Saturday, December 27, 2008

Happy Holidays To All!

View to Worden Hill, Town of South Bristol.

A lovely winter's day at the West Hill Preserve, Town of Naples.



Posted by Bev.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Our Lovely Hills and Valleys

Ontario County Park (above)
View from Stid Hill State Land (above)

The Jump Off view looking north (above).


Some views from the Town of South Bristol. Enjoy.
Posted by Bev.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Code of Conduct for Wind Energy Firms in NY

Attorney General Andrew Cuomo Unveils Code of Conduct for Wind Energy Firms in New York State. Click below if you did not see the articles in the D&C.

http://www.democratandchronicle.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=200881030056

http://www.democratandchronicle.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2008810310318

Monday, October 20, 2008

Participate in your NVBHA!

Posted by Bev:













The NVBHA is looking for volunteers to be involved in the Board of Directors and other key positions on active committees.

Use your interest in the environment and your love of your Town, hills and valleys and join us for information gathering, lively meetings and interesting research and media opportunities.

Contact the NVBHA for information and to express your interest in becoming an active volunteer and member.

Friday, October 10, 2008

South Bristol Historical Society Event - Annual Meeting


Posted by Bev:


Please join the South Bristol Historical Society on Wednesday, October 22 for their annual Pot Luck Dinner and Meeting. Catch up on all that has happened in 2008!


The event will be held at the SBHS headquarters in the hamlet of Bristol Springs (formerly the Grange Hall). The meeting starts at 6:00 p.m. and the dinner at approximatly 7:00 p.m.


The meat and beverages will be provided. Please bring your own tableware and a side dish or dessert to pass.


Ann Morton, Professor, FingerLakes Community College will speak on the topic "In Small Towns Remembered".


Volunteers interested in history, friends and the community are needed for the South Bristol Historical Society Board. It's fun! Contact John Holtz at (585) 229-4833 if you'd like to help!


Thursday, September 25, 2008

Naples Grape Festival Sept 27 & 28th

An Editorial by Debi:
It's that time of the year again when 80,000 to 100,000 people will visit our valley & surrounding hills to enjoy the Grape Festival and stand in line for a grape pie. The leaves haven't turned yet & neither have the turbines. The leaves are just starting to turn - who knows when the 300 feet tall, steel turbine structures, with their 150 foot long blades, will turn?


  • Wonder what the visitors will say when they are walking down Main Street looking south?
  • Wonder how many will notice the turbines high in the hills?
  • Wonder how many will say they're okay but NIMBY (not in my back yard)?
  • Wonder how many of the visitors are in favor of them?
  • Wonder how many oppose them?
  • Wonder how many know the whole true story and the facts about them?
  • Will the visitors this weekend stand in awe or just shake their heads in question?
  • Will they wonder why the blades are not turning? Or, maybe (with generators), they will be turning this weekend just to impress everyone. Then all the visitors will say how wonderful wind energy is because it's free.
Free energy - wind is free isn't it?
HA - If only they knew... if only the visitors knew the facts... if only they knew that each of those turbines have a value of approx $3 million dollars each, that's $3,000,000.00 each. If only they realized that their tax money helped to pay for them. If only they knew the real reasons for wind turbines in this area. If only they knew...

For more information about the Grape Festival click here: http://www.naplesgrapefest.org/

The autumn leaves haven't turned yet & neither has the wind turbines. Maybe all that talk about wind energy is just hot air.
Submitted by Debi.

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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Iberdrola now owns Energy East

Iberdrola SA has taken possession of Energy East Corp. In a letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, lawyers for Energy East said the Bilbao, Spain-based utility had closed on the $4.5 billion sale today. Energy East is the parent company of Rochester Gas and Electric Corp. and New York State Electric & Gas. Holders of Energy East’s common stock received $28.50 per share.

The New York Public Service Commission was the last government agency to approve the deal, allowing Iberdrola to continue with wind-turbine construction while keeping its power transmission lines. The PSC voted on Sept. 3. The company will also set aside about $275 million for ratepayer rebates for New York’s 1.2 million customers. JSTINSO@DemocratandChronicle.com

http://www.democratandchronicle.com/article/20080916/BUSINESS/80916032

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Letter to the Editor - D&C printed on Sat Sept 13

N.Y. soul sold to wind power giant

I believe your call for Iberdrola to start building its wind farms and infrastructure is hypocritical on your part (Sept. 5 editorial, "The right call"). You often laud the beauty of the Finger Lakes region, express pride in this local treasure and encourage tourism. How on earth can wind towers and power lines add to or even maintain this beauty?

You admire patriotism and sometimes review historic events from this area, too. What will your take be on those who resist the takeover of their land through eminent domain by a foreign company? How would you tell a Seneca from Ganondagan, a soldier from Valley Forge, a sailor on the Cuban blockade, that it is OK if foreigners take land away from New York citizens? Would you say that things are inevitable, and to think of a common good, or a bottom line?

What will you call those who take a stand? It is bound to happen now that our government has decided a $3 a month saving in our electric bills is worth our soul.

by JOHN HOLTZ
SOUTH BRISTOL, ONTARIO COUNTY
in response to the editorial in the D&C on 9/5/08

The Right Call

After some internal disagreement the PSC staff was against the sale as originally proposed and arm-twisting from the political and business wings, the commission struck a sensible compromise...


http://www.democratandchronicle.com/article/20080905/NEWS01/809050360

Customers of Rochester Gas and Electric and New York State Electric and Gas could see a modest $40 a year in average savings in their utility bills after the companies are sold to Iberdrola SA of Spain.

According to the commission, that means five years of rebates, annually averaging $18 for RG&E natural gas customers, $19.04 for RG&E electric customers, $23 for NYSEG gas customers and $20.08 for NYSEG electric customers.

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Monday, September 15, 2008

South Bristol Historical Society Event - Hops Harvest Dinner

The Third Annual Hops Harvest Dinner and "frivolities" are scheduled for September 20th, 2008. Join the South Bristol Historical Society as we recapture the celebration of the finish of the hops harvest as was done in the distant past. The event will be held at the SBHS headquarters - the former Grange Building in the hamlet of Bristol Springs on Route 64.

This year we are pleased to have Lisa Bigwood and the Washday Band providing our music. The band features Tom (TBone) Farley, Elaine Verstraete and John Denniston. They promise to help us have a good time. The music will follow the buffet dinner that will be served from six to eight p.m. For dinner we will be serving baked glazed ham, sausage, sauerkraut, scalloped potatoes, corn pudding, mixed oven baked vegetables, assorted salads, breads, fruit pies and apple crisp for dessert. Beer (in honor of the hops), wine, cider, coffee and tea will also be included.

Tickets are $15 per person and advanced sale is requested. Historical costume is optional.

A silent auction will be held along with our mini raffles and this year we will institute a 50-50 raffle. Please call Karen Richardson, President at (585) 374-8068 for more information and/or to make reservations.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Despite our Opposition...

Iberdrola accepts PSC terms for Energy East buyout
See link in the D&C today & post your comments there!
http://www.democratandchronicle.com/article/20080911/BUSINESS/809110349


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Monday, September 8, 2008

Highlander Cycle Tour

The Highlander Cycle Tour is once again coming to our lovely area http://www.highlandercycletour.com/.

Come out and cheer on your favorite cyclist Friday for the Time Trials or Saturday during the various tours!






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Friday, September 5, 2008

The D&C finally made it clear how the Iberdrola deal will benefit us

Todays headline in the D&C. (Can you believe it FINALLY made FRONT page headlines?)

Energy deal could save customers $40 annually


http://www.democratandchronicle.com/article/20080905/NEWS01/809050360

Gee, bet you can hardly wait to spend it. Unless, they decide to hold off on any rebates and put it towards the next rate increase.

