Home Columns Letters LETTERS: 12.17.15

LETTERS: 12.17.15

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Wind Turbines Too Loud To Sleep

Dear Santa:

All I want for Christmas is a good night’s sleep. You can find me on Georgia Mountain in Vermont, 3,800-feet from the Georgia Mountain Wind project. I’ve tried to be a good little neighbor and not complain every time that I can’t sleep because the turbines are too loud. I know that this creates a lot of paperwork for the folks at the Vermont Public Service Board and my guess is that it creates hardship for Georgia Mountain Wind as well. Quite honestly it isn’t fun for me either, because if by a small Christmas miracle my complaint is addressed, I get to take off from work and drive an hour to Montpelier and then file a bunch of paperwork myself in the subsequent months. It would be much easier if you would just wave your magic candy cane and make the noise go away.

While you are at it can you please ask the legislators this session to introduce some sensible bills to prevent this from happening to our neighbors in Swanton, Fairfield and Irasburg? If you could please help them to craft something that would address the fact that the current acceptable noise levels emitted from wind projects are too high it would be great. Another thing that would be very helpful would be to have some stringent setback distances from homes in the future. Oh what the heck, I may as well ask for it all, how about full-time monitoring of existing projects so that if I can’t sleep, I can look at a webpage and see what the true noise levels are and call Georgia Mountain Wind and ask them to turn them back?

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I know that I really shouldn’t be asking for all of these things and accept the fact that I’m just collateral damage in our fast-paced quest to meet Governor Shumlin’s ambitious green energy goal, but I promise to be good for the rest of my life if you can just make it so that I can sleep.

Oh, by the way, if I could ask for just one more thing? Could you please stop the sun from shining on weekend afternoons? You see, if I can’t sleep during the work week, I like to try and catch up on sleep on the weekend afternoons. But when the sun starts to set behind the turbines around mid-afternoon, it causes shadows to flicker in my bedroom. The constant strobing effect through the shades wakes me up.

Thank you in advance for any of these things that you may be able to deliver to my home.

Melodie McLane, Fairfax

 

Bike Path Essential: I Support Removing Building By Eminent Domain

Editor:

The space occupied by the M&M Beverage building is essential to completing the recreation path and adding a roundabout to the Barre-Main Street intersection per the “Greening America’s Capitals” plan. I support using eminent domain if necessary to obtain the M&M Beverage building for the following reasons:

The Barre-Main Street intersection is dangerous for cyclists, pedestrians and drivers in its current configuration. The 2005 Downtown Circulation Study rated this intersection an F for vehicles. As someone who regularly walks, bikes and drives from Main Street to Barre Street, I can attest that it functions just as poorly for pedestrians and bicyclists. The city plan to install a roundabout is the best solution to improve safety at this intersection for all users.

The recreation path will provide a safer option for bicyclists through downtown. The current options of State and Main Streets or Memorial Drive leave bicyclists in vehicle lanes, close to parked cars. One of the most common bicycle accidents occurs when the door of a parallel parked car is opened onto an oncoming bicyclist. Additionally, many would-be bicyclists are afraid to bike in vehicle lanes — the only option currently available for bicyclists to get through downtown.

Detractors of eminent domain for this property have stated that the loss of this property will reduce the grand list and thereby reduce tax revenue. Studies from around the country have found that trails increase tax revenue, increase spending at nearby businesses and increase value of nearby properties. Economic benefits still exist even after the land acquisition and construction costs have been taken into account. (Source: http://conservationtools.org/guides/97-economic-benefits-of-trails). Both the Stowe Bike Path and the Burlington Bike Path have spurred economic development. A UVM study estimated that tourist using the Bike Path spent over $1 million in 2008 (source: https://www.uvm.edu/~transctr/trc_reports/UVM-TRC-10-003.pdf).

Suzanne Eikenberry, Montpelier

 

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Deadline for the next issue is December 31.