BP's Tatics in Cape Vincent Ny

Monday, October 31, 2011

“Vacant lots are selling like hotcakes.”

The Voters for Wind deny that an Industrial Wind Complex has any negative effect on property values. In fact, Voters For Wind even went on a fact-finding trip to Wolfe Island Wind. At the Town Board meeting of July 14, 2011 Voter For Wind Karen Stumpf presented the results of their research junket to Wolfe Island. Mrs. Stumpf said that
the only thing they kept hearing from Non-lease holding residents of Wolfe Island was that it is the “Best thing that ever happened, Best thing that ever happened to us.”

“Vacant lots are selling like hotcakes.” “Prices are way, way, way, above assessed values.” “Construction is going wild on Wolfe Island.” She said.
Additionally, she said that she had names and numbers!

This is a copy of a letter submitted to Scott Aubertine, supervisor of the Town of Lyme, Jefferson County, NY. It was written by a local real estate dealer who faces the reality of and expresses concern about the inevitability of reduced real estate sales and loss of property values as a result of BFW.

Dear Scott,
Well……. Here goes, after sitting back and watching, listening, and seeing the negative impact of the wind turbines on business the last year or so, I have decided to speak up.
There are a few things I have to say, and I hope you are listening. I have thoroughly observed things that have been going on over the last couple years, and am amazed by how corporate greed and deception can win over so many, turn friends and neighbors into enemies and even break apart families.
I am amazed that any town would consider a project like this in a Resort/Waterfront community where most of our revenue that has kept us alive comes from our natural beauty that we are so fortunate to have, but are apparently so eager to destroy.
I am further amazed that a town would consider something that has a drastic negative impact on so many, and benefits so few….. and can jeopardize are current tax basis and our historic natural beauty. We have something special here, and whether you want to see it or not, it will hurt us as a town in both tax revenue, real estate values and tourism.

It was interesting to see how ill prepared Pittman* was the other night, he was obviously invited thinking that this town was open armed to this idea and probably realized quickly that was not the case. We are not the type of town that Pitman was describing where most of their projects are going (desolate towns with no economy or natural beauty to hurt) and he even agreed that our town may not be appropriate for this type of project. I also think it is interesting how a survey was done, that clearly shows (and I agree there was no confusion) this town does not want wind turbines anywhere near the water or village communities.

As a town supervisor, I would think this would show clearly the opinion of the people you are supposed to represent, and yet you fight to discredit it in any way possible? Send out another survey to every taxpayer and, again you will see the clear choice of the people!! I am all for clearing things up! This is a democracy and your job is to clearly represent your people.
I also have to say how sad it was to learn the fact that you did represent while trying to obtain office that you were not for the wind turbines. This was clearly miss leading and you changed your opinion very quickly once obtaining office. You are the last person I ever would have ever expected this type of behavior from. I have always held a lot of respect for you, but I do not understand.

1- There will be negative effects on Real Estate values, I can promise you that. There have been studies done that show clearly 60% of the time there is a major negative effect, and up to 40% depreciation of properties can occur.
I already have people who refuse to buy until they know the windmills are NOT coming near the water. I have people who have sold and left the area already because of the talk of windmills, and I know many more people on the fence, ready to dump their properties of wind comes in. Lastly, I had deals actually fall apart last year because buyers heard windmills may come in to our town.
I have already seen the storm cloud come in that Cape Vincent has been living under the last few years.

2-The wind turbines will have a negative effect on our tourism and our economy.
Have you seen Cape Vincent lately? People hate each other down there, business’s that got involved were shunned and dis-credited, families torn apart, and oh yes, you cannot sell anything down there, and everything is for sale!

I think it was made very clear, most people do not object to wind, but they object to them near the water. We are a waterfront community and they are not appropriate for our area. I am not saying they are not appropriate anywhere, but here they are not.
On my last note, after much research, I truly believe these are a fad. Maybe 5-10 years, and something newer, better, smaller will be on the storefront.

There are already so many alternatives out there for green energy, and more will come out in the next few years. Committing to some type of 30-40 year project is absolute insanity.
Why can we not invest in making our Tourism economy stronger and better? Attracting more people to our community and not doing something to drive them away? Something that benefits all and hurts no one?

I have to laugh because a 240 home subdivision that would have extended our village, added major tax revenues, and grown our community in a stable positive way was shunned and put thru hell for 5 years. Yet wind turbines are being shoved down our throats. Things just don’t make sense.

It is also sadly dis-heartening that people on the board with major conflicts will be allowed to vote. I understand it is legal, but it is not right. They are not properly representing the people and are too close to the issue with family members standing to have major financial gain.

I love this town and this community, and what I see is scares me. This town could grow to be an even more wonderful place, steady, stable growth is what it needs. Please focus on what the town needs and what the people need and want. This is what should be most important to you and your board members.

I mean no dis-respect to anyone, I just could not sit back and say nothing when I already see the negative impacts setting in.

Thank You for your time, I truly believe you will help make the right decision in the long run. I still have faith……

I would like to add to Mr. Ormsby’s quote, above, about the 40% of the tax base. That is an average and when you consider that the wind factory hosting communities have a Lake and River district tax base of 80% and up, that is one hell of a sacrifice to make by those citizens because a very few that will benefit are willing to give away and trash those communities.

*Note: The writer of this letter mentions a Wind development Presentation given by Kieth Pittman, Pittman was a partner in Empire State Wind Energy LLC. A company that was backed by Billionaire and Paychex founder Thomas Golisano until it ceased operations because its leaders believe the venture will not be profitable.

Wind turbine maker Vestas Plunges Most in Eight Years

Vestas Plunges Most in Eight Years After Cutting Forecasts - Bloomberg

Turbine makers led by Vestas and its rival General Electric Co. are suffering from slower demand growth, falling prices and narrowing margins as Chinese companies including Xinjiang Goldwind Science & Technology Co. grab market share.
Source: Industrial Wind Action Group

October 31, 2011 by Reed Landberg and Alex Morales in Bloomberg News

Vestas Wind Systems A/S, the biggest wind-turbine maker, dove the most in three years in Denmark after cutting margin and revenue forecasts because of delays in expanding production at a new plant in Travemuende, Germany.

The stock fell as much as 26 percent and traded at 87.65 kroner, down 21 percent, as of 9:06 a.m. local time.

The manufacturer expects revenue of 6.4 billion euros ($9 billion) in 2011, down from the 7 billion euros it had forecast in August. Continue reading

US govt $$ not enough to save Beacon Power from bankruptcy

 Boston Business Journal by Galen Moore, Web Editor
Date: Monday, October 31, 2011

Beacon Power has filed for bankruptcy, after struggling to find the financing it needed to build a second energy regulation plant.

.. ..If the U.S. government is picking winners and losers in alternative energy, Beacon Power Corp. .Beacon Power Corp. Latest from The Business Journals Feds defend Beacon Power loan guarantees Boston law firm Edwards Wildman is top Beacon Power creditor Stephentown plant owner Beacon Power files for bankruptcy Follow this company .(Nasdaq: BCON) may be one of the firms Uncle Sam has allowed to lose. Facing delisting from the Nasdaq for its rock-bottom stock price, the Tyngsboro, Mass. maker of smart grid technology has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, following California-based Solyndra .Solyndra Latest from The Business Journals Second firm with federal loan guarantee goes bankrupt Solyndra loan under review Stephentown plant owner Beacon Power files for bankruptcy Follow this company .as another U.S. government-backed alternative energy company now seeking protection from creditors.

Continue reading Here


At last nights Republican fundraiser a resident of Cape Vincent was inquiring about the Village of Cape Vincent minutes .

The minutes of the Village Board Meetings from 11/14 2005 to 7/26/2011 are available on the Internet at this link

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Mackinac Center: Green energy rules and subsidies fizzle as job creators

Mackinaw City Michigan Giant Turbines just outside Mackinaw city
Mackinac Center: Green energy rules and subsidies fizzle as job creators Detroit Free Press freep.com

The national unemployment rate remains stubbornly above 9%, and Michigan's unemployment rate remains in double digits. Some in the political class, both in Washington and Lansing, tell us the way out of this economic malaise is to embrace the vision of green energy and its promise of new jobs. Unfortunately, this is wishful thinking.

The green energy jobs bubble is deflating rapidly and turning red as taxpayers are saddled with excessive new debt fueled by government's attempt to pick winners and losers in the energy markets. The poster child is Solyndra, a manufacturer of solar power products that squandered more than $500 million of taxpayer money before closing its doors.

Government officials have been busy centrally planning our energy future by using CAFE standards to mandate the types of vehicles we drive, dictating the types of light bulbs we can use, and attempting to regulate coal-fired power plants -- which provide about 60% of the nation's electricity -- out of existence through EPA administrative fiat.

Government officials have also handed out billions of taxpayer dollars in subsidies, loan guarantees and tax incentives to industries du jour, like solar panels, windmills, ethanol and "green" automobiles.