The PSC sold us out & they should be ashamed.


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Wednesday, September 3, 2008

PSC Commissioners approve Iberdrola acquistion 4-0

What is the next travesty at taxpayer and ratepayer expense?

http://blogs.timesunion.com/business/?p=4634

Update: Regulators approve Iberdrola acquisition, 4-0September 3, 2008 at 11:43 am by Eric Anderson, Deputy business editor

The Public Service Commission early this afternoon unanimously approved Spanish utility Iberdrola SA’s proposed $4.5 billion acquisition of Energy East Corp.

The PSC approval includes a requirement that Iberdrola commit to at least $200 million in wind power projects statewide, up from $100 million previously. In addition, Iberdrola will be required to provide another $275 million in so-called public benefits. In this case, that will result in a 5 percent decline in delivery rates for electricity and natural gas paid by Energy East’s utility customers in New York, business writer Larry Rulison reports from today’s hearing.
Iberdrola has said it plans up to $2 billion in wind power projects statewide, but that isn’t a binding investment, Rulison reports.

Energy East’s utilities include New York State Electric & Gas and Rochester Gas & Electric. The Maine-based company has 1.3 million customers in upstate New York.

The four PSC commissioners voted shortly after returning from lunch. A fifth commissioner, Cheryl Buley, said last week she was resigning to move to Kentucky and marry. She did not attend today’s session.

The PSC now will draw up an “order” that includes all the conditions placed on Iberdrola as part of regulators’ approval of the deal. While that order isn’t expected to be issued today, it likely will be completed quickly. The PSC has 10 days to issue it.

Iberdrola will then review the order and decide whether to accept it.

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Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Why are NY Political and Media Leaders Grossly Over Estimating the Economic Benefits of Iberdrola’s Insistence on Investing $2 billion in NY?

New York political and media leaders are grossly overestimating the favorable local and state economic benefit that would result from Iberdrola’s proposed investment of $2 billion in “wind farms” in New York.


Public comments from NY political leaders, news stories, and editorials on the impending NYS Public Service Commission’s Iberdrola decision emphasizes that Iberdrola would invest $2 billion in “wind farms” in New York if the Spanish company is permitted by the PSC to acquire Energy East and its electric and gas distribution companies in New York, Maine, Massachusetts and Connecticut.


Emphasis on the proposed $2 billion investment suggests that NY leaders do not yet understand that a $2 billion investment in “wind farms” in NY would have very little favorable economic benefit in the areas where the “wind farms” would be built or in the state. The economic impacts may even be negative.

This brief paper explains that there would be little, if any, net favorable local or NY state economic impact from a potential $2 billion Iberdrola investment in NY “wind farms because:

  • Potentially favorable economic impacts are typically overstated by the wind industry and its advocates with governments.

  • Other factors, often ignored, tend to offset most or all of the favorable impacts.

Please send an email requesting the details if you would like to see the numbers in black and white.




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Monday, September 1, 2008

PSC to vote on Iberdrola’s proposed Energy East acquisition Sept. 3

The state Public Service Commission is scheduled to vote Sept. 3 on a proposal from Spanish utility Iberdrola’s to buy Energy East Corp.

A vote scheduled for Aug. 27 was postponed as a result of two of the five PSC commissioners were absent—Robert Curry, who was sick, and Cheryl Buley. Buley has since announced her resignation from the PSC. Buley is getting married and moving out of the state.

The commission vote will cap a review and negotiation process lasting more than a year.

“It’s not an insubstantial proceeding, so they opted to wait for their fellow commissioners,” said commission spokesman James Denn.

Buley’s absence from the board leaves the commission with four voters who will decide whether to accept Iberdrola’s proposed takeover of Energy East (NYSE: EAS), worth $4.5 billion. An Energy East subsidiary, New York State Electric & Gas, has 63,000 customers in the Albany, N.Y., area.

By default, Iberdrola’s proposal will be rejected if commissioners split 2-2 on the issue, Denn said.

Iberdrola says it will invest at least $2 billion in wind-power generation in the state if it is permitted to acquire Energy East. Iberdrola has also agreed to several hundred million dollars in up-front benefits to consumers, including through reduced rates.

Organizations have come out on both sides of the deal. The New York Consumer Protection Board and state Department of Environmental Conservation support the acquisition.

But Independent Power Producers of New York Inc., whose members generate 75 percent of the state’s electricity, oppose it. IPPNY argues that Iberdrola, which is the second-largest wind energy operator in the U.S., should not be able to produce and provide power.

The state prohibits “vertical market power,” or the ability for power providers to also operate as power generators.

The bid is supported by key members of the state Legislature, as well as U.S. Senator Charles Schumer, D-NY, and Gov. David Paterson.



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Thursday, August 28, 2008

Wind Farm Corruption Brings Investigation to New York

Written on August 26, 2008

The New York Times reports complaints of wind power corruption have brought an investigation to rural New York. Small towns near the Canadian border have experienced rifts due to wind farm least options resulting in property damage and family feuds. Town officials are rezoning and allowing permits for their own personal gain and accepting financial bribes. There are currently nine large scale wind farms operating in New York.

http://www.windenergyinvesting.com/2008/08/26/wind-farm-corruption-brings-investigation-to-new-york/


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Transmission line problems

Wind Energy all boils down to one thing - the transmission lines and all the problems and costs that arise.

From the NY TIMES 8-27-08 By MATTHEW L. WALD Published: August 26, 2008

The Energy Challenge -Wind Energy Bumps Into Power Grid’s Limits

When the builders of the Maple Ridge Wind farm spent $320 million to put nearly 200 wind turbines in upstate New York, the idea was to get paid for producing electricity. But at times, regional electric lines have been so congested that Maple Ridge has been forced to shut down even with a brisk wind blowing.

That is a symptom of a broad national problem. Expansive dreams about renewable energy, like Al Gore's hope of replacing all fossil fuels in a decade, are bumping up against the reality of a power grid that cannot handle the new demands. The dirty secret of clean energy is that while generating it is getting easier, moving it to market is not.

The grid today, according to experts, is a system conceived 100 years ago to let utilities prop each other up, reducing blackouts and sharing power in small regions. It resembles a network of streets, avenues and country roads. “We need an interstate transmission superhighway system,” said Suedeen G. Kelly, a member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

While the United States today gets barely 1 percent of its electricity from wind turbines, many experts are starting to think that figure could hit 20 percent. Achieving that would require moving large amounts of power over long distances, from the windy, lightly populated plains in the middle of the country to the coasts where many people live. Builders are also contemplating immense solar-power stations in the nation’s deserts that would pose the same transmission problems.

click on link to read the enitre article
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/27/business/27grid.html?pagewanted=1&_r=2&sq=wind%20power&st=cse&scp=2


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Interesting Stock Market News



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PSC Commissioner Buley Resigns

ALBANY — The fate of the potential sale of Rochester Gas and Electric's parent to a Spanish company was thrown into doubt Wednesday by the illness of one state regulator and the marriage plans of another.A long-awaited vote by the state Public Service Commission on whether to allow the $4.5 billion sale of Energy East Corp. to Iberdrola SA of Spain was put off because only three of the five commissioners were present at a special meeting.Commissioners Cheryl Buley and Robert E. Curry Jr., who make $109,800 a year each, were absent. The vote was rescheduled for next Wednesday.

Curry was ill, and the commission later announced that Buley plans to resign next week because she is getting married and moving out of state, leaving the four remaining commissioners to decide the case.Buley's resignation would seem to make approval more difficult, since three votes are still needed for the sale to proceed. PSC members are appointed by the governor and confirmed by the state Senate. To read the rest of the article, click here:
http://www.democratandchronicle.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2008808280361

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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

NO VOTE today on the Iberdrola "deal"

BREAKING NEWS!!!!!

