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3/8/11 Glenmore Town board calls the cops while choosing between wind developer's money or Town residents' lives AND Spinning Big Wind: Lobbyist rewrites the news AND 'Last night in the Town of Glenmore...' a resident gives an account of the meeting AND What drove this wind turbine neighbor to civil disobedience? AND What does that turbine sound like?

Glenmore residents' outcry sways wind project: fox11online.com




March 8 2011

By Tony Walter

Residents reacted angrily, chanting, "No permits," then, "change your vote," prompting Kittell to call for police support.

"The people are trying to get out of hand," Kittell said on his cell phone. One Wisconsin State Patrol officer and two Brown County Sheriff's Department officers showed up 15 minutes later.

GLENMORE — The Glenmore Town Board voted Monday to wait 60 days before voting on a permit request to have seven wind turbines built in the town.

In an emotion-filled meeting that at one point had Town Chairman Don Kittell call in police officers when residents began chanting and shouting, the board reversed an earlier vote to approve the permits.

Mark Dick of Cenergy, a subsidiary of Pennsylvania-based CG Power Solutions that is seeking to erect the turbines, said the board's delay on a decision was based on emotion and opinion, not law.

"You're asking the Town Board to violate law," Dick told the more than 100 residents who crowded into the Glenmore Community Center. "You might as well as ask them to outlaw smoking."

The board voted quickly at the meeting's outset to approve the permits, with Kittell and Supervisor Kriss Schmidt supporting it and Supervisor Ron Nowak opposing it. Kittell argued that the board was simply following the law that required it to honor a conditional use permit that went into effect before the town changed its wind turbine ordinance last year.

But residents reacted angrily, chanting, "No permits," then "change your vote," prompting Kittell to call for police support.

"The people are trying to get out of hand," Kittell said on his cell phone. One Wisconsin State Patrol officer and two Brown County Sheriff's Department officers showed up 15 minutes later.

Residents continued to protest, and Kittell ended the meeting. But the residents continued to argue that the recent decision by a legislative committee to suspend the Public Service Commission's wind-siting rules made it possible for the board to delay its vote.

"I don't understand what your rush is," Cliff Hammond said.

Resident Steve Deslauriers said wind turbine officials wanted the permits approved before the state had a chance to impose new siting rules.

After 90 minutes of debate, the board decided to reconvene the meeting and Schmidt made a motion to delay a decision until more information came from the state. This was approved unanimously but brought Cenergy officials to their feet to protest that the board voted illegally.

"You can't let the minority dissuade you from the law," Dick told board members, ignoring shouts from the residents.

But the board voted unanimously for the delay, bringing applause from the audience.

Glenmore initially had two wind turbines erected in 1997 and last year had seven more built in the Shirley Wind project.

SECOND FEATURE: Wind lobbyists re-writing the news: Chapter 4,567

Note from the BPWI research nerd:

The Green Bay Press Gazette article above has a headline which reads "GLENMORE TOWN BOARD POSTPONES WIND TURBINE DECISION"

RENEW Wisconsin, an organization that lobbys on behalf of the wind industry changes the headline to this on their website:




The meeting was attended by many residents and also State Representative Andre and John Vander Leest, a representative sent by State Senator Frank Lasee to read a statement from him.

The Glenmore Town Board was to decide on issuing building permits for seven proposed 500' wind turbines on an 80 acre parcel owned by Mike and Sandy  Zirbel, 6013 Morrison Road.

After a speech by Andre Jacques and John Vander Leest, as well as Rick Loppnow (Glenmore Town Supervisor candidate), requesting the Town Board to delay issuing the permits in light of the recent JCRAR suspension of the Wind Siting Rules, the Board made and passed a motion to  approve the building permits.

This action precipitated an immediate widespread expression of outrage by nearly all of the attendees, at which time Chairman Kittel called in the police.

Before the police arrived, the Town Board decided to adjourn the meeting, although most of the agenda items had not yet been covered. This was followed by about 45 minutes of passionate comments from many in attendance, as well as more statements from Representative Jacques and John Vander Leest. The police arrived in the midst of a peaceful open forum, and stayed until the meeting ended.

Following calls from the audience to reopen the meeting and reconsider the earlier motion to approve the building permits, the Board did just that.

The Town Board made a motion to amend their earlier motion and delay a decision on the building permits for 60 days while waiting to see what would happen at Madison.

This created great consternation with the wind developer representatives in attendance who then put tremendous pressure on the Town Board to not delay their decision.

Following consultation with the town attorney, the Board confirmed that they would proceed with the 60 day delay. This decision was met with a standing ovation and round of applause, much to the dismay and anger of the wind developer.
The balance of the agenda was dealt with and the  meeting was adjourned. Many congratulations, handshakes, and hugs were exchanged throughout the crowd.


