Cohocton Wind Watch: Spokeswoman discounts opinions of Perry residents
Cohocton Wind Watch is a community citizen organization dedicated to preserve the public safety, property values, economic viability, environmental integrity and quality of life in Cohocton, NY and in surrounding townships. Neighbors committed to public service in order to achieve a reasonable vision for a Finger Lakes region worthy of future generations.


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Friday, September 18, 2009

Spokeswoman discounts opinions of Perry residents

Editor:

I found it rather surprising that Horizon salesperson Anne Humphrey's Sept. 8 letter ("Perry urged to vote 'yes' on Dairy Hills"), said she needed to "correct misstatements" in my Aug. 21 account of Perry's public hearing on Horizon's SDEIS, when Ms. Humphrey didn't even stay for that hearing. It's too bad Ms. Humphrey had to run off to Alabama's Town Board meeting that evening, or she may have recognized the truth disproving all her industry's claims in the massive amount of well-documented information that was presented at the hearing.

The fact is that every claim made by the wind industry and its financially motivated promoters results in the very opposite effect in reality. Unfortunately, we have arrived at a point in our legal culture where there is no penalty for deception and outright lies in the energy marketplace.

After five years of researching and writing about this issue, I have not been able to substantiate a single claim developers make for industrial wind energy, including the one justifying its existence -- that massive wind installations will meaningfully reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, shutter any conventional power plants, or reduce meaningful levels of CO2 emissions. Yet, our taxpayer and ratepayer dollars continue to be used to enable the wind industry to exist thanks to corporate lobbyist-driven, government incentives and subsidies.

Ms. Humphrey continually argues that "the majority of residents are in support of a wind farm" because some 600 residents have signed their "petition." However, a little basic math shows otherwise -- 600 is less than 10 percent of Perry's total population of 6,654. (See: http://www.epodunk.com/cgi-bin/genInfo.php?locIndex=273662 )

It must be that Ms. Humphrey missed the Aug. 30 Perry Shopper paid letter from a Town of Perry resident:

"The lists of names used by CWE (Citizens for Wind Energy) of those in favor of the DHWF (Dairy Hills Wind Farm) is old, outdated and no longer provides an accurate representation of those who signed. My daughter and I signed this list over three years ago. My daughter, along with many of her friends, whose names are also included, was 15 years old at the time and motivated to sign because of the free T-shirt offered to her ... I do not support (the) DHWF project and CWE needs to update their inaccurate list of supporters."

Ms. Humphrey goes on to claim that the statements and projections of the local banker and the economist who spoke at the hearing are wrong. Well, anyone that thinks a "bond" put up by a limited liability corporation (LLC), like Horizon Wind LLC (who's had four different owners in five years), is worth anything more than the paper it is written on, is sadly mistaken. Wishful thinking is not the stuff that makes up sound policy decisions.

Recent corporate trends are very clear -- when it is convenient for corporations to shed their responsibilities and legally-binding pacts, they do so with increasing regularity. As attorney Daniel Spitzer admitted at a local government workshop when pressed by an astute Town Board member, "The landowner will be liable."

Most offensive, however, are Ms. Humphrey's continual efforts to further divide our community by working to discount the voices of legitimate taxpaying citizens of our area who have every right to have their voices heard. For your information Ms. Humphrey, my husband and I own property and a small business in the Village of Perry. We pay a substantial amount of taxes into Perry and its school district every year -- as do most of those 36 people who spoke against the project that evening. Many of Perry's businesses depend on the dollars that those who happen to be seasonal residents spend in this community, and Wyoming County every year.

Ms. Humphrey's suggestion that we should just pay our taxes, and shut up, is simply mind-boggling! That's called "taxation without representation" ma'am, and is exactly the kind of tyrannical leadership our forefathers fought to free us from over 200 years ago. The fact that every single New York State and U.S. taxpayer and ratepayer is footing the bill that enables the wind industry to exist, gives all of us the right, and the obligation -- no matter where we live in this state and country -- to speak out against this giant swindle!

Finally, even if wind was the best thing to ever come along, determining the currently proposed totally inadequate setbacks from foundations of peoples' homes instead of their property lines is simply unacceptable. The "back-door eminent domain" that ill-advised zoning laws have created not only put our neighbors in harm's way -- threatening their health, safety and quality of life -- but also violated their Constitutional rights to the peace and quiet enjoyment of their property as taxpaying citizens of New York State. I have yet to hear anyone justify how it is right to steal the use of one person's property so that another can financially gain?

Mary Kay Barton

Silver Lake

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