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Sunday, March 01, 2015

A Very Interesting Find: UPDATE

Publishers Notes: Because this article has created so much interest I've bumped it back to the top. 

Dr. Randy George of Marion Station presented the following remarks Feb. 11 to the County Ethics Commission as it begins to review financial disclosure forms submitted by the County Commissioners.

* * *

“I’m have been very troubled by what’s going on with regards to this wind ordinance. The underlying reason, I think, why you’re here today is that wind ordinance.

“The drafting of an ordinance was commissioned by the County Commissioners to the Planning and Zoning Commission, and I think this whole discussion centers around the prestige of office, around the use of that. And that’s the underlying theme that I hear through it all.

“You are at some disadvantage, because you were not, like many of us, sitting through these long Planning and Zoning Commission meetings. Maybe that’s an advantage. But we do have, and the county does have audio/visual records of every bit of it, it’s out there.

“When Pioneer Green, we all know who that is, came into the county, it had very clear requirements. It was never vague about those requirements for what it had to have in order to be here. It needed to plant a series of turbines in an agricultural-residential area, because we are closely tied geographically to each other that didn’t leave a lot of area. People live quite close to each other even though it’s an agricultural region.

“Pioneer Green wanted to place these turbines 700 feet away from people. They finally conceded that it would be a 1,000 feet, otherwise they would have to walk. The height had to be a certain height, and if it were to be restricted, they would have to walk. If the sound was allowed to be too loud, they would have to walk, they required it to be in the range of airports and train sound levels permitted by the state of Maryland, otherwise they would not stay.

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1,184 comments:

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Anonymous said...

Screams of potential fraud and conflict of interest.....

Anonymous said...

Glenn Ains and Kevin Anderson used Pioneer Green's playbook to craft the ordinance without regard to public safety or property values. Pat Carson's husband will benefit from wind turbines through his relationship with Scott Tawes. The ordinance must be scrapped and these three tainted commissioners must be replaced.

Anonymous said...


Cue the Dukes of Hazzard theme...

Just'a good ol' boys...

Makin' their way
The only way they know how
That's just a little bit more
Than the law will allow

Anonymous said...

Good ole Richard Crumbacker. Truth in reporting. Now that's a rare find.

Anonymous said...

Follow the money. It goes back to the HSB.

Anonymous said...

Boy, some things never change.
Somerset County politics.
I'm surprised Richard Crumbacker hasn't been found floating down Annamessex Creek.
He's a good man, and a brave soul.

Anonymous said...

Following the money will blow Somerset County politics apart.

Anonymous said...

makes you wonder where Liberal Jim is in all this......

Anonymous said...

Dr George, through diligent research, has proven there are ties. Instead of saying there are ties he proved (with a chart) what his research had uncovered. I agree with 8:56 the ties do scream conflict of interest and potential fraud. When I see evidence, such as Dr George's, I now know of the relationship between the parties involved. This is now a fact and no longer a rumor..

Now 9:16 and 9:26 and 9:57(2) pipe up with accusations. No proof of anything, just words trashing people involved.. Most accusations are merely rumors and gossip. It makes me wonder if people making comments of the nature as 9:16 and 9:26 an 9:57(2) only have an ax to grind or have a terrible dislike for one or more of whom they attack. . 9:26 and 9:57(2) are you repeating street talk or have you actually followed the money? Your findings would certainly help prove fraud. 9:16 your comment could also prove fraud if you could give proof there was any truth to the statements.

Ethics Commission and Courts look at evidence. Hearsay is not evidence

Anonymous said...

Liberal Jim calls littering Somerset County with industrial turbines "economic development."
I guess he does not care that our property values, environment and public safety are being compromised.

Anonymous said...

As citizens can see only a few people benefit from the turbines but they affect hundreds of us.

Anonymous said...

I said from the beginning; "follow the money". knew there was a crooked deal brewing here. not "for the people", but for the greedy and crooked.

Never believe what is being presented, especially if it's being promoted by government.

so glad this has been exposed.

Anonymous said...

In Somerset, most odors lead to Scott Tawes, just like this proves

Anonymous said...

Joe --

If you and R. C. would get together, jointly you could blow the lid off the lower shore scams and schemes, not just in Somerset, but also in Wicomico And Worcester.

Anonymous said...

Does Somerset County have a State's Attorney. If so, where is he/she -- or is there another conflict of interest there?

Anonymous said...

Doug Taylor, county administrator is rex simpkins cousin.

Anonymous said...

The chart proves conflicts for Kevin Anderson & Pat Carson. Has anyone been able to uncover what Glenn Ains has to gain? His actions proved his loyalties lie with Pioneer Green, not the public that he is charged to protect.
Please post any LLCs Glenn Ains operates under so that conflicts can be uncovered.

Anonymous said...

You need look no further than the detention center to find nepotism and how important it is to Somerset county to put family in so they will do what the powers to be want. No free thinking, educated or intelligence want. Hickman, warden, commissary officer, balderson, West warden, never made it past Sergeant.

Anonymous said...

I've heard of an organization called safe for somerset that has pointed out many other problems with this project. I believe that they have provided the commissioners with evidence that the windmills cause serious health problems, and are a threat to citizens in other ways. I think the commissioners should be honest and look at all the facts and not ignore negative effects of the windmills in order to generate more tax money for the county.

Anonymous said...

Is anyone really surprised? Just look at the top judge and his family/special friends....

Anonymous said...

Mr. or Ms. 11;56 ---

Do you really expect the States Attorney, Dan Powell, to go after the ones who set his salary and budget?

This calls for action by the state or federal officials.

Anonymous said...

How many other things like this has Kirk Simpkins been part of???

Anonymous said...

Our Maryland representative in the House of Delegates, Charles Otto's nephew, Charlie Tyler is married to Coulbourne Swift's granddaughter. Otto is supporting the project even though it will increase electric bills and lower property values. Coulbourne Swift is slated to have 5 turbines on his land.

Anonymous said...

Yikes!

Feudalism is alive and well in Somerset County.

Anonymous said...

Things have not changed since the Washington Post called Somerset County the northernmost part of Mississippi!

Anonymous said...

I have a hunch this post will generate 100+ comments!

Anonymous said...

As soon as the Pioneer Green public relations person finds out about this post I can guarantee that he will be on here telling everyone how great windmills are and how much tax money they will generate for the county. Just keep in mind that pioneer green only cares about making money and is not concerned at all about the health and welfare of Somerset county citizens.

Anonymous said...

This is an important issue so why not put it to a referendum vote? It would seem that if a majority voted for or against the project that would be fair. I doubt the commissioners are capable of being fair or even understanding the issue. They are more interested in the tax dollars so that in it's self is a conflict in my opinion.

Anonymous said...

Joe --

This is a very important post, so please put it at the top all day.

Anonymous said...

Is Kirk Simpkins still receiving an $81,000 per year as county attorney? He has been forced to recuse himself from all turbine matters and should have been fired for illegal nepotism. He is also guilty of malpractice for advising the Commissioners that it was ok to violate the ethics ordinance, when they appointed him.

Anonymous said...

The States Attorney, Dan Powell, is an elective position and paid by the State. He and the County Clerk do not work for the Commissioners.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for bringing this issue to the forefront, Joe. Deborah Gates on behalf of the Somerset Herald has also provided a good analysis of the conflicts that exist.

Anonymous said...

Can you provide the names of the members of the Ethics Commission? Who appoints them?

Anonymous said...

Just way to much smoke here! Somerset County is the premiere unethical area in the State. For years, unethical politics and nepotism has been the rule of thumb. The three most influential people in Somerset County are the President of the County Commissioner, the County Attorney and the County Administrator and ALL THREE ARE CLOSELY RELATED, BROTHERS AND FIRST COUSINS, and this is clearly unethical and shows absolute bias due to nepotism. Follow the money and the leases.

Anonymous said...

The Office of the Maryland State Prosecutor should be called to investigate. I believe citizens can initiate a complaint directly with the office.

It would not be the first time they engaged the tangled web of Somerset politics.

Anonymous said...

What a bunch of B.S. The proposed zoning ordinance zones out a number of sites and you try and say Great Bay wrote it? It also mandates setbacks approximately twice industry standards. It also sets a maximum height of 575' which is 24' below GB FAA application. Interestingly it's 125' below what SFS still insists the turbine height will be.As far as noise levels it simply mandates GB follow the same noise limitations as every other business in the state of 55dba. This is some kind of huge concession you have to follow the same law as everyone else? If this was about public safety SFS would declare a great victory and go home! Truth is this is about a bunch of elitist (like Dr. George) who don't want their view interrupted by someone else's turbine. I say someone else's because Dr. George was all for this project when he thought he was getting turbines. He had no health concerns when they were going to be near his house. Only when he was rejected did he suddenly become opposed to the project. And yes SFS did provide information to the zoning board but some members did their job and read and researched the material and found it to be garbage. For instance a property values study that used the crash of 08 to try and prove turbines hurt values. This is a small county and of course there will be family and business ties. They are now reviewing poultry house setbacks how could you seat a competent board for that without family and business ties? This zoning board bent over backwards for SFS. They used a SFS member as their sound expert despite his lack of qualifications (he studies frogs mating) allowing him to interject whenever he wanted and refused GB offer of obtaining a real sound expert. They had another SFS member do a presentation on economics (something that's not even a zoning issue) after public input was cut off.