Only three commissioners attending the "Special Meeting" today.

The Vote on the Iberdrola Energy East acquisition will be pushed back to the September meeting.

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PSC Decision Today - Webcast Starts at 10:30am

The state Public Service Commission meets today on Iberdrola SA's proposed acquisition of Energy East Corp., and the Albany meeting will be Web cast. The special meeting begins at 10:30 a.m. and is expected to culminate in a vote on whether to approve the $4.5 billion deal.
The Web address is www.NewYorkAdmin.com.

From this morning's D&C:
After months of back and forth, hearings, rulings, concessions and the like, the time has finally come for the New York Public Service Commission to render its decision on the Iberdrola deal. click on link to read the entire article http://www.democratandchronicle.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2008808270330

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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

New York PSC to rule on Iberdrola's $4.5B bid for Energy East

Article in the D&C by Jim Stinson and Gary Craig • Staff writers • August 26, 2008

The future of the world's fourth-largest utility in New York state could soon be at an end, or a beginning.

Iberdrola SA of Bilbao, Spain, has bid more than $4.5 billion for Energy East Corp., the parent company of Rochester Gas and Electric Corp. and New York State Electric and Gas Corp. Fourteen months after the friendly deal was unveiled, Iberdrola is due to get a thumbs up or thumbs down Wednesday from the state Public Service Commission.

At stake are $2 billion in upstate investment, New York's reputation as a place to do business and what might happen to the fourth-highest ...

click on link to read the entire article http://www.democratandchronicle.com/article/20080826/NEWS01/808260336

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Monday, August 25, 2008

Hot air about wind power

Interesting read about wind power and transmission lines. Just click on the link or copy & paste to your browser. It's worth the read!

http://worldnetdaily.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=72921

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Energy East $100M payouts possible per PSC member

Energy East payouts possible; PSC member suggests bosses could get $100 million in deal

Top executives at Energy East Corp. stand to make $100 million if they lose their jobs as part of Spanish utility Iberdrola SA's $4.5 billion acquisition, according to one member of the state Public Service Commission. It's unclear just how important the issue will be as part of the PSC's deliberations on the $4.5 billion deal.PSC commissioners, who discussed the case at their monthly meeting this week, have scheduled a special meeting on the merger Wednesday. A vote also is...

for the complete story, click here http://www.wind-watch.org/news/2008/08/25/energy-east-payouts-possible-psc-member-suggests-bosses-could-get-100-million-in-deal/



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Webcast from the 8/20/08 PSC Session

Click on link for the webcast from Wed, 8/20/08 meeting.

http://www.dps.state.ny.us/webcast_sessions.htm

The PSC will make their recommendation on Wed, August 27th.
The Live Webcast will be available by clicking on this link (it's free) www.NewYorkAdmin.com


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Saturday, August 23, 2008

A letter to the PSC from one of our NVBHA Members

Dear Members of the Commission,

There has been every effort to avoid transparency by both the European and domestic producers of wind energy. There is a constant blurring of capacity to produce and actual production of electricity.

I believe Iberdrola is here because the countries of Europe have not seen benefits from the subsides that they offered to wind energy corporations, such as Iberdrola, and are no longer willing to sink public money into them.

Many believe that the majority of wind projects in our country have become cynical ways of harvesting lucrative subsidies. We are no longer a people who can afford massive fraud. We have been deregulated, plucked and shorn for a terribly long time. Commissions such as yours are intended as the last line of defense for the public good. Many believe there is ample evidence that the wind energy initiative has been perverted and crafted into another big boy scam.

Congress has chosen to continue subsidizing this monstrosity.

You are a commission of 5 NY State residents. I believe Albany would be happy at this juncture if it had support in denying these unproductive wind projects our tax money. History would certainly vindicate you for taking such a stand. Hurray for those committed to the Public Good.

Respectfully,
Gordon W Ellis
Naples, NY



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Status of PSC's decision re: Iberdrola and Energy East

This is the link from the D&C regarding the PSC meeting that took place on Wed, Aug 20th. Click on link or copy & paste to your browser. Make sure to read the comments at the end of the article. Don't be afraid to register (it's free) and write your own comments at the bottom of the article. Just keep scrolling until you find the comment section.

http://www.democratandchronicle.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2008808210327

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Thursday, August 7, 2008

South Bristol Historical Society Event - August 9

Join the South Bristol Historical Society for an evening with Bill Verhile, Saturday, August 9th at 7:30 p.m. Mr. Verhile will be speaking about historical barns in our area and this talk never fails to delight those attending.

The event is free and open to the public and will be held at the SBHS headquarters in the hamlet of Bristol Springs in the former Grange building.

Refreshments will be provided.





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Monday, July 28, 2008

Corruption allegations swirl around push for wind power

Article from Rochester Democrat & Chronicle 7/28/08

http://www.democratandchronicle.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080728/NEWS01/807280334&s=d

At the end of the article, log in and share your comments.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

AG Andrew Cuomo Launches Investigation into Wind Power Companies Conduct Across Upstate NY

Allegations of Improper Dealings with Public Officials and Anti-Competitive Practices

Subpoenas Served on First Wind/UPC Wind and Noble Environmental Power, LLC

Click here to read the Article

http://www.oag.state.ny.us/press/2008/july/july15a_08.html


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Sunday, July 13, 2008

South Bristol Celebrates 170 years!

Come one...come all to the 170th birthday celebration for the Town of South Bristol on July 19th from 11:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

The event will be held in the hamlet of Bristol Springs on Route 64 at the location of the Highway Department.

There will be food and drink provided by the Naples Fire Department, music by Ev n Bri, displays from the South Bristol Historical Society, Bristol Mountain, Bristol Harbour and others. NYS Assemblyman Joe Errigo will be present, along with the Town Board and Planning Board.

The South Bristol Historical Society Museum, at the old Grange Building on route 64 in Bristol Springs, will be open during the birthday celebration. Come see some local history! Museum is also open throughout the summer on Sunday afternoons from 12-3 p.m.

Join the South Bristol Historical Society for their PANCAKE BREAKFAST July 20th from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. This event will be held at the museum in Bristol Springs. Adults $6.00, children 4-12 yrs $3 , and children 3 and under free. Tickets may be purchased at the door, at the South Bristol celebration, or you may reserve your tickets by calling 374-8068.

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Thursday, July 3, 2008

A Letter to Attorney General Andrew Cuomo - by Jim Sawicki

As a taxpayer, US citizen and lifelong resident of NYS, I am writing you objecting to the criminal activities associated with industrial wind development in NYS.

Our elected officials are being bamboozled by the industrial wind interests to believe that commercial/industrial wind projects are “friendly”, green and renewable. This is very misleading and incomplete information.

This industry is engaged in many illegal activities, supported by our elected officials that are supposed to be representing NYS citizens NOT the commercial wind interests, with their lobbyists, multi-national corporations and misleading and incomplete information (propaganda).

The corruption, deceit and disregard for proper procedure and laws by this industry should not be tolerated for one second. I personally know highly respected people with the highest level of integrity that possess information related to industrial wind’s illegal activities. They have already offered to meet with you on their time and dime. I strongly recommend you accept their offer.

A timely investigation is needed.

Legal rights of NYS citizens have already been abused and continue to be threatened by industrial/commercial wind companies that are allowed to do as they please through ignorant and/or bamboozled local governments AND their incomplete and misleading claims that have incorrectly affected the public’s and decision-makers’ views.

NYS citizens need your help to defend our legal rights and stop this madness!

Thank you for your consideration of this very important matter.

Respectfully,
Jim Sawicki

Senator Schumer Visit to the Bliss Industrial Wind Project

Please watch video to the end - don't forget to turn up the sound.
Senator Schumer would like to hear our opinions on wind energy.



