Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Experience and Issues Matter in Richmondville, Finally

While Reunion Power has been busy measuring the wind speeds up on Warnerville Hill, there has been more than enough hot air blowing around Richmondville Town Board meetings to power most of the Eastern seaboard. I’m sure most of you have seen them, if not live and in person than surely on Schopeg. Every month the same cast of characters shows up in force to point their fingers and stomp their feet.

However, Richmondville residents accustomed to getting what they want via temper tantrum were surely quite displeased when former supervisor Betsy Bernocco was appointed to the Town Board to fill out the term of Larry Zaba. Could Bernocco’s appointment be a sign that Richmondville’s elected officials are finally growing a pair? Could this mean that they are finally realizing that the angry NIMBY’s who stalk Town Board meetings are not representative of the town as a whole?

I sure hope so, because it’s about time this community sobered up when it comes to wind power. For over two years the discussion has been dominated by a small but vocal group bitterly opposed to wind power who have infected every aspect of the process with unfounded fear and hysteria. Last Fall, the Town Board inexplicably voted to adopt an onerously high wind turbine setback of 1500 feet, a figure arguably adopted only to placate Reunion Power’s critics, often the loudest and rudest voices in the room. God only knows what kind of lop-sided and biased information the committee used to determine those setback recommendations. Schoharie Valley Watch themselves have criticized the supposed secrecy of the setback committee. I too, would like there to be an open process and I would like to know just how the committee came up with a setback figure of 1500 feet when dozens of nearby communities with comparable population densities and topographies have adopted considerably lower setbacks.

While Bernocco’s appointment has been criticized by the usual chronic complainers, her experience and long record of service to the town and village of Richmondville make her an asset to the Town Board. As the Town attempts to move forward on the wind law and dozens of other issues objectively and intelligently it is crucial that they act as representatives for all town residents, not just the handful of loudmouths who show up at Board meetings every month to bitch and moan.


Anonymous said...

You spend all that time getting the stain out of your crotch and like a wet dream it appears again. Go away Betsy. Even Billy May can't get rid of you.

Anonymous said...

Betsy got her pair on loan from her husband. Picture the exchange of their collective balls on the night they both have separate meetings. Ouch!!! Divide and conquer is not an option.

Bob Nied said...


I always enjoy your satire. This was one of the most amusing pieces yet.

Keep up the good work!

Thank you!

Anonymous said...

If there is such a SMALL group of opponents to the wind project in Richmondville why do you, Bernocco and the wind company fear them so much? You all seem preoccupied with the Schoharie Watch group. Could it be that you know they have done their homework and you know they are going to beat you?

Don Airey said...

Hi Sean,

As usual, you over simplify, but that's the best part of being where you are. Simplistic, unscientific comments will do.

But to your point about Wind Turbines in Richmondville and the Setbacks of 1500 feet, let's deal with some facts.

Even though the Board voted on the issue of 1500 feet, they are now going back for a second try at it, basically under lobbying from Sandy Gordon of Reunion Power. So you still might get a 10' setback to accomodate your buddies, Sandy Gordon and Betsy Bernocco.

Now, as to neighboring Towns' setbacks, here are some examples you may want to consider:

Stamford, NY - 2500'
Cherry Valley, NY - 2,000'
Andes, NY - Turbines Banned
Meredith, NY - Turbines Banned
Bovina, NY - Turbines Banned

Considering the above, so why is 1500'unreasonable? The trend, nationwide and worldwide is for greater setbacks. Germany is now endorsing 1 mile setbacks.

Also, are you aware of last Friday's Turbine collapse in Altona, NY? The debris field spread some 1,300' from the turbine base. It also fell across a roadway. I think that makes the Richmondville setback committee recommendations look VERY good and very well thought out. I have a copy of the actual recommendations if you would like a copy.

As always, I welcome you to visit with SVW and discuss the issue in-depth. It's too bad you never take us up on that offer.

Sean, saying NIMBY three times and clicking your heels is not constructive, informative nor scientific.


Don Airey

Randy Reunion said...

WTF!!! the wind only blows in Richmondville? I know what blows in Richmondville and it isn't the wind. It is retreaded political hacks with egos that could tame the wind. Get a fucking life Nied and move to Nova Scotia. You are pathetic. There's a wind rotor blade sized for your ass and it is coming soon.

Fred Guay said...

