7/10/12 If she was your daughter, what would you do? If it was your home, what would you do?

WBAY-TV Green Bay-Fox Cities-Northeast Wisconsin News



Written by Hannah O’Brien 

Source: Gannett Wisconsin Media  www.postcrescent.com

July 8, 2012

The Ashleys say their daughter Alyssa’s health problems are related to the Shirley Wind Project wind turbines that were built near their home in late 2010, and the only way to stop the headaches, ear pain and sleep deprivation was to move away from turbines.

MORRISON — Sue and Darryl Ashley moved their family out of their Glenmore home last summer and are now working to pay mortgages on two houses so their 16-year-old daughter can find relief from constant headaches, ear pain and sleep deprivation.

The Ashleys say their daughter Alyssa’s health problems are related to the Shirley Wind Project wind turbines that were built near their home in late 2010, and the only way to stop the headaches, ear pain and sleep deprivation was to move away from turbines.

“After staying away from my home for a week and a half, my symptoms started to subside,” Alyssa said, adding that the health problems caused her to struggle with school work. “I could sleep again and my headaches were lessening. The longer I was away, the better I felt.”

Because of health problems experienced by families like the Ashleys, state Sen. Frank Lasee, R-Ledgeview, is pressuring the Public Service Commission to change its rules for the construction of wind turbines.

“This really is about our government not protecting our citizens,” Lasee said Sunday during a news conference at Way-Morr County Park in Morrison, about five miles from wind turbines in Glenmore.

Lasee on Wednesday will present multiple published reports that cite the dangers of wind turbines to each of the members of the Public Service Commission, which is responsible for regulating the rates and safety of electric, natural gas and water utilities. He hopes the commission will suspend the current rules for wind turbines, and that a new commission will be created to write new rules.

The Public Service Commission could not be reached Sunday for comment.

The commission’s Wind Siting Council in 2010 released rules for wind turbines and said there was insufficient proof of negative health effects from wind turbines to support stricter rules.

“The council has concluded that the scientific evidence does not support a conclusion that wind turbines cause adverse health outcomes,” according to the council’s final recommendations to the Public Service Commission, which were released in August 2010.

Dr. Herb Coussons, who also spoke during Sunday’s news conference, said health effects of the audible noise from wind turbines can include sleep deprivation, elevated blood pressure, diabetes, weight gain and an increased risk of heart disease. Wind turbines also can be responsible for stray voltage and groundwater contamination, he said.

“The wind mill is on and off, on and off, on and off and unrelenting,” he said. “The solution though is very, very simple. Puth them where there aren’t people.”

Lasee hopes new rules will be implemented to prevent wind turbines from being built within a mile of residents’ homes, and that property owners’ consent must be given before turbines can be built nearby. The current rules state wind turbines must be 850 feet away from homes, Lasee said.

“I think they’re too close to people’s homes,” Lasee said, adding that Brown County is too densely populated for wind turbines.

“The Ashleys are not the only family who moved out of their homes,” he said.

The Ashleys last year bought a second home, but still have to pay a mortgage on their Glenmore home, “a house that we can’t live in,” Alyssa said.

While the Ashley’s’ new home helps keep Alyssa’s symptoms at bay, moving away has not cured her health problems, she said.

“Last week, when I traveled to Tennessee for a youth rally, the bus drove through large wind farms and I immediately experienced ear pressure and eventually pain, even though I hadn’t been exposed to turbines in months,” she said, adding that she wondered “if this damage and sensitivity would ever leave.”



By Deandra Corinthios 

Source: WGBA-TV /NBC26 / www.nbc26.com

July 8 2012

GLENMORE, WI –A battle over the effects of wind energy are blowing into Brown County again. Several families who live near the turbines believe it is causing them health problems.

State Senator Fank lasee says he’s taking their concerns to the capitol. Senator Lasee wants the rules for wind turbine placement changed, he wants the turbines farther away from people’s homes.

Several families in the Glenmore-Shirley area say they have been forced to abandon their homes to keep their families safe.

Darrel Cappelle uprooted his wife and two young children from their home a year and a half ago after he says wind turbines made them sick.

“We’re about 7 miles way from the turbines now and within a week sleep patterns returned, my wife is feeling much better my son seems to be doing better,” said Cappelle.

Cappelle says the humming and flicker shadow of the turbines kept them up at night, gave his wife anxiety attacks and their kids suffered from ear infections.

“With the refrigerator running or washing machine going you could just hear this constant buzzing,” said Sarah Cappelle.

Senator Frank Lasee will present a stack of reports on the negative impacts of wind turbines to the agency that oversees wind energy in Wisconsin, the Public Service Commission.

