BP - The Beast is Dead!
BP - The Beast is Dead!
Can you believe it?
A small band of over –the-hill misfits beat the fourth largest corporation in the world and saved their town. Congratulations to all my readers and all those people who have supported and commented on issues related to wind development and wind corruption. February 26 will long be remembered as the date in our history where the redcoats were sent packing the third time in 250 years!
Thank you all!
Monday, March 10, 2014
Working on the St. Lawrence River as a private contractor for the past 29 years, and living six miles inland, married to a woman whose family has roots in the 1000 Islands since the 1910s, the possibility of 500-foot towers, ostensibly to capture a renewable energy source in the 1000 Island region, had direct consequence for my livelihood, my solitude and my wife’s family’s way of life. Continue...
Sunday, March 9, 2014
by Kevin Forkey
A. First of all I would like to say hello to everyone and personally thank the Town Board for giving me a moment to speak my mind today. All I ask is that all of you forgive me if my public speaking skills are a little rusty, its been a spell since I've addressed a group of your importance. For all of you wondering who I am and why I am up here speaking before you today, a little of my background may be in order …
B. My name is Kevin Forkey. I have live, in this area for nearly my entire life. I successfully ran the Old F ink Farm (later named Mark Haven Farms in honor of my deceased brother ) for over 20 years and my father ran it for over 20 years before tha A funny thing about my circumstance when we moved here long ago was that my father had narrowed his choice of which property to purchase down to 2: The Frink Farm outside Depauville and the Zenda Farm outside of Clayton. The decision rested upon my mother feeling that the Frink Farm was the best choice because the Zenda was too close to the water (she felt all of her children who hadn't learned to swim would drown) and my father feeling that the Zenda Farm was a better choice because the type of soil would be more productive for farming ....Well I guess you can see who won but either way my parents long ago moved their family across this country and sought out a residence in this beautiful town, and we have been here every since.
- After spending nearly 40 years of my life working the land on my family farm as productively and in a manner as sustainable to the environment as our technology would allow there came a time when farming just didn't pay the bills anymore. I'm sure anyone here today that has farmed or knows someone in agriculture knows what I'm talking about. I was faced with the decision of what to do with the rest of my time here, I did a Iittl,e math and decided there was more money in selling 4 tires than there was in milking 4 teats. The end result:Forkey Auto Sales, it's all still family but minus the cows …
D. Our transition into this new endeavor has been successful but I was still faced with the decision of what to do with all of this fallow farmland? My son Derek, 'who holds two degrees from St. Lawrence University in Biology and Environmental Science and I have always had great conversations on Global Warming, Deforestation, Pollution, and in general mankind's overall negative impact on the environment. Rather than just talk though we took action! The result was that we have planted over 80,000 trees of native species on my land as a way to help el~inate our carbon footprint on this earth and to return this fallow land back to nature. This was a labor of love performed mostly by
Derek, and paid for by myself at a cost of over a quarter million dollars after the DEC cost sharing. These are actions not just words here....This money I spent would be a legacy for both our community and for our future generations as I certainly will never live to see any monetary benefit from any of this. I am merely someone who cares about this environment of ours in both words and actions.
A. Now that you all know who I am and what I stand for I hope I haven't lost your attention because that brings us up to this current matter at hand: The Horse Creek Wind Farm. My goal here today is to assume a leadership role in promoting a cause very near and dear to my heart: our environment and to bring into question how something determined to be so beneficial by the rest of the world could generate such opposition within our own community. To do this I must also convince you that my own concern is genuine and that this isn't all about the money.
