Hammond’s got balls! (New York)
Dec 29, 2010
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Hammond, NY. (Full disclosure. For decades, my family had a summer home in Hammond Township. Dark Island, in the Thousand Islands.) As I remember, Hammond was one of the deadest towns this side of Montana. Right up there with those almost-ghost towns in the Sand Hills of Nebraska.
What passes for “downtown” is a half dozen houses, wornout Presbyterian church, feed store, and two or three derelict storefronts. When I lived there the only traffic light was blinking—on a county road you could safely sit (literally) on when you were stupid and seventeen, and swill a six-pack with a buddy while enjoying the crickets of a warm summer evening.
Such was the town I knew.
Last night this bullshit town (don’t get me wrong; I adore the place) electrocuted energy giant Iberdrola. Right in its testicles.
Testicles, really? Spain’s smug steroid-bloated Wind Bull—the ballsiest of the ballsy.
Yeah, well, last night one crappy little upstate NY town fried the bull’s machismos. Both of ’em.
How? Want the short answer? Brilliantly! Hammond’s wind committee overwhelmingly voted (9 to 1) to insist the town’s wind law must include a Residential Property Value Guarantee Agreement (RPVG). (The only member to vote “nay” was, unsurprisingly, a dead-ender with a lease. You couldn’t make this stuff up!)
Flexing its testosterone a couple weeks ago, Iberdrola blustered that any such provision would kill the entire project. To which the committee responded, with incredulity, “But didn’t you jokers tell us that property values are not damaged by your wind machines? Didn’t you rapturously assure us with (horseshit) expert studies that property value actually improves when a township is turned into an industrial wasteland of spinning monsters pounding like freight trains through the night?” Plus, “Hey, we’re prepared to believe you! If you clowns swear there’s no risk that people will flee their homes to escape your howling monsters—then for heaven’s sake you can have no quarrel with this by-your-own-admission wholly irrelevant and unnecessary precautionary clause we just wrote into our law!”
Talk about calling Big Wind’s bullshit bluff! Way to go Hammond! Run the bums out of town!
Carpetbaggers, carnies, cons, and grifters—all of ’em. And not even elegant about it. (My father was a religious charlatan. He provided me, alas unintentionally, with the finest education in the world for sniffing out swindlers.)
Okay, dear reader. Here it is: the text of Hammond’s RPVG. Download it, march this into your town meeting and insist it be included in your wind law.
Simple. Easy. Brilliant. So obvious you want to weep.
And when the Spanish thugs with their legal lackeys threaten to crucify your town in court, tell ’em Dr. Calvin Luther Martin and Dr. Nina Pierpont, who are proud as punch this evening to have had the privilege of living in Hammond, NY, will gleefully contribute to your town’s legal defense fund.
If you’re ever in the Thousand Islands, go see the castle at Dark Island and visit Boldt Castle and blah blah blah. But be sure to visit Hammond. And when you do, get out of your car, kiss the pavement—and sit by (the side of) that road and have a beer for a stupid 17-year-old on a hot July night long ago.