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NBC Sees Green

An Inconvenient Segment: NBC Sees Green

One global warming angle that we cover in chapter one of "An Inconvenient Book" is how so many of the climate change cheerleaders that you see in the media are anything but independent. They love to talk about how the oil companies fund studies to distort the truth - but the reality is that conflict of interest works both ways - and it's always most dangerous when it's hidden from you.

For example, if you watched NBC last week, you probably saw their "Green is Universal" promotion. They changed their logo, their website, and even the plots of their sitcoms, by corporate mandate - all to bring awareness to issues like climate change. Wow, what stewards of the Earth they are.

Unfortunately, it's what NBC didn't tell you that's far more important: They are a subsidiary of General Electric; General ELECTRIC. That's important for two reasons: First, GE has a bigger lobbying budget than the three largest U.S. oil companies. COMBINED. But more importantly, GE owns major environmental businesses, like GE Energy, which has made big bets on things like wind power and clean energy technologies - and they stand to make boatloads of cash if Congress passes all sorts of environmental legislation, and you "go green."

Imagine the uproar if ABC did a week-long series called "War With Iran," complete with Islamic Extremists competing on Dancing With the Stars. But only later did you find out that ABC is actually owned by Raytheon, one of the Pentagon's largest weapons suppliers. You think the New York Times might cover that story?

This is one of the worst manipulations of the public trust that I have ever seen. In fact, I believe it's damn near criminal and someone should look into their license. NBC and GE have used the public airwaves against us, and they've done it all for the one type of green they really care about: money.

Glenn Beck (talk-radio host of The Real America)

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Cohocton construction continues

An article in this Tuesday's Hornell Evening Tribune reports:

Despite snow, rain and mud, wind turbine towers are starting to go up on top of Dutch Hill... Work on the sites began Sept. 18. Despite progress on the project and limited delays since the project began, there is no firm date for the completion of the work. “Everybody asks that question,” Towner said, “and I have no date.” The unpredictability of weather slows down construction, Towner said, adding high winds make it impossible to install rotors and upper tower sections. “The plan is to continue all through winter,” Towner said.

Click here to read the entire article.



VN 11/27 - "Huge Tax Cut"?

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What Yanmar knows about wind

"The wind is your preferred source of power and propulsion. Clean, natural and at times extremely exciting. With only one drawback: it is unpredictable. You need a backup that provides you certainty under all circumstances. We at Yanmar build reliable, extremely durable engines that are built to last and require minimal maintenance."



Thanksgiving greetings

Michelle and Bob Strasburg would like to wish all of you a Very Happy Thanksgiving. May it be filled with good memories and times of reflecting on how important relationships are to each of us. We appreciate each of our long time friends and have enjoyed meeting many new friends this year. We ask God’s richest blessing on all of you.

Happy Thanksgiving to you all! This year has been very trying but with good friends and patience we made it through. May your day be filled with pleasant moments and memories. Throughout this process we have made many new friends and we want to give thanks for that. Karl and Bonnie Palmiter



VN 11/20 - Happy Thanksgiving!



The Steamroller Approach

Spitzer's wounded, but he still has nearly a full term to finish

Gov. Spitzer has had one of the worst weeks of his term, and that's going some for this guy. He's made an embarrassing political retreat on the license issue and woke up Wednesday to the news that a Siena College poll had his positives close to rock bottom.

This is a governor blazing new trails, as he pledged last January, but they lead instead to the wide vista of political stalemate and inaction. His political rivals are gloating over his supersonic decline. His allies are trying to figure out how to be supportive at arm's length. All this is bad news for Spitzer, much of which he has invited with his arrogance and hubris.* He came to Albany believing, apparently, he had been anointed more than elected.

But the governor's fall so early in his first term is worst news for New Yorkers. This is a governor with more than three years left on his ticket, and it is in everyone's interest, no matter the party, no matter the dismay with the Spitzer style, that he be an effective leader who gets things done, especially for the struggling upstate economy.

Lawmakers inclined to spend the next session, which begins in January, trying to exploit Spitzer's weakness may indeed find new ways to needle and frustrate him. But they will hurt New York in the process. The list of things to accomplish is long, and they require full and ongoing cooperation between the executive and legislative branches.

