Friday, September 29, 2006

Shadow-Flicker Modeling Dairy Hills Wind Farm, NY.



Neighbors for the Preservation of the North Country, Inc.
P.O. Box 415
Ellenburg Depot, New York 12935
Contact: Holly Garceau
518 594-7140



Ellenburg Center, NY September 25, 2006 - Neighbors for the Preservation of the North Country, Inc., a citizens' environmental advocacy group, made up of community residents from the towns of Clinton, Altona, and Ellenburg in Clinton County, New York, has commenced a legal proceeding against the towns of Altona, Clinton, Ellenburg, the Clinton County Industrial Development Agency, and Noble Environmental Power, challenging the failure of the towns, the IDA, and Noble to follow the requirements of the State Environmental Quality Review Act.

Noble plans to build 179 40-story-tall wind turbines in the three predominantly rural and wooded towns of Altona, Clinton and Ellenburg, in northern New York. The three towns and the IDA failed to give the "hard look" required by state law to the application by Noble Environmental Power, failed to consider alternatives, and failed to consider citizen comments made during the mandatory public comment period. The towns and the IDA failed to give an independent review to the Draft and Final Environmental Impact Statements and failed to identify the many errors and omissions in those Environmental Impact Statements. The approvals of the towns and IDA rubber-stamped Noble's unsupported assertions and failed to protect the health and welfare of the towns' citizens, the natural resources and landscape, the wildlife, and the rural quality of life presently enjoyed by the residents of these towns.

The legal proceeding asks the State Supreme Court to review and vacate the approvals granted by the three towns and the Clinton County Industrial Development Agency. It is presently scheduled to be before the court on October 6th.

Documents submitted in support of the litigation show that Noble's Environmental Impact Statements and the towns' findings did not satisfy the requirements of the State Environmental Quality Review Act:

The legal proceeding seeks to have the court annul the approvals given by the three town boards and the county IDA.

Holly Garceau, President of Neighbors for the Preservation of the North Country, Inc., says that her personal experience refutes the claims by the wind power company that industrial-sized wind turbines are innocuous. Earlier this year she visited the wind farm at Tug Hill, in Lewis County, New York. Within a short time of her arrival she felt pressure to her ears and soon had a migraine headache. Physician and ecologist Dr. Nina Pierpont, a resident of nearby Franklin County, has documented the phenomenon of Vibroacoustic Disease, caused by industrial wind turbines, and ignored by Noble, the three towns and the IDA.

If the towns of Altona, Clinton and Ellenburg, and the Clinton County Industrial Development Agency, had followed their mandates under the State Environmental Quality Review Act, this litigation would not be needed.

For further information, contact Holly Garceau, 518 594-7140.

Thursday, September 28, 2006


With town secrecy going on between Wind Developers, Town Boards and Lease owners, why should any Town Board Member assume that there wouldn’t be some problems among town taxpayers!

Town Supervisors seem to be blaming their stress on Concerned Citizen Groups and Taxpayers of that particular town. Jack Zigenfus feels his personal health comes long before these windmills. Maybe he should have thought about all of that before he got into the situation of allowing developers to come in and tear the town apart by padding a few pockets and taking away from others. Jack Zigenfus feels his compensation of $10,000 a year isn’t nearly enough to compensate him for being accountable to ALL residents of the town. Jack, maybe your stress actually is your conscience telling you that what you have done to the town of Cohocton and adjoining property owners of these huge wind turbines is just erroneous. Jack it will be over for you next November, my husband, children and I will have to live with your decisions for wind turbines for the rest of our lives. I will not sit back and tolerate my life being destroyed because you feel the need to look out for leaseholders versus adjoining property owners who have so much to lose financially and health wise.

Why is it that Board Members feel their personal health comes before the citizens of their town when data and scientific research has proven time and time again that wind energy isn’t as green as wind developers claim, yet wind developers seem to be the ones writing the Laws regulating wind industry in the towns. Perhaps what is weighing on the personal health of Town Board members are the moral and ethical proceedings of writing a Law, which is for the town. Possibly their own sense of right and wrong is ultimately getting to them that what they are doing is just morally wrong.

Back door politics ladies and gentlemen has a way of coming out and hitting hard, Presidents, elected officials, along with CEO’s of companies have felt it before and now some Board Members of Towns are too. How did local town officials think they could get away with doing wrong when higher Government officials couldn’t? The stress some Town Board members are feeling could have been alleviated back a few years ago when all this wind industry was coming to towns on the QT. Board members should have been forthright and brought it all out to the public when it was first happening and maybe all this stress they are feeling now could have been alleviated.

When Town Board members feel that their personal health is being jeopardized don’t you think that they should know in their hearts that the personal health and safety is one of the major reasons groups such as Cohocton Wind Watch came about. Residents that have their property rights being encroached on by the tip of a blade-420 feet plus another 100 feet and Town Board members and a few Planning Board members feeling that this is an appropriate setback distance when there really shouldn’t be a question that if they were looking out for adjoining property owners they would want the greatest set back that was proposed by Town Planning Board members. Even GE, one maker of turbines recommends they be sited no closer than a mile to the nearest dwelling. There seems to be a problem when Town Boards can’t give a greater distance, the problem being that if they gave a greater distance to adjoining property owners it would mean less turbines coming into that particular area, they seem to be listening only to the smooth talking salesmen, the developer. Remember the salesmen of turbines are the ones that started this fight between town and groups; they are the ones who walked in and started destroying and taking our way of life from us. Greed by some, no respect to others yet at all times wanting respect because they are town officials. Yet they can see no respect to property owners that will have there lives changed forever because these turbines will be 500 feet from their property line.

Readers, my name is Bonnie Palmiter, I live in Cohocton, have for 25 years, married my husband Karl whom has been a resident of Cohocton for 33 years. We have three children born and raised in Cohocton, and when I state born I mean I gave birth to my last daughter two months early at our home in Cohocton. She has many medical problems, which as Wayne Hunt would like to have, written verification from her medical doctors, which he will never get, due to patient confidentiality. I will not submit medical information to any Board Member proving that she has medical problems, and it is very disheartening and demeaning for any one person to have to substantiate to some Local Board Member that they are unfortunate enough to have such circumstances.

