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Selected Editorials from the Editor

Suns & Shields Christian Inspirational Writings by Rachelle Hamlin

Selected editorials from Dr. Katherine Albrecht, Ed. D.


The Roberts Trap is Sprung

By:  Bill Dunne
One of the most overlooked aspects of the year just ended is the vindication of Chief Justice John Roberts -- a vindication that showed up as the national catastrophe known as ObamaCare got rolling.  Roberts may have also doomed Hillary Clinton's chance to live in the White House again... click here to read whole editorial


Public Hearing Held to Discuss Wind Power Moratorium Ordinance


By:  David Deschesne

Fort Fairfield Journal, October 15, 2014


   Around two dozen people showed up at the Fort Fairfield Community Center gym on October 8 for a public hearing to discuss the proposed wind power moratorium ordinance to be considered by the Fort Fairfield town Council.

   Addressing the audience was David McCrea, Fort Fairfield town council chairman, “I just hope that however we come up with this as an ordinance down the road, assuming that we do, that it's going to be something that everybody thinks that's a pretty good middle ground, everybody can kind of live with that.  If somebody can't please understand that it's going to be good people doing the darndest, best job they possibly can to make this come out so that we as a community stay as a tight-knit community; as friends - that we might disagree with - but everybody doesn't always agree with every issue.” 

   By decree of the town council, Fort Fairfield town manager, Mike Bosse was instructed to form the Commercial Wind Farm Technical Review Committee and he indicated that committee has been formed.  “The people selected asked and agreed to serve on the technical review committee all are above reproach, known to be fair-minded individuals, known to share their views in a respectful way and have a very high level of integrity,” said Bosse.  “A comprehensive list to be reviewed has yet to be determined.  We will integrate a system for the public to provide input into the process and suggest topics through our website sometime early November.”

   Bosse said some examples of topics to be reviewed may be shadow flicker, noise, other health risks, setback limits, environmental blasting, visual impact, viability, effects on property values, decommissioning,  and location, just to name a few.  “It is our hope that the process will be comprehensive in scope, fair to all sides of the issue and complete in its findings.” 

   The names of the twelve committee members are:  Dick Langley, Carl Young, Jim Everett, Brent Churchill, Todd Maynard, Barb Hayslett, Heather Cassidy, John Herold, Tony Levesque, David McCrea, Mike Bosse, and Phil Christenson.

   Speaking in support of the moratorium ordinance was Rick Shepherd.  “I think it's necessary for us to do the research in order to develop regulation for one of the biggest things that would ever hit this town; and that is the wind projects.” 

   Shepherd expressed his respect for the people named to the Technical Review Committee,  “I'm sure they'll do their absolute best to do a good job.  To do that it's going to be very time consuming, take a long time, a lot of information.  I'm glad you're going to take input from the town during the process.  I hope that the meetings are public.  A year is not too long to study this situation and to make valid determinations about what we need.”

   Paul Rediker spoke in support of the moratorium, but admitted he could use more information on wind power.  “If there's anybody in this room that knows more about what's going on I'd like to talk to you about it because I really don't know much about it except what I've heard at the meetings here,” said Rediker.  “I'm not too much in favor of big power windmills.  If I wanted windmills in this town, I'd call somebody up and say would you come bring some.  I haven't done that yet so I guess I don't want any.”

   Lloyd McLaughlin has a home that will be adversely impacted by the wind generators.  “I, as a citizen of Fort Fairfield, am real happy to see that we do have a moratorium going because there are - like Mr. Shepherd said - a lot of things that have to be looked at,” said McLaughlin.  “Where I live, there are proposed a lot of windmills going there.  I think that is going to be very detrimental to my sale of my property, if I wanted to.  But I do not want to.  I want to live in this town; if the mil rate goes up a half, or one mil, or two mills, I'll pay it.  But if you put those windmills up in there, I'm not in favor of it.  I'm in favor of the moratorium to do the study until we determine, as people in Fort Fairfield, that it is necessary for us to have that revenue, or it is not necessary.”

   Ann Dionne mentioned that there is currently no sub-station in the area to move the power to market and that should be considered first, before allowing wind generators in town.  “Right now we don't have the grid to get the energy out.  I think the government's money should be put into upgrading the grid to get the existing electricity that's being produced to where it needs to be.”

   Speaking in opposition to the ordinance to establish a moratorium was Stev Rogeski.  “I've been fourteen years on the planning board in the town of Fort Fairfield; I've spent six years on NMDC's board of directors; I've been involved in economic development in this town, probably more so than most people in town and I understand the negative ramifications of the word moratorium.  I think we can establish the same goal that all these citizens want, but don't call it a moratorium.  Call it a Community Agreement, call it something else.  The negative connotations that go out to businesses down the line, if we create a moratorium in this town are detrimental and they're not reversible.”

  Rogeski suggested the actual term 'moratorium' could come out of the language and the town could still come up with an agreement that states they would not move forward with any development without an ordinance.  “I'm in favor of that, I have been from the beginning.  I think there's another way to establish what everyone wants without calling it a moratorium.   I'd like to make a note of an unofficial moratorium that this town had at one time of not letting big box stores come in.  Look at what's happened to us because of that.  When the time came for the big box stores to come in, they went everywhere but Fort Fairfield.  So I think there's an example in our own history how a moratorium can cause a problem, even though it wasn't an official one, I think we need to look at that from a planning perspective for economic development not in favor of one industry over another.  I think we've got to be very careful about using moratoriums.”

   Representing the younger demographic was Dennis Rogeski who also spoke in opposition to the moratorium.  “I see it from a different view than a lot of people have.  I don't see a lot of young people here and that's disappointing.  People in my generation are the future of this town and my kids are the future of this town.  I think we need to do everything we can to bring businesses here.  I do think that there's other ways to plan than setting a moratorium in place.  I think that we can have different types of organizations, different types of planning boards to figure this out without doing a moratorium or ordinance.”

   Michael Greenlaw, speaking in opposition to the moratorium also own a house in an area that's possibly going to be affected by the wind generators.  “I just worry about the message we send to business because I really think we need to get some businesses in town so I personally think we can go through this whole process and find a good way to deal with this without putting a moratorium in place.”

   While the acoustics in the gym at the community center were not conducive to the audience being able to adequately hear all of those who spoke, the Fort Fairfield Journal has produced a high quality MP3 audio recording of the hearing.

   The Fort Fairfield town council will consider the ordinance to establish a 180 day wind power moratorium at their next town council meeting, on October 15.  That is the publication date for this edition of Fort Fairfield Journal so the write-up will be in the October 29 edition.  The audio of the town council meeting can be accessed here.







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