Anonymous said...

Our Congress may as well have come from Somerset County with all the gridlock.

Anonymous said...

Many of you people are very childish! The zoning board and the county commissioners disagree with you so they must be corrupt? Get over yourselves! Could it be they have researched the issue and come to a different conclusion than you? The commissioners actually visited a wind farm and talked to people who live around turbines. If you feel the commissioners are corrupt then by all means run against them. Of course that may be a sore subject for many of you since all candidates endorsed by SFS lost in the last election! Because people do not see things the same as you is not justification for unsubstantiated accusations of corruption.

Anonymous said...

Looks like the Pioneer Green PR guy, Kevin Miller has awoke. Pioneer Green has changed the turbine heights more than 6 times since 2012. Until the Navy announced the turbines would impede national defense if heights exceeded their ADAMS line of site,Pioneer Green had proclaimed heights below 500' were not feasible. Now, they have once again changed the heights and are planning 25-50 turbines one foot below the Navy's restrictions. Dr. George is a neurologist and Dr. Ryan Taylor is a biologist who studies acoustics. These men are well aware of the hazards disregarding public health and safety will cause. Mr. Miller is being paid by Pioneer Green to distort the truth about the problems communities experience when living amongst wind turbines. The Shirley Wind project has 8 turbines that are less than 500' and the area has been declared a public health hazard by the county Board of Health.

Anonymous said...

Somerset zoning boards should have mandatory disclosure reporting just like Worcester and Wicomico.

Anonymous said...

Why was Somerset County picked by Pioneer Green for wind turbines?

There is not very good wind. There are no large areas that neighbors wouldn't be adversely affected.

The reason has to be the "old boy" network government of not very intelligent men willing to help close relatives and friends at the expense of the rest of the citizens.

This has to be done away with if the county is ever to move beyond being the poorest county in the state.

Anonymous said...

Yep, Pioneer Green advocate has found this post. I predict the next thing we will hear from him is that because Somerset allows chicken houses then we should have no problem with windmills.

Kirk Simpkins also advised the commissioners to fill out the wrong ethics forms. One would think he would just resign due to the conflict of interest issue. He has not been providing good advice to the commissioners for a long time. Simpkins obviously OK'ed the rehiring of James Henderson and everyone knows how that fiasco turned out.

Anonymous said...

OK PG guy, what's wrong with the Shirley wind project? If the county declared it a health hazard why is Somerset different?

Gene Tilghman said...

Wow, I had no idea this whole windmill project was just another money maker for the Somerset county good old boys. Thanks for posting this Joe.

Anonymous said...

@3:39 What evidence do you have that GB is planning 25-50 turbines below ADAMS line of sight? They have changed the FAA application for one. Dr.George is indeed a neurologist who believed turbines would be perfectly safe next to his home. Dr. Taylor is a biologist who studies frogs mating, hardly something that would make him an expert on possible health issues regarding turbines. Mass. departments of health and environment put together a panel to examine all literature regarding turbines and health. They found no evidence to support concerns. Here is the panel and their qualifications. Jeffrey M. Ellenbogen, MD; MMSc
Assistant Professor of Neurology, Harvard Medical School
Division Chief, Sleep Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital
Sheryl Grace, PhD; MS Aerospace & Mechanical Engineering
Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Boston University
Wendy J Heiger-Bernays, PhD
Associate Professor of Environmental Health, Department of Environmental Health,
Boston University School of Public Health
Chair, Lexington Board of Health
James F. Manwell, PhD Mechanical Engineering;
MS Electrical & Computer Engineering; BA Biophysics
Professor and Director of the Wind Energy Center, Department of Mechanical & Industrial
Engineering University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Dora Anne Mills, MD, MPH, FAAP
State Health Officer, Maine 1996–2011
Vice President for Clinical Affairs, University of New England
Kimberly A. Sullivan, PhD
Research Assistant Professor of Environmental Health, Department of Environmental Health,
Boston University School of Public Health
Marc G. Weisskopf, ScD Epidemiology; PhD Neuroscience
Associate Professor of Environmental Health and Epidemiology
Department of Environmental Health & Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health The Brown County Health Dept. did no scientific research on the Shirley Wind project. It is just their opinion. You would compare that to the exhaustive study of all literature by a highly qualified board in Mass.?

Anonymous said...

3:54 The area obviously has good wind for modern turbines as there has been at least two companies look at Somerset for potential wind projects.

Anonymous said...

2:24 - i agree to a point about family and business ties but this issue is over the top especially with the lease of land by these individuals and their families. This constitutes what some would call insider trading and the leases were said to be purchased before the legislation was ever in place. As for nepotism, those relatives hired/appointed were definitely not where as qualified as many of the applicants for the same job. Nepotism is crushing this county and its citizens along with unethical activities of the County Commissioner and County Attorney. Maybe the County Attorney needs a refresher course in ethics which would surely include unethical nepotism practices. The County Attorney should resign ASAP due to his unethical appointment baaed on nepotism. As for the County Administrator, the first cousin of the President of the County Commissioners and first cousin to the County Attorney, perhaps his appointment should be re-examined since it's based on nothing but pure nepotism. Questions need to raised and answered especially with this group as they are not above board on many issues as evidenced by their conduct/axtions.

Anonymous said...

If SFS is interested in full disclosure then why did they omit their leader from their ethics complaint? She had the same conflicts of interest and was the leader of the opposition. In fact she was advised to abstain from voting. Seems like the SFS definition of ethics violation is disagreeing with them.

Anonymous said...

This not about if wind turbines are healthy or not. This is about our government leaders lining their own pockets and keeping their families in the profit loop. This whole thing stinks to high heaven and perhaps the AG should look into this matter, Other than our leaders, appointrees and their families, is there anyone else who obtained leases before the legislation was even considered?? Our leaders and appointees are failing us miserably and, yes, we can do something about it if we just stop standing around! Action is required NOW!

Anonymous said...

Great Bay Wind keeps saying that the project will bring 44 million to the county. At one of the planning and zoning meetings, it was brought up that the project would make 28 million and another estimate was even lower. Kevin Anderson then publicly said they had no idea how the tax revenue would be calculated. Great Bay says it will create hundreds of jobs. I'm wondering though, who in Somerset county has the skills to build a turbine? No one does, the jobs will all come from outside the county. Great benefits to the county? More like great benefits to the county commissioners and rich land owners!

Anonymous said...

4:35 You know the good people of Massachusetts consider the study " JUNK SCIENCE" . Read it see how many times it states more evidence needed .

Anonymous said...

"A very interesting find" You are spot on 2:28. The chart maker and presenter was all for turbines and even wanted a few on his acreage; however, he was quickly saddened as he was receiving conservation easement money thus disqualifying him from participation in this great project. What a hypocrite! He seems to be the unethical one. You know!!!!

Anonymous said...

Dam wish I were in the good ole boy system, I've had to work hard with no help from anyone.Joe keep hounding them.

Anonymous said...

Somerset county was picked for this project because PG thought that the folks were so poor and so stupid that they would welcome anything that promised jobs and money. Fortunately the people are not that poor or that stupid.

Still waiting for the PG guy to explain why the Shirley wind project was declared a health hazard.

Even if the project wasn't a health hazard the people that live here should decide weather or not we want these unsightly monsters in our back yard.

Anonymous said...

Greay Bay Wind keeps saying that they will contribute 44 million to Somerset County. The planning and zoning board said the estimate they had was 28 million, but another estimate was even less. Kevin Anderson then said they didn't have any idea how the tax revenue would be calculated. Great Bay Wind said this would create jobs for somerset county. I wonder how many county residents are qualified to build a 500 foot turbine. My guess is none. So I don't see where this will create lots of jobs and money for the county. Sounds to me like its going to line the pockets of the county commissioners and the rich land holders in the county. More of the rich folks continuing to take advantage of average citizens.

Anonymous said...

Very misleading 4:35. Are you saying PG now only wants to build 1 windmill total? I don't think so and you know that is not true, that is why people shouldn't believe what you say. PG may have changed the app to 1 for now but would certainly change it again to 50 if they can get approval, right??

When the prison was built it was never suppose to house over 1500, today it probably has over 3000. Never trust what someone says when they are trying to get there foot in the door. That is exactly what PG is trying to do at this point, just get there foot in the door.

Anonymous said...

Let me make sure I understand this. Pioneer Green is going to generate $44 million in revenue for the county by building one turbine?

Anonymous said...

