Important Meeting In Bingham

Most everyone in Maine has heard about the proposed “East/West Highway Corridor.”  The idea has been around a for a long time, but has been revived in recent years by Peter Vigue.  Vigue is the man who runs Cianbro Corporation, one of the largest contractors in Maine, and he is also an aspiring wind developer.

The basic idea of the Corridor is to put a 220 mile, four lane private road through the middle of Maine.  It would connect Canada to…well…Canada.  It would also likely end up being a corridor for other things as well.  No real details have been released, but it is not unreasonable to think that the corridor could also be used for electric transmission lines, oil/gas/water pipelines, and other things.  I also have good reason to believe that if built, the Highway/Corridor would be used to enhance and encourage industrial wind development in Maine.

Perhaps the most disturbing thing about the project is the secrecy that surrounds it.  Mr. Vigue has a lot of information, but so far he is refusing to share most of it with the People of Maine who would be most affected by the project.  I guess he is taking his cues from the wind industry……

However, just because the developer isn’t talking, that doesn’t mean that some information isn’t available.  There is a dedicated group of people who are working to uncover information and educate the public about what many of us feel is a very bad deal for Maine.

If this project is built, the only viable routes would have it crossing the Kennebec Valley somewhere between Bingham and Jackman.  I believe that it is important that the People of this area have whatever information is available, even if the developer is refusing to give it.  So, there will be a meeting this Friday, November 30, at 6:30 P.M. at the Quimby Middle School, in Bingham.

Chris Buchanan a spokesperson for a
coalition of Maine citizens that is working to uncover facts,
promote transparency, and raise public awareness about the
East-West Corridor project will be the lead speaker, and there will be an open community conversation.

I am attaching the entire flier below as a PDF.

The potential impact of this project to the State of Maine is huge, and people need to be paying attention.  I hope that you will join us for this meeting, if you are able.

DC

Bingham flier 11-30-12

 

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On A Personal Note

This is quite possibly either the most important, or the most foolish, thing that I have ever posted for the world to see. It is certainly the most personal.

I am sure that by posting this I will take some flack, and that some will have a good laugh at my expense. That’s OK. It’s always good to make people laugh—and if I can take the nerve wracking and character bashing that comes from experiences like cross examining State Officials and Boston Lawyers in front of reporters at a LURC Hearing, or going toe to toe and nose to nose with the likes of Angus King and his lawyers at public meetings, then I guess I’ve got the nerve to stand whatever personal judgments may come from this, too…….

I attended my first ‘wind meeting’ back in February of 2010. I had done some research before that time, and I had experienced first hand some of the devastation that came with the Kibby Project, but hearing Alan Michka and Karen Pease speak in Pleasant Ridge that night was the real beginning of my windy journey. Before the week was out, I had started seriously researching and writing. Since that time, I guess it would be fair to say that I have been totally immersed in fighting Industrial Wind and all the damage and corruption that comes with it. It has, in a sense, taken over my life. It has consumed my time, my attention, and my money at an alarming rate. I have managed to keep a roof over my head, gas in the truck, and to keep my business afloat, and even slightly growing, during this time, but I certainly have not moved my life forward in the ways that I would have if I hadn’t been dedicating so much to the wind fight. Of course, the fight is about much more than wind turbines—-it is about the People, and the Wildlife, and the Land, and the corrupt system…..and it is about simple right and wrong, and it is about good people standing up for the truth. I don’t regret a moment of the time that I have put in, or a dollar of the small fortune that I have spent, and I certainly don’t intend to stop now.

But man does not live for wind alone…… There must be a balance.

In the last several years, I have lost quite a few friends. Too many. I’m not talking about the people who disagree with me over my politics and my stance on wind power. I’m talking about the ones who have died. The men and women with whom I will never share a joke, or a story, or a camp fire, ever again. The ones who won’t be there to greet me when I get to camp, and who won’t answer when I dial the phone. The ones who aren’t here any more to share a beer, or a coffee, or a sunset. I spoke to a good friend just last Friday night, and on Monday evening I learned that I would never speak to him again. It can, and does, happen just that fast.

It is enough to make a man stop and think……….. Really think.

There was a time when I had hopes that our battle was coming to a close. That after this election cycle, things would start falling in to place, and we would see the beginning of the end. That soon, I could not quit, but at least shift wind to the back burner, and start moving forward with life again.

Well, we ARE making progress, but it is obvious that we still have a long and hard road ahead of us. I now know that if I continue to put life ‘on hold,’ that I will wake up [or more likely, simply not wake up], one morning and find that it has passed by. This is a lesson that I hope all of us in this battle can learn, while there is still time. We certainly aren’t going to stop fighting, or give even a single inch to the corruption that is trying to overtake us, but we must all find balance, and remember that there are other things in life that are also important. We must burn bright, but not burn out!

I recently had a life changing experience. It involved a Lake, a very special Mountain, and a lot of Wind. It is not something that I will talk about in detail, but it is something that I will never forget, and I believe that all those who have a connection to the Land would understand.