You can contact Senator Schumer by clinking on this link:
http://www.senate.gov/~schumer/SchumerWebsite/contact/contact.html

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When will Iberdrola take over the World?

Spain's energy giant Iberdrola filed an investors' day presentation with the Spanish market regulator, CNMV, on Wednesday, stating that it aims to splash out on investments and internationalize the group even further, Thomson Merger News reports. It is ready to spend €25 billion (US$39 billion) in total between now and 2010, to achieve its growth objectives, which involves expansion in Latin America, the US, Canada and the U.K. Click on link for entire article http://www.emii.com/Articles/1965949/Energy/Energy-Articles/Iberdrola-To-Spend-39B-To-Grow.aspx

Ignacio Galan, chairman and chief executive of Scottish Power's parent firm Iberdrola, discussed the deal with Mr Salmond over the phone yesterday and met with finance secretary John Swinney. Click on link for entire article
The Spanish renewable energy company offers €175 million for the remaining shares of the Greek wind developer.

There are many more links - just do some interent searching yourself - Iberdrola is everywhere - they are not just blowing in the wind! ... coal, gas, electric, wind - what else?

If we don't stop them soon, Iberdrola will own the World!
Happy Independence Day to All!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

State gives a bit on Iberdrola

What a misleading headline in today's D&C. Don't let the headline fool you. The PSC has NOT made their final recommendation regarding the Iberdrola takeover. There are still many conditions to be agreed upon by both the PSC and Iberdrola before the purchase of Energy East. Here is the link to the article: http://www.democratandchronicle.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2008807020344

Make sure to read the online comments after the article - you can easily login to the D&C website if you would also like to comment.

To Quote Sen. Charles Schumer
in todays's D&C, "Done correctly, this merger can reduce costs and make New York a leader in providing clean, cheap wind power."

CHEAP? Who is Chuck Schumer kidding? What is so "cheap" about the turbines in Prattsburgh and Cohocton? hmm...... At approx $2.5M EACH, I hardly call that cheap! Let's see, last count there was approx 37 or 38 "cheap wind power" turbines -
Mr. Schumer, do the math! Mr. Schumer, why do only 5 of the turbines have blades? Mr. Schumer, will they ever turn? Mr. Schumer, who paid for the turbines on top of our hills? In other words, where did the $$ come from? Mr. Schumer, exactly who will benefit from the "cheap wind power". Mr. Schumer, what happened to our pristine views? Mr. Schumer, have you driven on Main Street in Naples heading south lately? Again, I ask, what is so cheap about wind power?

If you have not yet taken the time to write the PSC to voice your opinion, decision time is close, in fact, sorry for the short notice but the deadline to voice your opinion in Thursday, July 3rd.

Hon. Jaclyn A. Brilling
Secretary to the Commission
New York State Public Service Commission
Fax: (518) 486-6081
secretary@dps.state.ny.us

VOICE YOUR OPINION BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Chairman Brown - Iberdrola and Energy East

Another excerpt from one of our NVBHA Members to Chairman Brown, NYS-PSC:

Thank you for considering my views, below, on the wind farms in the Naples and Cohocton Hills and the pending acquisition of RGE/NYSEG by Iberdrola.

I'm a believer in the free market. I'm also a believer in finding new energy sources for our area and our nation.

But I also believe that community interests must be balanced with the imperatives of the market. The Iberdrola deal doesn't make the cut at any level.


Few in the community were consulted. Deals were crafted in secret and one day, towers went up. And after the towers, a 100- foot wide swath of gigantic utility poles across sixteen miles of beautiful landscape was announced.

There is no benefit to local residents, except landowners, in this deal.

Power won't be cheaper for us, (wind power isn't a consistent source of power), jobs won't be created locally, it won't add measurable tax revenues to local schools, and perhaps worst of all, our scenic viewscapes -- which add mightily to the tourism revenues in the area -- are being marred forever by these huge turbines and proposed utility poles.

The economic vitality of the area is closely tied to its beauty. Mar the natural environment and you're left with little to attract hikers, bikers, skiers, kayakers, and Sunday drivers who bring dollars to the community. You also add one more reason for companies to decide not to relocate here and for young people to move away.

Iberdrola has a reputation in Europe and North Africa both as an innovator and emerging monopoly. When a winter ice storm knocks out power lines, and folks don't have light or heat, think about who you're going to call for repairs. RGE may have had its challenges, but they've performed well in times of crisis. Will Iberdrola feel it needs to take care of folks who don't live in their backyard?

It's a botched deal all around.

I urge you to uphold Judge Epstein's recommendation to reject this deal.


There is no real benefit in this deal to NYS citizens, only to the commercial wind interests at great taxpayer and ratepayer expense.

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What is the NYS Public Service Commission’s Role?

An excerpt from one of our NVBHA members to Chairman Brown of the PSC.

The NYS Public Service Commission’s role is to protect NYS citizens.

Administrative Law Judge Rafael Epstein has recommended that PSC members reject Iberdrola’s acquisition of Energy East (RG&E and NYSEG) as there is no public benefit to the acquisition and in fact would violate Public Service Law, Article 70. They would be breaking one of their own laws put in place to protect the citizens of NYS!

THE PSC should be allowed to do its job on behalf of NY citizens without lobbying interference from politicians, like Sen. Charles Schumer. Senator Schumer is either ignorant to the widely and easily accessible, scientific information on industrial/commercial wind’s problems and
ineffectiveness, or has already been bamboozled by the commercial wind interests’ incomplete and misguided propaganda.

We strongly oppose handing over control of our power grid to a foreign entity. We are asking you to uphold Judge Epstein’s recommendation to reject this deal. The people of NY State deserve our laws to be upheld. There is no real benefit in this deal to NYS citizens, only to the
commercial wind interests at great taxpayer and ratepayer expense.

What good is commercial/industrial wind if it does virtually nothing to eliminate use of fossil fueled electricity generation or reduce CO2 emissions? What good is it when it negatively affects communities’ health, safety, property values and quality of living? What good is industrial /commercial wind when all it has done is pit neighbor against neighbor and split communities apart? We need to place our focus and resources on renewable alternatives that will deliver the goods, based on science, not misleading and incomplete data.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

NVBHA Board Meeting June 17th at 7 pm

Choices, Choices, Choices... 3 meetings scheduled for Tuesday the 17th.

1. Attorney General Andrew Cuomo in Watertown
2. Cohocton Monthly Board Meeting in Atlanta
3. Naples Valley Bristol Hills Association Board Meeting at the South Bristol Town Hall

Which meeting will you be attending?

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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Attorney General Andrew Cuomo Forum on 6/17/08

Andrew M. Cuomo is coming to Watertown on June 17 to host a community forum.

In a recent letter to local leaders, Mr. Cuomo said he wants to discuss "priority issues, such as environmental protection, health care, consumer protection, civil rights, workers rights and student lending."

The attorney general and his staff also will answer questions from audience members.

Food and refreshments will be served.

The forum will be at 7 p.m. at Case Middle School, 1237 Washington St., Watertown, NY

Mr. Cuomo asks people who plan to attend to let his office know by calling 448-4814 or e-mailing at communityaffairs@oag.state.ny.us

Please send an email to nvbhagroup@gmail.com if you are planning to go & would like to car pool.

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Saturday, May 31, 2008

The EMINENT DOMAIN You Tube Videos are Available

The EMINENT DOMAIN You Tube Videos are now posted on the web and available to be viewed from the Cohocton Wind Watch site.

Visit http://cohoctonwindwatch.org/ and click on the links from the right column under the EMINENT DOMAIN logo.

