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.


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 This application was withdrawn several weeks later.

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.

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!


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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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