Coming out of that experience, and also reflecting on the things that I have said above, I have made some decisions. Traditionally, winter is my slow time for paying work, and for the last couple of years, I have often spent 100 hours per week during the winter months researching, corresponding, or otherwise working on wind issues, while neglecting most everything else, including my business. That is going to change. I am not stopping or letting up in my wind work, but I will be reorganizing my time, and ensuring that the business gets some attention as well. I have to.

The other thing that needs to be brought back in to balance is my personal life. I have made some wonderful friends among the Wind Warriors who are battling as hard as I am every day, and I value those friendships very highly. But I also know that other friendships have suffered at the same time. I am going to have to make a conscious effort to remedy that.

The other part of my personal life that needs changing is my status as ‘single.’ Go ahead and laugh… It’s OK. :) But yes, I am serious. Serious as a heart attack. I guess that I always pictured myself as being married and ‘settled down’ by this point in my life. But….the last few years have not been particularly conducive to beginning or fostering that sort of relationship. Who the hell has time to start a serious relationship when you are battling the multinational corporations and corrupt politicians who seem to take great delight in destroying your Mountains and Communities? But it is time for this particular Wind Warrior-Poet to make a serious search for ‘the one.’ It is part of that balance that I was talking about.

Go ahead, I know that some of you are laughing. That’s OK. Just don’t go overboard, and I’ll forgive you. ;)

I recently landed my canoe on a deserted beach on a cold and snowy day. I won’t go in to detail as to how I was dressed and outfitted, but this was a traditional, minimalist style trip. Suffice to say; I wasn’t exactly a walking advertisement for the latest yuppy outdoor catalog. A few fellow adventurers happened to pass by as I was preparing to load my canoe and gear in to the truck and head home. I’m not sure if it was the wampum wrist and hat bands, or maybe the knapsack with the cruising ax and sawed off shotgun strapped to it, but I think I frightened them! :) As they left, I heard one say to his friends; “Man, that’s old school.”

Yes, I always have been ‘old school.’ So, when I decided that it was time to move on with finding a wife, I thought about how it was done in the old days. There was a time when if a Mountain Man decided to come out of the hills and settle down, he turned to his social network. That would be, friends and newspapers. He would declare his intentions, and then see what came of it. After telling everyone that he knew, he might run an ad in the local paper, or one of the bigger city papers, and then wait and see what came of it. This was a quite practical approach for a man who lived where there might not exactly be an over abundance of eligible women.

So with that in mind, and figuring that the internet is the 21st century equivalent of the local town gossip, the church bulletin board, and the newspapers, all rolled in to one, I have decided to post the following piece, both to my blog, and to my Facebook page. Laugh if you like, but we all need to be thinking about living our lives to the fullest, even while we are fighting big wind. I sincerely hope that all of my friends will keep that in mind. I don’t want to get the call that any of you are gone, any time soon. And I don’t want to think of any of us as failing to live life to the fullest while we have the chance.

The piece below is written with my usual sense of humor, but the basic premise is totally serious, so please feel free to forward it along to any eligible young ladies whom you might be acquainted with.

:)

DC

Good Woman Wanted—–

Strong, intelligent, ruggedly handsome, fairly competent, and nearly sane Mountain Man type, seeks good woman for mutually beneficial long term contract.

I have lived a good part of my life as a loner, but I recently decided that it is time to ‘come down out of the hills,’ so to speak, and find myself a good woman to live the family life with.

I live close to the Land in a beautifully rugged part of Maine and I am looking for a woman to share my life and lifestyle.

Successful applicant must be intelligent, motivated, sane, and interested in living in an old farm house, on a dirt road, six miles from town and a good thirty miles from the nearest Wal-Mart. Must enjoy the outdoors and be interested in the self reliant lifestyle. That doesn’t mean that we grow everything we eat [though that would be a nice goal], but it does mean no government handouts/food stamps/heating assistance/welfare, etc. If we can’t earn it, grow it, make it, or trade for it, then we do without. The pantry is well stocked. There will be good times and bad times, but you will NEVER go hungry with me!

I’m not hung up on gender stereotypes, but the woman who fills this position must have at least some interest in traditional male/female roles around the house/farm/family. If you are a strong woman who can pull her weight and take charge when necessary, but can also enjoy being looked after and taken care of by your man, then you just might want to apply.

I am 34 years old, stand six feet one inch tall in my stocking feet, and weigh about 215 pounds. I have a full beard and mustache, and my hair is quite long. I am a Registered Maine Master Guide, and I spend my summers paddling a canoe, so you might say that I am fairly strong in the arms and shoulders. In addition to Guiding, I am also something of a craftsman, artist, teacher, trader, and writer.

I believe that tobacco is for ceremonies, alcohol is for special occasions, and all other addictive substances [other than chocolate, of course!] are strictly for the treatment of serious medical conditions. If you believe otherwise, we probably won’t make a good match.

As for your vital statistics, well— Age is open for discussion, though you must be at least old enough that I don’t need your parents to sign a permission slip, and you should probably not be quite old enough to be my mother.

