FAIRHAVEN – Four turbine abutters and WindWise members are looking to start a neighborhood association in what they say is an effort to become familiar with other community issues.
Karen Isherwood, Donna McKenna, Sue Powers and Joe Rosa, who have previously said the turbines are causing sleep deprivation and other health effects, sent letters and surveys to their neighbors last week asking whether residents were having issues with the wind turbines, wastewater treatment plant or anything else in the neighborhood.
Neither the letter nor the survey mentions WindWise or takes any stance on the turbines.
In explaining the need for a neighborhood association, the letter states that, “It makes good sense to have people with like concerns gather to share information and support.”
Isherwood said the main goal of the letter is for residents to “get to know their neighbors.”
“I’d like to know how other people’s lives are compared to mine, even though we’re a street away,” she said.
The letter invites residents to an open meeting at 7 p.m. tonight (Wednesday) p.m. at the Senior Center.
Isherwood said that while her negative experiences with the wind turbines are something she would like to discuss at the meeting, she wants to make sure everyone in the neighborhood is represented.
“I’m hoping people would be concerned about my difficulty living near the turbines, but why should they if I don’t know about the issues in their lives?” she said.
The attempt to organize is experimental, Isherwood said. So far, 10 completed surveys have been returned, and Isherwood is hoping more people will attend the meeting.
Daniel Freitas of Friends of Fairhaven Wind which supports the turbines, called the letter disingenuous, saying it is “just a disguise for WindWise.”
He said members of his group are planning to go to the meeting to support the turbines.
“Fairhaven already has a lot of neighborhood associations,” he said. “They are trying to start something else up under a different name, but it’s going to be the same issue.”
Isherwood disputed that idea, saying that though she is a member of WindWise, neither she nor the other three letter senders are WindWise organizers.
“I’m just trying to chat and make new friends and see how everyone else feels in the neighborhood,” she said.
She said she thought her experience with WindWise would be useful to neighbors who have other issues in town because it has taught her how to navigate the various town boards.
But, she said, she and her fellow letter writers recognize that their effort to organize could come off as “just an anti-turbine thing.”
“That could deter people, and if that’s the case, then at least we tried,” she said.
“But honestly I do honestly want to know how people are doing. There is more to Fairhaven than just the turbines.”
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