Government intrusion has not delivered the promised jobs. The U.S. Labor Department's Office of Inspector General recently reported that the federal government spent $162.8 million to "train and prepare individuals for careers in green jobs." Only 8,035 Americans found jobs, according to the report, and "only 1,336 were still in the job after six months."

Government attempts to create green jobs in Europe have proved to be just as expensive and actually resulted in a net loss of jobs in Spain, a country with 20% unemployment.

While government officials have been planning our energy future, the private sector has been busy creating a revolution in the oil and gas industry. Two of the most important developments are the extraction of extensive deposits of natural gas in the U.S. through the use of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling technologies, and the development of huge supplies of oil derived from oil sands in Canada.

It is estimated that there is enough recoverable natural gas in the U.S. to provide the nation's energy needs for the remainder of the century. Construction of a pipeline running from Canada to American refineries would reduce the amount of oil imported from the Middle East.

Many environmentalists oppose developing these new energy resources, claiming they pose an unacceptable threat to the environment. These claims hide the fact that they recognize the development of oil and gas undercuts the rationale for more costly alternative energy sources.

Policymakers who champion alternative energy through government mandates and lavish tax subsidies are ignoring economic realities. Their agenda will actually harm the development of alternative energy in the long run.

We did not leave the Stone Age because we ran out of rocks. We won't leave the age of carbon-based energy because we ran out of oil and gas. Rather, we will organically transition to new energy sources when supply and demand makes oil and gas production more expensive than alternative forms of energy. No amount of government intervention can suspend economic laws.

Federal and state government policy should encourage the responsible development of oil and gas resources in North America -- which will create thousands of good-paying jobs -- while at the same time allowing private research into new alternative energy technology that will provide the bridge to America's energy future.

Russ Harding is senior environmental policy analyst at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy.

Cape Vincent

Republican Fundraiser a Great Success!

The republican fundraiser tonight at Aubrey’s Inn ,Cape Vincent was a great success. The turnout was fantastic and it provided the opportunity to renew old acquaintances (and make new ones).
It was just a great evening for people to get together and talk about Cape Vincent’s very bright future.


I could not say it better than this reader, so I won't.

Cape Lady said...
Yes indeed, it was a terrific evening. We were visited by candidates outside of Cape Vincent. We had candidates running for Judicial, Congressional, District Attorney and more. Cape Republicans are on the move, building momentum, making new friends and expanding their influence on the elective process.

Thanks to all for attending, contributing, sharing and supporting a true grass roots Party.

Not to be forgotten, was the praise and thanks to Kathy and Rick for all the time, research and informative postings.

Vote Row B, no write ins, keep your ballot clean and counted.

The Team that will work for you providing a brighter future for Cape Vincent.

TEAM ~ Hirschey Byrne & Schneider
A Team who will

a team that will represent our community. A unified non-conflicted team that represents open ethical government .

Republican congressman pushes for an end to all energy tax credits

Republican congressman pushes for an end to all energy tax credits Texas on the Potomac a Chron.com blog

A Republican congressman from Kansas plans to introduce a bill this week to end all tax credits for the energy sector, saying he believes it’s time for conventional and alternative sources alike to show their worth without government help.

Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Kan., told lawmakers in a letter last week that his bill would save the U.S. government up to $90 billion over 10 years in what he says is spending that distorts the market. He pointed to the ongoing scandal over the Energy Department’s $535 million loan guarantee to the now-bankrupt Fremont, Calif., solar-panel maker Solyndra LLC.

“The Solyndra scandal has demonstrated the danger of government interference in energy markets,” he wrote, calling his bill “a reasonable approach to ending the decades-long practice of trying to pick winners and losers.”

Among the credits the bill would end are the renewable electricity production tax credit, which rewards companies for each kilowatt-hour of generating capacity they install from sources such as wind, biomass, geothermal, landfill-gas, municipal-waste or hydroelectric. Credits for plug-in electric and fuel-cell vehicles and alternative fuels would also end.

The bill would also end credits for enhanced oil recovery and technologies that reduce emissions from coal.

Pompeo wrote that his bill would preserve “general deductions available to multiple industries.”

But his legislation is sure to face resistance. Democrats, who control the Senate, have sought to target tax breaks for oil-and-gas companies but may be hesitant to end federal support for alternative sources, which they say can help address pollution and climate change.

The American Wind Energy Association, a wind-power trade group in Washington, has issued a statement blasting Pompeo’s bill.

“Representative Pompeo seems to misunderstand how a key federal tax incentive has built a thriving American wind manufacturing sector and tens of thousands of American jobs,” CEO Denise Bode said in a statement, referring to the production tax credit for wind electricity, which will expire after
Dec. 31, 2012, without action from Congress.
Bob Deans, associate director of communications for the environmental group Natural Resources Defense Council, has criticized Republicans for using the Solyndra scandal to target all clean energy: “We should learn the lessons of Solyndra, to be sure, but then move forward — because, as China and our other global competitors have grasped all too well, solar energy, wind, and other emerging technologies hold the promise and potential to help power the world into the 21st century.”

Pompeo also said his bill would be revenue-neutral by including a corporate tax rate reduction that corresponds to the money his bill saves.

The bill isn’t meant to raise money for the government, Pompeo said, “but rather to correct decades of taxpayer funded handouts to industries more than capable of thriving in the open market.”

A list of tax credits his bill will target, according to the letter:

•Plug-in electric and fuel cell vehicles
•Alternative fuel and alternative fuel mixtures
•Cellulosic Biofuel Producer Credit
•Alternative fuel infrastructure
•Production Tax Credit for electricity produced from renewable sources, including wind, biomass, and hydropower
•Investment Tax Credit for equipment powered by solar, fuel cells, geothermal or other specified renewable sources
•Enhanced oil recovery credit, and credit for producing oil and gas from marginal wells
•Advanced Nuclear Power Generation Credit
•Clean coal investment credits


At the Town board meeting of Feb 10, 2011 Supervisor Urban Hirschey stated that he had received a letter from Clifford P. Schneider RE: a property assurance plan , this is his letter ~

February 4, 2011
Mr. Urban Hirschey, Supervisor, Mr. Brooks Bragdon, Deputy Supervisor
Mr. Marty Mason, Mr. Donald Mason and Mr. Mickey Orvis
Town of Cape Vincent Town Board
Box 1964, NYS Rte 12E
Cape Vincent, NY 13618
Dear Town Board members:
At the October meeting the Cape Vincent Planning Board adopted site plan requirements
suggested by Acciona. Included in Acciona's list of “other” requirements were:

1. Road Agreements to protect town's roads and bridges ,

2. Potable Well protection plan,

3. Property Posting and Gating for public safety,

4. Assessment of Karst geography,

5. Turbine decommissioning/removal plan (still hasn't been done),

6. Traffic/Dust Control Plan,

7. Controlled Blast Plan

8. Waterline Contingency Plan (DANC agreement in case damage line)

9. Complaint Resolution Plan.

The list of plans cover a broad spectrum of issues that are important to our community; most of the issues have a financial burden to them as well. The agreements and plans all contain a provision for payment to town if resources and infrastructure are damaged by Acciona.
What is remarkable about this list, however, is what is missing.
The issue that could have the greatest financial impact on residents, far greater than any of the issues noted above, is the potential for property devaluation as a result of commercial wind development.
As you are aware, Acciona and BP both claim properties will not be devalued.
Others disagree.
Cape Vincent's Town Assessor, ex-Planning Board Chairman, and other ex-planning board
members studied the issue and concluded as part of their economic committee report:
“Indications are that there will be an overall decrease in property values with the potential for significant impacts on assessments and related factors such as tax rates and the ability to market property at a fair price.
This is in contradiction to St. Lawrence Wind Farm's statement (SDEIS/FIS) and should be carefully considered by the Planning Board prior to action on the FEIS."
Regardless of where you lean on this issue, we should all agree that there is uncertainty and no one knows for sure how St. Lawrence Wind Project will affect our property values.
For many of us our homes represent our biggest financial investment. If we were informed by the Citizens Bank that they were going to change their savings program so there would be no FDIC insurance and that there may also be a possibility for a 30-40% loss, how would you react? To complete this example, suppose you asked what would be my reward for accepting this risk and they replied, none to you, but others would have a steady income stream. The response of any reasonable person would be outrage, and you would undoubtedly demand you savings to reinvest elsewhere.
Homeowners in Cape Vincent who have neither lease or neighbor agreements
with St. Lawrence Wind need protection from the financial uncertainty associated with wind development, much the same as they need their bank savings insured.
The best way to protect property values from any development uncertainty is with a Property Value Guarantee.
A Property Value Guarantee was used for the Rodman Landfill project and there are a number of plans that have been developed for wind projects, the most recent developed by a local realtor and attorney for Hammond, NY.
Perhaps the best endorsement for a Property Value Guarantee
comes from Ben Hoen, the author of the property reports cited by Acciona in their EIS documents.
In a discussion I had with Hoen regarding Property Value Guarantee (April 2010)
he stated, “I think one of the things that often happens is that (wind) developers put our report forward and say look property values aren't affected, and that's not what we would say specifically.
On the other hand, they have little ground to stand on if they say we won't guarantee that.”
At a local level I would take Hoen's statement one step further, Acciona has little ground to stand on if they refuse to accept the terms of a Property Value
How can Acciona adamantly deny our property values will not be adversely affected and at the same time refuse to provide us with protection in case they are wrong?
Before Acciona's project moves forward there are at least two financial agreements that they need to complete with the town - road and PILOT agreements.
I urge the Town Board to include in either of those agreements a provision for a Property Value Guarantee.
Some residents, who believe their property will be devalued substantially by Acciona's project, have already begun to examine legal alternatives to recoup potential losses.
These alternatives include civil court action directed at municipal officials who have a responsibility to protect their citizens, yet
ignore the issue of property devaluation.
Resolving to include a Property Value Guarantee in any upcoming agreements with Acciona will not only afford some protection for property owners, but also it will remove any future liability for those officials who support a Property Value Guarantee.
If properties will not be devalued from wind development, as Acciona and BP
believe, then why would they not put this community at ease for a relatively small
administrative fee to implement a Property Value Guarantee?