Height and weight are not so important. What is important is that you be in fairly good physical condition. I’m looking for a woman to share my life, and my life includes both hard work as well as enjoying some of the most beautiful places you have ever seen. If you are not in good enough shape to help with the basic home and garden chores, or to accompany me on the occasional hiking/camping/canoe trip, then we will both be disappointed. The right woman may even get to experience amazing vacations to exotic foreign countries, like Northern Maine, Canada, and maybe even New Hampshire!

Hair and eye color, like age/height/weight, will be considered on a case by case basis. There must, of course, be an attraction for both of us. But who’s to say what will spark it, until we meet?

It would be helpful to both of us if you had some basic country living skills, such as knowing a bit about basic firearms handling, gardening, animal care, and cooking, as well as snow shoveling, wood splitting, and lawn mowing. Bonus points if you can skin and bone out a deer by lantern light. I can teach the right person, but those with existing skills will certainly receive preferential consideration.

There is one skill that I can’t teach, though I can probably give you lots of practice at perfecting your existing skill in this field—PATIENCE. The successful applicant MUST posses an unending supply of patience! I’m just a guy, and I have spent a good part of my life alone. That means that I am going to say and do stupid things occasionally…..or maybe even more than occasionally. If you kill me, or run off the first time it happens, then you will be missing out on the joys of making up and moving forward. [Note; Part of the compensation package for this position includes the promise of suitable beads and trinkets on all birthdays, holidays, and as needed to make up for my stupid mistakes......]

As for work/division of labor— I have no problem with a woman who has her own job or career. Especially if she makes a lot of money! If you don’t have an outside job, that’s fine too. There is plenty to do around the place, and a woman who wants to simply be a traditional homemaker would be just as welcome as a woman who wants to go off to a regular job every day. What is not welcome is a woman who wants to sit on her ass and watch T.V. all day. NO exceptions to that one!

This is a 24/7/365, high stress position. That should be understood up front. However, I believe that the compensation package will be quite attractive to the right woman. The successful applicant will find that the overall package includes, but is not limited to; Life in a nice old farmhouse, with outbuildings and land—including woods, fields, and garden area– two vehicles [that both run], several canoes, a good selection of outdoor equipment [I am a Guide, remember], a large assortment of tools [hand and power], and all the assorted trappings and accouterments of country living, as well as the freedom of living a wonderful life in a beautiful place. Oh yes, the package [for the right woman], also includes the undying love and devotion of a man who would do anything to keep you safe and happy.

It should also be noted that the package, at present, also includes Albert, The 95 pound Hound Dog. The Hound Dog is already part of the family, and he will happily accept you as part of the family, as long as you are willing. If you don’t like dogs, I’m afraid that is a deal breaker. As for any other critters, [livestock, pets, children, etc.], I don’t currently have any, and any future additions [whether you bring them with you or we are to add them at a later date], are open to discussion and negotiation on a case by case basis.

Any woman interested in applying for this position, or just looking for more information, may contact me at:

David P. Corrigan

Registered Maine Master Guide

Fletcher Mountain Outfitters

82 Little Houston Brook Road

Concord Twp., Maine 04920

207-672-4879

maineguide@live.com

Serious inquiries only. All applications considered.

Those women who are gainfully employed [or have a large bank account], or have a nice truck, a good boat [with motor], or a large gun collection, will move up the line. Those who have a sense of humor [and can appreciate mine], will move to the front of the line!

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Sign The Bowers Petition

As most of you know, we recently handed First Wind their first denial, ANYWHERE, EVER, when LURC refused to permit their Bowers Mountain project, near Grand Lake Stream.

You may also know that the Legislature recently passed a law handing all wind permitting, including in the Unorganized Territories, over to DEP.

Well, as they promised that they would, First Wind has submitted a new application to DEP for a ‘revised’ Bowers Mountain project.  Basically, they have removed a few turbines, but ‘upgraded’ all of the turbines to the  larger 3 MW models.  They have also spread a little more cash around the neighborhood, trying to buy support.

This application is currently pending before DEP.  The folks at PPDLW who led the first battle against this project, are still hard at work.  They have an online petition asking the DEP to deny this project.  PLEASE go to this link and sign the petition, and ask your friends and family to do the same.  Anyone who appreciates the wild character of this part of Maine, and anyone who doesn’t want to see it destroyed by useless wind development should sign this petition.  We need to let the DEP know that WE ARE WATCHING, and that WE WILL hold them accountable for the damage that will surely be done if this project is permitted to be built.

Please go to; http://www.change.org/petitions/maine-dep-deny-first-wind-s-application-to-build-the-bowers-mountain-wind-project  and sign the petition.  Time is running out.  Please do it now.

Please also consider contacting Jessica Damon at DEP jessica.damon@maine.gov   [with a copy to Commissioner Patricia Aho  patricia.aho@maine.gov] and requesting that a public hearing be held.  DEP has never held a public hearing for a wind development, but they need to know that the PEOPLE are watching, and that the PEOPLE WILL be heard!  Also, at the same time, ask that you be listed as an ‘Interested Person’ for this project.  That will ensure that you are kept up to date with the latest information as it becomes available.