Governor Scott Walker proposed a 1,850 foot set-back but Senator Lasee says that’s not enough. He wants the turbines at least a mile away from homes.

“It is my hope the PSC will look favorably upon my request to suspend the current rules, so that the projects being proposed will not move forward, and reconvene a new wind siting council that will give us better setback rules,” said Lasee.

The issue was brought to a vote back in May but the senator was one vote short of getting the rules changed. He hopes this time will be different for the sake of families like the Cappelles.

“Our hope is that eventually we can move back home,” said Darrel Cappelle.

NBC26 tried calling Duke Energy, the company that owns the Shirley windpower project about Senator Lasee’s plans but they haven’t returned our calls yet. The Senator will be making his case to the PSC on Wednesday.

6/12/2012 Heartbreaking story from down under


Click here to watch a news feature from Adelaide, Australia

Then drive on up to Fond du Lac, Dodge and Brown Counties to meet Wisconsin residents who are in the same situation.

Posted on Tuesday, June 12, 2012 at 10:14AM by Registered CommenterThe BPRC Research Nerd | Comments Off

6/2/2012 Judge says turbine neighbors will have their day in court

From Maine


Fox Islands Wind Neighbors |


May 31 2012 

In a new development related to the wind turbine controversy on Vinalhaven (ME), Superior Court Judge Michaela Murphy dismissed a motion for reconsideration filed by the state’s DEP (Department of Environmental Protection), and ruled in favor of Vinalhaven neighbors seeking relief from excessive noise. The Maine DEP and Fox Islands Wind, LLC, the industrial wind turbine operator, had asked the Court to reconsider its earlier ruling from March 9th that the case could go forward on the merits of its complaint. On May 22, 2012, the Superior Court Judge Michaela Murphy issued an Order denying a Motion for Reconsideration. Objection to Motion for Reconsideration

On July 28 2011, FIWN (Fox Islands Wind Neighbors) petitioned in Superior Court against the DEP (Fox Islands Wind Neighbors et al., petitioners v. Maine Department of Environmental Protection, Kennebec Superior Court Civil Action, Docket No. AP-2011-142). Fox Islands Wind, LLC, intervened and is represented by one of the biggest law firms in Maine. The court rejected the motion seeking to block the neighbors’ complaint, on procedural grounds.

Since November 2009 when the three 1.5 megawatt turbines commenced operation on the rural island, neighbors filed numerous complaints about excessive noise to no avail or relief. Also, the neighbors allege their First Amendment rights have been violated.

The wind turbine neighbors allege that agency actions effectively insulate FIW from compliance with noise standards and impose burdensome impediments to citizen noise complaints. At considerable personal expense — including the enmity of pro-wind advocates on the island — the neighbors have tried to obtain compliance by the wind turbine operators with state law and enforcement by the state regulator. As one of the earliest wind turbine installations in Maine, Vinalhaven neighbors discovered that the state’s own regulatory agency had difficulty in assessing, measuring, and imposing noise limits for wind turbines. They undertook to participate in good faith with the state to devise a protective and enforceable noise regulation for wind turbines. Their complaint alleges political interference reaching to the Governor’s office by Fox Islands Wind scuttled the neighbors’ and the efforts of DEP’s own staff to establish a more protective noise measurement protocol.

The Court rejected the State’s arguments that the neighbors did not have standing to challenge the DEP’s order under review. It firmly rejected the arguments of the DEP and FIW “that no Maine citizen who lives adjacent to a small scale wind development has the right to seek judicial review of either certification or post-certification actions of the DEP.” The Court further ruled that the neighbors (FIWN) had demonstrated standing by its claims that the DEP order under review “directly targets them and imposes burdensome if not impossible requirements for filing future noise complaints. FIWN claims that their legal rights have in fact been affected, in that they have lost rights ‘possessed by all other Maine citizens of this state living near wind projects.’

The First Amendment protects the important right of a citizen to petition government to enforce the law. It is unconstitutional for the government to refuse to enforce or take other actions that is designed to discourage petitions to enforce. The First Amendment count of the Petition for Review claims that the DEP Order under review was issued to retaliate against citizens on Vinalhaven who filed multiple complaints about noise. The neighbors allege that the DEP acted to discourage complaints by refusing to enforce the noise laws, imposing burdensome procedures for filing noise complaints against FIW, and by insulating FIW from effective accountability for compliance with the noise laws.

