Minnesota Oil Pipelines Seek Capacity Increase

In the energy and environmental news, and of concern to Minnesota residents are the impacts of energy development from the fracking process for securing oil and gas and the mining of sand for use in this process. What many citizens don’t know is that oil pipelines already cross northern Minnesota, and producers are currently requesting increased pressure limits to push more oil through them. Minnesota’s own tar sands pipeline has been online since October 2010, with volume increases in the works larger than the Keystone XL proposed capacity.
Enbridge, the largest Canadian oil transport corporation, has a 285-mile tar sands pipeline across northern Minnesota crossing the Mississippi headwaters, also crossing water flowing north to Hudson Bay and east out the Great Lakes/St. Lawrence Seaway. Enbridge requested an increase of 27 percent to 570,000 barrels per day in a pipeline operating since 2010. The majority of this oil is for export.

Local Pagan environmental activist Susu Jeffrey has published this article detailing the ongoing health and leakage concerns regarding these pipelines that cross our state and Native American lands.   Working with the Friends of Coldwater Spring in Minneapolis they have established a petition to urge President Obama to reject the capacity increase with copies sent to state and local officials.

Susu, an advocate for our preserving our states water as our most precious resource says,”What happens to the water happens to the people.”

Eye of Horus joins MNUnited.org

On Wednesday, September 26, the Eye of Horus Metaphysical shop announced through its Facebook page:

“Eye of Horus, as an organization, has officially joined the coalition of Minnesotans United for All Families. Owned by life-partners Thraicie Hawkner and Jane Hansen, they felt the Eye should take a stand for the spirituality and freedom of all.”

Jane shares her thoughts

We know there may be some of you who disagree or who think we shouldn’t “get involved with politics,” but we don’t think of this as a political issue. It is about human rights. At Eye of Horus, we have sought, since our inception, to create a safe place for people of alternative religious views or spiritual paths. It’s our welcoming “vibe” that people like so much.

We consider ourselves privileged and blessed to live in a state and in a city which allows us to support alternative beliefs, create rituals, and sacred spaces like our labyrinth to honor the earth and spirits of this land without hindrance. We don’t tell people what to believe, but we do hold the space which allows for the full expression of Spirit.

In fact, Thraicie and I held our hand-fasting/marriage ceremony in the 2nd floor gallery of the old Eye of Horus location over seven years ago. Our union was blessed by a Priest and Priestess of our faith, and witnessed and celebrated by our birth-families. Although we still don’t have access to the same rights as a legally married couple, it was not unconstitutional, and we can continue to hope that the laws will expand to provide us with the full rights and responsibilities of other couples.

In this time of year, so close to Samhain, I think of the ancestors who have lived here before, whose bones rest in Minnesota, including the Native Two-spirit people and my 2nd generation Norwegian father who gave his blessing to my marriage with Thraicie. It is an affront to them and to the land they have become a part of to insult them by changing the state constitution.

I’m voting NO on the Constitutional Amendment to ban marriage for same-sex couples. By doing so, I hold the space known as Minnesota as sacred space for ALL peoples and their families.

~Jane Hansen

CEO/Creative Director

Eye of Horus, Inc.

We’ve joined over 650 coalition partners


Nels Linde

Candidate Gary Johnson Announces Debate Exclusion Civil Suits at Macalester College

Gary Johnson, Libertarian candidate for President, appeared yesterday at Macalester College, Kagin Commons,  in Saint Paul, MN.  Organized by Macalester Young Americans for Liberty, there were approximately 200 interested voters attending, a mix of mainly students and  “third-party” supporters.  In a brief interview with PNC-MN as he left for the airport, Gary Johnson announced he had just learned he was officially excluded from the upcoming  Presidential Debates. He stated his campaign already had plans to file lawsuits in at least three states to contest the ruling.  Civil suits were reportedly filed late yesterday against both major parties and the Commission on Presidential Debates  based on violations of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act, which prohibits monopolistic practices.

Opening the afternoon was Murphy’s Midnight Rounders, a local folk pagan band, who were well received by the crowd. They played two songs with “hemp” themes which got a rise from supporters of the Grassroots Party , Libertarians,  and other groups who support decriminalization of recreational drugs.

