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Monks model challenge after Joshua at Jericho  

Suddenly, the gold minarets rise above the cornfields. Arriving at Holy Trinity Monastery, set amid tended gardens, bedecked with gold flecked mosaic, is like arriving in an exotic land, a Biblical one.

That, plus his training and vocation, would naturally caused the Rev. Luke Murianka, Holy Trinity’s deputy abbott, to think about problem-solving in a Biblical context.

Take Joshua, when he had high-walled Jericho under siege. He marched his troops around the city for seven days. The walls came tumbling down and the city was his.

Taking a page out of The Book, the Russian Orthodox priest and the other men of prayer here have been circling the tract – 7.5 miles by 3 miles – on the ridge between Van Hornesville and Jordanville where Community Energy is proposing to erect 68 wind turbines, 400 feet tall, within eye- and ear-shot of the church’s spiritual center in the U.S.

They stop periodically to sprinkle holy water, he said: If it worked for Jericho, why not Jordanville?

That, Father Murianka told 30 some worshippers and well-wishers at a “moleben” – a service of intercession – Thursday, Aug. 9, in the monastery’s basement chapel, is one of the monastery’s strategies to block the project.

If that has given Community Energy pause for thought, the subsidiary of the Spanish multinational Iberdrola isn’t showing it. It has asked state Supreme Court Judge Donald A. Greenwood, Syracuse, to fast-track the resolution of an Article 78 complaint that Advocates for Stark, Advocates for Springfield, Otsego 2000 and other entities have brought against the Jordanville Wind Project.

Instead of the end of October – as prescribed in the CPLR, the Civil Practice Law & Rules – Community Energy, with the support of the Warren and Stark town boards, wants the first hearing moved up to Sept. 11, according to Bernard Melewski, the Saratoga Springs lawyer representing the towns in this matter.

“We saw no reason to wait that long,” Melewski said. He said he heard Judge Greenwood had signed an order in the past few days setting an Aug. 19 hearing date where Melewski and the plaintiffs’ lawyer, Douglas Zamelis of Manlius, will argue their points of view.

Meanwhile, Melewski said he hasn’t heard yet if the state Public Service Commission, which must issue a certificate of necessity to allow the project to go forward, had put the project on the agenda for its August meeting. Otsego 2000 Executive Director Martha Frey said she is also awaiting word from the PSC.

The Freeman’s Journal

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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