When they weren’t deciding to spend nearly a quarter of their budget on posters and flyers to advertise wind turbines and renewable energy at the landfill on the Sunday before Earth Day, the Kingston Green Energy Committee (GEC) bashed and insulted residents upset about the town’s wind turbines whenever they got the chance.
“People are not used to [the turbine], they’re surprised by it,” GEC-member Pine duBois (pictured) said during last night’s meeting. “Okay. Get over it, plant some trees.”
Only minutes earlier, as the GEC discussed promoting Earth Day with flyers and posters at the landfill, duBois asked if committee members should arrive at the dump dressed like Don Quixote.
“Absolutely, absolutely,” GEC-chairman Mark Beaton said.
GEC-member Antoine Nessralla followed up saying, “I’ll bring my donkey.”
duBois, who was slapped with a $2500 ethics fine in March, said it was important for the GEC to promote Earth Day “to try to educate people about the dangers that they really live in, instead of the ones they’re conjuring up.”
Beaton said that “in a perfect world maybe there’d be a flash mob and maybe there’d be 40,000 kids [at the landfill on Earth Day] like it was Woodstock and showing up to save their world.”
Beaton also said he was served a “friendly subpoena” by Boston land court last Thursday in a case brought against the O’Donnell turbines by nine families from Indian Pond Estates.
Beaton, who held back his comments on the case, said the suit alleges that O’Donnell’s turbines are “illegally sited.”
“I’m not going to jeopardize myself and put myself in a position of slander,” Beaton told the GEC and added that he didn’t want to speak on camera.
Beaton did, however, discuss his thoughts on the shadow flicker complaints surrounding the Kingston Wind Independence (KWI) Turbine.
“Flicker is not a health issue,” Beaton defiantly told the Journal.
Beaton also defended the non-site specific flicker literary review, used to meet the flicker guidelines in Kingston’s Wind Overlay Bylaw, in his comments with the Journal. “Flicker is flicker, whether it’s in Holland or it’s in Kingston.”
Over a week ago, Massachusetts Clean Energy Center committed to provide Kingston with a site-specific flicker study for the KWI Turbine.
The Journal first exposed that no site-specific flicker study had ever been completed for either the KWI Turbine or Mary O’Donnell’s three turbines along Marion Drive.
“We didn’t put up that turbine to upset neighbors,” Beaton further said during the GEC meeting. “We put up that turbine to save Mother Earth.”
Beaton also blamed the media for growing public discontent in Kingston towards wind turbines.
“What you’ve seen in the media, all media recently, is just the negative side of it,” Beaton told the GEC. “And we’ve been just basically getting slapped around.”
Beaton also mentioned turbines in surrounding areas and contends that Kingston’s turbines have drawn unique criticism.
“Hull never had a problem with the flicker…Mass Maritime, they’ve got [a turbine] right on their campus” Beaton said. “The kids are out there everyday practicing and there’s flicker and there’s sound.”
Beaton continued. “All of a sudden, now we have a problem. Maybe the people in Hull are blind, deaf and dumb.”
Beaton cited “frustrations” and used a recent meeting with State Representative Tom Calter as an example.
“I would guess there were probably about 19 bureaucrats there,” Beaton told the GEC. “One person showed up from the town.”
Nessralla, who lives on Prospect Street himself, said he had not been invited to the meeting with Calter in Boston.
“The people who were at that meeting with Mr. Calter were invited,” Beaton told Nessralla.
The GEC unanimously approved allotting $200 to spend on posters and flyers in an Earth Day standout, which will promote wind turbines and green energy at the Kingston landfill on Sunday, April 21.
Earth Day, which is on April 22, wasn’t chosen as the GEC standout date at duBois’ suggestion. “There’s probably going to be lots more people [at the dump] on Sunday,” duBois said.
Last night, Beaton announced that the GEC budget stands at $810.
Just before adjourning, the Journal asked GEC members to identify themselves by name for purposes of accuracy.
GEC-member Eugene Wyatt refused to identify himself by name after our inquiries.
“I have a problem with that,” Wyatt said. “[KingstonJournal.com] is going to use this for marketing.”
“That’s their problem,” Beaton responded to Wyatt.
GEC Chairman and former-Selectman Mark Beaton, along with Gerard Walraven and Pine duBois, were the only three GEC members to self identify upon press requests.
Three GEC-members, James Moran, Antoine Nessralla and Eugene Wyatt, refused to self identify to the media on Thursday night.