The upstate agenda is in particular danger. The Wicks Law reform that eases public-works costs has not been completed. The capital budget assisting many Rochester-region projects hasn't been approved. More broadly, Spitzer and the Legislature still haven't agreed on a strategy to support new economic sectors upstate such as biomedicine, alternative energy and cutting-edge optics. Ideas have been floated and money promised, but absent is a vision for growth that Spitzer and lawmakers develop jointly and enact.

Sure, the governor must renounce the steamroller approach and do everything he can to repair relations with legislators and the public that Troopergate and the license debacle have damaged. But the picture that matters isn't Spitzer's agony. It's New York's success.

*Updates Note: According to Answers.com, "In its modern usage, hubris denotes overconfident pride and arrogance; it is often associated with a lack of knowledge, interest in, and exploration of history, combined with a lack of humility. An accusation of hubris often implies that suffering or punishment will follow. The proverb 'pride goes before a fall' sums up the modern definition of hubris." Unfortunately, the Governor's hubris lies behind much of his administration's overbearing support for aggressive wind power development in the scenic Finger Lakes region.



Fenner Turbine Blade Bends

Madison County - One of the turbines at the Fenner Wind Farm hasn't been spinning since Wednesday night, because one of its blades has apparently been badly bent.

It’s located off Peterboro Road in Madison County. A spokesman for Enel North America, the company that owns the site, says they aren't sure how it happened. General Electric, who made the turbines, has a team on the site looking at the damage.

A person who lives near the site says it sounded like a car crashing when the blade broke. There no word yet on when it'll be fixed.



VN 11/13 - Proof of the Pudding

The proof of any recipe is what it tastes like when it’s all done. Did it turn out the way the cook intended? Does everyone think it’s a success? After last week’s election, it seems virtually inevitable that Cohocton’s hills will be covered with industrial wind turbines by next year in accordance with the controversial “recipe for success” UPC Wind and our elected officials are cooking up for all of us. Now that the majority of our Town’s voters have officially ignored the warnings of critics, the last remaining critic will be the project’s outcome itself.

There’s little doubt that UPC Wind will reap a handsome profit, but will Cohocton get what it bargained for?
- Will the turbines and towers be quiet and unobtrusive, as advertised, or disturbingly noisy (but technically legal) and ugly?
- Whose property values will go up, and whose will go down?
- Will our property taxes actually drop significantly, or have projected tax savings been falsely inflated, only to be minimized by increased costs, lowered school tax subsidies and other factors?
- And, ultimately, will onshore industrial wind power installations like this lower greenhouse gas production or turn out to be scams that are enormously costly to taxpayers and energy consumers?

Frankly, we think the whole wind power scheme is a painfully flawed boondoggle for investors that will end up damaging our Town. We’re grateful for the encouragement many of you have shown in supporting our well-researched concerns over the past 18 months privately, at public meetings, and at the polls. Thank you for your support!

We’ll be taking a low profile from now on but will still be available to talk with anyone in town as things develop. Once UPC’s recipe has been followed and Cohocton’s goose pudding is cooked, we think the lights are going to start coming on, one at a time, in the minds of many formerly ardent wind supporters. In the meantime, please visit us at www.cohoctonfree.com, keep up with our Updates, and let us know what you discover as you begin to taste the pudding.

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Incumbents Retain Positions

This week's elections returned Cohocton's incumbents to office by a 2 to 1 margin, disappointing but not surprising results for Reform Cohocton supporters. Click here to read Bob Clark's report in the Hornell Evening Tribune.

We would like to thank all of you who have been such an encouragement over the past year as we have sought to bring some balance to the wind power controversy locally. Although industrial wind development seems now to be a foregone conclusion in Cohocton, the ongoing process and consequences of this development remain to be seen. Some of our most important work may remain ahead.

In Howard the outcome of Tuesday's election was similar. However, in many other elections around the state, wind power critics won office as listed below:

