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Life in a 'shadow flicker' home

I’ll be living in “shadow flicker” home “G?”

What’s my name? My children’s names? My wife’s name? Do those who are behind the Little Bay wind farm project care?

Mine is one of the homes on the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative shadow flicker and sound analysis. It’s one of the homes represented by the letter “G,” not a family, not a face, not a name, just the letter “G.”

In neighborhoods like mine live the families that will be affected by the shadow flicker and noise generated from the Little Bay wind farm. They are the nameless families in neighborhoods that have been given a life sentence of sound and light nuisance.

I’m shadow flicker home G – fortunate, I guess; families in shadow flicker homes

A through F will experience a much greater effect. Their homes will plummet in value, their dreams will be dashed and much of their lifetime investment will flicker away. They are the same families who turned out at the town meeting and voiced their opinions – fathers, mothers, children and grandparents carrying signs that called out to our town officials for help. They are the families who saw our selectmen and our executive secretary ignore their pleas.

They are the families who saw the places that they call home reduced to letters on a sound and flicker study. What are their names? Where do their children play? How do they feel? Nobody has asked. Nobody has taken the time to find out who they are – not the selectmen, the town executive secretary, the developer or the MTC. They just don’t seem to want to know them.

During Tuesday’s special Town Meeting, a UMass representative, one of the representatives our selectmen have entrusted to act in the town’s best interests was somehow able to find the humor in it all. In responding to a town official’s question asking for specifics as to how many of his family members will be affected by the turbines’ flicker-strobe and sound effects, she jokingly replied, “I don’t know your family.”

What’s funny about this? Is it funny that Mr. Sweeney, Mr. Osuch, Mr. Sylvia, Mr. Bowcock and Mr. Manzone don’t know these families? Is it funny that there haven’t been neighborhood informational meetings? Is it funny because they won’t be living life under a wind farm?

You might not know the families who live in shadow flicker homes A through J because they are not your neighbors. You won’t be living in these neighborhoods, or will you? Mr. Bowcock is on the record as stating, “We’ll start with two turbines.”

When Massachusetts state law changes, it will open the door to potential wind farms on West Island, Atlas Tack, the town landfill and beyond. Maybe there’s a shadow flicker letter coming to your neighborhood.

You might not know the mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, children and grandparents living in shadow flicker home A or C or D or G, but you’ll be hearing from them soon. You’ll hear them loud and clear.

You’ll then know our families, and you’ll know them well.

By John Methia



26 May 2007