Sincerely yours,

Clifford P. Schneider

Cape Vincent, NY

Friday, October 28, 2011

Acciona Wind Lease Easement Clauses

In the past, I have written about the wind lease loyalty clauses and the potential implications for our conflicted Municipal officers.

However, the signing of the loyalty clauses by our Municipal officers is not the only thing in the wind lease that may have potential implications for our community.

The wind lease agreements also contain what are called easements.

The following is from a lease easement that was entered in to by Harvey White and Acciona.

Acciona has a couple of interesting easements in their lease agreements.

Windpower Facility Effects Easement. AND the Waiver of Setback and Setback Easement.

The Windpower Facility Effects Easement

ii) Windpower Facility Effects Easement...Grantor hereby grants Grantee a perpetual easement (the “Windpower Facility Effects Easement “)

[A perpetual easement is that type of easement, which is to last without any limitation of time. It is a right, which a person has on the property of another person, which to an extent is permanent. ]

for any audio, visual, view, light , noise, vibration, air turbulence, wake, electromagnetic or other effect of any kind or nature whatsoever resulting , directly or indirectly from the construction instillation, maintenance or operation of Wind Power Facilities in the vicinity of the property; to generate and maintain audible noise levels on and above Property wherever originating at any or all times of day or night; and to cast shadows and reflect glare onto the property, whether intermittent(flicker) or constant , from Windpower Facilities wherever located, and agrees not to bring any complaint , suit or action or intervene in any investigation or inquiry by any person or entity with respect thereto.Regarding the laundry list of wind turbine issues above the leaseholder has agreed never to bring any complaint, suit or action or intervene in any investigation or inquiry.
By signing this, would our conflicted municipal officers be at odds with Acciona’s Community Relations and Complaint Resolution Plan?
Would conflicted Municipal Officers be able to support citizens if they were to have an issue with any of the effects caused by wind turbines ?
Waiver of Setback and Setback Easement
(iii) Waiver of Setback and Setback Easement. Grantor hereby grants Grantee a perpetual easement (the “Setback Easement”) pursuant to which Grantor consents to Grantee is siting of Windpower Facilities at any location upon property near the Property and by which, to the fullest extent applicable and permitted by law, this means that
Grantor waives enforcement of any and all setback requirements related to the siting of Windpower facilities upon property in the
Vicinity of the Property
, including Setback Requirements applicable to the Windpower Facilities from lot lines, residents and other improvements, consents to setbacks for the Windpower Facilities being less than required by such Setback Requirement and agrees not to bring any complaint, suit or action or intervene in any investigation or inquiry by any person or entity with respect thereto.
Grantor agrees to use commercially reasonable efforts to assist , cooperate and participate in any proceeding and petition prepared by grantee in connection with any modification or variance to an existing siting or Setback Requirement. Further, if so requested by Grantee, Grantor shall, without demanding additional consideration therefor,
(i) Execute (and if appropriate cause to be acknowledged) any setback waiver, setback elimination or other document or instrument reasonably requested by Grantee in connection therewith.

Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, this agreement shall be deemed a “setback agreement”
For the purposes of the Town of Cape Vincent Wind energy facility law.
Would these lease clauses have implications for conflicted Municipal officers establishing and/or enforcement of a wind law?
By signing lease agreements with these types of easements, would our conflicted Municipal officers be required to put the Best interests of Acciona over those of the community? Would Our Municipal officers be unable to vote in favor of a protective sound study or a moratorium or even a Property Protection Plan?

Latest Federal Guidelines Fail to Make Wind Power Bird-Smart, Break Federal Laws, and Rely on Unlikely Voluntary Compliance

Golden Eagle
American Bird Conservancy
Washington, D.C., September 20, 2011) The Department of the Interior (DOI) has released a revised, third version of its voluntary wind development siting and operational guidelines that fails to ensure
that bird deaths at wind farms are minimized, says American Bird Conservancy, the nation’s leading bird conservation organization.
Furthermore, the public has been given only ten days to comment. The final opportunity for the public to discuss these guidelines with DOI will be at a federal advisory committee meeting today and tomorrow.

“ABC is very much pro wind energy. America has the potential to create a truly green energy source that does not unduly harm birds, but the Department of the Interior is squandering the opportunity to be ‘smart from the start’,” said Kelly Fuller, Wind Campaign Coordinator for American Bird Conservancy (ABC), the nation’s leading bird conservation organization. “The latest draft of the wind guidelines is not only voluntary, making industry compliance unlikely, but also offers assurances that wind companies won’t be prosecuted for illegally killing federally protected birds such as Bald and Golden Eagles. These guidelines set a dangerous precedent for other energy industries to seek the same freedom to break America’s wildlife protection laws without repercussions,” said Fuller.

“Astonishingly, the current draft of the guidelines allows wind power companies to unilaterally determine whether they are in compliance with the ’guidelines’ and, on that basis, to immunize themselves from any prosecution under federal wildlife protection statutes regardless of how many eagles, hawks, warblers, or other protected species they wind up taking. This would be unfathomable as applied to any other energy sector or, for that matter, any other regulatory sphere. This goes way beyond merely being bad policy; it is a flagrant violation of the protective schemes adopted in the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act,” said Eric Glitzenstein, a Founding Partner at Meyer, Glitzenstein & Crystal, a Washington, D.C. based public-interest law firm.

One wind power development area in California is already estimated to have killed over 2,000 eagles in what would appear to be significant violations of the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act. Yet not a single wind energy company has been prosecuted or even charged, and meaningful operational changes have only been implemented in recent years following legal action taken not by the federal government, but by environmental groups.

This version of the wind industry guidelines was issued on September 13, 2011. The Department of the Interior will accept comments on the proposal until September 23, 2011.

“Giving a mere ten days to look over this 130-page package makes it almost impossible for the public to provide a meaningful response,” Fuller said.

Recommendations on wind energy were developed over a two-year period by an industry-dominated, 22-member Federal Advisory Committee and forwarded to the Secretary of the Interior in March 2010. Over the next year, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologists made a series of changes to those recommendations to improve protection for birds. Those revised guidelines were then published for public comment in February 2011. An overwhelming number of the comments called for the guidelines to be strengthened, not weakened. The guidelines also underwent scientific peer review.

"Right now we have a chance to get wind power right from the start - with little added costs. But if we push these voluntary guidelines forward without making them bird-smart to protect the environment, it may be our children who may ultimately regret our hasty decisions," said Fuller.

A second set of proposed guidelines was then issued by DOI on July 12, 2011, but rather than strengthening the initial draft, it removed many key bird protection elements, reversing recommendations from professional DOI wildlife staff and adding unrealistic wind project approval deadlines that ABC concludes would lead to “rubber-stamping” of wind development.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimated that in 2009, the wind industry was killing about 440,000 birds per year, yet has ignored its own estimate. With the Federal Government targeting a 12-fold increase in wind generated electricity by the year 2030, annual bird mortality is expected to increase into the millions absent meaningful changes in the industry. Species of conservation concern appear to be particularly at risk including the Golden Eagle, Greater Sage-Grouse and the endangered Whooping Crane.

More than 60 groups and over 20,000 individuals organized by ABC have called for mandatory standards and bird-smart principles in the siting and operation of wind farms. The coalition represents a broad cross-section of respected national and local groups, as well as scientists, bird lovers, conservationists, and other concerned citizens.

