Monday, June 10, 2013

Little Enough, or will even that be too much?

Pretty significant day today for the Town.  

Joint Board meeting with Health and Selectmen on the turbines scheduled for high noon.  Where is Gary Cooper when you need him (not to mention Grace Kelly)?

Then there is the continued hearing on the election at the Superior Court at 2 P.M.

I had originally thought about attempting to observe both, however a scheduling problem will make the Superior Court hearing impossible to make.  Not the end of the world.  I did want to attend in the hopes that perhaps by listening to the arguments I could get a better understanding of the intended end game.

I will be there for showdown at 12:00 however.  Lots of potential for high drama.  Will there be a full cast?  Is there even legally a full cast?  Does an incumbent not "re-elected" continue to sit until succeeded?

Present status is the vote tally in the Bd of H race right now has been ruled a tie.  It doesn't matter anymore who was sworn in when, where and how.  Unless there is another court ruling, there was no winner. So, where are we at this point?  

What can be done at today's meeting?  What will be done? Who will be there to do it?

Your guess is as good as mine, and has as much chance of being the right guess too.  

Only thing for certain at this point is the Town is pretty much guaranteed a prominent spot in tomorrow's newspaper.

Can the Selectmen do anything today?  On any given day a board can do exactly what it pleases.  Whether what is does will be legally correct is another story.  More harm than good can come from a legal misstep.  I assume they board will be so counseled and I assume it will proceed accordingly.

What it can do is follow the provisions within the contract relative to non-compliance.  Get that ball rolling.  Take the steps you can take.  Do what you can do. Put your toes right against the line in the sand, but don't cross it at this point.  

Guessing the endgame for that Board, that would be the smartest move.  Start the wheel in motion.  Force the other side to live up to the bargain.  Just make sure you don't cross that legal line.  

What can the Board of Health do?

Again your guess is as good as mine.

Enough for today.  Be safe.


  1. I've said it before, and I will say it again. A shut-down of the turbines based on the current PRELIMINARY test data is not a feasible option. Doing so would set a terrible precedent, as it would be regulatory action way outside the norm.

    If Windwise had their way, and the turbines were shut down at night (regardless of wind speed or direction)how would this affect other regulation of nuisances? Should ALL sources of nuisance be shut down if found to be "out of compliance"?

    If so, theres at least one industry in Town who routinely is out of compliance with standards. Mitigation seems to be an okay response in that case, or at least these shut-it-down-at-all-cost folks are ignoring it.

    From a legal or regulatory standpoint, aren't these other industries and the turbines the same thing when speaking of nuisances?

    1. Michelle FurtadoMonday, June 10, 2013

      I'm not a member of Windwise, nor do I live in the vicinity of the turbines. I've stated before that I find the turbines unattractive to look at not just because of their overwhelming size, but because of what they stand for- a town divided.
      That being said, I have two questions, and I'm asking nicely, exactly what kind of testing needs to be done in order to satisfy BOTH parties that the turbines ARE in compliance? And especially, why shouldn't everyone, not just Windwise members, have the right to expect compliance at all times?
      It seems that first the residents were told to, "Wait for the result of the testing." But now they're told the 'right kind' of testing wasn't done. If the results of this testing showed 100% compliance, would it still have not been the right kind of testing?
      To anyone who opposes shutting them down at any time, what can be done for those neighbors? Can the turbines at least be programmed to shut down when wind speeds and direction produce noncompliant effects?

    2. Michelle, the "kind of testing" that would need to be done would be more 1) widespread in geograph (including WITHIN homes) 2) increased sampling population , and 3) frequency of sampling in both time of day and wind conditions.

      The BOH could most definitely have required them to present a mitigation plan that included what I just mentioned. It would build a larger set of data that could be beneficial to scientists, policy makers and citizens. It's crazy to me that nobody really has seemed to push for that.

      If the data showed there is an issue with turbines in residential settings, the anti-turbine people would cheer. If it turned out the other way, I'm sure the same people would cry foul. I'm pretty sure about one thing however... The wind industry would probably NOT want to do more testing, no matter which way it turned out.

      What the BOH just did was take an explicitly stated INTERIM report, and made a decision without logic. There is data that shows there is a potential issue without question, but in very, very specific conditions. Yet the BOH decides to shut them down "at night" regardless of the wind speed or direction. In my opinion, that's a very weak response. The record of the Board of Health kind of shows that they have not and do not make similar judgements and decisions with other nuisance issues.

      If the goal of the BOH was to "heal" the Town, then well, that's a whole different issue. Not sure it's really up to them to do that, it's not the Board of Healing...

      Now, regarding 100% compliance, I'm pretty sure that isn't even remotely the norm. That's why following a violation of a strictly a nuisance condition (odors, sound, dust, etc.), the primary track to return to complaince is mitigation. Mitigation, not cessation. Can't really mitigate for conditions when you cannot operate the industry... The people who argue for shut-downs really have no idea how the regulatory system works.

    3. Michelle FurtadoMonday, June 10, 2013

      While the BOH vote was being cheered today, I didn't think it addressed the argument of Windwise. If the argument was to address noncompliance, then today's action missed the mark.
      What good is having a good night's sleep, when the turbines could possibly be 'out of compliance' all day long?
      Listening to a speaker today, and realizing how long it could take to re-test in the 'same' conditions, seems like a very long process in itself.
      Thank you for your thorough answers. I see it's not a black and white situation.

  2. First . The court hearing for the election may be at 9 AM this morning unless it was changed

    Second - The Board of Health through the open meeting process will hand over the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection interim noise study report to the Fairhaven Select Board at noon today.

    The Mass DEP report is 153 pages long. The Select Board will receive the information and a discussion will follow. The study is dated May 21,2013 and has been posted by the state since that date at this link:

    1. Thanks for the heads up about the time of the hearing in court. I had 2:00 for some reason. Will confirm. Still makes it tough for me but may make a difference for others. Also, thanks for the link.

  3. Michelle FurtadoMonday, June 10, 2013

    Good start today.

    "Fairhaven United?" Maybe for now we ought to just hope for "Fairhaven on the Mend" and see where it goes from there.

  4. Lets get real people,Fairhaven on the mend is a little farfetched. 90% of the people could care less if the turbines stay or go.If you tell them there taxes will be affected because of the revenue loss,a pollution spewing power plant will replace the energy ,they will happily vote for the continued revolution s of the windmills.Some anti-wind people who smoke are barking up the wrong tree when talking about the health hazards of wind.

  5. Michelle FurtadoMonday, June 10, 2013

    I think your "90%" is high, but if it's an accurate number, you have to admit, that 10% of the opposite-minded people got something significant done.
    I agree with your last statement but as far as the rest, I don't believe 90% of the population can be bought. If that was true, we'd be in even more trouble by now.

  6. Do you really think that 1400 residents of fairhaven have been fighting to shutdown the windmills. If it were true we might have a better perspective of the pros an cons of problems with the turbines..

  7. Michelle FurtadoWednesday, June 12, 2013

    No, I don't think 1400 residents have been fighting to shut down the turbines. I took the 10% figure from your premise that "90% of the people could care less..." I did make an error in my thinking. Maybe the 10% is split between those who 'definitely want them' and those who 'definitely don't.' If that's true, then less than 10% of the people got something significant done. That's even more impressive, actually.

  8. Or maybe 3% for 3% against 3% undecided 1% dont even know we have wind power.We can discuss numbers all day but wind power is here to stay unless the government ban them.As of now they give tax credits to anyone who invest in them,homeowners,companies,muni. Hope we all get the clear picture of what is really going on...


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