I am a member of one of these concerned citizens groups such as Cohocton Wind Watch, but also as an independent due to not only my daughter, but also many other people out there with medical conditions that will be affected by wind turbines so close to them. I am an educator of eighteen years, whom has seen many health conditions and disabilities which the misplacement of wind turbines can and will jeopardize their health even more. Apparently Board Members around this area are very fortunate that they do not have children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, grandparents and the like have any such medical problems.

In closing, Board Members stating what is in the best interest of the community should take a real hard look at themselves in a mirror. Remember, government has a checks and balance system, We the People, not THOSE People, are the checks and balance system, which you are hell bent on avoiding. There are more than what you want to open your eyes to that will in fact be affected and put through real stress and health issues of living near these wind turbines. Make the laws where by if it means having a set back a little further away, or saving a land owner their full market value of their property seem like the Board Members are looking out for all residents of that community instead of a wind developers, then possibly you yourself wouldn’t feel disrespected and personally stressed from Concerned Citizens Groups.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Cohocton Wind Watch Industrial Wind Turbine Survey

Cohocton Wind Watch Industrial Wind Turbine Survey
Community input on the impact from proposed wind projects (circle your answers)

Attitudes on Industrial Wind Projects

1) Should farmland remain primarily agricultural and low residential? Yes No

2) Should industrial uses be located SAFELY away from residences? Yes No

3) Should industrial uses be zoned and taxed industrial? Yes No

4) Should industrial wind turbines be considered for Cohocton? Yes No

5) Do you support industrial wind turbines for Cohocton? Yes No

6) If there is not enough wind, do you still favor industrial wind turbines? Yes No

7) Should all taxpayers decide by vote if industrial wind turbines are permitted? Yes No

8) Should all property owners share in the income from industrial turbines? Yes No

9) Should there be a restriction on industrial wind turbine height?
100 feet 199 feet 300 feet 400 feet 500 feet unlimited (circle only one)

10) Should there be a limit on the number of industrial turbines in the town of Cohocton?
0 5 10 25 35 50 75 100 unlimited (circle only one)

Property Issues and Taxes

11) Should all property owners have the same property and wind rights? Yes No

12) Should a developer be responsible for any negative property values? Yes No

13) Should leaseholders be responsible for any negative value impact? Yes No

14) Should Town of Cohocton be liable for any negative value impact? Yes No

15) Should industrial wind turbines developer pay full property tax rates? Yes No

16) Should industrial wind turbines pay only a small PILOT fee? Yes No
(payment in lieu of taxes)

17) Should town and school taxes be reduced from income from turbines? Yes No

18) Should the town have a law that protects property owners from loss of Yes No
property values?

19) Should tower placement be measured from property lines and public roads? Yes No

20) How close to adjacent properties should industrial wind turbines be located? (circle only one)
500” from property line 1,500” from property line 3,000” from property line 1.5 mile 2.5 mile

UPC and Empire Wind Projects

21) Should the UPC project financially benefit only leaseholders? Yes No

22) Should the UPC proposal provide sufficient community protections? Yes No

23) Is the industrial zoned siting of the Empire project preferable? Yes No

24) Do you favor Empire’s full property tax payment vs. PILOT? Yes No

25) Do you favor the 5% payout of UPC or up to 50% of Empire? Empire UPC

26) Do you favor property tax rate reduction from revenue share? Yes No

27) Should UPC match the Empire community payout payments? Yes No

28) Should leaseholders or the entire community select the best deal? Yes No

29) Would you want Cohocton to have both UPC and Empire projects? Yes No

30) Which sole project would you want developed for Cohocton? Neither Empire UPC

Cohocton Town and Planning Board Performance

31) Approve a six- month moratorium on all industrial wind mill projects? Yes No

32) Update the comprehensive plan before approving any projects? Yes No

33) Require cash escrow account for decommission of industrial turbines? Yes No

34) Should the Cohocton Town Board encourage industrial wind projects? Yes No

35) Do you feel that the Town and Planning Board members fully understand the impact of the complex issues pertaining to the legal concerns, construction, operation, and protection of every taxpayer and the town from future
litigation from adverse consequences of the UPC project? Yes No

36) Do you feel that at Cohocton Town and Planning Board meetings legitimate debate was stifled because of an agreement with UPC? Yes No

Residential Background

37) Do you own property in the town or village of Cohocton? Yes No

38) Do you reside in the town or village of Cohocton? Town Village

39) Are you registered to vote in the town of Cohocton? Yes No

40) Do you own land suitable for an industrial wind turbine? Yes No

41) Do you have a lease agreement for an industrial wind turbine? Yes No

42) Does any family member have such a lease agreement? Yes No

43) Do you feel you have been properly informed about wind turbines? Yes No

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Cohocton lawmakers OK planning board recommendations: Local law could be adopted next month; Zigenfus contemplates stepping aside by MICHELLE KING


COHOCTON - With clarity in mind, the town board agreed planning board recommendations regarding wind farm development were up to par at its Tuesday night meeting.

The recommendations, which were reviewed several times this year, specifically addressed the property insurance value and setback distance sections. The town board voted the height of the tallest tip of a blade - 420 feet - plus another 100 feet was an appropriate setback distance instead of the previous recommendation of one-and-a half times the tallest height of a turbine.

The setback distance ensures if a turbine falls there is enough distance allotted for safety. In addition, the property value assurance plan was eliminated because it was deemed ambiguous. The recommendations will be part of Local Law No. 2, which
will be adopted pending a public hearing sometime next month. The law, Supervisor Jack Zigenfus said, will be implemented to protect the town while regulating commercial development.

Zigenfus said the process has been physically draining. "It really just turned into a nightmare," he said. "There's no self advantage to being a supervisor, but I do it for the good of the town."

Zigenfus said addressing frequent criticisms from Cohocton Wind Watch, a group concerned about wind farm development, has taken a toll on his everyday life.

"My family and personal health comes long before these wind mills," he said. "I only get paid $10,000 a year. I don't have time to run other things. I'm in the middle of a budget process, and I can't spend all my time trying to appease these anti-wind people."

