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291 responses to “Comments

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  4. Just did a quick look at Bill Moyers.com. I certainly was aware that there are many industry professionals now in various lobbies that basically write laws in favor of industry and then get Congressional committees to adopt them and push the legislation through. However, I didn’t know there was an overarching organization whose purpose is to do just this, and, yes, I find it abhorent. By the way, a quick check of Moyers’ interactive map reveals “There are no known ALEC legislators in your district” (i.e., Town of Madison).

    • Chris, thanks for your response. I am glad to know that we have this area of commonality. (Finding ALEC’s tactics abhorrent) Hoping that we can find more areas of agreement.

      • Ron Blackmore

        Not so hard to find such influence and tactics so long as not blinded by the anti-wind energy spin. The WAG (Wind Action Group) have found such in Western NY in response to proposals for off shore wind energy dev. Be good to see MM for once post something positive about displacing fossil fuel use with clean , renewable sources, their own included, or perhaps post the latest atmospheric CO2 concentrations, lately 400 ppm up from 350….. and the predicted consequences.

  5. Tom: I indeed did not know about ALEC, and will check it out. I presumed that Resha was referring to the people who comprise MM as a “lobby” when I responded. I seriously doubt that any of them are affiliated with ALEC.

  6. Resha, yes you are absolutely right about the anti-clean energy LOBBY. It goes by many names but most people know of it as ALEC. That is the American Legislative Exchange Council. I’m really surprised that Chris doesn’t know about this? At any rate google Electricity Freedom Act, and then you can discover what the agenda is and who the backers are for yourself. The agenda is to completely undo the renewable energy mandates of individual states. Phil Gramm is a member of ALEC along with about 2000 other state legislators. They have hundreds of corporate sponsors as well. For example some of the corporate sponsors of the so called electricity freedom act are Exxon, BP, Chevron, Shell, Peabody Coal and of course billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch of Koch Industries.

    ALEC has made it a priority to undo the renewable energy mandates of 29 states this year (2013) ALEC also lobbies (thru their cronies in state legislatures and in the media) for the nondisclosure of toxic chemicals used in fracking fluids. Nor are their activities limited to these areas. ALEC provided all the draft legislation for Gov. Scott Walker in Wisconsin to bust the unions, including teachers. ALEC has provide hundreds of draft legislation bills in most all states, from privatizing education, prisons and on and on. They do not act for the benefit of ordinary working citizens.

    Do I think that most of the people involved with MM know of Alec’s agenda?
    No, I do not. In fact I’d bet that the majority of MM folks (probably good hard working folks) have not the slightest idea what or who ALEC is.
    But I would also bet that there are a few with mm who know exactly what Alec is and that somehow they are connected.
    Thanks to the Bill Moyers show the other night for making me aware of this connection. Watch it if you can.

  7. Barbara Holmes

    People talk about the narrow interests of MM as if we all have something to gain. Personally, my husband and I are not doing this for our own interests. We won’t have a windmill 1,000 feet from our house (or even 7x the turbine height from our house). We’re doing this because we feel that it isn’t a kind or thoughtful thing to do to people who already have houses and live in them. The people with special interests are the people who want to make money regardless of the impact on those around them, so stop pretending you’re taking the high road. This will be my last post because it’s clear that no real discussion ever goes on. The people with leases (many of whom don’t even live here) are determined and what we’re talking about is GREED and rational discussion won’t ever win in that case.
    Chris, thank you for saying it all so perfectly. If people can read your column and/or visit Hardscrabble and look around and still want to inflict these things on the residents of Madison then they’re not going to be convinced. And gee, Ron, who accuses us of being rude. That’s a bit like the pot calling the kettle black since everything you say is rude and directed at very specific people. Say what you will. I’m not reading.

    • Elisa Clifford

      Barbara- I hope you read my post. I totally agree with you and if you check my last post, I too directed my disdain at these “intellectual” people who can go on with facts culled from folks who agree with them. I am sure there is just as many facts that refute their opinions. But to disparage other people comments because they don’t agree with you “Mr. Intellect” makes you look like a fool. We all have our opinions and should have the right to profess them without attack. As Barbara said, MM may have a small group of people who just care about the environment, we are compassionate and we are entitled to voice our concern of what the end result will be. And we feel it will be detrimental to Madison County! Don’t back down Barbara- keep up your good work and your beliefs!

    • Visit a wind turbine in Madison Co. for a change, or the assessor, health dept, supervisor, schools. Of course now MM is trying to frame their new proposed wind facility law as about scary set backs from houses, when they really mean set backs from property lines , of over a half mile, and then you have the property distance to house of another 1000 to 3000 feet and yielding the mile or more they so want

      Still waiting to hear how much funding MM has received from Hamilton real estate interests, or at least a list of their top ten donors including attorney retainer

      At least we have a Pres. and EPA who understands the need to get serious about reducing CO2 and methane emissions and that may require some sacrifices, smarter community centric development development, and of course a grid upgrade and lots of jobs.

      Perhaps Chris, Barb and the others would rather see a fossil fuel burning power plant near by to give them a sense of responsibility for the energy they use. After all, Colgate has one in Hamilton, without set backs even, no sign of clean wind or solar power generation. As far as selectively seeking out anti-wind “facts”….. MM posts Murdoch’s Wall St Journal, renowned for climate science denial? Then in the oft repeated list of wind energy ills, soils and water contamination? I just returned from a meeting of NRCS soil science and conservation professionals, of which I am one. They and I have only seen improved conditions related to wind farm dev., including access roads, no watershed impacts (esp. compared to home construction sites and septic systems, road ditching, parking lots, or corn fields….). Birds…. glad to hear so few reports of deaths, including the Tug Hill, and esp. compared to the millions killed by cats and cars daily. Bats…. talk to the caving community on that one, including college outdoor ed. programs like Colgate’s. I see more dead songbirds a day biking than 10 years of visits around and under wind turbines (zero so far). Myths are not facts.

      Meanwhile , on another very hot day adding to the record of record temps. where so many sit at their computers (consuming huge amounts of energy via server data centers) in air conditioned offices or cars, the wind turbines around me gracefully feed energy into the grid.

  8. The article on your home page quoting Phil Gramm is such a joke. In the Senate he pushed for the end of the Glass-Steagull act. Then he went to work for the big banks (the biggest richest corporations on Earth) and then we had the crash in 2007-2008. Gramm was made richer by the banks. So I say leave that article up, it shows where you get your info and your values. The article is almost entirely garbage. It is not Gramm’s first smear campaign.
    For example the author Jay Lehr makes the claim that wind power only generates 5 kilowatts per acre of land. I don’t know if he is really stupid or just lying (it does say Dr. by his name for what that is worth) But if you do the math and you figure a 1.6 megawatt turbine (thats 1,600,000 watts) with a 1000 foot radius (that’s 72 Acres) then you will see that actually if you figured it on a per acre basis that the yield is over 22,200 watts or 220 kw per acre. That is more than a slight discrepancy. Wall Street Journal eh? All the Farmers I know can do math.

    The talk of subsidies is also equally misleading, (the 2.1 cent per kw production tax credit is accurate and I support it) you can only have an honest discussion about subsidies in the context of ALL the energy subsidies. I’d be happy to discuss that as well. But really that is not what this discussion is about.

    I have some solar panels, grid tie system 240 watt Solar World panels, I absolutely love them, producing power without fossil fuels and they’ll work on weekends. The 240 watt panel is a pretty standard commercial size, about 39 inches by 66 inches. (each) Again if you do the math you’ll discover that it will take over 6600 panels to equal the production of ONE 1.6 megawatt turbine. We are going to need millions of home power size systems, and we are going to need large solar and large wind projects as well. And yes fossil fuels currently cover base load,
    but every time a new turbine or solar panel come on line we can save that much more in fossil fuels.

    But the immediate issue at hand here is can a group of people organized for their narrow interests dictate what private landowners (farmers and others) can do with their land? This proposed (nearly) 3000 foot setback from non particpant property lines is clearly designed to totally kill the project. It seems an invasion of private property rights. I wonder if chemical plants or nuke plants have setbacks as large as this? At any rate the excessive setback proposal is not right or fair in any way.

    And again what about the money to the school and town? How significant is this amount of money to the school? And will it also provide a few more good jobs in the area?
    Seems like a lot to potentially throw away just because of an ideology or because you think they look bad.

    • Elisa Clifford

      Nobody is telling you what to do on your land- and frankly, because people have different opinions doesn’t have to turn into a slugfest and name calling . However- where are those wind towers going to go from your property? You need to look where the entire route. It may not affect you- but what about other owner who don’t the towers on their land? Do you really think they will change the route? Don’t count on it and if it is like other states, the rate payers will pay the cost via higher rates . People care about the environment and many counties thru out NY State are saying no. So it may be a small group in Madison County who are against it, but there are thousands and thousand in this country that feel the same way.

    • CORRECTION to this line: “you will see that actually if you figured it on a per acre basis that the yield is over 22,200 watts or 220 kw per acre.” That is supposed to be 22 kw per acre, not 220 kw.

      • That calculation (22 kw per acre ) is based on the nameplate output which only applies while the machine is operating at 100% efficiency (which never actually happens) and this explains the 5 kw per acre figure offered for real world conditions. If you wish to use math and science it needs to be reality based.

  9. Resha: “anti-clean energy LOBBY”? Really? Have you even bothered to have a conversation with any of the ordinary home-owner citizens who got together of their own accord with their own neighbors to discuss how an industrial windfarm adjacent to their homes might affect their lives and properties? And as to “funding base,” you need look no further than – once again – ordinary home-owner citizens who contributed their own money, basically in dribs and drabs, to help pay for signs, advertisements, flyers, etc. People who also contributed to a legal fund in case a suit had to be filed were refunded their money at the end of last year when no legal action became necessary! If by “connections to the real estate development industries” you mean the 2 or 3 property owners who also happen to be local real estate brokers or sales agents and who have lived here for the past 20-30 years, then we apparently have a different notion of what the word “industry” means. And I honestly have no idea what you’re referring to when you also allege that MM has nefarious connections to the fossil fuel industry. I’m pretty sure everyone drives a car and probably most of them heat their homes with fuel oil, just like 99% of the rest of the CNY population. Is that what you mean?
    Just once, I would like to see a comment from someone who was capable of writing something other than rhetoric and that actually had some insight and, oh, maybe a fact or two behind it!!!

    • I like the homeowner who had a sense of responsibility for the future. Who drops their selfish worry about their little horse riding sales and property values in exchange for allowing for carbon free energy solutions.

    • Im one of those homeowners that does live near windmills right here in Madison County. I know, the ones they are putting up will be monsters comparatively. Well, they looked pretty big when they went up but they dont dominate the landscape any more than the ones they are proposing. They are great neighbors and bother nobody.

      I also have a buried Natural Gas Pipeline that runs beside my property, lastly I have a giant core of fiber and telcom lines buried across my front yard. Actually, I guess I should be angry cause all three of those utilities only serve hundreds of thousands of other people I dont know. They do nothing for me, I cant get any of what they offer but I guess it doesnt bother me that much…

  10. Not surprising that this site spews the usual range of selective (i.e. not applicable to their own privileged lifestyles, noise,, wildlife impacts or use of fossil fuels) but, since making allegations about ethics and town board full disclosure, when is the anti-clean energy Madisonmatter lobby going to disclose details about its funding base? How about a list of top 20 donors, amounts, and connection to the fossil fuel and real estate development industries ?

  11. Barbara Holmes

    The only “tourists” heading out to Hardscrabble to see the windmills are people who want to witness the total destruction of a once beautiful area and maybe to meet the homeowners whose lives have been ruined. I’ve done it and I couldn’t bear to do it again.

    • then a again, let’s talk about Madison Co., which MM always seems to avoid. No tourism? Is that “total destruction” ? I note: nothing pretty or environmentally friendly about big houses surrounded by sterile lawns on our hills, or subdivisons. Just look at both ends of Hill Rd.

  12. I am a property owner in the proposed wind project area. (Robinson Hill) I currently reside in Tennessee and return as often as I can to visit family and enjoy the natural beauty of the land. When I was young I never knew how absolutely beautiful central New York is until I had been gone for some years. It was for the stunning beauty, vistas, and memories that I bought from my father this small corner of what had been our family farm.

    Currently electric power generation accounts for 40 per cent of U.S. carbon dioxide emissions every year, that is 2.4 BILLION tons every year being added to the atmosphere. Some people believe that climate change is all just a contrived hoax. Yet it is a visible fact that all over the world glaciers and ice sheets are receding at unprecedented rates. The more ice that disappears the more the atmosphere and oceans will heat up.

    Last year, here in Nashville in June an all time record high of 113 degrees was set. Fortunately we only had a week or ten days of that.

    So, will I allow wind turbines to be placed on or near the beautiful land which has been in our family going on four generations? Yes, I most certainly will. It is the very least I can do. There are people using electricity who are happy to use it so long as THEY don’t have the coal, gas or nuclear plant in their line of sight, but they are going to scream and holler because they might see some wind turbines in their “VIEWSHED”? If only they could see past the end of their noses, they might see what the future holds for their grandchildren. It is not pretty. Educated young people understand this, and that they are getting the shaft.

    Financially, the wind project is good for the schools, town, and all the property owners. I know it means a lot to me as it will pay the taxes and provide some supplemental income.

    In fact, if there are 7500 Acres involved in the project, then that is 7500 acres on which the taxes will be paid for sure. Land which otherwise is difficult to make a living on.

    Also, if anything, I think that this project will be beneficial for tourism, as many people will come from cities and elsewhere to see and visit the very beautiful countryside – with the turbines.

    Finally, I am amazed by the group of people fighting this project. Are they a majority opinion or just a very loud, very well financed minority? Do they prefer to get their electricity from fossil fuels? Are they even slightly aware that fossil fuels are causing great environmental problems? Are they climate change deniers? Do they care? And financially why would they deny the schools, township and private landowners income?

    Sincerely,

    Tom and Barbara Elliott
    Summertown, Tn.

    • Tim Elliott: The people of Madison Matters are neither loud nor well financed. They simply care enough about the place they call home to protect it from corporate intrusion. Nor are they unaware or in denial. In March 2012, I wrote a column for the Madison County Courier delineating some of the reasons that INDUSTRIAL wind farms and residential areas don’t mix. Until I began to research this issue, I, too, thought wind energy was “green” and a good thing. On a small, personal scale, it certainly can be. On a massive industrial scale, it is not, especially when one considers that corporate wind farms are little more than a modern form of colonization of a population’s homeland for corporate profit. Excerpts from my earlier column below. You really do need to do additional research.

      Existing wind farms in New York actually drive up the cost of electricity. When the wind stops blowing, and the turbines aren’t generating, a backup source of generation kicks in, typically from a coal or gas-fired plant.

      Because electricity must be used instantaneously, grid operators are constantly balancing load to meet supply and demand, which means conventional power plants must keep running to provide electricity when there’s no wind. When some electricity generators go down, the grid operator must call others up.

      Wind farms often need to be ordered by the grid operator to stop operating to avoid an unmanageable surge on the grid, which can surge from zero to 2,000 MW and back, imposing additional costs on electric ratepayers.

      NY’s wind farms don’t operate “in line with load demand.” Electricity load demand is highest in the summer and during daytime, but wind turbines operate the least during those times, with peak operations occurring in the winter and at night.

      NY law requires the grid operator to accept wind energy interconnections and manage the on-again off-again nature of wind energy. Grid operators have expressed concern that transmission systems will be unable to manage the surge and decline of wind-generated electricity, leading to more frequent local power outages.

      Grid operators also say revving power plants up and down to accommodate wind energy means more emissions, so the actual emissions reduction rates from wind are far less than what industry claims.

      New York’s Public Service Commission issued an order requiring new wind farms to prove their electricity will not just displace hydroelectric power, other wind power on the grid, or low-emissions gas-fired power plants. In order to avoid the order, most new wind farms are being designed for just under 80 MW of capacity, the trigger for PSC jurisdiction.

      Wind farms require a large project area, often a substantial portion of the land area of a rural town. Each wind farm requires multiple turbines, and each turbine requires an access road that can accommodate a 500-ton crane to construct the turbine, as well as the clearing of many acres around each turbine and the installation of miles of transmission lines.

      Wind farms change drainage patterns and diminish water quality by silting up creeks, ponds, and wetlands. Crossing the countryside with access roads and transmission lines can fragment habitat and divert wildlife populations away from the area.

      Operation of wind turbines kills birds and bats. In 2007, 50 windmills on the Tug Hill Plateau in northern New York killed 123 birds and 326 bats in five months.

      It is common for industrial wind farms to be sold within two years of obtaining all required approvals. NY’s largest wind farm, the Maple Ridge Wind Farm in Lewis County with 195 turbines on the Tug Hill Plateau, has been sold twice since operations began in 2005 and is now owned by the Spanish energy giant Iberdrola. This is because public money is the source of most wind farm revenue, exceeding the combined cost of the purchase and installation of the plant’s wind turbines and the electricity it sells. These public subsidies are transferable, and selling subsidy rights to corporations with high tax liability is how wind farms are financed.

      Wind farms rely on federal and state income tax credits for the cost of purchasing and installing a wind power plant, exemptions from local property taxes and state sales taxes, and a 5-year depreciation on equipment. The federal 5-year depreciation tax credit typically pays for the full cost of constructing a wind farm. Wind farms cannot survive on electricity sales alone, even after getting a tax credit for the full cost of construction and being excused from local taxes. Unless disallowed by local law, wind power plants are exempt from local property and sales taxes for the first 15 years of operation.

      Tax credits also include the federal Production Tax Credit (PTC), which pays wind companies 2.1 cents per kw generated for a ten-year period. The 2009 Stimulus Bill allows wind farm operators to choose between the PTC and a U.S. Treasury check (our tax dollars) for 30% of the cost of the project. So dependent is the wind industry on the PTC that each time it was not renewed, in 1999, 2001, and 2003, new installations declined 93, 73 and 77 percent, respectively.

      NYS law requires regional utilities to pay renewable energy sources connected to the grid, which adds to ratepayers’ bills. In addition, NYS Energy Research & Development Authority (NYSERDA) provides about $175 million per year in grants from money it collects from ratepayers, called the System Benefits Charge. NYSERDA also collects a surcharge imposed on household utility payments for NY’s Renewable Portfolio Standard and passes the money on to wind projects. Economic Development Zone benefits for wind farms translate to millions of dollars lost in state revenues.

      Instead of competing with other generators of electricity on the open market, wind farms are guaranteed the wholesale price for the electricity they generate, whether it’s needed or not, and it is ratepayers, not the wind development companies, who pay the added costs on the electric grid management system.

      The current status of NYS regulations for wind farms encourages wind energy developers to exploit rural towns on whose shoulders land use regulation falls.

      Wind farms diminish property values, offsetting gains to the host town by decreasing its property tax base. Realtors in towns where wind farms have been installed report a decline in property values on properties within sight of the turbines because of the visual and noise impacts. In some communities the wind company has had to buy homes of complaining homeowners and sell them at fire sale prices, which is cheaper than a nuisance lawsuit. Local laws allowing setbacks less than a mile set the stage for divisive litigation because landowners who don’t sign an easement agreement can still sue the company for allowing a nuisance.

      According to residents living near Hardscrabble Wind Farm in Fairfield, NY, agreements between landowners and the wind company forbid disclosure of any information by the landowner and if that covenant is breached, landowners will be sued. The agreements convey all air rights to the company, which means landowners cannot build anything on their land. Many agreements also convey mineral rights to the wind company, which could then be sold to other companies, including gas companies. PILOT (payments in lieu of taxes) money offsets local taxes, so when the PILOT payments stop, taxes must be suddenly increased to compensate.

      Noise and visual impacts of wind turbines produce health problems, including sleep disorders, nausea, dizziness, depression, and the effects of low frequency sound on the body (vibroacoustic disease or “wind turbine syndrome”) – problems that do not exist if turbines are located at a safe distance from homes. NYS Department of Environmental Conservation issued a noise impacts guide that states increased sound levels of 6 decibels will cause community complaints and an increase of 20 decibels is “intolerable.” The existing background sound level in most rural areas is about 25 dB(A). Operating wind farms have been measured causing sustained sound levels in excess of 70 dB(A) well over 1,000 feet away. Fairfield residents characterize the noise as being like a jet plane taking off or a train nearing a station.

      In western New York, wind companies are asking for local laws establishing setbacks of 1,000 feet or less. Local landowners are asked to sign easement agreements that preclude any complaint by the landowner for droning noise, loss of hunting resources, intrusive “shadow flicker” caused when the blades catch the sun, and damages from wind turbines leaking oil or throwing ice hundreds of feet at high velocity. At the same time, these companies are telling town and planning boards that wind turbines are quiet and safe.

    • Ron Blackmore

      well put, Tom, including the bigger environmental context. Despite all the items that mm has come up with as issues against wind farm dev., nothing compares to their use of fossil fuels, rural sprawl, and their driving to and from ….. that includes air and water quality (which wind farms improve by their access road care, and displacement of fossil fuel use), wildlife (including habitat preservation from rural residential sprawl and bird deaths in the millions from cars and cats), and the example of existing wind farms in the County: no health, view scape, noise , shadow, or real estate value impacts. mm is in fact well funded, including by Hamilton real estate dev. interests, has been rude, hypocritical and very vocal, both at meetings and in use of the media, and seems intent on blocking the rights of long time landowners from preserving their lands from subdivision and greedy developers. Apparently mm would rather look at what is happening on Hill Rd. or has happened around Lake Moraine, lawnmower and traffic noise, wildlife habitat fragmentation and water contamination included, all much worse than a wind farm, rather than the views they claim to cherish but provided for free. I have yet to hear them offer a clean industry alternative that would benefit the community and local school more than existing wind farms in Madison Co. have. We are fortunate to have the majority of residents progressive enough to see the need for clean alternative energy sources and willing to take responsibility, and even make some view scape sacrifices, for their energy use rather than relying on some other “backyard”…. mountain top, coastal waters, pipelines, well fields, toxic waste, etc.
      Hopefully NY State will institute a feed in tariff (FIT) , that , along with other incentives, will encourage more alternative energy investment; A carbon tax to discourage fossil fuel use (and such as gas pipelines to Hamilton), more progressive community centered smart growth, along with expanded application of the Clean Air Act would be good also……..

  13. Ron Blackmore

    well….. I like to highlight the hypocrisy and contradictions of people suddenly finding it in their interests to trash a clean energy industry, while silent about their Hamilton allies bringing in cheap natural gas rather than develop wind and solar themselves. At the Wind Facilities Law hearing we had Colgate professors…. one spoke of preserving the “country club” atmosphere that would draw alumni to return, another complained of her headaches (in the past she had helped organize a “cheers for alternative energy” tour that included Mapleridge wind farm…..) . Hopefully their students learned something about environmental responsibility ( and class….. many wealthy people on the Madison Matters side cluster in Colgate subsidized HCS district).
    Not sure who you mean by environmental extremists….the fossil fuel extremists — lobbyists, industry geologists with PhD’s, politicians who take oil money, global warming science deniers….? The scientists at NRDC, EDF, Union of Concerned Scientists are not extremists but realists who realize how hard it is to contain gases and fluids (ask BP…), how accident prone the industry is, and have a good, non-profit driven handle on what is happening on the ground, in the oceans, the atmosphere, and the need to focus on renewables. The end to Bush/Cheney era loopholes in the Clean Air and Water Acts for the NG, oil and coal industries, and the $billions of subsidies, would be good. Too bad that is not where the focus is in Madison these days.

    From a well referenced fact sheet by Food and Water Watch: ” …. natural gas fracking emits greenhouse gases, smog-inducing compounds and potential carcinogens causing dangerous health and environmental effects. A 2011 Cornell U. study found shale gas has a greater greenhouse gas footprint than conventional gas or oil. Methanol, formaldehyde, carbon disulfide are known hazardous pollutants found near fracking sites. Texas regulators have found that air samples contained high levels of neurotoxins and carcinogens (benzene) near wells……. ” etc. Not to mention the chemical laced fracking fluids. I would not want a fracked well or waste containment pond near my water supply, or entire watershed, or up wind.
    Windmills, despite the elitist mm hype, fine. No emissions. No health impacts. Cleaner air in the long run.

    • John Robinson

      I was interviewed last January by WCNY, it went pretty good, they got to meet someone who lives near the mills who isnt bothered by them at all, me! Even gaining their mikes up didnt produce any ambient noise from them. My strongest point then was Wind is a crop that you dont have to be a farmer to harvest but if you are a farmer, its a great crop for you and your neighbors! No need for noisy tractors, plowing, fertilizing or Chemicals; that should make neighbors happy, I cant understand why it doesnt! They aired it, I had 100% positive feedback from it from lots of folks far and near. Nobody against the mills said boo to me yet I know they saw the interview, why I wonder?

      I do agree with your “hypocrite” assertion, that seems to be pretty strong around here but most of them are not really from here originally. It would be silly to argue that our area should remain unspoiled because it has been tainted in many ways for 200+ years,

      Rural America has been the breadbasket and source of other raw materials forever. Nothing new there, our survival as a region is dependent on that continuing indefinitely, Colgate couldnt do that by itself if it was 10 times as large as it is. Look around you, unless your a Hamiltonian, your not experiencing the “New York Economic Revival” Albanizer Scrooge has been back patting himself in his “Andy Done Good” Commercials. Its not happening here and if we dont change that soon, all we will be is a cheap source of NYC Vacation Farms that produce little or nothing.

      The windmills will employ locals so will fracking, our kids need the jobs and the science behind both is solid. Those that seek to own a view need to put up or clam up. Yes you can own a view but its going to cost you allot more than what you paid for your current acreage and youve got to convince those that own it now to sell it to you, then you can forever wild it to your hearts content. I did that 2 years ago to a small extent, I bought the land across the road and beside my home and now I can say what and who will live there, nobody else can. I literally own that view and if I want to put a Poop sculpture on it, I can but you cant unless you get my permission.

      Thats the way of most of Rural America, you can own that view but it will cost you lots of money and taxes.

      I

      .

