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Mistrust of Maust was Heartland’s undoing


Fri, Mar 11th, 2005
Posted in Commentary

Mayor Kurt Reicks & Members of the Preston City Council,We're sorry to report that the Heartland Energy & Recycling project as has been presented, is no longer under consideration. We don't like to admit failure, but we have succumbed to mob rule. We believe it's probably better that we take our project to an area where the investment and the jobs will be welcome.The location in the industrial site will be put up for sale and hopefully something of economic value will find its way to Preston.Bob & Elaine Maust(Letter dated March 7, 2005)

"Bob Maust doesn't do anything that isn't good for Bob Maust," a Preston City Council member told me over a year ago. Perhaps that explains better than anything else why many people in this area never really trusted Bob Maust to do the right thing by them. They wanted the right technology, clean air, good jobs and a company they could put their faith in. And they never believed that Bob Maust was the man to deliver on this; that he would give them all the information, the whole truth, and consider their interests with respect.And that mistrust, more than anything else, fueled the "mob" Maust refers to. Call it the mob that Bob built, who challenged his science, his motivation, and his conclusions. By his own admission Maust said he would build the plant elsewhere if people were opposed to it. But Bob never fully understood why anyone would oppose him. He also said the plant didn't need subsidies, but he fought hard to get state JOBZ subsidies for his plant nonetheless.In the end, Maust will take his plant somewhere else (rumored to be Mississippi) because the cost of putting it in Minnesota became too steep.He still had to fight Judge Wieners, SEMEP and the other groups opposed to the plant, as well as the MPCA, who originally were his biggest supporter. And the specter of a pricey environmental impact statement apparently scared off the deep pockets that supposedly supported this project in the first place.When all is said and done, it was the trust factor that did Maust in. Maust saw Preston as a familiar place that was easy pickings for the necessary permits he needed for his plant. But for the people who lived here, Bob Maust was a known character whose history of doing what was good for Bob Maust was all too familiar a story. < .....
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A “Free Press” within a democracy

Fri, Feb 25th, 2005
Posted in Commentary

I believe I was in 5th grade when my dad was elected to the school board. The local headline, in our town of 2,300, read “Flaig wins by a landslide.” I recall that it was spring, and the two of us went to mass (on a week day!) to express our thanks f ..... 
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The devil is in the details

Fri, Feb 11th, 2005
Posted in Commentary

Just when you were getting comfortable with the notion that it was the other guy that was getting screwed, ol’ George Bush put out his 2006 budget. And now you know it’s not just the poor that will be getting hammered, but people closer to home like ..... 
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A bad idea whose time has come, again

Fri, Feb 4th, 2005
Posted in Commentary

It’s that silly season - a time before the legislature has to agree on a budget and the real partisan fighting begins - when legislators can tease their constituents with the notion that they are going to sponsor a pork barrel bill in their name. [Read the Rest]

A View from the Potting Shed

Fri, Jan 28th, 2005
Posted in Commentary

OK men, now that I have your attention here is a reminder that Valentine’s Day will soon be here...Buy Fresh Flowers for Your Sweetheart!

Now is not too early to think about Valentine’s Day flowers. A tip to the wise – if you i ..... 
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Paying the price

Fri, Jan 21st, 2005
Posted in Commentary

George Bush’s second term as President upholds the notion that people get the kind of government they deserve. A fractious America, divided on everything from morals to pre-emptive war, did the best it could with the archaic two-party election appara ..... 
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Heartland pollution the worst known to mankind

Fri, Jan 21st, 2005
Posted in Commentary

Editor’s note: Loni Kemp of Canton served on the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s Citizens’ Board from 1990 to 1994. This is the comment letter she sent to the Citizens’ Board regarding the proposed Heartland Energy & Recycling tire-burning plant ..... 
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Renewable fuels and livestock production go hand in hand

Fri, Jan 21st, 2005
Posted in Commentary

The legislative session has begun, and much attention has been focused on Governor Pawlenty’s Livestock Advisory Task Force. While Governor Pawlenty has not yet formally reviewed the recommendations of the task force, I expect the final report to be ..... 
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An EIS is necessary for Heartland

Fri, Jan 14th, 2005
Posted in Commentary

On Tuesday, January 11, the Winona County Board became the latest in a growing list of area governments calling on the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency to require an Environmental Impact Statement on the proposed Heartland tire-burning plant. Word ..... 
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