@5:35 You are very mistaken. No one is forced to have a turbine in their back yard. You have to voluntarily sign a lease and have enough land for setbacks that are twice industry standards. At 5:42 I am not misleading. I am saying GB wants to build only one turbine less than 500'.

Anonymous said...

Somerset county were it's still okay to have sex with your cousin.

Anonymous said...

Joe, please keep investigating the leadership of Somerset County concerning this issue. The amount of unethical behavior is overwhelming. The deeper you dig, the more will come out and hopefully the MD AG will look into this. Nepotism and local insider trading needs to stop.

Anonymous said...

This diagram shows just how much our government is being controlled by just several families who only have an interest in lining their pockets by utilizing information that was not made public. The nepotism as well makes this to a horrible example of government gone awry. This whole thing stinks and is highly unethical by any standard.

Anonymous said...

@6:26 And you know about this how?

Anonymous said...

@6:17 No unfortunately GB will generate very little tax revenue with one turbine under 500'

Anonymous said...

The first company rep here, Johnny Walker, is a private investigator. After meeting our county commissioners, Pioneer Green assumed the people of Somerset were not smart enough to figure out how bad this would be for us, so they set their sites here despite the fact we have no wind and 30 eagles nests in the PHASE 1 footprint. Pioneer Green has been kicked out of Alabama, California, New Hampshire, and Pennsylvania yet they remain here???

Anonymous said...

The Navy has released an article quoting Adam Cohen of Pioneer Green who says the initial phase is NOW 25 turbines @ 463'. Pioneer Green does not care that our wind resource is poor/marginal and that scores of eagles will be slaughtered every year. Because the Federal and State governments will be throwing money at them. Oh yeah, and Polluters pay them too, so they can continue to pollute.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know the name of Glenn Ains LLCs?

Anonymous said...

All you people posting about how this is all about corruption with the commissioners please explain to me why they didn't just pass the first ordinance years ago? Since the second ordinance doesn't suit SFS I think the commissioners should just hold a public hearing on the first ordinance and pass it now. Just like the zoning board the commissioners have bent over backwards for SFS but you just can't please fanatics!

Anonymous said...

So GB guy, they want to build one turbine less than 500' to get under the ADAMS radar, and then build additional turbines greater than 500 feet? Those additional turbines greater than 500' will then impact Pax River and jeopardize our national security. So why just one turbine less than 500'?

Anonymous said...

If my brother marries a Simpkins and then my son marries a Simpkins, how much power do I get?
Did I mention, my son also works at HSB were Scott Tawes is on the board and my daughter in laws father-in-law and cousin are land leasers? Oh, almost forgot, my daughter's husband has a lease contract with Pioneer Green.

Anonymous said...

You should have figured out by my 8:54 post that I am a Somerset County Commissioner.

Anonymous said...

Why doesn't the PG guy comment on the Shirley wind project that has been declared a public health hazard?

Anonymous said...

@ 8:30 Please cite the article where the Navy claims GB wants to build 25 turbines at 463'. DOD can kill any wind project that threatens national security. As far as the claim of poor wind GB has leased two MET towers to measure the wind in the area. The investors putting up 200 million are happy with it, that's good enough for me. The tax credit, which has expired anyway, applies to MW sold so if this were a poor wind area they wouldn't produce the electricity to get the credit.@8:53 contrary to claims on this blog no one as far as I can tell from GB is posting. If you want information on why they are interested in building one turbine under 500' it should come from them. I suggest you contact them.

Anonymous said...

The county commissioners are exactly why this county will always be the poorest in the state. Instead of looking out for the best interests of the people who elect them, they are only looking out for themselves and their families. If they really want Somerset to be successful, they'll hire an economic development director who knows how to do his job and entice some businesses into the county who will provide opportunities for people to get jobs and go to work. How will these turbines help the people in the projects in Crisfield and Princess Anne? They won't. Bring us a project that will benefit ALL of the citizens of the county, not just a few landowners/families that are already making money hand over fist at tax payers expense.

Anonymous said...

SFS Guy, What is there to say about the the Shirley Wind project? A health dept. caved to a loud group similar to SFS and made a ruling on a body of random, non-correlating symptoms. These symptoms from what I have read are the most common symptoms ever heard by any MD but are somehow attributable to a few wind turbines. Ironically the symptoms seemed to completely vary from person to person as listed by the notarized complaints. I have also heard that some residents tried to blame livestock birth defects on wind turbines. It is ridiculous but they are within their rights to make these rulings absent any real evidence or science. It seems bizarre in these cases of wind turbine syndrome that the landowners who lease their property out and get a profit from the turbines seem immune to all the random, supposed effects of wind turbine syndrome.

Anonymous said...

@9:13 Apparently there is no PG guy on this blog. If you read the 4:35 post the Shirley Wind project has already been addressed. The Brown County Health Department is inconsequential. They have no say in the Shirley Wind project. They did no research they basically gave their personal opinion. The only people that pay attention to them are anti wind energy and are desperate for something they can claim that agrees with them. If you want to give them more credence than the panel listed on 4:35 that's your right but keep in mind Ontario and Australia have also assembled very credible panels with the same results as Mass.

Anonymous said...

Excuse me Kevin, the article was written by Navy Admiral Steven R. Eastburg and published in the February 2015 Vol. 141/2/1,344 of the Proceedings Magazine. In it he details the hazards of placing wind turbines in the Adams test range poses to our military missions. Supporting wind development in the line of site as you do Kevin, puts every citizen in the US at risk not to mention our troops many of whom are on foreign soil. Oh I forgot, nothing is sacred as long as you have cash in your pocket. BTW, how much are you being paid to screw your fellow man?

Anonymous said...

Bottom line is that most people don't want any windmills in Somerset for many different reasons. If the vast majority do not want them than that is the way it is supposed to be. If this was not the case than PG would have no problem with a referendum vote.

PG will come back and say that land owners should be able to do any thing they want with there land but that should not be the case when it affects so many others. There are many codes and laws restricting what people can do with their land and windmills should be no different.

Anonymous said...

9:20 The estimated 2.9 million in yearly county revenues will help the entire county. If you hold out for the perfect business that provides jobs for the entire county then the county will never have any jobs. BTW how are the landowners involved here making money hand over fist at taxpayers expense?

Anonymous said...

@9:20 Please run for County Commissioner and show them how it's done! Since you brought it up how about suggesting some businesses that SFS would approve of that we would have any chance of enticing to Somerset. It's very easy to sit back and be against everything and accuse everyone trying to do anything in Somerset of being corrupt, how about some positive suggestions. We certainly need them! The poverty rate in Somerset is now just under 30% and SFS tries to claim a 200 million investment that provides millions annually in tax revenue plus pays well over a million a year in lease payments, salaries,and maintenance would have no effect on the economy. Please tell us what you feel would improve the economy.

Anonymous said...

Somerset county will never let an outsider in. Look at the sheriff's race, votes were highest not for qualifications, but who went to school together and how long you knew each other. It was said by the current sheriff in a forum, that the other guy wasn't a native Somerset county person. This way power, corruption and families will always run Somerset county.

For those who say provide corruption examples, a few Jim Henderson, Kristy Hickman Ken Ballard and Louis Hickman for starters the list goes on.

Anonymous said...

Sorry Kevin, Somerset citizens are not so desperate that we would forego our safety, property values and local environment so the richest people in the county will get rich-er. It is a known fact that nearby residents lose more than the bucks Pioneer Green is promising our commissioners.
Only suckers believe living amongst wind turbines makes sense.

Anonymous said...

Pioneer Green is grandfathered in under the PTC as long as they can get their wind turbine up before December 31, 2015. Even this could be extended because Congress is busy trying to reinstate the PTC. Citizens need to speak up because our officials are selling us out to line their family's pockets.

Anonymous said...

@10:26 That was a old quote from Adam from years ago when GB briefly looked at 690' turbines. If you read carefully the tower height and blade length are listed separately. GB has since determined turbines over 599' are not feasible for Somerset for several reasons and has stated this in public several times. As far as National Security as stated above the DOD has broad authority to stop any project that threatens their mission (as they should). However they are required to research and offer any possible mitigation of this interference (as they should) by the Ike Skelton Act. A study by MIT Lincoln Lab confirmed that turbines caused no interference when not turning (curtailed). The majority of the testing done at Pax is done during the day when the turbines often would not be turning anyway. A mitigation agreement was PREPARED BY PAX AND THE DOD and PRESENTED TO GB on May 3 2013.It required curtailment during ADAMS testing.On December 5 2013 a finalized "signature draft" had been vetted by ALL parties and was executed by Rear Admiral Mark Darrah. Then because of pressure from Defense Contractors Rep. Steny Hoyer and Sen. Barbra Mikulski illegally stepped in and put a hold on the project. The objections from the DOD only came after extreme political pressure was applied. Let me emphasize this initial agreement was prepared by PAX and the DOD does anyone really think they would write an agreement that harmed are National Security? No one involved with this project, either GB or the land owners wants are National Security threatened in any way. BTW all of these facts are easily confirmed.