  14. Ron Blackmore

    Announcement: NY is at a crossroads Rally in Albany June 17th Check with 350.0rg or peacecouncil.org (syracuse) for bus details. Stop fracking and Say Yes to Renewable Energy Rally to demand freedom from dirty energy (like Hamilton/Colgate and its fracked gas desires) and take the direction of more renewables, like the more progressive folks in Madison hope for.

    • John Robinson

      HMMMMM, how is it you agree with some extreme environmentalists but not highly respected Geologists? Ive talked to both, i also agree with both because both are sciences that have been studied and improved upon for many decades. Ive also lived peacefully with windmills in my front and back yard and a natural gas pipeline in my side yard for 10 years, no problems whatsoever. If I could slow down idiots that drive past my house at 80 MPH and hitting my trees with their cars, life would be perfect!!!

      You actually know a few great resources yourself at the Gate! Have you talked to them, I have for years! There pretty smart folks and often quoted for their expert level of knowledge in these specific topics. Some of them have even testified in Albany, why are they not quoted here? Probably because they generally have no problem with either windmills or fracking when they are done using best practices. Yes, unlike your postulation that fracking is new and untested, it isnt any newer than harvesting wind and creating electricity.

      I know that this subject cuts deep and wide through many folks front and backyards around here, literally! Its time we start listening to the great resources we have available here in Sleepyberg NY not special interest groups or people. If you hadnt noticed, upstate NY’s economy is in the tank, people are losing their jobs, farms and homes, Unless your a highly employed person in Hamilton, your probably having a tough time even staying in CNY much less trying to convince our children and grandkids to stay here. All we have to offer is a handful of jobs at the Gate and a career at the Turning Stone, we need jobs not rallies in Albany!!!!!!.

      Those that Ive talked to with PHD in front of their name and Scientists as their forte have told me that windmills and fracking are both safe and both a viable part of our future NRG plan. Its time to wake up and stop drinking the koolaid…

  15. While I support wind technology, I do not support the proposed turbine locations, as they will have a negative environmental and property value impact on this beautiful and pristine area of NY State. I purchased property for retirement and do not want my natural panoramic views ruined by 36 turbines. Having to look at the existing 7 is bad enough.

    • wonder who owns the undeveloped land and hill tops you claim for your view? Maybe those landowners and farmers don’t care to look at subdivisons and rural housing spawl and big , mowed lawns, only looking for a way to keep their lands intact and out of the hands of greedy real estate developers. Incidently, as with the other wind farms in the county, there is no evidence of property value impacts (except positive with the improved school funding and reduced taxes in general) and clean energy has a positive environmental and health impact vs. the emissions and hazards of other sources. I suppose you use plenty of energy, mostly fossil fuel based, that is extracted, transported and generated (inefficiently by the way, and subsidized) from somewhere, or in somebody elses backyard. the hypocrisy and elitist NIMBYism here is disgusting.

  16. To the Editor:

    Wind works? Having noticed the Wind Works signs displayed around the Madison area, I wonder just who wind works for.

    Wind works exceptionally well for outside predators, like developers, who look for a town like Madison. A town that is wide open and unprotected, without land use laws or zoning in place to protect its citizens and their property. (The same guys who bought the signs.)

    Wind works for the leaseholders, held under a “gag order” from the developer – so no one can discuss who received the sweetest deal. (These are the guys who are displaying the signs.)

    Wind works – on average at less than 30% efficiency.

    Wind works once again for the developer, paid with our tax dollars through government subsidies whether they produce any power or not, and then take our money back to the countries they came from. (The same guys who bought the signs.)

    Wind works to fog the minds of town officials who would consider a project of this magnitude without even knowing what the P.I.L.O.T. (payment in lieu of taxes) will be. (Would you sign a deal for a car without knowing knowing how much it cost?)

    Wind works to fool the public into thinking that this will save the environment.

    Does wind work for the community – or just for a chosen few? Follow the money and you will have your answer.

    A Concerned Citizen,
    Eric Gorton
    Stone Road, Madison, NY

  17. I am unable to be in Madison County for the hearings, but I do own a home in the Village of Hamilton. Living in California I have seen what these monsterous towers do to a homeowner. They are huge, unsightly and cause devaluation of property. Also, the environmental impact is great. This has a negative impact on the environment and it is still unclear about the electric magnetic fields (EMFs) and their impact of humans, animals, vegetation and life in general. I urge you to stop these towers to erected and blight the beauty of Central NY. Other counties have made the decision to disallow these unslghtly towers to dot their counties and I urge Madison County to do the same!

    • Ron Blackmore

      Being an outsider from CA, like those from subdivision rich Long Is., you should be quite aware of your responsibiltiy for fossil fuel use, let alone suburban sprawl and car culture, and all the environmental consequences. People live near the oil refinerys, coal mines, ports, power plants, transmission lines ….EMFs?, gas wells (oh, hamilton/colgate is bringing in cheap HVHF sourced gas, eh?) etc. Wind energy production, as we have seen in Madison Co. already, (yes, they are already there and have been for years, unless you haven’t looked north, or like to ignore the evidence) is benign, produces clean, renewable energy, does not contribute CO2/CH4 to the atmoshere thus global warming, and has been an economic benefit to the communities that have them (even in Madison Co…… it’s actually a tourist draw). The newly composed Hamilton centric, elitist NIMBY opposition to wind energy expansion in Madison is rich in hypocricy and contradiction, let alone disinformation and exaggeration.

      • Elisa Clifford

        I know full well what has happened in California as I worked for the utility installing, by mandate I might add, these monster towers. I had 6 cities forced to have these towers built on right of ways (ROWs) so close to homes and yes, it devalued property, ruined their viewshed and can be loud and noisy when they get dirty. EMFs are less of an issue when the towers are higher than the ones we have now. Employment? Not likely- they will award bid to a company who specializes in these projects. Help the schools? How?

        As for economic issues- the cost to install vs savings is not there. It only makes a company’s fuel mix look better, but it has been proven- the cost vs the value is not there! Just ask residents- they will bear the burden of the cost to install- built right into their rates- make no mistake about that- and you will too!And as I write- areas where the towers when people have lived in their homes for 20+ years is halted by a state lawsuit. NIMBY? These are regular folks like you and me. So what to do? Edison is installing solar panels on businesses as an alternative. And even better- if the gas companies would come clean about what chemicals they are using to frack. If they could find a way to produce the natural gas without harming people, anims and the environment we wouldn’t be having this conversation at all. Natural gas is plentiful and I suggest you see just what the impact on your fuel mix if you install these towers. It is so minimal–

        I hate to be called elitist because I have experience with wind farms and am telling you before this project comes to fruition- as towers are dormant in California waiti g for a court to decide if this project is cost effective.

  18. LETTER: Facts lacking about MadisonMatters.org

    By Charles Bostic, Town of Madison

    FACT CHECK: What does matter to the Hamilton-based 1 percent group which was nowhere to be seen when the windmills were approved as recently as 2011?

    1. Where is the Madison Matters strong support for strengthening our treasured central school in Madison, N.Y.? The commute to Stockbridge is a no-brainer, and “gutting” Madison is likely to raise taxes in the long run. Do we want to pay for Stockbridge Valley’s growth and past debts and sacrifice a vital part of our town’s future educational, economic and cultural development?

    2. Where is the loyalty and support for our elected town government officials by Madison Matters?

    3. When is Madison Matters going to publically disavow annexing efforts to acquire Town of Madison land and properties?

    4. When is Madison Matters going to publicly list names, addresses of members and assure that each member will not financially benefit from the windmill dismantling, curtailment, or made not worth constructing?

    5. When is Madison Matters going to address the issue of balanced land use? On one side of a road a lone landowner can opt for a housing development, a huge industrial operation, mega-McMansions, who knows what water-polluting and contaminating land eroding, wildlife destroying practices, while the landowning, food producing, recreation and open spaces preserving landowner is faced with all sorts of rules and regulations all about windmills and restrictions on his land use?

    6. What is Madison Matters’ position on the State’s support of the Route 20 eco-tourism resource — their windmills, a clean, alternative, renewable energy initiative?

    7. What is Madison Matters’ position on gas line development and horizontal fracking in the Town of Madison?

    8. Where do they stand on agricultural and sports recreational land use and preservation of open spaces and wildlife preservation?

    9. Where do they stand on Madison-Bouckville streetscape plan and its economic resurgence?

    SOURCE: http://www.oneidadispatch.com/articles/2013/05/04/opinion/doc5185a5f971090776513310.txt?viewmode=fullstory

  19. Questionnaire received in the mail today from the Town of Madison soliciting input on “major land use issues.” Check your mail and be sure to fill it out.

  20. Katheryne Gall

    Listening to conversations about the proposed Wind Power Facilities Law, it is apparent that a very important aspect of the law needs to be better explained so that everyone understands.

    The law is intended to permit wind development while requiring setbacks that are adequate to protect people who do not want to live in the shadows, or with the sounds, of wind turbines.

    After much discussion of setbacks, the Wind Committee agreed to propose a law that allows anyone who DOES NOT object to having wind turbines close to their property to become a “participating” property owner simply by signing an agreement with the developer. In effect this allows people to waive their rights to a large setback in order for wind development to take place on neighboring land.

    Considering this provision, it is not relevant for discussion of the proposed law to focus on pro-wind and anti-wind.

  21. John, it isn’t hard to figure out why people who are not concerned about the environment suddenly now want windmills–it’s because they want to lease their land and have the income. That’s their right and it’s understandable but it’s not an environment issue. Those (I consider myself one) who consider themselves concerned about the environment aren’t fighting this because we’re anti-windmills or pro oil, etc, we’re doing this because it’s a concern for people who have existing homes. It’s a placement issue. Our homes already exist. The proposed windmills are huge. They don’t belong up against houses. The reason the fight is being waged against subsidies is because it has encouraged greedy irresponsible companies to place these things without thought to the consequences for the people who live in an area. They don’t live here so they don’t care. Take the money and run.

    • Most of those subsidies are just money that was extracted from our wallets every-time we pay a power bill. As I said before, I would rather see 700 10K mills in Madison County but NYSERDA and other State and Federal interests find it much easier to distribute the money in bulk than to 700 new small production owners. Thats kinda BS if you ask me but thats NY and Albany, cant blame property owners for that.

      The ones near my house are big and they are pretty close, (< 1800' to the closest one). My house is 180 years old and experienced its share of unwelcome technological improvements over that time. I am sure Mr Philpot never envisioned a Highway splitting his farm and barnyard in half and the buried Cables running in my front yard and Natural gas Pipeline in my side yard probably haven't made property owners all that excited either, especially since we cant advantage either and dont get paid a dime for them.

      If these are built, you will find out that they are not as evil as people have expressed. If they arent built, we wont see a dime of that come into the area and Madison Proper isnt flooded with cash. This isnt Hamilton, we dont have Colgate to ensure the prosperity or sustainability of this area. Ive lived here my whole life and the Farms and brushlands have been sold off to build homes in these areas that were zoned agricultural, they arent just places where people can escape the high cost of living in Hamilton, they are places where landowners make their living off the land.

    • The mm people opposed to expanded wind energy locally are asking for 5000 ft. , nearly a mile, setbacks from property lines (and surely nothing proposed or existing is “up against houses”) ……. i.e. they don’t want to see them and are, of late, trying to make it impossible to site them anywhere. That is unreasonable, irresponsible , not science based ( re: health and safety), and hypocritical in terms of their own energy use, impact on the environment, and the fact that they watched many a benign and scenic windfarm go up elsewhere around Madison County with praise and no any sign of the self interested and exaggerated concerns they now claim.. Subsidies, by the way, encourage innovation, research and development. Unfortunately they exist without purpose for the fossil fuel and nuclear industries (energy consumed by those cars and houses) , and agriculture, and the highly subsidized development of the internet , used here, has resulted in huge consumption of energy via data centers, at 10% efficiency globally. Ah, we are all so complicit.

    • Spot on Barb !

  22. It could be considered right and just to construct a windmill of enormous proportions on ones property provided the landowner involved owned enough property as to allow him to locate such a device in a manner not interfering with the peaceful, rightful enjoyment of nearby property owners as is the current law. It’s quite a simple concept, actually. No “justice” issue here, environmental or otherwise.

  23. As an environmental studies student, I am certainly in favor of energy conservation and clean renewable sources like wind and solar and other current sources given the serious threats of global warming to my and succeeding generations. Looking at your website, you seem to oppose subsidies and PTCs for wind and solar R&D , which must be renewed, with no thought to the permanent subsides (financial and env. costs) that have existed for years for the fossil fuel industries and nuclear, much worse they. That seems irresponsible and short sighted. What is your sense of environmental justice if you are content with fossil fuel use, extraction , refining and transport near others “backyard” but have no willingness to bear seeing wind turbines (ps. they are all “industrial”) near you or deny willing landowners their rights so your house, subdivision or otherwise formerly natural landscape can view their land unimpeded? In the name of transparency, what are your funding sources, amounts from real estate development interests or the fossil fuel industry?

    • I think it’s probably safe to say that most of us feel that federal subsidies should end for all means of energy production, and that a lot more attention should be paid to conservation.

      We do not consider wind turbines which supply power to an individual home, farm, or business to be industrial.

      It is has been documented that many people living close to industrial wind turbines find that the noise causes health problems. We believe that setbacks to non-participating property owners should be adequate to protect the residents from health problems.

      We have no funding sources other than contributions from local residents of the area. Everyone working on this effort does so as a volunteer.

      • Seems disingenuous. There is no scientific evidence that wind turbine noise, rarely above ambient, causes any health problems whereas most suburban and rural related like mowers, construction and chainsaws do. . Do you have documentation? What distance do you consider to be an adequate setback and what is the scientific basis? Why not favor subsidies for energy sources that will benefit humanity and the environment (and jobs ) and oppose those, such as fossil fuels. that contribute to global warming?

    • Resha, your points are valid and clear. The dynamics involved in this discussion really have confusing thought processes behind them. Those who I once described as Environmental activists now stand opposed locally to this project while many who have been opposed to the Clean NRG Movement in the past are mostly in support of these wind mills.

      The parsing of petunias here is interesting, some say that smaller turbines are OK because the power is used onsite to run homes, farms and other businesses yet nearly all the new small turbines dump into the same grid the biggies are tied into and no grid tie system functions unless the grid is hot!

      I do know many of those opposed, all good people, many drive LEV’s or ZEV’s, most have high efficiency homes and truly everyone concerned on either side really does care deeply for our regions beauty and functionality.

      Ive been a neighbor (<1/4 mile) to many industrial Turbines for 7 years and Ive got nothing but good things to say about them, they are undoubtedly the most respectful and fruitful neighbors I have bar none (I do have great human neighbors as well)!

      Its really not the method of production I would prefer, I would rather see 700 small scale turbines go up in Madison County than 30 behemoths but that choice has been made already in Albany, if we dont like that, Election 2014 will be your next time to address that.

      • PS, I just got my home re-evaluated for a reduction of interest refinancing. My home is worth more than twice what it was when I bought it 7 years ago, before the windmills were in our front yard…

  24. “WIND FARMS DROP PROPERTY VALUES.”
    A story from the Olean (NY) Times Herald.
    http://www.oleantimesherald.com/editorial/article_349d3172-281a-11e2-bf91-001a4bcf887a.html
    Property value losses in residential communities cannot possibly be offset by PILOT payments.
    Madison Wind Committee, Planning Board, and Town Board: please pay attention to this issue.

    • actually, wind farms have a record of improving property values in the long term (Natipnal Academy of Sciences) due to the input of financial resources to the community, schools and landowners who are able to keep their property intact under pressure from real estate subdividers. Open space is highly valued regardless of ownership. Also, there is a positive impact regionally in terms of health (clean air), and associated costs, and jobs and of course anything that is progressive such as clean, renewable energy sources (that every community should want to compensate for their fossil fuel use.). That has been the exerience in Madison County. Natural gas….. that’s another story.

  25. Everybody ready to give up meat?? That’ll be next if environmental interests simply take over. A few windmills here and there, OK … beef farms here and there, OK …. urban “sprawl” across every hillside probably too much — at some point we have to say enough is enough. Oh, and it’s the National Academy of Sciences.

    • Well that doesn’t sound crazy at all.

      •  The vast majority of  MM supporters agree w/ renewable energy ( including wind energy) and environmentally friendly policies…It is our COMMON GROUND not an area of disagreement.
        Let me be clear  …there are effective smart wind projects http://www.linycoffshorewind.com/about.html
        and there are bad installations , including those here.
         http://docs.wind-watch.org/BENTEK-How-Less-Became-More.pdf

        The windmill installations in Madison are “here” for one reason only…PROFIT.  NOT to reduce carbon emissions. 

        The National Academy of Sciences (NAS)  states a goal of “Affordable, sustainable and environmentally responsible” energy management. 
        We AGREE, and have always supported that mission.
        Elitists who go off on tirades   …”Any displacement of dirt fossil fuel is good” Or “.if you don’t like wind farms… TO BAD”…  show their ignorance and are dead wrong! Money needed to protect our environment is scarce!  Reducing the most carbon per dollar, (more rapidly) in a responsible way should be our common goal.

        Urban Sprawl in Madison county? What a joke!
         4000 people came into  Madison county since last census. So maybe 1500 new households. It has been suggested by one eliteist that the tax base associated with $200k homes with their manicured lawns are less desirable than wind farms. To that I say….”do the math” 1500x$5500=$8,250,000 in tax revenue alone! Then add all of the $$$$ economic benefits.
        Look at sister communities like Cazenovia. Their  environmental successes and economic development should be our role model.
         Owning land does not give someone the right to intrude on your neighbors. Zoning and land management has always been a part of successful economic growth in communities. 

  26. I’m sure wind friendly, environmentally dedicated people will take your place and continue to pay the taxes you claim will be absent if this wind project goes through. Pamela and friends, happy trails to you all, eh?

  27. I, along with several environmental organizations, do pursue “real solutions” and it doesn’t involve pandering to elitist sensitivities, non-science, fossil fuel addictions, or deflecting responsibility for energy use to the detriment of distant communities in the US or globally. ps. wind or solar energy generation does not cause CO2 or CH4 emissions. No doubt you drive a car that does, and also support exploitive big corporations in many other ways….. wonder where mm was when the other wind farms were developed, just nimby?

    • Do you have a financial opportunity and/ or an existing contract with a wind farm developer? I’m curious if you are addressing this forum from a matter of principals and ideologies or you simply have no idea what you are talking about and purely self interest. 
      An elitist is someone surrounded by windmills and has the audacity to tell his neighbors “we should love more of them” so we can help “your” self serving agenda.
      You  ignore or don’t understand science. ….period!
      I can’t imagine what publications or groups you listen to, to have developed such a contorted idea of reality . If reducing global warming is your “supposed” goal, and you are a “problem solver” you have chosen to defend the most absurd method of reducing carbon. An expensive, ineffective, unreliable, public subsidized eyesore.
      A problem solver looks at the scientific and statistical facts then addresses the significant causes and effects then implements solutions.
      A wind farm in Madison county is a distraction…pure and simple.
      Filling our beautiful countrysides with these “feel good” atrocities does two things. It makes a group of corporate predators wealthy and a few of our sociopath neighbors get chump change…but accomplishes nothing.

      • I want to clarify my comment above.  I don’t believe ALL my neighbors who have intalled windmills on their property are sociopaths. I am by no means wealth and fully appreciate being in circumstances where money is hard to come by and needed for paying  taxes and daily survival. 

        The people I take issue with are those who do  have choices and have “sold out” for personal gain without concern for the community. Those that have actively pursued profits over their neighbors. Those that hide behind green movements while lining their pockets with out money.
        Unfortunately both the federal and state governments have encouraged wind technology without fully thinking through the ramifications of their decisions. 

        Since wind mills they were first subsidized over 30 years ago, we now only get 3% of our power from this technology. The subsidies going to local wind farms alone would pay a significant portion of he town of Madison’s annual budget.
        Dollar for dollar, Reducing energy consumption by encouraging more efficient buildings, transportation, equipment and appliances contributes magnitudes more toward carbon reduction than wind farms. Reducing carbon emissions at current electricity plants is far mor cost effective than unreliable, expensive Wind farms. 
        Its unfortunate our community has gotteng drawn into bad policies that were not we’ll thought out.  It is up to local government to discourage wind farms and seek policies that encourage real economic growth for the long run.

      • Any displacement of dirty fossil fuel (burning of which results in very costly climate change impacts, toxins, asthma attacks, destructive extraction and transport risks, etc.) use is good for the environment and the health of everyone, and every species…..doesn’t take a scientist to make that case but the National Academies of Science, Union of Concerned Scientists, and health professionals do. You obviously have litle science background (I do) and have a problem with aesthetics. too bad. But it is elitist and patronizing to tell people who actually live in and benefit from existing wind farms in the county that they are victims of corporate greed, especially when you benefit from corporate greed daily, along with all that is subsidized or was developed by gov’t subsidies: nuclear power, the internet, the food you eat, pharmaceuticals, and, yes, big oil, gas and coal. Madison Co. tourism, residents, including the schools, have benefited financially and wind energy facilitly manufacturing and construction create thousands of jobs in the US. And , no, I have not signed a lease to have a wind mill on my intact woodland….. that I manage for the long term and for the benefit of “viewers” like you (note: we have to look at ugly, destructive housing dev.) , but I have no problem with the neighboring properties having wind mills that will allow them to keep their land intact and not sell out to greedy real estate developers (who back madisonmatters) and have allowed a setback waiver from my line to accomodate them. It only takes a look at the tax maps to see where the subdivided lands are already, encroaching on land like mine. I’d take a a sleek, energy producing windmill any day.

  28. I just want to state as a person who grew up in the area. As i drive through the area and see these massive wind turbines popping up…

    I find them Beautiful, majestic, and awe inspiring.

    • I agree. On a crisp day, or seen on my way home from work, rising through the mist, I find these structures beautiful, and even more so since I understand how much good they do for the world. I really don’t understand the NIMBY’s here who hate them

  29. The wheels are falling off your wagon, Ron.

    • gee, that’s compelling

      • I think Dave and the rest of MM has already provided the compelling evidence that expensive, feel good, eye-sores are unwanted.
        He is just stating an obvious fact.
        IF you were so concerned with carbon and greenhouse gases why would you waste so much time supporting corporations that prey on small communities rather pursue real solutions?

  30. A must read for all except those already blindly convinced of the Romney-Ryan “vision” of a (lack of) energy future or nimby mythology. What’s bizarre, is mm and rural sprawl and lakeside residents with their anti-wind signs seem to ignore the real threat of HV hydrofracking for gas, but maybe that is because of their Colgate-Hamilton-real estate development funding and connections where bringing in cheap, dirty natural gas is happening. Meanwhile, events like anti-fracking demonstrations and petition drives go on in the area, initiated from outside Madison and without mm participation, and CD’s are sold to benefit shaleshock.org featuring big windmills on the cover……
    good also to read real science by the National Academies of Science, Union of Concerned Scientists and Natural Resources Defence Council all supportive of expanded wind and solar energy development in the face of accelerated global warming and population pressures.

  31. Hey guys, Just wanted to refer you folks to a media matter article about many of the wind turbine myth. I’m not sure if many of you realize but you are going by arguments that are completely debunked.

    http://mediamatters.org/research/2012/05/25/myths-amp-facts-about-wind-power/183968

    • reason has not driven this passionate drive to avoid have “industrial turbines” here. They cause no harm, they do not cause jock itch, toe jam or halitosis, not to mention pollution. They are benign. Some folks like enjoying Lake Moraine from their party barges without having a shadow cast on their conspicuous consumption trophies, and that’s fine….just meet the value that these structures have for the people who own the land that the windmills will be built on…you can construct party huts and throw up barb wire fences to keep out the riff raff while you dance the dance of the unreasonably entitled on the land you buy from the people who really have a stake in this enterprise

      • and yes, this is devolving to a class struggle, since all opposition to the turbines boils down to aesthetics. There is a small group of people who dislike the look of a wind mill, and, ignoring all good that might be derived from these structures, is coming up with every bit of folk lore and BS they can find on a google search to justify their position. Put up, or shut up…this argument is getting old.

  32. This essay presents a perspective that is different from most of our discussions so far. Some points here are worth considering, whether we are facing industrial energy facilities, housing sprawl, or the loss of agricultural and woodlands because of economic pressure.
    http://home.ca.inter.net/~greenweb/Wind_Farms_and_Deep_Ecology.pdf

  33. Barbara Holmes

    Thank you, HCCC, for your nice input. I was horrified when I saw Fairfield, imagining the before of that beautiful piece of earth. You don’t have to have your roots deep in a place to care about it. We need to be grateful for the people who do care, no matter where they are from. Some just want to make a profit from the land move on.

  34. In the early 1990’s my family moved to Fairfield NY, from the NYC area. Moving to the “country” took a bit of getting used to, but eventually I began to appreciate how beautiful the area was (we had a 100 acre parcel on a hilltop that had sweeping panoramic views). After living there for approx 10 years, we unfortunately had to sell and move on. I never returned to Fairfield, and eventually lost contact with the people that I used to know there.

    On Sunday June 8th, 2012, I decided to accompany a friend to the Boilermaker in Utica NY. We agreed that afterward we would take a drive to Fairfield, so that I could visit the area for the first time in 12 years and show them how incredibly beautiful the area is.

    Nothing could have prepared me for what I saw that day.
    I simply cannot create a sentence that describes what has happened there.

    I think the action that Madison community members are taking is terrific.

    • Of course many landowners in the area who have family here for generations would not agree that people moving up from NYC own the landscape view that the owners who pay taxes on and try to survive and keep intact their land without selling out to real estate developement that is much more harmful to the environment (an ongoing national trend of sprawl, lack of community and less appealing to view ). As one drives around in an AC’d car and back to their big lawns and AC’d house I sure hope source of the energy,be it coal, oil, NG, or nuke is considered when looking at alternatives. Notice the climate lately? That is not due to too many windmills, but maybe that will be the latest new spin.

