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Vineyard resists winds of change

Blazing a trail for renewable energy, Gov. Deval Patrick is alienating Martha's Vineyard's liberal rich and famous by pushing a plan to lease state waters for 166 450-foot-high wind turbines between the pristine vacation spots of Gay Head cliffs and Cuttyhunk Island. ..."I plead guilty to thinking global warming is a real problem, but that doesn't mean everybody who has a plan with the word ‘green' has to be supported," Goldman said.

Blazing a trail for renewable energy, Gov. Deval Patrick is alienating Martha's Vineyard's liberal rich and famous by pushing a plan to lease state waters for 166 450-foot-high wind turbines between the pristine vacation spots of Gay Head cliffs and Cuttyhunk Island.

"People come here because it's a very special place. Not because they're going to see David Letterman or someone, but because they can see the world the way it used to be," argued an outraged Chilmark resident Andy Goldman.

Goldman, a retired trial attorney, and his wife Susan Heilbron, a former commissioner of New York City's waterfront, are generals of the grassroots uprising Let Vineyarders Decide.

"I plead guilty to thinking global warming is a real problem, but that doesn't mean everybody who has a plan with the word ‘green' has to be supported," Goldman said.

Patrick's final plan, due from Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs Ian A. Bowles no later than Dec. 31, would permit a commercial wind farm of up to 100 turbines southwest of the wildlife refuge Nomans Land adjacent to the Vineyard and another 66 turbines off Cuttyhunk Island. State waters extend three miles from shore. The turbines would be... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

Blazing a trail for renewable energy, Gov. Deval Patrick is alienating Martha's Vineyard's liberal rich and famous by pushing a plan to lease state waters for 166 450-foot-high wind turbines between the pristine vacation spots of Gay Head cliffs and Cuttyhunk Island.

"People come here because it's a very special place. Not because they're going to see David Letterman or someone, but because they can see the world the way it used to be," argued an outraged Chilmark resident Andy Goldman.

Goldman, a retired trial attorney, and his wife Susan Heilbron, a former commissioner of New York City's waterfront, are generals of the grassroots uprising Let Vineyarders Decide.

"I plead guilty to thinking global warming is a real problem, but that doesn't mean everybody who has a plan with the word ‘green' has to be supported," Goldman said.

Patrick's final plan, due from Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs Ian A. Bowles no later than Dec. 31, would permit a commercial wind farm of up to 100 turbines southwest of the wildlife refuge Nomans Land adjacent to the Vineyard and another 66 turbines off Cuttyhunk Island. State waters extend three miles from shore. The turbines would be comparable to 50-story buildings crowned with strobe lights.

James Feiner, a Vineyard real estate broker, claims he lost a $2 million-plus home sale on Gay Head this fall when his client - an environmentalist, no less - got wind of Patrick's plan and bolted.

A mortified Feiner wasn't even aware it was being discussed.

"For them to run a band (of turbines) from Cuttyhunk to Nomans Land is idiotic," Feiner said. "It would have impacted the whole water view of (my client's) property."

Patrick's Oceans Act - separate from the controversial 130 Cape Wind turbines proposed for Nantucket Sound - could ignite a high-seas skirmish between Vineyarders opposed to the idea and their swayable Cuttyhunk neighbors eight miles across the water.

Cuttyhunk is governed by Gosnold - with 86 residents, the tiniest town in Massachusetts, and one whose lifelife is tourism.

In a Nov. 13 letter to Bowles, the hamlet's board of selectmen cautioned, "The character of our town would be forever changed by a commercial wind project in our viewshed," but added, "If our needs are met, we are willing to have a commercial wind project sited in our town waters."

Bowles suggested Vineyarders are tilting at windmills. The state, he said, would split 50-50 with the Vineyard and Gosnold whatever monies it reaped leasing state waters to commercial wind farm developers.

Asked if Vineyarders could successfully kill their side of the project, Bowles said, "Yes, they can. It can only happen if Martha's Vineyard wants to do it."

Bowles' office said Cuttyhunk's maximum allowable turbines can not exceed 66, regardless of what the Vineyard decides.

Bowles is conceding the ultimate scale of the Vineyard wind farm to the Martha's Vineyard Commission, which oversees development.

Executive director Mark London said the commission has not taken a position and is waiting to read Bowles' final report.

"We were concerned that in the draft plan they didn't even analyze the scenic value. To just ignore it does not do it justice," London said. "Three miles across the water is right there. They'd be very visible."

Countered Bowles, "To my mind, it's a question of whether the coal and gas and diesel that runs our economy today needs to go away. I think that's an affirmative yes. We don't have any indigenous energy resources in Massachusetts. We do have wind power and sun. We need to exploit them."


Source: http://www.bostonherald.com...

DEC 7 2009
http://www.windaction.org/posts/23504-vineyard-resists-winds-of-change
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