In Berlin?! Really?!

I’ve got a great story for next week’s Reporter. Really great. I don’t want to go into it here, but next week’s issue will not be the one to miss. Make sure you don’t.

I have to say, I love my job.

Sorry to all interested parties, but I have no interest in being an editor or a publisher. I want to be out there, where the story is happening, digging things up. That’s what I’m good at, and that’s where I should stay.
Furthermore, there is no Berlin Reporter press—there is Salmon Press, which owns the Reporter and 10 other papers, and they are all printed in Massachusetts. I couldn’t buy the paper because there would be no press for me to print a paper. That business plan just doesn’t work.
Besides, I love my job. Why would I leave? I have a boss who supports me while I do my best to improve the level of discourse in Berlin, plus benefits and vacation. I get to talk with every aspect of the city, and beyond. It’ll be a while before I quit this arrangement.

And no one would be happy with a Monday paper. You would wind up with last week’s city council news, which is often some of the most pertinent information in the paper. Ever notice the Reporter comes out the same day the daily paper reports city council meetings? That is the one time we really cover the same news on the same deadline. That’s key. Our timeliness in this one area is important and not worth forsaking. I understand it’d be nice to start out the week with quality journalism, but it’s not in the cards. I’d hate to be reporting council happenings a week late. I far prefer the model we have now.

But thanks for the constructive criticism. I’m working on improving things even more. I want to get video capability and get important interviews up online. I’d love to see the council meetings broadcast live. I’d like to be Tweeting from every meeting I go to. What I need, though, is for everyone to buy ads in the Reporter so they expand it. It could be more pages, two sections, if it brought in the revenue. I’m doing my part, improving the reporting; now it’s your turn to convince all your friends to buy the paper.

Next week, they’ll want to. Believe me, it’s worth it.

8 thoughts on “In Berlin?! Really?!

  1. Erik,Good point on Wednesday's edition providing fresh reporting on city activity. Makes sense.And thanks for the opportunity of discussion yesterday. Jon

  2. Erik, it is only Friday and you are asking us to wait until next Wednesday to read this “great story”. You sure know how to tease a reader. I am sure it will be worth the wait. Thanks

  3. Please tell me it is an article about how Paul Grenier thinks it is great to put biomass plants next to parks, residential neighborhoods and the downtown retail district. I'd love to hear him tout the vast benefits of the plant. He must have 1 billion shares of LLEG stock.

  4. Though off topic, Erik, I thought you'd find this interesting reading. JonTHE STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIREPUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSIONDE 09-067ORDER OF NOTICEOn April 7, 2009, Clean Power Development, LLC (CPD) filed a complaint against Public Service Company of New Hampshire (PSNH) pursuant to RSA 365:1 claiming that PSNH refused to enter into negotiations to purchase the energy, capacity and renewable energy certificates (RECs) associated with the output a 29-megawatt biomass-fueled combined heat and power energy facility CPD plans to build in Berlin, New Hampshire. CPD claimed that a purchase power agreement is a prerequisite to moving forward with the financing, construction and eventual operation of the Berlin CPD facility and that PSNH’s refusal to negotiate with CPD constituted, among other things, a violation of PSNH’s least cost plan approved by the Commission in Order No. 24,945 (February 27, 2009) in Docket No. DE 07-108 and RSA 362-F:1, the purpose section of the Electric Renewable Portfolio Standards law, RSA 378:37, the New Hampshire Energy Policy, and RSA 378:38 and 39, New Hampshire’s law requiring electric utilities to file least cost integrated resource plans for approval by the Commission.On April 14, 2009, pursuant to RSA 365:2, the Commission issued a secretarial letter directing PSNH to answer the charges in CPD’s complaint. PSNH filed its answer to the complaint on April 28, 2009 denying any wrongdoing and stating that it had not violated RSA 362-F:1 or RSA 378:37 through 39. PSNH said that CPD had not made a bona fide offer of contract terms when it approached PSNH regarding the CPD facility. In addition, PSNH pointed out that there is no requirement in New Hampshire for any market participant, including a utility, to enter into a long-term power purchase agreement with any merchant generator. PSNH said10/09/09 – 2 -DE 09-067that if a generator is a “qualifying facility” within the meaning of the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 (PURPA) (16 U.S.C. §2601-2645) and the federal rules implementing PURPA (18 CFR 292), PSNH would be required to purchase the output at the short-term avoided cost rate approved by the Commission in PSNH’s restructuring docket. See Docket No. 99-099, PSNH Proposed Restructuring Settlement, 85 NH PUC 567, Order No. 23,549 (September 8, 2000). On May 29, 2009, CPD filed a request for a formal investigation by the Commission.