    • FYI HCCC…Ron isn’t our spokesmen. …you and your friends are always welcome back here, and we appreciate your support. I’m sorry you had to sell. Ron should spend some time in NYC and maybe he would gain an appreciation for Madison countiy’s natural beauty. I have friends that have come to visit from all over the country and they love it here. And yes it is Immensely disappointing that the beauty was “partially” destroyed by a greedy self serving few.
      Ron has his “mind made up” …a delusion that supporting foolish, ineffective, money wasting programs does the world some good. When in fact it is a distraction and deversion for solving real global warming problems.
      He complains about sprawl but endorses eye sores. Wow ..stop sprawl by making the land so undesirable no one wants to buy it. …brilliant idea !

      Great job MM! Let’s continue the fight !

      • Sprawl is the the real “eye sore”, and cause of environmental degradation and making Madison Co. look like Long Is. isn’t a way of convincing anyone with sence that we should rule out clean wind energy sources in favor of dirty, inefficient, subsidized fossil fuel for those subdivided lots. Better that residential and business development be concentrated in village/urban centers both to be more pedestrian and bike friendly and to develope community .
        Right, unlike Mr. Tom, I am not a MM cheerleader, don’t mind the sight of the 21 wind mills around me, find them sllently generating energy most of the time, and do actual field science rather than blog searches or listening to Rush Limbaugh or Fox News for real world evaluation and evidence.

  35. Our Madison Matter’s windmill sign is missing, is yours?

    • Barbara Holmes

      There used to be 22 on East Lake, there are now nine

    • The “feet” on ours wore out and it blew over in the high winds. Will the MM group be at the Farmer’s Market on Saturday? If so, perhaps we can pick up replacements.

  36. I believe the broad ranging discussion of renewable resources and strategies is a bit of a distraction to the issue at hand.

    It is established that wind energy will not replace traditional generating capacity:
    “Wind power cannot replace the need for many “capacity resources,” which are generators and dispatchable load that are available to be used when needed to meet peak load. If wind has some capacity value for reliability planning purposes, that should be viewed as a bonus, but not a necessity.”
    http://www1.eere.energy.gov/wind/pdfs/41869.pdf

    It would appear that the relevant question is whether this project will be good or bad for the Madison community as a whole.

    • John Robinson

      Ken, I may be new on this forum but Im not new to Madison! For as long as Madison has existed, the substantial portion of the community remain dependent of Natural resources for their existence. Most dont have a Bachelors, Masters or PHD to reflect a global perspective from (or collect a big paycheck with!). Talking about this and other NRG issues that directly effect Madison town, County and CNY as a whole could go a long way to ensuring we act ahead of these problems not after they have a stranglehold on us. There are lots of less than “well to do” folks in this area, many just barely surviving and have done so multi-generationally. If you look at the possible options for raising the standards of living for all in the area, we have lots of options, most of which really are based on our Mineral, Timber and Agrarian resources.

      Many long term residents of this area depend on these resources to ensure they can survive. Lots of those folks in these parts do not have Internet access, Cable TV nor do they regularly participate in global discussions of these topics or others. They just really want whatever will help them pay their bills to keep paying them. If someone offers them Mad money, they might likely jump at it, who could blame them?

      Nobody was looking out for them as their family farms were foreclosed on, sold off dirt cheep to the Amish or out-parceled for $200K homes to pay taxes until they had nothing left to farm. Hell, even today, people raise hell about paying a couple bucks for a gallon of milk yet $5 is AOK for aGallon of Gas or Mocha-Choka Late and $2 for a bottle of Polish Tap water isnt a bother at all?????

      “It would appear that the relevant question is whether this project will be good or bad for the Madison community as a whole”.

      Easy question to ask, very tough answer to give with any credibility! The reason being that most folks haven’t considered all the possible scenarios that could be good or bad for Madison NRG production wise, only the one on the table.

      If you leave out the opinions and thoughts of those not signed on a lease in the shadows of the proposed mills, I think the answer would be Yes, build them, start tomorrow! I dont think you can just leave them out even if they only represent a small portion of the community.

      When we attach that electric meter to the side of our house, we gain some responsibility to ensure we dont waste it, we help create more if we can and still remain constant stewards of the Air, Soil and Water that will provide all future generations a future they can live with. The same old, same old is just not an option anymore, if we do nothing, we should expect only worse times like many of us have experienced for way too long to come in return for it.

      I dont see the alternative NRG discussions as a distraction because if we finally decide to say no to those windmills, its up to us to find something we will say yes to. Otherwise,we are no different than those downstate we hold in utter contempt because that want the power and resources we have without actually giving anything of their selves but $$$, something they have much more of than Madison Proper.

    • Ron Blackmore

      Good news s that perhaps the natural gas boom is over in NY. Report out of Lebanon is that Norse is $90 M in debt,ceased drilling activity and laid off most employees. so, Hamilton still gets cheap gas for a while….. maybe. But there is nothing clean about methane . Wind is free and does not require extraordinary, risky extraction processes. Nice if it was a more predictable source but why should nature be so? The industry seems to have a handle on that and is moving toward LWS turbines, but our p[roblem, just a distraction by opponents..

      What is relevant to the community is whether land owners like those who own the land that “madison matters” displays up top on its site (but does not identify or give credit), have the right not only to use their land in a productive way, but also do what they feel is environmentally ethical, that is, contribute to replacing fossil fuel sources to the benefit of future generations rather than conforming to the desires of self serving people who build fancy homes with pets, lawns, septic systems mowers, ATVs, big cars, etc, that in reality have a greater local env. impact (re: the Cape Cod off shore debate…..) or they, like me, might prefer to keep up sustainable woodland management, and, although under appreciated and under compensated, a major contributor to carbon sequistration.

      I have yet to hear mm offer up their version of a clean, sustainable industry option to compensate or replace the benefits, both tourism and direct payments, to the town and Madison School District, and landowners. The landowners certainly could clear-cut and level and put in a trailer or three without input from Hamilton realtors and such. Actually, according to the assessors, that would be a conversion from rural/ag/forest to “improved lot”…..;.an increase in value? That photo likely wouldn’t make the top of the page here, but it does exist in the county, as does seemingly productive, benign, attractive wind farms that seem to provide a benetit to those communities…… at least there have been little in the way of compaints and exaggerations.

      Greenamerica.org is offering up Clean Energy Victory Bonds….. their emblem?….. the Statue of Liberty with a wind turbine in place of a (gas) torch…….looks alright.

      • Dave Wilson

        Relax — Sainthood is it’s own reward ….

      • John Robinson

        Ron, your sure not making friends around here. Cheering the failure of Norse is like saying, glad my neighbor lost income! Thats not how to make friends or get support for the cause your promoting…

    • Ken and John, I agree with both of your comments.Its time for a REALITY CHECK.
      It is important we remain vigilant in educating the community about the reality of what EDP is and what the proposed wind project is not.

      REAL power companies pursue projects like http://www.linycoffshorewind.com/
      You know where Real power is actually needed and where REAL wind exists.
      If we shift from education to a strategy planning dialog with the leaders of Madison Matters. I think our time would be used more constructively ( I say respectfully)
      I have lived in several communities ranging from metro to rural, and have participated in various community “differences”/goals. Although we are arguing amongst ourselves about what the EDP wind project is, the war is with EDP. If we lose sight of that reality we may win a battle and lose the war. All you have to do is calculate the money they could potentially lose and this reality will hit you squarely in the face.
      Keep in mind why they select poor rural communties for their instalations.
      They are strictly playing the investment odds here. If you were making a bet,
      what odds would you give mm?

      • John Robinson

        Tom, I agree, they fight the idea of windmills 13 miles off the coast but plant them like sunflowers all over the hills here 150 miles from where the need is.

        Some say no way no how to the mills, they cant be made agreeable no matter what the restrictions or variances end up to be. Most others have a level of acceptance or non that is variable mostly based on locality to the site.

        The major hurdles seem to be standoff to reduce noise and flicker and vertical height to limit views being seriously effected. Those can all be varied without completely shutting this or future projects down. .

        Of the property owners in the half mile surrounding the property lines of the proposed sites, has there been any consensus on what could be deemed aprovable?

        As a danger close homeowner(<2000') to a couple of these current ones, Ive noticed a few things. None of the issues others have complained about at all really. I do think Solar Geo locality makes a big difference, I am west and 250' EL downhill of 2 of them. The only shadow effects I ever get are sunrise a few weeks a year.

        1) My view is more related to the elevation I am looking at, while the Pole doesn't disappear, the blades are less than in my face when I am looking at the hills as opposed to the skyline. One could surmise, the higher the better, maybe the blades dont have to be so long either.

        2) I cant hear them nor do I get any shading or flicker at all. Their are numerous Woodlands between me and the Mills. I believe they act as a huge sound sponge and definitely remove much of the definition from any shadow cast.

        To make a site viable for any NRG investor/ producer, they must attain a certain possible NRG output or they just wont do it so its all about the Mega-Watts to them. Maybe, a combination of reforestation, smaller but more windmills or taller towers and shorter blades, and a variable standoff according to solar/ geo location could bring the most directly affected landowners into a better place. If they ever did kill the mills 20 years down the road and leave them DOA, the scrappers would go nuts. They could be tasked with the site cleanup and restoration by contract.

        The land around and through the wind farm can still produce lots of very clean green NRG from junk wood biomass (for my pellet stove), Ethanol and feed Corn, Wheat and Hay. Im not particularly worried about an abandoned wind-farm! These hills and locations once wired and fired are never going to be decommissioned, wind power is here to stay and the primary development is the biggest hurdle. As the efficiency improves, so will the plots the current mills stand on.

        Is that possible or is this an all or nothing battle to the end? Serious question, JR

  37. I’m very suspicious of anyone who doesn’t use a real name ie: holiday movie thingy who suddenly chimes in alleging a link to hydrofracking interests — no such link has been demonstrated or even alluded to until this poster makes that claim.

    • sorry, that is the name on my wordpress account which is what this comment section keeps trying to make me use.

      • John Robinson

        HMG, you dont have to use your WordPress Account, just come to the site and rename yourself whatever you like. Because this is a very local issue, most use their real names because it would be silly not to. If you have ever been near here, you know that Madison County has already stepped up to the plate with wind generation, we have 40 or so turbines already. We also have 20 or 30 Natural Gas wells pumping 24/7.

        I really dont think the Wind Farm opposition has anything to do with the ongoing Fracking Debate but I could be wrong. The two subjects arent really all that relative because the concerns are so different. I myself think the Windmills are a good idea, some of my neighbors dont. Im probably more interested in keeping the peace with them then projecting my desires on them cause 30 more mills here isnt going to save the planet or Madison. Its not nearly the best or most efficient way to do so, just one of the few not so bad choices were left with to war-game.

        The “newsman in you seems” to be staring at the big picture and not considering the local one (all politics is local)! This isnt the big city, we live in a large community with relatively few people, its a symbiotic relationship that no matter where your from or what you do for a living, getting along with your neighbor is likely more important than who’s elect POTUS. Neighbor is a relative word also, we do call someone who lives 3 miles away a neighbor because they are when there’s only 30 families between you and them. If you’ve ever experienced a major snow storm, you know why I say that! I would bet my bottom dollar neither GW nor Barry Oh have ever picked up a shovel in defense of their neighbors, yet I cant think of a single neighbor I know that hasnt!

        But, we do have some pretty smart people in Podunk CNY and we all dont share one telephone anymore! They can make web pages, network and get attention if they so desire and a bunch of resourceful people have! I can vouch for most of the names on here, they arent national political activist nor shills for Big anything, just friends, neighbors and concerned citizens.

        I looked at your web site, interesting choices for movies I will never have time to watch.

      • Katheryne Gall

        WordPress automatically wants to identify me as Madison Matters, but I am able to change the field to show my real name. Sometimes I have to “edit” my reply to change it to my real name. That’s what I did just now.

      • I tried that before and it keeps changing it back. I’ll try again on this post.

  38. John Robinson

    40 years ago, when I was just a child, one of the local farmers decided to build a tailor park down the road from our House. His farms were returning less and less every year and his kids were not interested in farming, his future was predicated on doing something with his land he or we had never imagined when our folks bout our him originally. Surrounding that location were about 20 families that would inextricably be affected by it even though only two at the time were within direct sight of it. Furthermore to complicate things, about half of them were related to the Farmer in some way or another.

    A battle erupted and folks that were previously friends, neighbors and relatives fought each other for a year or more until the final decree came that he could build it and one more directly beside my house (he never built that one). Boy did that created bad feelings, it was like the air was different even though we were the same people and the area was still as rural as ever other than that 20 Acres proposed. The farmers Nephew, also a farmer built a slurry poo pond and even started spreading the stanky stuff anywhere he could near his uncles property. That meant we all suffered!

    He built the first one, its called Quiet Valley and while its no bastion for culture it as been the home of many who learned to love this area just as we did and do, many later purchased homes and actually became locals after a fashion. I even spent some time there after getting out of the Army, it was cheap and I was broke! Strangely, almost every family that fought that park sooner or later had someone from it live for a period of time after.

    Unfortunately, for some folks, the anger never died even though everyone that attended those town meetings has. Folks with the same last names as the Farmer that built the park haven’t talked in 40 years yet have lived within a mile of each other. That’s a sad outcome, one I’m very afraid will happen here!

    The moral of the story is- It doesnt matter where you came from, how much you make, who your related too or what you want out of your life, what matters is people. Most of the larger land owners in this area are either struggling to keep their land or have sold rights to exploit it to some other entity. Those that have not yet secured a non agrarian income from it are either left to sell chunks slowly for new developments of homes or risk losing it to taxes.

    Its incumbent on those of us that appreciate the large unaltered expanses to somehow make sure those that keep them for us can keep them, otherwise be sure the next owner might have other ideas.

  39. Chris Hoffman

    Primarily Jane Welsh and Pam Fuller, both homeowners where the towers would be installed. Meetings were held. More homeowners joined in. People started going to the Planning Board meetings and asking questions. That lead to doing research, looking at documents, reading the dGEIS, learning about the application process, finding out how Rolling Upland Hills Farm came into existence, who the parent company is, when it was formed. Looking at maps, visiting other wind farm projects, talking to people in other townships where this has already happened, learning first-hand about the effects of having turbines 1000 feet away from your home. Consulting with experts, reading, reading, and more reading – about how wind farms are funded (with our tax dollars). About how inefficient they are, about how little energy they actually produce, about how much electricity they require to keep running, about the adverse effect on the grid, because production is so unreliable, it actually costs more energy to run them in the long run. About how shoddy the paperwork was submitted by the developer, generic in nature, rather than site-specific, much of it out-dated. About how weak the Town’s land use laws and regulations are. I could go on for pages — you get the point, I’m sure. Real people, with real concerns, taking real action. Not a corporate front.

  40. Chris Hoffman

    To holidaymovieguide: The people whose homes and land will be destroyed if 36 500-foot-tall wind towers are installed all around their homes! Men, women, retirees, lawyers, farmers, gardeners — in short, a broad sampling of the citizens/residents who live here. And who suddenly found out about the application to the Town Board, after the process had been in the works for over a year, with no early notice from our elected officials. It doesn’t get any more grassroots than this. And it just goes to show you what a group of committed, concerned, intelligent, resourceful people can accomplish in a very short time if they work in concert and put their minds to it. If you think the only reason for opposition is appearance and longevity, you haven’t done your research, you haven’t been paying attention, and you haven’t read all the information available. I don’t doubt for a minute that energy companies are capable of creating a Trojan Horse in targeted communities, but this is definitely NOT such a case.

    • You didn’t give me specifics. You gave me generalizations. Someone started this movement. Who was it? None of these are getting installed without the owners of that land signing off on it. I have not seen the destruction you folks are describing from the already existing windmills. Noone is rushing in and tearing down houses. They will simply have a few more windmills erected. You haven’t answered my question.

      If you could just detail me the process that resulted in this sudden campaign. Who was it who began it?

  41. I am extremely skeptical of this whole site. IT seems like a very sudden but well organized grassroots movement. Meanwhile I have become aware that american energy companies, particularly coal. Are actively working to create “grassroots” movements to combat how inexpensive and effective wind energy is becoming. A recently leaked internal memo showing their plans and methodology (much of it matching what is on this site)

    You can read the memo below
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/interactive/2012/may/09/wind-power-memo

    It seems the major reasons is is looks bad and that decommissioned wind farms are rarely tore down. Meanwhile it will generate clean energy that our country needs to start investing in. Thusfar I have not heard enough convincing arguments to counter that fact. I have also heard that the other reason is we havent the electrical grid to handle the power it generates… doesn’t that mean we should improve the grid not drop an extremely effective and clean method of power creation?

    All of this seems utterly ridiculous and stinks of something masquerading as grassroots. I simply ask the question, who started this movement in our area. What group of individuals began it?

    • Ron Blackmore

      I agree. The Wind Action Group out of Buffalo has evidence that the natural gas industry is promoting the anti-wind agenda to meet their goals of expanded drilling and hydrofracking and take some of the scutiny away from their industry (note :Hamilton has almost passively opted to bring in gas while the towns to the south like Lebanon dotted with gas wells continue to be active. And methane is no clean energy on, under the ground or in the air, just deceptively cheap at the moment). The proposed EDP wind energy generated would be fed directly into existing grid as with the existing wind farms in the county. As far as the Madisonmatters group goes, it was initiated by homeowners in a rural sprawl subdivision area, former seasonal access road, up near larger wooded properties like mine, which they all like and keep them sheltered, but suddenly overdeveloped E.Lake Moraine and Hamilton School District became involved with claims of alleged impacts on “value”, visibility, wildlife and even human health affects (but they also seem to want a piece of the cake if there is any) re: the initial disinformation campaign with mass mailings and ads in Mid York Weekly. Then it evolved into technical questions about efficiency, being “corporate” and subsidies ( as if coal and oil transport , extraction and burning are benign, efficient or unsubsidized) There is also suspicion of a rather scary group being involved if not just supportive TASIS.US. out of Chenango Co.

      • Interesting… the Journalist side of me wants to know more. Right now it seems like it’s either a small group of whiners disinterested in the common good and willing to make ridiculous claims to get what they want. I was unaware there was a link to the companies planning to frack our area. This is interesting. Take a look at that memo link I posted. Reading through it I find many parallels to what I’m seeing here.

  42. …. and in who’s “backyard”…..maybe the real estate for sale just outside Hamilton of Lake Moraine Rd. Really don’t need anything to replace excessive gasoline consumption, just a committment to use much less, which is unheard of in the debate. Unfortunately in America that is unrealistic as consumption, despite the global warming impact warnings and the fact that extraordinary and ever more risky fossil fuel extraction practices required , has actually increased per capita. Add another few billion people with aspirations equal to Americans and the efforts of conservatives to impede family planning globally, there has to be shared sacrifice, even by the “privleged” (Cape Cod is flat too). Another several hundred wind energy farms, even near cities, seems reasonable as wind, though unpredictable , is free and clean.

    • John Robinson

      So many Rons, without a last name it hard to keep ya’ll straight. I know its a risk to put your first and last name on the web but for the sake of keeping the discussion real and local, its a risk Im willing to take! Just like when I blog elsewhere, I wouldn’t say anything here I wouldn’t put my name on, that way if I screw up, misspeak or get Snarky (and I do occasionally), at least you will know who it is that is apologizing to you. It also ensures I dont speak out of line very often cause its not a good idea to Poo where you Eat then put your name on it! I live, and work near and with folks on here no need or good in attacking anyone’s personal beliefs!

      Now Ron ___ is getting getting a bit silly, why does everything have to turn into a Washingtonian-like battle of Republi-Crats? —-Conservatives are causing Global overpopulation? Wow, I didnt know we were that influential! Honestly, If im not there for the blessed moment, how the heck am I empowering anything? Next your gonna tell me we Cons are the ones that are using all the coal and Oil? I think your likely wrong on that also, seems like just about everyone is going to the same gas pumps round here, No Liberal Green or Con Dirty fuel NRG Distribution points around here, just gas stations we all go to!

      I dont think Local or National NRG sourcing are either a Conservative or Liberal specific topic or agenda, neither are Madison and its surrounding communities one or another. Actually, all one or another dont fall the same directions on this subject and you leave out the diversity of beliefs we actually all have when you start tossing those generalizations around like they have any basis for fact or usefulness in the discussion. Its not wise to try to frame it in that context, that wont fix anything but it will eliminate any chances of a Human solution leaving us with a battle of Bi-Parts to choose for us! Honestly, if it goes that direction, nothing will get resolved and long term damage will be done to a community that has generally been peaceful and accommodating to most choices of lifestyle and personal privacy for a long time.

  43. Nice to be in Madison……. so many people using bikes for transportation and great pubs. But no windmills, four big coal burning stacks over the lake.. Wisconsin that is. When I talk about the anti-wind movement in Madison , NY with German, Dutch or US students at the hostel, it’s like “WTF?? It’s our future. The US is so backward in consumption habits, transportation, science, health care…..”. I really do think we should propose a natural gas liquidfication plant for along Rt 12B with the methane Hamilton is bringing in…. could power those Colgate Cruisers . That, or expand the burning of biofuels from our woods, a plant for every town instead of a windfarm, like they are proposing in Madison, WI

    • Way to GO, Ron — categorizing this whole thing as an “anti-wind” movement. The lake out front is flat, so I guess the EARTH must be too !!! In point of fact, a NG conversion facility would probably allow the replacement of a lot of gasoline consumption in the community.

    • John Robinson

      Dave, We dont just do things because others do them, we do them because they are right. Thats exactly what My Mom told me, I repeated endlessly to my kids and am currently drilling into my Grand Children!

      The US is a global leader not a blind follower; we do things based on Rights and Responsibilities derived from constitutional law not because were encouraged, enticed or pressured here or abroad. Don’t forget, if not for the Global leadership by the USA for the last 100 years, the worlds Geographic footprint would look much different today.

      All that said, all these things are in play in little old Madison! Partisan rhetoric and jargon have crept into the conversation as it all too often does now a days.

      Historically, America has been on the cutting edge for 200+ years. We have pioneered more solutions that others copied after that I have to believe we can still do that today. Luckily our backwardness has left us with most of our eggs still intact and ready to use. Other nations have exploited theirs to the point that they have no choices, we have many, nearly all of them better than doing nothing.

      The Mines, Forests, Rails, Highways, Airways and Signal and Electrical Conduits we pioneered so long ago have served us well but we failed to maintain and improve them leaving that to future generations to fix, we are that generation, we cant afford to do nothing anymore. Our Sons are dying and bank accounts dwindling to protect our old ties to Foreign Oil! I agree, Bio-Mass, Waste Wood, Methane, NG, Hydro, Geo-Thermal, PV, and others hold some of the greatest future promises. We cant leave out Wind, Nuke, Shale Oil, Coal Gas, deep water Exploration and others. They all are part of a variable and evolving quest for the holy grail of Cheap, Clean, Green Power that has yet to be discovered.

      The reason Neighbors are fighting Neighbors in little Madison is because our Elected Republi-crat Bi-Parts refuse to create an NRG policy for our country that we can live with (Both Figuratively and Literally). They have held ours together with Duct tape, feel good and stop gap measures for all too long. Its time to make them put up or get out! We are the key to forcing them to really fix the crap they have all too often just left on our laps.

      • Dave Wilson

        John — I doubt your above post was actually directed at me unless my sarcasm went largely unnoticed (which does happen on occasion …) but I think we agree for the most part and I enthusiastically share your interest in personal NRG solutions like your turbine project. If I had more property I would be doing the same thing, What typically rankles me is any blind drinking of the politically correct Kool Aid flavor of the month and the ubiquitous pouring of said beverage into my own cup and telling me to drink, Your point is well-taken re: America setting an example for the world to follow, and follow they will, providing the basic premise is sound. Unfortunately, the very existence of these massive government subsidies raises my suspicion as to the actual practicality of the project at hand. Without an effective “storage” solution to support wind generation, the sporadic nature of this energy source keeps it out of the mainstream. This is where the backyard entrepreneur has the advantage since his storage needs can be met with batteries. Where America can lead the way is in solving problems like this BEFORE jumping head first into an effort to put a windfarm on every hill in the country. Cart before the horse type of thinking…..

      • John, i agree with the vast majority of what you said here. You are exactly right on the problem. Our society/ government can’t address the most obvious problems such as a sound long term energy plan. I know Ron and you have both cited numerous examples of conservation and local no-brainer ways we could reduce carbon emissions. What we need to collectively understand is that I/we all want lower carbon, I am a green guy, I think wind energy is great. I like you, would install a wind generator on my property for personal use, but it’s a lot of work and expense to get to the ” free” part. Battery storage and governing the blade speed is 95% of the challenge.
        As Texas found out last year all the free nameplate wind energy in the world doesn’t do a dang bit of good when it’s 110 degrees for 2 months and the wind ain’t blowin.
        I agree with your assessment and disdain for NYSERDA and gov. Involvement ( or lack of) and this where my biggest beef comes with these debates. These wind projects are “real”, here and now in our back yard due to arbitrary state by state, country by country carbon reduction goals.
        What sense does it make for NYS residents and businesses to pay higher energy costs then (lets say) OHIO when they are a huge source of world carbon. What sense does it make for us to put enormous wind turbines in our back yard (when we get almost nothing in return) when Duke and other power companies are building new coal plants that create more carbon in one day than all the mills in Madison save in their life cycle?
        I’m not opposed to wind energy and I am all for ” green” in every possible way. People on the other side of this debate make at sound like NIMBYism is nutty and we are afraid of the bogeyman, when if fact we are
        Looking out for our communities interest and opposed to the hypocracy of
        random, feel good , BS government give always because they are too inept to create a meaningful energy program.
        I don’t want to sound unsympathetic to the land owner and carbon side of this debate, but humbly believe the community is being preyed upon by heartless unemotional investors.

      • John Robinson

        Dave, I kinda figured that but you cant ever be too sure, it did let me rant a bit about one of my pet peeves, other countries judging us when they don’t have their stuff together!

        I read the Moratorium and Im happy they excluded residential systems. I do hope they sign it and move it forward quickly. Hopefully a reasonable and agreeable plan can be be formed quickly. If they are willing and can comply, getting them going is a positive. If they cant or wont, I would hope the re-invigorated public might somehow try to encourage a push to get NY State to really support really creative approaches that will work for Madison and surrounding Communities.