American Bird Conservancy (ABC) is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit membership organization whose mission is to conserve native birds and their habitats throughout the Americas. ABC acts by safeguarding the rarest species, conserving and restoring habitats, and reducing threats, while building capacity in the bird conservation movement.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Remember Soundgate? Hessler Email to Acciona's Gunderman ~ Wishful thinking

Because there were concerns early on among local citizens that the developers noise report was misleading, the Wind Power Ethics Group (WPEG) contracted Schomer and associates to conduct an independent background sound survey of Cape Vincent.

Dr.Schomer is chair of the International Organization for Standardization working group on environmental noise and chair of the American National Standards committee on noise and holds other leadership roles in noise measurement. His findings identified "tricks" used by Hessler to arrive at pre-determined conclusions.

In Schomer's summary he explains how Hessler permitted summertime insect noise to contaminate the sound surveys to show background noise levels as high as 45-50 dB(A). In fact, Schomer's own survey showed noise levels in Cape Vincent to have an overall level of 30 dB (arithmetic average using A-weighted L90 levels). This included day, evening and night sound levels.

Dr.Schomer found that Hessler's study for the Cape Vincent Wind Power Facilities appears to have selected the noisiest sites, the noisiest time of year, and the noisiest positions at each measurement site.
Collectively, these choices resulted in a substantial overestimate of the a-weighted ambient sound level, 45-50 db.
Consequently, Dr.Schomer’s report had the potential to cause big problems for Acciona, and British Petroleum if it were not discredited.

Previously the Town of Cape Vincent had commissioned Cavanaugh Tocci and Associates to analyze the noise study by the wind developers. The Cavanaugh Tocci report was critical of the current flawed sound study as well ; and subsequently the report was suppressed.
This was discovered with the legal release of FOILED documents by Supervisor Hirschey . Because the information that was released pertaining to Cape Vincent’s sound study would be damaging to Acciona ,Acciona's project manager Tim Conboy led a charge at the Town Board meeting to discredit Supivisor Hirschey by accusing him of releasing the engineering documents illegally.

The email below is from David Hessler ~ [Hessler and Associates ]the Acoustical Consultants hired by Acciona to conduct the noise studies for Acciona's St. lawrence Wind project to Blayne Gunderman ~[Environmental Permitting Manager for Acciona energia]

This email is part of the engineering correspondence concerning Acciona's flawed sound study. That was legally released through a FOIL request.

Kris Dimmick
From: Mathes, Todd
Sent: Monday October 26, 2009 1:35 PM
To: Kris Dimmick
Subject: FW: FW: St. Lawrence Wind
From: David Hessler
Sent: Monday, October 26, 2009 1:14 PM
To: Gunderman, Blayne
Cc: Zedick, Pete; Mathis, Todd
Subject: Re: St. Lawrence Wind
I just tried several times to call Schomer to get to the bottom of this, but he’s not there.
This is what I know-
When we first were made aware of the Schomer study in July I wrote a letter to Paul explaining the circumstances surrounding the summer test and summarizing some of the results of the winter test, which he had not known about. The gist of the letter was to ask that he make a serious effort to retract his criticisms, which were overly harsh, totally undeserved and apparently written with the express intent tell his client, the Industrial Wind Action Group, what they wanted to hear.
Some time prior to this in the late spring , my father , George Hessler ( the other half of the company) was asked by Paul to chair a session a the Noise- Con 2009 conference in Ottawa in late August . At that conference, the two of them talked face to face about the Cape Vincent situation. During that discussion, my father was told that Paul now understood the background circumstances and no longer objected to our study principally because the levels he measured during his own wintertime survey were comparable to and in some cases even higher than we got. Amicable relations resorted, my father was told that Paul was going to immediately write a letter to Cavanaugh Tocci essentially retracting his objections. We had no reason to doubt he was going to do that. However, we have never received a copy as we had requested.
As an additional note, our work on the BP project largely ended with the submittal of the summer and winter background test reports and we did not prepare an impact assessment for the project, but rather an assessment was written without our knowledge by the general environmental consultant (ERM) basing the impact on, I believe, the summer background levels because they were much more favorable to the project. Evidently, it was this DEIS assessment that rankled the anti- wind people and prompted them to hire Schomer to do an “independent” field survey
Gunderman, Blayne wrote:
Can you help here?

I was at the Ottawa INCE conference when David Hessler's father George was lobbying Dr. Paul Schomer to recant his criticism of Hessler Associates BP study. In fact, George Hessler was the chair of the section when I presented my paper on background sound levels in Cape Vincent.
I am very familiar with the issue and the circumstances outlined in this post. Hessler's complaint was Schomer's report was "overly harsh, totally undeserved and apparently written with the express intent tell his client, the Industrial Wind Action Group, what they wanted to hear." On the contrary, Hessler was upset because someone of impeccable professional standards, Dr. Schomer, exposed his questionable, unprofessional study for BP.
Hessler can complain all he wants, but in the end he was the one who recanted his summer study.
Schomer stood by his report and its conclusions, and he stands by them today.

Clif Schneider

--------------Original Message------------------
From: Mathes, Todd
Sent: Monday, October 26, 2009 11:57 AM
To: Zedick, Pete
Cc Cogen, Richard; K. Dimmick; Gunderman Blayne

View Schomer Report -->here

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


August 12, 2011
Huffington Post

By Robert Bryce
Local resistance to industrial wind projects is also growing, a fact that AWEA claims is due to "NIMBYs." AWEA's use of that word is a slur on those who are trying to protect the value of their homes and property against industrial wind projects.

Here's the reality: the backlash against industrial wind is real, it's global, and it's growing. The U.S. has about 170 anti-wind groups. AWEA doesn't want you to know that a number of towns in New York state have prohibited the construction of industrial wind turbines. In April, the town of Falmouth, Massachusetts enacted a year-long moratorium on construction of new wind turbines. And earlier this month(August), a pair of environmental groups in Massachusetts called for a ban on new turbines in the state until more work is done on the health effects of wind turbine noise.

The wind lobby is desperate to downplay the problem of infrasound from wind turbines. But this month, in a peer-reviewed article in the Bulletin of Science, Technology & Society, Carl V. Phillips, a Harvard-trained PhD, concludes that there is "overwhelming evidence that wind turbines cause serious health problems in nearby residents, usually stress-disorder type diseases, at a nontrivial rate."