  5. Concord Steam Corporation (Concord Steam), a facility that is developing a combined heat and power biomass facility in Concord, filed a petition to intervene on July 23, 2009.1 Concord Steam claimed that it approached PSNH regarding the potential for PSNH to purchase power from the proposed facility and that PSNH had responded by saying that it had no interest in entering into a purchase power agreement with a renewable energy facility at this time.During June and July, the Commission’s General Counsel, Anne Ross, met with CPD, PSNH and Concord Steam in an attempt to assist the parties in resolving the dispute on an informal basis. Despite several meetings and the submission of power purchase term sheets by CPD and Concord Steam to PSNH, the parties were not able to settle their differences.On September 14, 2009, CPD again filed a motion requesting that the Commission open a formal investigation of CPD’s complaint against PSNH. PSNH filed a response on September 24, 2009 stating it had been in the process of reviewing CPD’s proposed long term purchased power agreement but would no longer do so, given CPD’s motion to open a formal investigation. CPD responded to PSNH’s filing on September 29, 2009. On October 1, 2009, Concord Steam filed a response to PSNH interpreting PURPA as requiring PSNH to purchase power from1 The Commission also received copies of correspondence between David Bertrand, the Mayor of Berlin, and PSNH and several additional letters of comment from CPD.10/09/09 – 3 -DE 09-067qualified facilities at a rate different than that established by the Commission in Order No. 23,549.Because there may be a basis for the dispute between the parties concerning the nature and extent of PSNH’s legal obligation to purchase power from CPD, the Commission is opening an investigation into CPD’s complaint pursuant to Puc 204.04 and RSA 365:4. In order to determine whether an adjudicative proceeding shall be commenced to resolve the CPD complaint and, if so, how such proceeding would be conducted, the Commission, consistent with Puc 204.05, will hold a prehearing conference to take the statements and hear the recommendations of CPD and PSNH.Based upon the foregoing, it is hereby

  6. ORDERED, that a Prehearing Conference, pursuant to N.H. Admin. Rules Puc 203.15, be held before the Commission located at 21 S. Fruit St., Suite 10, Concord, New Hampshire on November 3, 2009 at 10:00 a.m., at which each party will provide a preliminary statement of its position and any of the issues set forth in N.H. Admin. Rule Puc 203.15 shall be considered; and it isFURTHER ORDERED, that, immediately following the Prehearing Conference, CPD, PSNH, the Staff of the Commission and any Intervenors hold a Technical Session, if necessary, to determine how to proceed with the investigation of the complaint; and it isFURTHER ORDERED, that pursuant to N.H. Admin. Rules Puc 203.12, CPD shall notify all persons desiring to be heard at this hearing by publishing a copy of this Order of Notice no later than October 16, 2009, in a newspaper with general circulation in those portions of the state in which operations are conducted, publication to be documented by affidavit filed with the Commission on or before November 3, 2009; and it is10/09/09 – 4 -DE 09-067FURTHER ORDERED, that pursuant to N.H. Admin. Rules Puc 203.17, any party seeking to intervene in the proceeding shall submit to the Commission seven copies of a Petition to Intervene with copies sent to CPD, PSNH and the Office of the Consumer Advocate on or before October 28, 2009, such Petition stating the facts demonstrating how its rights, duties, privileges, immunities or other substantial interest may be affected by the proceeding, as required by N.H. Admin. Rule Puc 203.17 and RSA 541-A:32,I(b).By order of the Public Utilities Commission of New Hampshire this ninth day of October, 2009.Adele E. LeightonAssistant to the Executive DirectorIndividuals needing assistance or auxiliary communication aids due to sensory impairment or other disability, should contact the Americans with Disabilities Act Coordinator, NHPUC, 21 S. Fruit St., Suite 10, Concord, New Hampshire 03301-2429; 603-271-2431; TDD Access: Relay N.H. 1-800-735-2964. Notification of the need for assistance should be made one week prior to the scheduled event.

  7. Taken from the Landvest study, the following statements show that available low grade wood through conservative cutting at 280,000 annual tons which is under what Clean Power plans to burn! Aggressive cutting could achieve up to 1,000,000 green tons, which is what the combination of both biomass plants would consume annually. Question: As a state, do we want aggressive harvesting by only two biomass plants at the expense of our state's people and businesses being unable to use this wood? JonStatement from Landvest wood study:"Correspondingly, the low and high limits of the available low grade wood are 280,000 and 1,000,000 green tons for the low and high supply model simulations respectively.Table 10. Analysis of low grade wood available to existing wood using facilities.There are several proposed facilities are or will be likely built in the study area. If we take their annual wood consumptions into account, they would pull about 1.1 million green tons of wood from our study area (Table 11). The available low grade wood would not be enough to supply these facilities after these proposed facilities are built…"

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