BP's Tatics in Cape Vincent Ny

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Bill Owens: "I would like to see a credit for wind extended for another year"

During a town hall meeting in Watertown, N.Y. June 2010, Rep. Bill Owens, D-Plattsburgh, answered questions about wind power development and federal subsidies.
Bert Bowers Chairperson of the Coalition to Preserve the Golden Crescent spoke to Rep. Owens about the problems that we are experiencing with the proposed wind developments in our area. Mr. Bower spoke of the rampant corruption, the underhanded methods that these companies use, signing landowners up to long term lease agreements behind closed doors. He explained that our areas are financially dependent upon the seasonals tourism dollars. Moreover, our area just wasn’t the proper place for this type of large-scale industrial development.
Mr. Bowers also touched on the massive subsidies needed to sustain the wind industry.

Additionally, Mr. Bowers pointed out that our own government does not provide any substantive information about industrial wind development, they merely regurgitate propaganda that the wind industry pushes.

Rep. Owens began with, "In terms of wind turbine, siting it is largely a local issue."
And he also stated
"I think we need to look at all possibilities, as options to reduce dependence on foreign oil."

Mr. Bower, "If I may", "Dependence on foreign oil has very little to do with electrical energy production, because we don't use oil more than 1% of our electricity nationally."

Rep.Owens then said, "There's a lot of information out there. There's no doubt about it.
Sorting through all that information. "
" What troubled me most about what you said actually was the fact that when you speak to the government agencies. They are not giving you both sides of the coin. "

Rep. Owens ended with,"On the issues of the subsidies. Certainly, if that comes up. And I look at this information more. I'll certainly consider your position on that."

DECEMBER 12, 2011
Watertown Times ~
Owens gives his opinion about subsidies

Rep. Owens: “I would like to see a credit for wind extended for another year, then considered as part of an entire package of tax code reform.”

Link here to read WDT story

Link here to watch video

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Wolfe Island Turbines

are noisy

Those Wolfe Island giants aren't so quiet

From The Whig Standard Archives

By: Gail Kenney

I suggest that local media provide equal opportunity for Wolfe Island community members who are not employees or landowners under contract with the Canadian Renewable Energy Corporation when these media discuss the potential impacts of the Wolfe Island wind farm on residents.

If it is unwilling to engage residents not in the employ of the company, the K-Rock radio station should consider correcting some of the misconceptions that may have arisen from the station's recent interview with the site manager of the wind farm, Mike Jablonicky.

Jablonicky referred in the interview to the turbines as "silent giants." In fact, the turbines generate 40 A-weighted decibels (with allowance for 53 A-weighted decibels in certain wind conditions, according to the Ministry of Environment's regulations governing noise from wind developments). This does not constitute silence.

The Ontario Government, in the Green Energy Act, has admitted there is a need for greater setbacks for wind turbines due to noise. It has proposed a minimum 550-metre setback from residences, with greater setbacks -- up to 1,000 metres -- for projects of more than eight turbines. Wolfe Island's setbacks are 400 metres and there are 86 turbines.

Local MPP John Gerretsen stated in an interview with the CBC that the new setbacks are needed "to best protect the health and safety of Ontarians," and that where turbines are shown to cause negative health effects, "the towers will be moved." Ministry of Environment officials who attended the public forum on the Green Energy Act held on June 25 in Toronto proposed that 5% of Wolfe Island residents in close proximity to the turbines could experience such negative health effects as dizziness, tinnitus, headaches and sleep disorders due to noise and vibration.

There are many islanders who are now quietly coming to terms with the reality that their own provincial government has declared that their health and safety may be at risk from these structures.

Gail Kenney
Wolfe Island Residents for the Environment

Saturday, December 24, 2011


A Windy Year in Review

January 13, 2011 : The Town Board meeting marked the beginning of a tumultuous year for Cape Vincent and wind development. Acciona, Voters for Wind and Town Board Members, Marty Mason, Donny Mason & Mickey Orvis formed an alliance , calling for an investigation in retaliation for Urban Hirschey’s release of FOILED documents that exposed Acciona’s sound study as fraudulent. Additionally, EX Supervisor Reinbeck called for Hirschey’s immediate dismissal. Their plan backfired, bringing attention to the content of Acciona’s fraudulent sound study. The Attorney General dismissed their request to investigate.