Click on the image above to hear the Falmouth Turbine

Click here for SOURCE

The Falmouth Experience: Sick from the Noise

SOURCE Climatide, climatide.wgbh.org

March 8, 2011

By Jess Bidgood, Reported by Sean Corcoran,

FALMOUTH, Mass. — Last September, under the cover of darkness, Barry Funfar set out on an act of civil disobedience. His target was a wind turbine the town installed about 1,600 feet from his Falmouth home. Funfar used sticky-backed letters and a large poster-board to vandalize a welcome sign near the turbine’s base. When he was done, the new sign read, “The Noise from This Turbine is Killing Me.” And the word “killing” was in red, and he signed his name with a thick black marker.

“I had this huge foam board and covered the whole thing. I used gorilla tape to make it hard to take off. I figured the police would be up to my house the next morning or something. But I heard nothing,” Funfar said.

Dozens of people living near the 1.65-megawatt turbine have reported sleep interruptions, headaches and vertigo since it was turned on last April. Neighbors say it’s like sea sickness — some people feel it, others don’t. But the effects seem to be cumulative in that symptoms appear and increase the longer they’re near the turbine.

What’s not clear is why. A town-commissioned sound study concluded the turbine produces broad spectrum sound at levels within town and state guidelines. But residents say it’s not the volume as much as the type of sound that’s the problem.

“I’ve learned it’s just a different kind of noise. It’s like it gets inside of me and just causes so much stress and anxiety that even when it isn’t going I have this fear of when it is going to start up again,” Funfar said.

Residents primarily report three different types of turbine noise (all of which we were unable to record on our visits to the turbine). The first and most easily understood noise is a swooshing sound that’s made at regular intervals when the blades spin. Then, there’s another, more erratic sound, which some compare to a sneaker bouncing around in a drier.

Heather Goldstone says both of those noises are called impulse sounds, which scientists know are harder to get used to than constant sounds. But for reasons scientists don’t understand, wind turbine noise seems to be more disturbing than other noises such as airports and highways.

“Many scientists and wind-energy advocates say that while people may become annoyed by turbine noise, annoyance is not considered a health impact from a clinical perspective. That said, chronic annoyance can build into stress, and stress could cause many of the symptoms people are complaining about,” Goldstone.

Goldstone cited the work of Dr. Michael Nissenbaum, a physician who has studied the impacts of two wind farms in Maine on nearby residents. “He told me he thinks there’s a more direct explanation: That sleep deprivation caused by turbine noise is taking a toll on people’s mental and physical health,” she said.

The residents who report being the most severely affected by Wind One blame low-frequency sound, often called infrasound, that is inaudible and controversial. They say it’s like a pulse that gets into their heads and makes their hearts race.

“People have different sensitivities to sound, particularly in the low-frequency range,” Goldstone says. “The question is whether sounds below a person’s hearing threshold can affect the ear in other ways and possibly lead to health impacts. Conventional wisdom says no, but a couple of recent studies say maybe. There’s just not enough science available to sort this out yet.”

Steven Clarke is the top wind expert in Governor Patrick’s administration. Clarke says he won’t downplay residents’ complaints. But it’s important to recognize that Falmouth is only one out of 26 turbines that have been installed in Massachusetts, including a half-dozen turbines similar in size and capacity to Wind One.

“Once you put that context around the Falmouth situation,” he says, “I think it becomes clear that we should look at this as a specific case and not generalize that wind energy in general is problematic.”

State leaders have heard complaints about the lack of science as town boards make decisions, and Clarke says the state is looking to partner with a scientific institution to further study turbine noise.



 SOURCE: Climatide, climatide.wgbh.org

 March 7, 2011

Reported by Sean Corcoran, By Jess Bidgood,

FALMOUTH, Mass. — Standing on his home’s porch, Neil Anderson points through the thicket of trees in his front yard and across Blacksmith Shop Road towards one of his closest neighbors: A wind turbine.

“Right now we are 1,320 feet, which is one-quarter mile south of Wind One, which is Falmouth’s first wind turbine. It’s been online since April. And we’ve been trying to get it stopped since April,” Anderson says.

Wind One, as the turbine is officially called, is owned by the town of Falmouth and is located at the town’s wastewater treatment plant, where it stands 262 feet tall to the turbine’s hub. That’s about 10 feet taller than the Pilgrim Monument in Provincetown. The blades extend just shy of 400 feet, which is about half the height of the John Hancock Building in Boston.

When it was installed last spring, Anderson didn’t think Wind One would cause a problem. For 35 years, he’s owned and operated a passive solar company on Cape Cod.

