“What the hell’s the matter with you people?” (Massachusetts)

Nov 2, 2011

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From:  Eric Bibler
To: Falmouth Town Manager, Falmouth Select Board & Falmouth Board of Health
Date:  October 31, 2011
Regarding:  Your cruel and inhumane wind turbines

.
Please see the anguished plea, attached, of Falmouth resident Sue Hobart.  (A copy was forwarded to me.)

As you will note, Ms. Hobart has also included a copy of a similar written plea to your board that she sent nearly a year ago, on December 30, 2010.

As you may know, thousands of people from all over Cape Cod, Massachusetts and the world are watching Falmouth to see if there will ever come a time when you take action to alleviate the suffering you have imposed on your own residents.

As all know, the Town of Falmouth is the developer, owner, operator and chief financial beneficiary of Wind I and Wind II. Wind I and the so-called Webb wind turbine have already brought punishing consequences to residents, and yet the Town of Falmouth expects to begin operation of Wind II as soon as it can obtain the necessary parts.

Heather Harper and other dignitaries at the opening of “Wind I”

I wonder if you can appreciate how baffling it is for people, the world over, to fathom the inaction of your town’s Select Board and, specifically, your callous treatment of your own residents.

As town residents and others who are sympathetic to the plight of the victims look on and try to comprehend your failure to acknowledge their suffering — and your failure to acknowledge that you are the cause of their misery, and that it lies within your power to end their misery, and that, as the developer of a faulty project, it is clearly your responsibility to stop torturing them — the same inevitable questions recur to all of us:

» Do you think your residents are lying to you?

Do you think that they are exaggerating? How else can you possibly ignore their anguished testimonies — and continue to induce such profound suffering — unless you simply don’t believe them? What town, what person, what Select Person could possibly be so callous that he or she would actually BELIEVE what they are telling you, yet shrug his or her shoulders and walk away, saying, “It’s just too expensive to stop torturing you. We can’t afford it.”

How is it possible that any humane person — any responsible civic leader — could fail to accept responsibility for such a mistake? Worse yet, how could any responsible civic leader claim that, even if the town had erred in its estimation that the project would be benign, his responsibility to the fiscal affairs of the town should override the fundamental responsibility not only to provide for the safety of one’s own citizens but, first and foremost, refrain from harming them?

So, again, do you think they are lying to you? How else can you explain your treatment of them — unless you simply don’t believe them?

» If you don’t believe the first-person accounts of your citizens, what basis do you have for doubting them?

How do you know they are lying?

Why do you think they are lying to you — especially since the symptoms they report are identical to the symptoms being reported by thousands of victims all over the world and which have been documented by numerous medical and acoustic experts and which have been reported in thousands of instances in the global press?

What basis do you have for believing that the victims in Falmouth are lying to you? Are they part of a vast global conspiracy? Have they asked you for money? Or have they merely asked you to accept responsibility for your error and to provide them with some relief?

» Are the increasingly desperate pleas from your citizens to their government for relief from this profound disruption to their lives unjust and unwarranted?

Isn’t it true the victims of your industrial project have asked no more of you, as a town government, than to provide them with the bare minimum consideration that any citizen would seem to have the right to expect, namely, that you refrain from threatening their health, from depriving them of sleep, from denying them the rightful use and enjoyment of their property, from severely degrading the quality of their lives, and from destroying the equity in their homes?

Is this an unreasonable request?

Do you believe that, in pleading with you that you show them this minimum consideration, the victims are somehow “blackmailing” the Town of Falmouth?

Do you believe they are lying about these profound adverse impacts for the express purpose of claiming something that doesn’t belong to them?

Do you ignore their pleas because you believe these citizens are seeking to claim something from the Town of Falmouth that they do not deserve?

Conversely, has the Town of Falmouth unjustly appropriated something from these citizens — their safety and their quality of life — which does not belong to the Town?

» If, on the other hand, you do believe the first-person accounts of your own citizens who have repeatedly testified to their suffering — and yet you do nothing to alleviate the suffering — doesn’t this imply that you believe the Town of Falmouth has a right to harm its citizens?

Does Falmouth have a right to harm its citizens — or some of its citizens — or a minority of its citizens — for commercial gain?

If so, what gives you that right?

How many citizens does the Town of Falmouth have the right to sacrifice, “for the greater good,” to avoid taking a loss on this ill-conceived project? Is there a limit?  A numerical value?

