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Tension over turbines is escalating in Hammond

Tensions are rising between those who support wind turbines in the town and those who do not, with at least one threatening phone call made and several signs vandalized. "It just seems we're all caught up in this whirlwind," said Del C. Hamilton, a member of Concerned Residents of Hammond, a grass-roots organization opposed to wind turbines.

'IT'S A BIG CHASM': Both sides of wind issue say community divided; sides experience sign vandalism, threatening phone call

HAMMOND - Tensions are rising between those who support wind turbines in the town and those who do not, with at least one threatening phone call made and several signs vandalized.

"It just seems we're all caught up in this whirlwind," said Del C. Hamilton, a member of Concerned Residents of Hammond, a grass-roots organization opposed to wind turbines.

The opposing group acknowledges the division.

"It's a big chasm," said Crayton L. Buck, a member of Citizens for Wind. "Whenever we have a meeting, I stress we have to stay on the high road."

Wind opponents have tried to turn a blind eye to the signs Citizens for Wind are installing through the town, Concerned Residents President Nancy J. Parrish said.

"Our course has been just to ignore them," she said. "We were hoping things wouldn't turn nasty."

However, one of her group's members, Allan P. Newell, received a phone message June 1 that took him aback. He said the recorded message was along the lines of: "You know it's all just fun and games until someone gets stabbed in the back and then it's just fun."

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'IT'S A BIG CHASM': Both sides of wind issue say community divided; sides experience sign vandalism, threatening phone call

HAMMOND - Tensions are rising between those who support wind turbines in the town and those who do not, with at least one threatening phone call made and several signs vandalized.

"It just seems we're all caught up in this whirlwind," said Del C. Hamilton, a member of Concerned Residents of Hammond, a grass-roots organization opposed to wind turbines.

The opposing group acknowledges the division.

"It's a big chasm," said Crayton L. Buck, a member of Citizens for Wind. "Whenever we have a meeting, I stress we have to stay on the high road."

Wind opponents have tried to turn a blind eye to the signs Citizens for Wind are installing through the town, Concerned Residents President Nancy J. Parrish said.

"Our course has been just to ignore them," she said. "We were hoping things wouldn't turn nasty."

However, one of her group's members, Allan P. Newell, received a phone message June 1 that took him aback. He said the recorded message was along the lines of: "You know it's all just fun and games until someone gets stabbed in the back and then it's just fun."

Mr. Newell reported the call to state police, who are investigating.

"I just wanted to get it on record. Too much slides by," Mr. Newell said. "It's a little edgy. It's carefully couched language."

Mr. Newell said he wasn't pleased to see one of Citizens for Wind's signs crop up at the end of his road, but accepted it.

"We're for freedom of expression," he said.

Someone felt otherwise. Two of the group's 10 signs were broken and a third is missing, which is also under investigation by troopers. Mr. Buck suspects Concerned Residents members are behind the vandalism.

"That would be who you would suspect, but you can't prove anything," he said.

The back-and-forth has split residents.

"There's definitely a division in the community here," Mr. Newell said. "It's a real hot-button item."

One Citizens for Wind flier also mentioned Mr. Newell by name, urging residents not to allow him to stop wind turbines. Mr. Newell said he may be targeted because he was on a town wind committee and didn't agree with its findings.

"I've been a vocal opponent of the town board in Hammond," he said.

However, Mr. Newell has been ill and had pulled back from some activities even before the phone call.

Faced with a legal challenge from Concerned Residents, the town board rescinded its earlier wind law Dec. 29 and has been working on a revised draft.

"I'd like to see the wind law passed and see if there's any real interest with any wind company coming in here," Mr. Buck said.

Ms. Parrish also is looking for action on the part of the council.

"I just wish we could see a real effort from the people who represent us," she said.


Source: http://www.watertowndailyti...

JUN 14 2009
https://www.windaction.org/posts/20629-tension-over-turbines-is-escalating-in-hammond
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