Randy Reunion you are right about the retread political hacks- Bernocco, Bilby, Barlow, Loder. Actually Neid has been the only one willing to stand up that bunch of smerking morons. If he a few others didn't Richmondville would have rotor blades up everyone's ass to go along with a the high taxes.

Sean said...

“saying NIMBY three times and clicking your heels is not constructive, informative nor scientific”

Well Don, neither is saying Sandy Gordon’s name three times and stating that he is a “buddy” of mine. Insinuating that I have connections to Reunion Power is pretty low for someone who sets such a high bar.

When it comes to facts, putting forward a few and ignoring the rest is far from scientific. You mention Cherry Valley and Stamford, who have enacted two of the highest setbacks in the state. Fine, but listed below are some towns (with pop. densities to show relationship to Richmondville's) that are more representative of turbine setbacks found in Upstate NY on the whole.

For reference - Richmondville – Population Density: 80/per square mile

Fairfield, NY (Herkimer County) Pop. Density: 39.1/psm Setback adopted: 1250 feet
*Fenner, NY (Madison County) Pop. Density: 54/psm Setback adopted: 1.5 x MTH (maximum tip height) equaling roughly 450’
Howard, NY (Steuben County) Pop. Density: 23.6/psm Setback adopted: 1000 feet
Norway, NY (Herkimer County) Pop. Density: 20/psm Setback adopted: 1250 feet
Pavilion, NY (Wyoming County) Pop. Density: 69/psm Setback adopted: 1320 feet
Phelps, NY (Ontario County) Pop. Density: 108/psm Setback adopted: 1250 feet
Stark, NY (Herkimer County) Pop. Density: 24.3/psm Setback adopted: 1250 feet

Also please bear in mind that these setbacks refer to distances from residential structures NOT property boundaries as Richmondville’s recommended setbacks would. Further, many communities have actually adopted 1500’ setbacks but these apply to residential structures rather than property boundaries.

The fact is, a 1500’ setback from property boundaries is high for Upstate NY. Without concrete documented evidence demonstrating that a lower setback will unduly compromise the health and safety of residents (and I don’t mean one doctor with a theory) it seems like you’re merely tilting at windmills, if you’ll forgive the somewhat pompous literary reference.

Now about the collapse in Altona, how do you know there was debris found 1300 feet from the crash site? From the research I did it appeared that that figure was based on the visual guesstimate of a pilot flying over the site. That’s not very scientific, Don.

And by the way, the Town of Altona has turbine setbacks of 1000’ for property boundaries, and receives over half a million dollars per year in PILOT payments from its wind project. That’s a fact.

And regarding your point about Germany adopting one mile setbacks, very unlikely. Germany uses the metric system, dipshit.

Klaus Von You Blow said...

So jackoffs what is the setback? Is it 457.3171 meters or 4920'. Good thing the krauts stopped using the Wegstunde then both of you morons would be wrong.

Anonymous said...

Klaus, I want to thank you for the good laugh I got from your name...LOL
Your post is appropriate as well...
and, Sean, WTF does population density have to do with setback? Do you have a sliding scale, with low density and zero setback, vs. high density and miles of setback? Meaning, it's OK to harm a few people, but not ok if there are relatively more people?
Oh, I remember, it's the Socialist view. There are no individuals, only "the common good".
Fuck the socialists. This is America (I've said that before around here somewhere) and if "We the People" have to take it back, we will...I

Anonymous said...

Why does it seem that (well, not exactly quite all, and u no who u r) y'all are snarking down the Crackberry on a habitual basis?...Just Curious, From Here to Mullholland

Anonymous said...

ha ha...NOT snarking down, BUT sucking up, i.e. HOOVERING. Sincerely, JAKE

Anonymous said...

Mulholland this awhile ASSWAD!!!!

Bob Nied said...


There was a time when I thought that blogs like yours held some promise as a welcome alternative to the TJ, Gazette and other print media- an opportunity for those with an interest in reasoned discussion to exchange ideas. Instead it seems like another excuse for perpetual Adolescents to resort to name calling. Even you. Dipshit? That's what it's come to? I'd say I was disappointed but what's the point. I invite you and the frat boys to curse, giggle and sputter until the cows come home. I'd rather not waste my time.

Anonymous said...