        We could be the area that did something new, not just the one that stopped something that wasnt good for it. Washington and Albany must become more responsive to our reality, were not able to just keep going the way we are without re-investing into the citizen who pays the bills and our nations infra-structure.

  44. Some new investors in the EDP “renewable” business:

    Portuguese wind giant EDP Renováveis (EDPR) has confirmed that China Three Gorges (CTG) will make €800m ($1.03bn) of a planned €2bn investment in the company’s assets during the next 12 months, after the Chinese finalise their purchase of a stake in parent-group EDP in the coming days. http://www.rechargenews.com/business_area/finance/article313047.ece

    Just a guess, but a new turbine manufacturer might be specified for the proposed project!

    • Funny.

      Hey who cares if the Portuguese own the mills and the parts come from China ..we are “world do-gooders” here in Madison.

      The lease owners as we have heard are environmentalists, all about zero carbon and property rights.

      Let me see if I understand …we are debating property rights for a handful of people above tens of thousands of Madison residents/ land owners.

      So …they can lease their land to build GINORMOUS turbines
      which ” theoretically” produce clean energy >>> Thus clean air..
      (BUT…we also need to build back up carbon plants for when the wind isn’t blowing…and spew gobs of co2 every time they are called on)
      So ….our subsidized tax & power dollars go to Potugesues investors
      which buy turbines from Chinese factories
      That are causing the pollution we are trying to clean up.

      We need to rename the wind project “El Grande Stupido Acres”….farm.

      • John Robinson

        Tom, When you put it like that, it sounds pretty crazy. Please stop confusing the conversation with facts! I think the reason these mills seem so perfect for Albany, NYSERDA, Washington and others is they dont have to deal with 600 installations, just one big one. Thats likely to happen with friends and family of Republi-Crats more than Taxpayers and Homeowners.

        I lost respect for the goals of NYSERDA when they straight forwardly stated that their entire reason to exist was to employ companies that support green NRG in NY, not lower emissions, prices and increase availability of NRG, just create and maintain NYS certified Installers and their Companies! That was said at a big seminar I attended a few years ago at Morrisville college. I was pissed after I heard that and they reinforced that by proving that nobody in the state was getting that money unless they had Mucho Gusto Dinero to begin with! Otherwise you weren’t getting financed for a $50,000 Windmill or PV Bank. Then to add to the hypocrisy, they told us that if we were capable of doing all or some of the work, we would pay a huge penalty for doing so!

        Thats when I said, Screw NYSEDA, I will build one without them! Ive been collecting parts for 3 years now and have almost everything I need except the turbine itself, I will be making that this summer if I can squeeze it in. Ive always found systems developed by our government “for our own good”, FOOG, to be more likely serve the good of someone other than me…

  45. John Robinson

    Not a problem Tom, These are pretty tough times and they frustrate us all. I lose my cool so often Im considered an Alternative NRG Source and a cause of global warming! See ya round the town, JR

  46. John Robinson

    Chris,
    Conservation, recycle and reuse are primary to setting a sustainable baseline but were off the charts in NRG usage per Human across this Country. One person now uses the same amount of NRG with high efficiency toys in a day that a family of 4 used to use to support basic needs with inefficient things in the 60’s. They killed all the regional rail so we dont have mass transit but even when we provide free transportation, our kids with our cars still choose to drive and we let them! The Parking Lot at MCS is 3 times the size it was in 78 and the Colgate Cruizer drives around half empty while students drive their Range Rovers like Crazed Taxis between classes! Why do we pay for buses if they are still gonna drive?

    Im a huge fan of regional power generation but it isnt easy to get Utility Companies like NYSEG to let go of any of their Dominion. We have no less than 15 major Mill Ponds in this area, 4 or 5 great water Wheel platforms that could be revitalized to make power and great locations for 200 private 10KW less <100' wind turbines. We could support nearly everything but Hamilton with that type of power and still have reserve. If Colgate put in a couple of Natural Gas Turbines, they could power all of Hamilton almost as cheaply as they do now and we have lots of natural gas being pumped within 2 miles of the campus every day.

    These giant Windmills are not the only answer, just a small piece of the big picture we left with when we do almost nothing else. The rest will take some bold and creative work to keep our houses warm and illuminated for the foreseeable future.

    Those options are not really viable because of DEC, NYSERDA, NYSEG and MO and the Republi-Crats in Albany.

  47. John Robinson

    Wow Tom, that wasn’t very nice to say was it? I know a few Toms up near that area, went to school with one, I certainly didnt mean to urinate in your Wheaties! I am a Madison County Resident (for most of my life), Landowner, Business owner, Employer, Employee, Husband, Father, Grandfather, taxpayer, Retired Veteran, Concerned Citizen and I vote! I came to this site to join in the discussion because I was told it was an open forum for evaluating the terms, goals and efficacy of the Wind Farm, not to get in a mud slinging contest with you or anyone else. Honestly, I can see 21 of the current ones from my front and back yard, the newly proposed ones aren’t in my view at all but they are in my County so I am interested like others in the discussion.

    I know Ron and many others on here that have Identified themselves fully like good neighbors do. All good people from what I know, Ron’s got his different ways but he cares more than most about our environment and loves this area also (though I agree, the house has got to go). Were not friends, I dont get a dime for any wind power and I agree with you that other methods offer a greater return potential with a minimal footprint but nobody around here or anywhere else wants to discuss those options so we get giant eggbeaters! If bigger windmills come to Madison, I hope its with the blessing of most of the populace but I’m painfully aware that many will be truly distressed to see them just like a couple of my neighbors feel about the older ones; they hate them, always will.

    I will try to respectfully disengage from challenging you on this topic cause its obvious you have this all figured out. Hopefully others will keep up the chatter and we can all try to come to terms with what will or wont be as a community not act like the Hatfields and McCoys. I have to see if I can shift some work and will try to make the Thursday meeting, should be interesting.

    • Yeah i did go a little over the top. So i am going to be half nice this time .

      You jumped in with a bad start….

      You know how it goes Ron, people get interested when they want, not when its most useful! The Boonies have always been a region of very low regulatory BS and a solid opportunity to do new and different things without having to get the permission of every Tom, Dick and Esmeralda who chooses to open their mouth!”

      WOW….Those are right neighborly words
      THey are YOUR response to Ron calling us OPPORTUNSTS…. and NYMBism suspect..

      I guess we shouldnt open our mouths?

      you also state…
      “Sorry, you truly cant preserve something that isnt yours to preserve ”

      Education and ideas is what this forum is about. … if we can cut out the “In your face statements ” I am think you will find everyone..even me is cool here.

      I likie your last Post. I agree almost completely with every thing you said. You never got nasty or condesending once.

      • John Robinson

        Tom, your points were well taken, if I sounded a bit Snarky, I really didnt mean to insult anyone. If your the Tom I think you are (Rons neighbor?), you were in my 10th grade class! Im the guy who found your doggy running around the foothills some years ago and called the vet on her tag to find you to pick her up! I do believe in neighbors helping and supporting each other but that doesnt mean we will always or even ever agree on many of the bigger issues in life. I react viscerally to the type of Board Based Community Management that has been taking place in built up areas forever, its bankrupted most of them and will do the same for us if we embrace it too closely. Cant stand gated or structured lifestyles and thats why I live out where services and such are as minimal as you can get.

        I dont think yall are being Opportunists at all, just nervous and rightfully so. If anyone is grabbing at the cash, it could be Ron, but I can almost promise he wouldn’t build anything up there that would hurt the environment so at least he’s an Eco-Opportunist, could be worse. Many years ago in Knoxboro, they gave us a dump that ruined half the wells and small streams in that area. The fight was long and hard and we lost hands down. For 20 years, folks far and near drove their waste to the top Of Knoxboro hill and dumped it in our back yards. That pit is filled with orange buffing compound and goo from Oneida Ltd thats been bubbling up out of the ground downhill of it for decades.

        Over the last few months Ive heard things said around this area that werent at all friendly or neighborly. It sounds very much like the Hard Scrabble battle that raged so long and ripped that area into little pieces. The conversations got so heated that even family members were ready to disown each other if they didnt agree. The Mills still got built and there are some very bad vibes left from the fight that wont die anytime soon.

        Ive been a Tech Geek since I left MCS in the mid 70’s thanks in part to Mr Saulsgiver and Doc Frink. One of my prime areas of interest have been in alternatives NRG research and development. The progress has been slow but the actionable options have been growing steadily (albeit like watching paint dry!). Being an advocate for sustainable power isnt all that easy when your surrounded by a country filled with stalwarts that refuse to see the train coming down the track or Uber-greenies that are ready to try anything even if its got few possibilities of producing anything but failure. Id like to think I fall somewhere in the middle of that, we have to do something and soon but we dont have to do everything that someone else wants just because they want it! War-gaming each and every option is crucial to making reasonable choices.

        Maybe its because Im a Tech Geek that the Windmills dont bother me at all. Like a racing enthusiast, the bigger, louder and faster the better! When I was a kid, I had to build my kites bigger every time, once we built a 12′ tall one that we had two spools of bailing twine tied on and a tractor to hold it down. Thats when I realized that if we had anything of use around here, it was big hills and wind!

      • John Robinson

        Ha Ha, ha, I just re read my Tom, Dick and Esmeralda thing, I should think and look better at the participants names before I coin that phrase!!! Sorry “Tom”, that was a completely innocent mistake, just a coincidence that your name was included, just like John, Tom’s a very common name!

        Note to self, from now on, say something like- “Every Alvin, Spartacus and Esmeralda”,

        Gotta chuckle a bit but I really wasnt calling you out, Honest Infantry! (cant say “Honest Injun” anymore, its insulting according to which side of the Turning Stone debate someone fall into to call American Native Residents Honest or Injun (but thats a whole nother expensive, useless local battle over the OIN’s!).

        Sooooory Tom

      • No sweat John. I took my frustrations out on you and that was wrong.
        It’s all good neighbor!. Peace!

  48. Barbara Holmes

    John, you make some good points, but if you had moved here from NJ as we did, you might not take the 100+ acres per person for granted. NJ was called the Garden State because it was all farm land at one point. Now it is all parking lots and traffic. Are we wrong to have wanted to leave that and move to a place that’s rural and beautiful? Personally, I don’t want to tell anyone else what to do about anything and I respect that the people who have lived here the longest understand the area the best. But if you allow anyone who owns land to do what they want with it (no zoning) then soon you’ll find all kinds of developers taking advantage of that. I’ve seen it happen in too, too many places. If you don’t guard against it, the land is soon gone. The very influx of outsiders (ie: us) are perfect examples of what happens when things start to change and new voices enter the mix. Let’s try and figure out what works for all of us and safeguard it by putting some reasonable regulations in place. I don’t object to windmills. I object to them being placed too close to existing homes. We talked to a man in Fairfield whose life has been impacted in every single way and will never be the same. It isn’t fair to do that to people. It’s as simple as that.

    • We need to do what we have done for the last 50 years build hydro and nukes. They are clean cheap and create jobs. And they run 24/7

      • John Robinson

        Good luck with that Tom, If we cant drill for Oil in and Ice field surrounded by nothing for hundreds of miles, nobodies going to allow nukes and think about the baby slug wart worm fish that could be injured in a hydro turbine? Ha ha ha…

    • John Robinson

      Thanks Barb, Im a tech guy and have been studying and preparing for the alternative NRG Revolution since I got my first PV Cell from Radio Shack 40+ years ago. I also served 21 years in the military and Im sick of sending our soldiers to die in the ME to protect Oil Fields while we do little here to feed our own needs. Unfortunately, we havent moved that far in that time, we still create most of our BTU’s Burning Fossil fuel from terrorists and dictators.

      I have seen the odd shaped Green hills or garbage mounds in Jersey and the sprawl is out of this world. The locals are way different, we arent really a bedroom community for anything cept maybe Syracuse and Colgate. Not much else around here and not many plans for anything either. Dont worry about here, the population has remained stagnant or decreased for over 40 years.

      We also have zoning in effect to make sure farms arent sold off en mass to create lots of new housing tracts. Choices are very limited for those who do own land to begin with between the DEC, Zoning Boards and others so trying to eek out an existence off the land without a herd of 500+ Milkers or a University is nearly impossible.

      A friend of mine bought a little cabin near Brookfield a few years back, 1 acre or so but surrounded by woods. Within 2 years, his neighbor leased a piece about 600′ from his front door to put up a 150′ Cell looking tower for 911. He hates the thing but understands that its not anything he can do anything about so he has learned to live with it.

      I dont know how close is too close or how tall is too tall, I suppose were gonna find out!

      • John I think you should go to your local town board and suggest they throw a lean on Ron’s property for the cost of tearing it down. Then when it stops working. he can’t skip town .
        You see as you and Ron giggle like school boys about the slick deal,you he got, your comments exactly depict the type of people who sell
        Out their neighbors for chump change . We welcome your pathetic statements as it reaffirms to us the type of crass self centered shysters that live among us.
        John the one thing I know is you and Ron have an endless cesspool of snide mindless comments. Keep flapping, your hot air Helps turn the mill and motivates us to stop this bs in its track.

    • As I have said before. If you ignore Ron and John they will go away.
      Only a fool tries to argue with a fool. They are a distraction. That is their intention to distract. Witness every time Ron and John are informed of facts and logic. They run to “I have rights on my property” .

      We are trying to fix a proplem. The community is their enemy.
      Trust Me Barb you aren’t going to win an arguement these ” educated ” ha
      Boonie guys. They get joy being in our face. So close the door in their face.

      • Ron Blackmore

        I am starting to wonder if I am being confused with another Ron. In any case I am consistent in my environmental and justice values, and hardly the fool that Mr. Tom apparently is as he makes up and believes his own self serving “facts”. but obvioulsly he can’t handle opposing opinion, and we are talking opinions here. tom is welcome to take down the transmission line that was placed there by eminent domain to bring everyone dirty power and allows me no access to my Quarterline Road frontage, and that, unlike my McCormick Rd frontage is not a seasonal road. I believe the prior owner , Jenson, received a whole one time payment of $250. for that deal, service for the “public good”. Wind turbines and their payments, including PILOT to the school and town, besides the clean energy, are a much better deal. Any thoughts for an alternative clean industry? How about an industrial natural gas liquidfication plant now that Hamilton so easily voted to bring in methane?

    • John Robinson

      I am truly sorry Barbara if you fall into the shadow of these after uprooting for the reasons you did. The mills around my house went up about a year after we moved from a local Village that gave us the same anxiety NJ Sprawl gave you. I was raised in Rural Augusta, I wanted that again. The mills were so much less problematic than village living.

      Im not an environmentalist but love the beauty and solitude of our region, Im not a big business advocate either but dont blame them for trying to make big money. I do find their inability to consider options a problem when their plans happen without much local involvement to begin with.

      Is there an acceptable solution that still allows for new generators to come in? My physics is a bit rusty but there are very few scenarios I can imagine that dont come with physical manifestations to those within half a mile of them that are completely unavoidable. Those that make money will accept any, is it possible that those not bound under contract would could live in sight of them without the fear of an invasion feeling resting on their minds daily?

      Madison County is big, so really that mill farm isn’t in my back yard to speak of so I wouldn’t do anything to prevent or promote it unless I was so inclined as an advocate or opponent of the application, not to judge your personal concerns as an adjacent property to them, if that’s how you feel, its valid in your eyes and mind, I respect that.

      The biggest issue I have with how our NYSERDA money is being spent. Its not coming back to the folks who payed it in and could benefit from it the most, the single homeowner and power-consumer! Just think how many 100′ tall 10 kw mills that could buy in Madison, 400, maybe more? Add a 50 more homes with Solar panels that cant use wind and now were cooking with clean, Green, no guilt NRG. Each and every one of them producing excess power most of the time and feeding it back into the grid. 30+ private jobs for full time technicians could be provided keeping them spinning and if we revitalized a few mill ponds and water wheels, we could tell NYSEG and out of state companies to go PP up a rope.

      I do hope Madison and other hill and dale communities as a whole try to get ahead of the curve on NRG self sufficiency before NY City gets a chance to plug their extension cords into our grid. We do have all the resources most places do not have. Not just tall hills, lots of forests, running and stored water, Natural Gas galore and the sun even shines now and then. That would be the best impediment to subsidized big business being able to swing their government sponsored stick at an unwilling participant. Lets face it, if we had taken the NRG Bull by the horns decades ago, it would be hamburger today instead of another insatiable hungry beast of burden shaking its tail at us.

      Its never too late, we have the votes to change these things but that happens in Albany and Washington, not in a Madison Town Hall. .

      The more we take control ourselves, the less others will wield at us.

  49. Well, it is about time though, this sudden and opportunistic concern to “protect” the “Madison community”…… where was all the conern when a previous planning board under Norm Fogg did a lot of work on new land use laws for the town modeled after Nelson’s. I was about the only one who showed up at the hearing to support it and the board rejected it in it’s entirety (no one wants zoning! I heard). Then there was the the Town Comprenhensive Plan meeting and workshop last year sponsored by the county and well publicized …. who showed for that?. By the way, as images of varioau development scenarios were shown, windfarms were highest rated . Commercial sprawl that we all consume from along with car culture was low. We do have “industrial” wind turbines operating quite well in the county and I do hope the corporations that own them make a profit and that eventually they will keep a new coal or oil or nuclear plant from being “needed” by those industry interests and their political backers who are very likely delighting in these sort of debates (and the demise of clean, sustainable energy sources). No wonder that Nimbyism is suspect.

    • John Robinson

      You know how it goes Ron, people get interested when they want, not when its most useful! The Boonies have always been a region of very low regulatory BS and a solid opportunity to do new and different things without having to get the permission of every Tom, Dick and Esmeralda who chooses to open their mouth!

      A recent influx in the past couple decades of traditionally non-Rural inhabitants resettling in our region has inspired way to many private concerns and choices to become community controlled and For Our Own Good decisions being made by folks that dont have the actual rights to choose what we do on our own land!

      Yes, we all get to share the views but no, we dont own them or the property underneath them unless we have a deed. Ive found that those that do not own land suitable for windmills are the most likely to not want one for a neighbor.

      Ive heard complaints lately about the smell of Cow Crap, Loud tractors and even Amishes being problematic because their horses poop in the road on occasion. Yesterday, a friend of mine even told me a story about someone in their fire district that complained their camp on a limited access road should be covered by Hamilton, not the district they live in and complained they didnt have appropriate coverage or access during the winter so their insurance was sky high! Whats next, not enough Malls, ethnic restaurants or Social Services Offices in Oriskany Falls?

      This is Big Sky Country, we have 100+ acres for every single person that lives and breaths here to not be crushed in! Historically in this region, most decisions locally were made on the property line by friends and neighbors that try to live their own lives without the need to request permission from a council or board.

      Sorry, you truly cant preserve something that isnt yours to preserve and arguably has been augmented and modified since the first plow share hit the ground centuries ago. I am so positive that The New Macadam Roads in the early 1900’s were met with much negative commentary just like the power lines everywhere we now accept as normal.

      You cannot have your cake and eat it too! If you drive a car, have AC power in your home, cook over NG, Propane or AC coils, watch TV, Charge your I-Pad or drive a 4 wheeler; you are directly responsible for why we need more Wind Mills, Nuke Plants and Turbines of every type. We really produce little actual transportable NRG in Madison County so how do you think your Lights come on every morning?

      • Paul Bookbinder

        John – you say

        Ive found that those that do not own land suitable for windmills are the most likely to not want one for a neighbor.

        I believe you are correct, those who will PROFIT from having a windmill are the ones who are most in favor of them. Is this right and just, or are there some things we should not do for money? If the truth is ” I know the turbine on my land will destroy your quality of life but I simply don’t care because I am making money from it”, lets not gloss that over with arguments about how benign and wonderful the turbines are.

    • John Robinson

      Just to note, I mean no disrespect to anyone on this board or considering the topic. Many of us have been very engaged in the discussion for years on a local blog Ive been with for a long time, Check it out, lots of serious thinkers as well as some good fun. http://clipper220.proboards.com/index.cgi

      After all, I know half the folks on this blog and we live within 10 miles of each other at furthest. I do hope the discussion stays cool headed and viable because its important for us all regionally to understand the pro’s and con’s of any alternative or sustainable NRG supply and not just embrace it cause its cool and new! Everyone cant afford a Prius and a bank of Solar Panels that cost more than the house they live in. Alternative NRG production is not cheap, it takes vast tracts of land to produce what can be made on a single acre of Fossil Fired Generation and it will effect the visual presentation of anywhere its employed. Not unlike forests being converted to fields to grow corn for ethanol. If you loved the forest next to your house, your not likely gonna love a corn field.

      My Granddaughter was scared to death of these things when they first arrived, so Grandpa took her up to the one we saw up on the hill and we both checked it out. She has since become comfortable with them turning and swishing and calls them Pop’s big fans! Young eyes see things differantly, I like her visions much better than the ones I’m hearing from Adults Lately!

      Some folks are getting pretty riled up, angry and ready to do things they normally wouldn’t think of doing to their neighbors, relatives, Kids at schools Parents and The farmer that can barely make their feed payments. Think first, act with wisdom not vitriol and understand that things aren’t just changing now, they never stopped changing and will forever more.

    • Katheryne Gall

      As a resident of the Town of Madison (for 24 years if anyone wants to know), I received a survey about comprehensive planning a while back (probably a couple years ago). I completed and returned it, but apparently not many people responded. I never noticed any publicity about a Comprehensive Plan meeting and workshop. I think many people now realize that if we want to know more about the issues the Town Board faces, we need to be more involved. We need to attend meetings so we learn what’s going on and let our officials know what we think. I also think it would help everyone be better informed and more involved if the Town website was kept up-to-date with current information about issues and Town events.

      The best outcome I can imagine from this whole contentious process would be if we come together as a community and get to know each other better. Of course there are issues on which we will have to “agree to disagree” but that doesn’t mean we can’t discuss things in a civil manner and respect one another as neighbors. Planning for development doesn’t mean refusing to accept that things change. It means making well-reasoned choices about change instead of just letting things happen.

    • Well Ron we are finally making progress. We’re not as far apart as i though.
      All you needed is a little education, sorry we werent at the Nelsen meeting to support you.
      Since you find the NIMBYism suspect , I agree, lets put them/ us in action. (then no longer suspect)
      why don’t you and I set up an OCCUPY for the local Rolling Uplands office. You drum up the local boonies folk, and land owners like John and I’ll drum up the NIMBYs
      And we will all protest the corporate greed together. As traditional boonie men you and John oppose some fast talkin city slicker messing with your land.
      See if you stuck to your guns and didn’t listen to “their slick talking jibber-jabber” like grand pappy warned you…. you wouldn’t be in such a pickle now.

      Ok here’s the plan.
      Step 1) Ron and john go door to door and get signatures for the moratorium petition
      Step 2) get the land owners to direct deposited their lease checks into the mm legal fund
      Step 3) we set up an occupy date.

      Now when we occupy:
      You guys wear your Daniel boonie-man outfits and carry a pop gun and we NIMBYs will carry protest signs.
      You guys sing kumbaya and
      we will chant “whose LAND? OUR Land”

      I’m sorry you guys got bamboozled out of your land by the greedy predators, we have all learned from your mistakes.

      • John Robinson

        I wish I had a piece big enough to lease, I only have 9 acres and none of it on the big hill. I will have a little 2.5 KW Mill of my own running soon I hope.

        About 10 years ago I was looking to buy Rons Place, I made a mistake and didnt! He wanted more than I was willing to pay at that moment, my mistake!

        I suggest that maybe if its so objectionable that MM collect up all the cash they can and instead of buying lawyers and adds, buy the land in question then make it forever wild! I would completely support that idea and maybe even donate a few bucks myself.

        Im not a protestor type, I vote with my feet, if I dont like where they are, I move them to a place they would feel more comfortable.

      • Ron Blackmore

        Education? . boonies? and the proposed land use law meeting was in Madison not Nelson. I also am a landowner, both in the proposed area with a homesite and 68 Ac. of two wooded hills, and 20 where I live within the Munnsville project, and frequent wind turbines nearly daily uop close, besides being an environmental scientist. I hardly need “education” from the likes of you.

  50. John Robinson

    Unfortunately, our choices other than drill, frack and build egg beaters are limited to nearly none. NY city wants the clean abundant power we have and Albany will give it to them sooner or later, it almost happened a couple years back, they will return and this time with a bigger hammer. We have no choice but to build in significant overproduction to prepare for the big drain that will be attached to our grid before you know it.

    These giants do dwarf most other alternatives but those others are dismissed immediately by the DEC, NIMBY’s and others so egg beaters is what we get. That wont change as long as we are not willing to do the other things. The law of diminishing returns is in effect.

    Higher Efficiency standards have gone a long ways to improving our environment and maximizing the effectiveness of our outdated transmission systems. I wont say it was for not but weve seen few giant steps as of late that have any hope of saving our planet or our bank accounts from destruction because we have no real alternatives and wont any time soon.

    I for one will be building a windmill without the help of NYSERDA, Im too poor to get their assistance! I have all the tower gear, battery bank and the generator, this summer, Im building the Turbine itself. I cant wait till I see it spinning and my neighbors wont say much, they have big ones on their property!

    I would love to see the new ones come to Madison and NY City but weve all gotta stop saying no to everything and do something otherwise were just gonna have to keep feeding terrorists, sultans and drug lords our money and lives of our Sons and Daughters!

    • Paul Bookbinder

      But we DO have alternatives – right now the plan as proposed is basically us saying “OK Wind Turbine Factory, you do what you think is best, we trust you”. That is like saying “OK British Petroleum, you clean up the spill as best as you see fit, we trust you”. Just like in real estate, location, location, and location is the key. I do not oppose ALL wind turbines, just ones that will destroy my neighbors quality of life. Lets enact a moretorium and really understand these things., The answer may be very simple – In the equation [ minimum setback from existing homes = “X” times the height of the turbine from the ground ] we need to determine what value for “X” is appropriate for our llocale. I am not an engineer, I do not know if “X” needs to be 8 or 12 or the square root of Pi, but SOMEONE must know, and we need to take the time to find that someone and enact that as the zoning rule for Madison. If the end result is that we can allow 8 or 10 or 132 of these turbines in, that will be OUR decision, and then the turbine company can decide if the economic cost of developing that number of turbines is worth the anticipated profit. If it is, they will build, if not they will move on to the next town. The only way we can understand these things is to study them and the only way to study then is to enact a moretorium. See you at the meeting thursday.