On top of that, Zigenfus said he may take hard measures. "If it's not a better situation, I might step aside myself," he said. "There's only so many hours in a day."

Zigenfus would not be the first to succumb the mountain pressures of the wind farm debate.

Hartsville Supervisor Amy Emerson will resign her position effective Sept. 30, citing the wind farm debate in her community as contributing to her decision.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Wetlands Digital Data

Build, search, query, and download custom digital maps and data in the area.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Brandon adopts a 6-month moratorium on wind energy facilities

Brandon adopted a 6-month moratorium on wind energy facilities last night.

The meeting was so emotional and devastating, I forgot to pass that on...


Brandon, New York, USA

September 20, 2006

At a regular town board meeting; after the meeting was called to order, the roll call and Pledge of Allegiance, Councilman Jay Ulrich opened the meeting with a statement.

It was very emotional. The crowd of near 100 people listened with intensity. Jay was commended more than once for his courage. Devastating to those of us who realize how invaluable Councilman Ulrich is to the Town of Brandon.

The public statement was an accounting of a conversation between himself and Supervisor, Michael Lawrence which took place on Supervisor Lawrence's front porch on September 6th, 2006.

The statement began by saying that Michael Lawrence had accused Jay of being offered a bribe from Noble Environmental Power and accepting it. Jay asked Michael to call the State Police and report it. Michael declined and went on to say that he too had been offered a bribe from Noble Environmental Power.

Jays concerns included the loss of friendship, devastation to his family, and loss of integrity in the Town of Brandon and an embarrassment to the town and Town Board by Michael. He later expressed that the relationships in the community are "sacred."

Michael responded with an apology to Jay and Noble. Nothing elaborate. Just, " I apologize to you and to Noble."

We all know that these have all diminished at the hands of Noble Environmental Power's invasion of our town which is no longer a community. There was no community Christmas Party last annual tradition as long as I can remember. Their was no community yard sale weekend....there were no community events since this invasion.

At the end of the meeting, I stood up and spoke. I asked how can people say there are no negative impacts of wind farms? One of the most important was just demonstrated in real life, right here at home. Michael and Jay were once very close friends. The things that persons with morals and ethics value more than anything are gone forever in the town of Brandon. A town of 500 people, totally divided.

Anne Britton
Brandon Resident and no longer proud to be.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Partial Proof of Insurance Issue

The Perry Town Board met Wednesday, September 13 to discuss possible changes to a local law regarding wind towers.

Officials voted to move the public hearing concerning wind towers from October 9 to October 16, due to a schedule conflict for the town attorney. When townspeople complained that travelers had already made plans and taken off work for the October 9 meeting Supervisor James Brick retorted "We're meeting for the people in Perry, not for the people away from Perry."

Independent insurance agent Linda Kruszka addressed the board and public concerning liability issues. Liability involves the injury and damage of others on your property, she said. It does not include damages to your own property or person.

"You can't collect on your own personal injury or property damage," she said. So if a turbine were to fall on the landowner's house, the owner would be responsible to pay for damages, not the turbine company or the liability insurance.

In talking to different insurance companies, Linda learned that if turbines were put up, some insurance companies would cancel mid-term and get off the policy immediately. Others would consider the landowner a business because of the presence of wind towers.

"Every company writes on different paper," she warned.

"You're not going to get an across the board answer from every insurance company." She offered a second warning to those wanting to place windmills on their land. "Have an attorney review the contract. Have it work to your advantage." Above all she stressed extreme caution and a close viewing of the fine print before making a decision.

The board opened discussion to the public. Several citizens addressed the board with comments for and against wind energy in Perry.

The planning board had been working on a series of changes to a local law that would increase the distance a tower needs to be from an established residence from 1,500 to 1,750 feet. The town board and planning board were scheduled to go into executive session with the town attorney following the public meeting.

Resident Valary Sahrle addressed the board, saying that an executive session was illegal. Many in the crowd stood to protest the executive session as Sahrle and Attorney Dadd discussed the matter. After much deliberation, Dadd suggested that no executive meeting be held that evening.

"Let's not let this turn into a legal issue about an executive session," he said.

He informed the public and the board that "the existing procedure and process is more than adequate for the Town of Perry to ensure that a project that you don't want to happen will not happen."

He continued that if the town passed a moratorium or tried to change the local law mid-stream, they would open themselves to a lawsuit from Horizon.

Foundation work for Vestas V90, 3MW turbine with 90-meter diameter blade assembly.

Wayne County, Golisano mull wind power by Joseph Spector and Alan Morrell

(September 20, 2006) — LYONS — Wayne County leaders will continue to discuss whether to delve into the wind power business with billionaire Tom Golisano.

Golisano and his newly formed company, Empire State Wind Energy LLC, have been talking with communities across upstate New York in recent months about taking the issue of wind farms into their own hands.

The goal, Golisano said, is to provide financial and technical support to communities so they, rather than outside private companies, would be in control of where wind farms are located — and potentially reap the profits of energy distribution.

About 400 people attended a town meeting Monday to hear from Golisano and company officials about the idea. Specifics have yet to be outlined.

"If a community decides that they are going to have them, they should try to maximize the benefit for their community," Golisano said Tuesday.

Lyons Mayor Corrine Kleisle said no decisions have been made on the idea or where turbines might go.

Wind power could provide vast savings in energy costs, which would be attractive for businesses, Kleisle said.

"I think it's very important to provide alternative energy sources to the state," she said. "We need to be able to project our energy costs. Hopefully, we could have lower costs for years."

The village of Lyons passed zoning ordinances this summer in anticipation of the turbines, and an alternative Energy Task Force was formed this year to study the issue.

Golisano, the founder of Penfield-based Paychex Inc., has been critical of wind farm projects. He has argued that a state-backed plan to add hundreds, possibly thousands, of huge wind turbines would infringe on homeowners and mar the countryside.

Instead Golisano, who has a home on Canandaigua Lake, has developed the idea that communities themselves or his new company would own the wind farms and benefit from the proceeds. The plan is that money would go back to the communities and help offset taxes. Also, towns would have greater control over where wind turbines, as tall as 400 feet, would be located.

