I am in favor of wind-generating energy since it doesn’t pollute the air we breathe, as the burning of fossil fuel does.
I commend Mayor Driscoll on her good intentions, but Winter Island is not a feasible location for a windmill.
A windmill turbine may not pollute like burning fossil fuel but it does pollute in a different way. It causes noise pollution.
Many professional studies have been made on wind turbine side effects and doctors have recommended that a 1.4 mile-buffer zone be provided between the turbine and residential homes.
This means that Salem residents of Ward 1 would take the brunt of noise pollution created by a wind turbine on Winter Island. This includes all of the Salem Willows, Collins Cove, Derby Street, Salem Common and upper Essex Street and the most vulnerable, the children who attend the Bentley School.
The ill effects of noise pollution include sleepless nights as well as physical and mental stress. The vibrations of the turbine alone will affect the brain and nerve systems. This goes on 24 hours a day and even if you can’t hear the noise, the vibrations alone can cause havoc with your health.
You can get all of this information on the Internet under windmill side effects.
The windmill itself would be an eyesore and since it will be close to 400 feet tall, many migrating birds will be killed by the blades of the turbine.
Winter Island has been an important asset to the citizens of Salem and elsewhere. It is a park, a historic landmark, a seashore recreational wonderland, providing a beautiful beach, swimming and picnicking, a place to launch your boats. It also provides space for mobile homes and trailers, tenting and Shakespeare plays.
The island is a money maker; it is a jewel in the rough. People love it as is. Someday there will be grants to fix up the hangar and Fort Pickering. It is my opinion that there are grants out there and Salem should go for them.
There is a great liability on having a wind turbine and don’t believe people who say that you can hug the turbine pole and suffer no ill effects. All it takes is one fatal accident and the city will be facing a large civil suit in the millions. A high fence will have to be built around the turbine and it will take up a lot of space.
Salem has only eight square miles and we can’t afford to lose what little recreational land Salem has.
When the Dominion land becomes vacant will a developer want to build on it knowing that the land is polluted and to compound the pollution with the wind turbine noise and its pulsating vibrations? In my opinion the developer will have second thoughts. One pollution is enough, but two?
And what about the two windmills that Shaughnessy Hospital had? Why did the hospital get rid of them? There must have been good reasons.
Last but not least, your health is worth a lot more than money. Money can’t buy health. So when they tell you that the wind turbine will generate large sums of money, will it be worth losing Winter Island and most importantly your health? I think not.
Anthony V. Salvo
(Editor’s note: Anthony Salvo served as mayor of Salem from 1984 to 1989.)
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