For more information on how you can help, please check the PPDLW.org website.

Thank you.

DC

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Wind Wise Radio–11-4-12

I will be joining Harley and Lisa on Wind Wise Radio, tomorrow, Sunday, November 4, 2012 at 7:00 p.m.  Dr. Jeff Aramini will be on the show talking about the just published Nissenbaum-Aramini-Hanning research tying turbines to health impacts.  This study is especially important to those of us in Maine, because it was conducted at Mars Hill and Vinalhaven.

I will also be talking a little bit about the recent draft order from the Maine DEP to deny the Passadumkeag project.

The last part of the show will be part two of an interview with Steven Cooper.

Please check out Wind Wise Radio at www.windwiseradio.org for more information,  and tune in on Sunday night.  If you can’t listen on your internet connection, you can listen on the call in line at;  213-943-3683.  Simply dial in and listen on your phone.

Lots of good things are happening.  please join us on Sunday night to hear about some of them.

DC

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DEP Says “NO” To Passadumkeag Project!

BIG news folks!  The Maine Department Of Environmental Protection has issued a draft order to DENY the Passadumkeag Project!  They said that the scenic impact is just too unreasonable!

This is HUGE, because the MDEP has never before denied a wind permit.  They didn’t seem to care about upholding their own standards.  Well, today, that has changed.  I’m sure there will be more news to come, but for now, it is just nice to know that the rubber stamping of wind permits is over!

This is a great day for Maine!

DC

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What The Hell Is Wrong With This Country?

Imagine that you are out on your property, and you are approached by three Police Officers, one of them armed with an assault rifle.  They tell you that you are inconveniencing a large developer [who happens to give lots and lots of money to the Governor], and that you have to leave your own land.  This is the same developer who has been willfully trespassing on, and vandalizing your and your neighbors properties for weeks, with no intervention from authorities.

It is a scene almost too terrible to contemplate…..

What would you do?

This is actually happening in Vermont.  Below are some letters that have recently been sent to their U.S. Senator, by the people who are being affected.

Is this The USA, or the old USSR?

There was a time when this sort of government/corporate collusion against The Citizens would have been met with armed revolt.

Is that what this battle is going to have to come to before The American People wake up and realize that they are being taken for suckers?

I pray for our friends in Vermont, and we should all pray that we put a stop to this scam before such a scene comes to Maine; because if they try it around here, I can guarantee that the results WILL make headlines!

DC

 

August 18, 2012

Dear Mr. Sanders,

I am writing to you as my very last resort because of a situation that is so unbelievable and frustrating for the neighbors of Georgia Mountain Community Wind (GMCW).  This letter is not about whether wind is good or bad for Vermont’s ridgelines, but rather about dwindling property rights of Vermonters and the promise of 1603 federal grant money as an excuse to sue Vermonters.

My husband’s aunt, Jane FitzGerald is an abutting property owner to GMCW.  My husband Scott and I are not abutters, but live across the road from the project.  We were pro-se intervenors in the Section 248 approval process for the project, as was Aunt Jane.  Aunt Jane’s son, Dan FitzGerald and his wife Tina FitzGerald and daughter, Heidi FitzGerald were also pro-se intervenors.  I will admit that we all were not pleased when the project was approved by the Public Service Board, but that is not why I am writing.  You see the PSB approved the project with two out of five wind towers placed approximately 155 feet from Aunt Jane’s property line.  The edge of the access road for the project runs parallel to her property line and right up against it – no setback. GMCW has been blasting right up to her property line to build the road – no setback.  They have been blasting right up to her property line at the turbine sites – no setback. They are not using blasting mats and they are setting off large blasts. Therefore, she has large amounts of flyrock from the blasting on her property. GMCW has also dug sediment basins on her property.

We took pictures of the flyrock and the basins and filed a complaint with the PSB.  It took them one month to respond, while GMCW continued to blast even larger flyrock, further into Jane’s property.  They finally responded that she should settle this matter in superior court.  This is a problem that the PSB created, by approving the project with virtually no setbacks.  Now they have washed their hands of it, thrown away the key and the only recourse a property owner has is to spend massive amounts of money on attorneys to sue?  I’m sorry to say that Aunt Jane does not have that kind of money.

In an attempt to stop the blasting of flyrock onto Jane’s property, my husband Scott and his cousin Dan went up to the mountain on this past Thursday, 8/16, and put up two tents on Jane’s property, well inside her line, but within 1,000 feet of the blasting.  At blasting time they were of course asked to move 1,000 feet back so that they were not in danger of getting hit by flyrock.  Of course they refused, because Dan has every right to be anywhere he wants to be on his mom’s property, as did Scott as Dan’s guest. GMCW proceeded to call the Milton Police department and 2 officers and a detective came up.  One of the officers was armed with an assault rifle.  They admitted that they could not legally throw Dan off from his land and left.  This did prevent them from blasting on that day.