Brandon: “We won!”
Burke: “Appears to have our majority now.”
Hartsville: “Steve Dombert won Town Supervisor.”
Malone: “Appears to have stayed in good shape.”
Meredith: “Keitha Capouya is Supervisor-Elect and will have a majority on the Town Council to ban industrial wind. We estimate the final margin of Keitha’s victory will be about 66% to 34% — a LANDSLIDE! And a crushing defeat for industrial wind in Meredith. The four other candidates on our slate all won.”
Perry: “One of our two candidates for the Town Board won the election. Congratulations, Tracy Rozanski! Our candidate for Town Supervisor lost by only about 100 votes to an incumbent who was cross-endorsed by both the Democrat and the Republican Parties. To say that this town is divided over the industrial wind issue is an understatement, but the citizens are waking up!”
Sardinia: “Win. We now have a majority board who will support a strict ordinance and will vote on it early next year when it’s ready.”
Sheldon (Wyoming County): “We lost: town supervisor and two council seats– now three seats are filled with “poor farmers” getting turbines. Same supervisor (Knab); new council member Kirsch, dem chair & getting many turbines.”
Springwater: “Good News for Springwater! Norb Buckley, one of “the good guys”, is our new town supervisor. John Curtiss, another great guy, town council. And Katherine Bush, town council.”

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VN 11/6 - Big Time Spenders

And you thought 2 full pages was a lot? Last week’s Valley News had over 3 full pages of advertising for the Cohocton incumbents, including 1 full-page color ad with their obscure “Adopted Budget for 2008” (before the election, no less), another full-page color hatchet job on Judi Hall, and several smaller ads for UPC Wind, etc. After spending more than $15,000 in Valley News ads over the past 18 months, our UPC team is blazing toward the finish line by spending another $800 last week alone. And what do the incumbents want us to know about? How they propose to spend our money next year!

Do our incumbents have anything but spending money on their minds?
- Well, yes, they have wind turbines. Getting them up as fast as possible before the court can act and even before a valid PILOT agreement is in place. Can you believe that all this spending and talk about more spending is still just based on promises?
- What can an ordinary citizen do?
Come out on November 6 and vote Row E for the
Reform Cohocton Slate:

Judith Hall, Town Supervisor
Cesare Taccone, Town Councilman
Stephen H. Trude, Town Councilman
Dr. Frank "Stoner" Clark, Town Justice
Bonnie Palmiter, Town Assessor
Rebecca Conard, Town Assessor
Blair Hall, Town Clerk

This Tuesday Cohocton voters have the opportunity to elect a team of leaders who haven't been bought by UPC Wind, a group of men and women who are prepared to ask the tough questions and get our Town back on track again. Review the Reform Cohocton platform and slate of candidates at www.cohocton.net and then go to the polls and vote for leaders who aren’t dazzled by UPC’s money.

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No Tower Up Yet?

Pre Election

Why hasn't UPC Wind
put up a turbine
before the election
on November 6
for all of us to see?

Click here
to take
our survey.



What UPC Pays For

Jane Towner greeted me outside the UPC office yesterday afternoon as I was leaving the Post Office:

"Dr. Morehouse, I want you to know that we don't pay for political ads or Wayne Hunt's articles in the Valley News. I know you have concerns."

For those who don't know, Jane Towner was designated UPC's "Project Community Relations Representative" in August. Her statement begs the following questions and comments:

Who is "we"? Canandaigua Power Partners I? Canandaigua Power Partners II? Cohocton Wind? Dutch Hill Wind? The UPC Community Relations office? The UPC Construction office? UPC Wind Partners LLC in Massachusetts? Some other branch of UPC?

Who pays for the YES Wind Power group's expenses, including its Valley News ads?

Were Gerald Moore's and "Gramps" Drum's half-page, full color ads (and numerous others like them) "political" or paid for by the YES group or UPC directly?

If UPC (out of one or more of its many pockets) financially supports the YES group and donates to the incumbents' reelection campaign - none of which is presumably illegal - and then these groups run ads in the Valley News, like Wayne Hunt's ads, who has actually "paid" for them?

How have pro-wind people in Cohocton consistently been able to outspend their critics 3 to 1 for over a year and a half, when these critics are supposed to be so rich?

When the glove moves, it's the hand behind it doing the moving, Jane.

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Motorhead Messiah

Will Femia listed this article on his Clicked weblog earlier this week, and we can't recommend it highly enough:

Motorhead Messiah: "Johnathan Goodwin can get 100 mpg out of a Lincoln Continental, cut emissions by 80%, and double the horsepower. Does the car business have the guts to follow him?"

For readers with science interests it describes the creative ways this guy changes the car/truck engines to make them more powerful and efficient.

For readers with political leanings, it's a compelling story of our country's self destructive addiction to oil.

For readers who like human interest items, this guy dropped out of school in the 7th grade.

For readers who look for stories about the environment, this article is the kind that keeps your hopes vested in the cause.

Good stuff. Click here to read the article.