    • Do you oppose hydro and nuke, Wher most of our energy currently comes from.?

  51. chris hoffman

    In response to John Robinson: You are absolutely right in that we all do rely too much on all kinds of fuel to run our busy lives, and right to be concerned. The effort involved must be multi-faceted, arising as it does from the underlying fact of too many people living off of finite resources, and most people being either uneducated or unwilling to make the changes or do the work necessary to bring about meaningful change. We should be working to get our government to quit supporting corporate enterprise with our tax dollars and instead offer incentives for people to create their own individual sources of energy generation. We should be working to create mass transit systems that are actually practical for people who live in rural areas. We should be working to get the government to invest in rail transportation. I could go on for hours about what we should be doing. None of it, however, has much to do with the battle at hand, which is attempting to stop another government-subsidized corporate invasion of our chosen lifestyle and locale, a problem that creates an immediate urgency in order to prevent a long-term travesty.

  52. Could someone who is involved with the Madison Matters group please explain what the website listed below is and what connection it is with your group?

    http://tasis.us/

    • Madison Matters

      TASIS appears to be the website of a member of the community who has been supportive of the efforts of Madison Matters and has attended a number of public meetings. Madison Matters is not affiliated with TASIS nor does it subscribe to or advocate any position or tactics that may be expressed by TASIS. Madison Matters has not collaborated with TASIS and nothing that appears on its website has been authorized by Madison Matters or any director or officer of Madison Matters.

      • Emily Flint

        I have been listening in on the converstion and been trying to keep an open mind. I also live near the windmills in the Agusta area, and have no problem with the current windmills. I understand your concerns about the “bigger” windmills and understand that this has immediate effect upon you and your families, where as it will have little effect directly upon me.
        But with that being said, I am greatly disturbed that there is in existence a website such as the one mentioned above which seems (contrary to your comment above) to be directly involved with your group, which attends the public meetings and makes notes of what is said and who says it. I would hope that your group would publicly distance yourselves from this “community member”. There have been instances in other local communities dealing with similar situations (ie the wind mills) where personal property has been destroyed because people held dissenting opinions. I would point out that those who live in our small rural community are not having their individual rights opressed. Terms such as “Strike Force” and “dealing with incidents” leads those of us who may be opposed to the thoughts and opinions expressed by the Madison Matters group, to feel that the welfare of our families and personal property could be at stake. This is a legal process. We all have the right to our opinions and the right to feel safe expressing those opinions. As this process procceeds, regardless of who “wins”, I would hope that everyone on both sides would keep this firmly in mind.

      • Madison Matters

        Emily,
        We wholeheartedly agree with you. We are told that the TASIS site has been taken down. We were unaware of its existence, and thank you for bringing it to our attention.

  53. John Robinson

    I live in full sight less than 1/4 mile from several of the current ones and can see the Fenner mills across the valley from my yard. They are undoubtedly the quietest and least troublesome neighbors Ive ever had bar none. The Fields they occupy also grow corn and hay and the owners get a modest income for property they pay taxes on each year.

    They don’t emit harmful pollutants or loud noises or block the sun with clouds of smoke or even with their relatively small footprint compared to the thousands of acres of various use property that surrounds them. Motorcycles, Semi Trucks, ceiling fans and HVAC system produces more disturbing noises on Route 46!

    Gas neared $5 a gallon, it will be there again and much higher. Any NRG we produce without constant foreign Oil Baron influence makes us better off than without.

    Lastly, NIMBY’s dont own the Sky, air or land surrounding their piece of heaven. you cant expect to control what you dont own,

    • Paul Bookbinder

      John – every year 77 million dogs and cats are euthanized at humane shelters across this country, so I believe it is important that all pet owners have their cats and dogs spayed or neutered. This of course has NOTHING whatsoever to do with the proposed wind turbine project, but neither do your (and others) comments on how serene and beautiful and wonderful the present windmills are – the ones planned are NOT the same, and so the observations you make regarding the ones we have here are completely irrelevant. If you had these second generation monsters within 1/4 mile of your home I suspect you would have a vastly different opinion of your mechanical neighbors. Do you honestly believe that the people on Hardscrabble that I talked to, or the people in Wisconsin, or other people who actually live with these newer machines, and complain about how they have destroyed their quality of lives, are all liars???

      • John Robinson

        I never said anyone was a liar, all I said is the ones near me are fine. These are the same ones others have yelled about yet I dont even know they are there unless i look directly at them.

        I also remember all the fuss about the first generation being inefficient, the second gens are much more efficient and now thats getting negative feedback also.

        We cant Frack, no new Nukes, wind or hydro turbines or Pipelines or offshore rigs and our NRG needs double every 20 years. 99% of us still depend on oil, NG, Coal, and others. What is gonna stop us from blackouts if we dont make new NRG available?

  54. Barbara Holmes

    The view does belong to everyone. The whole point of zoning (and why we need it) is that it establishes a community aesthetic that expresses the will of the majority of people who live in an area. Just because we own land does not mean we are free to rape it. My understanding of the good way to live is to think of ourselves as stewards of the world we inhabit. We consider our neighbors and we consider the animals we impact and the land we cultivate (or not) and we consider the beauty around us and what can be done to preserve it. This is my idea of considering “the greater good”. By the way, I believe that a lot of the beauty in this area is thanks to the people who work hard and farm it. I would like to find better ways to support them that are better than this.

  55. Since a lot of this has to do with “view” or it’s value, e.g. the first meeting and the woman from CA who brought in the photo of the land across from her where she does’t want to see a windmill. Who owns that view?. Is the landowner who pays taxes and maintains an unobtructed , undeveloped landscape across the valley from a not so scenic hillside of homes (the viewers) not allowed to put in trailers, or a quarry or a wind turbine? Does he have the right to sit in the yards of those who enjoy the view he provides so he can enjoy the view also? Where I live I can go onto my little hill and count 21 turbines, but the best view across Madison Lake and over to Stone Rd. always was from up above. Now a house sits there looking across my hill. If I was to build a big barn and silo, I could spoil that for them right quick, and still have my view from the barn. Bet they would prefer a wind tower that would be so easy to see through like those around us now. And it would make little difference if it was a 100 M turbine like those at Hardscrabble that I ‘ve seen, or a bit shorter. On the horizon at 1000 ft. it is only inches. I suppose, as a distance runner, 100 M. or the straight way on one side of a track, hardly seems big or long.

    • I’d be really careful about getting into a spitting contest over who pays the most taxes per acre and thus where the preponderance of government revenues come from.

    • Paul Bookbinder

      The issue is much, much more than “view”. It is about serious impacts on quality of life – among them noise, interference with telecommunications, and light flicker. If as you say you have seen the second generation turbines up close and personal you must recognise that the impact of these monstrous machines is vastly, vastly greater than the impact of the turbines currently in place here. It is not a question of how they affect someone a mile away, it is about how they affect a homeowner liiterally in their shadows. Truth be told, for ME it is about none of these, as my home is a mile or more from the nearest proposed turbine. For me it is about the injustice of anyone – the town board, the turbine company, “the man” – taking away a citiizens right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The turbines in Herkimer are, as we speak, SERIOUSLY negatively impacting the quality of life of people living next to them – I know, I spoke to them face to face. If they are built here they will do the same to my neighbors. This is a fact that can not be argued against. When I was in highschool a friend of mine had the state purchase and destroy her home so a new highway could be built – they had no say in it, it just was imposed on them. At the time it seemed Orwellian to me, impossible in this land of the free, yet today 40 years later I see before my very eyes a proposed project that will impose similar infringements on the rights of law abiding homeowners, their personal quality of life offered up as a sacrificial lamb to some unseen (but profitable to the Chosen Few) god. Are all wind turbines bad, no I do not believe that to be true, but is the current proposal bad, you are damned right it is, unspeakably bad and injust. I remaind perplexed that anyone who has a sense of community and justice and fair play and compassion can possibly support the project as currently planned

  56. Madison Matters

    In response to Tom:

    The main priority right now is to be sure the Town Board knows that MANY residents are in favor of strengthening the regulations on industrial development in the Town of Madison. Many people who are in favor of wind development believe that regulations should include appropriate setbacks.

    Specific actions for this week:

    1. Sign the petition for a moratorium if you have not already done so. Email or talk to your friends and neighbors and encourage them to sign. There is a link on the Home page of MadisonMatters.org.

    2. Write to Town Board and Planning Board members to let them know you support a moratorium. Their addresses are on the More Info page.

    3. Attend Town Board meeting on Thursday, May 10 to show your support for a moratorium.

    4. Put up a yard sign. They are available at Parry’s, in the front of the store with the seasonal merchandise.

    If you would like to become more actively involved with Madison Matters, please email MadisonMatters.org@gmail.com

  57. Madison Matters

    Lucien Catania made a very good point in response to the Report on the May 2nd Town Board meeting —

    “An important clarification is that after one of the board members introduces the draft law for consideration, the board will have to vote it into law. Since Patricia Bikowsky has recused herself from voting on any wind farm issues, there will be four members voting. I wanted to ask what happens in the event of a 2-2 tie vote at the end of this meeting, but I was not permitted. I asked Bill Getman [Town Attorney] afterward and he said that a tie vote will mean that the moratorium will not be passed. Please consider this and continue to communicate your concerns to our elected board members.”

    Another good reason to sign the moratorium petition and attend the Town Board Meeting on Thursday, May 10!

  58. Chris Hoffman

    To Ron Blackmore: If the fossil fuel industry were planning, in the stealth of night, over more than a year’s time, to come in to Madison and construct an oil field in the middle of hundreds of homes, and tear down trees and destroy the surrounding environment in the process, and then not allow anyone whose property had been effected by the destruction to even use the oil, you can bet we would be “scrutinizing” that industry as well. It doesn’t matter whether it’s oil or gas or wind or whatever, as long as it’s industrial in nature, and imposed upon a community, rather than designed by a community, it’s NOT the way to go. Why is it so difficult for you to understand this very crucial point in all this? We’re not against wind power, or sustainable power. We ARE against corporate takeover of our homes and communities. And if the government were serious about sustainable energy production, they’d be giving the massive subsidies to individuals to install their own wind generating towers to generate electricity for their own individual use, not spending OUR tax dollars to pay these companies to build the gd things and then sell them to another company three years later, so that company can get even more of our tax dollars. This is about corporate power, corporate takeover, corporate profits, with the aid of the federal and state governments. It is NOT about sustainable energy production.

    • Apparently the landowners exercising their right to sign leases in Madison and those in the Fenner and Munnsville projects do not feel that way. Apparently they have a different world view and realize we are all complicit with the corporations whose products we buy and energy we want so cheaply, whether manufactured here or abroad, but that there has been no problems with the clean wind industry they live with every day.. Unless I see a visible commitment to reduce energy use by 50%, electricity and driving, opt to purchase 80% renewables from suppliers, support for the Beyond Coal campaign and the work of 350.org and other such efforts to combat global warming, even a mm organized car pooling to descend on town meetings, and the end to rural sprawl on what were seasonal access roads protected by the very landowners you demean, I find the “anti-corporate” argument feeble. ps. i was involved in Occupy sites in NYC, Boston, and Buffalo, but i see a difference between big oil and coal and big wind on environmental grounds.
      But hey, that’s just me i guess.

      So, who are the officers of the TASIS.US “Command Strike Force” and what is their real agenda with madisonmatters?”

      • Paul Bookbinder

        Ron – are you capable of
        and willing
        to directly answer my question – Have YOU seen the new generation turbines you are willing to support? A simple yes or no would suffice

      • Dave Wilson

        This latest post explains a lot. “Occupy” people that protest against corporate interests until they see one that puts money in their own pockets …….. very convenient “green” exceptions to the rule.

    • Chris your post is absolutely spot on perfect. You win the “Gold Medal”!
      His response is so lame it is pointless to debate this topic with him anymore. If he doesn’t get it after your analogy …..”fugetaboutit”!

      Again, spot on how the gov. should approach wind subsidies.

      Let’s all focus on what we need to do to implement the mm movement. It would be helpful for mm to update us with specific goals such as moratorium petition etc. let’s use this forum to communicate specific actions that need to take place to stop this development . That is the only thing that matters right now.

      • Madison Matters

        The main priority right now is to be sure the Town Board knows that MANY residents are in favor of strengthening the regulations on industrial development in the Town of Madison. Many people who are in favor of wind development believe that regulations should include appropriate setbacks.

        Specific actions for this week:

        1. Sign the petition for a moratorium if you have not already done so. Email or talk to your friends and neighbors and encourage them to sign. There is a link on the Home page of MadisonMatters.org.

        2. Write to Town Board and Planning Board members to let them know you support a moratorium. Their addresses are on the More Info page.

        3. Attend Town Board meeting on Thursday, May 10 to show your support for a moratorium.

        4. Put up a yard sign. They are available at Parry’s, in the front of the store with the seasonal merchandise.

        If you would like to become more actively involved with Madison Matters, please email MadisonMatters.org@gmail.com

      • “gold medal” only if the very real hypocrisy ends…… and you divest from anything to do with big, dirty, subsidized, profit making oil corps. and greedy financial institutions and invest only where environmental and social justice is a priority (try Pax World maybe)….. that was just part of the Occupy message, along with the need for clean, renewable energy sources. I suppose you do the Tea Party, science denying bit though. By the way, the greater portion of any money I’d receive, should I sign a lease with EDP, would go to Nature Conservancy…… maybe I’ll just do that if given a chance next round. Afterall, each windmill with a 1000 ft set-back protects about 70 acres from rual sprawl and subdivisions and all their harmful impacts.

  59. Tom Gates pretty well hit the nail on the head in his last post, both by pointing to “personal agenda VS global perspective” arguments and in reminding us that the burden of proof in these cases lies with the developer, When any opportunist enters the fray and tries to force his way into a community to advance his corporate objectives it is incumbent upon him to demonstrate any public interest in his case. The current effort to rush this process through to approval is obviously an attempt to circumvent any due diligence that the community might wish to undertake and it must be resisted. Franky, I’m shocked that some of the proponents of this project are unaware of the existence of more than 14,000 abandoned windmills across the country and I believe this ignorance persists across the issues to include the impracticality of the wind effort in general. Some people really believe that wind is some sort of panacea and merits any effort required to implement it, There is no free lunch …….

    • Money for the decommission and tear down of obsolete mills was one of the first concerns that had crossed my mind. I was not aware there are so many abandoned mills, but it doesn’t surpriise me. Thanks for bringing that fact to our attention.

      As wind technology and manufacturers come and go, getting maintenance parts to keep them running seems to be a significant issue. If the various gov subsidies stop, as discussed in mm, will the current mills come grinding to a halt? Is there money set aside for tear down?

      • Madison Matters

        Ending the subsidy programs would make new development unprofitable. The taxpayers will continue to fund the subsidies that have already been granted for years to come.

    • no free lunch indeed. just look at all the abandoned mines, gas wells, contaminated coast lines, premature deaths, toxic rain, let alone extreme weather events, disappearing glaciers, global warming feedback loops, etc. and the excessively high per capita use of fossil fuels in the US.

  60. Ron Blackmore

    I live in view of plenty of turbines as do all my neighbors in and outside of the town, some quite close. Noone has any complaints about them. It isn’t even so much being for all the benefits of clean, renewable energy but not having any compelling reason to be against them.

    Tues. afternoon in heavy fog, doing my scholarly, nearly daily survey of noise, setback and wildlife observations below and around the 4 off Strip Rd., couldn’t see them, a bit eerie, but I could actually hear them. Must be they make sound in heavy air. Again, no dead birds under and again, field plowed right up to the pad (I though it was rumored that nasty wind industry people prevent any access even to farmers). And geese were picking their way over corn residue. Did they hike there too or did the federally subsidized program that was to equip them with GPS to keep them on suburban and college lawns and golf courses fail?

    • Paul Bookbinder

      Ron – as I and many others have repeatedly said – the turbines we have here now are not the same as the ones being proposed. Not even close. Have you actually made a trip to the east to see the ones in the Herkimer area? If not, I suggest you do so before declaring how benign they are. I understand from reading your prior posts that you are very cautious in the amount of petroleum you utilize and the carbon footprint you create. I understand and respect that. However, to make the drive to Herkimer to actually SEE with your own eyes wind turbines similar (albeit slightly smaller) to the third generation machines proposed for our area will I believe be an enlightening experience for you, and I suggest well worth whatever fossil fuel required to allow you to make such a trip.

      • I have seen them; I do not need to be carted about by mm. Turbine height is 100 meters and they are more efficient at that height., the length of one side of a running track. It surely would be good for all the anti-wind folks to scrutinize their own fossil fuel use,and that industry, with the same detail they have the wind industry.

    • Ron, as Paul points out it doesn’t seem to matter what anyone else discusses in mm. You comment that you have a wind mill in plain view of your house and they don’t bother YOU, so all the people who have commented about visual pollution and their destruction of natural beauty is dismissed as nonsense.
      People have various concerns from health, noise, environmental effects. And you dismiss all as foolishness. None of the thousands of people who express concerns about there construction and documented problems ever seem to say anything credible, in YOUR opinion.

      This community has given and given in to these corporate profiteers for years now. You won’t seem to be satisfied with this communities contributions toward carbon emissions until every one has a mill in their
      back yard.

      You quote Sierra club and Ny goals of carbon reduction as if they are the end all in rational thinking. How ever there are far more compelling reasons in scientific studies that show that wind mills are NOT a wise choice for large grid systems.
      The more energy transmitted to a grid by an unreliable sourse makes the
      System less efficient and produces higher carbon emissions. Wind turbines have the same effect to a grid system as a blown cylinder to a car. When the wind stops blowing during a period of time, the other cylinders have to be cranked up to compensate for the lost power. The area that gets cranked up in the grid are the carbon producers as they have the excess capacity. But when they get cranked up (or turned down) it has the same effect as “gunning” a car, they emmit far more carbon then all of the windmills have theoretically saved. If you study NYS reports their largest problem is dealing with the grid fluctuations. And the more tubines added to the system exacerbates that problem. That is a documented FACT from many grid systems that have been in operation with mills for decades.
      We already have plenty of excess capacity in the system. So why are we adding more useless capacity to a 80% carbon free system?
      Do some real research,and you will find the reality is the wind mills are nothing but an added expense and a nuisance to grid systems.
      We all know you are bright enough to understand the real reason these “profit mills” are here. So stop your politicing for GE and and Green Acres they already have plenty of lobbyist promoting this nonesense.

      So let’s cut to the chase. WE all know wind energy is both more expensive and unreliable than hydro, nuke and NG.
      We know that the NY grid system is retiring all old technology carbon producers. And we have excess capacity for the foreseeable future.

      So it is you who can’t show any credible support for these eye sores.

      The starting point to this debate is what do they do for this community. And the answer is overwhelmingly NOTHING
      What do they do for the environment? NOTHING
      What do they do for the economy? Take money out of tax payers and power users pockets.
      Just look at the hillsides that surround our community. I think we can all safely say we have contributed more than our fair share to your meaningless agenda.

      “We won’t get fooled again”

  61. Kris Schreckenstein

    Pertinent article on temperature increases caused by wind farms in today’s (April 30) Wall Street Journal. Might help your cause.

  62. The last issue of Sierra Club Atlantic I have shows WNY wind towers and titled “WindEnergy can save WNY ratepayers $35 million ” goes on to describe the market order effect. The last issue of Sierra Club National, the note from the director calls for the streamlining of the permitting process (not creating obstructtions) for wind farms across the US. It is easy to be selective from blogs and opinion pieces these days.

    You know what wouldn’t require a permit or public comment and would be truly environmentally “violent” and perhaps affect real estate values and water quality and silence a bit….. since Colgate has it’s 2 power plants, and doesn’t even “buy local” woodchips, some of us landowners who protect open space for all and pay our taxes but who apparently have no right to to opt for clean, renewable wind energy generation to further off set our “carbon footprint” and those of the latest energy consuming developments with their mowers, ATVs big houses and cars……… should begin chainsawing and chipping, 8 hours a day for a few years at least, trucking out chips to Colgate (and colgate on it’s own woodland near Hamilton and up on McC. Rd) After that plop on a trailer or two who burn firewood in those outdoor boilers with the smokestack (though smaller than Colgate’s) 24/7 for heat and hot water.for many years after.

    I’d rather be fighting Hamilton’s attempt to use eminent domain or annexation (as it has in the past) to run a pipeline up through Bouckville (hey, where we worked on Canal clean-up Sat. Colgate students but no “madison matters” in sight….) Figure 2% methane releases, methane 72X as potent as CO2…… nearly as bad as coal less ceertain toxins (Env. Defence Fund) Happy Climate Impacts Day May 5 (350.0rg) or Cinco de mayo or both

  63. Interesting article in the Wall Street Journal yesterday headlined “Large Wind Farms Raise Temperature Near Ground.”

    I urge you to read the entire article, but the second paragraph was somewhat alarming: “The study showed for the first time that wind farms of a certain scale, while producing clean, renewable energy, do have some long-term effect on the immediate environment.”

    This is relatively new technology, especially at the larger scale, and no matter what your opinion is on this project, it seems prudent to learn more before decisions are made!

  64. Any time a salesman tells me I have to decide quickly to take advantage of a “limited time offer” my reaction is to back off and think it over. I’d rather miss the occasional good deal than be taken for a fool.

  65. It is obvious that the madisonmatters proposal is designed to kill the clean, renewable wind energy project and set back efforts to meet greenhouse gas reduction targets for the State of NY. Sierra Club Atlantic is encouraging of the streamlining the permitting of such clean energy sources, not reliance on fossil fuels as Hamilton and Colgate have chosen

    • The Sierra Club Atlantic report encourages an approach diametrically opposite to that of Horizon EDP and RUWF – what Sierra Club calls ‘Clean Local Energy Accessible Now’ – a set of transparent practices which has made other countries leaders in renewable energy and wind production/grid penetration in particular. The Sierra Club Atlantic Chapter report critiques the reliance in the U.S. (and New York State in particular) on what the report calls “the corporate domination of wind” (p. 23) and argues that smaller-scale (under 20 MW), community-initiated wind programs can be fiscally successful, integrate better with the grid, and roll out renewable portfolios more smoothly, while greatly benefiting individual property owners and affected local communities. The report explains a basis for streamlining right-scale, community-based projects – projects which don’t have good traction in our marketplace as currently configured. It argues that this kind of approach is essential for reaching carbon reduction goals. This is worth reading – thanks to Ron for pointing it out.
      http://newyork.sierraclub.org/documents/Clean-fitreport.pdf

      • Ron Blackmore

        Thanks Nancy , It is good to know that the local chapters are always good at allowing divergent opinions and findings from its members and associated groups . You should also post their links to the Wind Action Group and scientific assessment of climate change impacts to New York State.
        Since I read env. magazines more than search the ‘find-what-you-want-to-believe’ internet , here is a policy quote from SC national Jan/Feb 2012 “So we’ve made scaling up clean energy solutions a top priority at Sierra Club — whether it is helping our members put solar panels on roof tops or working with the wind-turbine companies (and even the US Chamber of Commerce) to steamline the permitting process for clean energy in towns and cities across the country.” doesn’t sound like obstruction or being anti-wind or anti-business

  66. If we were to increase the setback requirements to afford dwellings a more acceptable half mile buffer it would likely reduce the overall size of this proposed windfarm by half or more and, more importantly eliminate much of the objection to this project. Certainly, the easily accessible sites would be the first to be eliminated and this necessarily raises the development cost per site because of the density reduction and road construction as a percent of project cost. This “wrinkle” in the plan might derail the developer’s effort and it certainly would be brought up as a “concession” to the Madison community in any PILOT negotiation. Madison could very well counter this argument by making it clear a Municipal Power group would site a Community Windfarm in such a manner due to its concern for the sensibilities of the community at large. Since we have numerous examples of Municipal Power in New York State providing affordable below market rate electricity (or natural gas) to the local market there is ample data available to support such a proposal. We would only need to develop the first couple of sites and let them finance the remainder of the project out of generated revenues. A municipal bond issue funded by the recurring revenues of the completed project wouldn’t be a foreign concept to us in any way and the resulting generating facility would provide PERMANENT jobs and benefits to local employees as well as PERMANENTLY reducing local property taxes. Such a development could attract actual business interest as well by offering low cost power and a lower tax burden to prospective industry. None of the aforementioned benefits result from the current proposal. Since much of the development work has already been performed by our applicant we could take advantage of that data in siting and planning this hypothetical Community Windfarm so we should thank EDP for their input and tell them to “move along”. At the very least, it would provide an advantageous bargaining position.

    • I can’t figure out how to leave comments on this blog so I’ll just make you, Dave, aware that there’s a wealth on setbacks and every other issue available via Twitter. I’m writing from Toronto and I handle the Twitter feed for Toronto Wind Action.

