Saint Albans Messenger; December 27, 2016
I grew up in St. Albans, graduated from BFA, left to “find myself ” and eventually retired from a successful career in federal law enforcement. I now live an enjoyable, retired lifestyle in sunny San Diego, CA.
A big part of my day is reading the San Diego Union-Tribune and the St. Albans Messenger. It is really interesting to compare life and news in the big city with life in my beloved, pristine, rural Vermont. So I have decided to appoint myself (without acknowledgement or permission from anyone) as the official foreign correspondent for The Messenger. I will occasionally submit comparisons to prove that life is not always greener on the other side of the fence, regardless of which side you live on.
I have closely followed the ongoing debate regarding “the Swanton wind thing” (for lack of better terms). I am not an expert and don’t pretend to understand “decibels”, “environmental impact” or other technical terms, but I am an expert in common sense. I’m all for alternative energy sources and I installed solar power in my home at considerable expense. I don’t know whether it will be cost effective or not, but I do know that it does not offend my neighbors, it is not ugly, it does not make noise and it does not interrupt the landscape. On the infamous I-15 corridor between San Diego and Las Vegas there are miles and miles of flat, uninhabited desert where the wind blows with gale force most of the time. There are huge wind farms with thousands of turbines along that corridor and they seem to go on forever, but they don’t interrupt anything except miles of blowing sand. In the winter, we go camping in the desert and explore the area in Jeeps and off road vehicles. These forays usually involve a ride “to the turbines” where we stop for lunch, ogle those huge propellers, make comments about how big and noisy they are and then leave when the constant noise/humming gets too irritating.
I do not have a dog in your fight (the “Swanton wind thing”). I do not know anyone involved and I do not own land there, but if I did I would be creating total havoc if anyone tried to place a turbine or wind farm within sight of my property. Those turbines are noisy (regardless of what the decibel experts claim), they are BIG, they are ugly and they ruin the landscape. They are a hazard to wildlife and destroy natural beauty. If you want to build a wind farm, find a desolate, uninhabited, windy place and build to your heart’s content, but stay out of my back yard. The reason I keep returning to Vermont is for its pristine wilderness, beautiful landscape, uninterrupted views and the laid back, Vermonter lifestyle. Other than total clear cutting, nothing is uglier or more intrusive than those huge turbines.
Formerly of St. Albans