On the next day, I went up on the mountain with Dan, Annette Smith from Vermonters for a Clean Environment and three representatives from the Vermont Department of Public Service and the Agency of Natural Resources to show them the flyrock and sediment basins on Jane’s property.  While we were there, Dan was served with a restraining order to stay off from his own land, within 1,000 feet of the property line.  His mom, Aunt Jane, was served as well at home.  Both Dan and Jane have also been sued for damages by GMCW….for being on their own property. This is property that she has maintained over the years for the simple reason that she and her now deceased husband John wanted their kids and grandkids to be able to enjoy it by hiking, camping and hunting.  That right has now been stolen from them.

I think that you would be especially interested to know that GMCW is using the Section 1603 grant from the U.S. Department of Treasury as an excuse to sue the FitzGeralds.  GMCW will receive approximately eight million dollars from this grant, but only if the project is operational by December 31st of this year.  They are claiming that the FitzGeralds are putting them in jeopardy of not receiving that grant money by stopping them from blasting once.  Evidently, they are on a very tight schedule, but it seems ridiculous that one blast has affected their schedule that much. Did they not think that the neighbors would want to use their own land?  Our tax dollars should not be given to such irresponsible developers.  Of course it’s ultimately the Public Service Board’s fault for approving the project with no setbacks in the first place.

So there you have it.  The FitzGeralds land has been taken away from them by a private company.  They have not been compensated.  They are being sued for using it.  They are paying taxes on it.  How is this okay?

If this is going to be the way of living in Vermont, then we need to make some changes.  If a project is approved for the public good, it needs to be good for the neighbors as well.  If land is going to be used and taken at the whim on the developer, then the neighbor needs to be compensated, not sued. And if the Public Service Board is going to make such approvals, then they need to do some policing of the projects and make sure that they are being built in a respectful manner.

There are many, many other issues with this project that we have complained about to the Public Service Board, who have responded with either “go to superior court” or no response at all, but this is by far the most atrocious and scary yet.  My husband and I own 25 acres here on Georgia Mountain, and who is to say that someday, someone won’t be allowed to come along and decide that they want our back 10 acres and just be allowed to take it from us?  Evidently, that is a real possibility here in Vermont now.

Please, please look into this matter.  Anne Margolis from the Department of Public Service was one of the people who went up the mountain with us yesterday and witnessed Dan being served with the restraining order and lawsuit.  Please contact her, and she will tell you that this is all true. She took pictures of the flyrock and the sediment basins and talked with other neighbors about problems that they have had with GMCW. Her number is (802)828-3058.  Also, please visit Georgia Mountain the next time you are in Vermont.

Thank-you for your attention to this matter,

 

Melodie McLane

1179 Georgia Mountain Road

Fairfax, Vermont  05454

(802)893-2170

 

And………

 

Hand delivered to Senator Bernie Sanders in Middletown Springs on Saturday, Aug. 18, after speaking about it in the public Q&A:

Senator Sanders:

I would like to give voice to the people of this state and beyond whose lives, health, and livelihoods are being sacrificed in the name of Green industrial development.

Yesterday I hiked up Georgia Mountain in Milton, Vermont as part of a group that included representatives from the ANR and DPS that was led by a local resident and landowner. We were there when the landowner was given a restraining order to keep him off of his own land because he and others in support of him were cited as “interfering” with construction work by being present on his land.  I learned this morning that Georgia Mountain Community Wind is also suing Dan and his 85-year-old mother.

After hiking down the mountain yesterday we stopped to visit with a man who lives on what WAS a quiet private road. This man’s homestead is now at the main access to the same industrial development site up on the mountain.  His home address was given as the location for deliveries, which resulted in him receiving a letter from a project supplier notifying him if the bills were not paid they would put a lien on his property. Thirty two year old trees that he planted in front of his house were cut down when he was not home to make way for oversized trucks and equipment to get by. He was without power for a time and is still without phone service after three weeks since lines to his house were cut. As we stood in front of his home to talk there was a steady stream of trucks and heavy equipment going back and forth on the recently “improved” gravel road that now borders his property and is lined with cement barriers and huge construction signs. At the beginning of the private road a copy of the newly issued restraining order against his neighbor was posted on a signboard.

These people and their neighbors have had their homes rocked by and in at least one case physically damaged by, up to 7,000-pound blasts that have been going on for weeks. All the while their complaints are being ignored. Their attempts to give voice to their rights have time and time again been met with injustice and abuse.

I could go on to tell you about numerous other people around this state and beyond who have been drained financially and emotionally in their fights to hold onto their homes, and their livelihoods, and to protect themselves and their families to no avail.  The damage and destruction does not end with the construction  - what follows are the stories of illness and ruin that force people to leave the places that they called home.

The people that I met yesterday and many more like them are the victims of one more scam that is permitting economic, health, and environmental destruction in the name of Green Industry. The only Green in this business is the stuff filling the pockets of big corporations.

