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Windmills, power lines, loss of view draw worry

If someone were to tell Doug Tewksbury or Tom Baisley to go jump off a cliff, they'd probably seize the moment That is, of course, if they were at their favorite launch spot on the top of Mehoopany Mountain. The weekend warriors who can't seem to get paragliding out of their blood are part of a small yet growing group of individuals who are worried. They're worried that BPAlternative Energy's plan to put an 85-90 wind turbine park in the southern part of Wyoming County will not only spoil their fun, but also disrupt the peace and solitude that the sleepy Endless Mountains have enjoyed for centuries.

If someone were to tell Doug Tewksbury or Tom Baisley to go jump off a cliff, they'd probably seize the moment

That is, of course, if they were at their favorite launch spot on the top of Mehoopany Mountain.

The weekend warriors who can't seem to get paragliding out of their blood are part of a small yet growing group of individuals who are worried.

They're worried that BPAlternative Energy's plan to put an 85-90 wind turbine park in the southern part of Wyoming County will not only spoil their fun, but also disrupt the peace and solitude that the sleepy Endless Mountains have enjoyed for centuries.

Tewksbury of Laceyville works in an automobile body shop by day, but has a seeming love for everything about the great outdoors.

On Saturday morning, he explained the simple logistics of launching a jump from a location about 2300 feet above sea level so that over the next seven minutes or so with the wind at his back he could glide to another location less than a mile away and about 1200 feet up in Roger Hollow.

"You can't beat it," Tewksbury grinned.

He looks to the west and points out the magnificent vista that allows one to see as... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

If someone were to tell Doug Tewksbury or Tom Baisley to go jump off a cliff, they'd probably seize the moment

That is, of course, if they were at their favorite launch spot on the top of Mehoopany Mountain.

The weekend warriors who can't seem to get paragliding out of their blood are part of a small yet growing group of individuals who are worried.

They're worried that BPAlternative Energy's plan to put an 85-90 wind turbine park in the southern part of Wyoming County will not only spoil their fun, but also disrupt the peace and solitude that the sleepy Endless Mountains have enjoyed for centuries.

Tewksbury of Laceyville works in an automobile body shop by day, but has a seeming love for everything about the great outdoors.

On Saturday morning, he explained the simple logistics of launching a jump from a location about 2300 feet above sea level so that over the next seven minutes or so with the wind at his back he could glide to another location less than a mile away and about 1200 feet up in Roger Hollow.

"You can't beat it," Tewksbury grinned.

He looks to the west and points out the magnificent vista that allows one to see as far away as Canton in Bradford County- which is roughly 50 miles away- on a clear day.

To the east he points out a stretch of the Susquehanna River where steam appears to be rising, although the source of that steam (at Procter & Gamble-Mehoopany) is not so evident.

Tewksbury's smile stiffens as he's notes that he's heard that within the year power transmission lines may straddle Fire Tower Road to carry the energy harnessed by windmills elsewhere to P&G's power station down below.

There, the 'green' energy source can be used by the plant which over the past 40 years has given America more than 100 billion disposable diapers, not to mention lots of Charmin toilet paper, Bounty paper towels and napkins to boot.

What looks to be a win-win for P&G seems to be a bit of a loss for Tewksbury and a handful of other guys from across Wyoming County, a few from the southern tier of New York, and more from the Lehigh Valley and the greater Philadelphia area, who want to keep launching their gliders as long as they can.

But Baisley, who drove down Saturday morning from Afton, N.Y., so he could do several jumps, said he, too is worried that a sudden backdraft of wind could turn a sheer moment of joy into a disaster, should the glider crash into a power line.

"I have nothing against windmills, but why here?" Baisley asked, while acknowledging the fact that the same wind that was powering wind turbines was a primary need of his own hobby.

The launch site is on 200-plus acres of mountain ground belonging to Richard Ide who in the past couple of weeks has let it be known that he had no interest in giving up one inch of easement to facilitate BP Alternative Energy's needs.

Ide's daughter, Gwen Berger, also owns land near her dad, and less than a quarter of a mile away from the gliders' launch spot stands on a deck of a cabin that has its own vista of a magnificent oxbow in the Susquehanna River.

She lifts her hands up and with a broad sweep of them asked, "Why would you want to give this up?"

Her parents built a cabin on the spot in the 1960s, and the deck now has a bronze marker memorializing her mom who insisted on dying at home following a bout with cancer because she felt closer to God there.

Berger said she has heard about plans for transmission lines and such, and she too worries about what they will do to mar the mountain's viewscape.

"Time will tell," she said, "But I wish they would just leave this alone."


Source: http://www.newage-examiner....

AUG 20 2008
https://www.windaction.org/posts/16627-windmills-power-lines-loss-of-view-draw-worry
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