Anonymous said...

Somerset County's motto - Semper Eadem -- is spot on: it means "always the same".

Truth is, nobody there knows that since it's not in the pidgin English that they speak.

Anonymous said...

@6:55 How about Kuebler he is an outsider? @7:19 The known facts you cite are only known by SFS and apparently cannot be seen by the rest of us. Kinda like the voices you keep hearing! If you have any evidence of safety issues,property values or environment show them and lets have an intelligent debate. If only Suckers believe turbines make sense there must be a lot of suckers because wind power polls very well especially in states such as Kansas and Texas that already have a lot of wind power. @7:25 That is true however the MIT study holding everything up is now delayed until December.

Anonymous said...

@7:30 LOL! So True!

Anonymous said...

7:19 If you do a little research you will find that wind energy actually has quite high approval in independent polls.

Anonymous said...

That's a pretty charge PG guy-accusing Steny Hoyer and Barbara Mikulski of illegal deeds.
Better get a lawyer. I think Kirk Simpkins is available.

Anonymous said...

7:25 As the DoD has said they will not allow any negotiation to resume until the MIT study is completely finished in Dec. 2015 there is simply no way that Pioneer could erect one of their 575ft turbines in the next year. You make an accusation of corruption. Can you back it up with documented facts or are you just throwing baseless accusations around because you have no real facts on your side?

Anonymous said...

You only have to look at communities that are hosting wind to get to the truth. Placing these industrial machines within 2 miles of people causes unsurmountable problems with health, safety, and property value losses. Habitat is destroyed and wildlife is killed and displaced. Electric bills increase and tourism suffers. Turbines liberations have strewn debris over areas that exceed 1/2 mile such as the one in Ireland on January 2, 2015 and the one in Denmark in 2008. Many communities are increases the setback minimums to 1/2 mile to reduce the intolerable noise and keep homes out of the debris zone.

Anonymous said...

@6:55 The examples you have listed are not county commissioners. SFS has repeatedly accused the commissioners and zoning board members of corruption without substantiating that in any way. The only evidence of corruption ever offered is the fact they have a different opinion than SFS. An opinion that they have formed from actually visiting a wind farm and talking to people who live near the turbines. You remind me of Sharpton screaming racism. This is a small county so of course people are going to be related and people generally vote for long time residents, that's true everywhere. I personally think it's very disrespectful to make accusations of are elected officials without offering any sort of evidence.

Anonymous said...

Since Obama and his administration love wind power it is no wonder why the majority of professor and academics support wind power. This is exactly why I'm opposed to it. What has the Obama admin ever proposed that was successful? I would bet good money that if George Bush had proposed wind mills the same people would have been opposed to it.

Anonymous said...

And since you are so knowledgeable 8:55, who picked the wind farm that the commissioners visited and who paid for that trip? Let me guess, Pioneer Green? If they did than that trip was no more than a bribe and free paid vacation! I could be wrong, just would like to know.

Anonymous said...

@8:48 As usual you offer nothing but allegations no research to back up your claims. Please look at the property values study "Relationship between Wind
Turbines and Residential Property
Values in Massachusetts". It examined over 122000 home sales. It investigates effects
within a quarter mile as well as between a half and 1
mile. It also examined frequency of home sales as anti wind groups have tried to claim property value studies are wrong because homes don't sell near turbines. It found no statistical change in either values or frequency of sales from turbines.If any of your unsubstantiated claims had any truth this would not be possible. As usual you also cite turbine accidents that happen in other countries. I don't comment on them because I don't know what other countries regulations and enforcement are or the accuracy of the reporting. I will point out the turbines GB use are engineered for a category 5 hurricane. I would also point out that recently in Oklahoma an EF5 tornado struck two turbines with nearly 300 mph winds without damaging either. Any discussion on turbine safety should be based on this country, as we are the world leader in wind energy that should not be a problem.

Anonymous said...

@9:10 A legitimate question. The trip was sponsored by the economic development commission.

Anonymous said...

Pioneer Green chose the wind farm to visit and Danny Thompson worked out the details. This site was chosen because John Knab, the town administrator would provide the tour. Knab also works for Pioneer Green and has lobbied in Alabama and Pennsylvania for them. The turbines were free spinning when Somerset officials were there but because our officials are clueless about wind, they did not know it. One resident was randomly chosen to ask questions too, however, there is no documentation of her name of if she has a wind contract. According to Danny Thompson, the commissioners spent 2 hours in Wyoming Co. NY.

Anonymous said...

It is kinda funny how the PG rep keeps saying, "SFS says". I think SFS know what it says. SFS has done their homework and the facts are speaking loud and clear. As I write this, French senators are working on increasing minimum turbine setbacks to 1000 meters which equates to more than 3000 feet. Turbines that have been installed with leaser setbacks may require removal. Let's not make the same mistake and institute a safe and responsible setback.

Anonymous said...

@9:05 You are an excellent example of the kind of person the elites of SFS prey on. Either unwilling or unable to think or research for yourself. The truth is wind energy has support from both parties and even the Libertarian party as Ron Paul is a big supporter. The opposition generally comes from the coal states. How sad for someone to base their opinion on what Obama or Bush thinks!

Anonymous said...

@10:02 Untrue as usual PG. Libertarians only support "green energy" if it is not supported by subsidies, tax credits and mandates. Without these, this project would not even have been considered.

Anonymous said...

@10:18 Always true! "Since the PTC is only awarded to companies that
produce energy, it is not a subsidy. According to
former Representative and presidential candidate
Ron Paul (R-TX), “As a believer in the free
market, I don’t look at a tax credit as a subsidy,”
he said about the PTC and the wind industry" Also from the political guide on Ron Paul "Congressman Paul has sponsored legislation to provide tax incentives to alternative energy sources."

Anonymous said...

Money that Pioneer Green will reap includes a stream from the State, electric ratepayers through higher utility rates, the trading of Renewable Energy Credits, and an upfront tax credit known as a cash grant that covers 30% of the project costs. Some wind facilities have erroneously claimed both the PTC and the Cash Grant. Nobody is monitoring the money. This stinks and leaves taxpayers and ratepayers on the hook while others suck up the free flowing cash. Warren Buffet said it best, "The only reason to build these things is for the tax credits."

Anonymous said...

@8:41 Unlike SFS I don't accuse elected officials (or anyone else) of wrong doing unless I can back it up. Read the Ike Skelton Act. It set up a clearinghouse to coordinate review by DOD of FAA Applications filed by wind farm developers.The Act clearly provides that the Clearinghouse is the only appropriate venue to address military concerns regarding FAA Applications. Meaning that other processes, such as political intervention by elected representatives, including members of Congress, are NOT allowed to interfere with pending applications. Title 32, Part 211 of the Code of Federal Regulations "The participation of the DOD in the process of the Federal Aviation Administration conducted pursuant to 49U.S.C. 44718 shall be conducted in accordance with this part. NO OTHER PROCESS SHALL BE USED BY A DOD COMPONENT" That's the law I don't think I have to prove Hoyer and Mikulski provided political intervention in the process since they have bragged about doing so.

Anonymous said...

So why build just one PG? Why not cut your losses and leave like you have in other places. I have a hunch you have been told to just hang in there and you will get what you want in the end. I wouldn't listen to what our dysfunctional economic development person says or what our commissioners are telling you either for that matter. Don't say that I'm a member of SFS because I'm not, I am just one of many that do not want these windmills killing our birds and creating a noise that is impossible to get away from.

Anonymous said...

This post may get as many comments as the Greg Johnson post, they are somewhat tied together from what I've been reading. Did Johnson really lend money to purchase land that windmills would be built on to benefit someone within HSB? We may know someday.

Anonymous said...

@9:48 And your point is? Is there something about this wind farm that makes it more attractive? Would you have suggested another wind farm? Such as? Why? In my conversations with several of the commissioners they all stated they talked to several people including a Dairy Farm owner who stated he wouldn't be in business if it were not for the turbine and a lady who lived directly under a turbine and stated it was no bother at all. Perhaps any concerned readers should talk to the commissioners themselves and ask them if they feel they got a fair representation of a wind farm.

Anonymous said...

11:50 If you are curious about the single turbine maybe you should contact Pioneer. I think someone else already indicated that.

Anonymous said...

11:29 What is this mysterious "stream from the State" that you refer too? Pioneer will sell the project so they will not profit from electric generation but as the electric rates are sold on a market they really cannot sell their power for a higher rate anyway. If their power is more expensive no utility will buy it. The PTC is currently expired and it doesn't seem to be stopping the project so I dont think that is a make or break. There is no taxpayer funding on the line here. If you say different please provide the federal funding number or budget line.

Anonymous said...

10:18 The PTC is expired and PG is continuing is still trying to get their permits through.

Anonymous said...

