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Letter: Xcel controls the dialogue in Red Wing again

Every year, it seems, the Eagle reports on an Xcel "community breakfast" without notifying its readers in advance that this is happening, or making an effort to verify Xcel's statements and seek out and report other points of view. Thus, Xcel seems to control who attends, and what gets reported out of, these annual events.

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This goes a long way toward helping Xcel ensure that only Xcel's views and interests are known to local officials and the general public. This also resembles the practice of stenography more than the practice of journalism.

Red Wing is "joined at the hip" to Xcel in many ways. We are vulnerable. There are real consequences to an unequal relationship seemingly based on ignorance and servility.

Consider the multiple recent announcements that Xcel will be paying lower taxes while residents will pay more to make up the difference. Consider the unending, unjustified, rate increases approved by a servile Public Utilities Commission. Consider the health and environmental hazards. Consider the impacts as Xcels reactors and garbage burners inevitably close.

When have Red Wing officials represented the interests of residents, vs Xcel's? Whom do City Council members report to?

If this newspaper considers Xcel's dog-and-pony show to be newsworthy, surely "the other side of the story" is equally so. Surely readers deserve notice so they would have the option of showing up (whether or not Xcel wants them there).

Alan Muller

Red Wing