There is something to be said for a small town. Town folk passing by, waving to the porch sitters, Amish buggies full of children laughing and singing on their way to school, a neighbor stopping by the roadside when your car breaks down, offering to pull you out of the ditch or buy you a couple gallons of gas because the needle just hit empty. Perhaps you need a helping hand at the food pantry because you’ve done all that you can do, but you’re low on supplies.
There must be something said about the way our small country towns of Parishville, Hopkinton, Lawrence and neighboring townships have changed so drastically in the past year, thanks to the invasion of the industrial wind turbine company, Avangrid, Iberdrola- whatever you want to call them. Gone are the neighborly gestures, the friendly greeting in the local store, the cheerful wave as one recognizes the person passing by. These have been replaced by the sneers in the parking lot, the unkind words written in the newspapers, the angry confrontations at the town meetings. Anti-turbine signs stand next door to pro-wind signs or across the street where people once gathered to talk about the weather. Community is dissolving and if it continues, it will be difficult to get community back.
Greed is a terrible thing. Much wants more. Money talks and people listen, forgetting about what matters most; community, a sense of belonging, a neighbor to help you when you need it most. I ask the town leaders in confusion, “What don’t you get?” For many months, townspeople who care about their homes and communities have stepped forward and strongly represented the views of the majority of people in your townships. We have provided educational materials, personal testimonies, literature at meetings, videos and explanations about the ill effects of wind turbines. Some of us have gone door-to-door presenting information to help people make informed choices about turbine development, based on factual evidence. We have attended countless meetings of all descriptions in an effort to keep Hopkinton, Parishville, and Lawrence safe. People are tired. People want answers. People want to know what their leadership is planning.
After attending a very disturbing Hopkinton town meeting on October 16th, I am disenchanted and angry about the lack of commitment and understanding about the most pressing issue your town must come to terms with. Are you or are you not in favor of the industrial turbine project proposed by Iberdrola? Only one strong person who has done her homework and research had the courage of her convictions to stand up and face the crowd to say that she is not in favor of the project. Thank you, Sue Wood, for your perseverance and honesty in the face of dissension. For the other members, it is time to get off the fence. Drive down your rural roads and look at the numbers of anti-turbine signs at individual homes. These far outnumber the signs in favor. It should be noted that it is deceptively easy to put pro-wind signs up every one hundred feet when you own hundreds of acres of land. Look at the real picture!
The audacity of the Board member, who is also campaigning for re-election, who said that he tells people to put pro-wind signs in their yards, including his own, to stop the “harassment” of concerned citizens. What a cowardly way to face opposition! I am one of those people who went door-to-door in the dead of winter, drove down narrow driveways far into the woods, presented information and spoke to people about the dangers of turbines and offered petitions for them to sign. People listened and signed willingly. Over 850 petitions asking for a moratorium or against the Pilot were signed. Don’t these numbers speak to you? Don’t these numbers count for anything?
I can assure the members of the Board in all certainty that I never once spoke out of turn, harassed or pressured anyone into signing anything, and neither did the other two women who accompanied me on different occasions. We met very few individuals in favor of the turbines and we went door-to-door for miles. So, before you stumble over your answers in the face of a crowd imploring you to let them know where you stand on the turbine issue, please get your facts straight. I am offended by your accusations and by the overall lack of commitment to informing your people of how you honestly feel. You have all had plenty of time to think this over and the facts and information have been provided to you time and time again. Read it and listen to the voice of your towns!
Perhaps it is time to do some self-reflection on what your true motives are for considering Iberdrola. Are your reasons personal or are your reasons about your commitment to the health and safety of your community? You must ask yourselves. I am at an advantage because I do not know any of you and therefore I know nothing about where your allegiances may lie. I am also at a disadvantage because I live in Ft. Jackson, Town of Lawrence, right next to the Hopkinton line. As stated in previous letters, the Board never had the courtesy to inform our township of the interest in turbine development, and so those of us on County Route 51, Water Street, and the border areas of Nicholville have no say, no choice. We are stuck with whatever your Board decides, and we are not happy.
Please listen to the voice of your people. We do not want turbines! Before you go to sleep tonight, take a good look at the night sky. Notice the Big Dipper and Orion’s Belt. Listen to the hundreds of geese in the fields and the sound of the crickets chirping in the night air. Rest assured, if you allow this project to go forward, you will see and hear these things for the last time. Instead, you will see the endless blinking of countless red lights hundreds of feet in the air. You will wake to shadow flicker across your lawn and the constant whip of the turbine blades. Like so many others, you will wish that you had listened and you will be filled with remorse. Too late, my friends, too late!
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