If you want to bookmark all the You Tube Videos from the Prattsburgh Public Hearing,
go to: http://www.batr.org/industrialwind/eminentdomain.html

The You Tube EMINENT DOMAIN Public Hearing Prattsburgh, NY url is:
http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=BA04665A7154A591

For viewing the EMINENT DOMAIN Prattsburgh Law Meeting, go to:
http://www.batr.org/industrialwind/upcvideos.html

The You Tube EMINENT DOMAIN Law Meeting Prattsburgh, NY url is:
http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=5C98AA5067D75256

CWW has received inquires on how to help.

The following is a recap:


5/29/2008


Edward D. Cerra of Dillenbeck Road was kind enough to provide the following summary of the May 22 Public Hearing in Prattsburgh concerning condemnation proceedings against the remaining property owners who have resisted signing easements for Windfarm Prattsburgh.



Due to the large attendance, the meeting was held at the town fire hall, which was full to near capacity.



After a recap by First Wind on the proposed location and properties involved, residents and owners were allowed three minutes each to voice their opinions.



There is no doubt that the eminent domain issue has fueled a larger controversy than the wind turbine project itself. There were a handful of supporters of the turbines, one of which sold a parcel of land to First Wind for double its appraised value. Other supporters live in the town proper and are not directly affected by the construction or the site of the turbines, and they do not pay the largest share of the property tax base.



The majority of those in attendance were, by far, opposed to the eminent domain issue, evidenced by both by their comments and the outbursts and applause of the crowd. Resident after resident lambasted the board for their willingness to accept First Wind's request, as speaker after speaker reminded the board that they work for the residents and property owners, not for First Wind. Many land owners, who are not residents and whose land is directly affected by the eminent domain issue, spoke out about the irresponsibility of the board. All were notified by certified mail by UPC regarding the eminent domain meeting on April 22nd, but these letters arrived one day before the meeting….too late to travel and attend.



Many residents accused the board of profiting from the project and not doing enough research to acquire the knowledge of a project of this magnitude. Some even compared it to Rochester's Fast Ferry project, which is still being paid by the taxpayers of NY. The only board members who had the sense enough to vote NO ( Mr. Kula and Mr. Shick) until more facts could be brought to the table, were out voted by Supervisor McConnell, and board members Stacey Bottoni and Sharon Quigley at last month's meeting. Residents were not allowed to speak at that meeting.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Board has to publish its "findings and determinations" within 90 days of the hearing. The determination and findings must sets forth:

1. The public use to be served
2. The reason for the location
3. The general effect
4. Other relevant factors.

If, as expected, the Board "finds" to condemn the properties, the "condemnees" have 30 days from the "notice of publication" to appeal. People from all across the state have been sending financial and emotional support to help those whose land is threatened. All donations should be sent to Advocates for Prattsburgh Box 221, Prattsburgh NY 14873

Inquiries should be directed to Nancy Wahlstrom emanancyw@empacc.net (607) 522-4418

In the wind: Eminent domain proceedings

Article from the Daily Messenger, Thursday, May 29th
http://www.mpnnow.com/news/x1218083233

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Wind farm opponents demand investigation

Article from May 12 Daily Messenger
http://www.mpnnow.com/towns/naples/x101647983


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Friday, May 23, 2008

Patience wears thin in Iberdrola bid

For those of you that did not read yesterday's article in the D & C, just click on the link below

This is the article from May 22, 2008

http://www.democratandchronicle.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080522/BUSINESS/805220332/1001



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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Is the PSC looking out for the Consumer?

Here is a link from the May 11th, 2008 Democrat & Chronicle (Rochester, NY) Letters to the Editor section submitted by one of our NVBHA members. Your comments to the D&C are appreciated and can help our cause.



http://www.democratandchronicle.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080511/OPINION03/805110343/1040/OPINION#pluckcomments



Here is text from the editorial -

PSC looking out for the consumer

Regarding Iberdrola's proposed acquisition of Energy East, the Public Service Commission is doing exactly what it was mandated to do by the state Legislature. That is, to keep control of electricity distribution separate from electricity generation — Iberdrola's wind developments.

Industrial wind power has not lived up to its claims in real- world operation. Conventional power plants must be kept on constant standby — using fossil fuel and emitting carbon dioxide — for when the wind doesn't blow. No green benefit there. Actual electricity production averages 15 percent to 30 percent of capacity at best. Wind power is unreliable, unpredictable and expensive, with many negative effects. Go to www.wind-watch.org for a real eye-opening experience.

Iberdrola will be making far more money than it will be investing in New York and taking those profits out of the United States. The PSC is protecting the common citizens' interests, not that of big business.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Please Join us on Sunday

The Citizen Power Alliance has organized a state wide gathering at Letchworth Park. Many similar organizations from across the state and some politicians have been invited to attend.

The Citizen Power Alliance picnic and working session will begin for early birds arriving at 10:00 AM. The main meeting will get underway shortly after NOON and should last till dinner time. (5-6:00 PM) Please bring your own picnic food, beverage & utensils.

There will be plenty of time to socialize and getting acquainted, but for the Citizen Power Alliance to become a force within New York State, functional organizing roles and practical ways of achieving needed objectives must be developed.

Directions to Letchworth State Park - Middle Falls Pavilion - can be found on: http://nyfalls.com/letchworth-main.html

This site provides a Google map so that everyone can map from where they are coming from. Once they are near the area then they would take route #436, take a right onto Denton Corners Rd. to the CASTILE ENTRANCE to the Park (this is the South West Entrance) the Middle Falls Pavilion is approximately 1-1/2 to 2 miles inside the park. This is the closest Entrance to Middle Falls Pavilion. Vehicle Fee at the Gate is $6.00 Phone Letchworth Park is 585-493-3600.

The Citizen Power Alliance is a coalition of independent groups organized to promote sound energy and environmental policy. CPA holds public officials and regulators accountable, while seeking the protection of the public interest.

Call if you have any questions, (585) 534-5581. citizenpoweralliance@gmail.com

Please visit these links for more information

http://citizenpoweralliance.org/

http://cohoctonwindwatch.org/

Hope to see you on Sunday at Letchworth at the Middle Falls Pavilion!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Sunday, May 4, 2008

UPC/First Wind has two projects in Ontario County

Note from this D&C article the following: They include plans by Massachusetts-based First Wind for two projects in Ontario County

http://www.democratandchronicle.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080504/BUSINESS/805040307/1001

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Thursday, April 17, 2008

Official: State targeting polluters

In the settlement, Rochester Gas and Electric Corp. agreed to close its Russell Station generating plant, which state officials had termed a major source of air pollutants, including those that many scientists believe contribute to warming of the atmosphere.

The utility agreed that if it replaced the facility, it would build a modern natural gas-fired plant. If RG&E is sold, or if another company buys Russell Station, the agreement would be binding, she said.

Three of Russell Station's four boilers are shut down, with the fourth one scheduled for closure in early May, Kennedy said. The future of the facility is wrapped up in the possible purchase of RG&E's parent company, Energy East, by the Spanish energy firm Iberdrola.

(Click to read entire article)

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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

RG&E purchase may be in trouble, Iberdrola chief says

The purchase of Rochester Gas & Electric’s parent company by a Spanish energy giant may be in jeopardy.

Ibedrola S.A. Chairman Ignacio Sanchez Galan said this week that unreasonable conditions imposed by the New York state Public Service Commission might cause the company to reconsider its plans to purchase Maine-based Energy East Corp. for $4.5 billion.

Iberdrola already has taken some sizable steps to gain New York’s approval for the deal. On March 14, the company agreed to several Public Service Commission conditions, including putting up for bid and selling the RG&E Russell Station power generating plant in Greece and four other plants.

The company also agreed to spend more than $100 million over the next three years developing wind-generated power in New York state and to review its remediation plans and schedules for its Beebee Station and Andrews Street site with the city of Rochester.