Elizabeth Cooper

Middletown Springs, VT 05757

 

Some links and additional information:

 

Wind energy development in Vermont is a large mountaintop quarrying operation, but few of the protections provided to neighbors of quarries regulated by Act 250.
GMCW response to neighbors’ July 3 letter
DPS response to neighbors’ July 3 letter
PSB response to neighbors’ July 3 letter
ANR response to neighbors’ July 3 letter
GMCW’s Temporary Restraining Order
GMCW’s Complaint Against Jane and Dan FitzGerald
Georgia Mountain Community Wind went to court on Friday afternoon and got a Temporary Restraining Order against the FitzGeralds who adjoin the wind site to the west (without a hearing, just like in Lowell with GMP and the Nelsons) and also filed suit against them for:
1. Private nuisance — cannot proceed with scheduled blasting, jeopardizing the project’s ability to get Treasury Grant moneys.  Wrongful conduct being within the blast safety zone, encouraging others to be in the blast safety zone has unreasonably interfered with GMCW’s use and enjoyment of its property and its rights pursuant to the CPG.  GMCW has suffered damages.
2. Intentional interference with contract.  Been present and or have encouraged others to be present within blast safety zone.  Suffered damages and irreparable harm. 
3.  Request for declaratory judgment.  Entitled to declaratory judgment that defendants’ wrongful actions constitute a nuisance and entitle them to injunctive relief.

Seeking injunctive relief and damages, compensatory damages, interest, attorneys fees, costs.

Must respond within 20 days.  
Hearing will be held August 30, Chittenden County Vermont Superior Court, Burlington.
Ritchie Berger
Dinse, Knapp & McAndrew
Neighbors are seeking a lawyer to take the case pro bono.  Please reply if you have any suggestions.

 

 

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The Eagle In The Oak

The Eagle came back to the Ferry Crossing today.  He sat and watched as I wrote this poem.

DC

 

Today the Eagle sat in the oak,

Where he watched intently, but never spoke.

What need has he for human words,

When few men deign to speak with birds?

 

Most men suppose that they are Kings,

Born to Lord over wild things.

So few really understand,

How they depend upon the Land.

 

So far removed from Earth are feet and hearts,

That men don’t value the wild parts.

They don’t go where the Eagle goes,

And they don’t know what the Eagle knows.

 

If they could see what the Eagle sees,

And if they could know what he says to me;

Maybe then they could understand,

Why we all must fight to save this Land.

 

Unless men learn to see with their hearts,

And unless they know the wild parts,

Unless they nurture love and banish hate,

And remember what made this Nation great,

 

Unless they can over-come their greed,

To understand that all men need,

To be a part of the larger Land,

To reach out and touch it, with heart and hand,

 

Unless that day should come real quick,

I’m afraid that life on Earth is licked.

 

If we don’t all step up to right the wrong,

By standing proud and standing strong,

Then I’m afraid it won’t be long,

Before we hear the Land sing Her Death Song.

 

The Eagle flew off from his oak,

Where he had watched for hours, but never spoke.

What need has he for human words,

In a Land where men don’t care for birds……….

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My Passadumkeag Comments

I sent the letter below to the DEP, on Company letterhead.  If you have not yet commented on this project, please take a few minutes and do it before 5 P.M. today.  Tell DEP that this project will have an Unreasonable Adverse Impact on wildlife, on tourism, and on those scenic lakes that are especially deserving, under the law, of special protection.  Email your comments to:  jim.r.beyer@maine.gov

 

FLETCHER MOUNTAIN OUTFITTERS

www.realwindinfoforme.com

David P. Corrigan

Registered Maine Master Guide

82 Little Houston Brook Road

Concord Township, Maine 04920

207-672-4879

maineguide@live.com

July 26, 2012

To:

Patricia Aho, Commissioner,

Maine Department of Environmental Protection

Augusta, Maine

C/O Jim Beyer, MDEP Project Manager

Via email: jim.r.beyer@maine.gov

RE: Passadumkeag Mountain Wind Project

Dear Commissioner Aho,

Please consider this letter and all attachments, references, and links as my submission to the MDEP on the matter of the proposed Passadumkeag Mountain Wind Project, to be entered into the official record for this case. I am writing to request that you deny this permit application, and I am including evidence that I believe will be helpful to you in reaching that decision.

I believe that the information that you received at the July 12 public meeting should have constituted overwhelming evidence that the applicant has failed to meet their burden of proof that this project would not have an unreasonable adverse impact on not only the surrounding area, but also on those lakes and other resources that qualify for special protection under the law, as ‘Resources of State or National Significance.’ However, I am going to provide even more reason for you to deny this project.

I have not had the opportunity to fully review the permit application, but I have read the complete MDEP draft analysis, and also having attended the second public meeting in Greenbush on July 12 [where I was not allowed to speak, due to time constraints], I offer you my perspective and my reasons for asking that you deny this permit application.