- This is quite a substantial challenge given the fact that I'm a major land owner and if the project does go forward my financial benefit would be significant. To prove that my support for this project has no monetary basis whatsoever, and to show that my support is driven only by my desire to better this world we all must live, I am prepared to donate all of the proceeds that I may gain from any wind power generated on my land directly to the Town of Clayton, to do with as they see fit. My only stipulation would be that a percentage of the funds that I deem appropriate be allocated to the Thousand Islands Central School System. I feel that this should help to ease any fears some of you may have that these tax dollars generated from this wind project will not reach the Town, and especially its school. I ask you all to keep in mind that this would be a substantial sum of money over the next twenty years, as the project is currently proposed; somewhere in excess of one million dollars. I only seek to prove to you that I am a man of words, and action, and I have no problem standing behind an idea I hold dear to my heart. My donation will be completely transparent for those of you who think I may just be making this proposal with any intentions of turning back further on down the road once the project is completed. Now that I have gotten your attention I want to say that this path we are heading down with these new zoning laws is unacceptable, and should be unacceptable to anyone of you that truly feels that they are a responsible steward of their land. Any great decision in life has some risk associated with it, this is something none of us can argue. To dismiss any project that lands on the Town Boards desk if there are any risk associated with it is senseless. What we have to do as responsible citizens is weigh the risk versus the rewards. In the case of the wind farm these benefits will far outweigh the risks. There is no logic in the argument that we are protecting our environment by blocking this Wind Farm, we would actually only be furthering its demise. We live in a world that uses vast quantities of power and unless some great change comes about that is unforeseen to us presently, there is no end in siqht to our increasinq demand. The energy sources we currently utilize are non-renewable and of foreign origin. Not only are these sources being depleted at a rate that should fully exhaust them in the not too distant future, but in the mean time they are responsible for funding a great deal of the terrorism we see today. Our addiction to fossil fuels is responsible for the majority of the damage mankind has brought about to this world. Wind Power is the cleanest form of renewable energy available to us, period. If we embrace wind power we will be setting an environmentally responsible example as our legacy for future generations and set an example for other communities to follow if they truly care about the environment as well. Our entire community would benefit from this project. There is the obvious monetary benefit, but also there is the increased tax revenue and new jobs creation to help kick-start our local economy in these difficult economic times. How are their so many wind farms in operation across our great country already, if those communities hadn't deemed them beneficial? There are detractors with every project, but the truth is an independent University study found that 72% of the constituents of Lewis county thought the Maple Ridge Wind Farm had a positive effect on Lewis County, and 77% supported the idea of the projects growth. These are the real facts we should be discussing rather than the few individual detractors stories. Each and every one of these projects faced lengthy review before approval from the appropriate state and federal agencies so that any risk associated from these projects would be minimized and the benefits maximized. This is why we created agencies like the DEC and EPA many years ago. They are there to ensure that development coexists with our environment, and to protect either one from being abused. To recklessly adopt development at the expense of the natural world is something none of us would want, but to cease all development that impacts the environment in any way is equally undesirable. These agencies are given the task to determine where the fine line exists between the two, no easy task I'm sure. The Special Committee was faced with this monumental task, a task that has no legal precedent for a panel of average citizens. Although I am thankful for the members of the committees participation in this arduous task, I must question how their recommendations are to become law on such short notice, and furthermore how these citizens became experts on the laws of zoning as it applies to wind power generation? How and why were these people chosen and why are their recommendations becoming law so easily.As average citizens you would have to almost expect them to err on the side of safety and against this idea put forth by detractors of "big business" moving into town. I mean no disrespect here but this is not how laws are supposed to come to be. Are there any other citizens concerned that our rights as citizens may be getting abused if this comes to be? In effect we are bypassing all the years of study and data created by the appropriate regulatory agencies, with regards to these laws, and placing the power in the hands of a few average citizens.
So what am I trying to achieve you may ask? I am asking the board as a proven supporter of the environment, to reconsider the decisions they made in the August 26th meeting to accept the recommendations of the wind law committee that would siqnificantlv chanqe the Towns existinq wind law. Our existing wind law allows for responsible wind development in our community, and if they are deemed inappropriate I want the changes to come from the appropriate regulatory agency not from the average citizen with no experience or prior knowledge on the subject, who used information gathered from unreliable sources. This is just not how things work or how they should work. The committee had an agenda to eliminate this project, not to protect our environment. The adoption of these new zoning laws is an example of our community taking many dangerous steps in the wrong direction, and is a cause for great concern amongst myself, my fellow environmentalists, and the local supporters of wind energy in our community. Sometimes the decisions that are the best for the community are not always the most popular. It is your responsibility to lead us down the correct path and show us the leadership your position entails, and to not sway from
this position in the presence of some opposition. Do what is best forthe community and don't close the door on this project. Thank you for your time and hopefully your careful consideration on this matter.