Do the members of the Select Board accept the notion that these citizens whose lives have been severely compromised constitute the inevitable “collateral damage” from such projects — and that such profound adverse consequences to some number of its citizens are inevitable and justifiable?

At the end of the day, does the Select Board simply subscribe to Lenin’s famous principle that “you have to break a few eggs to make an omelette” — and condone the notion that the victims should simply resign themselves to being the “broken eggs” in the town’s wind energy omelette?

» Why does the Town of Falmouth continue to operate the wind turbines — and continue harming its own residents — even as it professes to search for a way to stop harming them?

How can the Town profess to care about the plight of the victims, and to accept responsibility for the adverse consequences of the project, even as it continues to harm its residents? Why does the Town not stop harming the residents and forego operations until, and unless, it finds a way to operate the wind turbines safely?

—If the Town discovered contamination in some portion of its water supply, would it continue to provide contaminated water to residents while it searched for a solution?

–Would the Town justify continuing to provide the contaminated water on the basis that “it’s just too expensive to provide clean water, rather than contaminated water”?

–Would the town refuse to stop providing the contaminated water on the rationale that “the town just can’t afford to forego the revenues that it receives from the contaminated water”?

–Would the town allow an unsafe bridge to remain open because “it only accommodates ten vehicles” and therefore “will only affect a minority of residents if it collapses” — and it’s “just too expensive” to fix?

–Would the town allow elementary school students to study in a classroom contaminated by asbestos after the problem had been discovered, “because only a fraction of the children in the elementary school are exposed to the asbestos” — and because it’s “just too expensive” to remove this threat to their health?

–Would the Town of Falmouth be sympathetic to the owner of a movie theater or a public auditorium who informed the Town that “it’s just too expensive” to provide an adequate number of exits, or signage, or sprinklers in case of fire?

–Would the Town of Falmouth be sympathetic to a business or homeowner who declared that “it’s just too expensive” to comply with various building codes or provisions for waste disposal or runoff — because any problem “would only affect a minority of people”?

How is it possible — if the leaders in Falmouth don’t believe that citizens are lying to them — that the Town of Falmouth can justify continued operation of a health hazard on the grounds that “it’s just too expensive” to stop hurting people — especially when the Town is not merely creating a hazard that might hurt people, but is actually harming people profoundly, incessantly, relentlessly, on a daily basis?

How is it possible the Town of Falmouth, which would likely show zero tolerance for any of the above threats to citizenry, is willing to condone the evident harm that it’s imposing through the operation of its own commercial wind energy facility?

» Is the Town of Falmouth seeking to accept responsibility for its actions — and seeking to alleviate suffering — or is it merely seeking to justify the imposition of harm and evade legal responsibility for its own actions?

What more definitive and conclusive evidence can the Town of Falmouth ever hope to discover, regarding the potential adverse impacts of these projects, than the first-person reports of the citizenry of Falmouth who are most acutely affected?

What is the point of conducting noise studies, or health studies, unless you doubt the existence of substantial harm; or, more ominously, unless the intent of such studies is to justify the imposition of such harm upon Falmouth’s unfortunate “broken eggs”?

Why is the Town of Falmouth seeking proof of “compliance” with an antiquated and meaningless State noise statute, rather then declaring it unacceptable for the town to be the source of such profound harm, regardless of any “compliance” with an arbitrary statute — unless the intent of the Select Board is to buttress its claim that they have a legal right to impose such harm—because they are “in compliance”?

Why does the Town of Falmouth need a prolonged health study to determine the magnitude of the harm, to compile statistics on the precise number of occurrences of each symptom, their duration, their severity, their cumulative effects, and so forth, when the gross magnitude of the harm is already agonizingly apparent?

Would the Town of Falmouth continue to operate — or refuse to repair — a contaminated water main so that it could spend a year or two studying the precise extent of the health problems that it created — the number of people who were sickened, their symptoms, the duration and severity of their illnesses and the cumulative effects?

If not, why then is the Town of Falmouth so adamant about continuing the operation of its wind turbines — unless it either does not believe the complaints of its citizens (and what person who has witnessed any of these testimonies could fail to believe them), or unless the Town of Falmouth believes it has a right to harm its citizens, and prefers to perfect and protect that “right” by demonstrating compliance with the State noise statutes or making every effort to discredit the health claims?