List of Anti- wind organizations
•A Place To Help (Minnesota)
•Acoustic Ecology Institute (New Mexico)
•Adams County Wind (Illinois)
•Advocates for Stark (New York)
•Allegheny Treasures (West Virginia)
•Alliance for Bovina (New York)
•Alliance to Protect Prince Edward County (Canada)
•Alliance to Protect Prince Edward County (Canada)
•Amherst Island Wind Information
•Arcadia Wind Study Group (Michigan)
•Back Bay Wind Group (Massachusetts)
•Basin and Range Watch (Nevada)
•Better Plan, Rock County (Wisconsin)
•Blowing Our Tax Dollars on Wind Farms (Canada)
•Blue Highlands Citizens Coalition (Canada)
•Blue Mountain Alliance (Oregon)
•Brown County Citizens for Responsible Wind Energy (Wisconsin)
•Bucks Lacks Enough Wind (UK)
•Caithness Windfarm Information Forum (UK)
•Carsington & Hopton Action Group
•CCCRRE - Canyon Country Coalition for Responsible Renewable Energy (Arizona)
•Cefn Croes (UK)
•Chatham-Kent Wind Action Group (Canada)
•Chautauqua Wind Power (New York)
•Citizen Power Alliance (New York)
•Citizens for Responsible Energy Development (New York)
•Citizens for the Protection of Libertyville (Illinois)
•Citizens' Task Force on Wind Power - Maine (Maine)
•Clear Skies Over Orangeville (New York)
•Clinton County Wind Watch (Michigan)
•Coalition for Wisconsin Environmental Stewardship (Wisconsin)
•Coalition of Residents-Tiny (Canada)
•Coalition to Protect Amherst Island (Canada)
•Coastal Habitat Alliance (Texas)
•Cohocton Wind Watch (New York)
•Concerned Citizens to Save Roxbury (Maine)
•Concerned Neighbors of Back Bay (Massachusetts)
•Concerned Residents of Hammond (CROH) (New York)
•Counter Cape Wind (Massachusetts)
•Country Guardian (UK)
•County Coalition for Safe and Appropriate Green Energy (CCSAGE) (Canada)
•Cross Timbers Landowners Conservancy (CTLC) (Texas)
•Dacotah Windfarm Opposition Group (Canada)
•Dart (Dorset Against Rural Turbines) (UK)
•Dean Hill Preservation (Massachusetts)
•Den Brook Valley Wind Turbine Action Group (UK)
•Dixmont Wind (Maine)
•Dr. Nina Pierpont md, phd (USA)
•East Idaho Residents for Responsible Wind Development (Idaho)
•Eastern Mt Lofty Ranges Landscape Guardians
•Eastham Wind Truth (Massachusetts)
•Ellis County Environmental Awareness Coalition (Kansas)
•Energize Vermont (Vermont)
•Energy Plan USA (USA) (Nevada)
•Environmentally Concerned Citizens Organization (ECCO) (New York)
•Essex County Wind Action Group (Canada)
•European Platform Against Windfarms (Europe)
•Fenland Landscape Against Turbines (UK)
•Fort Kent, Maine (Maine)
•Fox Islands Wind Neighbors (Maine)
•Friends of Ashe County (North Carolina)
•Friends of Beautiful Pendleton County (West Virginia)
•Friends of Lincoln Lakes (Maine)
•Friends of Lāna‘i (Hawaii)
•Friends of Mission Creek (Montana)
•Friends of Ragged Mountain (Maine)
•Friends of the Allegheny Front (West Virginia)
•Friends of the Grande Ronde Valley (Oregon)
•Friends of the Grande Ronde Valley (Oregon)
•Friends of the Highland Mountains (Maine)
•Galloway Landscape And Renewable Energy (GLARE) (UK)
•Glebe Mountain Group (Vermont)
•Goodhue Wind Truth (Minnesota)
•Great Lakes Wind Truth (Michigan) (Minnesota) (New York) (Ohio) (Wisconsin) (Canada)
•Green Berkshires (Massachusetts)
•Highlanders for Responsible Development (West Virginia)
•Horicon Marsh Systems Advocates (Wisconsin)
•Iberica 2000.org (Europe)
•Informed Farmers Coalition (Illinois)
•Innisfil Wind Watchers
•Interstate Informed Citizens Coalition (Michigan)
•Ira Wind (Vermont)
•Jackson Wind Project (Maine)
•Kansas Wind Alert (Kansas)
•Keepers of the Blue Ridge (North Carolina)
•Know Wind (Michigan)
•Lake Michigan P.O.W.E.R Coalition (Michigan)
•Laurel Mountain Preservation Association (West Virginia)
•Lee-DeKalb Wind Farms: No Wind Turbines (Illinois)
•Lower Laguna Madre Foundation (Texas)
•Marshall County IN-Wind Farm (Indiana)
•Master Resource (USA)
•MD Industrial Wind Energy Watchdog (Maryland)
•Meredith Defense Fund (New York)
•Middlesex Wind Action Group (Canada)
•Moorland Without Turbines (UK)
•Mountain Communities for Responsible Energy (West Virginia)
•Mountain Preservation Association (Virginia)
•New Mexico Citizens Alliance for Responsible Energy and Sustainability (New Mexico)
•NO 2 Black Isle Windfarm (UK)
•No Brimfield Wind (Massachusetts)
•No Lee-DeKalb Windfarms (Illinois)
•No Turbines In Town (Wyoming)
•Northern Laramie Range Alliance (Wyoming)
•Open Water (Michigan)
•Parishville Hopkinton Wind (New York)
•Partnership for the Preservation of the Downeast Lakes Watershed (Maine)
•People's Task Force on Wind Power (Maine)
•Prattsburg/Italy Wind Turbine Information (New York)
•Preserve Malpeque (Canada) (Canada)
•Preserve Our San Saba Environment (Texas)
•Preserve Pauatahanui Society (Australia / New Zealand)
•Protect Carsington & Hopton (UK)
•Protect Illinois' Environment (Illinois)
•Protect Our West Texas Landscape (Texas)
•Protect Pendleton (West Virginia)
•Protect the Flint Hills (Kansas)
•Real Wind Info For Me (Maine)
•Regroupement pour le développement durable des Appalaches (Canada)
•Residents Opposed to Kittitas Turbines (ROKT) (Washington)
•Resite Now (Indiana)
•Ridge Protectors (Vermont)
•Save Coteau Praire Landscape (North Dakota)
•Save Jones Beach (New York)
•SAVE Montague (Michigan)
•Save North Devon (UK)
•Save Our Allegheny Ridges (Pennsylvania)
•Save Our Common Mountain Environment (SOCME) (UK)
•Save Our Desert (California)
•Save Our Scenic Area (SOSA) (Washington)
•Save Our Scenic Hill Country Environment (Texas)
•Save Our Seashore (Massachusetts)
•Save Our Sound (Massachusetts)
•Save Our Unspoilt Landscape (S.O.U.L) (UK)
•Save Our Valley (Nevada)
•Save Prospect (Connecticut)
•Save Sauquoit Valley Views (New York)
•Save Sauquoit Valley Views (New York)
•Save Scenic Jefferson Valley Coalition (Montana)
•Save St. Lucie Alliance (Florida)
•Save Vermont Ridgelines (Vermont)
•Save Western NY (New York)
•Save Western Ohio (Ohio)
•Schoharie Valley Watch (New York)
•Sensible Wind Solutions (Pennsylvania)
•Somerset Coalition for Ridgetop Protection (SCARP) (Pennsylvania)
•Spa Country Landscape Guardians (Australia / New Zealand)
•Stop Dorenell Wind Farm (UK)
•Stop Ill Wind (Maryland)
•Stop Swinford Wind Farm Action Group (UK)
•Stop the Alnwick and Berwick Turbines (UK)
•Stop Turbines on Peter's Mountain (Pennsylvania)
•Stop Wadlow Wind Farm (UK)
•Stop Wind Turbines (Texas)
•Stop Woodland Wind Farm (UK)
•Texas Wind Resistance (Texas)
•The Country Guardian (UK)
•The Forest Voice (Wisconsin)
•The Society for Wind Vigilance (USA) (Canada)
•The Society for Wind Vigilance (Canada)
•Thumb Power, Huron County (Michigan)
•Toronto Wind Action (Canada)
•Union Neighbors United (Ohio)
•Upland Landscape Protection (Australia / New Zealand)
•Ventdubocage (wind of the bocage) France (Europe)
•Views of Scotland (UK)
•Virginia Wind (Virginia)
•Volksinitiative Brandenburg (Germany)
•VORTEX Wind Farm Action Group (UK)
•We Oppose Windfarms (New York)
•Western Catskill Preservation Alliance (New York)
•Whitley County Concerned Citizens (Indiana)
•Wind Concerns Ontario (Canada)
•Wind Facts (Canada)
•Wind Farm Realities
•Wind Power Ethics Group (New York)
•Wind Stop (Massachusetts)
•Wind Truth Alliance (Ohio)
•Wind Turbine Testimonies from Michigan's Thumb (Michigan)
•Wind Worriers (Ohio)
•Windbyte (UK)
•WINDCOWS: Wisconsin Independent Citizens Opposing Windturbine Sites (Wisconsin)
•Windfarm Action Group (UK)
•Windtoons (West Virginia)
•Windwise - Cape Cod (Massachusetts)
•Wolds WindFarm Opposition (UK)
•Wolfe Island Residents for the Environment (WIRE) (Canada)
Left click your mouse Here to Industrial Wind Action group to link to any of these sites

I just got an email reminding me that I left out some of the
of UK Windfarm Action Groups.

This list has been compiled as a guide and reference to assist windfarm action groups to contact each other. The number of these groups has reached 275 and is still growing. Link here

Say What?

The question is do the two incumbents running for town council have wind conflicts of interest.

Below are a few easy to understand questions that help in determining if a municipal officer has a conflict of interest .



The New York State ethics law, found in Article 18 of the General Municipal Law, prohibits officers and employees of municipalities in New York State from having an interest in a contract with the municipality if the officer or employee, in his or her official capacity, has any control over that contract, with certain exceptions. Even if the interest is not prohibited, it may still need to be publicly disclosed. Unfortunately, determining whether one has a prohibited interest in a contract can be quite complicated.

The following series of questions, will enable you to make a determination simply and easily.

1.Municipality. Is the entity you work for or have a position with any of the following?
-county, city, town, village school district,
-public library, board of cooperative educational services,
county vocationaleducation and extension board;
- district corporation;
- consolidated health district;
- urban renewal agency;
- industrial development agency;
- town or county improvement district;
- joint water works system
- other district or joint service for improvements or services for benefit of local inhabitants or real property.


2. Municipal officer and employee. Are you an officer or employee of the municipality, whether paid or unpaid? This also includes:
- members of an administrative board, commission, or other municipal agency;
- for a county, any officer or employee paid from county funds;
- fire chiefs and assistant fire chiefs BUT does not include people who are only volunteer firefighters (except fire chiefs and assistant fire chiefs) or civil defense volunteers.


4A. Interest. Will any of the following financially ('pecuniarily or materially') benefit, directly or indirectly, as a result of the contract?
- you;
- your spouse or minor children or dependents
(not including any contract of employment they may have with the municipality);
- a firm, partnership, or association of which you are a member or employee;
- a corporation of which you are an officer, director, or employee;
- a corporation any of whose stock you directly or indirectly own or control.

