LATEST REAL ESTATE NEWS DIRECT TO YOUR INBOX HERE Mr Gemmell said Pullenvale still provided some good buying opportunities.More from newsMould, age, not enough to stop 17 bidders fighting for this home2 hours agoBuyers ‘crazy’ not to take govt freebies, says 28-yr-old investor2 hours ago“There are homes in Pullenvale now that you’d be able to buy for less than you can create, taking into account land value and cost of construction,” he said.Property records show the owners, Demetri and Marina Ghikas, bought the land in 2002 for $175,000. The rear view of 109 Herron Rd, Pullenvale, and its summer house.They built the home soon after, drawing inspiration for the European design from fashion designer Oscar de la Renta’s famous French provincial villa.Mrs Ghikas reportedly came upon a picture of de la Renta’s property and told her husband; “this is what I want you to build”.The house itself spans 1000 sqm and offers six bedrooms and six bathrooms, surrounded by manicured gardens.last_img read more