Posted on Saturday, June 2, 2012 at 06:28AM by Registered CommenterThe BPRC Research Nerd | Comments Off

6/1/2012 "We All Know Better Now Send Wind Developers Packing" and other signs you can't post in the Town of Morrison

From Wisconsin


By Tony Ullrich, WBAY | www.wbay.com 31 May 2012 ~~

Four residents have filed a lawsuit against the Town of Morrison over its sign ordinance. The residents say they weren’t allowed to post signs on their property opposing wind turbine projects and say the ordinance violates their First Amendment rights.

The Town of Morrison currently bans residents from posting some political and religious signs on their property. For instance, signs reading “We All Know Better Now Send Wind Developers Packing” would be in violation of the town’s ordinance.

Click here to read the ordinance (PDF format)

According to court documents, the plaintiffs say the town issued Takedown Notices to those who put up signs protesting planned wind farm projects.

They say they have a constitutional right to place those signs on their property.

“The law is quite clear that that type of blanket prohibition on that form of free expression is unconstitutional,” said Rick Esenberg, attorney for the plaintiffs.

Before filing the lawsuit two weeks ago, the plaintiffs say they tried to get the town to change its ban on the signs.

“They attempted to get the town to modify its position. The town’s response to that was literally, ‘Let someone sue us,’ so we did,” Esenberg said.

Town of Morrison attorney Steven Gillis says he was willing to work with the residents to find a solution to the sign ordinance out of court.

“Our approach to this at this juncture has been to try to focus on the present and the future and rather than the past,” Gillis said.

The lawsuit is seeking punitive and compensatory damages. A dollar amount has not been specified.

Posted on Friday, June 1, 2012 at 07:11AM by Registered CommenterThe BPRC Research Nerd | Comments Off

6/1/2012 T. Boone's Wind Farm Hangover

From Minnesota


Mark Anderson,

SOURCE Windpower Monthly Magazine | www.windpowermonthly.com

June 1, 2012

When asked about wind power during an appearance on MSNBC’s Morning Joe TV show, Pickens responded with a common American expression for deals gone wrong: “I’ve lost my ass in the business.”

An expanding list of problems plaguing a 78MW southern Minnesota wind development backed by T Boone Pickens has spawned reports that the billionaire Texas oil tycoon may be attempting to sell out of the $180 million deal.

The AWA Goodhue project has been seeking state approval since 2008 – dividing Goodhue County opinion over turbine setback distances, road-use agreements, wildlife protection, permitting issues and disputed contracts. In late April, developer AWA Goodhue Wind filed a lawsuit against a handful of landowners, alleging illegal termination of their leases.

Then in mid-May, Dan Schleck, a lawyer representing the Coalition for Sensible Siting (CSS), a citizens group opposed to the development, issued a press release describing a private meeting of local investors who believe that Pickens wants out of the project.

“This is one of the more populated areas of the state where somebody’s tried to site a project, and I think that’s really what the challenge is here,” Schleck said. “You’ve got controversy over the regulatory framework and you’ve got controversy from the local residents. There are just a lot of things piling up against this project.”

Neither AWA Goodhue Wind nor Mesa Power responded to requests for comment regarding the project. But when asked about wind power during an appearance on MSNBC’s Morning Joe TV show, Pickens responded with a common American expression for deals gone wrong: “I’ve lost my ass in the business.”

Goodhue County initially seemed an ideal location because of nearby transmission lines and a power purchase agreement (PPA) with Xcel Energy. But as developers race to build the project before the lucrative federal production tax credit expires at the end of the year, problems persist.

A first permit

The project still needs approval of its avian and bat protection plan, along with an incidental-take permit from the US Fish and Wildlife Service that allows a specific number of bald eagle mortalities – and no such permission has yet been granted to a US wind farm. Developers also need to secure turbine setback agreements and a favourable ruling from the Minnesota Court of Appeals to uphold a contested site permit.

According to CSS president Steve Groth, the $100 million lawsuit filed against some landowners is a strong-arm attempt to get a second set of signatures because initial contracts were incomplete. “Without those landowners onboard, they wouldn’t be able to do this project,” Groth said. “So they’re trying to apply pressure to get them to cave in.”

Pickens, founder and chairman of BP Capital, infused the project with financial backing in 2010, along with wind turbines made available when his giant-sized Texas project fizzled. That project called for 667 GE 1.5MW turbines and Pickens managed to halve the order – leaving 334 machines without a home. BP Capital subsidiary Mesa Power announced plans earlier this year to use many of the turbines in the 377MW Stephens Bor-Lynn development south of Lubbock, Texas. But the project, scheduled for 2013 completion, still has no PPA in place.

Posted on Friday, June 1, 2012 at 07:05AM by Registered CommenterThe BPRC Research Nerd | Comments Off