February 9: Even though the Planning Board meeting was canceled, BP’s SDEIS was submitted to the planning board behind closed doors somewhere around Feb. 10, 2011. By chance, a citizen discovered the existence of the documents in the Lyme Library, however the board had not formally accepted it. BP’s former senior project manager, Jim Madden, said in a newspaper interview that he expected the SDEIS to be accepted by the end of March.

February 10: At the Town Board meeting Supervisor Hirschey proposed that a community wide Zogby survey be conducted to gain a better understanding of what direction to lead the community. Additionally, Supervisor Hirschey Called for a resolution for a property Valuation Assurance Policy as a condition for the Town Planning Board's approval of Cape Vincent’s wind turbine site plan applications. Marty Mason said, "I'd like to table it for a moment.” In addition, Donny Mason said, "I agree with Marty." In anticipation of the ZOGBY poll’s results Voters for wind conducted their own scientific telephone poll, the results of which were never made public.

March 16: Michael G. Sterthous, from Whiteman Osterman and Hanna,(WOH) sent a letter to BP advising them that the Cape Vincent’s Planning Board review of their project is “ongoing” and that comments on the status of the completeness of the SDEIS will be delivered to BP Wind Energy‘s technical consultants over the coming months and ultimately lead to iteration of the document.

March 22: Jim Madden, BP’s project developer, left Bp for an opportunity with a smaller company . Madden had been with the Cape Vincent wind project from its inception under Greenlight Energy. At the same time, Todd Mathis departed from Whiteman Osterman & Hanna this left questions concerning the nonexistent documentation regarding expenditures from the Developers escrow accounts (Over 100,000 was billed by the lawyers and engineering company on the SEQRA process.) Supervisor Hirschey is still waiting for WOH to fulfill their promise of sending the accounting records or the minutes that Todd Mathis kept.

March 23: The PB meeting was cancelled. Planning Board members were to consider the supplemental draft environmental impact statement for British Petroleum's Cape Vincent industrial wind complex at this meeting.

May 30: The results of the Zogby poll were published. The poll revealed that Sixty three percent of those surveyed were seasonal, the feelings of those who opposed wind development were becoming stronger and dissatisfaction with the board’s actions concerning wind development was high. Additionally, fifty-nine percent of those surveyed wanted a moratorium on wind development.

June 3: Urban Hirschey, John Byrne and Clif Schneider committed to run as Republicans for positions as Supervisor and Councilmen on Cape Vincent's Town Board. The three candidates released a final unified position statement outlining issues and actions they collectively would undertake if they were successful in the upcoming election one of which was a moratorium on wind development.

June 8: At the Planning Board meeting BP’s new project manager, Peter Gross, was introduced to the community. This was the first meeting that Voters for Wind (VFW) attended without wearing their green shirts. It was at this meeting that Mr. Gross mentioned that BP might be using larger 3-megawatt turbines, thus requiring a smaller number of turbines in the array plan.

June 11: Marked the beginning of the voter registration drive.

June 27: The results of the McCann Appraisal were in and it indicated those homes within 2miles of wind turbines would suffer a 40 % decrease in value.

June 29: Voter for Wind and leaseholder Harvey White announced that he would be challenging Supervisor Hirschey in the republican primary.

June 30: Planning Board Chairman Richard Edsall abruptly resigned without explanation. Additionally, he did not leave behind any records of the planning boards activities.

July:5 McCarthy resigned as well without explanation.

July 6: Reinbeck followed suit telling the media he was leaving due to harassment and threats over the wind power controversy. These resignations left the planning board without a quorum.

July 6: In light of all the negativity, surrounding their project Acciona issued a press release which was a public relations move to introduce a newly prepared brochure extolling the virtues of their proposed wind development, Additionally,
the Watertown Times did a story giving Acciona’s Wind project a positive spin.

August 2: British Petroleum’s project manager Peter Gross sent a letter to planning Board member Richard MacSherry explaining that they were anxiously awaiting the anticipated comments from the Planning Board on their Cape Wind SDEIS. Additionally, Gross stated that BP would like to advance their project in a timely, efficient manner. Mr. Gross also requested that the Planning Board schedule a review of the SDEIS by the Planning Board and asked for a schedule.

August 4: Article X is signed into law making siting of large power plants a state-run process.