2/22 12:31 So because Ains voted in a way you disagree with he must be corrupt? I have also read on here that since the commissioners refuse to cave and give SFS there way on everything that they must be corrupt. It strikes me that this whole ethics deal is just SFS trying to bully officials into voting their way after two ordinances that would allow wind development have been passed.

Anonymous said...

Hey PG man, so now you are calling it political intervention when in your earlier post you stated Hoyer and Mikulski took illegal actions. How much does Pioneer Green pay to sell out ones community? Some might consider the fact that a person holding a land lease works in the county finance office while other employees of the government are afraid to oppose the project for fear they may lose their jobs.

Anonymous said...

The PTC has not expired for Pioneer Green. They are grandfathered in as long as they meet other criteria. Please stop lying about the use of taxpayer monies.

Anonymous said...

Glenn Ains ignored health and safety guidelines in lieu of developer need. I was not aware that he is corrupt but since you brought it up, why did he increase the height limit from 400' to 575'? He could not even justify it.

Anonymous said...

Hey SFS man, I believe the illegality of Hoyer and Mikulski's actions speak for themselves. I guess you do not think the federal government should have to actually follow the law. It is a shame you care so little for individual property rights that you equate someone leasing land out to selling your county out. It's funny you bring up people being scared of losing their jobs...isn't that the point of the phony SFS ethics complaint? To scare people into getting into line for SFS? I think its going to backfire for you as generally people don't like to be pushed around but so far.

Anonymous said...

12:53 For Pioneer to qualify for the PTC they would need to have turbines in by December 2015. The DoD has said they will not allow further negotiations until the MIT study is done in December 2015. As such there is no way Pioneer will be able to put turbines up by December 2015. Who is lying?

Anonymous said...

1:01 Scroll up a ways and you will read someone putting up a baseless allegation of corruption in typical SFS style. I would assume as SFS claimed Pioneer needed 690ft limits and Pioneer claimed they needed 575ft ceilings that the zoning board saw this as a way to make everyone happy. If SFS was telling the truth then they should have been content with a 575ft limit as it would've been a zone out. If Pioneer was telling the truth they would be content with 575ft limits. As SFS wasn't content with this is is obvious who was telling the truth.

Anonymous said...

@11:29 You claim some wind developers are claiming both the PTC and the cash credit. Do you have evidence of this or is this just another unsubstantiated baseless allegation from SFS? @12:52 You SFS people do seem to have a problem with reading comprehension. Read the post carefully, it clearly shows political intervention is not only illegal under Ike Skelton the whole purpose of the law was to prevent political intervention. As far as I know PG has paid no one anything to sell out their community. But tell me how much is SFS getting from the fossil fuel industry? I have no idea what you are talking about as far as a government employee afraid to lose their job. If they think they are being treated unfairly or being threatened encourage them to get legal help.

Anonymous said...

Every lease, including the very curious "good neighbor" leases, since the first lease in July 2010was "to sell out their community".

The citizens of the County were minding their own business, while payments (bribes) were paid in secret to ruin their lives.

Anonymous said...

A number of posts have mentioned bird deaths. The thing people have to keep in mind is that fossil fuel generation of electricity causes far more bird deaths than turbines. That is the reason both the Sierra Club and the Audubon Society support wind energy and the Great Bay project.To put things in perspective in North America turbines kill between 214000 and 368000 birds annually while cell and radio towers kill an estimated 6.8 MILLION and cats kill 1.4 to 3.7 BILLION birds each year.

Anonymous said...

3:31 Leases now equate to bribery in your world? You must be very critical of every farmer in the area as all of them either lease land or lease out land. If you are minding your own business then why does what someone else does with their land concern you? Also how was any of this done in secret? I think all of this was done rather openly.

Anonymous said...

@3:31 You continue to accuse people who choose to lease THEIR land for wind energy of selling out their community.However you have not provided one shred of credible evidence of the harm you claim. Supporters have cited very credible studies on health and property values. They have cited law and various reports to refute your claims yet you want people to ignore all that on your uninformed opinion. Worse yet you suggest no alternatives. 10:38 PM asked you what you would support so far SFS has offered nothing! As mentioned above Somerset has the highest poverty rate in the state by far. The state no longer means tests our children in school they just give all children free lunch and breakfast. Do we all have to be on welfare before you people can accept any change? It is SFS that is selling out Somerset. You have the elitist who would have the county turn down a 200million dollar investment rather than disrupt their view and the half wits that just can't handle any change but by far the worst is the SFS members consumed with jealousy because they perceive their neighbors getting a windfall out of this. The bunch of you get together and will tell any lie, try to intimidate, threaten, make baseless accusations and even try and turn neighbor against neighbor just to get your way. You have the nerve of accusing people trying to bring something good to Somerset County of trying to sell out their community!

Anonymous said...

It is a shame that one ass can post so many lies and collect a paycheck for doing it. Pioneer Green has distorted the truth ever since arriving in Somerset. Safe For Somerset has not accused any one of corruption but merely pointed out conflicts.
If the commissioners had followed their own ethics law, this could have been avoided. The current wind ordinance was written without regard to public safety. Somerset Intermediate School is surrounded by industrial turbines and every student has to travel in the zone that turbine employees are told to avoid.

Anonymous said...

@420...Hi Liz!!

Anonymous said...

What gripes me is that anyone that opposes the wind mills is automatically accused of being a member of SFS. Nothing could be further from the truth and I suppose that is why a lot of folks just don't trust anything else that the PG spokesman says. I am anti windmill and I am not a member of SFS and I do not even know anyone that is personally. I would appreciate it if PG would quit lumping everyone that opposes wind mills into one catagory. PG is of questionable integratory in my opinion.

Anonymous said...

Tomorrow the County Commissioners meet. Isn't it time to get rid of the County Attorney. He has admitted conflict of interest by recusing himself, and his brother has admitted to the nepotism by recusing himself from the appointment vote. Kirk's demonstrated incompetence should be enough for the Commisioners to save the taxpayers from continuing to pay his salary.

Jerry, we know you're there. Do something honest for once.

Anonymous said...

4:26 If you read through this blog you will see many baseless accusations of corruption made by opponents of the project. SFS targets anyone that doesn't agree with them. I guess it is possible that they were made by an opponent that is not a SFS member but I know of one SFS member that has publicly said the landowners were bribed into supporting the project. The only real ethics error made by the commissioners was filing the wrong forms. The commissioners were accused of ethics violations simply for not siding with SFS. The zoning board took into account everything they had read on turbines and several commissioners and zoning board members took it upon themselves to visit turbines as a basis for opinion. If you see a lie then by all means point it out. By your comment can we assume that SFS is paying one person to put comments up on here? Judging by how hard SFS has striven to be significant I wouldn't put it past them and as there petition signatures have dropped from over 1000 (as reported by Monheiser) in a few months to 200-400 as reported by Kagen at the press conference it might be prudent for SFS to hire a PR rep. My advice is fire them and find someone who can make a better argument.

Anonymous said...

5:12 Your hypocrisy astounds me. While griping about all opposition being labeled SFS you lump all proponents as Pioneer Green and then say that every proponent on here must be a PG spokesmen.

Anonymous said...

Analise the writing 5:12, it's easy to see the differences in style from anti windmill folks. On the other hand all PG comments sound like legal mumbo jumbo, they are all the same old read this study, read that study garbage.

Anonymous said...

Seems to me like SFS is making a pretty good argument 5:41. It would seem that it is PG that is having trouble convincing folks that windmills are the best thing since the invention of the wheel. Frankly it's only common sense that life will go on without the windmills, the rich will get richer, the poor will get poorer and that is the way it has been since time began. Windmills are not going to make any difference in lifestyle for locals and you know that. I wish you would realize that you will never change the minds of those that do not want windmills in our community for many and various reasons. Your studies mean nothing.

Anonymous said...

9:10 I am sorry if the facts confuse you. Yes the proponent comments tend to lean on studies and facts whereas the opposition comments tend to rely on hearsay, baseless accusations and fantasy. 10:10 Have they even made an argument yet? You are of course right, if you wish to form an opinion based on zero facts that is your right. However when we are talking about property rights, business and 2.9 million in county revenues as well as substantial income for participating farmers these decisions should be made on facts which involves studies and legalities. If you think millions in county and local revenues would not make an effect in this county then you are sadly ignoring basic logic. I am not PG and I have no desire to change your mind but you must realize that your desires and wants have no bearing on my property and my decisions for my property. As far as PG convincing folks it would seem they are doing a fairly good job as SFS by their own admission has lost a large body of support as at least 600 people by their count have removed their names from their petition. 5:41 probably gave good advice when they said SFS should fire the PR guy they must have responding to these blogs and find a new one.

Anonymous said...

To 2/22, 2:04p

You asked for the members of the Ethics Commission... Here they are:

They meet in the same Room 111 that the County Commissioners use.