      My Twitter address is @TorWindAction and our website is TorontoWindAction.com

  67. The latest IEA (International Energy Agency) report , as expected , is disheartening and shows ever more need to promote clean , renewable sources like wind and solar, big and small, everywhere especially in the US where greenhouse gas emissions have actually increased again ” nations are nowhere near being on track to avert significant climate change” That is what is significant, not realtor or real estate “value” worries (and according to all assessors I spoke to, there should be none)……… all the rural and suburban sprawl and big homes certainly don’t help. The way the spin is going, if there are extreme weather events like a drought that brings reservoir Moraine back to it’s natural wetland state, or a flooded hamilton village , there will be a way to blame it on wind turbines, but surely a real, rather than imagined, impact on home values.
    NYS, ever progressive , has just funded a few R&D centers for wind turbine testing, Clarkson, Binghamton, and Cortland. Some good news at least. Also the fact that environmental organizations are still hard at work on the ground and politically trying to do right.
    Seems a bit arrogant of mm to be attempting to coerse the Town Boards into a moratorium and any such negotiation should be conditional on their correcting inaccurate “facts” and wind turbine depictions with towers and blades thick as barns (rather than barn doors) and new turbine ht.s of “50 stories” rather than 100 M. (as I believe) Stan Roe suggested, but the flyers are still our there ; the “more than 150” homes figure The Co. Planning Dept shows a total of 120 ‘911’ numbers in the 7000 Ac area….. and at least 30 of those are for shops, barns, and each of 8 wind towers…. so less than 1 residence per 70 acres, quite rural as is Fenner and Munnsville. And the taller turbines do not make “more noise”. Lots of unanswered questions and contradictions yet….. like why any focus on technology and efficiency as nature, wind no more than ocean currents esp. these days) is not predictable; why not target the oil, coal or gas or nuke industries? Really predictable environmenatl impacts , they.
    Where are the anti-gas anti-fracking signs around the lake and the watershed impacted by current gas drilling as Hamilton chooses methane?
    Why is Hamilton interested in a share of PILOT payments from Madison when we have had to deal with its high carbon footprint per capita airport for the elite, and noice, for years or the decades of air contamination from Colgate’s power plant (gee, they have a big smokestack..) and all those PILOT payments Hamilton gets from them but never shares with us “culturally different” … yes, that term was actually used in conversation with a H. village resident today…… bimbos in the Madison School District..
    OK, ’nuff. My last I think at least here.

  68. Tim and Joana Overton

    My most sincere appreciation for a well written respose!

  69. Having smarted from charges of participating in “NIMBYism” I want to recast it altogether and own it as powerfully as I can. Yes, I am a NIMBYer. Using every tool I have, I DO want to protect Madison’s remaining hill-ridges from excessive wind-power industrialization. This is not primarily out of a desire to protect local property values, although I feel very strongly that guarding the most important economic assets and the HOMES of hundreds of families is absolutely vital.

    At heart, this local opposition is driven by the recognition that there has been something going on for 3-4 years behind the backs of most of the Town’s citizens that has the potential to change the nature of this whole place disastrously, permanently, and at incalculable cost. We feel aggressively targeted (as Dave put it, in a cloak-and-dagger way) by a huge, multinational corporate force, with billions of dollars of capital and enormous technological expertise at its command. This corporate giant magnifies its private capital by capturing millions of dollars in governmental subsidies (our tax dollars), and by enlisting the support of local actors (political and professional) in a host of complex ways, YEARS before the affected public has any knowledge that anything is going on. That feels vitally wrong to many of us. It feels like a violation of community, of the safety of our homes, of political and social integrity, and of democracy itself.

    By protecting the world up close, many of us are also beginning to participate in the wide-scale (regional and global) social movements which are coalescing to understand the way energy production works and how it functions and profits. The main insight I have gained from participating in Madison Matters is to see the dynamics of big energy exploitation at close range. For many years, I have studied and taught about the devastating social impacts of energy and natural resource extraction in other parts of the world, such as the oil-impoverished Niger Delta, the environmentally poisoned Western Amazon and Gulf of Mexico, the coal-devastated mountains of West Virginia, the hydrofracked zones of Pennsylvania, and the tar-sands region of Alberta, to name just a few among thousands of cases. It is chilling to me to recognize in what is going on in Madison right now the same kind of stealth approach, the way corporate entities exploit a community’s lack of advance knowledge or ability to forecast the impacts of a project. There is also a vast differential in financial capital and legal resources, which, wherever it operates, victimizes local communities in the process of extraction. The significant difference between anti-wind movements in wealthy countries like the U.S. and comparable movements in the Ogoni region of Nigeria or the Oriente of Ecuador is that here we have a bit more capacity to understand that something big is coming and to marshal our resources in advance of the hit. We also benefit from our knowledge of how other communities have been devastated by energy production. It would be great if we could use what knowledge and skills we gain while protecting our own backyards for the benefit of less-advantaged communities facing similar expropriation and devastation of their homes and environments. We could create a network of partnerships across energy types and across different kinds of communities, so as to allow the people who suffer from big energy projects everywhere to have their voices and perspectives heard.

    My bottom line here is to argue that NIMBYism can be a social force for positive progress in beneficial technology, political justice, environmental security, economic growth, and governmental policy. I am proud to be a NIMBYer, as I think it is a sign of consciousness and commitment to a better world.

    I can just imagine some people saying “oh, please” to that statement: “you use energy, you benefit from the availability of electricity and oil, get off your high horse.” That is true: I do use energy, and I use a lot more than most people in Bangladesh, Ecuador, or Nigeria. But there is a point in all of these conversations that must be made more and more loudly: Big resources are NOT being invested in energy conservation technologies. Big energy firms (all of which are now invested in multiple-resource portfolios) profit from energy FLOWS, not energy reduction. Unless governments prioritize conservation in a vastly more significant way, going against the big energy lobbies themselves to do so, this will not change. The planet needs radical conservation measures in every area of consumption. Individuals can do quite a lot (install LED lighting, replace gas-guzzlers with energy efficient cars and drive much less, retrofit our houses for energy efficiency, etc.) but the real transformation – and real progress towards reducing global carbon emissions and the environmental devastation of extraction – can come ONLY when conservation is at the top of everyone’s energy agendas. As long as corporate energy controls policy, that is unlikely. NIMBYists learn about all of this while protecting their backyards, and can be a force in changing the equation.

  70. Is there a copy of the draft “Town of Madison Moratorium on Wind Power Facilities Law.” that was presented to the town by Madison Matters on this website somewhere? I have looked and found an “update” on it, but can’t locate the actual document. If it is not on here, is there a reason for that?

    • Madison Matters

      We presented the Madison Town Board with a draft of a moratorium for their consideration. It is up to them to decide how to proceed. If they decide to adopt a moratorium, they could use it as presented, revise it, or write their own language. If you would like to see a copy of the draft, we suggest you ask the Town Board. It is not an official document, so it doesn’t seem appropriate for us to post it on the website. As mentioned in the post, the moratorium we proposed would not apply to residential windmills.

      • Heather Still

        Funny how this “unofficial” document can’t be posted but yet this website is filled with bias and unofficial documents. Sounds more like MM is trying to hide some of their suggestions from the public. You would think that your followers would be interested in knowing what you really stand for rather than just blindly jumping on the band wagon.

  71. stop whining and let the wind farm in

    • Tim and Joana Overton

      Whining? I’m not whining. I’m simply saying that “Madison Matters” has taken the time and money to look up and compare facts from places that already have these twirlers. The host of the existing wind farms are far from happy with them. What is it that I’m not getting. Where are the pro turbine people at the informational meetings? It’s like talking to a mannequin. I think you should not nod your head and grin so much.

      • I think the pro people are not at the meetings because if they live far enough from the windmills they think it is okay to have them. I would like to see exactely how close the windmills are to some of the people who are complaining. If I went out and hunted down and spoke to all the people in the town of Madison and told them how much these windmills would benefit the town and the school, I could probebly get atleast as many people as “MM”. The windmills are not going to effect the town of Hamilton, Lake Marine road. I can feel for the people who are scared because the windmills are so close to thier homes. I’m not sure what the others have to complain about!! IE Center road……

  72. Regarding Vera’s comment about jetskis:
    If this hypothetical less-than-efficient automobile were to achieve say 10 miles per gallon it would burn or otherwise consume 13000 gallons of fuel in its 130K mile journey. That would have to be an awfully BIG fuel tank for a jetski to carry on a two hour trip. Moderation in all things including statements of relative pollution seem in order here.

    • that may be the case, I am only responding to the appalling fuel inefficiencies that are reported by our common misinformation networks. And because I am annoyed by jet skiis and the mindless “live for the day” fuel consumption that I imagine supports their use. But I am also posting on a site where the activists are quite content to allow known polluting machines in our common area, but are fighting tooth and nail against machines that are unsightly to some, but have commonly acknowledged beneficial effects for humankind. I understand that there are an overwhelming majority that want wind power, like wind power, and see minimal risk in wind power. There are no credible claims of causing harm to others, and at the meeting I did attend folks were less interested in discussing health effects they might imagine than they were in congregating and discussing imagined effects on the real estate values in the area. The ‘health effects’ table was notable for me and one smart local who was designated to address health and environmental effects, but this was not really a primary concern of the ‘Madison Matters’ folk

      There. I said it.

      The silent and less than silent majority in this area are in favor of the windmills, but a small, but articulate and committed group oppose them because of imagined ill effects they publicly decry but do not really endorse The organization has some concerns, mostly involving the value of their property ( although they realize that this is not a widely valued ideal, so they pull everything but the kitchen sink into the discussion). Madison does matter…it matters to me. I love Madison. The environment matters, and human conditions matter, and that is why I am in favor of wind technology in this area. If this group wants to reach some middle ground, where their concerns regarding noise and inconvenience are addressed or compensated re: their proximity to a windmill, that’s a worthwhile goal. But the scatter shot effect of denigrating all that is wind power isn’t going to work as far as I can see, and from my brief experience with the group, not really their primary concern. This is a NIMBY case, and the biggest regret I heard at the meeting was how hiking by and through land that did not belong to people in the neighborhood would be less pleasant for them because they really hated windmills, and they encouraged anyone who thought they might have a stake to voice their opinion why saying that ‘everyone has a stake’. As a common stake holder in the Lake Moraine/Quarterline Road area in the Madison Township and the planet earth, I support the building of a wind mill farm on the eastern hills of the lake, but hope that some middle ground can be found .

      • I believe Vera makes sense in her second paragraph and I suspect everyone would agree that lower pollution energy sources are a good step in the right direction for the nation’s well being and the world at large (for the globalists amongst us). It’s the nature of this proposed project overwhelming the character of our existing community with it’s massive scale and the cloak-and-dagger way in which it was introduced to us that has most of us up in arms. I don’t drive my jetski in close proximity to people in kayaks or canoes or swimmers or fisherman on the shore because one, it would be a violation of law and two, it would not be the neighborly thing to do. So it should be with windfarms. If the concept of being a polite, courteous neighbor doesn’t hold sway in this wind turbine contest, then we need to provide a legal means to enforce neighborly behavior. Adequate setbacks, fair PILOT payments, and provisions for compensation for loss of property value would go a long way in accomplishing a mutually agreeable solution to this problem.

  73. “With Wind Energy, Opportunity for Corruption.” (New York Times 12/13/2009). The excellent presentations this week, and some of the dynamics we’ve been hearing about as we talk with people across Upstate New York, are making us all more alert to the larger questions of the huge financial stakes at play in wind energy development. This article by the New York Times is from 2009, but it gives a sense of the challenges small communities face when there are super-sized subsidies available. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/14/world/europe/14wind.html

    • there are huge financial, and greater environmental and health stakes involved in all fossil fuel development including extraction, transport and power plant construction and emissions, nuclear as well. all subsidized heavily both directly and through environmental impacts

  74. Bob & Arlene Bene

    In an article from the National Wind Technology Center (Part of the National Renewal Energy Laboratory and Department of Energy) dated 3/22/2012: “A challenge in the wind industry has been how to tackle the interactional aerodynamics that occurs within wind farms, where large numbers of multi-megawatt wind turbines are placed together. The wind turbulence in the wake of upstream turbines interferes with the downstream turbines, which leads to higher structural loads and fatigue damage on the downstream turbines — resulting in increased maintenance costs and adding to the overall cost of wind energy,” Furthermore, they state: “To date, there has never been a scientific analysis and simulation tool that allows us to tackle this problem.”

    The NWTC (National Wind Technology Center, CO) are now testing using NREL (National Renewal Energy Lab) 180-teraflop supercomputers at this facility. Testing of the blades is to be done in Boston, MA at the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center. These tests will run from now thru 2013.

    Supplemental to this, an article in RECHARGE (The global source for renewable energy news) dated 3/20/2012, states another fundamental element is understanding and predicting the wind itself. “The longer this industry is around, the more we realize just how serious the variation in a given wind resource can be–30-40% from year to year for a site and even more.” The use of old cup-type anemometers is not as accurate as utilization of the new LIDAR technology. Windspeeds should be determined high in the sky where turbines do their spinning, not on top of the mast where the anemometers are placed.

    The big questions is: How did Horizon design the proposed 36-wind turbine farm in Madison without updated information?

    The Madison Planning Board should do a lot of digging for the facts before a decision is rendered.

    • Is our planning board to become a group of wind energy technocrats or is the EIS going to be reviewed by the DEC and their people with experience in the matter? They could consult with the Wind Energy Group in WNY who have looked at efficiency , turbine type (including LWS low wind speed ), height (more efficient at the windier heights) and turbines similar to the Gemesa G90s at 100 M (not 492 ft) like those at Hardscrabble (made in PA even). I think the wind industry has very likely looked closely at windmill placements given prevailing winds, like orienting on N- S ridges, also staggered E-W to avoid turbulence. Good discussion on NPR and Capitol Pressroom last eve. with Bill Moore who developed Mapleridge and is now into offshore wind farms, getting into capacity and name plate ratings as well as cost/KWH vs. natural gas (wind is competitive) . Anyone going local , like to MSC’s Renewable Energy tech program?

      • Madison Matters

        In their review of the DGEIS, the planning board is working with a consultant group – Clough Harbor Associates.

  75. We’re looking to promote a free exchange of ideas here so as to fill in the knowledge gaps left by developers trying to monopolize the ideascape.

    Global perspective is what is putting our U.S. Constitution under the thumb of the UN, so although it may sound like a lofty position it isn”t necessarily as righteous as it might appear. Frankly, it’s more of a political point of view promoting “social justice” and the like which in the end simply tramples individual rights, oppressive in a lot of respects.

  76. Dave, I do not have a personal agenda but a global perspective. I do wonder at credentials and misleading advertising throughout this thing. I did notice that when EDP sponsored a very calm information oriented session for the public at MCS, with actual wildlife biologists, etc. present to answer questions, I did not see the mm crowd nor was it announced on its mailing. Of course, it also didn’t allow for any special interest group to usurp the agenda.

    • Madison Matters

      We felt it was up to EDP to publicize their own open house. They ran an ad in the Utica OD and mailed some invitations – but apparently only to people in the project area who they are hoping will sign on. A number of Madison Matters people attended the event, asked questions, and discussed our concerns with the company representatives. We were polite and had no reason to attempt to usurp the agenda.

  77. So, is this J. Knauth that mm is bringing in as some sort of environmental scientist a PE with a degree in mechanical engineering who currently is a developer and manufacturer of specialty imaging products for military , homeland security and industry? Do I have the right guy? this is like promoting the film Windfall as “balanced”.

    • Madison Matters

      Jonathan Knauth is Professional Engineer with over 25 years experience in research, development and technology management in the electronics and construction fields. He has three U.S. Patents for innovations in the field of thermal imaging and his work has been published in multiple technical journals including the Proceedings of IEEE and SPIE and the Journal of Physics (France). Mr. Knauth currently serves as the Technical Director for Critical Imaging LLC, a developer and manufacturer of specialty imaging products for military, homeland security and industrial applications. He is a graduate of Clarkson University with a degree in Mechanical Engineering and had focused his continuing education on renewable energy generation, distribution and use.

    • Ron, what exactly is your objection? We’re all pretty much aware of your personal agenda, but what are you suggesting his is? It would seem to most any objective observer that this guest speaker would be able to enlighten others as to various technical details relating to the subject at hand. Do you see this as unfair somehow?

  78. We are all a beneficiary fo clean renewable energy sources and it would be appropriate for every town in the nation to have such (at least the size of Munnsville or RUWF) fed into the grid to replace the truly dirty sources which cause thousands of premature deaths and hundreds of thousands of asthma attacks across the US annually (Environmental Defense Fund). taller wind towers may be more efficient requiring fewer of them (Wind Action Group), and the Sierra Club, NRDC and others are working with communities and the wind industry in streamlining the permitting process for good reason. I do agree with an earlier comment that adjustments to siting and variable tower sizes depending on residences and topography would be appropriate but not a moratorium or excessive set backs designed to kill the project. Reminder: folks should not confuse set back from dwelling with that of property line as every acre adds another 200 ft.

    So, I have yet to see a position my mm or Colgate regarding natural gas whose methane releases of 2% or more from well to user ( and methane is 72 times as potent a greenhouse gas as CO2, none of which we get from wind) result in the equivalent warming impact of 2/3s of the coal fired plants in the US…..(EDF) Happy Earth Day all, and remember Climate Impacts Day May 5th

  79. It’s almost 11:30 pm on Thursday, and just walked in my front door after attending the Public Hearing tonight. In a word: IMPRESSIVE! I am so proud to be part of this community!

  80. no one getting sick around here and my FOIL request to the County Health Dept. indicated absolutely no reported illness from residents or doctors in wind farm areas in Madison Co.. As they say, you can get anything you want at Alice’s, I mean, the internet (that highly subsidized industrial beast)

  81. Please read about Wind Turbine Syndrome at http://www.windturbinesyndrome.com/wind-turbine-syndrome/

    Just as some people don’t get cancer from smoking cigarettes not everyone gets sick from Wind Turbines; but plenty will in Madison County if they go ahead with this project.

    Wind mills affect doppler weather and a lot more……

    • does the good Doctor have any other people/credible scientists finding the same symptoms that she espouses?Because these turbines are international, have been around for years, and I’m not finding any general uproar about it anywhere, nor seeing any effects locally. Just wondering, because there doesn’t seem to be much merit to this assertion, given that many people locally are exposed to wind mills daily and there doesn’t seem to be much histrionic somatization going on around here, or actual physical effects either.

      • There are hundreds of peer-reviewed journal articles on this topic. See the 2012 scholarly literature review by Frey and Haddon (available here: http://www.croh.info/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2105:barbara-j-frey-ba-ma-university-of-minnesota-and-peter-j-hadden-bsc-est-man-frics&catid=10:news).

        There is a biennial conference on wind turbine noise impacts, sponsored by the wind power industry. So far there have been four of these large, international conferences. See here for information. http://www.windturbinenoise2011.org/. Many of the papers listed in the program can be found online by googling the title or the author’s name. Most of them fully acknowledge that wind turbines have detrimental noise impacts. The industry is spending a lot of money in the quest to correct this problem and to figure out how to counter the complaints of people all over the world about this problem. Would it do so if there were it was an invention, a myth, or just a perceived problem?

        The scale of existing turbine facilities in Madison County does not begin to approximate the scale of RUWF. None of the other wind power production facilities near here is located in such proximity to hundreds of unwilling non-beneficiary homes.

  82. Why is it Onondaga county has no wind turbines?
    Can this be put up as a referendum by voters,
    and not left to few “board members” to decide?

  83. Thank you for the opportunity to see Windfall. It is so difficult to watch each town individually try to fight corporate energy, whether it be wind or gas drilling, or whatever is next. It would be fabulous if the region could come together and stand up to the corporations, who have no interest in our region and seek only profit. I recommend reading Wind Energy’s Ghosts, by Andrew Walden from 2/15/10 found on http://www.americanthinker.com. This outlines the corporate nature of wind farms, and what happens when subsidies end.

  84. Amen!
    Should we address the destruction of our lakes with milfoil and algea growth due to run off from over fertilization?
    It would be far more palatable to see the continued installation of wind farms if the community benefited from them.
    Whether they are ugly or beautiful Is a subjective arguement that can never be won. However it is difficult to argue a hill absent of a mill is ugly.
    It is difficult to argue a hill absent of a mill causes annoyance noise or health issues.
    It seems like common sense that If we are going to have mills around the money should go to the local community to resolve issues.

  85. Barbara Holmes

    Nancy, I’m sorry your comments got bumped to a lower placement because there’s some very valuable and reasonable information there regarding siting guidelines which is the point here. I hope people take the time to read them. Thank you for all the in-depth research you’re doing.

    • Thank you, Barbara, for noticing my earlier post. There is a lot of stuff out there about siting, setbacks, and community impacts – I’m trying to sort the more solid stuff out of a great deal of material, and I hope it’s been a bit helpful.

      One resource I’ve just read: The Town of Hammond, NY (on the St. Lawrence River) seems to have gone through an exceptionally careful wind energy policy development process – one that may be a good model for Madison. See their website here: http://croh.info/ Particularly valuable are the “Position Paper” on setbacks and their flyer “Top TenReasons to Support Wind Committee Recommendations” (see links on left of their webpage).

      Hammond’s looks like a process that unified rather than divided a community. Not that ours is divided – we seem to be meeting and coming together in extraordinary ways across different parts of our beautiful Town – the Fairfield bus trip today was a good example of a community joining together to talk, look, and listen.

      I think Brian’s and David’s posts are really important. If Madison goes forward with this and looks towards PILOT payment negotiations, it should be looking at Maple Ridge Windfarm (Lewis County) for an example – a payment in lieu of taxes agreement that calls for $8000 per MW with annual 1-2% potential increases depending on energy value. Madison may not be able to negotiate for that much, but we should not sell our wind for less than it is worth, especially considering the potential long-term and hidden costs of doing so.

      It should be noted that Lowville had a very hard time collecting their payments in 2010-11 due to the end of the Empire Zone benefits which subsidized the PILOTs. There are many news stories about that – google Maple Ridge PILOTs. Lowville also created an “Energy system tax stabilization reserve fund” to prevent “wrenching dislocation in the district’s finances” once the PILOTs end in 2020. See here: http://open.nysenate.gov/legislation/bill/S6835-2011

    • Wouldn’t make more sense for Madison county to get a state or federal grant to purchase windmills and reap the profit for Madison county.
      It’s a no brainier that they pay for themselves in 10 years, and the 36 proposed would bring in approximately $7,000,000 per year.

  86. I don’t have to answer to the question of who in this controversy started with “superiority” discourse (like , we’ll do the thinking for you) and divisive tactics, let alone obvious false claims designed to strike fear into the heart of rural or lake residents or us “farmers” to the north. There is a division, I know…. the school district line, ask the Hamilton real estate sales folks who profit from it. I will say I do look at what is on the ground here, like dead birds or “sliced eagles” if any, not elsewhere or the internet , speak to residents within impact range of existing towers, Co. Tourism, Health Dept., etc. I also conduct my own up close observations of noise levels, flicker effect, effective tower ht. relative to vegetation and landscape position, etc. As far as “encroachment ” goes, what is rural and suburban sprawl? I once worked with the late Mark Randall around Lake Moraine in dealing with septic system contamination, seasonal to year round expansions, motorized watercraft pollution (including noise “emissions”) ,even an independent study I did on sediment and nutrient erosion load ……now the people living around the lake are being told wind towers will be harmful to them? Also be nice sometime for everyone who enjoys the large undeveloped acreage around them, don’t pay the taxes, but who now want to tell those landowners they are greedy if they sign a wind lease (which would actually protect 1000’s of acres from sprawl) to acknowledge that. Just another common theme, along with talk of Hamilton “elitism”, that came up in my interviews.

  87. In my quick perusal of Brian’s link, I found it surprising that the referenced windfarms, though they were considerably smaller than the one proposed by RUWF, all had projected revenues to the townships of $150K per annum which dwarfs the projected PILOT here to an alarming degree considering they are only quarter to a third the size of RUWF.

    • I noticed that also Dave. It also states that the local communities are able to “consume” the generated electricity. I believe the electricity from the present turbines goes into the “grid” whatever that means. Just more info to digest I guess. Every project is different.

  88. This is a link for more info on wind farms in NY. http://www.ridgeline.veolia.com/ Some of these projects seem to be much smaller than the one proposed in this area. If the project was 6-12 turbines would it be more accepted by the community? I personally do not find them offensive, but I do not have one 1000 feet from my home. My family has hunted and farmed under and around the seven turbines for over ten years. Two of my siblings live very close to the ones on Stone Road. They do not have any of the complaints that I have been reading in the paper and on this site. I know the proposed turbines are larger and with 36 of them it is hard to compare them to the ones on Stone Road. I can certainly understand the arguments on both sides of this issue.

  89. A few recent links on turbine siting practices, and regulated setbacks from homes:

    Smart, “best practice” guidelines from the Sierra Club (a strong wind-power advocate). http://www.sierraclub.org/policy/conservation/wind_siting.aspx

    Commentary on Ontario’s province-wide setback of 550 meters (1804 feet), currently under governmental review because of claims they are not stringent enough (while also under pressure from wind power companies to reduce the setbacks): http://freewco.wordpress.com/2012/03/28/ontarios-mythical-safe-setbacks-not-as-advertised/comment-page-1/#comment-190

    “Threading the needle” of the noise challenge – what happens when mega-wind energy projects are inserted among homes with inadequate setbacks. http://www.wind-watch.org/news/2011/09/08/new-york-windfarm-latest-to-trigger-noise-issues-its-easy-to-see-why/

  90. It appears that the “Wind Power” industry’s strategy of divide and conquer has enjoyed quite a measure of success here in the Madison area of late. We have folks gloating over their percieved superiority as “green” supporters comparing buried gas lines to in-your-face wind generators seemingly unaware of the falsity of such relativism. Most everyone agrees that windmills make good distant neighbors, viewed from afar and out of earshot, thus few people ever protest their erection under such a circumstance. People who are in a position to directly benefit from these projects understandably become much more tolerant of the intrusion as they encroach on populated areas. The rest of us who simply feel their should be a limit to such encroachment so as to preserve the value of what we have worked our lives to enjoy are criticized for a “moderation in all things” attitude. Adequate setbacks, though they might limit the number of installations would seem the logical approach to addressing this issue. If the wind industry is to ever progress past the current experimental stage, as evidenced by the massive government subsidies required to get them constructed, developers must avoid engendering the negative feelings caused by inappropriate placement of their installations and their methods of creating community discord to gain advantage.

  91. ah , another great day biking in to my place, the two wind turbines overlooking my house are beauty in motion and design. Definitely better than some ugly houses. Speaking of which, mm the powers that be, whose little subdivision is sheltered by my mature wooded hill on McC Rd. now accuse me of being “paid off” by the wind folks. Well, I’ll be civil and just say that I have been involved with many environmental orgs since the first Earth Day. I give (not receive…. check, no slick popaganda from me) money and volunteer for groups that have a global perspective and work hard for the environment, which, yes, does not include madisonmatters. Wonder what their funding source is…. the gas folks? I do hope all the driving related to this matter including bus tours using all that “subsidized” gas and oil from “industrial” refineries is somehow compensated for by carbon offsets.