Is this any way for a town to respond to citizens who come forward to testify that the town is harming them on a daily basis?

» The most fundamental question is this:

Will the Town of Falmouth choose to protect the health and well-being of its citizens and accept responsibility for these ill-advised ventures; or will the Town of Falmouth sacrifice them for the simple fact that they are in the minority, and because there is not sufficient moral character among the members of the Select Board to admit error and choose people over money?

Will the Select Board sell-out some number of its own citizens simply because it’s inconvenient and embarrassing and expensive to acknowledge their claims?

Will the Select Board continue to marginalize the victims for the simple reason that it can — until some court of law or some judge forces it to stop?

All eyes are on the Falmouth Select Board — many more eyes than you could ever imagine. All of them are watching with a sort of horrified fascination, wondering the same thing: When will the members of the Select Board — any members of the Select Board — step forward to “do the right thing”?

Will the members of the Select Board — any members of the Select Board — ever stop the nonsense of avoiding the central question of whether they have the moral character to do the right thing?

For the sake of your long-suffering residents (who have thus far shown the patience of Job), we hope that one day you will do the right thing.

  1. Comment by sue Hobart on 11/02/2011 at 8:43 pm

    Yes folks.. they said it on Halloween night at the Selectmen’s meeting, “Sorry, but your lives are worth less than our turbines!”

    “Bottom line” is all they have… Melissa Frietaig, Kevin Murphy and Mary Pat Flynn are our Selectmen without a conscience… We have 2 good ones, Brent Putnam and David Braga … so we don’t want to include them in the problem…

    Now we have a town meeting Article and the fight continues… We have anti-turbine signs being vandalized and pro-wind signs going up, and nobody is listening anymore. (As if they ever did.)

    Falmouth as a nice place to live is over for me, at least … not soon enough.
    .
    Halloween

  2. Comment by Bill Heller on 11/02/2011 at 8:47 pm

    Eric & Sue…Both your letters speak an eloquent truth. Sadly, most skeptics will never understand unless they become victims of the wind industry themselves or they take the time to really learn about the issue. Hopefully, heartless and headless bureaucrats like Heather Harper and the wind industry cronies will pay a price for their malfeasance. Union Beach, NJ supports you, and we pray we don’t meet the same fate. KEEP FIGHTING!!!!

  3. Comment by Marsh Rosenthal on 11/02/2011 at 10:43 pm

    Hi Sue,

    It’s time to sue these clowns for some serious money, say, $10 million, and give them something to worry about. A sizable settlement could then be distributed to the victimized families in the form of annuities to help them recover their lives.

    Marsh Rosenthal
    Savoy, MA

  4. Comment by BARRY FUNFAR on 11/02/2011 at 11:12 pm

    Thank you to Eric, who can express the pain and disheveled life of we turbine abutters so elegantly.

    As a tortured wind turbine victim, I wish to express my gratitude to those who have the humanity and fortitude to stand up and oppose those energy policies that run slipshod over innocent citizens.

    It is now over 18 months since Falmouth’s Wind I turbine began operation. We “bothered” have learned so much in this period of time. My life was turned upside down. Where I, previous to the advent of wind turbine, spent all my time in my woodland garden, I now spend it at my desk, which unfortunately looks out to a view of three industrial turbines.

    I am not the same person I was before the turbines arrived. My combat PTSD has been so exacerbated that my previous treatment has been set back by years. I was doing so well before the turbines arrived. Now my life worth living has been taken from me by the noise from the turbines. Indirect effect you may say, but the stress and anxiety produced by the noise compounds into depression and worse. There are at least three people contemplating suicide because of the torturous “bother” of Falmouth’s turbines. This is cutting right to the chase. It really is that bad.

    For the most part I believe that the outsiders, the public officials, simply do not know and understand the severity and torturous environment to which we have been subjected. Like, can it really be that bad? They do not have first hand experience like ours. The fact that the effects are cumulative and increase in severity as time goes on, is major. Someone sitting on our porch for 30 minutes is just not going to get it. And, foolishly, some do “drive-by’s,” expecting to hear loud noises. Loudness is not generally the issue. It is the special characteristics of the noise that drive one crazy.

    We write and write and then write some more, hoping that someday someone will solve our plight.

