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Opinion

Glad the Hwy 15 detour is over

Editorials

The interchange portion of the Highway 14/15 Gateway project was completed on Monday, and the long, long detour for traffic coming from the other side of the river ended. That had been an ordeal for people who lived just across the river, who were used to a five-minute drive through the old ...

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.

Columns

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 ...

Take notice;  Beijing is blinking

Editorials

Beijing just blinked. True standoffs, with both sides unyielding over their differences, seldom occur. Most of the time, one side sticks to its position for a time, then signals it may be amenable to compromising in order to avoid further unpleasantness. Sometimes we say that, in such ...

Why it’s so hard to get roads back open

Letters

To the editor: Patience is running thin on the road closures of Co. Rd. 1 and Co. Rd. 12 as well as the load limits on Co. Rd. 14. My patience is also running thin. The staff at Nicollet County are also frustrated. I would like to share some of the impediments of getting Co. Rd. 1 open as ...

A blow to Sleepy Eye and the area

Editorials

Tuesday’s announcement that Del Monte is going to close its Sleepy Eye plant after this corn pack season is a blow to Sleepy Eye and to many others in the area. The plant is a major employer in town. The closing announcement said that 69 full time and 294 seasonal employees will lose their ...

Trust the Taliban?

Editorials

Getting U.S. troops out of Afghanistan would be quite a coup for President Donald Trump. It would give him a foreign policy advantage going into next year’s election — one no Democratic candidate could criticize. But would it also be setting the stage for a bloodbath? Would it mean a ...

Kids don’t belong in cars

Editorials

We see far too many news reports about young children dying after being left unattended in cars. You wonder how any parent or caretaker could be so negligent. Sometimes parents rushing to get to work on too little sleep, or dealing with unusual distractions or personal situations, forget to ...

Who hires those illegal immigrants?

Editorials

Law enforcement authorities agree that one key to curbing certain types of crime is to sever the supply-and-demand link. Fewer drug addicts means less demand for pushers and thus, fewer of them, for example. Federal officials don’t seem to be doing a very good job of that in regard to ...

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

Columns

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

Columns

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 ...

Thumbs Up/Down

Editorials

Not funny, Sonny THUMBS DOWN: The beating farmers are taking from the tariff war with China is not a laughing matter. Just ask farmers here in southern Minnesota. Perhaps Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue didn’t get that memo before making a bad joke about farmers during a Farmfest ...

The road outside my window

Columns

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 ...

Philadelphia police show strength in restraint

Editorials

Police officers and sheriff’s deputies are accused regularly — and as a class — of being too eager to use violence, especially against African-Americans. Those who have that attitude ought to consider what happened Wednesday night in Philadelphia. During the day there, police went to a ...

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

Columns

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

Columns

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 ...

Responsible gun ownership is no laughing matter

Editorials

An Oregon man is lucky his idea of testing the Second Amendment did not result in his death. Another man, in Ohio, may be about to learn that amassing an arsenal, then talking about mass shootings, isn’t funny at all. What on Earth is wrong with these people and, sad to say, what appears ...

A thank-you to all contributors

Letters

To the editor: The Viet Nam Vets of Brown County summoned a welcome home gathering 20 Jul 2019. The vets who ran into the storm, found a banquet. The food was delicious, sharing was real, location was good and a request for again next year closed the day. Recent vets who moved into the area ...

Harpestad should have skills for DHS

Editorials

Governor Tim Walz took steps to bring the state’s Department of Human Services under better control Monday by naming Jodi Harpestead as the new commissioner of DHS. There has been turmoil in the massive state agency since last month, when the commissioner Walz first appointed, former state ...

Where’s the story?

Letters

To the editor: In the past several weeks New Ulm has lost two life long dedicated citizens in Dr Jim Seifert and Herb Schaper. The only acknowledgement of their passing in The Journal was a small obit yet these two individuals devoted their life to making New Ulm a better place to live, work ...

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

Columns

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 ...