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Updates

 

Almost Fishin' Time

Preparing for the Trout Derby

Click here to view a delightful slide show of volunteers and staff moving trout from the hatchery in Powder Mills Park to the creek in preparation for the opening day Trout Derby on April 1st.

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Latest in war on error

School Teacher Arrested

NEW YORK - A public school teacher was arrested today at John F. Kennedy International Airport as he attempted to board a flight while in possession of a ruler, a protractor, a set square, a slide rule, and a calculator.

At a morning press conference, Attorney General Gonzales said he believes the man is a member of the notorious Al-gebra movement. He did not identify the man, who has been charged by the FBI with carrying weapons of math instruction.

Al-gebra is a problem for us,” Gonzales said. “They desire solutions by means and extremes, and sometimes go off on tangents in a search of absolute value. They use secret code names like ‘x’ and ‘y’ and refer to themselves as ‘unknowns,’ but we have determined they belong to a common denominator of the axis of medieval with coordinates in every country.

As the Greek philanderer lsosceles used to say, “There are 3 sides to every triangle.”

When asked to comment on the arrest, President Bush said, “If God had wanted us to have better Weapons of Math Instruction, He would have given us more fingers and toes.” White House aides told reporters they could not recall a more intelligent or profound statement by the president.

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What about biofuels?


Corn Can't Solve Our Problem

The world has come full circle. A century ago our first transportation biofuels - the hay and oats fed to our horses - were replaced by gasoline. Today, ethanol from corn and biodiesel from soybeans have begun edging out gasoline and diesel.

This has been hailed as an overwhelmingly positive development that will help us reduce the threat of climate change and ease our dependence on foreign oil. In political circles, ethanol is the flavor of the day, and presidential candidates have been cycling through Iowa extolling its benefits. Lost in the ethanol-induced euphoria, however, is the fact that three of our most fundamental needs - food, energy, and a livable and sustainable environment - are now in direct conflict. Moreover, our recent analyses of the full costs and benefits of various biofuels, performed at the University of Minnesota, present a markedly different and more nuanced picture than has been heard on the campaign trail.

Interested in alternative renewable energy sources? Before you fill out Mark Densmore's simple "Renewable Energy Survey" on the Yes! Wind Power website he maintains for UPC supporters, you might want to enter the discussion of biofuels through this informative article by Tilman and Hill in Sunday's Washington Post. Be sure to continue by reading the comments that follow. Then go back and try out Mark's survey. This whole subject isn't quite as simple as it might appear, is it?

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VN 3/27 - Finger Lakes Life

One of the problems we face in Cohocton is one of identity: are we primarily an isolated rural agricultural community, or are we an active part of New York's Finger Lakes region? Do our future hopes lie in the industrialization of farmland, or have we been given some precious but untapped residential, retirement, and recreational resources? Cohocton is nestled in among some of the most beautiful hills and valleys in the region, right off the Expressway, and just 12 miles from Canandaigua Lake. For an increasing number of people it's become an idyllic place of rest and refreshment. If we allow a wind farm to get established, however, the die will be cast. We're convinced that wind development in our Town is a poor idea. What about you? Read our article in this week's Valley News and then let us know what you think.

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New Solar Technology


Two companies join up to deploy 19th-century technology at the solar front.

Who could have guessed that a 191-year-old engine design would become the newest ally of the solar revolution? Under a recent co-development deal, Solana Beach, California-based Open Energy and Kennewick, Washington-based Infinia have joined forces to provide a novel source of cheap electricity and clean drinking water. The idea centers on using Open Energy’s SunCone solar concentrators to produce steam to power Infinia’s Stirling engines hitched to electric generators. The result: virtually free electricity with no burning of fossil fuel and no greenhouse gases.


Click here to read the whole story by Gar Smith in the February 26, 2007 issue of Red Herring. Is it possible that much better technology is right around the corner, just waiting to poke a hole in the promises of wind power and render the wind turbines of the early 21st Century obsolete?

