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Mystery Deaths Solved

According to this month's issue of Smithsonian Magazine, "Multitudes of bats die around the world each year when they migrate through electricity-generating wind farms. University of Calgary researchers now say the main cause of death is "barotrauma": the turbines' large revolving blades create low-pressure zones that cause bat lungs suddenly to over-expand, tear and bleed."

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Prattsburgh Needs Help

Dear Friends,

We have very good news in the battle against the property condemnations to benefit First Wind, condemnations triggered by a Town Board decision in which Prattsburgh Town Supervisor Harold McConnell cast the tie-breaking vote. Last week, in a document submitted to the judge, attorneys for windfarm developer First Wind revealed that Harold McConnell actually had more to do with their real estate transaction than previously admitted. Harold wrote the purchase offer, he reviewed the counter offer, and he interacted with the listing agency – an extent and level of involvement not disclosed in his affidavit for the court. Mary Perham used the word "perjury" in the article she wrote for the Corning Leader on Sunday.

First Wind appears to be sacrificing Supervisor McConnell to protect themselves, and their document makes our case for conflict-of-interest much stronger.

We are waiting for the judge to rule, however, there is a good chance she will refer this case to the Appellate Court for the hearing December 10. The court would then rule on the conflict-of-interest at the same time it considers the appeal by Prattsburgh landowners whose land was condemned by the Town as a result of Harold's tie-breaking vote. And while our case is strong – and getting stronger – this court case is an enormous expense, and Advocates for Prattsburgh needs your help.

If you have any doubts what is in store for us if we don't fight for our rights, just see what these wind turbines look like in Cohocton, especially up close. And the BIG issues are not their overwhelming visual dominance, but whether those of us near them will be able to live in our homes, and – let's face it – the personal financial impact. For most of us, the value of our homes and our property represents much of our life savings. What will happen if your property is devalued or becomes unsellable, or you can't get an equity loan to help pay your bills?

What about the NOISE? Last week, one Cohocton resident 4000 feet from a wind turbine said it sounded like a freight train. Is THIS what we want? And the potentially severe negative impact which peppering the Town with wind turbines would have on our local economy and our taxes is coming at the worst possible time.

Please contribute to the legal battle against eminent domain, and to throw out Harold McConnell's tainted vote to condemn the land of Prattsburgh property owners. We have worked tirelessly for nearly six years to hold the windfarm developers and state and local agencies accountable for the health and safety and environmental integrity of our area, and at this critical juncture, AFP needs your help. We need $5000 to pay legal expenses through December 10, when the court will decide. By every indication, we have a very strong case, and your contribution of $50, $500 or any amount will make all the difference.

So please, do what you can and send donations to Advocates for Prattsburgh, Box 221, Prattsburgh NY 14873. It is the donations of concerned citizens like you which make this fight possible. Thank you, for all of us in Prattsburgh.

Sincerely for Advocates for Prattsburgh

Al Wordingham
Arnold Palmer
Ruthe Matilsky
Terry Matilsky
Al Muscianese
John Servo

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Prattsburgh wind deal

New info calls statements into question

BATH - New court documents appear to contradict sworn statements by Prattsburgh Supervisor Harold McConnell about his involvement in a windfarm land deal. Kevin Bernstein, attorney for Windfarm Prattsburgh, submitted additional information about the transaction Monday to state Supreme Court Justice Marianne Furfure.

McConnell, a real estate agent, is under fire for voting on issues involving the wind developer after he received payments for his role in selling property to Windfarm Prattsburgh. McConnell has maintained the payments were for token assistance and should not have prevented him from voting twice in favor of eminent domain proceedings on behalf of the energy company.

Click here to read Mary Perham's whole article in this week's Steuben Courier.

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Pickens Plan Problems

US Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis said, “We can have democracy in this country or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can’t have both.”

Slim Pickens was a cowboy and actor, but a slim picking is not the adjectival phrase for T. Boone Pickens and his wealth. One of his books is titled. “The First Billion is the Hardest: Reflections on the Life of Comebacks and America’s Energy Future.” He is busily making the second and likely the third billion much easier. His plan uses the combination of wind power with energy sufficiency and independence for the US.

Initially, his advertisements put wind power front and center. In doing so, he put on the cloak of green, a phrase I co-opted from Elaine Dewar’s wonderful book of the same name. I’ve used the phrase to describe what many politicians feel forced to do. They understand the real science of climate change, but dare not appear opposed to protecting the environment.

Pickens uses wind power as his cloak of green to buy credibility and time to make natural gas the primary power for vehicles and develop nuclear and coal sources. He throws in other alternative energies as a lining to the cloak. I’ve advocated natural gas for vehicles and nuclear and coal for electricity for many years. Oil will serve the petrochemical industry and produce aviation fuels. Reduced demand for oil means that even current reserves will last for a very long time.

So what concerns me about Pickens' proposals? Initially it was the wind power proposal, which clearly demonstrates his lack of understanding of the severe limitations of that energy. More recently, it is the advertisement of a natural gas company spokesperson talking about his “good friend” Mr. Pickens. I am not opposed to capitalism or profit; however, I am opposed to achieving the latter with deception. Mr. Pickens folksy manner and financial success are used to convince people wind power can provide 20% of US energy. He appears on television programs selling his proposal to a public and political leaders desperate for solutions.

Pickens’ facade of being knowledgeable with a clear solution is quickly dispelled with a few facts about wind power. Like all alternate energies it is not a panacea. He needs to spend his money on accurate cost benefit analyses of all alternate energies. He should urge government to do the same thing before he takes a penny of the massive government subsidies that are seriously distorting analysis of alternative energies.

Click here to read the complete article by Dr. Tim Ball in this week's Canada Free Press.

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