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VN 10/31 - Winter Problems?

Sometimes dreams can turn to nightmares. Here in Upstate NY, we're pretty used to dealing with snow, ice, and the cycles of freezing and thawing that our winters bring, but are wind turbines? What will happen to 400-foot metal structures with massive blades, all perched on top of windy hills, in the midst of one of our famous ice storms? Metal fatigue, leading to premature failure and possible collapse are predicted by a recent report out of Finland. Do we really think that industrial technology designed for more temperate climates is up to our unique, ice-storm-prone weather pattern? Our article in this week's Valley News opens the subject up for discussion, a discussion we think should happen before, not after we forge ahead into an outside developer's dream.



Europeans Seeing the Light

A high-level study done this fall and reported in today's Newday finds that windmill generators in Europe have problems with creating electricity when it is needed. Based upon a breadth of data drawn from European utilities in half a dozen countries, the study by ABS Energy Research in London reports that a sharp increase in wind-power capacity in Europe is challenging utilities to stabilize their electric grids in the face of sometimes wildly fluctuating wind-energy levels, while calling into question some of the greenhouse-gas reducing claims of windmills.

Read the article here and then ask yourself if we don't need to give this industry a little more time to prove itself before we yield the future of our Town's entire landscape to its claims.



Call for a Moratorium

Earlier this week the Cohocton Town Board sponsored a Public Meeting to review the proposed "Windmill Law #2". Many speakers gave well-researched and impassioned presentations to our Board, expressing their serious reservations and asking for time to reconsider before moving forward. Here are a number of links to the reports they submitted that are well worth reading: Cohocton Wind Watch, Richard Bolton, Paul Gettys, James Hall, James and Shannon Lince, David Miller, Don Sandford, and Robert Strasburg. We agree with these and others who are raising their voices in a chorus asking for a moratorium on wind power development in our Town. Please let our local leaders know where you stand.

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VN 10/24 - A Moratorium?

A lot has happened in Cohocton since UPC Wind unveiled their massive wind power proposal in April, but in many ways things are no clearer now than they were 6 months ago. Serious problems with the developer's Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) and the SEQR process, conflicts with the Town's Comprehensive Zoning Plan, and a worsening division in the community have surfaced. Now another developer, Empire Wind Energy, has arrived on the scene with an alternative that might answer concerns on both sides of the controversy. How do we move forward? Our article in this week's Valley News recommends a Moratorium on wind power development in our Town and the establishment of a community forum to work out the problems. Is our current leadership up to the challenge, or are they arriving at the table with their minds already made up? Please read our article and then come out to tonight's Public Meeting at the Cohocton Elementary School to voice your opinion.

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Wind power unreliability

An article in a recent issue of the Asbury Park Press reports that "California's power shortage [this past summer] confirms that all of the hoopla over wind energy's credentials as a clean and renewable source of electricity is undercut by the reality of its unreliability. During an extremely hot week in August, when air conditioners were cranked up and the state was on the brink of rolling blackouts, how much help did the state get from its beloved 2,500 megawatts of wind power? Only 4 percent of its capacity, according to the California Independent System Operator, which is responsible for the state's electricity grid. Southern California Edison's 2,200 megawatts of wind capacity generated only 45 megawatts. In other words, wind energy works great — except when you need air conditioning."



CWW Informational Meeting

Last night's public informational meeting at the Elementary School was an eye-opener. Excellent presentations, both posted here, were given by Bob Strasburg and Bonnie Palmiter and followed by a lively discussion. If you weren't able to attend, we encourage you to read their presentations and then come out next Tuesday evening, October 24, for the public hearing the Town Board is conducting about their proposed "Windmill Law #2." Please read the new Law and come prepared to offer your comments.



VN 10/17 - Appeasement?

Last month the Cohocton Town Supervisor was quoted in the Hornell Evening Tribune as saying, "I can't spend all my time trying to appease these anti-wind people." Our article in this week's Valley News wonders out loud what kind of appeasement Jack is talking about. We empathize with the difficulties that Town governments have been having throughout the southern tier as they grapple with a literal invasion of industrial wind power developers. Massive and controversial projects are being proposed that bring complex issues and raise strong feelings. But blaming the problems of government on those who raise legitimate questions seems somewhat lop-sided. Please read our article and then let people know what you think.



Proposed "Windmill Law #2"

The Cohocton Town Board appears poised to pass "Windmill Law #2" to replace the seriously flawed one it passed in January. Both laws were crafted by UPC Wind, but the developer's hand and paid legal counsel are even more evident in #2 than they were in #1. There are two vital public meetings coming up for community input on Thursday 10/19 and Tuesday 10/24, both being held at the Cohocton Elementary School. Please read the new law, then come out and voice your concerns.