  5. Comment by Brad Blake, Cape Elizabeth, ME on 11/02/2011 at 11:15 pm

    Sue, I am so sorry for your plight, but keep fighting in Falmouth! Your words ring so true: “Sorry but your lives are worth less than our turbines… ” We found out the same, sad truth in Lincoln Lakes, Maine. Our saying was that in the end, wind turbines had more rights than citizens. We quickly found out that the battle is two parallel, yet intertwining ones: The wind turbines and citizens’ rights. All over the pathetic folly of wind power.

    Eric, you are incisive and brilliant as always! We have the truth on our side. We have great writers and speakers, We have devastating visuals. But the “Greenwashed” population and the pandering politicians are not listening.

  6. Comment by gail on 11/03/2011 at 2:42 am

    A macabre thought: Why don’t you offer your homes as jails? There would soon be a riot and the officers would leave their jobs.

    This is just meant to get your creativity going as facts and protests are still getting us nowhere.

    I abandonned my home in at the beginning of 2008 …

    Editor’s comment: Gail and her husband abandoned their home in Italy. That’s not “Italy, New York”; that’s Italy as in Europe.

  7. Comment by Bill Spencer on 11/03/2011 at 3:47 am

    “Green” has, for some, become their religion. Conventional religious beliefs are rejected and replaced by whatever new and trendy, “progressive” earth preservation concepts as they emerge, be they valid or not. The personal need for emotional reliance on some higher order exists; it just needs to be something current and fashionable. Ummm, ah ha, “mother earth” will do nicely!

    Heather and her ilk are in kind, act and deed religious zealots, acting out as terrorists against convention and reason. And if your lives are in the way of satisfying their needs to “feel” self-righteous, well, not their problem.

    Normal reasoning efforts with this type of blind devotion to a principle will not work, the odds against being no better than the chances of persuading a Middle Eastern vest bomber not to pull the pin in a crowded bus…

    Heather could have just as easily promoted a solar energy system on that property (there is certainly enough land) and satisfied her urges and avoided damage to the residents, but perhaps she seeks attention or religious justification, deciding that a controversy over your pain and suffering is personally more satisfying…

  8. Comment by Preston McClanahan on 11/03/2011 at 6:44 am

    It is critically important for all of us in Massachusetts (and everywhere, for that matter) to resolve the Falmouth problems described here.

    My suggestions:

    1) If not too late, have your Select People spend enough time in one of the affected houses for direct experience of WTS, and

    2) Raise enough money to hire a reputable law firm to mount a class action suit against the town, the wind developer and the Select People. The money ought to be forthcoming if, for example, everyone on the email lists (quite a few at times) contributed $100, minimum. This would give you enough to start.

    Read Calvin’s review of this legal move, “Now you can sue Big Wind! Maybe.”

  9. Comment by Alan Harper on 11/03/2011 at 7:04 am

    CLM has always advocated staying within and using legal means to fight the wind power station problems—quite rightly, even though the basic ‘modus operandi’ of the other side is to lie, cheat and spread mythical ideologies about “saving the planet,” “low carbon economies” and “guaranteeing security” of supply, none of which is possible with renewable energy. (Start by not calling them “wind farms”; technical accuracy is given by referring to them as “wind power stations.”)

    Fact for the technically minded: if wind is allocated a relative energy density of ‘1’ per kilogramme, then water is about ‘1000’ times better, coal/gas/oil about 100,000,000 times and nuclear some 100,000,000,000,000 times better. That’s why good engineers build hydrocarbon and nuclear power stations which occupy, on average, about one twelve hundredth the area of an equivalent useless wind power station and do not cause the debilitating human problems so prevalent with wind power stations.

    As a continuation of passive resistance, have you ever considered some ‘active’ resistance?

    In his first paragraph of, “Do you think your residents are lying to you,” Eric Bibler introduces the idea of torture, because this is what it is. Don’t forget that illegal torture (Sorry, there is not a legal one for comparison!) involves contaminating/confusing all senses, including audio, with low frequency emissions or continual sound.

    Have you therefore ever considered indicting the Falmouth Town Manager, or individuals on the Falmouth Select Board or Falmouth Board of Health with such crimes? I am not aware that this tactic has been used elsewhere, so cannot say if it would be successful.

    However, crimes of causing Grievous Bodily Harm (GBH) are punishable by imprisonment. GBH is not just physical. Torture is not just physical.
    Is it worth investigating a possible course of action in that direction?