Andrew Ojeda, a Macalester undergraduate running for office  in district 64A as a Republican, and Ms Yer Lor, a representative from “Minnesotans United for All Families” , both gave opening remarks. Lor implored Minnesotans to defeat the marriage amendment. Several local Pagans are supporters of this group,  and the group was active soliciting signatures at Twin Cities Pagan Pride.

During the band performance Gary Johnson slipped into the audience front row, to little notice from the sizable media contingent present. Later, as former Governor Jesse Ventura arrived and sat near the PNC-MN contingent, the main stream media all shifted to front stage, to get shots of the colorful former wrestler in his Jimi Hendrix  T-shirt. It appeared main stream media saw the story as Ventura’s appearance and implication of a 2016 run for President as the prime story over the visit of an existing candidate, polling 6% nationally at this point, Gary Johnson.

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Ventura spoke next and praised Johnson’s efforts as a third-party candidate, and for his Libertarian, fiscally conservative but socially liberal, views.  He suggested Presidential candidates should be required to wear “NASCAR style suits”, with “patches from all their biggest donors, their biggest bribers” .  He said voters  should know, “Who owns them, who has bought them off?”  Ventura encouraged young Libertarians to fight for a constitutional amendment to remove a corporations ‘personhood”,  from having rights of free speech and spending in political campaigns. He said the American political system was threatened as long as unlimited and undisclosed money can flow into political campaigns. He tells people who say a third-party candidate vote is wasted that  “a vote for a Democrat or Republican is a wasted vote, because you are going to get the same thing. ” He encouraged the audience to support free speech even if the content it is not popular, because  the  protection is there to protect unpopular speech. He chided main stream media as being controlled by four major corporations, and no longer a  “watch dog'” of the three branches of government. While he personally is not a technology or even a cell phone user, Ventura supported the internet as the last place where the “truth” can get out, saying, “Thank goodness for the internet”. He encouraged Americans to get out and vote, and stressed the importance of voting for Gary Johnson who is paving the road for future candidates.

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Happy Birthday PNC-MN! Two Years of Reporting

The Pagan Newswire Collective – Minnesota Bureau is two years old!  The Minnesota bureau first posted Community Notes from TCPagans on July 28th, 2010.

So how have we done?

Here are some of the stats for our first two years. We have had over a quarter million page views, averaging 250/day or 4000 -10,000 a month. Twelve of the last 24 months averaged over 7000 readers. On our best day we had over 28,000 readers stop by. We have written 488 posts, an amazing number in two years! We have tripled direct subscribers to 223, added 1800 twitter subscribers and another 750 who follow our Facebook page for posting notices. All of our posts get a fair reading, especially over time. We learned the power of Facebook when one of our top posts went viral on Facebook and we had over 45,000 visits in just a few days. I have to credit Cara for covering many of those stories which skew our stats upward. She has a long background in finding compelling stories that interest Pagans! As the editorial editor, I am really satisfied that over 25 of our editorial articles and interviews have over 500 views. Our content is used as a resource for other news and religious writers across the internet.

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Court Rules Flambeau, Wisconsin ‘Model Mine’ Violated Clean Water Act

A federal court ruled Tuesday that Flambeau Mining Company (FMC) violated the Clean Water Act on numerous occasions by allowing pollution from its Flambeau Mine site, near Ladysmith, Wis., to enter the Flambeau River and a nearby tributary known as Stream C.
The lawsuit was filed early last year by the Wisconsin Resources Protection Council (WRPC), the Center for Biological Diversity, and Laura Gauger. The complaint charged that Flambeau Mining Company (a subsidiary of Kennecott Minerals Company / Rio Tinto) was violating the Clean Water Act by discharging storm water runoff containing pollutants, including toxic metals like copper and zinc, from a detention basin known as a biofilter.

Flambeau Mine in September 1994, when heavy rains caused flooding at the mine site.

The federal Clean Water Act makes it unlawful to discharge pollutants from a point source to waters of the United States without a permit issued under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (“NPDES”).  Both the U.S. EPA and the DNR (which has been delegated authority to issue NPDES permits in Wisconsin under its parallel program, the WPDES) commonly issue permits to point-source discharges of industrial stormwater such as the discharge from FMC’s biofilter.  The most important function of an NPDES permit is to ensure that all applicable water quality standards are maintained. FMC never had an NPDES permit authorizing the discharge of copper, zinc, iron, and other pollutants from the biofilter to Stream C, and therefore was in violation of the Clean Water Act.