5. Control. Do you, individually or as a member of a board, have any of the following powers or duties related to the contract?
- negotiate, prepare, authorize, or approve the contract;
- authorize or approve payment under the contract;
- audit bills or claims under the contract;
- appoint an officer or employee who has the power or duty to do any of the above.

If you answered yes to these questions
Your interest is PROHIBITED Having this interest is a crime (misdemeanor).
In addition, any such contract willfully entered into by or with a municipality is void and cannot be ratified. Neither recusal nor public bidding will cure the violation.

The Directory of Materials for NYS municipal Ethics Boards ~ (LINK HERE) provides material that address ethics requirements for municipalities in New York State, other than New York City. Included are Article 18 of the NYS General Municipal Law, selected advisory opinions of the New York State Attorney General, and articles.
At the Town Board meeting of July 10, 2008 Supervisor Thomas Reinbeck accepted and officially entered into the record letters from each Town board and planning board member disclosing any potential conflicts of interests regarding wind energy development.

In their own words


The Cape Vincent Town Board adopted a Code of Ethics November 16,1970
that stipulates town officials “shall not invest or hold any investment directly or indirectly in any financial, business, commercial or other private transaction, which creates a conflict with his official duties.” The Code further directs officials to publicly disclose “the nature and extent” of any financial interest, and “each officer and employee elected or appointed thereafter shall be furnished a copy before entering upon the duties of his office or employment.”

Cape Vincent ~ Jefferson County Board of Ethics Opinion- RE: Conflicted Public Official 1-1

Cape Vincent ~ Jefferson County Board of Ethics Opinion- RE: Conflicted Public Official 2-1

WOH Conflict Opinion Cape Vincent

Cape Vincent Ethics code(LINK HERE)

Monday, October 24, 2011

Wind Energy Sector to Collapse in 2013?

Written by Gloria Gonzalez
The US wind energy sector is continuing to recover from the credit crunch with turbine installations on the rise in 2011, according to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), but future growth could be undermined by an uncertain federal policy environment.

The wind industry installed 2.2GW of generating capacity in the US during the first half of 2011, up 72% from the 1.3GW installed during the same time in 2010, according to AWEA. In the second quarter of 2011, 1GW of capacity was installed, an increase of 46% from the 709MW in the second quarter of last year.

Continue reading Via this link Source: Environmental-Finance 

Press Release ~ Alliant Energy Announces Expected Losses From Non-Regulated Business --

MADISON, Wis., Oct. 24, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Alliant Energy Corporation (NYSE: LNT) (the "Company") today announced that it expects to record losses of approximately $0.09 per share in the third quarter of 2011 relating to its RMT, Inc. (RMT) business within non-regulated operations. The losses are largely due to issues RMT is experiencing with one of its solar subcontractors. Schedule delays, abandonment of work by the original subcontractor, and the need to hire another subcontractor to complete the project work have resulted in significant additional costs for RMT. RMT has filed a lawsuit against the subcontractor; however Alliant Energy is currently unable to predict the outcome of this lawsuit and thus, RMT has not recognized any potential benefits from the recovery of damages.

The Company currently believes that these unanticipated losses will not cause the Company's consolidated earnings to fall outside of the 2011 consolidated earnings guidance range issued in December 2010 and updated in May 2011.

Alliant Energy Corporation is the parent company of two public utility companies - Interstate Power and Light Company and Wisconsin Power and Light Company - and of Alliant Energy Resources, LLC, the parent company of Alliant Energy's non-regulated operations. Alliant Energy is an energy-services provider with subsidiaries serving approximately 1 million electric and 413,000 natural gas customers. Providing its customers in the Midwest with regulated electricity and natural gas service is the Company's primary focus. Alliant Energy, headquartered in Madison, Wis., is a Fortune 1000 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol LNT. For more information, visit the Company's Web site at http://www.alliantenergy.com/index.htm.

This press release includes forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements can be identified as such because the statements include words such as "expects," "approximately," "believes" or other words of similar import. Similarly, statements that describe future performance, plans or strategies are forward-looking statements. Such forward looking statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in, or implied by, such statements. Actual results could be materially affected by the following factors, among others; project execution for RMT, Inc.; the ability of RMT to mitigate losses due to subcontractor problems; RMT's ability to successfully pursue claims against its subcontractor; RMT's ability to complete projects in a timely manner, IPL's and WPL's ability to obtain adequate and timely rate relief to allow for, among other things, the recovery of operating costs, fuel costs, transmission costs, deferred expenditures, capital expenditures, and remaining costs related to generating units that may be permanently closed, the earning of reasonable rates of return, and the payments to their parent of expected levels of dividends, the state of the economy, weather conditions, and other factors discussed in more detail in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including Item 1A – Risk Factors of the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2010 . These factors should be considered when evaluating the forward-looking statements and undue reliance should not be placed on such statements. The forward-looking statements included herein are made as of the date hereof and Alliant Energy undertakes no obligation to update publicly such statements to reflect subsequent events or circumstances.

Alliant Energy Corporation


Anti-wind people seek to control private land


A gentleman from Chaumont wrote that he was against wind power with the same old lame excuses. I’m waiting for them to throw the kitchen sink at the controversy. They want you to think this is a democratic process. If it was on public land, it would be. However, we are talking about privately owned land. Civil law and practices are the ruling law.

The anti-wind people are concerned about aesthetics. The landowners and schools, etc., are concerned with money. The anti-wind people are trying to take away their revenue. Or is it jealousy? Do they want to control land that they don’t pay taxes on? Farm income is down. The farmers need this revenue. If the anti-wind people take it away, without compensation, they are nothing more than thieves.

We take the right to vote for granted. Some states with Republican legislatures are trying to take away this right with decreased voting hours and increased identifications. Most people have photo driver’s licenses. Some seniors who have quit driving, some students and some city people and minorities don’t have driver’s licenses. These people are likely to vote Democratic. Is the party of Lincoln trying to limit the vote to maintain the positions? How sad. Will it affect the 2012 presidential election with these Jim Crow laws? Doesn’t the 1964 Voting Rights Act apply? (I’m a lifelong Conservative.) Should any eligible voter be disenfranchised?

Ninety-nine percent unite. Arrest the Wall Street crooks who caused this recession. Reinstate Glass-Steagall. If they’re too big to fail, break them up like Teddy Roosevelt did. Keep Wall Street from buying the Republicans. We need a campaign finance law. Undo the Bush tax cuts. Tax the rich again.

Dwayne L. Martin


Link here to original

Friday, October 21, 2011

Donny $ Marty Not all things are equal

I have had many requests to re- post this important guest editorial before the upcoming election. This is not a story about setbacks, sound studies property values or pilot payments. This story examines a few very interesting details about certain land deals and wind contracts.

This is a story about two Cape Vincent town councilman who have lease
contracts with the wind developer Acciona Energy USA, LLC. The story is
about money paid to Donald Mason and Marty Mason by Acciona for the
use of their land. The reader should keep mind this question, what has
Acciona bought with their payments to Donald and Marty Mason? Lease
agreements attached to property deeds suggest using land for development,
but from information that follows it may involve some other purpose.
On August 19, 2009 the New York Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo
and Acciona Energy USA, LLC announced the signing of a Code of Conduct
agreement (Link to Code) Among the provisions in the Code of Conduct:

    • Requires wind companies to establish and maintain a public Web site to disclose the names of all municipal officers or their relatives who have a financial stake in wind farm development. • Requires wind companies to submit in writing to the municipal clerk for public inspection and to publish in the local newspaper the nature and scope of the municipal officer's financial interest. • Mandates that all wind easements and leases be in writing and filed with the County Clerk

In keeping with this Code of Conduct agreement, Acciona very recently
filed new agreements with the Jefferson County Clerk's office. The
agreement between Acciona and Councilman Donald Mason was signed on
January 26, 2010 and filed with the Jefferson County Clerk's office 18
months later on June 30, 2011. There were two separate lease agreements
between Acciona and Marty Mason, both signed on April 13, 2010 and filed
with the county clerk 15 months later on July 15, 2011. These new lease
agreements were different in one special regard, compared to earlier lease
agreements filed with the county clerk. It included a section called
“Consideration,” which describes a range of benefits that will be paid to the
Donald Mason's lease agreement was for the use of his land designated as
tax parcel 40.00-1-43. The map subset below from Acciona's FEIS notes
Donald Mason's property (blue outline) along with property alterations
proposed by Acciona for his land. The purple area #2 on the map represents
a Collector Sub-Station/Operation Maintenance Facility and area #3 as a
Temporary Construction area. In addition the dotted yellow lines represent
“Buried Interconnecting Lines.” In the original project layout (DEIS project
map) a wind turbine was proposed for this property, but in the final layout
the turbine was dropped and the O&M building added.