FAA Obstruction Study Used Invalid Turbine Height

Industrial Wind Action Group finds Elk River Wind Project turbine heights incorrectly filed with FAA; Concerns raised over politicization of radar studies and effect on aviation safety

NEW HAMPSHIRE (September 19, 2006). Industrial Wind Action (IWA) Group has learned that the owners of the Elk River Wind Project [1], Kansas’ largest, in-service wind facility with 100 turbines, have been asked to resubmit FAA form 7460-1 after it was recently discovered the obstruction evaluation study was conducted based on inaccurate turbine heights. The project’s original developers reported the turbine heights at only 262-feet when the overall height, including the spinning blade assembly, is 389-feet. The FAA requires form 7460-1 [2] be filed for each turbine in a wind facility prior to construction and if any changes in turbine height or location are made following completion of the obstruction study, new forms must be submitted and the effect of the change reevaluated.

"The wind industry understands the purpose of notifying the FAA of plans to construct the giant towers,” said Lisa Linowes, Executive Director of Industrial Wind Action (IWA) Group. “When our air safety is at issue, there is no excuse for inaccurate reporting of information, not on something this serious.” An official with the FAA confirmed last week that it did not have the resources to check on the accuracy of the information reported via 7460 forms, such as comparing a proposed obstacle's final height or the coordinates of the object with its location after construction.

Linowes also made clear that high-profile actions taken by Sierra Club [3 ] this summer to exert political and legal pressure on the Department of Defense to rush its study of wind turbine impacts on military radar could have a dangerous effect on our commercial air safety in addition to our national security. “The politicization of this effort must stop,” she said pointing to the September 12, 2006 letter [4 ] signed by three dozen members of Congress demanding the White House take action to influence the timing and outcome of the Defense Department study. Linowes argued that U.S. defense and FAA experts should be telling Congress what they need in time and resources to do the job right and not the other way around. “When one considers how little wind energy can contribute to our U.S. energy mix and the inability of wind to deliver base load electricity, it’s hard to understand why our political leaders would take this misguided step. I hope we don’t have to have an accident first before people take these studies seriously,” Linowes added.

Industrial Wind Action Group seeks to promote knowledge and raise awareness of the risks and damaging environmental impacts of industrial wind energy development. Information and analysis on the subject is available through its website,

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

CWW letter to the Cohocton Planning Board, September 18, 2006

September 18, 2006

Cohocton Planning Board
15 South Main Street
Cohocton New York 14826

Dear Mr. Fox and Planning Board Members:

As of this date no written reply has been received regarding the offer made in the CWW letter of September 7, 2006 to assist in the research and development of a property assurance protection plan. Since this recommendation was voted on and approved by the Cohocton Planning Board, it is important that you stand by that vote.

The fact that your board also approved the recommendation to the Cohocton Town Board for a setback of one and half times the height of industrial wind turbines from all public roads is especially important to be maintained. Any effort to reduce even this inadequate setback would demonstrate that the Cohocton Planning Board retains no independence from the dictates of the Cohocton Town Board.

If the Cohocton Town Board chooses to disregard your recommendations, force them to vote against them.

Therefore, Cohocton Wind Watch expressly endorses that the only changes to your previous recommendations be of a greater protective nature and that the Cohocton Planning Board should stand firm on the harmful pressure that is being imposed by the Cohocton Town Board.


Cohocton Wind Watch

Monroe judge holds key to wind fight: Town of Howard, development opponents waiting on lawsuit judgment by ROB MONTANA

The merits of an Article 78 proceeding filed against the Town of Howard by a group of residents were hashed out in Monroe County Supreme Court last week.

The outcome of that is still likely a couple weeks away, as Judge Joseph Valentino reserved judgment in the case. The attorneys also have another week to get in any final comments in writing for him to use when making a decision.

In addition to the town, the suit also is filed against Howard Wind LLC, EverPower Global Corporation and the Steuben County Industrial Development Agency. Among the additional respondents listed in the suit are councilmen William Hatch and Robert Palmer, who have signed lease agreements with EverPower.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Wind battle prompts resignation: Hartsville's Amy Emerson resigns as supervisor, blames Airtricity controversy as reason

Published: Thursday, September 14, 2006 12:45 PM CDT

HARTSVILLE - Generally, stress and lack of family time convinced Hartsville Supervisor Amy Emerson it was time to step down from her position. Specifically, it was all about wind.

Deputy Supervisor George Prior opened Wednesday night's town board meeting by announcing Emerson's resignation from the supervisor position, effective Sept. 30. Emerson, 32, who served as town supervisor for five years, was not in attendance.

Prior read an e-mail from Emerson, a letter to the board from her family and Emerson's official letter of resignation, dated Sept. 13. The letter stated she needed to spend more time with her family, and away from the heated wind farm debate.

“The continued controversy and negativity has invaded our daily lives 24 hours/7 days a week,” the letter stated. “I am making the choice to no longer live that way.”

Prior suggested keeping Emerson on as bookkeeper for the time being, a job she served for four years before she became supervisor. Councilman Gene Garrison had no problem with that, but Councilwoman Mattie Parini expressed concern. She asked a full audit be done because she had questions about how the record-keeping was conducted in terms of grant money for the work being done on the new highway department building.

“I'm not saying there's money missing, but there might be money in the wrong spot,” Parini said, abstaining from a vote on keeping Emerson in the bookkeeper role.

Prior stated an audit had not been deemed necessary after a recent inquiry by the board, but Parini wouldn't vote “for her to continue doing the books until I know the books are right.”

As for a replacement, Prior suggested board members come up with some candidates for the next meeting. Then they can discuss a potential appointment and possibly take a vote, he said. Prior and Garrison both stated during the meeting they had no interest in taking over the supervisor position, while Parini and Councilman Jim Perry both said after the meeting they didn't want the job either.

Resident Steve Dombert, who has been a vocal critic of the town's leadership and decision to go forward with an Airtricity-developed wind farm, responded to veiled comments made in the letter from Emerson's family. In the letter Prior read aloud it didn't mention Dombert by name, but there was mention of an individual who had behaved inappropriately and made rude comments. Dombert took the letter's comments as references about him.

