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Vol. 112 - Issue 1, Wednesday, September 15, 2010
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Vol.6 No.51 - 7/6/1872
Vol.17 No.2 - 7/15/1882
Courtesy of the New York State Historical Association Library, Cooperstown, N.Y (.PDF files)
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Mercury Media Group
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Opinion


Letter to the editor

Let’s all work together on energy

The letter published in the Jan. 24 issue of the Mercury, signed by Vladimir von Taurikov, was not the whole story regarding the planned Jordanville Wind project.

To set the record straight, the Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville was initially in favor of the wind project and signed a voluntary agreement to foster the siting of turbines on its land. It was only after disagreement within the Monastery that they have begun to claim impacts from the proposed project.

Subsequently, the turbines planned for the monastery were removed resulting in a buffer of 1 mile and reducing any potential impact. Additionally, there are clear examples of wind turbines coexisting with schools, ski operations and working farms. In fact, an Eastern Orthodox monastery in Greece recently announced its intention to “partner” with a construction firm to build 70-85 turbines.

And recent grant funding by the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative is allowing a monastery near Boston to complete design and start construction on a large scale wind turbine. Maybe the Holy Trinity Monastery should be thinking about how it can reduce its carbon footprint and go green, including installing a wind turbine.

So does the monastery actually need “saving” as the Preservation League of New York State has suggested? Is it really threatened by renewable energy more than these other religious institutions that are embracing it? With this wind project, the monastery is being saved along with our landscapes and ag lands.

I think we all have to recognize and embrace change when it is change for the good of the world instead of trying to stop progress at the cost of economic stimulus in an area.

The Preservation League of New York State is not a body of New York State government, and their goals are dictated by the selected board with a very narrow view of what is beneficial for an area. In 2004, the league put the entire state on its “Seven-to-Save” list, declaring that careful siting was needed for wind energy projects.

This year, the league has added the Holey Trinity Monastery to its list in an attempt to stop the Jordanville Wind project. Might the Preservation League be moving away from pro-preservation to simply anti-progress?

Note that the towns of Warren and Stark applied the State Environmental Quality Review Process to carefully site turbines. Is it any wonder that the league acted in this manner when Otsego 2000, the group which funded the lawsuit against the Jordanville Wind project, is on the Board of Trustees of the Preservation League? I sense politics was a reason the monastery site was selected for the Preservation League’s list.

The monastery and Preservation League has embraced the Mohawk Valley Heritage Corridor Commission (MVHCC) as visionary. We hope that the commission has the vision to recognize the importance of wind energy domestically produced and used, and the heritage it will bring to the region in decades to come.

Wind energy is an even cleaner and more environmentally responsible technology than the industrial revolution that built the Mohawk Valley’s existing heritage, and should be respected as such.

The wind project is almost littered with careful siting practices and we trust that the commission will remain objective toward its mission of economic development for the area. If they are true visionaries, they will support the towns in their decisions, not by making decisions on their behalf.

This is not just about preserving 50-year-old buildings from a view of a wind farm, it is about economic prosperity; people don’t care if one person makes it or goes broke, it is about the broader spectrum of economic viability.

The wind project is well managed modernization. Let’s work together to recognize and embrace the positive changes for a community that has chosen to host a renewable energy project. The town boards will do the analysis, weigh the public input and make a sound decision based on Home Rule.

Shirley Mower
Jordanville

 


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