At the very end of the agreement between Acciona and Donald Mason and
filed with the Jefferson County Clerk's office, it included a page outlining
payments to Donald Mason:

“Consideration: for purposes of the Code of Conduct agreement
dated August 19, 2009 between Acciona Wind Energy USA LLC and
Andrew M. Cuomo, Attorney General of New York, Lessee's good faith
estimation of range of actual monetary consideration is $20,000 to
under $60,000 contingent on whether facilities are constructed on or
near the property.”

There was no mention of the time frame and whether it was a lump sum
payment or periodic payments over a specific time. This section of the
agreement represents Acciona and Mason's compliance with the Code of
Conduct provision to publicize the “nature and scope of the municipal
officer's financial interest.”

The story behind both of Marty Mason's agreements is very different in
terms of Acciona's use of his land and Acciona's level of compensation. The
first agreement between Acciona and Marty Mason is for two separate
parcels designated 40.00-1-40 and 40.00-1-19. In the map subsets below,
one taken from Acciona's DEIS(link to DEIS map) and the other from their FEIS (link to FEIS map), there was never any substantive use of these two parcels (blue outline denotes the

In the original plan (DEIS), corners of both properties would have been
traversed with buried interconnecting lines, but no turbines were scheduled
for placement on these two parcels. In the FEIS, the final layout and plan,
interconnecting lines were removed and the two parcels remained
undeveloped. Nevertheless, the gray shading signifies that these properties
are still part of the project.

At the end of the agreement between Acciona and Marty Mason is another
section on the range of payments:

    “Consideration: for purposes of the Code of Conduct agreement dated August 19, 2009 between Acciona Wind Energy USA LLC and Andrew M. Cuomo, Attorney General of New York, Lessee's good faithestimation of range of actual monetary consideration is $60,000 tounder $100,000 contingent on whether facilities are constructed on or near the property.”
What is remarkable about this agreement, compared to Acciona's
agreement with Donald Mason, not only is the level of compensation greater
for Marty Mason, but no use is planned for Marty Mason's two properties.
Acciona will spend more money for the use of the land, but will not actually
use the land.

The second lease agreement between Acciona Energy and Marty Mason
involved the “old railroad grade,” outlined below in red as parcel 50.07-1-7.
Mason bought the property from Township Telephone Company on January
23, 1998 (link to deed). The lease agreement for the railroad property is
filed in the Jefferson County Clerk's office (#2011-00010255).

The intended use of this property by Acciona is for an overhead
transmission line. However, when Marty Mason purchased the property
there was a restriction in the deed pertaining to an easement granted by
Township Telephone to the Development Authority of the North Country
(DANC) for the development of the Western Jefferson County Regional
Water Line. The notation in Mason's deed granted to DANC states, “Subject
to an easement granted by Township Telephone Company, Inc. to the
Development Authority of the North Country on September 9, 1996, which
easement was recorded on September 23, 1996, in the office of the Jefferson
County Clerk at L. 1530 of Deeds, p. 295.”
The easement granted to DANC
by Township Telephone in 1996 (link to easement) has several important
provisions that outline the rights of both the Grantor (Township and Marty
Mason) and the Grantee (DANC).

In the section of the DANC easement titled USE OF EASEMENT
PREMISES BY GRANTOR, it states, “The right to use the Permanent
Easement for any purpose not interfering or inconsistent, in the opinion of
the Grantee (DANC), with this Easement is expressly reserved by the
Grantor (Mason), provided, however, that the Grantor (Mason)
shall neither build, erect, construct or place upon, over or under the
Permanent Easement, anything of a permanent nature or character.”
“It is further understood and agreed that the Facilities shall at all times be and remain the property of Grantee (DANC) and under its unconditional control and supervision” (emphasis added). These provisions state clearly that DANC has control over any infrastructure that would be erected or placed upon Mason's parcel. Furthermore, in the section titled INUREMENT OF BENEFITS AND BURDENS it states “the Grantee (DANC), its successors and assigns shall have the right to assign to others, in whole or in part, any or all of the Grantee's rights, privileges and interests in this easement.”
Through this easement the control of the use of Marty Mason's “old railroad
grade” rests with DANC and not with Mason.
Supporting DANC's control of the old railroad bed is also documented in
the SEQRA reporting by Acciona Energy USA, LLC. In an April 9, 2009
letter submitted by James Wright, Executive Director of DANC, as part of
the Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (link to letter), he states,
“As you know, the Development Authority's Western Jefferson Regional
Water Line is installed in the former railroad corridor, and the Authority has
easements from all of the affected property owners along that route. The
easements: Allow the Authority to build and maintain one or more water
lines, no other uses by the Authority are permitted, Allow the grantor of the
easement to use the easement lands, but specifically prohibits them from building any permanent structure on, over, or under the Authority's permanent easement and Do not provide the transfer of the easement rights to another party (emphasis added).”
Wright is reiterating DANC's control over Mason's property that Acciona plans to use for its transmission line.
Although Mason has no control or right to allow Acciona to construct an
overhead transmission line on his railroad bed, Acciona nevertheless
generously plans to compensate Marty Mason in their lease agreement. The
lease agreement provides a range of benefit from $60,000 to under
“Consideration: for purposes of the Code of Conduct agreement
dated August 19, 2009 between Acciona Wind Energy USA LLC and
Andrew M. Cuomo, Attorney General of New York, Lessee's good faith
estimation of range of actual monetary consideration is $60,000 to
under $100,000 contingent on whether facilities are constructed on or
near the property.”

Here again, in another agreement with Marty Mason, Acciona is choosing to
pay much more to Marty Mason than Donald Mason, while Marty Mason
has no authority or control to allow Acciona to erect any transmission
infrastructure on his “old railroad grade.”

In summary, we begin to see what Acciona bought with their payments to
Donald and Marty Mason. We see in Acciona's lease agreement with
Donald Mason they have bought the rights to erect a building, have a
temporary storage area and bury interconnecting lines. For this use Donald
Mason will receive between $20,000 and $60,000. However, it is unclear
what Acciona bought with their two leases with Marty Mason. For the two parcel
lease Marty Mason's land will NOT be used for a turbine(s) or for
interconnecting lines, yet Acciona will pay Marty Mason $60,000 to
$100,000. In the second lease agreement Acciona will pay another $60,000
to $100,000 to Marty Mason, who has NO control over construction
activities on his land. Why pay Marty Mason, if DANC is in control?
Looking at the combined compensation that Acciona is providing for Marty
Mason, what has Acciona bought for $200,000? Why is Acciona paying so
much for what amounts to nothing?

Perhaps the answer lies in the actual wording of the lease agreement; the
detailed agreement that was not recorded with the county clerk. In a copy of
a lease agreement with NYWind/Acciona, that has become available from an
ex-leaseholder, there is a clause that requires the leaseholder to fully assist
Acciona. In section 8.3 of this agreement it states:
“Owner shall assist and fully cooperate with NYW, at no out-ofpocket
expense to Owner, in complying with or obtaining any land use
permit and approvals, building permits, environmental impact reviews
or any other approvals for the financing, construction, installation,
replacement relocation, maintenance, operation or removal of
Windpower Facilities, including execution of applications for such
The owner in this case would be leaseholder Marty Mason and NYW is now
Acciona Energy USA. Again, this clause was from an earlier agreement
obtained from another lease holder; not Marty Mason. However, it could be
assumed both the Mason's lease agreements had similar language, and if
they did was it ethical for a municipal official to sign an agreement that
requires officials to assist a wind developer? At this time we have no way of
knowing if this clause is included in the updated agreements between
Acciona and the councilmen.

Finally, Acciona's payments to Marty Mason may be considered
questionable activity according to this excerpt from New York Attorney
General's Code of Conduct for wind companies and municipal officials:

    “The Wind Industry Ethics Code is a result of the Attorney General's investigation into, among other things, whether companies developing wind farms improperly sought land-use agreements with citizens and public officials, and whether improper benefits were given to public officials to influence their official actions relating to wind farm development (emphasis added).”

Acciona's compensation for Marty Mason could be considered an
improper benefit, since NO development was planned in one lease and NO
need to compensate was required in the other lease? Payments to Marty
Mason will far exceed that promised to Donald Mason. But Donald Mason's
land will actually be used for an Operations & Maintenance building as well
as having interconnecting lines running across his land. The agreements
between Acciona and these Cape Vincent town councilmen warrant a closer
look at all of Acciona's lease agreements, particularly the level of
compensation. The idea of large lease payments by wind companies to town
officials without using their land is something that anyone would consider
suspicious and worthy of further investigation.


FOILED Copy of Conflict Opinion

Re: Board Members Voting for Planning Board Members

A FOILED copy of Town Attorney Mark Gebo's opinion at the end of this post.


At the Town Board work session yesterday Harry Landers a concerned citizen and candidate for Village once again asked the Town Board .

How can Mason and Mason vote on who will be on the Planning
Board, when theoretically, they are voting for someone who will help them
fill their pockets.