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Letter from Mars Hill

Dear Bill,
My name is Diane Radell. I live 600 feet from a wind mill in Mars Hill, ME. UPC has lied from the get go about their project. From noise to what an eyesore their project would look like. These things are 26 stories high, throw ice, and make horrible noises.
Two years ago, our town council decided to sign a deal with "Evergreen Wind Power" which is really UPC LLC. Keep in mind LLC stands for a limited liability company. After going to the meetings town residents were told, "...there is nothing we can do about the wind mills coming to town because the wind mills would be placed on private land..."
Two years went by and all of sudden in the dead of the winter work begins on this project. These people blasted causing damage to our homes, and now 28 wind mills are on top of the mountain.
The closest wind mill is two acres from my property. When these things run they make horrible noise, they vibrate the house. My home and land has lost 15-40% of the market value.
Currently the neighbors and I around this mountain have formed an association to deal with the noise issues. It is very difficult to find legal counsel about this matter because UPC has paid off many attorneys in the area. This company, UPC, is really part of General Electric of Boston.
Do whatever it takes to keep them from getting in your town. They lied about the noise, the way these things look, the impact on the environment.
STOP your town council from putting these atrocities in. You can do this with legal counsel. Do not let it happen to your town. Go to your legislature to make laws about these wind mills because they will put them in your back yard if they can.
Diane Radell

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Another Inconvenient Truth

Behind the feel-good hype of carbon offsets, some of the deals don't deliver... Done carefully, offsets can have a positive effect and raise ecological awareness. But a close look at several transactions – including those involving the Oscar presenters, Vail Resorts, and the Seattle power company – reveals that some deals amount to little more than feel-good hype. When traced to their source, these dubious offsets often encourage climate protection that would have happened regardless of the buying and selling of paper certificates. One danger of largely symbolic deals is that they may divert attention and resources from more expensive and effective measures.

Read the full article by Ben Elgin in this week's issue of BusinessWeek or click here for a printable PDF version.

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VN 3/20 - Convenient Falsehoods

Al Gore and others are very motivated to tell us about what they call the “Inconvenient Truths” about global warming. It’s an unwelcome message for some, partly because many of the “truths” proclaimed are only speculations or half-truths at best. However, even if only a part of Al’s diagnosis is true, we all need to start waking up and asking what we can do to help. Unfortunately, putting industrial wind power forward as a proposed “cure” is fraught with difficulties.

In fact, the main problem with wind power has to do with falsehood. Read our article in this week's Valley News, check out a recent YES article accusing wind power critics of "recycling", do your own research, and then let our Town leaders know what you think.

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Protesting too much

Seems to me the global-warming folks just keep hurting their own cause, and weakening their own argument, with two silly tactical mistakes. The first is that they exaggerate their evidence. The second is that they bully their opponents. Both tend to be signals that they aren't as sure of themselves as they'd like you to think they are... Is your argument a little weak on facts? Well, don't worry. Just exaggerate the facts you've got, and raise your voice a little.

Associated Press did this just last week, in a story by reporter Seth Borenstein. The sensationalistic headline screamed: "Climate report warns of droughts, starvation, disease." The lead paragraph thundered on: "The harmful effects of global warming on daily life are already showing up, and within a couple of decades hundreds of millions of people won't have enough water, top scientists will say next month at a meeting in Belgium."

Click here to read Joel Belz's full article in the 3/24 issue of World Magazine.

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A grateful reader

Hello Bill,

I just found your website and just want to say thank goodness for you and people like you. I am a 62 year old welder living in Fairport, NY. We have a cottage in Cape Vincent and are going through the wind turbine nightmare right now. I read some of your site so far. There are 3 proposed "farms" up there. Two in Cape Vincent and one in Clayton with about 300 windmills total I believe. I just feel that the local supporters up there have totally lost their minds. Cottage owners have no vote on anything. We just get to pay lots of taxes. Thank you very much for your informative site and all the great work you have done.

Sincerely,
Doug Ryon

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Wayland Youth Softball

I am President of Wayland Youth Softball and at this time of year we send out sponsor letters to area businesses and civic organizations. We are a local youth league that provides an opportunity for nearly 200 kids to participate in a softball league. This year I am looking to include more groups and businesses than just the ones whose names we put on our teams' hats. With that in mind and in the interest of providing equal opportunity, not only am I sending a letter to the UPC office in Cohocton but I also wanted to know if you might be interested. What we are requesting is a $125 fee, and some groups will be team sponsors and some will be dugout sponsors. If this is something you might want to be involved with please email me back with your mailing address and I will send you a letter.