“Since the Emersons have decided to put the blame on me, I categorically deny saying anything rude or improper,” he said. “Sean Emerson was full of baloney in April, and he's full of baloney now.

“And, I was subjected to plenty of abuse from you windfarmers,” Dombert added, after which Prior stopped him from continuing.

Though she was not at the meeting, Emerson responded to several e-mail questions about her resignation.

“My family is the most important thing to me, and I can't put them through this any longer,” she said. “You wouldn't believe the smiles and hugs my kids gave me when they found out it was finally over.

“I also have to remember to take time for myself,” Emerson added.

A year of wind farm development controversy really spelled the end of her tenure, she said, adding she had no idea it would become that much of an issue.

“Before October of last year, I couldn't have told you the first thing about wind turbines, let alone what a proposed project would do to this town or the ordeal the town officials would have to endure,” Emerson said. “As time progressed, I really enjoyed learning more and getting a better understanding of things, but then the long hours, never-ending battles back and forth in the paper and on the radio started to wear thin.

“My part-time job became full-time and began to overshadow other things in my life,” she added. “When I ran for this part-time job, I knew it would allow time with my family, and that has drastically changed.”

Emerson contemplated resigning for several months.

“Leaving the job is something I thought about off and on throughout the year, and as you know, it's been a tough year,” she said. “As it turns out, today's the day. Having made that decision, I feel a huge weight has been lifted.”

Letter to Mr Wayne Hunt

Mr. Wayne Hunt
Councilman Town of Cohocton
Cohocton, New York

September 12, 2006

Dear Councilman Hunt,

I am in receipt of your public letter published in the Valley News on June 8th. You write in part "there is very little noise" in regards to wind turbines. I provide the following few of many items regarding wind turbine noise from organizations around the world:

1. "Turbines make noise, planning is key" --- Underwriter Laboratory (UL)

2. “The noise produced by wind turbines is a major factor in Europe, and it’s becoming an increasingly important issue, not only in the U.S., but throughout the world. Much of our investigative work is in this area and it occupies about 50% of my time”. --- Arlinda A. Huskey, Wind Turbine engineer and expert, National Energy Renewable Laboratory (NERL)

3. "105db" --- GE Wind Turbine technical specification

4. "Thanks to the evolution of both computer and electronic science it is now possible (and easy) to use the acoustic imagery technique to investigate the noise behaviour of a wind turbine under operation. This article introduces the beamforming technique used in acoustic imagery for noise problem troubleshooting." --- Press release, new product announcement in Windtech International.

Mr. Hunt, as two people who are not interested in theories; I would appreciate your view as to why these organizations and corporations are devoting resources, personnel, funding and indeed going so far as to develop products to help troubleshoot noise problems with these wind turbines. All this --- for an insignificant ("very little") condition that is as you wrote: "magical", "mythical" and "whimsical" "theories" by anti-wind groups?

James Lince
Cohocton, NY

CWW letter 9/14/06 to the Cohocton Town Board

September 14, 2006

Cohocton Town Board
15 South Main Street
Cohocton, NY 14826

Supervisor Zigenfus, Deputy Supervisor Wise, Councilmen Dyckman, LeVesque and Hunt:

Based upon your acknowledgement that the Cohocton Town Board must comply with town statue and that an ethics board be reestablished, it is imperative to appoint the required members as soon as possible. At the next regular Town Board meeting, September 19, 2006, it is urged to place this task on your Town Board agenda.

As indicated in our September 6, 2006 letter, Cohocton Wind Watch recommends the following citizens and property owners to the two non Town of Cohocton employee slots for the Cohocton Ethics Board:

Jeff Goldthwait (585) *82 384-9832
Shannon Levee (585) 384-9893
Jim Lince (607) 566-3930
Dr. Bill Morehouse (585) 235-2250
Amy Wolfe (585) 384-9655

Also, Cohocton Wind Watch puts forth the current Cohocton Planning Board member, Dan McClure for the one town "employee" position on the Cohocton Ethics Board.

Your prompt enactment is necessary to create a mechanism for governmental accountability.


Cohocton Wind Watch

Monday, September 11, 2006

CWW letter 9/11/06 to the Cohocton Planning Board

September 11, 2006

Cohocton Planning Board
15 South Main Street
Cohocton New York 14826

Dear Mr. Fox and Planning Board Members:

At the Cohocton Planning Board special meeting of September 7, 2006, Town Councilman Wayne Hunt made the announcement that 2.5 MW industrial wind turbines for the UPC project will now be used. This is the second extreme change from the original 1.5 MW proposal, the first being an increase to 2.0 MW and now 2.5 MW. The Cohocton Planning Board must recognize that the current DEIS report prepared and submitted by UPC is based upon 1.5 MW turbines.

Since this fact clearly demonstrates that these increases in size impose a crucial need for greater setbacks, it is imperative that the Cohocton Planning Board rejects the regretful suggestion from the sole Town Councilman, Jeff Wise, to modify the CPB recommendation on the proposed Windmill Local Law #2.

Note that the Cohocton Town Board did not vote on Mr. Wise’s suggestion.

As stated in the Cohocton Wind Watch letter of September 7, 2006, the proposed 500 foot limit for tower height allows for additional increase in turbine size and capacity. Which is an obvious move to accommodate the new UPC plans. It is self evident that reverting to a mere 500 foot setback from public roads offers even less public safety protection, now that it has been disclosed that 2.5 MW units are proposed for installation.

This incident illustrates the inconsistency, dishonesty and deceitful nature of the UPC proposal. The CPB should be an independent board. It is time to act with conviction. If the Cohocton Town Board chooses to disregard your recommendations, force them to vote against them.

Cohocton Wind Watch is most disappointed with the lack of courage coming out of the Cohocton Planning Board. In order to prove that the CPB is not a mere tool of UPC manipulation, in the strongest terms, CWW urges your board to resist the irrational and imprudent pressure from the Town of Cohocton Councilmen. In order to invalidate a recommendation, demonstrated evidence must be supplied for the basis of that reversal. Just what would be such a determining factor?