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Friday, April 11, 2008

NVBHA Board Meeting April 15th at 7 pm

We are having an Open NVBHA Board Meeting April 15th at 7 pm at the South Bristol Town Hall.

We welcome all questions / comments / suggestions / information that you may have.

Please let us know by email if you plan on attending
nvbhagroup@gmail.com click here

Please feel free to comment to any of the posts.

If you have photos to share on our Blog, please email them to us.

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Thursday, April 10, 2008

Wind Farm Meeting Tonight in Hamlin

We are not alone in our fight - click on the link to read the article in yesterday's Democrat & Chronicle. At the end of the article scroll through the comments - there are both pros and cons (of course). The meeting tonight in Hamlin was also mentioned on Channel 8 morning news.

Please Step Up and Post your Comment at the end of the article about Naples, South Bristol, Cohocton, Prattsburgh & Italy and the issues we are facing. We need all the media attention we can get - if you post a comment in the D & C, you will be helping us spread the word.

http://www.democratandchronicle.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080409/NEWS01/804090361

The meeting tonight in Hamlin was also mentioned on Channel 8 morning news - we wonder if they will be there reporting? If you recall, Channel 8 came to our Town Meeting with RG&E back in November. Watch the Channel 8 News 11:00 news tonight and the AM News tomorrow.


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Iberdrola to reconsider Energy East buy if NY court conditions not reasonable

MADRID, Apr. 10, 2008 (Thomson Financial delivered by Newstex) -- Iberdrola SA (OOTC:IBDSF) (OOTC:IBDRY) would reconsider its planned buy of Energy East (NYSE:EAS) , for some 6 billion euros, if the conditions imposed by the New York State Public Service Commission (NYPSC) are 'not reasonable,' ABC reported, citing comments by Iberdrola chairman Ignacio Sanchez Galan.

'If the conditions are reasonable, we hope to complete the acquisition before the third quarter of the year,' in line with the original deadline set by the Basque utility, he added.

Over the last few months press reports have flagged that the deal could be blocked by the NYPSC on concerns about a possible carve-up of Iberdrola's assets in the event of a takeover bid.

The utility has reportedly been in the sights of EDF, perhaps in a joint offensive with core shareholder Actividades de Construccion y Serivicios SA, although more recently a domestic tie-up between Iberdrola and Gas Natural SDG SA (NYSE:GNN) has been tipped as the most likely scenario.

ABC noted that the NYPSC is the only authoritative body in the U.S. which has not given the green light to the East Energy (OOTC:EECFF) (TSXV:EEC) buy, a deal which is key to Iberdrola's expansion plans in the U.S.

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Monday, April 7, 2008

Results of Randy Kuhl Town Hall Meetings

Thank you to everyone that took time from their day to attend one of the Town Hall Meetings on Friday. The format was a little different than we expected. Rather than Mr. Kuhl talking to us as a group, he gave each of us an opportunity to meet him & discuss one-on-one our concerns.

Many of us spoke with Mr Kuhl in regards to the RG&E powerline issues, wind turbines and the SCIDA issues we are facing.

His response to each of us was that he could not help us as these were local issues. We told him that we have already contacted our local officials. He then advised that we contact Dale Volker and Joseph Errigo. They are the representatives for Naples - zip code 14512

Here is there contact information:

Senator Dale M. Volker

Chairman of the New York State Senate Codes Committee 59th Senate District

http://www.senatorvolker.com/59/Contact.aspx



Assemblyman Joseph A. Errigo
130th Assembly District

http://assembly.state.ny.us/mem/?ad=130&sh=map


Below are the links to find contact information for your representative if your zip code is something other than 14512

for the Assembly: http://assembly.state.ny.us/mem/

for the Senate: http://www.senate.state.ny.us/senatehomepage.nsf/senators?OpenForm


Remember, our group began when we opposed RG & E. We have put them on hold (for a short time), but they will be back. Since November approx 27 wind turbines have been constructed. Take a ride south on West Hollow Road from Cty RD 34 in South Bristol to the Village of Naples & you can count them all.

The Town of Italy is now being faced with pressures to Re-Zone Residential Land to Industrial Land so more of these turbines can be built.

If and when these turbines ever produce electricity, how will the power be carried? Good question... Perhaps we should ask Energy East, aka RG&E and NYSE&G although they stated last November that the Overhead Power Lines have nothing to do with the wind turbines. hmmm.... makes you wonder doesn't it?

The "core" group of the NVBHA have been busy these past few months. But, a few of us cannot do this work alone - if you care, there is an easy way for you to help. Just by writing a simple letter or email or fax to
these two gentleman above and let them know how you feel about the issues we are facing. We need as many people as possible to write, call, fax or email. Don't worry about spelling or using the right words - our representatives need to know that we are concerned and opposed to what is happening in our community. They need to hear what we say & we need to say it from the heart. The "pro" wind companies are urging these same gentleman to extend the energy tax credits. Please help us and to urge our congressmen to stop the energy tax credits for the wind companies.

Mr Kuhl also suggested that we contact the Andrew Cuomo, the NYS Attorney General, at
http://www.oag.state.ny.us/complaints/complaints.html


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The ‘green field’

The five partners will offer their services to anyone who needs advice on environmental issues, such as a town weighing a proposal for a wind farm or big-box, a business that needs help with permits, or environmental organizations trying to reach the public.

(Click to read entire article)

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Saturday, April 5, 2008

Important read about Naples & Prattsburgh School Districts

This article was published on 4/4/08 in the Corning Leader.
Schools Sue Over Wind Farm Payments
Read below or click on link to read article in entirety.

http://www.the-leader.com/homepage/x1564575269

By Mary Perham
Corning Leader
Fri Apr 04, 2008, 12:25 AM EDT
Bath, N.Y. -

Schools Sue Over Wind Farm Payments

Two local school district claim they aren’t getting their fair share of tax payments from a wind farm development in the Prattsburgh area.

Charging deliberate attempts to prevent them from receiving proper payments, two local school districts filed lawsuits recently against the Town of Prattsburgh and Steuben County Industrial Development Agency, and other agencies.

The lawsuits filed by both the Prattsburgh and Naples school districts allege the payment-in-lieu-of-taxes agreement for the 36-turbine wind farm project creates a significant loss in anticipated revenues for the schools.

Both districts want the tax agreement thrown out for the wind turbines that stretch along hillsides in Prattsburgh and Naples.

According to separate complaints filed in Steuben County Supreme Court, Prattsburgh schools will lose $1.3 million in anticipated revenues, and the Naples school district as much as $560,000 in expected revenues.

The annual losses are based on the number of wind turbines located in each district. Payments-in-lieu-of-taxes typically allow an industry to operate for up to 20 years without paying the full value of its property tax. Instead, the businesses pay a set fee each year, which gradually increases to full taxation.

By state law, the county and towns generally split 52-53 percent of the annual payments, with the school districts taking in 47-48 percent of the money.

But the tax agreement wind farm developer UPC signed with the Town of Prattsburgh did not provide any funds for the school districts. The town agreement was then used to sharply reduce the tax payments, according to lawyers for the both districts.

Edward Primo, attorney for the Naples school district, said SCIDA failed to work on behalf of all the groups affected by the tax payment package.

“It’s supposed to benefit not just one of them, but all of them,” Primo said Thursday. Prattsburgh Central School Superintendent Joseph Rumsey said the action is designed to give the board of education more time to study its options.

“The board feels that it has the fiscal responsibility to all the six towns in the district to look further into this, Rumsey said. “They have great relations with the town board and they want that to remain in the future.”

Rumsey, the school superintendent since January, said the board only recently learned the terms of the tax agreement and feels it is “not proportionate.”