When the TJ goes under this will be it. Get used to it. Take the good with the bad, You read you decide. The anonymous posting here is light years ahead of the 1 page for Cobleskill--7 pages of useless sports---6 pages of want ads from that sad excuse for a paper. When is the last time Nicosia or Poole went digging for a story. Good journalism is not just going to CPI and Village meetings.

Don Airey said...

Hi Sean,

Well, I don't think calling me, or anyone else, on any side of any isue a "dipshit", is constructive nor professional.

And it was you, not I, that defended Sandy Gordon of Reunion Power in your past blogs. Just an observation.

Yes, in Germany, they do use the metric system, but also the same system we use, as well. However, the conversion is 1.5 kilometers vs. one mile, approximate. I did not think I had to use the precise, meter-related distance for this forum in order to understand.

As far as the measuremetns at Altona are concerned, it was done more scientifically than you know. There is a very precise formula for aerail measurement in terms of altitude and distance with a known constant. However, all of that would be moot had Noble Power allowed the media access - they did not and they will not for the obvious reasons - bad PR.

You reference the other setbacks to homes. So, you endorse someone else using YOUR land to accomodate THEIR setback distances? Or do only SOME have Land Use Rights?

In closing Sean, I again offer to you to visit with me at my office for face to face discussion and disclosure. My door is always open.

It's a lot more constructive and polite than calling one names. I certainly would never call you a "dipshit" simply because we do not agree. Time to grow up Sean and openly engage in the subect matters instead of lurking in the shadows and calling others names. It doesn't work and I do believe you do yourself an injustice. I think you are a lot more intelligent than name-calling exhibits.


Don Airey

Anonymous said...

Richmondville politicians and their lackeys run around and tell anyone who will listen that Schoharie Valley Watch is just a couple of people and no one should listen to them. Yet, at the same time they seem preoccupied with Nied, Airy and whoever else they think is part of the conspiracy. Now you too Sean seem to be preoccupied. Which is it- are the "windbags" as you call them to be ignored or feared? I suspect they scare the shit out of Schoharie County politicians because they won't take the same crap that has been feed to the county for the last 40 years. The old farts in power say that Schoharie Valley Watch is just 3 or 4 people. SVW says they have a couple of hundred members. I doubt that number but even if they have 30 the old guard is in for a hell of a fight. They SHOULD be scared.

Anonymous said...

You want scientific proof what setbacks should be? This month there was a catastrophic failure of a wind tower in Altona. A wind tower owned by a "noble" company that agreed to be more open. The company will investigate what happened and how far debris was thrown. Shouldn’t the company readily release the information so appropriate setbacks can be established elsewhere? Good reporters, other responsible wind companies and accountable and respectable politicians should push for this information and if they do not – ask your self “why not”??

All Bernoccos appointment means is that she has friends on the town board. Voters did not make the choice. I remember when voters chose and the choice was to vote her out.

If the setback committee had recommended a low setback would they even be asked to look at it again? Bernocco and friends have seen $$$ signs for 2 years and they wont stop till they get what they want. The setback committee did not report as planned so we will give it another shot.

Sean said...

Bob and Don, to say I "resorted" to name-calling is an unfair mischaracterization.

The "dipshit" remark was meant as a friendly gibe to lighten up an otherwise dour and oppressively fact-driven exchange, even though you may not see it quite that way.

But let me remind you that there is a difference between riding your high horse and hiding behind it. Perhaps if you guys spent less time belittling those you disagree with as "perpetual adolescents" and "frat boys" who are "lurking in the shadows" (whatever that means) you could have intelligently addressed some of the points I raised.

Like for instance regarding the amazing Altona pilot who was able to accurately identify turbine debris, as opposed to trailors, junk cars and snow drifts and measure their distance from the crash site all while avoiding crashing into one of the 300 foot wind turbines. This sounds like an aviation feat that would tax even the great Chesley Sullenberger.

As for the wind company not letting the media in, let me ask you this. If a house were on fire, and you were a reporter, would you go up to the firemen and demand that they allow you to go in the house, walk around and film the fire from the middle of the action?

All I'm saying is there are probably a dozen good reasons to restrict media access, but you automatically see a conspiracy because all wind power companies are wolves in green clothing.

"So, you endorse someone else using YOUR land to accomodate THEIR setback distances?"

Yes. I support a setback policy that sensibly differentiates between an actual residence and a vast expanse of uninhabited acreage.