Lafargeville, NY 13656
Saturday, March 8, 2014
Saturday October 31,2009
There was a time, not so long ago, when town officials both elected and appointed felt a necessity to comport themselves with dignity, to try to uphold their oaths of office, to set an example through word and deed for their constituents. It was sort of what we expected from the people we put in office, and the people that they appointed to unpaid, volunteer posts.
But somewhere along the line, all that stopped. Somewhere, local officials got it into their heads that a town post was a good path to take for personal enrichment. And I have to admit, the sudden proliferation of proposed wind farms has brought this out in spades. Continue...
Friday, March 7, 2014
|Maple Ridge wind turbines|
I recently came across this in depth Editorial piece from October 7, 2008 that was compiled and written by Industrial Wind Action Group
Horse Creek wind farm: Noise report cover-up(Posted October 7, 2008) PPM Energy's Horse Creek Wind Farm proposal, now suspended while NY State officials evaluate the potential high bat mortality from the turbines, is the center of a sobering debate concerning pre-construction sound study reports.
The proposed project consists of sixty-two industrial wind turbines spanning the towns of Clayton and Orleans in upstate New York. Over 1000 residents reside within the project's proposed footprint.
In January 2007, shortly after the Town of Clayton adopted its Wind Energy Facilities Ordinance (Local Law 1) governing placement of turbines in the town, PPM released its Noise Analysis report on the project prepared by Global engineering giant CH2M HILL. The report's summary states: "The facilities steady state noise levels are predicted to comply with the Town of Clayton's Wind Energy Facilities Ordinance limit of 50 dBA at off site residences." It further adds "the facilities noise level may exceed the existing levels by 6 dBA at lower wind speeds but maintains compliance with the Town of Clayton's Wind Energy Facilities Ordinance limit of 50 dBA". New York State guidelines suggest that sound level increases over existing background should not exceed 6 dBA.
Serious and substantial complaints filed by Clayton residents regarding possible excessive and harmful noise impacts from the turbines prompted the Planning Board to hire acoustic engineering firm Cavanaugh Tocci Associates (CTA) of Sudbury MA to evaluate the CH2M HILL report. CTA was specifically requested to "re-evaluate noise impact per NYSDEC guidelines and Town of Clayton Local Law 1 2007 Wind Energy Facilities".
The completed CTA report was received by Clayton officials, Town Supervisor Justin Taylor and Planning Board Chairman Roland Baril, on or around February 15, 2008 but never released to other Planning Board members or the public. Apparently, CTA's report was deemed "too complicated" for review. Three Freedom of Information requests were filed with the town, including one from the local newspaper, and all were denied. Clayton Supervisor Mr. Taylor announced through the Town's engineering consultants Bernier & Carr Associates that CTA's report was sent back with the request that an executive summary be provided to help explain CTA's findings. CTA complied and delivered a 2-page summary on August 25. This summary was again held by Taylor and Baril.
During the Oct 1 regular meeting of the Clayton Planning Board, Planning Board Chairman Baril informed the attending residents as well as the Planning Board that it was the recommendation of Bernier & Carr Associates that CTA's report again be refused as too technical for public review and that CTA's executive summary would be the ONLY document released to other Board members. Taxpayers were welcome to a copy of the summary via a Freedom of Information request submitted to the Clayton Town Clerk.
According to the CTA executive summary, there are serious problems with the methodology employed by CH2M HILL in conducting its noise analysis whereby estimated background sound levels were overestimated. CTA also makes clear that participating property owners, those who've entered into lease agreements with PPM, should update their real estate deeds to reflect noise easements. CTA is clear that noise emanating from the turbines, even if compliant with Clayton's Local Law 1, will affect future property owners who might occupy a dwelling.
