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Columns

Weeds: Obligation fulfilled

Aug. 15 was a Holy Day of Obligation for us Catholics. Obligations are big in our church. In Garrison Keillor’s Lake Wobegon, the German Catholics attend Our Lady of Perpetual Responsibility. That’s about right. Sunday Mass is required. Then we have these Holy Days to be sure we’re paying ...

What’s On Your Mind?

Now that summer’s over, what’s on your mind for fall? (Asked at the Lions Club Fly-in Pancake Breakfast.)

Eagle Update: Activities program

The New Ulm Public Schools Activities Department staff, advisors, and coaches would like to welcome you to the 2019-2020 School Year. We are fortunate our district offers many opportunities for students to get involved and find ways to connect with their peers and teachers, through fine arts ...

What’s Going On: The new Sunday Journal

Welcome to the new and improved Sunday Journal. This is an exciting time as The Journal continues to reinvent itself in this ever-changing information age and right now, you are holding the first step in that new direction. Each Saturday morning, you are going to receive the Sunday ...

Town Talk: Reducing phosphorus

Phosphorus is a nutrient that the wastewater treatment plant treats every day. It is an essential nutrient for humans, animals and plants to survive. It plays an important role in cell development and usage of energy. Phosphorus comes to the wastewater treatment plant through human waste, food ...

What’s On Your Mind?

What is the best tractor brand? (Asked at the New Ulm Farm Toy Show

Town Talk: New Ulm City Budget

Budget season has been in full swing for City staff. In May of each year the departments begin work on the budget for the following year. Staff use the actual revenue and expenses from the previous year and the year to date numbers for the current year to predict their costs for the coming ...

Weeds: A steam roller hitting town

I first heard the way I hear a lot of things now. In a text. A group of early risers who share thoughts on baseball and local happenings are my first human contacts. “Did you hear anything about Del Monte?” I hadn’t, but within an hour the Sleepy Eye plant closing was official. It goes ...

What’s On Your Mind?

What do you enjoy about learning about history? (Asked at the walking tour of New Ulm site from the US-Dakota War)

What’s Going On: Sleepy Eye’s next chapter

Every good news story is supposed to answer the 5 W’s and the H: who, what, when, where, why and how. Last week’s announcement regarding the closure of Sleepy Eye’s Del Monte packaging plant answered five of those questions, but there’s a prevailing one a lot of people have been ...

Eagle Update: A new school year!

Welcome to the 2019-20 school year! We are excited to start another school year. It seems once fall sports practices begin, we are running full speed to prepare for the arrival of students. We do know that our parents are excited for school to begin as well. We welcome many new staff ...

Town Talk: By Dave Kuehn New Ulm Public Utilities Electric Production Supervisor Each position in the Electric Production Department has different responsibilities to keep the Power Plant operating efficiently and safely. The Power Plant operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Sixteen employees are currently required to operate the Power Plant: 4 Boiler Operators, 1 Relief Boiler Operator 4 Plant Operators, 1 Relief Plant Operator 1 Chief Engineer, 1 Assistant Chief Engineer 1 Plant Mechanic, 1 Maintenance I Worker, 1 Maintenance II Worker 1 Lab Results Analyst This article concentrates on the Lab Results Analyst position. The Lab Results Analyst plays a vital role in keeping the Plant operating smoothly and efficiently. His/her work varies from day to day depending on equipment online at the time. His/her responsibilities are to keep the chemistry in the boilers, cooling towers, District Energy, and condensers of the generators in balance. He/she needs to know the characteristics of the chemicals used and how to proportion them to keep the PH, alkalinity, etc., in proper levels according to the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) guidelines. He/she works with our chemical representative (Nalco) to get the most out of the program recommended to us. He/she is responsible for the chemicals being used to be handled safely with proper Personal Protection Equipment that is available and required. He/she will need to know the Safety Data Sheets of the chemical used to determine what Personal Protection Equipment is needed for each chemical they use. Some of the chemicals are very corrosive and hazardous and need to be handled respective of their characteristics. Upon completing the testing done each day, the data is logged into a spreadsheet for future reference. This will allow the Lab Results Analyst to track our usage and adjust the amounts of each chemical used and have an accurate account of our inventory. It also gives a valuable history for future training as new people step into the position, they can see what amounts of each to get the results needed. He/she will track the amount of water and condensate are passed through the water softeners and Zeolite filters (polishing filters for condensate). After a selected number of gallons, these need to be regenerated. They both are regenerated with a salt brine like a home use water softener, just larger amounts. The Lab Results Analyst also will keep track of our transformer nitrogen tanks. This is used to keep a blanket of nitrogen in the top air space to keep moisture out. As tanks get low or empty, they will replace with another tank. He/she will keep our fuel and acid storage tank program up to date by monitoring gallonage several times a week. This tells us if we have abnormal usage or a leak occurring. Many power plants combine this position with the Operators, but the overall effectiveness that we have gotten with our chemical treatment has proven that it is a vital position that keeps our equipment in top condition. When needed and available they will also assist in the maintenance and operation activities. ——— Editor’s Note: The City of New Ulm presents a weekly column highlighting activities in different departments in the city government. Once a month the city will answer questions from readers. Questions on New Ulm city issues can be sent to comments@ci.new-ulm.mn.us.

Each position in the Electric Production Department has different responsibilities to keep the Power Plant operating efficiently and safely. The Power Plant operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Sixteen employees are currently required to operate the Power Plant: 4 Boiler Operators, 1 ...

What’s Going On: Trumpland … an idea I can support

Here’s something I don’t state very often: I agree with President Trump. Earlier this week, it was reported that on multiple instances over his presidency, Trump has directed staff members to inquire into the possibility of the United States buying … Greenland, as in the country. ...

Health Care Happenings: NUMC growing, adding services

Greetings from the New Ulm Medical Center team! 2019 is shaping up to be a year of significant advancement for our regional health care model. Across the nation, decreased access to rural healthcare is forcing many into making the difficult choice of either travelling great distances, or ...

The road outside my window

The road outside my window is under construction. It’s a nice road, frequently traveled by people to go lots of places — towards New Ulm and on to Mankato or away from New Ulm towards Morgan or Redwood Falls or Jackpot Junction and in-between and beyond, so many places. It’s a road I ...

Off the Record: The writing on the wall (or the statue)

The Trump Administration this week has offered a new interpretation and a proposed rewrite of the Emma Lazarus poem, “The New Colossus.” The poem, written in 1883, is famously carried on the Statue of Liberty, and states, at the end, “...“Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled ...

Town Talk: Fitness classes at the Rec Center

You Ask, We Answer: Do you offer fitness programs that pertain to older adults or those with arthritis and pain management? Often we get asked these questions. The answer is, we offer several different programs that focus on these issues. Strength training is key to help ward off ...

Weeds: Low-tech guy in a high-tech world

I’m not a big tech guy. There is some technology that falls into my skill level. Like my toaster. It has handles you push down after you put the bread in. There’s a dial to set length of toasting time and a button that will pop your toast up on command. There’s another button that I ...

What’s Going On: Are we ready to admit we have a problem?

It was one of those facts that just seemed so outrageously untrue … I wondered if it was true. I had the same kind of doubt and skepticism when I first heard that hippos kill more people in Africa than lions. They do … about 3,000 — 250 more. So when discussing the most recent mass ...