And finally, the whole idea of inviting me to your home or place of business or wherever seems vaguely threatening, as if you would respond "differently" if I were to "say it your face".

No thanks, if you take exception with something written here, feel free to put up all the facts and info you've got to prove me wrong.

But I don't feel the need to meet you out on the playground every time you come up short in the argument department.

Sean said...

"the old guard is in for a hell of a fight"

Okay fine, but if Bob LaPietra and Mark Galasso are an example of the "new guard", we're in trouble.

Anonymous said...

Sean says: "Yes. I support a setback policy that sensibly differentiates between an actual residence and a vast expanse of uninhabited acreage."
Typical Socialist view. If I own and pay taxes on what Sean says is "a vast expanse of uninhabited acerage", then that acerage is mine. If you need a "setback", then it better be on your own fucking land, not mine...
you dipshit...

Anonymous said...

So, after a 400 foot tall, 50 ton spinning mass of steel self destructed I guess the debris field would likely be only a few hundred feet. Surely what the pilot saw was an old Buick and some empty cans of Bud Light. Sean, are you serious? Have some common sense. If Bernooco and the boys get what they want, turbines, just like the one that disintegrated in Altona, would be 600 feet from homes and even less from roads. (Do you ever drive on a road?) I guess it’s OK to make people listen to those things 24 hours a day and make their living rooms strobe like a dance floor. Now it seems that it’s also OK to have them throwing chunks of steel through the air. If you’re lucky the debris will fall short of your kitchen. But don't worry, life will be good. Bernocco will get her new municipal building.

Don Airey said...

Hi Sean,

Nope, did not ask to meet on a playground to fight, just thought the dialogue in person and at length might be good for all of us.

I can't agree that the calling of anyone a "dipshit" is a friendly "gibe".

Anyway, I am a 5 year student of the wind topic, not just here in Richmondville, but other places as well. Perhaps I'm a "reformed" wind supporter whom after doing the reserach and continuing to do the research and seeing what 400' Turbines are doing to peopoe whom are forced to live near them has arrived at a conclusion. Turbines do not belong anywhere near people's homes.

With this said, I'll sign off and we agree to disagree.

My door remains open for constructive idea exchange, nothing more and nothing less.

Good Luck and Good Health.


Don Airey

Anonymous said...

Don, Sean won't meet anyone "in person". If he did, he would lose any credibility he may still have because they would find out that he is only 14 years old, and spends his days on the back porch, drooling and playing a banjo.

Stephen Gawking said...

i met sean. He is not a knuckle dragging chimp like some of the local inbreds in RVille. He is urbane, witty, and quite erudite. It is not at all uncommon for people with an education (Sean) to become frustrated with rednecks trying to be witty and urbane by googling every word inorder to sound smart. I sympathize with you mi amigo Sean. Keep up the good work and always remeber--- DNA is hard to hide.

Anonymous said...

Will you now pay the taxes on my "vast expanse of uninhabited acreage"? It is uninhabited but not uninhabitable. That is until a wind turbine is placed too close to make it habitable. It is not about winning and losing. It is about figuring out and doing what is right and safe.

Anonymous said...

Finally, experience and Issues Matter in Middleburgh - 2,000 feet from roads and residences and 1,000 feet from property lines. Please come govern in Richmondville.

Anonymous said...

"Experience" in Richmondville is like the experience a two bit crook gets in Atica- they get REALLY good at doing stupid shit. Bernooco is going to screw the town over yet again (some how costing the tax payers a ton of money), Vern Hall is a nut case and will sit in front of the room and make sarcastic remarks about the residents, Roy Bilby is going to do what Bernocco tells him and Barlow will apply his minimul attention span to try and figure out how to follow the agenda that the Town Clerk makes up for him. All while the the Town Attorney sits stupified and wishes he didn't finish last in his class at some marginal law school in FLorida. What a collection of losers and you call it experience.
The town would be better off with the top 6 kids from the middle-school.

Onion President Richard Clements said...

You go from a a borderline chimpanzee(Zaba) to the top of the democratic food chain (Brunocco) in one night. Things are looking up for the serious mentally challenged Richmondvillites. Instead of waiting in line for food stamps they can now go to board meetings. lord knows with Brunocco the soup line looks more inviting than listening to her pontificating her liberal bs at meetings. only thing more boring than her is listening to her dumbass husband try and teach a political hs class.