Thank you for your time.
Robby Anger
President Wayland Youth Softball

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VN 3/13 - The Bottom Line

A lot of things have been said in favor of industrializing the Town of Cohocton with an a wind power project that’s larger than anything like it in New England, but we often wonder what the real bottom line is. What’s really going on here? Why are people so dead set on changing the character of our Town so dramatically? Is it to save the planet from global warming? To increase tax revenues? To save farms? To make money? To prove a political point about who’s in charge? A few recent Valley News articles are beginning to give us the answer. Read our article in this week's VN and then add your voice to the community discussion.

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Hamlin Moratorium Approved

Wind-farm development put on hold

Meaghan McDermott
Rochester Democrat & Chronicle Staff writer

March 12, 2007 8:13 pm — HAMLIN — By a vote of 3-0, the town board tonight approved a one-year moratorium on wind farm development, giving a nine-member town committee time to research wind farms and make recommendations about what areas of Hamlin, if any, would be appropriate for a wind farm.

“This moratorium will give our committee time to thoroughly discuss the facts without the fear of a developer coming in tomorrow” asking for a project approval, said Town Supervisor Denny Roach.

One board member, Paul Rath, abstained from the vote. He is a landowner in Hamlin and has been approached by a wind power company. Another board member, David Rose, was out of town.

Developers haven’t yet asked the town to approve a wind farm. However, Massachusetts-based Competitive Power Ventures Inc. negotiated some land-lease agreements with property owners and built two 200-foot tall meteorological towers in the town’s northwest quadrant late last year. The towers will collect wind speed and direction information for up to 18 months. That information will tell the company if Hamlin is a good spot for wind power.

Editor's Note: Click here to read a background article by Meaghan McDermott published in the Democrat & Chronicle earlier today.

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A story about our deer


It is difficult to believe that between 1860 and the early 1900s whitetail deer were essentially eliminated from our region. When settlers came to this area, they slowly but steadily cleared the forests to create farmland. By 1880, approximately 70 percent of the hill country surrounding the lakes was farmland and only 20 percent remained forested.

After hillside farming began declining around 1880, nature started reclaiming the abandoned farmland. Finding apples in old orchards and new successional plants, deer began migrating north from Pennsylvania. Laws were established to regulate hunting, and “deer sightings” were the talk of the town between 1915 and 1920.

Today, deer thrive in the Finger Lakes region and have adapted to living in close proximity to people. Newspapers no longer run stories about deer sightings, and although some consider them a nuisance, they are revered by hunters, naturalists and photographers.

Click here to read the whole story, complete with photos and information about the life cycle of whitetail deer, by Bill Banaszewski and here to download a PDF version you can print for your family.

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VN 3/6 - “Vague What Ifs”

It’s interesting to watch the public debate going on in the pages of The Valley News. On the one hand are those who are concerned about inappropriate industrial wind development in our Town. We post articles and letters at our own expense. On the other hand is the steady stream of letters being published by UPC’s YES group. We wonder how many of these letters would appear if their writers were paying out of their own pockets. Last week “The Farmer’s Wife” held forth again and accused us of trying to stall a wind project she’s known about for 4 years with “vague what ifs.”

It must be frustrating for leaseholders to have to deal with citizens like us who’ve had less than a year to study it. But what have we found out in our 10 months of study? Read our article in this week's Valley News for some highlights that are far from vague.

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UPC Makes Noise in Maine

Problems out East

MARS HILL, Maine

"Something has turned terribly sour for about 18 homeowners who live along the mountain roads where the state’s first and only wind farm has recently gone on line. To a man and to a woman, they feel betrayed, cheated, used, ignored, and dismissed. Put them in a room and they are spitting mad. Collectively, as they gather on a Saturday morning inside a home that sits in the shadow of the turbines, their anger is barely palatable. Since the turbines started up, they say, silence has become a luxury."

Read Paul Lefebvre's full report from The Barton Chronicle, then follow up with a similar report from Bill Metcalf in the Vermont Times Argus and another recent study by Frey and Hadden investigating the effect wind turbine noise has on health.

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