Wednesday, December 11, 2013

What's on your nightstand?

I've heard rumors that we may get above single digits later this week. That would be a pleasant turn of events. Speaking of pleasant events, tonight is the second meeting of the St. Croix River Valley book club. The first selection, Draw it with your eyes closed: The art of the art assignment (Paper Monument, 2012) generated some good discussion. I'm still working my way through it but what I've read so far helped me to see a number of similarities between art assignments and writing prompts.
Tonight we're talking about Free Play: improvisation in life and art. (I've read all of this one.)
If you live in or near the St. Croix Valley, and you're interested, here's a link to the initial announcement. Contact information can be found there.

I was also pleased with the thoughtful piece about the Polymet Mining Project (NorthMet) written by Ron Meador in yesterday's MinnPost. I agree with most of his assessment and find it well expressed, although it doesn't conform, in my opinion, with the Style Guidelines for Providing Comments suggested by Aaron Klemz. Since Ron is writing journalism and not submitting comments, there's no reason I can think of why his article should follow those Guidelines. When I submit comments, I'm not sure I'll follow the guidelines either. I'm more likely to take a careful look at the cumulative effects section and see if the effects reflect those associated with expanded processing capacity. I'm also going to be looking carefully to see if there's a specific reference or two to the design storm used to assess the impact on water quantity. I seem to recall some coal-ash basins having problems, particularly in Tennessee. Now I know that mine tailings and coal ash aren't the same thing, but I think a basin's a basin, especially if it's an engineered and constructed basin instead of a natural one. The figure for the cumulative impact area is below. That seems to involve a fair size piece of Minnesota.

You can find and check the entire document here. If you're so inclined, you might want to wonder about how an EIS can be found adequate if one of its major impacts requires financial assurances for hundreds of years and the decision to deal with financial assurances is deferred to the permitting stage. I wonder if any judge would find that adequate, should this SEIS ever be litigated.

Think about whether Selph's Market Forecast is apt for the NorthMet SEIS. Is this just a semantic issue? I think not. Adequacy is more than semantics.

Market Forecast

By Alexa Selph 

Adjectives continue
their downward spiral,
with adverbs likely to follow.

Wisdom, grace, and beauty
can be had three for a dollar,
as they head for a recession.

Diaphanous, filigree,
pearlescent, and love
are now available
at wholesale prices.

Verbs are still blue-chip investments,
but not many are willing to sell.

The image market is still strong,
but only for those rated AA or higher.
Beware of cheap imitations
sold by the side of the road.

Only the most conservative
consider rhyme a good option,
but its success in certain circles
warrants a brief mention.

The ongoing search for fresh
metaphor has caused concern
among environmental activists,

who warn that both the moon and the sea
have measurably diminished
since the dawn of the Romantic era.

Latter-day prosodists are having to settle
for menial positions in poultry plants,
where an aptitude for repetitive rhythms
is considered a valuable trait.

The outlook for the future remains uncertain,
and troubled times may lie ahead.
Supply will continue to outpace demand,
and the best of the lot will remain unread.

Thanks for listening. Come again when you can. Rants, raves and reflections served here daily.