You can most likely reach them at the CC's # or the CC's e-mail posted on the Somerset County Website. The Minutes of the Dec 10, 2014 meeting is posted there as well. The Ethics Ordinance 1036 is available for anyone's review on the SFS website.

Piet DeWitt - Chairman
Ernie Satchell
Clarence Johnson
Joe Howard
Elmer Barkley

Anonymous said...

The good ole boy network may be unraveling. Scott Tawes and many of his "partners" are being exposed for their unethical deeds. These "partners" are in the spider web that we ordinary folk know as Somerset County politicians.

Anonymous said...

@10:10 It hardly seems to me PG has spent much effort getting its message out yet. Believe what you will PG is paying no one to do any public relations yet. Aside from a few letters to papers and a few mailings to blogs they have done nothing. SFS on the other hand has spent tens of thousands of dollars. Just look at the propaganda forum. Billboards, mailers, large adds in several papers, a plane to emphasize the 690' lie, rent of the civic center easily well over ten grand and you got about 150 people. Most of them looking for free food! Please keep up the good work SFS! I do greatly appreciate your rare display of honesty when you state your desire for Somerset to continue its decline. I disagree with its inevitability, just look at Garrett County it used to wrestle with Somerset for bottom of the barrel. Guess what played a large part in the turn around! Wind Energy! I certainly know I'm not going to change the minds of SFS, the Elites just don't care about Somerset's poverty in fact I think many of them enjoy seeing the poverty, they send their kids to Holly Grove and stay on their estates. The half wits will always be terrified of any change and are greatly enjoying rubbing elbows with the elites who normally would have nothing to do with them. The people consumed with jealousy will always be their miserable selves, as disgusting as they are I can't help feeling sorry for them. I, and believe what you will several others, take are time to correct your lies so that reasonable people who want to see Somerset better than what it is have access to honest studies and truth.

Anonymous said...

Beware Folks Pioneer Green's new plan is to litter Somerset with scores of wind turbines that are below the Navy's height restrictions. That means the Navy will not be stopping it this time. Residents need to speak loudly to stop the destruction of Somerset!!!

Anonymous said...

7:59 Pioneer has plans to put out one turbine below 500ft and 25+ turbines at 590ft. They have stated this. Do you have anything to contradict this or are you spewing hysterical, false rhetoric. As for the destruction of Somerset, poor economics and lack of revenue will destroy it not wind turbines.

Anonymous said...

I really really hope some of the commissioners are following this discussion so they can see what SFS says about them and the people they appoint. What the commissioners should do is what they should have done years ago. Hold a public hearing on the first proposed ordinance and pass it!!! Somerset is by far the poorest County in Md. and one of the poorest in the Country. It has a poverty rate just below 30%. It desperately needs investment. It will never find a better deal than what GB offers. The overwhelming scientific consensus (and this subject is very well researched) is that turbines are safe, they do NOT negatively affect property values, they do NOT cause electric rates to go up, they do NOT hurt tourism. It is also proven, again with scientific studies they contribute large amounts of much needed tax revenue and stimulate economic growth. Yes a few birds will be killed but no more than cell and radio towers kill. Yes a few people find them unattractive but polls show most people find them attractive and support wind energy. The only reason the commissioners haven't passed a ordinance is because they thought they could pacify a small group of opposition. They were wrong, these people are fanatics you can't pacify fanatics!!! Even if they foolishly passed an ordinance that zoned out wind energy does anyone think this would not embolden the fanatics. They would simply start protesting something else. Think not? Watch the WBOC tape on the SFS news conference. At the end a SFS fanatic states he wants the commissioners to stop all "bad" ideas in the future. SFS has been challenged repeatedly to state what they would support the answer is nothing. They much prefer to see Somerset continue its slide into deeper poverty. The good news is while the elites (and possibly the fossil fuel industry) make sure SFS is well funded they are still a very small group of people. Yes they make a lot of noise but just look at the number of likes on their facebook page. 165!!! The commissioners seem scared of them but why? A good example of their strength is the last election, they endorsed three candidates and all three lost. In my humble opinion two of them would have won if they had not reached out to SFS. The commissioners and the zoning board have repeatedly bent over backwards trying to appease these fanatics its long past time for the commissioners to grow a pair and stand up to them so Somerset can move forward!

E. J. Monheiser said...

This comment is to all of those who called SFS "Elitists"

Four of Somerset's "Elite" started SFS in 2011 in order to give ALL the residents a say in what was happing to their county. Three of those four live in older mobile homes, and the fourth lives in a older home on her farm... she and her husband are poultry farmers like a lot of Somerset's farm families and has lived in this county for generations. Most of our members are like us .... hard-working average people, including a number of small farmers and many retired residents, all with modest incomes. We have had a few new members lately that own historic sites and are worried that they will lose their historic significance if these turbines are allowed in the county. We are all simply trying to hold on to what we love about this county. The beautiful wildlife, the country lifestyle, and the enjoyment of just sitting in the backyard looking at the trees, flowers and birds, with the sounds of occasional days of plowing, sowing, manure-spreading or the moving of chickens to and from their destinations.

We only want to have the right to use our property as we see fit, just as you do.

If these industrial turbines are allowed to be placed 1,000 ft from our homes and create noise, shadow flicker and low-frequency sound that will change our life here forever, we will lose our right to the use of our property as we see fit, while you will not.

Let's make a compromise. First, make any measurements performed be FROM or TO a PROPERTY LINE so each of us has the right to USE OUR PROPERTY AS WE SEE FIT. Then, determine the current ambient sound level for this county, especially those at night. Change the Wind Ordinance accordingly. Increase the setbacks so that the new noise standards to be met can be accomplished by those turbines selected. Create a Noise Ordinance for this county as the State allows us to do. Get proof from the developers that they can adhere to these new noise and setback standards. Move forward.

You have the right to use your property as you see fit, and we have the right to use our property as we see fit. Quid Pro Quo

Anonymous said...

8:57 The current proposed ordinance did change the setbacks from a house foundation to the property line. SFS has fought that ordinance vigorously. Secondly the state already has noise guidelines in place that were in place when you bought your property. Pioneer will have to abide by these state guidelines and has planned to do so. Any noise ordinance passed should apply to the whole county not select businesses and bear in mind right to farm is being challenged so a new county noise ordinance may someday apply to agriculture. Could agriculture ever survive under the 40dBa limit requested by SFS? Of course not. SFS claims to not be anti-agriculture but the restrictions they request would kill agriculture if right to farm was ever overturn. Two ordinances have now been handed to the commissioners. In fairness to a business that has waited 5 years for a ordinance the commissioners need to pass one of the ordinances before them. The 40 or 45dbA limits requested by SFS are completely unrealistic in an Ag community and once again the state already has sound restrictions in place and Great Bay says they planned to meet those restrictions and stay 5 dbA under them at 50dbA at the property line.

Anonymous said...

The land in question is zoned agriculture/residental. The ordinance changes the definition to allow giant industrial wind turbines. People bought property, improved property and built houses with the understanding that the area would be what the zoning ordinances required. To change this land to what is esentially industrial zoning is improper without agreement from the vast majority of residents is wrong.

Anonymous said...

8:54,9:10, you just provided a whole bunch of your opinions without and facts, just what you accuse SFS of doing. Your assessment of the last election is laughable. Do you have some super natural power to make such outrageous comments?

Another thing that you constantly overlook is the fact that chicken house noise, tractor noise, etc is temporary. The windmill noise is constant and that makes a big big difference. I don't expect you to agree but facts are facts.

Anonymous said...

The area in question has a landfill, a construction facility that prefabs poultry houses, a vegetable canning operation, a commercial fence business, numerous grain bins throughout the area all of which produce much higher levels of sound including infrasound than turbines and most of all it has poultry houses again all produce more sound than a turbine plus they stink. Most if not all of these were in place when you bought your home. Agricultural/Residential has always been a place for light industry and small business. I'm pretty sure the vast majority of turbines in this country are built in places with similar zoning classification. You state "giant" turbines this is the same old SFS misinformation. The proposed ordinance that SFS is fighting limits turbines to 575'. GB is happy with that SFS is fighting it! To put that into perspective the WOLC radio tower is 529' with houses and a public road less than the height from the road. Still E. J. Monheiser makes a very interesting proposal and I commend her for it!!!The question I have is exactly what does she mean by current ambient noise. Most of the proposed sites are in very remote areas so does she mean the sound there or at the property line of the proposed site. Let me propose this. Lets measure current ambient sound at the property line of the poultry farm owned by the SFS founder and leader with all fans and backup generators running. Make that the limit for the property line where the turbines will be located. What could be more fair? The neighbors of the turbines would have to endure not one bit more noise than the neighbors of SFS! Actually its more than fair because I wouldn't expect you to agree to the sound level of when chickens are being moved and a fire fan is running. I can't speak for GB but I'm pretty sure they would agree to it and I as a landowner certainly would. If SFS agrees to it lets all go to the commissioners with it and I'm sure they will pass it. I'll buy every SFS member a beer at Peakys afterward!