  92. Barbara Holmes

    The comments I posted about Crow Hill were not exact. I’ve been told by someone who has done some research that the difference between those at Crow Hill and the ones proposed for here seems to be 100′. So, not twice as big but certainly big enough to not make them an adequate comparison.

  93. I think the comments I posted before got kind of lost in the middle of the rest instead of rolling to the top, so I wanted to revisit a couple of things. One of the studies referenced in the comments about property value impacts had a lot of statistics in it. I used these to calculate the MW capacity of various projects per turbine. For our current proposed project, the 36 turbines at 328 feet to hub would generate 60 MW or 1.67 MW per turbine. Tthe turbines in the study ranged from .65 MW (for a 213 footer) to 1.71 MW per turbine for the 7 turbines already in Madison, which are only 220 feet. This is a strange discrepancy, and indicates the shorter turbines are as efficient as the proposed much taller ones. Why are the proposed ones so high and seemingly not particularly efficient? I may be a bit cynical but I wonder if the efficiency gained is more in profits (more tax credits for more expensive turbines) vs. energy efficiency.

    I also ran across an article written by a woman living near the turbines in Fenner. She points out that the noise factor is largely from the turning of the turbines to face the wind, the brakes applied to stop them, and the subsequent restarts. It’s definitely worth reading.

    http://xray.rutgers.edu/~matilsky/windmills/Windfarm_story.htm

  94. Barbara Holmes

    To clairify my last comment. The ones in Fairfield are the closest in size to what we’d get which makes them the best ones to look at to grasp the impact that they would have. Ours would be TALLER even than those.

    • I’m looking forward to going to Fairfield to see what we’re looking at. Again, I believe that we do need some regulation regarding the wind technology…if a coal vein was found locally, we’d probably be strip mining Johnny Cake Hill as we speak, because there is no regulation. But zoning regulations devolve into class struggles very quickly, because there are a lot of stake holders with competing interests.I ‘m still astonished that the Town of Eaton, which Hamilton Village is governed by, will allow 11 windmills per square mile, but will not allow someone to put up a mobile home unless they have 4 acres of land. Maybe the Lake Moraine dwellers are lucky to be in the Town of Madison, because the Town of Eaton sold out a long time ago

      • You seem to talk out of both sides of your mouth! Do you want ordinances or not. You comment that no one has a right to a view and to move somewhere else if you don’t like the sight. And here you say we need some regulation on the technology. It is mind boggling that you find it alright for people to sell out regarding wind mills then complain that the town of eaton has sold out. If there is an ordinance for 11 per square mile
        Why wouldn’t you expect a race among hill top owners to sell out cheap
        If you have to look at these monstrosities you might as well get paid something.
        The most logical move would be for the county to install mills in responsible locations and profit from the natural resources.

        It would reduce everyone’s taxes and obviously increase property values.

      • I was being a little sarcastic and over the top, but a middle ground is not a bad thing to reach for. I have no objection to the wind mills, but there are a group of people who will live closer to them than I will who are in an uproar about it. I think that all parties can be satisfied to some extent, and an agreement about proximity to dwellings is not a bad place to start…this is not “talking out of both sides”, because I think the windmills are great, but I also think that deciding how close together they should be, how far from residences they should be, and their density should be discussed. We are a community, but we do have competing interests in this thing, and while I don’t think there are negative health effects related to wind technology, I do think that there should be an examination of set back standards, and whether near neighbors should be part of the agreement to build, since they live within an area of highest impact from noise/shadows and the inconveniences surrounding construction. I have many windmills living within 0.5 to 3 miles from my home, and I like them, I like that they represent a new future of people all over the world being released from the dangers of coal mining, oil drilling, and nuclear plant maintenance. When I see them and hear them, they look like human freedom to me, in so many ways…so that’s where I stand on the subject

  95. Tim and Joana Overton

    There are no verifiable documents thattotally negate or defend the turbines. There is no history to the 500 footers. There is barely any history to the ones we have. I have a need to protect what is mine. I have a need to empathize with my neighbors. I think that the rush to have these inefficient, sporadic producers of power placed close to people’s homes is short sighted and risky. Why not study them some more. If they turn out to be benign, then I will be comforted that you can bike and hike underneath them.

  96. Barbara Holmes

    Vera, the ones on Crow Hill are NOT the size of the ones being proposed–not even close. There are none currently in the US the size of the ones being proposed. These are almost 500 ft–the size of a 50 story building. I look out at the ones on Crow Hill. They’re fine by me. I’ve been to Fairfield. I’ve heard them. They are a whole other thing.

  97. Tim and Joana Overton

    The rhetoric used in these replies has been a bit testy, but I feel a sense of comfort knowing that at least we have some “back and forth” going on here. My frustration regarding the proximity of these giants is centered around the many generalized assurances of this being “OK” being proffered by the various. I stand to lose a considerable amount of revenue from the sale of my home. I may have a threat to my health. I may have a blinking, strobe-like morning wake up as the turbines will be directly east of my house. I may have some low frequency noise chafing my nerves like the hum of a cheap flourescent bulb, but I shouldn’t be concerned in the least because it’s for the good of what????? All I’m trying to do is understand the situation. In order to do this I have to strip away what I believe is hype and get to the core. I want my neighbors down the hill to use their imaginations and picture this in their immediate eastern horizon. Also, I am convinced that the contingencies of wind turbine efficiency is dubious. I am to risk what I have worked for for what??? More scrutiny from trusted sources is mandatory. I once loved the distant strokers of the sky. Now, I fear their touch.

    • very poetic. I hope that everyone can use their imaginations and envision how this project can impact everyone. In the meantime, I would encourage you to spend some time in the vicinity of the windmills already within view of the Madison village and Bouckville, which may not be on your usual traffic route. We have had immediate and ongoing proximity to windmills, and I have not heard of any physical complaints related to our ongoing exposure to windmill noise or vibrations, no seizure experiences, and no injuries related to the flinging of ice from the propellers. We are the ideal test community for such side effects from windmill technology, or “industrial turbines”, since we’ve been surrounded by them for over 10 years, and I haven’t really heard of any injury sustained due to windmill proximity. The windmills located up the road from the Bouckville General store are of the size that are proposed in the new windmill field. Just drive up Crow Hill road and you will find yourself in a windmill field of greater density than is proposed on the hills east of Lake Moraine. A very low level of noise is audible, especially at night, but it is frankly much lower than that heard from an open car window while driving, or even at normal levels of conversational speech. It is a shshurring noise, which may be occasionally annoying to people who demand total silence in order to enjoy themselves, if the wind is right, and the TV or radio are off. I found it interesting that the last meeting was held at Madison School, which shares the same proximity to the Crow Hill road windmills as is proposed to households and viewscapes in the Lake Moraine region with the new windmill project. No one expressed concern about holding the meeting there , there was no notable “shadow flicker” causing nausea or ataxia among the participants at the meeting, and I would bet that many of the meeting members scarcely noticed the 3 windmills visible to the west from the Madison School parking lot. Madison Township covers more area than that small piece of land surrounding Lake Moraine, and I think that many people already live within a mile or two of a windmill in the Town of Madison. It’s actually a bit surprising to me that a small group of homeowners are dreading this new windmill project, but I think they are right in asking the Township to really start thinking about how much of the local landscape will be dedicated to wind technologies. I hope they also start taking a look at now motorized boating and jet ski use on Lake Moraine is affecting the water table, noise pollution, and my general need for boats to be away from the area I like to catch fish from at the public access site on Lake Moraine.

    • It is too bad that you feel that way as none of those alleged effects of wind turbines are true. Call the Fenner assessor about real estate values. There are also no reports of wind turbine related health problems in the county over several years. You might try nrdc.org for accurate assessments….. Natural Resource Defence Council ; also a review of the not so balanced film Windfall. I hope folks who really think madison matters will focus on the proposed “industrial” natural gas pipeline that will run north from Hamilton up north of Bouckville (for Colgate , the village and HCS) and through a vital aquifer and the SMHT “preserved” cornfield and/or along the canal trail. Apparently Hamilton is already negotiating with landowners and the town.
      It’s enough we already have to deal with the highly subsidized Hamilton airport serving the elite with noicey jets and huge carbon footprint per capita. happy Earth Day April 22; Climate Impacts Day May 5th

    • while I have not experienced or heard of any negative health effects resulting from the windmills in this area, I do know that there is actual pollution and notable annoying contact with motorized vehicles on Lake Moraine…are you aware that jet skiis generate more pollution in 2 hours of use than a less than fuel efficient car generates in 130,000 miles? So our neighbors who enjoy tubing on Lake Moraine, hauling their kin around on a fuel filled jaunt, are actually producing more air pollution in 2 hours than a car might over the course of 5 to 10 years, depending on that’s car’s usage? Where is the outcry about jet skiis? Is it that jet skiis “look” good in the general area of one of our largest water sources, while wind mills/industrial turbines “look” bad? Are we talking about “looks” here? Because pretty is as pretty does, and the windmills are not polluting our area..in fact, they are the fledgling efforts of a society that is starting to understand that there is always a human cost to the power that we need to live our lucky lives. Windmill power seems more benign to me than many other sources, but that’s just me. If we’re going to put all of our pet peeves on the table though, and start wondering about the negative effects of all the activities our neighbors engage in have on everyone, I would have to start protesting the use of skii doos, jet skiis, and motorized boating on lakes smaller than 500 acres, since they are a nuisance, they generate unsustainable and disproportionate amounts of pollution, kill fish, and I find them to be an eye sore.

      • Madison Matters

        People have been complaining about jet skis for ages – and with good reason! Perhaps you should look into changing NY’s laws on the use of motorized vehicles in small bodies of water. I’m sure many would support your effort.

  98. I made it up to Fairfield the other day to take a look and listen to see for my own eyes. Just as I suspected, there is no real difference. If I hadn’t been told they were so much taller I would have never known. And the noise may have actually been quieter than the ones close to my home. If there was a way for me to attach a video here I would attach two of them – One of the Fairfield windmills and one of the Madison windmills and challenge people to see if they could pick which was where.
    My 12 year old son road with us, he was a little curious as to why we were going to see windmills when we have them in our back yard, but he went along anyway. Once we got there and out of the car he said “What are we here for, they are exactly like the ones at home?” I told him I heard these were bigger and louder and he said “Huh, seem the same to me.” Think that pretty much sums it up.

  99. Tom is spot on.
    http://www.renewables-info.com/energy_news_and_reports/wind_energy_vs_natural_gas_–_comparison_in_costs.html

    There are several better long term solutions to clean energy than unsightly wind mills.
    Once the gov subsidies end (which is inevitable) and the fast cash is made
    Who is going to maintain these dynasuars? no one.
    Our grand kids will shake their headstand and wonder who’s idea it was to fill hill tops with useless junk.
    Our country has an abundance of natural “unfracked ” gas. It is cheaper, clean and does’t intrude on generations of people.

    If you have a choice of either having a windmill in view of your house or not
    Do you want that as a selling point for your property? Not me.
    If I want to watch something spin I’ll buy a pinwheel. I can put it in a drawer when I get tired of it.

    • sounds like some folks need to be reminded about where the subsidized fossil fuels they use come from, the much harsher environmental damage due to that usage and extraction and the fact there are other US citizens who have to live by power transmission lines (gee… I have one crossing my McC Rd. land), , downwind of coal and nuke plants, let alone have their mountain tops removed entirely for the coal they happen to live by. Hey, there’s a good wind farm location, keep trashing Appalacia.

      • A good wind farm location for who?
        A good location for greedy opportunists. If its a good location, which it obviously is, or the multinationals wouldn’t be investing here. Why doesn’t madison county get a state grant and put the mills up ourselves. If we have to put up with the eye sores I would rather see $7,000,000 /yr (profit from kwh sales) come into our hands. There are independent town owned power companies throughout NY. They own and opperate the electricity company for the bebfit of the community. It makes everyones property appreciate in value for several reasons. Low cost electricy bills, a lower tax payment and incentve for business to locate there.
        Ask yourself a real simple question would you rather have things the way they are now or the construction. The paultry 200k economic gain (by a few) will have insignificant impact to this community compared to the loss in propert values.
        I don’t know where the appalacian sad story fits in if you want to fight their cause move to Tenn, We are being taken advantage of in EXACTLY the same way . Frankly I would rather look at a shorter appilachan mt with trees on it than a hill that looks tiny with an enormous spinning thing on top.

    • I know that it is written in a contract that if the current windmills are no long being used, the land must be returned to its original state….. I would love it if a pinwheel couuld create energy, but it can’t!!

      • And you seriously believe that the company that signs an agreement like that will honor it? Right.
        Does the county get that money up front? Or try to get it after the contract has changed hands a dozen times in the next 20 years
        I can guarantee when the mills life cycle is over they will be left to fall apart.

    • unfracked gas as you call it is not clean : it is not subject to the Clean Water Act or the Clean Air Act (Bush/Cheney loopholes) and therefore it’s methane releases are not regulated and cause serious global warming effects. …. talk about an impact on future generations!. All fossil fuel sources are highly subsidized either directly or by the environment (soot, mercury deposits, global warming) and are not sustainable.. Windmills have had a positive effect on property values in the County: many people like them and they protect thousands of acres from unsightly development (all assessors, thefreecenter.org, supervisors, Mad. co.Tourism). They also provide a long term, clean solution to energy demands, and more cost effective as fossil fuel sources are extracted by more extreme means and hopefully become more expensive and not subsidized.. I just returned from my home village of Clarence Center in WNY, now surrounded by a 300 and a 500 lot McMansion , energy consuming , development… an environmental disaster area. I (and my dad still there) would much rather there be 50 wind turbines, the big ones even, protecting the land that was woods and farmland from such perverse, profit seeking development. Now, why don’t we landowners like me on McC Rd. whose woods reduce the effective height of any windtower (inches at 1000 ft. with your arm outstretched) by 80 to 100 ft. (there goes that extra height….), just sell off our land in one acre lots for real big profits (for the hungry realtors involved also)? Would madisonmatters favor that? Or are we just to subsidize greenspace for the energy consuming homes in the area (that do kill birds, have noicey lawnmowers and tvs, cause traffic noice and pollution, contaminate groudwater, etc.)? I really don’t like hypocricy.

    • oops, my comment to this ended up above Tom’s below……

  100. The windmills are VISUAL POLLUTION!!

    Windmills are no different then a neighbor building an ugly 10ft fence in what used to be a your view of beautiful meadow. It’s one thing to overlook a fence pole, however each mill is another boarding in an “UGLY” fence.

    If a corporation or opportunist can make money they will.

    What is in it for the people of Madison county other than more intrusion into our lives?
    “There’s gold in them there hills” ..FOR THE OWNERS!! For the rest of us there is lower property values and unsightly spinning “MONEY MILLS.
    If the NYC needs more energy, build a hydro dam on the Hudson or build a nuke, there are several better solutions.

    We are compromising the natural beauty of our communities one hill top at a time so people like Trump can air condition 60ft glass atriums in his hotels and get a 60% federal tax credit (which you are paying for) for windmill construction.
    Sustainable green energy makes sense if the low cost energy was going into our homes. But it”s not.

    Why are the mills located in Madison county…because someone is making money. And the laws here have been thoroughly examined by the corporations so they can WIN! It’s that simple.

    PUT UP A FIGHT…. One hill top at a time!

    WHAT IS IN IT FOR YOU ?

    • you’ve got to learn to live with the idea that you didn’t purchase the view when you bought your land Tom. Your neighbors can’t control what you are doing with your piece of property either, so if you want more control over the general landscape you might want to buy all the land as far as your eye can see… it ought to be a snap since the land myth being promulgated by this group is that land and property values will go in the dumper if there are more windmills around. The idea that this venture can be fought based on yours or anyone’s need to a personal idealized view is laughable…you would not appreciate others dictating your land use either. There are communities in the area that exert that sort of control over everyone, some closed communities, so if that is something that is high on your list of priorities, you may wish to consider moving. You will then, of course, be subject to that community’s standard. Here’s a tip though…you may get more money for your land here if it has elevations, since I hear that there are wind technology companies scouting around for more windmill sites and some come with leases already in place.

  101. Barbara Holmes

    These things are not beautiful, they’re frightening. I love the windmills we have now–take visitors to see them, etc. But unless you see the huge ones up against people’s homes, you won’t comprehend the difference between those and these. I urge everybody to go to the movie on Tuesday night (free) and if possible visit Fairfield. If you still feel the same way, I respect your opinion. It’s just really hard to visualize until you see their size and impact.

  102. Ron,
    I agree wholeheardly, I live in the area known as Earlville, lol and have been watching these thing’s since they were first installed, what i fear is their size but i’d honestly much rather see a beautiful windmill on the horizon as opposed to a flippin gas well which is a whole other web page 🙂 I’m all for the wind mill’s despite their size!!!

  103. Can i ask a stuipd question? In the past i understood that we are sending this “energy” DOWNSTATE is this true and if so then how are we to beneifit from this being on our farmland’s? No matter where it’s sent they used to excite me, now they just scare the hell outta me!!!

    • Ron Blackmore

      Due to the Merit Order Effect, electriciy rate payers can save $millions state wide from wind generated power. I live within the Munnsville project, 23 turbines. They are quite harmless, even to birds, and nothing to fear dispite the hype. If a community can’t pull together to support clean, sustainable energy sources, energy everyone demands, then we only do the dirty fossil fuel industry, including the hydrofracking gas exploiters, a big favor. That is something to fear.

  104. Ron Blackmore

    I have no problem with larger set backs with wind turbines of greater size or they go with more smaller turbines and be like the existing Fenner and Munnsville projects, thought lovely, green and of no concern by all those so concerned now. Maybe the trade-off will be that each tower protects that many more acres from harmful development (72 ac. per 1000ft radius, much more at 3000 ft.) SMHT should then be inspired at least in comparison with the abused White Eagle farm cornfield on Rt. 12B. What is disturbing is the exaggeration of sound levels (much less than typical suburbia), health effects (I’ve a FOIL request in with Madison Co. Health Dept. as a reality check with existing towers), mailings claiming that clean, renewable energy isn’t “green” (that alone crossed a line in environmental circles, and with me, and I feel some public correction should be made) and that making this so controversial over such disinformation makes great fodder for the fossil fuel industry and the anti-science, climate change denying crowd. Money? Assessors in other wind farm towns show no dec. in property values. Madison Co. Tourism says it is a plus. Cooperating landowners will get plenty ($5000. per tower annually?) as they already do in existing windfarm areas and this project would help the town and struggling school system with about $200,000 annually. Regionally the benefits in health and reduced electricity rates (Market Order Effect) potentially in the $millions (WNY $35 M est.). I think Vantine Studio and Sphere Dev. (Madison Marketplace….) also had Pilot incentives, let alone Colgate’s massive subsidy….. another matter.

  105. Ron blackmore

    Seems to be very much a disinformation and fear campaign waged by madisonmatters type mailings etc.. I know all those roads very well via biking and running over the course of 30 plus years and it is the uncontrolled random development that is the biggest problem ….. that goes for noice, health, environmental contamination (lawns , septic), dead birds (pets, windows) , traffic, recreational access, etc. Sure, there are some big new houses up there now that consume lots of fossil fuels. Clean, renewable energy in any form is better than the alternatives which rain down mercury and soot and contribute to climate change, and helps compensate for the insatiable use of energy by rural and suburban sprawl. Transmission lines bring power into Hamilton. but all will be underground just as with the wind towers like Fenner and Munnsville. Also, absolutely no reports of the health problems alleged . The financial boost to the community is $350,000 plus. To the region, merit order effect on electricity prices could be in the $millions for residents, but the environmental positives outweigh that and nimbyism.

    • Paul Bookbinder

      Ron – I used to think exactly the same as you do, until I SAW the new generation windmills. They are as similar to the windmills we have here now as a lizard is to a Tyranasaurus Rex. Unless you have been close enough to touch them you can not realize how unfriendly and inappropriate they are to be asclose to a home as is currently proposed. With a 3000 foot minimum setback I THINK they would be fine

  106. Desi – You are missing the point entirely. This isn’t about what hard-working farmers want: in its current form, it’s about what the corporate entity wants. The farmers didn’t solicit bids from energy companies to come and give a presentation on how their land could be used. The energy company came here, after more than a year of laying plans, and submitted an application to the Planning Board, which set the whole thing in motion. And even if the farmers HAD solicited bids, they would still be subject to “greater good” considerations in terms of the impact on their neighbors. That’s what planning boards do: they look at a project and make decisions as to its feasibility and advisability based on how it will effect the entire area, not just on what one landowner wants to do.

    • I went up to the Crow Hill windmills in Madison the other day after the meeting,and they were spinning pretty quickly, with very low noise noted…it was actually kind of pleasant and rhythmic, like you might hear at the ocean or at a lake, but not as loud really. I don’t find the wind mills to be eyesores, and even at a density of 11 windmills within a square mile or so it didn’t seem to be overwhelming, but then there weren’t a bunch of houses in that area either. Crow Hill is in Eaton Township by the way, something I noted when I drove up the hill. I personally like the windmills, and like the idea of clean renewable energy being produced locally, but I might feel differently of there were 300 of them visible on the horizon, so maybe some land use regulation is needed such as making sure a minimum amount of deforestation occurs along with the construction so that only open fallow fields are used for the most part to reduce risk of soil erosion. I also accept that people do have a right to use their land as they see fit, and that you don’t “own” the view you have of your neighbors land, so those who think they do don;t get much support from me. I also like that landowners in the area can have some financial security, especially the farmers. From what I’ve been able to read online, they doesn’t appear to be a correlation between windmills on the horizon and property values, but people who are concerned that their houses will devalue in a windmill setting may want to talk to the folks in Cazenovia to see if the Fenner project has affected their ability to sell their homes at a fair market rate ( like anyone can in these days of depressed real estate values everywhere). In any case, I’m glad people are talking about it and are letting the Town know their feelings about the issue, because we are a community and there ought to be some middle ground that can be reached so that the interests of most are protected.

  107. The farmers and land owners work long and hard for years. They love the land just like you do. They should be able to do what they want with that land. Plain and simple!!

    • That may be, but when their decisions impact MY LIFE they do NOT have the right to do whatever they want with their land!!!! My husband and I have worked long and hard also, does that give us the right to make YOUR life miserable????

      • Heather Still

        Nancy,
        I do believe this website was created with the knowledge that their would be different viewpoints on the matter, not personal attacks of ignorance and low standards. You are mistaken on all of the rude responses in your comment to me.
        First of all, I do currently life in the 1000 feet range of the existing windmills on Stone Road. I will have at least 3 of the new ones very near me, on someone else’s property.
        Secondly, if you want to accuse someone of ignorance, you may want to reconsider your letter to the editor in this week’s Mid-York. You are taking away other people’s rights by telling them what they can do with their own land. I’m not quite sure of the blasting that you speak of, it wasn’t done for the existing windmills. And what kind of health problems will arise? My well documented research shows that there is no evidence of this. The flicker thing, again, the earth does rotate so it takes absolute perfect circumstances for this to occur. I do enjoy simple barbecues on my deck quite often and am not disturbed by windmill presence. The deer and turkey don’t have a problem with the windmills, I’ve hunted and shot many right below them.
        Instead of finding the negative in development in our town, I choose to find the positive in it. You may call that ignorance, I call that happiness. I’m happy with my life now and putting some windmills around me isn’t going to change that.

      • In the amount of time that you and your spouse have worked you might have recieved as much as triple your your original salary unlike the avarage dairy farmer. Most of them are getting the same price for milk as they were 30 years ago as feed, fuel, and taxes have risen. Thus the reason why a good number of windmills pop up on dairy farmers land. They use this money to
        pay for their health insurance and land taxes so they dont lose everything they hsve eorked 24/7 for.

    • I live about as close to the Madison wind farm as anyone, and have dealt with their noise for over three years. I agree, if someone works hard, hard enough to own a piece of property, they should be able to do as they please with it. That having been said, I’ll be filing a petition with the department of energy to build a nuclear power plant in my back yard. If space permits, I’ll also be building an adult video and book store, and possibly, a rifle range and a motocross track…after all, it’s my land, who cares about the neighbors, right?

      • Do as you wish with the land that you have but for now we should stick to the matters (MADISONMATTERS) at hand. We are all intitled to an opinion about the turbines but lets just stick to the facts and keep opinions and future property ideas(for the record I like rifles and motorcross) to a minium.

    • I hope she isn’t my neighbor. Would you mind if I collect 10,000 tires next to your property for my profit, or maybe a rendering plant upwind of your house, or dispose of chemicals in a heap next to your crops. We live in a civilization for the greater good of each other not to see how i or you can make a fast buck!

  108. Wow – local democracy in action! A general comment directed at anyone who interprets my columns as overly aggressive or nonsupportive of our local elected officials: In a sense, you are right; when it comes to defending the rights of individuals over the rights of corporate interests, I will always be aggressive and vocal and relentless. And when it comes to our elected officials, they are in a Catch 22 situation because they must follow specific procedures and a specific timeline any time they get an application for a use permit or a variance. When it comes to dealing with huge multinational corporations with vast amounts of money and a profit-based agenda, local officials are often overwhelmed, inexperienced, and unknowledgeable. That’s not a criticism, it’s just the way it happens to be, especially in rural townships. And so it is up to the citizenry and the press to remind them who they work for and what their decisions should be based on. And those decisions should take into account much more than the over-rated PILOTs so many towns think are the answer to financial woes. People live here because they enjoy the peace and quiet and beauty of a rural lifestyle. Development does not have to come at an irreversible cost to residents. It should occur only when everyone can agree on what and where and how much – not because some foreign corporation has targeted a particular area and rammed a project down the throats of the local citizenry. My overarching objection to all such projects, whether it involves fracking, or transmission lines, or massive windfarms in residential areas, is the same: the people decide what they want, not corporations only in it for the money.

