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‘Windfall’ film examines effect of wind turbines on rural, residential areas  

Credit:  By Herb Woerpel, Penasee Globe, www.mlive.com 19 February 2011 ~~

Attracted to the financial incentives that would seemingly boost their sinking economy, the townspeople of Meredith, New York were excited about the potential of adding wind turbines to their rural, residential neighborhood.

Lured by promises of profit, sustainability and environmental friendliness, the townspeople cherished the implementation of the massive machines.

As the 40-story tall structures were installed, the availability of wind company representatives grew sparse, and residents grew increasingly alarmed as they felt firsthand the impacts of the 400-foot-tall windmills.

Filmmaker Laura Israel, a resident of Meredith, documented the entire process and shares the haunting reality in her feature length film, “Windfall.”

A special screening of “Windfall” will be presented at 1 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 26 at Hopkins Middle School, 215 Clark St. in Hopkins. Following the screening, a 30-minute question and answer session featuring the filmmakers will take place.

The 83-minute feature film utilizes community member interviews to tell the story. Some are excited to add the turbines, others not as optimistic. The documentary eventually captures the terror that many residents endure on a daily basis following the installation of the turbines.

“The film isn’t an expose about wind, it’s more the experience of a town,” said Israel, in a Youtube.com interview. “This is people living among turbines trying to get the word out about the problems they are having. I wanted to give a voice to them.”

Israel said that she doesn’t have all the answers, and she hopes viewers don’t expect to find all the answers through the film.

“Windfall exposes the dark side of wind energy development and the potential for highly profitable financial scams,” she said. “With wind development in the United States growing annually at 39 percent, the film is an eye-opener for anyone concerned about the future of renewable energy.”

Monterey Township resident Laura Roys viewed the film last year in Frankfort, Mich. She couldn’t believe how similar the Meredith story was when compared to the recent happenings in Allegan County. Roys, who is facilitating the Feb. 26 screening, decided to show the film in Hopkins to help raise awareness.

“The state of Michigan has targeted and fast tracked half of Allegan County for industrial wind development,” she said. “The more educated our local political leaders and residents of Allegan County become, the odds of having a positive outcome will dramatically increase.”

The screening is free to attend. Doors will open at 12:30 p.m., and the film will begin at 1 p.m. For more information visit www.windfallthemovie.com.

[NWW note:  This notice was written before the movie’s screening. The giant wind turbines were in fact not erected in Meredith. The film documents the division of the town as many people become increasingly concerned about the adverse impacts of 40 giant turbines and others see only the profits.]

Source:  By Herb Woerpel, Penasee Globe, www.mlive.com 19 February 2011

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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