“This machine needs to be shut down!” (Massachusetts)

Feb 4, 2011


Editor’s note:  WTS.com dedicates this article to Heather B. Harper, Acting Town Manager of Falmouth, Mass.

Ms. Harper seems impervious to the pleas of this man (Barry Funfar) and his neighbors who, for many months, have been trying to convey to Harper et al. that the damn wind turbine outside their window is making them ill.

Hopefully, sooner or later Heather will take her job seriously and insist the turbine be turned off.  However, given the town’s zealous embrace of so-called Green Energy (click here), this hope seems dim.  Though, as the saying goes, hope springs eternal.

WTS.com urges you to write an email to the Health Officer for Falmouth, David Carignan, at health@falmouthmass.us, and to Heather Harper’s boss, Brent Putnam, Chairman of the Board of Selectmen, at selectmen@falmouthmass.us.  It does not matter if you don’t live in Falmouth, nor does it matter if you live outside the USA.  Write to these people, anyway; let them know the realities of Wind Turbine Syndrome in your life.  Let them know that Barry Funfar and his neighbors are not making this stuff up!

Heather Harper, Town Manager

To:  Heather Harper, Town of Falmouth, MA
From:  Barry Funfar, Falmouth resident
Date:  2/3/11

It seems absurd that even in these cold and frigid winter months, I must be on guard against the noise from Wind Turbine #1, as it’s called. It now takes only a few “whoops” to put me in a state of mental confusion and anxiety.  (Click here for photos.)

My fear of Wind Turbine #2 going online is nearly crippling.

Seeing the two huge towers upon retuning home sickens my stomach.

This absolutely cannot go on!

Heather Harper et al. at the dedication of Turbine #1

It is now a simple known fact that if wind turbines are placed closer than 1.25 miles to people’s homes, there may be abutter problems. If placed under 3000 feet, as is the case here in Falmouth, there most certainly will be problems.

Yet you and the Town of Falmouth continue your murky dialog of, “but the sound study shows this!

What is wrong is that the Massachusetts noise ordinance (310.XX Sept 1, 1971) with its “10 dB over ambient” is archaic and does not address the special quality and characteristics of wind turbine noise.

Another mistake is the use of the A-weighted noise measurement scale which attenuates the low frequencies which are the biggest source of bother to humans. The C-weighted scale would more accurately measure what actually distresses us.

It is as if the State of Massachusetts has weighted the ball game in favor of industrial wind turbines. It is a totally unfair playing field we distressed citizens have been forced to navigate, totally on our own. Supposedly there is a Board of Health, but they have been totally absent through this entire ordeal. If there is a “next” lawsuit I would suppose that will be it.

Anyway, this letter is to express my displeasure. First with the Town of Falmouth for building these machines without going through a proper permitting process, secondly for being extremely remote in responding to concerns and correspondence, and thirdly in doing nothing to alleviate the continual distress we abutters are suffering by the operation of this machine.

Until a solution is found to the excessive noise, this machine needs to be shut down.

How hard is that? The Energy Committee cannot even come up with numbers for me as to what this machine is producing for the town in NET income. With a total budget of $110 million, this windmill is a spit of a difference in the total operating budget of the Town, but the noise it generates is putting some of we residents closer to the grave.

On the surface the problem looks pretty easy to solve. SHUT IT DOWN until you have some technology to quiet it down!

Barry Funfar, Sergeant, USMC

  1. Comment by Cheryl Lindgren on 02/04/2011 at 12:16 pm

    The situation that Barry finds himself in is very similar to our situation here on Vinalhaven. After almost fifteen months we are still waiting for some real communication and effort from our local electric coop.

    The misinformation that helped gain support for this project at the outset is now coupled with half truths about the financial viability of the project. My husband was trying to challenge Fox Islands Wind’s claims that our fellow islanders are saving 27% on their electric bills due to the turbines—when in fact lower rates in the Northeast would have made our bills even lower if the turbines were not here—when he suffered a heart attack in the middle of his presentation. (See, “I feel Art gave his life the other night.”)

    Private citizen’s here and in communities like Falmouth and elsewhere around the world are creating the new science of sound measurement while bearing burdens as human guinea pigs for the effects of turbines on physical and mental health.

    Basic human rights are being violated and dismissed without regard.

    We must raise our voices to this problem. Silence is not an option.

    We stand with you, Barry!

  2. Comment by Penny Melko (Kern County, California) on 04/10/2011 at 1:57 am

    I live in the Tehachapi Pass in Kern County, CA. We formed a group, Friends of Sand Canyon, to oppose 22 of the 476 foot-tall turbines from being placed in the local creek.

    We already hear hundreds of turbines and, now, from 3 directions. We refuse to allow the turbines to be placed on the valley floor on the north side of the freeway. If we do they will run over our canyon like the wind farms did on the south side of the freeway. The homeseads that we located there are now replaced with hundreds upon hundreds of turbines. The buildings are now wind farm company headquarters and staging sites. The people were pushed out!

    These are the robber barons of the 21st century, selling a bad bill of goods to the people.

    Logically, this country belongs in a period of research and development, to intelligently develop new technologies, get the people off the grid permanently, and put every person in our country working in that direction. Instead, our legislators have cut deals with the giant companies.

    It is crazy to force us to be on the grid another 40 years, which is the life expectancy of the turbines going in today. Furthermore, the USA is in a full-blown depression now, thanks to the housing bubble, Wall Street banks, and, collectively, the Congress, Supreme Court justices, and the President and his cabinet.

    Now there is the energy bubble! This bubble will likely financially bankrupt the U.S. for generations, without meeting the goal of 90% reduction in the use of carbon, today.

    I am a very angry and distrusting citizen and am taking direct action against anyone violating my property rights. Stop the turbines now!

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