Supervisor Zigenfus, made known that the 2007 budget will include a bond issuance for $50,000 to finance litigation. Such added legal expenses for the town can certainly be mitigated if not avoided altogether with the passage of coherent and balanced legislation. The record is most clear, without a sincere effort and commitment to resolve the profound harmful effects from the UPC project, the town should be prepared to increase such a bond resolution by several multiples.

As lead agency, the Cohocton Planning Board has the authority to impose a moratorium on the UPC project. Especially since an entirely new DEIS study must be required (or risk additional legal actions) that is based upon 2.5 MW units. Also a competing developer, Empire State Wind Energy has announced intentions for a community-based project for Cohocton. Now is the time to let the marketplace work. Windmill Local Law #2 should be put on hold. The entire Cohocton community deserves to know all the options.


Cohocton Wind Watch

Steve Trude letter to the Cohocton Town Board

September 11, 2006

Cohocton Town Board
15 South Main Street
Cohocton New York 14826

Dear Supervisor Zigenfus and Cohocton Town Councilmen:

It is apparent with changing of different size wind turbines, the setback for a 1.5, 2.0, 2.5 and a 3.0 MW units, a different formula and new draft environmental impact statement is needed to determine placement and setbacks. It will be necessary to define a logical setback due to:
1) height, 2) blade size, (windwake) and 3) decibel level.

Adjusting the adequate setbacks will be necessary to give assurance to cover health and safety issues to protect the public and adjacent home and land owners.

With new blade designs, an updated study is in order to determine performance on each different turbine model. This new study should be done by Bagdon Environmental in conjunction with an independent company on the cost benefit analysis for 1.5, 2.0, 2.5 and 3.0 MW units before the Cohocton Planning Board can make educated recommendations to the Cohocton Town Board for new law.

Both developers, UPC and Empire State Wind Energy should provide the exact specifications for the industrial turbines intended for their projects. Then and only then can the Town of Cohocton draft a meaningful industrial wind turbine law.

Putting adequate setbacks into law will help alleviate future possible litigation for property values, wind rights for adjacent property owners, noise issues and health and safety issues.


Stephen H. Trude – President CWW

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Advocates for Italy letter August 31, 2006


Box 221

August 31,2006

Dear Town of Italy Land Owner,

Very shortly, your Town Board will vote on the proposed Zoning Law for the Town. A number of concerns have been raised about zoning. As concerned residents we would like to provide you with some additional information that we believe will help you to make a more informed decision on this critical issue for our Town.

Will Zoning Affect Me?

The Zoning Law will regulate individual homeowners very little. Most regulations follow N.Y.S. Building Codes, which are already in place. The Law protects the scenic beauty of the Town by regulating large industrial development such as landfills and wind turbines.

What About the Town's Legal Expense?

Concerns have been raised over the current and potential future legal expense facing the Town. Some folks seem to feel that the zoning is somehow responsible for this situation. It's not the zoning, it's the developers! Recently the Ecogen Wind Energy developer brought a legal complaint against the Town in Federal Court over the Town's legally enacted moratorium on wind energy projects. The Town had the choice of "giving in" to all of the developer demands, or hiring legal counsel to defend itself. They chose the latter and won. The Court ruled in favor of our Town. This resulted in about $79,000 of legal expense (because the developer brought the complaint against our Town). You should know that the Town budgeted $38,500 for legal expense this year and has insurance that will help to pay the remaining balance. So, the legal expenses are "under control". In fact, the Town has always had a legal budget. This isn't "something new". You may have heard about a $500,000 cost estimate for Town legal expenses. For the record, the Town's legal counsel recently recommended a manageable $80,000 budget figure for next year. "Legal expense" is a normal part of any Town Budget in this day and age. It's not new or surprising.

Your Town in the Twenty-first Century...

As Italy enters the twenty-first century... there are and will be many more threats to our lands from commercial and industrial projects. Examples include the industrial wind projects, with their 400-foot high, strobe lit wind turbines, and the potential of 400 plus acre landfills for down-state garbage. The only way to control this development is to enact land use regulations in zoning laws. Without these laws, big developers can - and will - move in and do what ever they want with our Town, wherever they want. Make no mistake, without zoning, our Town will be wide open for this type of development. Clearly, it's time for us to protect our beautiful hills and valley with appropriate land use (zoning) regulations.

The $ 250,000 "Wind-Fall"...

If Ecogen really made a $250,000 "offer" to the Town, you should know that this developer will make $ millions with this project. Their offer is just a tiny fraction of the money they will make. If the developer really wanted to help the Town, this offer would be many times more than what they proposed. We will give up our beautiful hills while they stand to make $ millions. It's not a very good deal (for us). If we don't accept this offer from Ecogen, some might feel it will be "lost tax revenue". However, if the turbines and project result in lower land and property values over time, the entire Town's tax base could be reduced (or, not grow as fast as if the project wasn't here). Over a projected seven year period, this was exactly what a study of this issue in Prattsburgh revealed... In the long run, the Town will lose value in its tax revenue base. In addition, respected local Realtor, Mike Keenan has publicly stated that there will be a substantial reduction in current real estate values anywhere near this project, if property owners in this area can sell their places, at all!

What About Giving Them a Small Zone for Wind Turbines?

The suggestion has been made that the Town include "a small pilot wind zone" in the Zoning Law. The developer has never shown any willingness to compromise on this issue. They want what they want. In this case, 23 industrial wind turbines (to start) covering hundreds of acres, with short setbacks from existing homes, not property lines, that will not protect these residents from the negative factors associated with the 400 foot turbines, (ruined views, noise, shadow flicker, ice throw dangers and reduced property values). Since this project documented a "Phase II" in the original project proposal, do you think they will stop at the southern part of the Town? And, this doesn't even consider the additional giant turbines also planned for Italy in a separate WindFarm Prattsburgh wind energy project or from several other wind energy developers looking at our Town. Eventually, we could see these towers strung out across virtually all the higher ridge lines of the Town (along with the landfills). Is this really what you want for your Town? According to the Town's legal counsel, under New York State Law, the Town has the right to ban the industrial wind turbines here.

Determining the Will of the People...