The district is in a more difficult position than Naples, since taking action could affect its taxpayers, accordingto Rumsey.

Prattsburgh town and SCIDA officials worked “largely behind the scenes” to prevent the school districts from participating in the agreements, according to the Naples’ complaint.

Other allegations include:
  • A deliberate intention by SCIDA to get around general municipal law.
  • Lack of consultation with the school districts.
  • Action designed to benefit the town to the district’s detriment.
  • Incomplete information provided to districts on the developers, project scope or number of turbines in the districts.
  • Improper public notice by the Town of Prattsburgh of public meetings and the hosting agreement.
  • Districts have either received incomplete documents or no documents on the final tax agreement after formal requests.
Other agencies named in the lawsuit are Steuben County as a recipient of the PILOT payments, and Windfarm Prattsburgh, the local UPC agent.

UPC declined to comment on the pending litigation, but John Lamontagne, UPC spokesman, issued a statement saying, “We remain excited about the Prattsburgh project and appreciate the community support we've had to date."

Prattsburgh Town Attorney John Leyden and SCIDA Executive Director James Sherron were unavailable for comment. Prattsburgh Town Supervisor Harold McConnell and SCIDA Attorney Russ Gaenzle did not return The Leader’s calls.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

NCS Special Board Meeting Wed, 3/26 at 7 pm

Naples Central School Board of Education Meeting
A Special Meeting of the Naples Board of Education will be held on Wednesday, March 26, 2008 at 7:00 pm in the Naples Elementary School Band Room.

Site: Elementary School Elementary Band Room
Time: 7:00 pm

This is an open Special Meeting - yes, the Public will have a chance for comments/questions. You're attendance is important as we think Budget info will be one of the topics. Yes, it's that time of the year already... And, we hope to have some answers from the School Board regarding the SCIDA PILOT Proposal.

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Directions to Italy Town Hall

The Italy Valley Town Hall is located at 6060 Italy Valley Road, off Rt 53.
Less than approx 1/2 mile past Bassett Road.
The Town Hall will be on the left (coming from Rt 53).

For some reason, they should move the meeting, the Town Barn is located on same road. Approx another mile, on the right, past Turnpike Road.

This is an important meeting for the folks of Italy & the surrounding towns.


The meeting starts at 7 pm - come early to get a seat!
Show your Support!
Hope to see you there!



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IMPORTANT Zoning Board Meeting Thursday 7 pm

IMPORTANT TO READ THIS - We were just informed of this meeting slated for Thursday.
This is a summary of what has been happening in the town of Italy since October 2007.


10-1-07

Ecogen Wind LLC and Ecogen Transmission Corp. filed a detailed application for zoning approval to build a new proposed project on 3,775 acres in the southern portion of the town. This application was withdrawn several weeks later.

11-16-07
Nixon Peabody, representing Ecogen, filed a Reply Memorandum of Law with the State Supreme Court requesting pre-trial discovery that would lead to a number of causes of action against the town for their resistance to the wind project.

12-3-07 (estimated date)
A private meeting was held of Town Board members, town attorney, and representatives of Ecogen. The purpose of this meeting was to discuss what "amenities" might be given to the town by the developer in exchange for permission to build the project.

12-13-07
At the Town Board meeting Margaret Dunn read a brief prepared statement which said that the private meeting had been held, that amenities were discussed, but no other details were provided.

At the February Town Board meeting Ms. Dunn instructed Dave Ferry, Chair of the PB/ZBA, to consider a special industrial zone for the Ecogen project. The PB later scheduled a Special Meeting on 2-29-08 to discuss this matter. At the next Town Board meeting on 3-11 Dave made the recommendation to the Board that they consider changing the town comprehensive plan and zoning laws to create the "amenity zone" for the project. This recommendation, although consistent with Ms. Dunn's request, surprised other Board members who could not understand how such a sweeping change could be proposed with so little review.

There is now a Special Meeting of the PB/ZBA scheduled for 3-27 at 7pm to "unschedule" the PBA Public Hearing that had originally been set for 3-29. That Public Hearing may not take place until May.

In summary, it looks as if several Town Board members (possibly a majority) now feel that we would be better off giving Ecogen the four thousand acres they want in order to avoid additional costly lawsuits. They also seem to believe that if Ecogen puts enough money on the table that the people of the town will support the project.

Margaret Dunn has stated several times that she thinks that a "silent majority" of town people have always supported the development and that the hundreds who spoke against them are a vocal minority.

This Thursday at 7pm is a Special Meeting of the ZBA to discuss a number of related issues. We need to get a minimum of a hundred people to attend and to speak out against the lunacy which has recently taken hold of formerly sane and honest people.

If this proposed project goes through every resident of this town will be financially hurt. Those near the project will lose a significant portion of their property value and those further away will see their taxes skyrocket to make up the shortfall.

We expect the meeting to be at the Town Hall, although it could be moved to the Town barn if a large turnout is anticipated. Since only a handful of people attended the last special meeting it is most likely to remain at the town hall.

The proposed industrial zone includes everything south of Italy Turnpike and Italy Valley Road.

Please call friends and neighbors and urge them to attend this important meeting.


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Monday, March 24, 2008

Energy East danced with others before choosing Iberdrola

The state Public Service Commission has ruled that Energy East Corp. must reveal the names of companies that sought merger deals with the utility before it accepted a $4.5 billion offer from Iberdrola SA last year.

The ruling is part of the ongoing case before the PSC.

Based in Maine, Energy East has 1.4 million customers in upstate New York through its New York State Electric & Gas and Rochester Gas & Electric subsidiaries. About 45,000 of its customers are located in the Capital Region.

Last summer, Iberdrola, a Spanish utility, announced it planned to acquire Energy East. The merger needs approval from the states where Energy East does business, and New York is the last state that needs to give its approval.

(Click to read entire article)

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NYSEG Covers Up Alternative Bids in Favor of Spanish Company Takeover

At least the New York State PSC (Public Service Commission) is not sleeping while Energy East, parent of NYSEG (New York State Electric & Gas) seeks to sell out to a foreign owner. See PSC holds off approval of Energy East-Iberdrola deal in today’s Press & Sun-Bulletin.

The PSC is digging and has found there were two other offers for Energy East. But the big guns at Energy East don’t want to disclose who, or what, those offers were. I wonder why? Could it be the other offers lacked some of the gold in the golden parachutes the people at the top of Energy East will get from Iberdrola? You can be sure the people at the top are looking out for themselves and themselves only, and don’t care a wit for the workers or the ratepayers. No doubt they will move out of the area once this deal is done, meaning they won’t have to live under the higher rates that will surely come as a result of their actions.

(Click to read entire article)

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EdF and Iberdrola, a Renewable Energy Powerhouse?

The French utility Electricite de France SA has had exploratory talks with a construction company in Spain, with its eye on the Spanish energy market, according to an AP wire story.

The Wall Street Journal reported that EdF and Actividades de Construccion y Servicios SA (ACS) are in advanced talks about teaming up to buy Iberdrola DS and Union Fenosa SA -- two major Spanish utilities -- for US$134 billion.

The combination of these two giants of renewable energy would create a global powerhouse with considerable clout in the supply chain and in politics.

EdF is the world's largest utility. Its subsidiary Energies Nouvelles is a major player in the renewable energy sector. One of the company's larger endeavors in 2007 was to start construction of a 300 MW wind farm off the coast of Belgium.

(Click to read entire article)

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Friday, March 21, 2008

Iberdrola, Union Fenosa targets of deal - WSJ

NEW YORK, March 21 (Reuters) - A French power company and Spanish construction company are in advanced talks about a $100 billion deal under which they could bid for two of Spain's largest utilities, The Wall Street Journal said on Friday.

