Article

Over 300 attend Martha's Vineyard Cape Wind hearing last night

According to several MMS officials outside of the auditorium, the pleas of the fishing community were stronger here than they had been in South Yarmouth or on Nantucket. Rodney Cluck, MMS project manager for the Cape Wind development, offered that this is precisely why they hold these meetings. "The DEIS does not take into account the community impact. You can sit in your office for two years working on the science but then you have to get out and listen to what the community has to say." When asked whether or not public opinion could ultimately play a roll in the Interior Department's decision, Mr. Cluck replied that all relevant information would be taken into consideration and that "local knowledge" will contribute to the report made to the Secretary. Supporters were few and far between.

Third MMS meeting brings more of the same to Oak Bluffs

More than 300 people walked through the doors into the Performing Arts Center at the Martha's' Vineyard Regional High school last night to attend the third hearing on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Cape Wind project. Many of them were long-time Vineyard residents with roots going back hundreds, and in some cases thousands, of years.

Others had come from New York to speak as seasonal residents. And of course there were the guest speakers, flown in to speak on behalf of Clean Power Now, Stop Wind and the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound.

At 3:30 in the afternoon, the parking lot was mostly empty. A small bastion of Cape Wind supports had been camped in front of the door for over an hour in an attempt to be among the first to speak (the prevous night the Alliance had done the same on Nantucket which dominated the early evening for that side of the debate).

A thin convoy of Islander's and Off-Islanders moved back and forth from the Save Our Sound camp, on the other side of the door, to the back of a pickup truck where Glenn Pachico of Vineyard Haven shucked quahogs out of the... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

Third MMS meeting brings more of the same to Oak Bluffs

More than 300 people walked through the doors into the Performing Arts Center at the Martha's' Vineyard Regional High school last night to attend the third hearing on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Cape Wind project. Many of them were long-time Vineyard residents with roots going back hundreds, and in some cases thousands, of years.

Others had come from New York to speak as seasonal residents. And of course there were the guest speakers, flown in to speak on behalf of Clean Power Now, Stop Wind and the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound.

At 3:30 in the afternoon, the parking lot was mostly empty. A small bastion of Cape Wind supports had been camped in front of the door for over an hour in an attempt to be among the first to speak (the prevous night the Alliance had done the same on Nantucket which dominated the early evening for that side of the debate).

A thin convoy of Islander's and Off-Islanders moved back and forth from the Save Our Sound camp, on the other side of the door, to the back of a pickup truck where Glenn Pachico of Vineyard Haven shucked quahogs out of the bushel he had harvested from nearby Tashmoo Pond. One of the ubiquitous Save Our Sound tags hung from his neck.

As organizers hustled trays of freshly shucked quahogs back to the denizens and interlopers waiting in line, Mr. Pachico offered his take on the work the MMS had done so far. "Well, being a fisherman, I have my doubts. They say they went out there and only found one conch. If they didn't catch more than one then the survey is flawed. So, how can we believe it?"

It was a sentiment that would be echoed throughout the evening as names like Vanderhoop (on right), Larsen, Mayhew, all old-Vineyard names, stoodup in defense of their dying way of life and said this project would surely be a nail in the coffin of the local fishing industry. At issue is the MMS finding that impacts on aquaculture and fishing would be negligible to moderate, meaning either very slight or in need of some mitigation. Throughout the nearly 5 hour hearing, a dozen fishermen stood up to say that the catches the government used to arrive at that conclusion are nothing like what the local fleet routinely takes from the areas in and around Horseshoe Shoal.

According to several MMS officials outside of the auditorium, the pleas of the fishing community were stronger here than they had been in South Yarmouth or on Nantucket. Rodney Cluck, MMS project manager for the Cape Wind development, offered that this is precisely why they hold these meetings.

"The DEIS does not take into account the community impact. You can sit in your office for two years working on the science but then you have to get out and listen to what the community has to say."

When asked whether or not public opinion could ultimately play a roll in the Interior Department's decision, Mr. Cluck replied that all relevant information would be taken into consideration and that "local knowledge" will contribute to the report made to the Secretary.

Supporters were few and far between. A gaggle of Clean Power Now representatives and Cape Wind supporters gathered around Cape Wind president Jim Gordon who seemed to writhe at every insinuation or downright accusation that the only green his company was looking out for was money.

When asked what he would say to all of those men, sitting and standing only ten yards away; to all of those men who feared for their families' well being, never mind their mortgages, Mr. Gordon, replied: "I feel for those guys, I truly do. And I respect what they do. But, some people are going to have to sacrifice and ultimately I think that global climate change is more of a threat to fish than this project."

Mr. Gordon was not sullen all night. Some of the heaviest applause to come from his side of the room came after Scott Elsasser of Vineyard Haven finished his remarks. A self-described carpenter, the young man spoke with what sounded like both world weary wisdom and a youthful idealism. "The problem with humans," he said, "is that we see very clearly what's in front of us and not so well the big picture."

The final DEIS public review hearing is scheduled for tonight at 6-pm at the Clark Athletic Center at UMASS Boston.


Source: http://www.capecodtoday.com...

MAR 13 2008
https://www.windaction.org/posts/13828-over-300-attend-martha-s-vineyard-cape-wind-hearing-last-night
back to top