The problem of Wind Turbine noise is becoming more pronounced as turbines are built close to where people live. Windaction.org is tracking noise issues in numerous locations including Mars Hill, ME, Lowville, NY, Brownsville, WI, McLean County, IL, and Blair County and Meyersdale, PA, in the UK and Canada. In each of these cases, the question of noise was either never raised prior to the towers being erected or the residents were informed there would be no issue. It's remarkable the lengths PPM and some Clayton officials are going to just to avoid the question. Denying a problem exists in the face of growing evidence is unproductive and will ultimately harm the wind industry and its proponents.
Update: At Clayton's town board meeting on Oct 8, Supervisor Justin Taylor announced the CTA report would now be released to the public.
The Watertown Times : Staff reporter Nancy Madsen did a story about Clayton Town officials refusing to let residents see a report evaluating the noise study done for Horse Creek Wind Farm. Link here Town keeping mum on noise report
Link here to read the Cavanaugh Tocci Summary and~ Turbine Noise report
it is just as relevant today as it was back then.
Many of us have closely followed the nearly decade-long history of proposed wind development in the Thousand Islands region and hated what we have seen.
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
NY Bid Net[link] calls itself "...a leading government bid aggregation and e-procurement service provider." Bid Net is a marketplace where businesses, like utility and wind giant Iberdrola, can seek bids for a variety of services, including building a wind farm.
Click Link Below to view large map of Iberdrola Turbine array plan as proposed in 2007
New York Bid Network
Electrical Bid Network
Links below to past Watertown Daily Times stories
Horse Creek Wind Farm developer might up size project, begin state siting process as soon as next spring
Iberdrola back on track with Clayton wind project
Pick up your copy of the Thousand Islands Sun at Cape Dairy or Aubrey's market to continue reading this extensive review of Cape's past wind history.
Monday, March 3, 2014
Sunday, March 2, 2014
Saturday, March 1, 2014
The writer highlights important issues that have been ignored by the Watertown Times.
The Editors of the WDT might want to check out this "extreme measures score card"
Cape Vincent Pro Wind full time residents.
1. A sitting State Assemblyman told wind lease conflicted members of the town board that it was their duty to vote their conflict of interest and not make a decision based on public referendum.
2. Voters for Wind and Accionia tried to get the JCIDA to take away the school, county and town right to vote on a PILOT.
3. Pro wind passed a petition that claimed voter irregularities that were never proven. It was aimed at legal Cape Vincent residents and voters who they thought would vote against the conflict of interest board members.
4. The conflict of interest board members passed and then refused to rescind an illegal voter identification resolution.
5. Letters with the names of the Cape Vincent pro-wind Democratic Chair and CGF chair on it were sent to the assessors of seasonal residents who owned residences in other communities but choose Cape Vincent as their home of voter choice. One "friendly" assessor took the bait and made a voter fraud accusation that was never proven. Those whose assessors received letters felt singled out and intimidated.
6. Voters for Wind, CFG and Bp lease holders filed A SLAPP action against two Cape Vincent bloggers and John Does who were voicing their opinion.
7. An affidavit filed in the Supreme Court by one of the plaintiffs verified that formal methods were being taken against part time residents that would protect the interests of full time residents.
8. A list of 80 Absentee voters were challenged by pro wind Democrat-CFG town office candidates. The three candidates then filed a signed affidavit in Supreme Court alleging fraud by legal Cape Voters and the Jefferson County Board of Elections.
Cape Vincent Anti Wind full time and part time residents.
1. Exercised their legal right to vote against unethical lease holding public officials and threw them out of office.
John Doe Citizen
and life long resident of Cape Vincent.
Link to post ~Times Editors Miss the Bus
Friday, February 28, 2014
In 2005, BP proposed developing a 124-turbine wind farm on adjacent properties in the town.
Many full-time residents supported the idea of infusing the community with an additional stream of revenue, particularly because some of them would benefit by leasing their land to BP. They asserted their right to make money off the property they owned.Continue...