August 8: Planning Board member Richard MacSherry sent a letter to Mr. Peter Gross, Project manager Bp Wind Energy, telling Mr. Gross “I have no knowledge of any dialogue that Mr. Edsall could have possibly had with Whiteman Osterman and Hanna, which would have led
them to indicate that any review was active and that comments regarding the SDEIS would be forthcoming under any period.” Additionally, Mr. MacSherry stated that, “The primary obstacles which I (as the board's acting chair ) face are: 1.) the time it will take for the Town Board to fill Planning Board vacancies, 2.) a reasonable period for all members to become familiar with BP draft and supplemental EIS documents
and 3.) an opportunity for the Planning Board to meet with our consultants to share and compare our findings. I have spoken with the Town Supervisor, Mr. Hirschey, and he is aware of the situation. At this juncture, I cannot speculate as to when all of the above-mentioned matters will be concluded: I will commit only to keeping you informed as to our progress.”

August 5:Voters for Wind devised a plan to prevent the seasonal population from voting. They would become champions against Voter Fraud. Their scheme began with a petition asking the Town Board to take action to stop the illegal, unethical and immoral voting methods that
were being used to manipulate the outcome of the election.

August 12: Harold Wiley presented a 200-signature petition to the Board Donny Mason who was prepared in advance with a resolution to stop voter fraud by requiring voters to show a current New York state driver's license with a Cape Vincent address to prove residency. Donny Mason, Marty Mason and Mickey Orvis all voted in favor and the resolution carried.

August 16: at a press conference in Watertown, the Attorney General dismissed the Mason law as unconstitutional.

August 18: Supervisor Hirschey took action to repeal the Mason’s illegal law. Donny and Marty Mason voted against rescinding their unconstitutional law while Mickey Orvis voted in favor of repealing the voter fraud law citing concern for the community. The resolution to rescind passed. Additionally, Orvis had prepared his own resolution proposing that the Town Board actively solicit the State to take over the development process under the statutes of Article 10. Orvis discovered prior to the board meeting that this was something that is not within the scope of the Town Board’s authority, however he read his resolution any way. Moreover, he said it would resolve the conflicts before the election.

AUGUST 25: Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman announced the indictment and arrest of Jeri Mason, the former Town Clerk, who was charged with stealing up to $50,000 from the Town of Cape Vincent.

Sept 1: As the Republican primary drew near ,BP arranged to have a group of pseudo scientists, (New York Wind Education Collaborative, a conglomeration of the Alliance for Clean Energy New York, Albany; Citizens Campaign for the Environment and Climate Center at Pace Law School,
Westchester.) Carol Murphy & Marion Trieste were center stage touting the virtues of wind development for our community.

Sept 13: MetalCraft Marine announced that they were opening a new design and manufacturing facility in Cape Vincent.

Sept 13: Supervisor Hirschey won the republican primary, 277 votes to 99 for challenger, wind leaseholder Harvey White.

Sept 19: Harold Wiley chair of the Cape Vincent Democrat party in Cape Vincent
was too preoccupied circulating petitions and assisting the Mason’s with their illegal Jim Crow resolution that he dropped the ball and failed to meet the filing date requirements for the Democrat Caucus. Consequently, there was no Democrat line on the Ballot.

October 13: Harold C. Wiley, Chairman Cape Vincent Democratic Party, teamed up with Gary King ,Chairman of a new group (Citizens for Fair Government). Their next tactic appeared to be intimidation or exacting retribution against those people that had either registered to vote in Cape Vincent or changed their primary residence in order to vote in Cape Vincent. Harold Wiley and Gary King collected a hit list of names of each new voter in Cape Vincent and sent letters to the assessors of those communities where these residents own another home. Alerting the
assessor that these people have registered to vote, the letter stated, “We provide you with this information in the event that there are implications for your community's implementation of the STAR program.”

October 17: The Citizens for Fair Government conducted another letter, writing campaign. They wrote letters to all the newly registered, unethical and immoral, voters in Cape Vincent asking them to consider voting for the very men that wanted to take their voting rights away.

October 19: Gusty winds prevailed and suddenly the safety of personal wind turbines became an issue when Rodger Alexander’s personal turbine was visibly broken and was spinning wildly out of control. Eventually it ceased spinning and it was reported that it was
a test.
November 8: The elections arrive and Hirschey, Byrne, Schneider & Knuth win their respective positions.