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VN 10/10 - Who is Lying?

Recently opponents of UPC Wind’s proposed turbine project have been publicly accused of “insulting” town officials, “costing all the taxpayers of Cohocton thousands of dollars” and expecting us “to forget all of their lies and misinformation.” But where are the “lies and misinformation” coming from? Our article in this week's Valley News opens up the question and asks us all to do some soul-searching. How can we come together and decide what's best for our community?



CWW Response to Critics

It has been stated in recent weeks that Cohocton Wind Watch has changed its position and is now in favor of wind turbines. As you can see by our mission statement we were never against wind turbines. Cohocton Wind Watch is against poorly planned wind turbine projects that are damaging to many in the community. We are against projects that decrease property values, cause health problems, are safety hazards, and that only benefit a few members of the community.

If wind turbines are going to come to this area shouldn't the project be something we all agree on? Shouldn't the project put something back into the community?

Now is the time to decide what the best deal is for the Town of Cohocton. Is it UPC, Empire, or no turbines at all? You decide.

Members of CWW do not believe that either wind developer has proven that there is enough consistent wind to make the project financially viable. We also believe that developers should be required to locate turbines within a specific industrial zoned site. Placement of up to 500' turbines anywhere in the township is a fatal flaw of the proposed Wind Mill Local Law #2.

Members of Cohocton Wind Watch stand firmly where they always have, trying to do what is best for all residents of Cohocton, not just a few.

Jim Hall, Cohocton Wind Watch

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New law limits eminent domain

In a big win for the Mohawk Valley community who rallied against it, Governor Pataki joined state legislators and local leaders at the SUNY-IT Campus in Marcy to sign legislation that limits the use of eminent domain by electric and gas corporations. The law adds new restrictions for companies looking to take over people's land to use for electric and gas line projects, like the one proposed by New York Regional Interconnect.
The 200-mile long power line project would cut right through the Mohawk Valley. Many say it would have a negative impact on property owners, the environment, and the local economy.
Governor Pataki echoed their arguments against the plan: "We don't need a power line running through this community that's going to split it in half and take people's homes," Pataki said.
If built, the power line would provide electricity to New York City. But many argue it would also raise the rates for other customers in the state.

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VN 10/3 - Hypocrisy?

The wind power debate in Cohocton took another bad turn when one of our local tax assessors revealed his partiality to a specific private developer by openly accusing Cohocton Wind Watch members of "hypocrisy" in a long letter published two weeks ago in The Valley News. Our article this week addresses his charge. Our primary hope is that the citizens of Cohocton will seek a common solution to the community crisis that's been visited upon us by examining all the alternatives impartially and making a completely informed decision. We believe there are too many unanswered questions, several having to do with finances and taxation, to forge ahead now.

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Fall Foliage Festival

This coming weekend is the Festival, and the colors are cooperating! Events include a spaghetti dinner at the Presbyterian Church and the start of the tree sitting contest, followed by the soccer tournament Friday night. Saturday kicks off with breakfasts at the Methodist Church and American Legion hall, benefit luncheons at the School and Firehouse, and the all-day craft market on Village Green, complete with petting zoo, wagon rides, and entertainment. A big parade at 1 pm, spud-jug game at 6 pm, and dance at the American Legion hall in the evening round out the day. Sunday starts with an ecumenical church service at the Sports Complex and a pancake breakfast at the Firehouse, followed by the craft fair, tractor pull, entertainment, luncheons at the School and St. Paul's Lutheran Church, afternoon candy run, and the glorious conclusion of the tree sitting contest! Find out more online here. We hope to see you there!



October Public Meetings

Cohocton Town Board 2007 budget meeting
Wednesday, 10/4, 7:00 - 8:30 pm at the Atlanta Court Offices, 19 Main St., Atlanta, NY

Court Hearing Prattsburgh Article 78 against SCIDA
Thursday, 10/5, 2:00 – 5:00 pm at the Hall of Justice, Judge Galloway Supreme Court, Public Safety Building, Rochester, NY

Cohocton Planning Board regular meeting
Thursday, 10/5, 7:30 - 9:30 pm at the Atlanta Court Offices

Empire State Wind Energy informational meeting
Community presentation on alternative wind project
Wednesday, 10/11, 7:00 - 9:30 pm at the Cohocton Elementary School, 30 Park Ave., Cohocton, NY

Cohocton Town Board regular meeting
Tuesday, 10/17, 7:30 - 9:30 pm at the Atlanta Court Offices

Cohocton Wind Watch informational meeting
Thursday, 10/19, 7:00 - 9:30 pm at the Cohocton Elementary School

Cohocton Town Board public meeting
Tuesday, 10/24, 7:00 - 9:30 pm at the Cohocton Elementary School

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