    Unfortunately, as an engineer, all that I am able to do for you, having been part of a campaign to stop a wind power station development in my own neck-of-the-rural-woods (Hempnall, Norfolk, England) is to proffer my sincere sympathy to you and wish you every success in your fight for democratic justice.

    Too many of our political castes are total technical illiterates, intent simply on self-gratification and self-enhancement and not concerned with true service for the community.
    .
    no harm 2

  10. Comment by B. Ashbee on 11/03/2011 at 7:52 am

    Here in Ontario some concerned residents caught passionate proponent John Bennett, Executive Director of the Sierra Club (Canada), after a meeting in their municipality and spoke with him of the many families that are being harmed— some to the extent of having to abandon their homes.

    He told them the families were “insignificant.” Imagine that! From the Sierra Club!
    .
    Bennett
    John Bennett

    Editor’s comment: Barbara Ashbee, author of this Comment, was forced to leave her home. She and her husband were bought out by the wind developer and forced to sign a gag agreement not to discuss the terms or reasons for the sale.

  11. Comment by Tom Whitesell on 11/03/2011 at 8:27 am

    Perhaps some of the “one-percenters” would care to offer up anonymous PAC contributions to support a legal fund to sue the town selectmen and Town Administrator out of existence.

  12. Comment by Jennie Brinkman Davis on 11/03/2011 at 9:54 am

    Keep fighting, Sue….ALL of you keep fighting! Ms. Harper is driven by money, greed and the insane idea that to reverse this evil decision would be to admit defeat and that she and her cohorts were wrong in the decision to bring this “green” idea to Falmouth.

    I’m with some of the rest of you: have Ms. Harper and her happy band of crewmates stay a week in your homes so she, too, can experience the very thing she believes you surely have to be lying about! The whomping, the pressure changes, the migraines, etc.

    You know, in this decent world, we aren’t allowed to subject our enemies to torture tactics such as waterboarding and the like, but in this instance, Falmouth town gov’t officials are allowed to subject their very own people—yes, the people that PAY THEIR SALARY—to something evil, insidious and invisible that tortures them every single day that monster is on and moving.

    Civil rights be damned in the name of being green and in the name of money. As Sue once said, I believe, the only thing green about this whole debacle is the green of the money going into Falmouth’s and Mr. Webb’s pockets.

    It makes me glad that I’m no longer a resident of Falmouth. I would hate to think that my tax dollars are paying the salaries of these morons.

    Fight on…!!

    Jen
    .
    waterboarding
    Waterboarding and Wind Turbine Syndrome: Both are torture. Both must be stopped.

  13. Comment by alice barnett on 11/03/2011 at 1:08 pm

    This is getting ridiculous. The Dept. of Environmental Protection of Maine claims 45 decibels is safe, but I doubt 34 “receptors” in Carthage, Maine will feel the same. I do not understand how the wind developers are allowed “permitting” with the truth all around us.

    Brad (Blake), please keep helping us! We need to stop one!

    Thank you!

  14. Comment by Lisa Michaud on 11/21/2011 at 2:41 pm

    Here in Ontario, Canada, our rights have been taken from us, and sadly the majority doesn’t care!

    The government thinks it’s ok to plant these machines wherever they choose and it is just wrong and not at all what North American freedoms were built on and stand for.  I don’t recall Canada being a Dictatorial society!  

    All we can do is fight or flee. We haven’t been fighting long and I’m not ready to give up on my family’s hopes and dreams.  

    Someone needs to unmask those who are speaking out of both sides of their mouths, saying no harm is being done yet they still feel the need for the setbacks even if they aren’t sufficient! Truth be told, this whole project is about thickening their wallets rather than saving the planet. They are the ones lying,  not us victims!  

    Our government is supposed to protect from all threats, foreign and domestic, not jump on the bandwagon and run us over with it. 

  15. Comment by sue Hobart on 01/23/2012 at 9:25 am

    fyi that bitch Heather harper is still running town hall.. in 2012….

    She had solar panels installed on an old roof… so they have to come off along with the roof now

    She had toxic insulation installed in town hall and now the employees are complaining from headaches… she does too but denies smelling anything..( thus it cant be form the side effects of her efforts toward receiving her ” green merit badge ” from the illustrous Governor/ dictator of massachusetts. )

    Even though the town now has a new town manager she stays on… nobody seems to have the balls to fire her… What does she have on all of them?

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