The Opinion given by Mark Gebo in Re: to Conflicted Town Board members voting to fill Plannin Board seats~

Dear Urban:

There has been some question raised about whether a Town Board Member may vote on appointment of a Planning Board Member where that Planning Board Member may be involved in reviewing a wind application on which the Town Board Member themselves would have a conflict. Reference is made to Section 800 of the General Municipal Law, et. Seq. Section 800 describes your board Members to be municipal officials who would be subject to terms of that article. It then describes an interest as any direct or indirect pecuniary interest in any contract of the individual, their spouse, their minor children or their dependents. Section 801(link here) indicates that no municipal officer who has such an interest can be involved in decisions regarding the matter in which they have an interest if it would include negotiating or approving bills, auditing payment or claims or appointing an official who has the duty to do so. See 801(1)(c). I have not been able to find a case directly on point about the appointment of Planning Board Member by a Town Board Member. Accordingly, it is not 100% clear. Cleary a Planning Board Member appointed by the Town Board would review many things besides simply the wind applications before the board, although that is certainly a significant aspect of the work before the Planning Board at this time. Each of your individual Board Members would have to make up their own mind about whether they had first of all, an interest in a matter
to come before the Planning Board of such a nature that appointment of an official to review that would be a conflict. I would encourage all Board Members to not only consider whether an actual conflict of interest exists, but whether there is an appearance of a conflict of interest. Even a conflict of interest can cause the public to have lack of faith in the process.
I hope that this is of some help to you.

Very truly yours,

Mark Gebo


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Engineering correspondence request

--- On Fri, 4/3/09, Clif Schneider wrote:
From: Clif Schneider Subject: Cape Vincent Sound Studies CorrespondenceTo: "Kris Dimmick" Cc: "Tom Rienbeck" , "Gregory C."Date: Friday, April 3, 2009, 11:59 AMHi Kris,I spoke with Supervisor Rhienbeck this morning regarding my request for materialrelated to wind developer sound studies in Cape Vincent and the recent draft wind law.Supervisor Rhienbeck has agreed to let me see copies of the material, but he alsorequested that you send copies to him as well. Apparently he has not seen all of thedocuments associated with the noise and sound issues.My mailing address:Clif SchneiderPO Box 165Cape Vincent, NY 13618 (I presume you have Supervisor Rhienbeck's address)Specifically, I would like copies of all the correspondence between you and your soundconsultant, Cavanaugh Tocci, Inc. This would include sound issues as it related to bothwind projects and the drafting of the wind law.I would also like to see any technical correspondence related to sound between you andthe CV Planning Board. I am interested in any reviews, comments, correspondence, oremails related to the technical issue of wind turbine sound.Thank you for your help and assistance.
Clif Schneider

gtocci@cavtocci.comTuesday, April 21, 2009 2:15 PM
From: Clif Schneider [mailto:cpschneid@yahoo.com]
Sent: Tuesday, April 21, 2009 2:15 PMTo: Gregory C. TocciSubject: Reviews and recommendations for Cape Vincent

Hello Greg,I am currently beginning my review of the St. Lawrence Wind Farm supplemental DEIS. I have spoken with Todd Mathes, attorney representing the Town of Cape Vincent,regarding having access to any reviews or sound reports and recommendations to theTown regarding a wind law. Mathes told me I would have to FOIL for any internal documents and further added he would consider privileged material anything your company prepared for the Town's engineering consultant or the Planning Board. I mentioned I already had a copy your first review of the BP sound study by Hessler, but would like to see other material.I mentioned to him I would be contacting you, not to request copies of the material you prepared, but rather just to understand the extent of material you prepared for the Town.I have the copies of the following material you prepared for the Towns of Cape Vincent and Clayton: 1) Jan. 30, 2008 review of BP's DEIS for Cape Vincent, 2) March 14, 2008 draft wind ordinance for the Town of Clayton, and 3) April 25, 2008 review of the Clayton Wind farm noise study.Mathes also provided me with a summary of what occurred with sound and other issuesleading up to the acceptance of the SDEIS. I saw a number of unresolved issues that were presented in a memo from Kris Dimmick. However, in another memo provided byMathes he shows what changes were made, but the substantive issues Kris (and Iassume your company, too) highlighted were not addressed to my satisfaction. I doubt if your were totally satisfied as well.My question: Aside from the material I have from your company outlined above, arethere other reviews/reports that I should go to lengths to acquire, or do thosedocuments I note above provide your major points of concern?I don't want to put you in an uncomfortable position, I just don't want to waste timegoing after some of the additional reviews and recommendations your company hasmade, if there isn't much more there than what I currently have.As I mentioned, I've told Mathes that I'd contact you, not to request the reports, but tohave a better understanding of what reports are "out there." I also said I've beensupportive of the advice you and Bernier & Carr have provided the Town and all I want

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Wind Turbine Woes~ Update of Roger Alexander's Wild Turbine

Alexander turbine 2009

A reader provided the video ,photos and details regarding the recent incident of Roger Alexander's wild wind turbine.

Additionally this reader sent an email to The Chinese manufacturer of Alexander's turbine . As of yet they have not received a response from the manufacturer or one of their mid-west dealers.
The reader that provided me with this information did say that they think that they have established that Alexander's turbine was out of control on Monday.
By looking at the pictures provided below of Roger Alexander’s Personal Wind Turbine It is reasonable to conclude that Mr. Alexander’s 92-foot wind turbine was out of control.

The first picture of Mr. Alexander's turbine was taken in 2009.
Note in the first image a cable that attaches from the vane on the left through a guide or two and then to the top of the generator. This is for the operation of the furling mechanism that limits and governs overspeed of the rotor.

July 7 2009

In the second image (Alexander's Turbine taken 19, OCT 11) you will plainly see the cable is no longer there. It is gone!

oct 19 2011

In the third image, which is a cropped section of the previous image, you can see over on the left the end of a frayed wire. It is obvious and shows that the wire parted and therefore the turbine was not functioning properly.

19,oct 2011 frayed wire

Additionally,the video of Mr. Alexander’s turbine taken Monday October 17, 2011 shows that the furling mechanism was not working because the rotor was not moving out of the wind during gusty conditions, the rotor just stayed straight into the wind.
Bottom line is the generator is broken and it should not be run again in its current condition.

Today the turbine is no longer operating.
Thankfully, no one was injured.

Short video of Roger Alexander's noisy turbine

Longer video of Roger Alexander's noisy turbine

A Happy little Accident

Blog Visitors 10,19,2011
When I write for my blog I attempt to be accurate and to provide documentation for the information that I post however, I've made more than my share of typos and mistakes in my writing over the years.
None of these typos have garnered much attention.
Recently I noticed that new visitors were coming to my blog by the hundreds. The referring link took me to a blog named (Watts up with that?)

I found a story about bat deaths this post-combined information from a couple of stories about bat deaths at wind farms. One of those story’s was a post that I wrote in April of 2011, pointing out the bat mortality rate on Wolfe Island and that Acciona’s St. Lawrence Wind Power project has the potential to significantly impact the future survival of the Indiana bat and all bat species existing in Cape Vincent. Additionally, I wrote that the agricultural industry is poised for huge financial losses and NY State Agricultural Commissioner Darrel Aubertine may contribute to these losses.
Darrel Aubertine’s land is slated for transmission lines to facilitate St. Lawrence winds 53 turbine project. The portion of Aubertine’s land that is slated for transmission lines is perilously close to the Indiana Bat habitat areas...

Aubertine’s answer to the potential development “Who are you to tell me what I can do with my land"?

The bat kills on Wolfe Island have been estimated at approx. 1720 bat kills per year a large number of bats are dying at wind turbines in the United States. The number of bat deaths is higher than any fatality rates seen in this species in the past.
This is significant bats play an important role in providing pest-control services that save the U.S. agriculture industry over $3 billion per year.
Bat populations are declining due to fatalities associated with White-Nose Syndrome and wind turbines, which could lead to significant economic losses on U.S. farms.
White nose syndrome is a deadly mysterious disease that has killed more than a million hibernating bats across the Northeastern U.S. since 2006.
I have been writing about the bat and bird mortality rates on Wolfe Island since the turbines were erected and no one seemed to be concerned.

Until yesterday...

What changed? Why did people suddenly sit up and take notice? What is an acceptable number of bat deaths before people pay attention? Apparently not 1720 bat deaths per year. However, I made a typo and I wrote 1720 bat deaths (per turbine) per year. Two words and people started flocking to my blog to read about Wolfe Islands bat death rate and the potential development of Darrel Aubertine’s land in bat country.
The number of fatalities makes no difference, even if the estimated deaths were significantly less than the reported 1720 the recorded deaths have a huge margin of error and may even be significantly larger than the reported 1720. The bat mortality rates are serious and if people do not sit up and take notice the implications will be devastating...

Link here to the website ~Watts up with that~
Holy Irony Batman! by Anthony Watts