November 29: Former Cape Vincent Town Clerk, Jerry Mason, admitted in court that she took nearly $15,000 from the town while working there. Sentencing was scheduled for January 20, where she is expected to pay full restitution and will be sentenced to five years’ probation. If she fails to pay restitution, she will be ordered to serve six months in jail in addition to the five-year probation.

December 8: Marked the last Town Board meeting for Town Board members Donny and Marty Mason.

December 21: Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman requested that the state’s 932 towns send his office their codes of ethics, a major point of contention in towns including Cape Vincent.

December 24: The Watertown Times began a series of stories devoid of in-depth reporting and factual content, fanning the flames of controversy over Cape Vincent’s election process and ethics problems.


Thursday, December 22, 2011

Ethics? Stick to the Facts!

Update : 11:38, 2011
There are a couple of excerpts from a Watertown time’s article, concerning Cape Vincent and ethics, which may need clarification.
I have provided FOILED documentation, that may clarify a few of the issues mentioned in this article.
link~ below to read the WDT story~
(State AG Requests Town Ethics Codes)

Excerpts: From WDT story

In Cape Vincent, those who don’t want wind-power development in town have accused certain Town Council members of being conflicted pawns of the alternative energy industry with whom they hold leases.
Those who support wind power, on the other hand, complained when the anti-wind-power town supervisor, Urban C. Hirschey, leaked confidential documents to an anti-wind-power group.While both matters were referred to the attorney general’s office — during the tenure of Andrew M. Cuomo, who is now governor — neither seemed to have a state-mandated resolution in the offing.
That’s because such matters are resolved more easily at the local level — as long as the town has a well-defined and enforceable ethics code.


No, there does not seem to be a state mandated resolution in the offing.
However, the complaints about conflicted officials had enough merit for the AG to launch an investigation into the matter, August 13, 2010.

Additionally, there has been no formal announcement of a conclusion to their investigation.

I have posted a letter from the AG at the end of this post, announcing this investigation and requesting documents and records for their investigation.

On the other hand, the Accusations, made by Acciona and their lease holders, (including Board members, Mason & Mason, January 13, 2011 ~ (after Cuomo was elected Governor) , against Supervisor Urban Hirschey ,were put to rest by the AG’s office, under the reign of Eric Schneiderman .

Below is a letter from Town Attorney Mark Gebo to Supervisor Urban Hirschey concerning this matter .

Update: there were a few technical issues with the link below; it has been revised to show the complete HX. of the FOILED engineering documents.

( new link)
Link here ~ google docs ~ to read original FOIL request for the documents in question

Link here to
Watertown Times article~ State won't pursue officialBelow is the letter RE: AG investigation into Supervisor Hirschey's Misconduct

Below is the letter from Attorney Generals office announcing their investigation

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

~ Paving Paradise ~ NNY Follies ~ Wolfe Island~

The following piece, written by Perry White (“Kents boss”) was posted on his blog, “NNY Follies,” March 23, 2007, bringing us back to a time before Wolfe Island became an industrialized power plant . Mr. White, is the Watertown Times

23 March 2007

Next week, Canadian Hydro will sponsor two public hearings to discuss a plan to construct 86 windmills on Wolfe Island. The 200-megawatt project will feed Ontario’s electric grid, from towers located across the west end of Wolfe Island.

For the geographically challenged or those who don’t have much opportunity to visit the Cape Vincent area, Wolfe Island is across a narrow channel of the St. Lawrence River from Cape Vincent; the ferry runs from the southeast corner of the island to the Cape. The island is clearly visible from Cape Vincent to Tibbets Point, and most of the towers will be clearly visible as well.

I mention this because, with the wind farm or farms proposed for Cape Vincent and Clayton, if the Canadian Hydro project goes through, the St.Lawrence River valley and eastern Lake Ontario will almost overnight become the site of as many as 350 windmills.

There are fewer than 200 towers in the Maple Ridge project on Tug Hill, and that project dominates the horizon from Turin to past Copenhagen. Along the river, wind farms could dominate the horizon from Fishers Landing to, well, to well out into Lake Ontario.

