BP's Tatics in Cape Vincent Ny

Friday, February 28, 2014

Times Editors Miss the Bus

I am dumbfounded how the Times' editors could have so completely missed the bus on the Cape Vincent wind issue in their editorial Blown Away (Feb. 28). Times' editors opined that full-time residents had to deal with the ups and downs of the local economy, and can you blame them for not wanting to take advantage of the opportunity for making money off their land with industrial wind development. 
Unfortunately, the editors also exposed their bias regarding the rights of part-time residents, “But part-time residents objected to the notion of introducing a wind farm into the community.” They didn’t want to spend their leisure time staring at numerous wind turbines.” With this comment Times' editors could not have been more disingenuous to the majority of us Cape residents.

Here are just two important points editors of the Times missed. In a survey of all Cape Vincent residents in 1992 (well before wind) the overwhelming majority of both full-time and part-time residents rejected future industrial development. The conclusion of that study was “They (Cape Vincent residents) would like to see improved job opportunities and services, but not at the expense or sacrifice of the very qualities that make Cape Vincent so appealing – its beauty, history and small town atmosphere.
Furthermore, Cape Vincent’s first master plan for future development and growth (2003) specifically discouraged development such as industrial wind, “Location of towers, prisons or utility facilities where their impact would have a negative impact on scenic vistas and tourism assets.” What became obvious to those full-time residents that did not support industrial wind development (there are many of us), a number of town leaders and full-time residents ignored the wishes and plans of the entire community in order to take advantage of their own economic opportunities via leasing their land to industrial wind developers. 
Their attitude was to hell with the community planning, we want our money! Apparently the editors of the Times also believe that community planning for future development is just a waste of time.

The other major oversight of the Times was their continuing refusal to ignore the corrupting influence of BP’s payments to local officials. The Times broke the story on conflicts of interest in 2006, but subsequently always chose to view the issue as only wind development and not wind corruption. The Times has yet to report on the language in BP’s wind lease contracts that requires the full cooperation of leaseholders in forwarding their project. This information has been available for years and has important ethical implications for public servants. 
For town officials who are expected to serve the public’s interests these leases were disastrous and the payments to officials by BP tainted their service to their constituents. The Jefferson County Board of Ethics understood the importance of this issue; I just wish the editors of the Times could have understood it as well.

Finally, the Times recommends, “Residents must begin the process of healing some of the wounds caused by this experience. They can start by recognizing that perhaps they themselves were responsible for some of the pain inflicted.” Unfortunately, this editorial by the Times does absolutely nothing to help that process. The paper could have helped far more by leaving their editorial page blank. 
But, their editorial does prove that it is impossible for editors sitting in an Washington Street office some 30 miles distant to understand a very complex community issue - at best the editors of the Times get all their information about Cape Vincent second-hand. 
What is also obvious to us now with this editorial today is that not only have we had to fight BP for the past eight years, but we have had to fight the Watertown Daily Times as well.

Clif Schneider


Anonymous said...

Three cheers for the over-the-hill misfits. They beat the fourth largest corporation in the world, the green shirts and the Watertown Times.

Anonymous said...

Cliff - very well said....I hope this is printed as a letter in the WDT!

Anonymous said...

In a way the WDT was advocating the loss of home rule for the Town of Cape Vincent. Rather than support the Town in its fight to preserve the Town's comprehensive plan the WDT regrets the lost opportunities of some landowners. The paper should have been supporting local communities not question their legitimacy by inferring seasonal residents don't deserve to vote and that any government elected by seasonal residents doesn't deserve to be in office. Furthermore, the paper should have been celebrating the outcome in Cape Vincent that was compatible with the community's vision for future development. Hoorahs were in order, not regrets!

The WDT was way out of line with their editorial and I would warn every municipality in the North Country to beware of the WDT who they have a God-given right to promote a path to economic gain regardless of what local communities want and prefer.

Stay Focsed said...

Thanks, Clif.

Yours was a very articulate critique of the WDT editorial.

The WDT editorial board does not see itself as a watch dog for the preservation of the Thousand Islands. That's unfortunate.

But the editors do not even see themselves as a watch dog for clean governemnt. That's inexcusable.

Anonymous said...

Do you think maybe John B. Johnson had a "good neighbor" agreement with BP? $$$ Remember - you don't have to be an adjoining property owner to be a good neighbor

John Doe Citizen said...

Mr. Schneider,

The Editors of the WDT might want to check out this "extreme measures score card"

Cape Vincent Pro Wind full time residents.

1. A sitting State Assemblyman told wind lease conflicted members of the town board that it was their duty to vote their conflict of interest and not make a decision based on public referendum.

2. Voters for Wind and Accionia tried to get the JCIDA to take away the school, county and town right to vote on a PILOT.

3. Pro wind passed a petition that claimed voter irregularities that were never proven. It was aimed at legal Cape Vincent residents and voters who they thought would vote against the conflict of interest board members.

4. The conflict of interest board members passed and then refused to rescind an illegal voter identification resolution.

5. Letters with the names of the Cape Vincent pro-wind Democratic Chair and CGF chair on it were sent to the assessors of seasonal residents who owned residences in other communities but choose Cape Vincent as their home of voter choice. One "friendly" assessor took the bait and made a voter fraud accusation that was never proven. Those whose assessors received letters felt singled out and intimidated.

6. Voters for Wind, CFG and Bp lease holders filed A SLAPP action against two Cape Vincent bloggers and John Does who were voicing their opinion.

7. An affidavit filed in the Supreme Court by one of the plaintiffs verified that formal methods were being taken against part time residents that would protect the interests of full time residents.

8. A list of 80 Absentee voters were challenged by pro wind Democrat-CFG town office candidates. The three candidates then filed a signed affidavit in Supreme Court alleging fraud by legal Cape Voters and the Jefferson County Board of Elections.

Cape Vincent Anti Wind full time and part time residents.

1. Exercised their legal right to vote against unethical lease holding public officials and threw them out of office.

John Doe Citizen
and life long resident of Cape Vincent.

Anonymous said...

Bring on the WDT comments from Start a Business in CV, Turbine Cowboy, HJW and the rest. To add to hundreds of others in the documentation. It is very likely that the same anions who flap their traps in the name of the WDT are the same who are involved in the suspected civil rights actions against Cape citizens and voters.

Anonymous said...

I doubt it for the retired JBJ. But, promise of a slew of big ads and other goodies sure as hell might make the WDT ad dept feel very neighborly. They have lost that and are not happy and may have taken a few editorial licks….

Anonymous said...

All those loud mouths who bitch and call other anonymous chicken shits, etc. fail to recognize that the WDT editorial is just as anon. Not one of them would publicly add their name to such ignorance and lack of respect for legal voters.

this is sour grapes by the WDT editorial staff….add them to the list of losers….they lost a bp promise of big bucks for the advertising dept…hell, that kind of big bucks could have been enough to keep the rag going for a few more years.