Some folks believe that the proposed Zoning Law (and industrial wind turbine ban) is being driven by a few vocal opponents at Town Meetings. In our system of government, public hearings are conducted to gauge the will of the people on controversial issues. In hearing after hearing on this subject, the vast majority of those who spoke were against this project in Italy because they didn 't want to see the beautiful hills here desecrated by strobe lit, 400 foot industrial wind turbines. This has been the case in every Public Hearing! The representative sample of public opinion is based upon those who speak up. This is how Town Boards gauge public opinion.

Stand Up and "Speak" For Your Town

Please come to the hearing September 9th, 9 AM @ the Town Barn and speak "for" the proposed zoning plan "As Written". You can be part of keeping our Town the way it is... quiet, rural, scenic and beautiful. "Speak up" for your Town. Every "voice" counts!

Thank you!

The Advocates for Italy

Neapolitans apparently apathetic about impending wind towers Brian A. Herman, Naples, NY

It seems to be obvious due the the dismal turnout of Neapolitans at the Naples Hotel, August 28th concerning the wind farms, that there is not much interest in the upcoming construction of these turbines.

I had trouble falling asleep after listening to intelligent, educated and thought provoking speakers who presented unbiased facts about the construction, maintenance and eventual removal of hundreds of the megaliths that will sooner or later be coming to dominate our landscape. Of course, since so few villagers or townspeople were in the audience, I hope you all slept soundly.

At a meeting in Springwater, over 200 taxpayers voiced their objections to a mere 14 proposed windmills and the developer dropped the project. If only Naples, Cohocton, Prattsburgh and Italy Valley could be so united. We could definitely develop a renewable energy windfarm, that would be less environmental destructive aesthetically intrusive and actually save us local inhabitants money.

I am not a wind power project whore. I don't have property that would be suitable for the turbines to be erected. Most of us are in the same boat, yet the few naive, ill-informed or just plain greedy landowners who have signed secret lease agreements with several large wind power companies are now selling our quality of life down the river.

There are so many negatives to this project that I won't bore you with my worries. I am saddened by the thought that soon it will be more pleasant to drive north onto the flat lands than to come south to our beautiful valleys.

Friday, September 08, 2006

'Blown away by impact towers will have on Finger Lakes region by Bill Barker, Italy Valley

Twice in the past week, I have been blown away by the looming prospect of what wind farms in our area could mean.

First was a drive through the existing wind farm in the rural hills, of Fenner, a community just east of Syracuse. There they were - some 20 towering white-winged wind turbines set among field and forest, turning on their massive bases. One was squeaking for need of oiling, the others were purring or laying idle. Thinking back to the experience several days later, all I can remember is the beguiling, overwhelming presence of the massive white turbines. The surrounding rural scenery was totally lost to my mind.

Second was attendance at the information meeting convened by Cohocton Wind Watch at the Naples Hotel August 28. Several thoughtful and articulate members of our regional community laid out a tapestry of devious and disturbing facts about the wind farm movement that is quietly preparing to invade the hills all about us.

For me the most riveting fact is the number 519. That is the projected number of 400-foot wind turbine towners that could be in place in a few years time among some 8 to 10 wind farms that industrial developers have in mind for the towns in our immediate region.

This is the stuff nightmares! Now is the time to wake up and stop the wind tower industrialization of this gentle part of the world in which we are all so fortunate to reside.

Ecogen and Global corporate connection

Ecogen is really Prattsburgh Wind Farm

Global is really Prattsburgh Wind PARK

Anyway isn't the lead agent responsible to check out the NYISO to see projects!!


Thursday, September 07, 2006

CWW letter to the Cohocton Planning Board - September 7, 2006

September 7, 2006

Cohocton Planning Board
15 South Main Street
Cohocton New York 14826

Dear Mr. Fox and Planning Board Members:

At another of the special meetings of the Cohocton Town Board a motion was passed to refer back to the Cohocton Planning Board your recommendation on the Cohocton Windmill Local Law #2, specifically regarding the 600 foot setback from roads and the property assurance protection coverage.

It is imperative that public safety needs to be a foremost concern in any new legislation. Adding a mere 100 foot increase to the original setback from public roads provides minimal improvement. Any efforts, from the Town Board Councilmen, Town attorneys or financial development vested interests to pressure the Cohocton Planning to reduce this setback would be a major assault on the necessary and required standard of independence and integrity.

As you are already aware Cohocton Wind Watch views your setback recommendations to be inadequate. Since the Cohocton Planning Board is the lead agency for any industrial windmill projects, CWW urges that your board act with the fortitude to guarantee real protection of the public safety. Mr. Fox’s own recommendation of one and a half times the height of the industrial wind turbines from public roads is especially important wording since your board voted to reverse (Mr. Fox voted to reject his own suggestion) that initial proposal of reducing the height limit of such towers to 400 feet.

With the adoption of a 500 foot tower limit means that the setback from public roads should be 750 feet in order for any future industrial wind turbine to be built to that height perimeter. At the very least, this benchmark needs to be retained in your new review of your own Cohocton Planning Board recommendations.

Keeping the one and a half times the tower height will also mitigate noise issues in the future.

With reference to your property assurance protection requirement, CWW supports the addition of a real estate and fully funded property value escrow indemnity requirement to any new legislation.
The Town Board expressed doubt that such a proposal was vague. Cohocton Wind Watch is ready and able to assist in formulating an active effort to secure a professional real estate insurance consultant that could draft a specific and detailed proposal for inclusion of such a vital protection for all Cohocton property owners. Beverly Cota has direct career expertise in the insurance industry. James Hall has extensive international insurance experience with Lloyds of London. Both are available to coordinate options, in a timely schedule, to present a valid property assurance protection plan for insurance coverage to the Cohocton Planning Board.

Loss of property values from illegitimate spot zoning practices to accommodate industrial wind turbines is an essential grievance that CWW has against the current UPC project.

Last night the Town Supervisor indicated that Cohocton needs to raise $50,000 in the next budget by way of issuing a bond or raise property taxes because of litigation costs. Without a serious inclusion of indemnification for property owners from the negative proximity of industrial wind turbines, further and future legal actions against the Town of Cohocton is inevitable. The prudent and responsible action to safeguard such adverse affects should be a primary concern of the Cohocton Planning Board. Mr. Zigenfus stated that the CPB must take all the needed time necessary to clarify its recommendation.

