Thursday, October 23, 2008

Late October 2008

Schedule: On October 14-16, I participated in three candidate forums and attended a House DFL Caucus fundraising event. On Monday, October 20th, I visited a group of senior citizens in Shoreview and the Home of the Good Shepherd in North Oaks.

On Tuesday, October 21st, I visited South Metro Sort & Recycle in Shakopee for a demonstration of grinding equipment for post-consumer asphalt shingles. Asphalt manufacturers have been recycling post-industrial shingles into asphalt for roads at a rate of 5% for some years. Now they are working on using tear-off shingles from roofing companies. If we could recycle 156,000 tons of tear-off shingles in the metro area a year, it would save $12 million a year in road construction costs because shingles have 25% asphalt cement.

On Wednesday, October 22nd, I participated in a candidate forum at Island Lake Elementary School on education. In the evening, I attended a presentation at the Freshwater Society in Excelsior. The Freshwater Society just issued a great report, "Water is Life: Protecting a Critical Resource for Future Generations," about our groundwater supply. (See their report on-line.)

On Thursday, October 23rd, I attended a meeting of the Municipal Legislative Commission (MLC), where I received an award for my legislative work promoting property tax relief for suburban homeowners through the Property Tax Relief (PTR) program. (See picture at left with Mayor of Woodbury.) The MLC is a group of second-ring Twin Cities suburbs, including Shoreview. The Commissioner of the Department of Revenue came to talk about prospects for a budget deficit next year. The meeting was at the corporate headquarters of Great River Energy (GRE) in Maple Grove. The GRE building is a platinum LEED-certified building, which means that it has a lot of environmentally-friendly components. They use a rainwater cistern to collect water from the roof, then use it for flushing toilets. They also use water from a stormwater pond for watering the landscaping. The building uses 90% less water than comparable buildings. (See the link above for more details!)

Constituent contacts: Shoreview constituent concerned about data privacy for newborn DNA screening program at MN Department of Health; Lino Lakes resident about groundwater protection issues; Shoreview resident disagreeing with my St. Paul Pioneer Press endorsement; Lino Lakes resident asking what the Freedom Club PAC is; North Oaks and Shoreview residents asking for state action against renegade ATV riders; Circle Pines resident concerned about U of M's tuition plan for the next two years