The energy conservationist in Anderson considered wind power a good principle. He wasn’t alone — before the turbine switched on, Falmouth residents almost universally welcomed Wind One as a symbol of renewable energy and a way to keep taxes down.

“I was proud looking at it from this viewpoint — until it started turning,” Anderson said.

But now, as many as 50 people are complaining about the turbine and the noise it makes at different speeds. A dozen families are retaining a lawyer for that reason.

“It is dangerous. Headaches. Loss of sleep. And the ringing in my ears never goes away. I could look at it all day, and it does not bother me. It’s quite majestic — but it’s way too close,” Anderson said.

Neighbors say this isn’t a debate about a turbine ruining their view, and their goal is not compensation. Some just want it turned off at night.

But Anderson can’t compromise. “This house has been my hobby, my investment, and we love it out here. We will move if we have to. Because we cannot live with (the turbine). No, we cannot,” Anderson said.

Wind One is expected to save the town about $375,000 a year in electricity. Heather Harper, Falmouth’s acting town manager, says Falmouth owes about $5 million on the 1.65-megawatt turbine.

Harper said one of the challenges of running the turbine is that the type of sound some neighbors complain about — that low-level pulse — isn’t regulated by the state. “The times I have been there I do not experience the impact of the effect that the neighbors have expressed that they’ve experienced. But I do believe that they are experiencing something that is very real to them,” Harper said.

David McGlinchey is with the non-partisan Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences in Plymouth, which provides science-based information to policy makers. McGlinchey says that while Wind One has generated complaints, other turbines of similar size, including a 1.8-megawatt turbine in Hull, have been mostly well-received.

“The existing peer-reviewed studies suggest that there are no health effects associated with the sound and noise from wind turbines,” McGlinchey said. “That being said, people clearly experience symptoms. People have headaches, people have their sleep disturbed, people are not living well next to them in some situations. In some situations they are. So, both sides are right.”

Wind advocates say Falmouth’s experience has made it nearly impossible to get other turbines approved on Cape Cod, and potentially across the state. Last week, Falmouth’s selectmen acknowledged the issue and agreed to turn off the turbine when wind speeds exceed 23 miles per hour.

It’s unclear how much relief this will bring or how long it will last, since selectmen said more permanent mitigation efforts still must be negotiated.

One looming concern of neighbors is a second turbine, one of the same size and make that has gone up not far from the first. Falmouth’s Wind Two is scheduled to be turned on sometime this spring.



SOURCE Associated Press, trib.com 8 March 2011

CHEYENNE — The state Legislature failed to settle the sensitive issue of whether wind farm developers can forcibly take land so they can stretch power lines to their turbines.

Instead, lawmakers who ended their 2011 session last week extended a moratorium banning private wind developers from using eminent domain for another two years, meaning the issue will be back again.

“I hope, in some form, somebody will come up with some idea that can satisfy all sides to the problem,” said Rep. Kermit Brown, R-Laramie and chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.

Eminent domain is the forced acquisition of private property for public use and has been used to build railroads, pipelines and other projects deemed necessary for the public good.

Lawmakers in 2010 imposed a one-year moratorium after concerns were raised about a potential boom in wind farm development and the extensive network of power lines required.

There were fears that many landowners would not receive fair treatment and compensation in acquiring their land for the so-called connector lines because of the power of eminent domain hanging over their heads.

With hundreds of turbines making up individual wind farms, the potential number of collector lines can be numerous and involve multiple landowners surrounding the land where the wind turbines are located.

A legislative task force chaired by Brown worked between last session and the 2011 session to study the eminent domain issue but was divided on a solution.

Two bills that attempted to deal with the matter quickly failed this year, and legislators settled on the moratorium extension until 2013.

“That extension will expire in two years and they’ll again have the right of eminent domain if something isn’t done,” Brown said.

Dan Sullivan, a lobbyist for the Wyoming Power Producers Coalition, said the moratorium singles out the wind industry even though he’s not aware of eminent domain being used to condemn land for any wind projects in the state. Public utility companies still have the power to condemn land because those companies are subjected to government oversight.

“I think it sends a bad message to the industry that I think at least 10 or 12 years ago the state was trying to encourage that industry to come to Wyoming and to exploit the wind energy resource we have here,” Sullivan said Monday.

However, he said not much wind farm development that may require eminent domain powers is expected in Wyoming over the next couple of years.

Legislators did approve a bill that ties wind rights to the surface property.

“I think one of the things that made passage of that bill work was 100 and some years of history in this state with the split estate between the surface and the minerals and a desire not to have all that start over again with another split-off estate, which would be the wind estate,” Brown said.

[rest of article available at source]

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