(Click to read entire article)

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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Jim Barbour Statement to PSC Public Hearing on Iberdrola Energy East - 2/21/08 pages 53 - 63

MR. BARBER: Hello my name is Jim Barbour. I live in Naples, New York and I only recently came to this question of wind energy back in November. It was always active in my community, but I was one of the people that didn't pay attention because it was beyond me and what do I know about anything and an event took place in my life and I decided to go watch what was happening.

So I attended several meetings, Town Board meetings, wind energy meetings, and came away with the feeling of frustration and anger because every question that got-- the first meeting was a Board of Education meeting where SCIDA, which is Steuben County Industrial Development Agency, came to ask the Board for a pilot program, which is payment in lieu of taxes. Now I was chairman of the Zoning Board of Appeals in Naples for a number of years and whenever anybody came to the Board for a pilot program they were asking for a giant financial favor because they didn't want to pay taxes on whatever, they wanted to pay a certain amount of money to guarantee them money in their project.

These people that showed up before the Board were so filled with disdain and arrogance I was baffled by it, and doing that I started to look into it and found a letter from the State Comptroller's Department that SCIDA had been audited and there were nine recommendations that had been made as they did nothing in their charter that would carry through on their charter, so I went back and asked when would they make these changes and they don't have to make changes, they're above the law.

(Click to read entire Barbour Statement)

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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Energy East Corporation

PORTLAND, Maine, March 12 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Energy East Corporation (NYSE: EAS - News), Iberdrola S.A. and the staff of the New York State Public Service Commission (NYPSC) today informed the Administrative Law Judge assigned to the joint petition requesting approval by the NYPSC of the acquisition of Energy East by Iberdrola that efforts to reach a negotiated resolution have not been successful. Evidentiary hearings are expected to commence as scheduled on Monday, March 17, 2008.

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Overseas politics could affect energy merger

Elections in Spain this weekend could end up having an impact -- albeit indirect -- on Iberdrola SA's $4.5 billion acquisition of Energy East Corp.

Energy East has 1.4 million customers in upstate New York, including 45,000 in the Capital Region. Approval of the merger is before the state Public Service Commission, which regulates utilities in New York.

Parliamentary elections are being held Sunday in Spain. The results will determine which party -- the ruling Socialists or the conservative Popular Party -- take control.

The Wall Street Journal reported in Monday's edition that the Socialist Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero has hinted "that he is open to a takeover" of Iberdrola by Electricite de France -- something that has worried PSC staff members.

The Journal says that the Popular Party is "radically against" such a takeover.

Staff at the PSC, which are currently engaged in closed-door settlement talks with Iberdrola, have voiced concerns in the past that the Spanish utility has become the subject of takeover rumors in Europe.

(click to read entire article)

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Saturday, March 8, 2008

Zapatero adds fuel to EDF and Iberdrola merger speculation

Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, Spain's Prime Minister, may be warming to the idea of a possible takeover by French state-controlled electricity giant EDF of ScottishPower-owner Iberdrola, his country's biggest utility.

Zapatero, whose remarks on the subject were published yesterday in a Spanish newspaper, signalled that conditions were now ripe for EDF to enter Spain's energy market and that he expected talks to take place after the country's presidential elections on March 9.

EDF has already stated that it is interested in buying into the Spanish power market, and has admitted it held talks with Spanish construction group ACS, which controls 13% of Iberdrola.

While no deal was reached, the Bilbao-based utility has been at the centre of a tornado of takeover speculation in recent weeks. Germany's E.ON has also been named as a potential predator.

(Click to read entire article)

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Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Naples School Board Meeting Tonight is ON

Dear NVBHA members and friends,

Members of the Naples School Board have confirmed that even though the Naples Central Schools were closed today due to the icy morning that the Board Meeting scheduled for tonight, Wednesday the 5th of March is on. The meeting starts at 7:00 p.m. See the post below for more information.

Please consider attending. Thank you!

NVBHA Board

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Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Naples School Board Meeting, Wednesday, March 5th, 2008

To all NVBHA Members and Friends,

A regular meeting of the Naples Board of Education will be held on Wednesday, March 5, 2008 at 7pm.

NVBHA urges all of you to be present at this meeting and voice your concerns on the PILOT issue, or at least show support for those who will do so on behalf of our group.

As you already know SCIDA has approved the PILOT programs for the Cohocton and Prattsburgh Wind Projects. SCIDA ignored the objections from the Naples School District and numerous representatives from our community.

SCIDA’s approval will strongly affect the school districts' taxbase in a negative manner. The Naples School Districts’ lawyer explained this thoroughly at the Public Hearing in Atlanta January 18 this year.

An important question is presenting itself at this Wednesday meeting:

Will the board of Education and the School Superintendent advise their counsel to pursue any legal means necessary to counteract this unfair and possibly illegal treatment of the Naples School District?

Public meetings like this are important tools in shaping a healthy community! Show your support by attending the Naples School Board meeting Wednesday March 5, at 7 pm! The meeting is scheduled to be held in the High School Library off of Academy Street. In case of inclement weather if school is not held then after school activities are usually canceled.

Thank you!

The NVBHA Board


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NYSEG critic to get his say by LARRY RULISON

ALBANY -- A former New York State Electric & Gas executive who is crying foul about the company has been allowed to join the company's merger proceeding before state regulators.

The New Jersey man, Mark Corbett, says he is the former director of human resources for NYSEG, a Rochester-based utility that is part of Energy East Corp. of Maine. NYSEG has about 45,000 customers in the Capital Region.

Energy East, which also owns Rochester Gas & Electric, is poised to become part of Iberdrola SA of Spain in a $4.5 billion merger once the state Public Service Commission approves the deal. The PSC, which is made up of a five-person board of political appointees, regulates electric utilities in the state.

Staff at the PSC, which does the day-to-day work of the PSC board, are currently involved in negotiations with the companies to come to a settlement agreement on the merger.

Such a settlement would likely include concessions from Iberdrola to provide the public with benefits from the merger that would be acceptable to the PSC commissioners.

(Click to read entire article)

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Friday, February 29, 2008

Schumer wary of NYSEG buyout by Jonathan D. Epstein

Sen. Charles E. Schumer on Thursday called on Spanish energy company Iberdrola S.A. to protect 1.5 million Upstate New York ratepayers from spiking energy bills and poor service when it buys the parent of New York State Electric & Gas.

Madrid-based Iberdrola, a global energy provider, agreed last June to pay $8.6 billion in cash to buy Portland, Maine-based Energy East Corp., the parent of NYSEG, which serves suburban and rural portions of Western New York. Energy East also owns Rochester Gas & Electric, and several New England utilities.

The proposal has been approved by federal officials but is still pending before the state Public Service Commission, which is negotiating a settlement with Iberdrola that can still be rejected or altered by the PSC. If approved, the purchase, coming seven years after British utility National Grid PLC bought Niagara Mohawk in 2001, means most customers in Western New York will get their power from a European-owned company.

But that earlier merger has had its problems. Schumer said Niagara Mohawk customers have experienced rate increases and “unpredictable service” since the merger, and said he wants to avoid another “National Grid debacle.” He noted that Iberdrola is paying significantly more than Energy East’s market value, but has offered few guarantees to benefit customers.

The New York Democrat urged Iberdrola to set up a trust fund — formally known as a regulatory deferral account — to offset rate increases in coming years so current customers of RG&E and Binghamton- based NYSEG don’t face higher monthly utility bills.

He also asked the Spanish company to agree to a “performance assurance plan” that would impose penalties if service quality deteriorates after the merger.

Both requests were included in a letter to the PSC, which also encouraged the agency not to prevent Iberdrola from developing further sources of renewable energy.

The deal would create an energy giant with operations in 14 coun - tries, and would give Iberdrola a strong position from which to expand in the United States.

jepstein@buffnews.com

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