I have a great deal of ambivalence about the prospects of turning the lake and river area into a giant wind farm. I do believe that green power is important — the renewable, natural nature of wind-generated power has to be superior to burning coal or natural gas or splitting atoms. And yet…the number of windmills it takes to produce enough power to make a wind farm economically viable means that no working wind farm can ever be inobtrusive. Despite what some of my Cape Vincent critics blindly maintain, the aesthetic enjoyment of an area with such breathtaking natural beauty as the Thousand Islands region has significant value and it should be protected.

It seems to me that the dual “economic development” goals of some people along the river are mutually exclusive; you cannot on the one hand push a massive wind farm as a major economic asset and also continue to pursue with abandon tourism dollars. Some — perhaps many — people will be put off by the sight of the towers relentlessly marching along the river to the extent that they will not find the natural beauty they came to enjoy. And they won’t come back. (And believe me, when the initial awe of wind towers wears off, they aren’t going to draw any tourists here.)

Sometimes, man acts with foresight and wisdom. Mostly, though, my experience is that foresight is in extremely short supply. As Joni Mitchell pointed out, “Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone?” It seems that folks along the river are hell bent on paving paradise and putting in a tower lot. They don’t seem willing to consider that once paradise is gone, it just never comes back.

posted by Kentsboss


23 March 2007

Rethinking Wind Tower Safety

December 28, 2009
Perry White, Watertown Daily Times City Editor

Another wind tower has collapsed, this one in the Madison County Wind Farm in the town of Fenner. The nine-year-old tower collapsed Saturday night, apparently when power was lost to the tower. This is the second such collapse in upstate New York this year; in March, a tower collapsed in Altona, Franklin County, when it, too, lost power. Clearly, this issue is one that needs further study and one that should be giving pause to towns in the north country that are rushing to get permissive laws on the books for commercial wind farm development.

These two collapses are far from the only ones, however. In Denmark in 2008, a tower collapsed when the braking system failed and the blades spun out of control, eventually shattering the nacelle and sending debris well beyond the collapse range of one and a half times the tower height. In Oldenburg, Germany, a tower collapsed in November 2006 when a rotor shattered, bringing the entire tower down; large chunks of blade debris landed more than 200 meters – 660 feet – from the tower.

Link here to the Watertown Daily Times to

Sunday, December 11, 2011


Hood-winked at the Article X Banquet

The definition of hood-winked is: “To take in by deceptive means; to deceive.”
Come along with me and imagine that four of us from Cape Vincent were invited to attend a banquet at the Roxy Hotel. We are told that some Big-Shots from Albany are interested in what we have to say about our community. Exciting, huh? Can't wait, huh?
We arrive the night of the banquet and head for the door when two big ushers tell us only two can enter and sit at the table. We begin to decide who among us will enter when the usher interrupts and tells us he decides, not the four of us. Hmm? We are beginning to wonder about this banquet.
The Roxy is humming with noise. Lots of people, mostly men, running around in suits and ties, typical Albany political types. We see a banner on the wall ARTICLE X SITING BANQUET.

We begin to get the drift of why we are here. Some smiley, ex-high school valedictorian leads us to the banquet table that seats seven. We are introduced to the other five sitting at the table – Mr. NYSERDA, Mr. PSC, Mr. DEC, Mr. DOH and Mr. DED. They all smile, shake our hands, tell us we are welcome, and thank us for coming. “Glad to have you share our banquet,” said Mr. PSC at the head of the table.
Then the food begins to arrive. Waiters fill the table with a wide assortment of great food. The five Big-Shots ask us what we'd like for dinner. We respond, “The turkey looks delicious and the prime rib is my favorite.” More smiles. “How about some fixings,” Mr. NYSERDA asks. “Thank you,” we respond and we are beginning to think this is really nice. They are all so friendly and solicitous – they really seem to be interested in us.
After all the food has been served, the Big-Shots pick up the knives and forks, still smiling, and begin to eat. As we move to do the same, the Big-Shots stop eating, stop smiling and tell us to stop. “You two can't eat,” they shout! “You are ad hoc invitees to the banquet, you don't get to eat,” they continued. We dropped our forks and they began to eat, began to smile and even asked us what we thought of the food. Can you imagine their nerve?
How would you feel if you were invited to the table, asked what you would like to eat, but then were denied the opportunity to eat? This is exactly what is written into Governor Cuomo's Article X “Power NY Act 2011.” The law takes away home rule in siting power projects, but allows two, token locals to sit at the table with the Big-Shots as ad hoc member. Ad hoc means no voting rights. They take away our home-rule rights and throw us a few crumbs, but then tell us we can't eat the crumbs.