CWW stands ready to assist either the Cohocton Planning or Town Boards in securing an independent professional consultant who will develop and formulate a true and practical property assurance protection coverage plan. The costs for such an inquiry search can be privately funded with no direct expense to the Town of Cohocton. Therefore, CWW appeals to the Cohocton Planning Board to accept our offer to assist in securing the creation of a substantial real estate property proposal.

All Cohocton residents should work together for the mutual benefit of the entire community. Especially since a second developer, Empire State Wind Energy, has gone public with intentions to make application for their own industrial wind project, now is the time to write a reasonable and protective windmill local law.

The best way to diminish legal exposure for the Town of Cohocton is to enact legislation that has the real support of those most affected in the township. Your written reply to this offer is requested with suggestions how we can contribute to delineate the details of a property assurance protection coverage that is a crucial element in your recommendations to the Town Board.


Steve Trude – President Cohocton Wind Watch

cc: all Cohocton Town Board Councilmen

Cohocton Town Board Ethic Committee

This date the Cohocton Town Board went on record that they will reestablishment the ethic committee.

September 6, 2006

Cohocton Town Board
15 South Main Street
Cohocton New York 14826

RE: Ethics Committee Required By Law Appointments

Dear Cohocton Town Councilmen:

Pursuant to local law #1, 1970, article 111, sec.-1, an ethics committee was established but at the present time is non-existent. It is imperative in the interest of good government that the Town Board Of Cohocton must administer the reinstitution of the three (3) persons ethics panel immediately as required by law at the next regular town board meeting. Note that the board has the responsibility to appoint the majority two (2) members who are not employees, office holders or currently serving an appointed post for the Town Of Cohocton. Also it is important that the appointee from current elected or appointed individuals needs to be of independent integrity. It is essential that all three (3) candidates selected have the character, reputation and credibility beyond reproach for this important position.

Recommended resident names for the two non Town of Cohocton employee slots will be submitted in the future.

The prompt reestablishment of a Cohocton Board of Ethics Committee is needed in order to comply with existing Cohocton Town law. Your written reply and acknowledgement of intent to appoint such a commission, at your next regular monthly Town Board meeting is requested.


Cohocton Wind Watch

UPC Wind misinforms

UPC, the company proposing 26 400-foot-high wind energy machines in Sheffield and Sutton [Vt.], took out a full-page ad in the July 1 Caledonian-Record (page B4). This was in reponse to the 48 people that were not employees of UPC who testified at the June 26 Public Service Board hearing in Sutton -- all of them describing the project's many negative impacts and its lack of significant benefits. UPC's ad quotes Abraham Lincoln that a dog still has four legs even if you call the tail a leg. They then proceed to argue that the tail of their dog is indeed a leg. But, as Bill Clinton used to say, that dog don't hunt.

(click above for full article)

Wind farms no economic boon for North, South Dakotans by Glenn Schleede

Global Winds Harvest Inc. and UPC Wind Partners, LLC announced in April a joint effort to install wind turbines with a total capacity of 480 megawatts (MW) in Dickey County, North Dakota and McPherson County, South Dakota. While the partners tout the project as an economic development boon, the economics of the proposal in fact leave much to be desired.

(click above for full article)

Monday, September 04, 2006

DOE-EERE & NREL: Whole-owned subsidiaries of wind industry?


Beware of Wind Turbine Leases - Jack Sullivan



A highly controversial proposal for 10 giant wind turbines next to the Gore Mountain ski slopes that would be visible from a number of peaks within the Adirondacks got a surprising nudge forward last week.

The Adirondack Park Agency approved the erection of a second 168-foot meteorological tower on the industrial footprint of the former Barton Mines in North Creek to assess wind speeds and directions. Much data already have been collected. Presumably this all leads to a full-fledged project proposal before the APA. That project by Adirondack Wind Partners will be a doozy if it materializes. Not so much for its size. Ten turbines in a wind farm is a modest proposal. But each would rise 400 feet and together trump the natural world around them, all inside the Adirondack Park.

Which is why this is not only a controversial proposal. It also sets an awful precedent.

The APA has jurisdiction over any tower 40 feet or higher, and the strict guideline the agency has used in the past is "substantial invisibility" when it comes to man-made structures in the park.

That's what drove the cell tower debate in Fort Ann, for example, over the so-called Frankenpine tower. The 104-foot phony pine tree is an attempt at cobbling "substantial invisibility." Frankenpine is being erected right now among the real pines, having won APA approval over the spirited objections of the Adirondack Council.

With Frankenpine, "substantial invisibility" is at least arguable.

No such efforts will be made to hide or mask the giant turbines, yet the APA continues to encourage them before there's a full-fledged proposal from Adirondack Wind Partners that can trigger appropriate debate and response. You can bet there will be plenty of that. This inching along without a complete proposal on the table sends the wrong signal, and can only encourage others to take a long shot at getting wind farms up and spinning on some other Adirondack mountain peaks - before the fundamental argument is settled as to whether they belong there at all.

How many such turbines will it take to compromise the unique natural topography of the Adirondacks?

To my mind, within the Adirondack Park, the answer is one. Because one will inevitably lead to many, and then poof, there goes that delicate illusion of the Adirondack forever wild wilderness. Forever.

"We're not at all happy with this latest approval," says Brian Houseal, executive director fo the Adirondack Council. "This whole project shouldn't get out of the starting gate, yet it seems to be creeping ahead."

Dave Gibson, executive director of the Association for the Protection of the Adirondacks, concurs. "The Barton Mines wind power proposal calls for highly engineered wind towers and turbine blades on a 3,000-foot mountain summit that would reach heights over 400 feet - or the equivalent of a 40-story urban building."

The fly in the soup here is the action of the current Adirondack Park Agency, which is admittedly caught in a bind. Wind power is the darling of the alternative energy crowd, including some elements of the environmental community. Politically, Governor Pataki is pushing both alternative energy for the state and economic development for the Adirondacks, and he's running out of time.

And this is his state agency. At least for the moment.

Fred LeBrun can be reached at 454-5453 or by e-mail at