It might be helpful to point out that I was an Intervenor before LURC in the recent First Wind/Bowers Mountain Project, and I did considerable research into the scenic impact, wildlife impact, and impact on tourism related business of wind projects for that case. As the Passadumkeag Project and the Bowers Project share a lot of similarities, including general geographic area, scenic impacts to water bodies recognized for their scenic qualities, and similar potential threats to wildlife and wildlife habitat, I am asking that you review the entire Bowers Mountain/LURC DP4889 file and decision, and enter both into evidence as part of this MDEP review process. I believe that by reviewing that case, which benefited from a full public hearing process, and by entering both the evidence and the final decision into the record for the Passadumkeag Project, you will be able to better reach a decision that is within the law, and that serves the People and the Natural Resources of Maine which you are sworn to protect. That file is too large to attach here, but it can be easily accessed/downloaded from this link: http://www.maine.gov/doc/lurc/projects/Windpower/FirstWind/Champlain/Champlain_Development.html

I would ask you to pay special attention to the wildlife impacts, especially to the Threatened Canada Lynx, and the Bats which are currently in a very dangerous population decline due to White Nose Syndrome. As in the Bowers Case, I can not find any evidence that the applicant in the Passadumkeag Project took these concerns seriously. I have several questions that I would like to see you demand answers to:

What actual on the ground surveys were done for Lynx in and around the project area? We know from those who use the area that Lynx are present, so why were on the ground tracking surveys not done?

Has anyone from MDEP contacted local MDIF&W Game Warden Paul Farrington, to get his personal opinion about the local Lynx population? Having spoken to him myself, I know that he is quite knowledgeable on the subject.

Has anyone from MDEP asked Mark McCollough at The United States Fish and Wildlife Service if he has specific concerns about Lynx, Bats, Birds, or other Threatened/Endangered species, including Turtles? Has he gone on the record as saying that this project will definitely NOT have an unreasonable adverse impact on any of these species? If he is not able to say, in writing, that there will be no unreasonable adverse impact, then the project must be denied.

Mr. McCollough refused to appear as a witness in the Bowers case, but in a phone conversation with me while I was preparing for that case, he expressed concern that not enough studies had been done on Lynx populations in this general area, and he also expressed concern for the potential of catastrophic bird mortality events. He went on to recommend that Jennifer Vachon from The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife should be involved with Lynx Studies in the area, and he told me that USFWS was so concerned with the possibility of Lynx mortality that they were considering requiring any wind projects in potential Lynx habitat to gate their roads, to prevent access by hunters and trappers as well as to prevent Lynx/vehicle collisions. Most people in the area are under the impression that the wind project area will be open to both vehicle and foot traffic after construction. Has this access issue been considered by MDEP? Although this conversation took place over a year ago, before the population of Myotis Species Bats in Maine had been confirmed to have experienced the severe die off from White Nose Syndrome, Mr. McCollough expressed great concern over the effect of additional wind turbine mortality on an already stressed population. But, as he would not attend the public hearing, and as he told me that he was much too busy to even read, let alone comment on, most new wind applications, much of this information will not be forthcoming and confirmed unless MDEP Staff directly and specifically question Mr. McCollough.

I am requesting that MDEP place a phone call to Mr. McCollough presenting him with these questions, and requesting a written response, for the record.

Has anyone at MDEP spoken to Jennifer Vachon at MDIF&W about her concerns for Lynx in the area? I am requesting that she too receive a phone call and a request for a written response regarding potential impacts to Lynx and/or Lynx habitat, for the record. If she can not say, in writing, that there will be no unreasonable adverse impact, then the project must be denied.

Has anyone from MDEP spoken to John DePue at MDIF&W about his specific concerns for Bat mortality, especially given the recent news that certain species are facing 80 to 100 percent mortality in certain areas of Maine, due to White Nose Syndrome? Can he say that we can afford to risk loosing even one more Bat to wind turbines under the current circumstances? I am requesting that Mr. DePue also receive a phone call with a request for written details of his specific concerns for Bat mortality at this project site, and cumulatively, at all Maine wind project sites. If he can not say, in writing, that there will be no unreasonable adverse impact, then the project must be denied.

Even if these experts offer the opinion that the project will not have an unreasonable adverse impact on the animals and habitats in question, the MDEP must remember that it is still only an opinion. Such an opinion must be backed up with science and facts, not just ‘because I said so,’ in order to carry any weight. The duty of MDEP is not to simply take an opinion [even an expert opinion] at face value, but to actually study the situation, gather the facts, apply ALL of the available information, and make decisions that are in the best interest of the Resource which they are charged with protecting. Just because an ‘expert’ is willing to abdicate his responsibility to the Resource in favor of political expedients [yes, it has been known to happen], does not absolve MDEP from ultimate legal and moral responsibility to protect that Resource.

Despite the applicant’s [in the Bowers case--First Wind], claims in later news articles, a careful review of the Bowers record will show that the LURC Commissioners never actually determined that the project would not have unreasonable adverse impacts on wildlife and wildlife habitat. They simply decided to spend their limited time deliberating on the scenic impact, as it was obvious that this was huge. I would ask the MDEP to review the relevant parts of my testimony and my cross examination of the applicant’s consultants as well as of the MDIF&W personnel in the Bowers case, [available at the above link], and carefully consider that information in making any determination as to the potential effects of the Passadumkeag Project on animals and/or animal habitat.