Anonymous said...

just another way for big companies to make money ...fat cats hoping people in a poor county wont object to lowering our property values by propping up towering eyesores. Perfect place i'm sure they thought, county government juuuust small enough to not catch a ton of attention. Why dont they put these things in Baltimore county where there is a larger need for electricity supply? Leave somerset county the way it is!

Anonymous said...

@10:03 I'm 8:54 I can't speak for 9:10. What have I presented in my post that has not been proven with excellent references in this thread? I didn't feel it was necessary to cite the same references over again however if you doubt any point I made please state it and I will be glad to provide references to back it up. My assessment of the last election is as I stated my humble opinion, take it as you will. Chicken house noise is temporary? I guess when the chickens go out but even then you have bobcats and trucks running around. By that standard turbine noise is temporary. Even when they are running background noise is often higher. Doubt this? Go to Lewis, you can get 800' from a turbine, and sit and listen. Every time a boat starts in the harbor across the street it drowns out the turbine. Every time a car or truck goes by it drowns out the turbine. If the wind is right the coolers from Lewis Dairy will drown out the turbine. While your sitting there talk to people that come by (its a popular jogging area) and ask them if they find the noise annoying. And yes I definitely agree facts are facts!

Anonymous said...

@10:31 Do you object to companies making money? Seems great to me! A company comes in and sees a need which is an overloaded electric line coming from Indian River. Something that causes all of us to pay a premium for electric. They present a plan which makes them money, makes many landowners money, provides millions in tax revenue and contrary to your uninformed opinion has dozens of good scientific studies proving it doesn't hurt property values. But no you would prefer to keep Somerset like it is. BROKE!!!

Anonymous said...

@8:25 The 25 turbines GB is proposing are less than 575' not 590'

Lois Collins said...

Pathetic thread. Anonymous......great way to attack people. No turbines!! YES, I have investigated for myself. Can't rely on anonymous to tell me anything credible.

I remember SEA, Somerset Environmental Association back in 1991-92. Wanted Landfill access for NY and NJ trash and wanted to build methane plant...hah..see how that turned out!!!

Anonymous said...

How many times did it take him to pass the bar exam, too many. The Simpkins have been running the county for to long.

Anonymous said...

They do not care about the safety of their citizens. Money hungry greed.

Anonymous said...

She is not for windmills her brother in-law is how is that a conflict.

Anonymous said...

Been going on for years.

Anonymous said...

You got it.

Anonymous said...

Yes.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you are corrupt.

Anonymous said...

SFS is concerned about the citizens safety and health, the county commissioners are not. Thank you SFS.

Anonymous said...

You are out of touch, you have blinders on. Or maybe your pockets are being filled.

Anonymous said...

Yes

Anonymous said...

Your the one who is lying.

Anonymous said...

Good thing the citizens caught that and stopped it. Wouldn't want new York and new jersey trash here.

Anonymous said...

Its very clear that SFS is concerned about safety and health while the others are about money.

Anonymous said...

Pioneer Green spokesman was allowed to interrupt and talk when the others were told they could not speak, over and over.

Anonymous said...

Hand signals were made by PG salesman to certain P&Z member.

Anonymous said...

Simpkins has been running the county to long??? who are you kidding he couldn't beat Elmore in the election, what county strong arm is that.

Anonymous said...

SFS keeps bringing up money and how dare a company in Somerset try to turn a profit and how dare farmers lease their land. Maybe there is some credibility to the prior claim that SFS was founded partially due to jealousy.

Anonymous said...

The zoning commission allowed two Professors who were members of SFS to put on presentations after the public comment period was over and you are going to complain that a PG rep according to you made "hand signals"???

Anonymous said...

12:00 If it is a conflict of interest then what difference is it what side she is on? You are admitting that SFS is using this to try to bully officials that do not agree with them?

Anonymous said...

If you have evidence of corruption then bring it to daylight. If you see a lie then point it out. This is almost comical if its the best you guys can do.

Anonymous said...

I am 9:10 and I am trying to figure out what you need a source for? Most of what that post was is Maryland Law....easily confirmed. The new proposed ordinance is listed on the SFS website. If the comment "SFS has fought the new ordinance vigorously" is in any way incorrect then I encourage SFS to come out in public support of the new ordinance. The comment that a 40 something dbA restriction would kill agriculture if right to farm was overturned is common sense. What piece of industrial farm equipment operates at less than 40dbA? Whatever else you have trouble with in that paragraph just ask and I will gladly give a reference but I thought it was pretty simple stuff.

Anonymous said...

AMEN to that

Fred Hill said...

I'm not going to address the fact that wind power isn't nearly as reliable or efficient as solar; or placing a wind farm in the migratory bird flight path will kill waterfowl as well as Bald Eagles, Osprey & bats; or effect real estate values negatively; or effect our health; or create jobs (laughable); or the Navy is against it; or wind farms are failing all over the country despite government subsidies; or the contractor will take the money and run; I want to address who is going to pay for the maintenance of these monsters?? Our "broke" county? I haven't seen anyone address this. Maintenance is a HUGE and expensive factor when it comes to wind and if you don't maintain them, they will fail and will be monuments to yet another example of a bankrupt "renewable" project.

Anonymous said...

Well I guess the grand compromise fell through and my guess is Monheiser is in the SFS doghouse! Wonder how long it took for the fanatics to explain to her that her proposed compromise was less than the proposed ordinance gave them!

Anonymous said...

I can't even build a house on some of the land that I own so I don't want to hear PG talking about landowners rights. We don't have any rights anymore, we are all at the mercy of the government and what they want us to do with our land. Again, I have land close to the windmill location and am not allowed to build a home on it to live in so forget being able to do what you want with your own property.

Anonymous said...

All you people that have posted about how you don't care about what reputable scientific studies say about this issue would you please, as a matter of disclosure, tell this to the commissioners when you testify or when you write letters could you include that. I just think its fair to let people know when you insist on stating your opinion that your opinion is an ignorant uninformed one that is based solely on emotions, usually jealousy or fear of change.

Anonymous said...

PROPERTY VALUES

Gimme a break folks! Having turbines hundreds of feet tall will lower the property values of houses in the entire county. Phase One is a nightmare for anyone living on or near 413. Just imagine the *curb appeal* a prospective buyer will get driving by all of those turbines.
The stark reality is that we will be living in wind-farm. Betcha folks will be beatin down my door to buy once the open field and tree line is replaced with the two absolutely oppressive (hundreds of feet tall remember) turbines across the road. Its hard enough to sell in Somerset County as it is but, if they build it (turbines) they (buyers) won't come.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Hill could you cite source that shows real estate values will be negatively affected or that their will be a negative effect on health? Reputable studies have been cited above that say different.Could you provide a list of these wind farms that are failing or how about an example where the contractor took the money and ran? As for your concern about maintenance the Great Bay turbines will be privately built, financed,owned and maintained no Government money is involved.

Anonymous said...

2:53 Since you wont address all those items that have mostly already been contradicted with reputable sources, let me simply point out that the maintenance is the duty of the owners and county liability has been addressed through bonding. BTW you say wind is failing but according to the US Energy Admin. wind capacity has doubled in the last few years. You also mention subsidies and I assume you mean tax credits. You may have missed it on the news but the PTC has expired and unless it is renewed new wind projects will probably become the least subsidized forms of energy available and yet Pioneer has kept this project alive pending DoD approval at the end of this year. As you don't wish to address health, bird kills or real estate values I will not bore you by citing all the available work that indicates this project would not be a factor, and since you don't want to talk jobs or the economy I will not bring up the study done by the Jacobs France Institute which showed how many millions this project would bring into the county. I will just leave it at maintenance is the owners responsibility and bonding is in place to protect the county. In fact while there are old nuclear plants and nuclear fuel which must be stored for thousands of years at taxpayer expense and there are old fossil fuel power plants left to the elements you do not see many old wind turbines left to rot in the US, probably as they are almost entirely of metal and as such even after decommissioning retain value making it unwise to abandon them.

Anonymous said...

@3:34 Again! Reputable studies have been provided on this thread that show property values will NOT be negatively affected. Do you need to see more? Can you cite any studies that say different or is this just another uninformed opinion?

Anonymous said...

3:34 Numerous studies have shown different. If it would set your mind at ease visit Lewes. After having a 400ft turbine installed a few years later a very nice development was built 1800ft away. However if business and revenues are not brought in then the county will continue to decline and you property values will likewise continue to decline. I think studies on real estate values have been posted on this blog before but if you want just ask and I am sure someone will be glad to re-post them.

JoeAlbero said...

I just have to chime in here.

I keep seeing people say, numerous studies find, numerous experts say, BLAH, BLAH, BLAH!

Some of you people are so full of crap it makes me sick.

You want to cite studies and or quotes, give links for PROOF.

