“She’s got every symptom, right down the line!” (Oregon)

Mar 9, 2010

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“Commissioners hear from angry foe of wind farms”

—by Bill Rautenstrauch, The Observer 3/8/10

Some downright vituperative comment on the proposed Antelope Ridge Wind Farm highlighted a meeting of the Union County Board of Commissioners last Tuesday.

Telocaset resident Rod Swanson, long disgruntled over the presence of Elkhorn Valley Wind Farm turbines near his home, unleashed a loud, obscenity-laced tirade at the three-member board.

“Oh, b ——-t!” Swanson cried at one point, prompting board Chairman Mark Davidson to warn Swanson that if he didn’t cool the language, he would have to leave.

Davidson ended up issuing two such warnings before Swanson stormed out on his own.

In April 2008, Swanson and his wife, Fay Stein-Swanson, unsuccessfully appealed the conditional use permit granted Horizon Wind Energy in March 2007 for the Elkhorn Valley Wind Farm at Telocaset.

The Elkhorn facility was formally dedicated in August 2007. Among many other complaints, the Swansons claimed the wind turbines were making Fay Swanson ill.

Rod Swanson repeated the claim during the Tuesday meeting, saying his wife suffers from “wind tower [turbine] syndrome.”

“She’s got every symptom, right down the line,” he said.

Horizon has proposed building a second facility, the 300-megawatt wind Antelope Ridge Wind Farm, in the Craig Mountain area near Union. Swanson stated vehement opposition to construction of Antelope Ridge.

“I too am against it for the simple fact we’re going to be surrounded even more,” he said.

He also demanded that the county not enter into a Strategic Investment Program agreement with Horizon, and berated Commissioner Steve McClure for voting in favor of the Elkhorn SIP.

Union County rancher Tom Price and North Powder resident Curtis Martin also offered comments in opposition of the wind farm proposal.

Steve Donnell of La Grande also spoke, saying the county should proceed cautiously on wind farm issues, and, during the state’s review process, raise issues of local concern. . . .

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