If you are madder than hell at the nerve of Albany then cut and paste this piece in an email to your local representatives and tell them that the Little-Shots from the North Country want to eat too! The legislature needs to revise the law so that local representatives on the Article X siting board get to vote along with the Big-Shots. With the current law the deck is stacked in favor of Albany 5 to 0. We aren't even asking for fair representation, just some representation. We'd settle with 5 to 2 odds in favor of Albany? Let us vote.

Lone Ranger

Senator Patti Richie - ritchie@nysenate.gov

Assemblywoman Addie Russell - russella@assembly.state.ny.us

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Law gives bureaucrats too much power

On June 22, at the request of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the state Legislature stripped local communities of their historic home-rule rights.

In a secretive 24-hour blitz Article X was passed, now called Power New York Act. It applies to nuclear, gas, wind, coal and any other type of electrical generating plant of 25 megawatts or more. It was signed into law Aug. 4.

Siting generating plants and their transmission lines will now be done by a board of seven people, including five unelected bureaucrats from Albany.

They are the chairs of the Public Service Commission, the New York State Energy Research and Development Agency and economic development and the heads of the Department of Environmental Conservation and the Department of Health. These chairs may designate a person to represent themselves.

Two ad-hoc members are from the local community targeted by the developer. They have no vote and are not necessary for a quorum. They are selected by the state Senate and Assembly leaders from a list of names provided by the local officials. They are not allowed to be elected people.

According to the language of the Power New York Act, the chair of the board (who is also the chair of the PSC) makes the decisions “in consultation with the other chairs but exclusive of the ad-hoc members.”

The intervenor fund of money will also be controlled by the board. The board may ignore any and all local ordinances and laws.

The purpose of Article X is to guarantee developers that their project will be through the entire permitting process within one year.

Gov. Cuomo says Article X will give communities more say in the process of siting power plants. Doublespeak that rivals the ex-attorney general’s of ethics.

Sen. Patty Ritchie and Assembly members Addie Russell, Will Barclay and Ken Blankenbush all took a stand against Albany and stood for the counties and towns by voting against Article X.

Jefferson County swiftly and unanimously passed a resolution opposing Article X. Other counties and towns have also passed resolutions. I would like to thank them for understanding and supporting home rule.

If the only way to build new power plants requires stripping people and communities of their established rights, maybe it is time to rewrite our energy policies and this time leave the corporate lobbyists outside.

Martha Chase

Cape Vincent

Are the Tables Turning on Turbines?

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. There is something strange happening with bats and wind turbines. It is not known why bats are so susceptible and why they are being killed in these surprising numbers.
There is a story in the Wall Street Journal today that reports that the tables may be turning Bats may now be a threat to wind turbines.

In anticipation of New federal rules that take effect in January some wind developers are changing their plans , although the new guidelines are voluntary those who don't follow them are more likely to face fines or penalties if their turbines kill an animal protected by federal law. These new guidelines could potentially effect where all wind projects are built .

Acciona’s St. Lawrence Wind project has the potential to significantly impact the future survival of the Indiana bat and all bat species existing in Cape Vincent as well. Wolfe Island Canada located just 3/4 of a mile from the shores of Cape Vincent is home to an 86 turbine project that reported estimates of 1720 bats deaths per year , a significant number . Cape Vincent can expect the same numbers because of similar habitat and shared species with Wolfe Island.

Acciona’s wind development will cause fragmentation of habitat and destroy foraging ground; this will have a devastating effect on Cape Vincent’s dwindling bat population.
Below is a partial map of the area that is proposed for utility scale wind turbines and the necessary transmission lines to facilitate the project.
Notice the project is in the heart of the Indiana Bat areas. Notice too that land owned by Agricultural Commissioner Darrel Aubertine is slated for transmission lines in or perilously close to the Indiana Bat habitat areas...

slated for development~


To read the article ~ Wildlife Slows Wind Power ~ from the Wall Street Journal link here

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Cape Vincent Public Hearing & Town Board Meeting

Update 10:08 PM 12/08/11

5:45 Open Public hearing on increasing Town Assessor Board of Appeals members.