Until then, every single comment up here is a complete lie when it comes to such suggestions. Do NOT believe a single one of them on EITHER side.

Anonymous said...

Amen Joe!!! I have been naming studies that I cite. Do you allow Links to be used. When I have provided links my post has not gone up. I would gladly provide a link for every study I cite.

Anonymous said...

Joe I thought you wouldn't allow links on your site? It is your site and your rules but pending clarification on that I would be glad to offer source citation. Someone earlier mentioned bird kills and this is refuted by articles in the Journal of Raptor Research (2013), The Journal of Applied Ecology (2008), and The Journal of Applied Ecology (2011). I could list a few more and give specific citations if anyone cares to read. I would also point out that scientific journals generally require a subscription or purchase so it is hard to provide a link but anyone can feel free to go to the library and look them up.

Anonymous said...

The Jacobs France study on economic benefit has a link on the Great Bay page under the subtitle economic benefit under Resources.

Anonymous said...

Here are four excellent studies on wind turbines and property values. If anyone would like to see more just ask. Atkinson-Palombo, C.; Hoen, B. (2014). Relationship between Wind Turbines and Residential Property Values in Massachusetts. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
This study provides siting process stakeholders with additional information from which to work. The report builds on Berkeley Lab’s previous studies published in 2009 and 2013 by amassing a much larger dataset of home sales near wind facilities sited in urban environments than had previously been collected.

Hinman, J.L. (2010). Wind Farm Proximity and Property Values: A Pooled Hedonic Regression Analysis of Property Values in Central Illinois. Illinois State University.
The study examined whether proximity to the 240-turbine Twin Groves Wind Farm (Phases I and II) in Illinois impacted nearby residential property values and whether any impact on nearby property values changes over the different stages of wind farm development. This study used 3,851 residential property transactions.

Hoen, B.; Brown, J.P.; Jackson, T.; Wiser, R.; Thayer, M.; Cappers, P. (2013). A Spatial Hedonic Analysis of the Effects of Wind Energy Facilities on Surrounding Property Values in the United States. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
This report builds on a 2009 study that also investigated impacts on home values near wind facilities. The researchers analyzed more than 50,000 home sales near 67 wind facilities in 27 counties across nine states and did not find any statistically identifiable impacts of wind facilities to nearby home property values.

Hoen, B.; Wiser, R.H.; Cappers, P.; Thayer, M.; Sethi, G. (2009). The Impact of Wind Power Projects on Residential Property Values in the United States: A Multi-Site Hedonic Analysis. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
The researchers collected data on almost 7,500 sales of single family homes within 10 miles of 24 wind facilities in nine state

Anonymous said...

Here is a study about the economic effect the Great Bay project will have on Somerset “Economic Impact of Wind Generation Project in Somerset County” Kenneth R Stanton, Ph. D., University of Baltimore, Jacob France Institute

Anonymous said...

Here are a couple good Literature reviews on Health. One has been mentioned several times above “Wind Turbine Health Impact Study: Report of Independent Expert Panel,” Ellenbogen et al (2012), Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, Massachusetts Department of Public Health
“The Real Truth About Wind Energy: A Literature Introduction to Wind Turbines in Ontario,” Sierra Club Canada These are very comprehensive and cover noise,ice throw, electromagnetic etc

Anonymous said...

Here are some resources regarding subsidies “Estimating U.S. Government Subsidies to Energy Sources: 2002-2008,” Environmental Law Institute. Sept 2009
“Renewable Energy R&D Funding History: A Comparison with Funding for Nuclear Energy, Fossil Energy, and Energy Efficiency R&D,” Congressional Research Service, Fred Sissine, March 7, 2012.

Anonymous said...

Here are a couple of good publications from the DOE “Wind Energy Myths,” U.S. Department of Energy
“Wind Energy Benefits,” U.S. Department of Energy

Anonymous said...

A good study on bird kills “A Summary and Comparison of Bird Mortality from Anthropogenic Causes with an Emphasis on Collisions,” Erickson et al (2005), USDA Forest Service Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-191.

Anonymous said...

This is a excellent reference that shows how loud a turbine is from various distances. “How Loud is a Wind Turbine,” GE Global Research

Anonymous said...

@4:27 A meaningless piece of propaganda bought and paid for by Pioneer Green.

Anonymous said...

As to the Hoen study financed by the U.S Taxpayer through the Livermore Lab ( run by consultant to the U.S. Department of Energy) they conveniently left off the properties that could not be sold which were generally ones closest to the industrial wind turbines. Read commentary by nationally recognized real estate appraiser Michael McCann which shows step by step the prejudice of this Livermore study. see www.windaction.org for the McCann commentary and independent studies not chosen by the wind industry.

What idiot believes that 500 foot high spinning wind turbines close to residential areas will not affect real estate values ? If it is some of you -- I have some nice Florida swamp land I would like to sell you--great water view from your house on stilts.

Anonymous said...

As to the Hoen study financed by the U.S Taxpayer through the Livermore Lab ( run by consultant to the U.S. Department of Energy) they conveniently left off the properties that could not be sold which were generally ones closest to the industrial wind turbines. Read commentary by nationally recognized real estate appraiser Michael McCann which shows step by step the prejudice of this Livermore study. see www.windaction.org for the McCann commentary and independent studies not chosen by the wind industry.

What idiot believes that 500 foot high spinning wind turbines close to residential areas will not affect real estate values ? If it is some of you -- I have some nice Florida swamp land I would like to sell you--great water view from your house on stilts.

Anonymous said...

@4:54 I guess you don't want to share why you feel that way? Is there some flaw in this study you could point out?Could you cite your credentials and why we should trust you to know better than Kenneth R Stanton, Ph. D., University of Baltimore, Jacob France Institute. Joe challenged us to cite our references could you cite any that contradict this study? Is this just another meaningless uninformed opinion from SFS?

Anonymous said...

Well, Joe just posted something that said that a private property owner in Ocean City was denied permission to build a wind mill on his own property. So much for PG's argument that a property owner should be able to do what he wants with his property.

I've always said that no one can do what they want with their property because you have to get the governments blessings to do anything now days. Just because farmers want to build windmills doesn't mean they have a right to do so, especially if it affects the entire community.

Anonymous said...

4:54 The Jacobs France Institute is a very prestigious institute, can you offer anything to contradict this study?

Anonymous said...

PG is obviously the only one with all the above study information the is pro windmill. No farmer or average citizen is going to have all that information at there fingertips. Joe suggested study links at 3:57 and eight minutes later 12 studies go up. My point is PG has been commenting since this post went up but denying. If they mislead us about that what else are they misleading us about. I'd like to know who paid for the above studies before I waste time reading them. If it was PG, they are meaning less.

Anonymous said...

Another 200 plus post, the weather is not the only thing breaking records these days.

Anonymous said...

Joe issued a challenge to cite studies that support our point of view about an hour and a half ago. Funny thing is I haven't seen any from SFS. Let me help them out. This literature review “Wind Turbine Health Impact Study: Report of Independent Expert Panel,” Ellenbogen et al (2012), Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, Massachusetts Department of Public Health reviews all studies both for and against, peer reviewed and non peer reviewed. SFS has on occasion mentioned Dr.Salt's work it is reviewed in here. SFS won't mention it because after reviewing all literature regarding turbines this panel of experts declared their was no evidence to support health concerns.

Anonymous said...

Someone posted a quote by Warren Buffet. Here is a good column about one of his businesses and what they have to say about wind energy. It is by Jonathan M. Weisgall and is titled "A company’s perspective on why wind energy matters" If you goggle the title and author it should come up. It lists five reasons they support wind energy.

Anonymous said...

@5:29 I was not aware that it was prestigious. I do not have the finances of a rich Texas syndicate to finance a counter. It is obvious that you can buy the results you want, especially when you feed them the data.

annoymous said...

Been going on for years between somerset lawyers.

Anonymous said...

REAL ESTATE STUDIES

Blah, blah, blah. What are you gonna buy, a house surrounded by turbines or a house without the noise, eyesore, etc.?

BTW, unless these studies are in small-area flatlandia (Somerset County) they will tell us nothing.

People in Texas and Kansas like turbines? Great. Somerset County does not have the land mass to make a decent village in either of those relatively huge states. Not to mention the far greater population density.

Why is the argumentation so convoluted? Studies are bought and paid for and will *prove* whatever the buyer wishes. These things are going to change the County full stop. We live in a rural area and the turbines are industrial but, without the jobs. Put a factory across the street that employs a couple of hundred souls and I can sell to one of them but really how many people does it take to *maintain* these monstrosities? It takes a couple to pick up the carrion and one trained person to do light work, the real skill will fly in when necessary.
As for construction, if you think that anything other than a pre-fab crew will arrive then you have not paid attention to any construction projects occurring in the past decade.

Remember Obama's shovel ready jobs? They did some projects in Somerset County. How many jobs were created and more importantly, how long did thy last?

Get real.

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