I’m taken aback by the Enterprise “No Way To Meet Urgent Challenge” letter in the July 14 edition.
“All politics is local” is an old phrase resurrected by Tip O’Neal, yet it sounds like Mr. Manz would prefer politics be global.
While Falmouth folks seek locally grown food, which our farmers’ markets, grocery stores and local restaurants happily provide, the community citizen concerned about local governance has few places for accurate community-impacting information.
If the politics about the wind turbines had stayed local, whether through better questions asked by neighbors or better attention to detail by town leaders and policy makers, perhaps local ignorance wouldn’t have such consequence.
The familiar pattern is unfolding throughout the commonwealth, now. Falmouth is definitely not unique. Like other communities in Massachusetts, in terms of placement of industrial wind turbines too close to residents (i.e., Bourne, Plymouth, Kingston, Scituate, Fairhaven—to name a few in southeastern Massachusetts), the information about potential nuisance conditions was common knowledge in the proposed neighborhoods but city halls, Town Meetings and local boards in these impacted communities were hardly aware, in part due largely to a quasi-state renewable energy development organization hell-bent on stemming a perceived global affliction and an undisguised campaign to accelerate renewable energy projects by the former Patrick Administration.
Without a visible or reliable purveyor of local impact, a local knowledge gap allows this type of state bullying problem to bloom. Falmouth’s Zoning Board of Appeals, affirmed by the court, has finally brought “Falmouth quality of life” priorities into focus.
Why? Because few Falmouth Town Hall leaders, Town Meeting members and, ultimately, voters knew enough about—much less understood—the potential consequences of placing industrial wind turbines (commercial power plants) too close to residential districts.
Mr. Manz is correct. Falmouth’s woes will likely trickle up. While national and global institutions and publications discuss Falmouth and wind turbine siting issues, part of the foundation for the future success of wind energy must include an informed local public.
Mr. Manz can hardly avert our attention from the train wreck the Mass Clean Energy Center and Patrick Administration has placed upon Falmouth. But, more pressing, he does point out something that we can and should fix locally: the knowledge gap in our hometown(s).
If nothing else, informed, law-abidding, healthy hometowns will make it easier to deal with whatever global debacles come our way.
Mark J. Cool, Fire Tower Road, West Falmouth
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