  109. Barbara Holmes

    Again, those windmills are not like these windmills. These are twice as big and are going to be close to people’s houses. I love the existing windmills. I know, after visiting Fairfield that I don’t love these–not in a rural setting, impacting on people’s homes.
    Our elected officials are exactly that–elected to represent the wishes of the people. A handful of people are making a decision that has great regional impact. We all (on both sides of the issue) should make our feelings known and should be listened to and have our opinions considered. The concept of it as a war was not directed at our elected officials but at the industrial complex (based in a foreign country) who is misrepresenting its actions by making inaccurate and incomplete statements.

    • so…. if they were smaller would they be acceptable? The fourth paragraph in Chris Hoffman’s letter led me to believe it is an accusation towards the planning board. Most anything that we buy today is from a foreign country. I believe even our national grid is owned by a foreign country. From the research that I have done the wind turbines make less noise than a plane at an airport.

      • I don’t want to live at the airport,that’s why I live HERE!

      • My personal feeling is that yes, if they were smaller, they’d be acceptable. I love the existing ones around here, I find them peaceful and inspiring and I love the idea of renewable, sustainable energy (and also of struggling farmers being able to profit from the use of their land). Even if wind technology isn’t yet perfect and is still a bit in the development phase, it seems to me that we have to start working on it to get the kinks out, as a technology, and I don’t see why I (or anyone) should get energy without having to help ‘pay the price’ for working out a responsible way to generate it. However, I am opposed to this particular complex of turbines as they are now being proposed/sited. My parents were opposed to these windmills coming in here, and before I understood that these were larger and scheduled to be placed so close to homes, we had some fierce disagreements. I was happy the windmills were coming in. However (secretly thinking we would convert my parents to our point of view once they saw them up close, the way we felt about the ones in Fenner — lovely and relaxing and promising) my partner and I agreed to drive to the existing ones of the same scale as those proposed here, and we were shocked. We paced out 1000 feet (the distance these are currently required to be from existing homes) and the noise was still greatly disturbing. It’s not the gentle swish and low hum you hear at the ones we have around here, it’s an intermittent screech and a sound like an airplane taking off. Over and over. And sitting in the rotating shadow of something so large was visually disturbing. In the country which owns the development rights to these turbines, there is a 3000 foot setback from homes required when they are built, and that seems to me to be more reasonable. I would prefer the smaller windmils, but if it’s necessary to have these larger ones to be efficient, and the smaller ones are a thing of the past, then I think there needs to be at least a 3000 foot setback required. We paced that off at Hardscrarbble Road, and while some people might still not want them in their view, at that placement from a house, they seemed liveable to me. The thing I object to about these proposed turbines, is that they are so huge to be so CLOSE to people’s homes. The noise and the distraction is an unfair disturbance at 1000 feet. I believe that better regulations, to try to find a middle ground where we can invite renewable energy sources without infringing on people’s quality of life should be achievable. I would prefer the smaller ones, but even with the larger ones, I don’t necessarily want ALL of these turbines to be denied here, I just want them placed respectfully in relation to the homes of people living near them.

      • Heather Still

        Sarah, your response seems to be the most logical I have seen here yet. A further setback limitation seems less of an infringement on the rights of the landowners. The “no windmill” signs and flyers don’t solve any issues, how can we be a “we like windmills” town for two projects and then suddenly change because some suddenly think they are a horrible thing because they are closer to them. Thank you so much for giving people an option for what could be a great thing and has been a great thing for our community.

  110. Guerrilla War?…it seems to me these are fighting words that are overly harsh and accusatory. All of this negative criticism towards our town board, our planning board and our town residents of Madison is inexcusable. When you enter the town of Madison you will see welcome signs with wind turbines on them. These signs have been there for many years, And have been accepted. It seems that it was acceptable to put app. 50 wind turbines in and around the area; including across from Heritage farms. Why now do we have all this negative attitude?(Is it because it is in your back yard?)Since these issues pertain to the town of Madison residents let’s keep it that way.We should stand behind our elected officials. That is why they are there.

    • Sorry Judy, but when these elected officials go along with a project like this one, you better believe it’s a problem!! I think you need to do more research, better yet go visit one of these INDUSTRIAL TURBINES. I for one do not just FOLLOW blindly like a sacrificial lamb to slaughter.These elected officials just might be wrong.

  111. Katheryne Gall

    With the internet we have the ability to find vast amounts of information about the pros and cons of most every topic. Regarding EDP’s proposed turbine project, a whole lot of people are doing research to learn what the potential impacts would be on our community.

    The 328-foot tall Vestas 1.65 Kilowatt turbines on Stone Road are much smaller than the proposed 492-foot tall GE 1.6 Megawatt turbines. There is no statistical information about installations of these particular GE turbines because they are only beginning to be manufactured in 2012.

    I’m offering a brief response about the issue of sound. Someone else may care to contribute information about flicker and property values.

    Quoting from the introduction of Acoustic Ecology InstituteSpecial Report: Wind Energy Noise Impacts
    “Wind energy has long been a favorite of many environmental advocates. No carbon emissions, utilizing a free resource without depleting it in the least, even the potential for distributed generation rather than distant centralized power plants: for many of us, wind was the cleanest of green power sources in our dreams of the energy future.”

    “In recent years, as wind turbines have grown from the small backyard kits that the truly committed built in the 70’s, the reality has made those dreams become less certain. Modern wind turbines are massive structures, hundreds of feet tall, and often constructed in large wind farms that in effect industrialize rural landscapes, from the rolling grassy hills of California, to the vast rangeland of Texas, to ancient ridgelines in the Appalachians, to the commons in rural England. While the trade-offs may be worth it in some areas, the downsides have become more apparent.”

    “If we are to forge a reliable energy future that is respectful of both the environment and the rights of neighbors, we’ll need to move past knee-jerk reactions on both sides, and develop best practices that can ensure that the landscape and local residents don’t become long-term casualties of today’s “Klondike Wind Rush.”

    “If the thousands of windfarms likely to be built in the coming decade are placed too close to homes, the industry will be faced with an echoing chorus of complaints and resistance for years to come, even if it manages to invent much quieter machines. Better to be conservative, accepting the fact that even occasional atmospheric effects should be factored in to siting decisions today, so as to build a reservoir of good will, rather than a rising tide of complaints.”

    http://www.acousticecology.org/srwind.html#Anchor-35882

    The Acoustic Ecology Institute works to increase personal and social awareness of our sound environment, through education programs in schools, regional events, and our internationally recognized website, AcousticEcology.org, a comprehensive clearinghouse for information on sound related environmental issues and scientific research. Our over-arching goal is to help find pragmatic ways to bridge the gaps between extreme positions voiced by advocacy-oriented organizations, and so to contribute toward the development of ethical public policies regarding sound.

  112. Since I got the mailer about the windmills on Friday I have been curious about all the fuss. With all of the talk about how bad they are, I figured I should do a little homework to make sure my family is safe living under them as we have for the last three years. Noise and “flicker” seem to be the biggest worries and so far from what I have read, evidence shows that doesn’t harm people and it has never been bothersome to me. When you think about this “flicker” thing, circumstances need to be perfect for the “flicker” to be a problem – a perfect, bright, sunny day, with the windmill blades aiming in the right direction, when you happen to be home – even then, the earth does rotate around the sun, so it must move from that windmill……anyway…….
    There are many studies of unbiased opinion that have been done on the effect of wind turbines that can easily be found on the internet. These or others that support your cause should be posted on this website in order to allow people to have facts rather than just hearsay. The reports are quite lengthy, but I don’t see any evidence that supports claims that have been made.
    .
    This first report I found was done in Massachusetts by a panel of experts convened by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection. Their focus is on the effects of noise, “flicker”, and health/sleep problems. I find the two quotes below from this study to sum it up quite well:

    “It appears clear that shadow flicker can be a significant annoyance or nuisance to some
    individuals, particularly if they are wind project non-participants (people who do not benefit
    economically or receive electricity from the turbine) whose land abuts the property where the
    turbine is located” (pp.37).

    “Most epidemiologic literature on human response to wind turbines relates to self-reported
    “annoyance,” and this response appears to be a function of some combination of the
    sound itself, the sight of the turbine, and attitude towards the wind turbine project” (pp. ES5).

    Wind Turbine Health Impact Study:
    Report of Independent Expert Panel
    January 2012
    Prepared for:
    Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection
    Massachusetts Department of Public Health
    http://www.mass.gov/dep/energy/wind/turbine_impact_study.pdf

    The next report I uncovered is from the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care again mentions those that may be “annoyed” by the windmills but no existence of any concrete evidence of them being a real threat:

    “The review concludes that while some people living near wind turbines report symptoms such as dizziness, headaches, and sleep disturbance, the scientific evidence available to date does not demonstrate a direct causal link between wind turbine noise and adverse health effects. The sound level from wind turbines at common residential setbacks is not sufficient to cause hearing impairment or other direct health effects, although some people may find it annoying.”
    http://www.health.gov.on.ca/en/public/publications/ministry_reports/wind_turbine/wind_turbine.aspx

    Last, but not least of all Berkeley National Laboratory did a study on the impact of home values in association with windmill presence. I realize that this one study was funded by the US Department of Energy so there will be fault found in that by some, but it is a study performed by a well accredited group:

    “The various analyses are strongly consistent in that none of the models uncovers conclusive evidence of the existence of any widespread property value impacts that might be present in communities surrounding wind energy facilities. Specifically, neither the view of the wind facilities nor the distance of the home to those facilities is found to have any consistent, measurable, and statistically significant effect on home sales prices.”
    http://eetd.lbl.gov/ea/emp/reports/lbnl-2829e.pdf

    • Katheryne Gall

      Someone forwarded me the message from your Facebook page where you complained that your comment above did not appear immediately. I also read your friends comments about funding for Madison Matters.

      Madison Matters website is on “WordPress” which is a really great, low-cost way to have a website – if you don’t mind that it is really intended to be a “blog” site. A volunteer helped us set up the site, and did whatever optimization was done.

      The WordPress system puts some comments in “Spam” and some in “Pending Approval.” I don’t know how it decides, and I have no control over that. So far the comments tagged as Spam have been totally unrelated to this issue. A couple comments have been tagged as Pending Approval. I “approved” them as soon as I noticed them.

      I’m a freelance graphic designer. I have donated my time to work on the website, postcards, and yard signs. Many other people have donated their time to do ads, flyers, press releases, research.

      100% of the cost of the printing, postage, running ads, showing the movie Windfall, and arranging for the bus trip has been donated by local residents. There has been no outside involvement – financial or otherwise – by any company or organization.

      • Heather Still

        My statement on Facebook was not a “complaint”, just my way of making sure my opinion got posted for people to view since your website said it was awaiting “remediation”. Funny how my first post under the same email address didn’t go to a spam file, yet my second post did. You can’t blame a person that holds different opinion than your group for wondering why the sudden need for remediation.
        As far as the research you mentioned that other people have volunteered to do, I still have yet to see factual reports similar to those that I posted on your website that support the claims of your group. Where I have found reports quite easily to support my beliefs.
        I also have to question why there is only mention of the windmills on Stone Road and not all that are in Madison County. Could it be because they are the smallest and make your claims look more significant? According to a project report by Ben Hoen at http://www.nhsec.nh.gov/2008-04/documents/app_appendix_30b.pdf
        the windmills in Fenner are “each 328 feet tall, with a rotor radius of 110 feet, making the top of the turbine blade’s sweep roughly 440 feet above the ground.” (pp. 19). Those are in Fenner yes, not the second Madison site. I have yet to find specs on those in Madison/Stockbridge/Augusta, but I am pretty sure they are bigger than the ones on Stone Road, they were put up after Fenner so it seems logical. This will be my first “assumption” made in any of my comments here and I will continue to look for their specs. Either way, your site makes little mention of their size so I would be interested in the comparison right here in our town and of the Fenner windmills. That leads me to wonder, as Judy Schenk wondered in a comment today, is your cause and concern really, truly for the town of Madison, or maybe because the new ones are closer to your home? There are massive claims by your group that our little town is being fooled by these cooperate giants. Where was that claim in 2000 when the first site was developed? Or in 2007 when the second site was developed? I plan to go view the bigger ones that you speak of as so frightening to our community, just out of complete curiousity. Even then, I still won’t think it my right to tell the neighbors that they can’t keep their family farm going by selling wind.
        Until then, I will sit in my house with windmills in my back yard on a day with 30mph winds and not be bothered one bit by them.

    • I just looked at the last study you cite. I noticed several interesting facts. It’s an older study, and the highest turbines in the study were 262 feet to the hub, vs. the 328 feet for this project. I calculated the MW capacity of the project per turbine. For our current proposed project, the 36 turbines at 328 feet would generate 60 MW or 1.67 MW per turbine. In the study, the turbines ranged from .65 MW (for a 213 footer) to 1.71 MW per turbine for the 7 turbines already in Madison, which are only 220 feet. This is a strange discrepancy, and indicates the shorter turbines would be as efficient as the proposed much higher ones. Why are the proposed ones so high and seemingly not particularly efficient?

      I also ran across these two articles today, outlining issues with living near them. One is written by someone living near the turbines in Fenner, and one is on the dangers of turbines in general. The Fenner account portrays that the biggest noise factor is the turning of the turbines to face the wind. This noise factor has not been vetted at all yet. As to property values, I know I wouldn’t want to live on (or buy, or try to sell) property that had turbines within a few thousand feet.

      http://www.eastcountymagazine.org/node/9238
      http://xray.rutgers.edu/~matilsky/windmills/Windfarm_story.htm

  113. Barbara Holmes

    We have already been to visit Fairfield (where the bus trip will be headed) and can assure you that it was a true heart-rending moment when we saw the size and placement of the turbines. The noise was nerve-shatteringly squeally (even 1,000 feet away), the flicker alarming. We talked to a resident who has three of these things surrounding him. He wanted to sell his house because he hates living in it, but the realtor assured him the value was down by 40%. I can assure him that it’s probably down a lot more than that, because I can’t imagine the person who would willingly buy such a house. To compare these windmills to the existing ones is doing us all a huge disservice because it is not an apples to apples comparison. I like and approve of the current ones. Trust me, please, that until you see the others in place, up against people’s homes, you do not understand what we are fighting. I applaud all of our neighbors fighting the good fight and spending their own money to do so. I say, thank you, thank you. We should all say thank you and hope that they carry the day.

    • Barbara I thank you for sharing, what you have to say is SO important. I truly believe most people are really not aware how devastating these INDUSTRIAL TURBINES are unless they see them for themselves.

  114. Ron Blackmore

    I received a postcard from madisonmatters . thought it was an April fools joke. Better to look at the comprehensive plans in towns with wind farms or consult Madison Co. Tourism…… residents are positive about renewable energy sources esp. as opposed to the really harmful windfall) alternatives.(check with the NRDC also….and their review of the film So, clean, renewable energy is no longer green? Subsidies upset the “we”? what about the oil/ethanol you use daily or the internet your web page is on developed from federal subsidized research. No illnesses related to existing windfarms in the area and town . really sounds like a lot of nimby hypocricy. My experiment today was to stare at a turbine with the sun behind it for a half hour on Crow hill today. Did get a bit of a kink in my neck. the greatest threat to wildlife, recreation and water supplies are homesites where I can remember there being none, ie, the green made by unrestricted rural development and the realtors. Each wind tower protects another 72 acres of green space from development

    • Mr.Blackmore, I encourage you to do a little more research. I think you are missing the point here, we are NOT against alternative energy, we are against the PLACEMENT of these INDUSTRIAL TURBINES. If you do some research you will discover that these turbines are way too big for this populated area. I wish people would really go and see for themselves just how huge these things are, they are a whole different breed than what we see in Madison now. Unfortunately Madison does NOT have zoning laws in place to protect us from these companies coming in and building these INDUSTRIAL TURBINES on every available piece of land. I urge you to do a little research before you get behind a project like this.

  115. Katheryne Gall

    Who is Madison Matters?

    We are your neighbors, all local residents. There has been no outside involvement – financial or otherwise – by any company or organization.

    Working together since mid-February our group has attended town board and planning board meetings; obtained accurate maps of the project area (EDP’s maps do not show all the homes in the area); done research; written and designed ads, flyers, a postcard, and signs; set up a website. We are now at work on the daunting task of reading EDP’s 881-page Draft Generic Environmental Impact Statement and preparing to submit comments on its shortcomings.

    In addition to giving their time and talents, many people have also contributed generously to pay for maps, signs, running newspaper ads, printing postcards and flyers, postage, showing the movie Windfall, and the bus trip. 100% of the money spent has been donated by local residents.

  116. I live near the windmills on Stone Road with 3 of them in my back yard. The sound is as soothing as rain on a tin roof. The so-called “flicker” has never been bothersome to me. My family spends many hours outside right under the windmills, hunting and living a normal country life. The assessed value of my and my neighbor’s house has never decreased because of the windmill presence. In the twelve years of the windmills being there we have never seen a dead bird under the windmills, but yet just a month ago one flew into and through my neighbor’s window and died. I have hit multiple birds in my lifetime with my car, I truly do not believe the windmills cause harm to animals or people.
    I would like to see some well cited sources as far as where all of this negative information comes from other than one’s own biased opinion. I really do not care one way or another if another windmill is erected around me. But I also don’t think it is my right to tell a landowner what they can do with their land. What next, are we going to tell the farmer’s they can’t cut the hay because their tractors are too loud? Or tell them they can’t spread manure because it stinks too bad? I think that if you want control over what happens on the land around you, you should own more land.

    • The issue is you are talking about is “you” !
      So if you have gotten used to the mills but I don’t like them.
      We cancel each other out.
      Rather than if they weren’t here we would both be happy.

  117. Bob & Arlene Bene

    Netflix subscribers…..Windfall will be available in May 2012. We need to see the film before that time. Please get your neighbors to see it on April 10th in Hamilton.

  118. Who funds you? At first glance you seem to just be a front for the oil companies. The flyer you mailed to thousands of residents seemed pretty costly a handful of “concerned citizens.” And, no points of contact from what I can tell. The fact that you cite “bird deaths” also tells me that your talking points are biased; more birds die every year flying into windows than windmills. I believe I read a figure once that put the average at 4 deaths per windmill per month, and I’d say natural selections comes into play when a bird can’t avoid the giant obstacle in its path.

    • David Regenspan

      I am not sure where I stand on this issue yet, but I have the same reservations as Shannon does. The mailing was very slick and a bit too well done. Not to mention a promised “free bus trip”. It is fair to ask just who is funding Madison Matters, just as (on the other side) it is fair to ask hard questons about wind power and who profits from it.

    • I am one of the concerned citizens and I can asure you we are YOUR neighbors spending every spare moment we have trying to stop these INDUSTRIAL TURBINES from being planted in our yards! You can come to any meeting we have and we would be more than happy to introduce ourselves. As for our mailing being “too slick”,” thank you” we have some very talented neighbors who have given their own time and money to make this happen. Please come to the planning board meeting April 4th, we will ALL be there and we would love to meet you.

    • Just to be clear, we have nothing to do with oil companies and we are not fighting green energy, pilot programs etc. We are fighting the PLACEMENT of these INDUSTRIAL TURBINES. They are too big and there are way too many of them to be put so close to peoples homes. These windmills are going to be bigger than you can even imagine, please research them. I urge you to see the documentary “WINDFALL” and then maybe you will understand where we are coming from. I know if this project goes thru we will ALL regret it. The only problem is, it will be too late then.

    • This website is the contact, and it looks like you are on it. There are names and phone numbers right here.

  119. Bob & Arlene Bene

    We talked to a friend of ours who has a House-Camp on the top of Armenia Mt and the nearest Wind Mill is one-quarter to one-half mile away. His information reveals that the NOISE level is fairly high. Armenia Mountain is in Bradford county and encompasses the Armenia Mt. Wind Farm managed by the AES corpoation. It has 67 1.5MW GE SLE wind turbines.Bradford is in PA. For more info you can go to http://www.worldofwindenergy.com/onshore.

    • Madison Matters

      What do you suggest we look at on World of Wind Energy? It appears to feature wind industry news and pro-wind energy information. Under Wind Energy Market Overview it states, “When it comes to size, bigger is better – the bigger the wind turbine, the more wind it reaches and the more electricity it produces.”

  120. Pamela M. Fuller

    Re: An inquiry about the elevation of the bases of the turbines —
    The red and white wind test tower that you see above Hill, Purdy and McCormick road is approximately 150′ tall. That test tower sits at an elevation of 1680′. There is a cluster of 3 turbines proposed for that hill, one where the test tower is, one to the west, closer to Hill Road, that would sit at about 1720′ (that is the one that is about fifteen hundred feet from my house with the thousand foot setback passing through the middle of my property) and one to the east that is at 1680′ also. Most of the 36 turbines are sited at elevations of 1600′-1720′.

  121. On the property value effects of mixing residential/agricultural districts with industrial wind facilities see this valuable collection of reliable material by real estate assessment professionals.
    http://www.northnet.org/brvmug/WindPower/RealEstate.html Any conversation about PILOT payments or other financial benefits to the town should be evaluated very carefully in relation to the potential decline of market value and assessed property value in our entire Town but especially on the hill most affected. The empirical McCann study shows a similar and significant (27 to 40%) decline in both residential and agricultural/undeveloped property values.. The DGEIS (ch. 3, pages 89-93) is selective in the studies that it cites.

    http://www.chronicle-express.com/news/x806169421/A-new-slant-on-wind-farms?zc_p=1
    This short 2010 article from the Penn-Yan Chronicle-Express goes straight to the key point. Wind developers overlaying large scale industrial projects in a residential area with hundreds of homes should be willing to post a Property Value Bond, to commit to purchasing homes which become unlivable and unmarketable or to compensating owners who lose assessed value.

  122. The DGEIS itself may provide a start on the question of PILOT payments. Chapter Three, “Resource Characterization, Impact Assessment, and Mitigation” includes the following passage on page 87 (paragraph 3.8.1). The section is entitled “Fiscal Conditions” and they key line is “payments in lieu of taxes” (P.I.L.O.T.).

    “The Town collected $1,007,949 in real property taxes in 2010 and collected other revenues totaling $372,805, which included $14,421 in franchise fees, $10,126 in community service fees, $2,979 in payments in lieu of taxes and $9,628 in miscellaneous revenues; plus fines, other fees, other taxes and state aid. The Town’s largest expenditure in 2010 was on highways ($885,325). Other significant expenditures included administration ($142,637), medical insurance ($138,621), emergency response services ($109,000), fire protection ($92,168) and transportation facilities ($56,814).”

    I have written to the Town Supervisor and to the Planning Board chair to inquire as to whether the DGEIS correctly reports the PILOT payments for 2010. One hopes this reflects only a small portion of the fiscal benefit to Madison of serving as host for these wind energy installations, and that there is much more significant income being generated for our community that are not reflected in the DGEIS.

  123. The proposed turbines are MUCH taller and larger – and produce larger decibel levels – than the ones already in place in Madison or Fenner. They will be FORTY stories high, and there will be 36 of them, interspersed among, and in some cases surrounding existing residences. This is not a bucolic extension of the wind installations already in place around us – it is a much larger-scale industrial project which will have impacts far beyond what any of us have experienced driving quickly past the turbines in the surrounding landscape. The appropriateness of the proposed facility for this environment must be proven with empirical evidence, and the true cost of this facility in terms of local property values and revenues must be established before the Town board makes any kind of commitment to this project in this location. There is much empirical evidence showing a dramatic decline in property value and marketability even during the planning stage of an industrial wind project.

  124. For Lake residents, the key issue is PILOT (Payment in lieu of Taxes.) How much will it be in toto and how will it be shared with the two school districts. Whatever the amount, we must ensure that Hamilton CS is treated equitably so that we taxpayers in the school district are treated equitably. The town must ensure that road damage/stress are paid for in a timely manner by the builders.

    I’ve been unsuccessful in learning what PILOT other projects have paid, both in-State and out-of-state. Or what rents have been paid to landowners. Can anyone help on this point? The public & town govt need to be informed.

    The hill mass involved has largely been abandoned for many years as farm land because of poor soil and topography unsuited to agriculture. Much of the land is now covered with underbrush and second growth woods.

    I believe that environmental regulations in place are adequate to protect the lake against runoff caused by the building phase of the project; wildlife is no issue unless you know of some way to reduce the population of deer and geese.

    We should be concerned about the maximum dB level allowed by our town at property lines and at homes.

    I do urge that people who have a home within the proposed construction area have a conversation with their neighbors who own land nearby.

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I find the existing wind generators to be beautiful. I’m still pleasantly surprised when I round a bend or top a hill and see them. And there is one spot on the lake where I can see the blade tip arc over the trees.

    • Madison Matters

      The question about PILOT payments has been asked at meetings, but it has yet to be answered. The rent paid to landowners is private information.

    • Pamela M. Fuller

      Mr. Roe, I am unable to rest without correcting your grossly inaccurate characterization of our “hill mass” noted in your comments to the Madison Matters website dated March 13, 2012.

      This “largely abandoned hillside” consists of a thriving community of many, many homes nestled on hillsides and in woods, occupied by families and individuals who enjoy and chose this serene environment for all that it has to offer. We hike, horseback ride, hunt, cross country ski, snowshoe, track with our dogs, garden, enjoy life with our children and yes, farm, on this incredibly beautiful hill.

      The portion of this “hill mass” with the wind farm test tower on it has been farmed annually for many years and provides a cash crop to one of our local Madison farmers. Other portions of this hillside, immediately adjacent to that farm lot, are hunting preserves purchased specifically for that purpose, and maintained and enjoyed by their owners, friends and neighbors.

      The community on this hillside currently provides significant tax revenue to the towns of Madison and Hamilton; Madison and Hamilton school districts; and Madison County. The addition of an industrial wind complex will significantly reduce this revenue, as well as, halt the growth in this community. It would be a shame for the Town to succumb to the enticement of short term P.I.L.O.T payments and lose, forever, the healthy tax base this community provides.

      On behalf of our community, I invite you to visit Hill Road, McCormick Road, Purdy Road, Lake View Estates, Butternut Lane, Newton Road, Bonney Hill Road, Pickett Road(s), Abbert Road, East Lake Road, and Center and Quarterline Roads, and so and so on. We need everyone in this area to clearly understand the negative impact that an industrial wind complex will have on this community.

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