This hearing opened with the pledge of allegiance.
A discussion ensued and it was decided that two additional people would be needed for the property reevaluation.
Supervisor Hirschey then asked Town Attorney Mark Gebo if they could reduce the number back down to three in the future without a new law. Mr. Gebo said no that it would have to be modified. Additionally, assessor Robert Barnard spoke up explaining that the added people would be needed after the reevaluation for the grievance process to make it better for the homeowner.
The additional people will be chosen through an application process and as part of the requirements; it will be necessary for them to attend an educational training session at JCC.

6:00 PM Cape Vincent Town Board Meeting December 2011

Tonight’s meeting began with the privilege of the floor.

First, Bob Brown spoke about the Cape Vincent community food pantry. Through their efforts, community use of the pantry has increased 35%.
Mr. Brown also stated that the pantry was adding an additional day to their schedule the second Wednesday of the month from 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM At the end of this post I have added an information sheet with the hours of the food pantry.

The next speaker was Paul Mason, Mr. Mason thanked Donny and Marty Mason for their years of service to our community and commended them for the great job they have done over the years citing some of their accomplishments. Additionally, he said that they had been abused called names and that their families were ridiculed. Adding that the pro wind people would not do this to the new board.

The meeting continued with the normal agenda .

Minutes from the previous Town Board meeting were accepted.
Next the budget was discussed .

The planning board did not meet Dec. 7 subsequently there was no report
Water and recreation was business as usual with Dave Croft stating that it was a good year.
Highway Danny Hubbard reported that they will be continuing with County Route 6 next year and that he has been in contact with Jimmy Lawrence about starting County Route 7 if they are able to get it in the budget. He also spoke about the hearing tests required by OSHA. Additionally, he mentioned an increase in the cost of medical insurance asking the town to consider paying half the cost of the premium.
Supervisor’s comments
Supervisor Hirschey said I want to thank Donny and Marty
“They are a good bunch to learn from”
Mr. Hirschey continued, noting their service to the community over the last fifteen years and that between them was an incredible amount of knowledge. “We could have gone astray if it was not for their guidance”.
Mr. Hirschey went over a few of the things accomplished by the board over the last year. He mentioned the new clinic, the remodel of the town offices and the increased teamwork between the Village, Town and the LDC. The implementation of an open government policy and the Town website And the addition of a new industry in Cape Vincent, Metal craft Marine. Mr. Hirschey added that Metal craft would need 15 to 20 additional employees between January and February. (Metal Craft was just awarded a 400,000 Empire State Development grant for their expansion.) Supervisor Hirschey finished his comments by discussing a new video created to Promote Cape Vincent in order to bring new families into the community (link to video here)
Next Brooks Bragdon spoke up reiterating what Supervisor Hirschey said about Marty and Donny Mason’s service to our community adding that even when they disagree that he has the utmost respect and affection for them.
Next came the ResolutionsAll Resolutions passed
# 53 Increase Assessor Boards of Appeals from three to five members
# 54 & % 55 Transfer from General Fund to capital
# 56 Transfer from HWY Fund to Capital
# 57 Approval of year end Budget Transfers
# 58 Reappoint Zoning Position (Joseph Martin)

I did forget to mention that at the end of the meeting Donny Mason thanked all the people that have supported him over the last twenty years and mentioned all that they had accomplished .After which many in the audience clapped
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Approval of the Vouchers .

The Video that Supervisor Hirschey spoke about was played after the meeting .
link to Cape Vincent promotional Video here)

The Town Board Meeting was videotaped by Steve Weed Productions and can be watched in its entirety when available

Monday, December 5, 2011


At the Feb 10, 2011, Town Board meeting Supervisor Urban Hirschey introduced a letter that he had received a letter from Clifford P. Schneider in RE: a property assurance plan .

Mr. Schneider's 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 ofthe 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 Guarantee. 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
Cuomo seeks to pull New York State economy out of

Toilet with a royal flush

December 4, 2011, 10:43 PM

ALBANY -- With the state's deficit worsening, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said he wants the Legislature to act quickly on a job-creation effort, which he said should include a massive program of bridge and road construction and an expansion of full-blown, Las Vegas-style casinos across the state.

Link here to the Buffalo news story