On the subject of “Financial Capacity,” I can only say that while it may be true that the applicant in the Passadumkeag Project has the financial capacity to build the project, it has not yet been proven. The pages from the application that I was able to review were mostly blacked-out redaction. In my view, there was nothing presented that came anywhere near providing the proof of financial capacity that is required under Maine Law. This in and of itself should have been reason to deny the application from being deemed complete and ready for processing.

On the subject of Unreasonable Adverse Scenic Impact, which is perhaps the criteria that the approval or denial of this application is most likely to center on, all I can say is, the facts speak for themselves. The applicant’s so called ‘survey’ is a joke, and the petitions submitted by actual users of the resource, along with the testimony at the July 12 meeting in Greenbush, should be considered as more than overwhelming evidence that the applicant has failed to meet their burden of proof on this count. Combine this with the information on scenic impact as provided in the full Public Hearing held by LURC in the Bowers case, and it becomes obvious to even the casual observer that the scenic impact of this project is most certainly unreasonably adverse, and reason enough to deny the permit.

While on the subject of scenic impact, I would like to comment on an obvious problem with the MDEP process. You have retained David Raphael, of Land Works, as you ‘independent’ third party visual consultant. Given the fact that Mr. Rafael was the visual consultant hired by First Wind to convince the LURC Commissioners that the Bowers Project would not have an unreasonable adverse scenic impact, and given the fact that the LURC Commissioners [as well as virtually every user of the resource who commented], unanimously and emphatically disagreed with him, I have to ask; Why is he now considered qualified to provide ‘unbiased’ recommendations to the MDEP? The man’s record clearly shows that he was either terribly mistaken, or openly corrupted in the Bowers case, and yet you are now depending on him to provide you with guidance on the Passadumkeag Project. I would like to know how Mr. Rafael was chosen for this position, and why you consider his opinion to be trustworthy and reliable, given his record.

In closing, I would simply request that you follow the evidence, listen to the People who have spoken, and then do the right thing for the People and the Resource which you are charged with protecting.

I would like answers, in writing, to the questions contained in this submission, before any decision is made in this case. I would like those answers not only sent to me, but also to be made part of the official record for this case. I would also like to be put on a list of Interested Persons to be notified of any developments or updates in this case, and of its final outcome.

If I can be of any service, or if there are questions that I can help answer for you, please do not hesitate to contact me at any time.

Respectfully submitted,

David P. Corrigan

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Passadumkeag–One Day Left

The time is now to get your comments in to the MDEP on the Passadumkeag Project.  They have set tomorrow, July 27, as the deadline for public comments.

Even if you were able to speak at the public meeting [many weren't, because Commissioner Aho had no interest in staying late to listen], it is important that you get your comments in to the DEP, IN WRITING.  That way, they are part of the official record.

With all of the evidence presented so far, it should be obvious to the DEP that this project does not meet the requirements of the law, and that it will have an unreasonable adverse impact on the area in general, and especially on those nearby lakes which are classed as ‘resources of state significance.’  But, they still need to hear from you. Tell them how this project will have a negative impact on your use and enjoyment of the area, especially the lakes.  The developer claims it won’t, but the over 300 area users who sent petitions to the DEP make a pretty strong case!  Tell them that the Passadumkeag area deserves the same protection that LURC recently granted other nearby scenic lakes when they denied the Bowers Mountain Wind Project.

Add your name and your story by emailing your submission to:

jim.r.beyer@maine.gov

You can view the permit application and the DEP draft analysis at:

http://www.maine.gov/dep/land/sitelaw/selected-developments/index.html

Please do it now.

Thanks.

DC

 

 

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Standing Guard

The Bald Eagle, the symbol of our Nation, came to stand guard over the Appalachian Trail Ferry Crossing on the Kennebec this morning.  I knew he was coming even before I saw him……The Loons told me.  There are no secrets, if you know how to listen.

He glided in and perched in the very top of a spruce tree, on the west side of the River.  The hikers were amazed that the three Loons on the River let us get so close, but they never even noticed the Sentinel standing guard.

I wonder if they will notice when he no longer stands guard?  I wonder how many know that the Eagle, and his Country, are in grave danger from evil men with greed in their hearts?

No, what the hikers noticed was that after 2.000 miles of hiking along the east coast, Maine is among the wildest and most beautiful places that they have ever seen.  They all comment on it, and they all seem to expect [and hope], that it never changes.

They have no idea…………………..

Aldo Leopold once wrote; “Only the mountain has lived long enough to listen objectively to the howl of the wolf.”

Perhaps it can truly be said that only the Eagle has flown high enough to see the danger to the Mountains, and the Nation……………..

When I left the River, the Eagle was still standing guard over his domain.  The average person would never see him silently perched there in the spruce tree across the River.  As I walked back to my truck, I found my self wondering, and wishing that I knew what the Eagle knows, and that I could make others know, as well.

DC

 

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