Friday, September 4, 2015

Why the Cape loved its Big White Knight

The other memory about Brooks that we should never forget is his "Redolent Speech" the night Cape Democrats/CFG, including Marty Mason, Donny Mason and Mickey Orvis  passed the illegal law to take away the voting rights of seasonal voters in Cape Vincent. Brooks was brilliant and eloquent. He was the Cape’s White Knight who led the charge to protect the rights of the people he served and loved:

Urban : "Brooks, you have any comments."

Brooks: "Yeah I do. Ah, first I disagree respectfully with Mr. Wiley. I think that there are approximately 5,200 seasonal residents in the town of cape Vincent and there are approximately 2,700 year round residents in the town of Cape Vincent. The people who have come here and invested a substantial amount of capital, a high percentage of everything that they own, have a right to express themselves on issues that exist in Cape Vincent and those rights are expressed in existing laws. This law here frivolously overrules an existing law that is run competently by the current board of elections in Watertown. I don’t think we have even remotely the right to do that, in addition the issue has become redolent of self-interest, redolent of wind, redolent of getting money directly for one selves. With all respect for my board members, whom I care for very genuinely, they should not be running for office and they should not be proposing a vote to curtail votes in their favor, which is nothing more than self-interest. I think this is a completely frivolous distorted attempt to twist around what’s going on in Cape Vincent and bypass the high ethics, legitimate, responsible, and common good orientation that is the history of this Village and this town and we should not go along with it I think that this is just garbage."

Oh how we all miss this good man.

Great Lake Ontario National Marine Sanctuary (NMS) Proposal

For the first time in nearly 20 years the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has opened up the application process to add new National Marine Sanctuaries to the 14 already established regions in the world. This unique opportunity has prompted four Lake Ontario counties (Jefferson, Oswego, Cayuga and Wayne) and the City of Oswego to apply for status for the southeastern Lake Ontario region. Each community brings its strengths and interests to the table in an effort to ensure that the natural, cultural and historic resources that we cherish and enjoy can be experienced by others for generations to come. To succeed, the process begins with community support. It's important to understand what an NMS is and what it means for our community and industries.

A Remembrance of Brooks Bragdon (1947-2015)

 CAPE VINCENT, N.Y.  —  Funeral services for Brooks P.J. Bragdon will be held 11 a.m. Saturday Sept. 5, at St. Johns Episcopal Church in Cape Vincent with The Very Rev. John J. Crosswaite, Rector. Burial will follow the funeral service in St. John’s Cemetery, Cape Vincent.
Mr. Bragdon passed away on April 15  in Watertown.

Arrangements are under the direction of Cleveland Funeral Home, Cape Vincent.

Brooks loved the Town of Cape Vincent its history and its people. 

October 23, 2012 was one of those nights and moments where Brooks Bragdon shined his brightest. It was the first public meeting after BP filed their Article 10 application for their Cape Vincent Wind Project. Many of you may recall that particular evening where elected and appointed officials from Cape Vincent and Lyme met with Richard Chandler, BP's new project director, to ask him questions about BP's project.

I was sitting next to Brooks that night. As we waited our turn to question Mr. Chandler we had a little banter about our questioning. I asked if he was prepared to do battle and if he was going take Chandler to the mat? He brushed off my question and said, "Clif, I want you to assure me that you won't lose your cool." "I want you to promise me you won't embarrass me, use profanity or otherwise make a fool of yourself." I laughed and told him not to worry.
I finished my little part of the questioning and Brooks began with his interrogation of Mr. Chandler: Do you know our town is primarily an aesthetic community? Are you familiar with our comprehensive plan? He continued to badger Mr. Chandler telling him how important our town’s plan and zoning law was to Cape Vincent. At the same time he was demanding that Chandler look him in the face and giving him a wake-up hello when Chandler seemed puzzled and dazed. He told Chandler he was prepared to work with him if he and BP were willing to accept and work within the bounds of our plans and law. If not he shouted, then we will have an adversarial relation.
My favorite line of Brook's questioning and my favorite line of the night was his complete and utter disregard to his entreaty to me to keep my cool, "Mr. Chandler I'm asking you, to cut the bullshit and tell us if you are going to work within our zoning law or not?"
Brooks was best known for his keen mind, quick wit and eloquence that showed bright most nights as he represented the people of Cape Vincent. But, I also loved the other side of his personality that few had the privilege of seeing - the tenacious brawler who played lineman for Williams College football. That tenacity was properly disguised most of the time, but it was very much a part of what made him special, why he was so effective as a town official and why I liked him as a friend.

Clif Schneider

Video of Brooks Bragdon confronting 

BP Project Developer Richard Chandler

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Next Texas Energy Boom: Solar

Companies are spending $1 billion on new projects to harvest electricity from the sun.

FORT STOCKTON, Texas—A new energy boom is taking shape in the oil fields of west Texas, but it’s not what you think. It’s solar. Continue reading via this link to the Wall Street Journal

Friday, August 21, 2015

Lewis County Planning Board approves amended Copenhagen wind project

LOWVILLE — The Lewis County Planning Board on Thursday signed off on amended plans for the Copenhagen Wind Farm project that now features fewer, but slightly taller, towers. Continue reading via this link to the Watertown Daily Times

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Bellmont/Chateaugay/ Wind Turbines will be over 500 feet tall

The eight to 10 towers planned for the town of Bellmont will be in excess of 500 feet tall, although New York state law limits such structures to 400 feet. Continue reading via this link to the Watertown Daily Times

Friday, August 14, 2015

The environmental impact of wind power is worse than expected.  

The financial, humanitarian and environmental price of decarbonizing the energy supply is proving much steeper than expected. Continue reading via this link to the WSJ

NYSERDA proposes to allow utilities to own wind and solar farms.

New York state banned utility-owned generation back in the 1990s as part of the deregulation of the state's energy markets. But in a report submitted to regulators in June, the state's energy development agency, NYSERDA, says utility-owned wind or solar farms could be used as a new device to help the state reach its ambitious renewable energy goals. The state wants 50 percent of its wholesale electric supply to come from renewable energy sources by 2030, which would mean doubling its clean energy output within 15 years. Continue via this link to Albany Times Union

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Debra Shearwater v FWS and AWEA: Eagle 30-year take permit decision

In this very critical decision by the US District Court of Northern District of California (Judge Lucy H. Koh), the 30-year take permits for bald and golden eagles established by the US Fish and Wildlife Service have been set aside and remanded back to the Service. An excerpt of the ruling is provided below. Link here to read original via WIND ACTION.ORG

NEPA Conclusion (Excerpt from Ruling)

In light of the foregoing, the Court concludes that FWS has failed to show an adequate basis in the record for deciding not to prepare an EIS—much less an EA—prior to increasing the maximum duration for programmatic eagle take permits by sixfold. See Klamath Siskiyou Wildlands Ctr., 468 F.3d at 562 (“[N]ot only did [the agency] fail to conduct an EIS . . . , it did not even conduct an EA.”). While promoting renewable energy projects may well be a “worthy goal, it is no substitute for the [agency’s] obligations to comply with NEPA and to conduct a studied review and response to concerns about the environmental implications of major agency action.” Kraayenbrink, 632 F.3d at 492. Accordingly, the Court holds that FWS violated NEPA’s procedural requirements and that the Final 30-Year Rule must therefore be set aside and remanded to FWS for further consideration.