A Strong Win, Thank You!

Thank you to everyone who attended the town meeting last night, and thanks also to all those who were there in spirit that couldn't make it.

In what was said to be the "largest turnout in memory" for a town meeting, our petition received overwhelming support to not allow the cable from the test site to come across the Bay and land in Bristol.

I am grateful for all the hard work that went into getting folks to turn out and let their voices be heard.

Time to celebrate another successful step in our journey.  Hope you can join us Monday at 7 PM for our monthly FOMB Meeting at the New Harbor Methodist Church, where we will do just that.  And we'll talk about what's next....

Thanks again.
 

Do we really need to destroy “life as it should be” to be “open for business”?

We think that is a false trade-off, which is why the Friends of Muscongus Bay has taken the position that the use of the test site off of Monhegan Island is THE issue, not whether wind power is good or bad. (That can be left for another time.)  The question is, is this the BEST place for this test to be performed?
 
And make no mistake -- this is not an academic research program. It is about business.  As Ralph Nader recently wrote, “Unlike academic science, the experiments of corporate science are neither peer-reviewed nor done openly.  And this for-profit science is obviously a lot more connected to corporate political muscle in Washington, DC, than what is produced in the academies.”  Just note the number of documents that have been redacted, and the number of times the answers to questions keep changing.  You can see that this is a commercial enterprise for which the people of Bristol, Monhegan Plantation, and up and down Muscongus Bay are being asked to bear the brunt of the costs.
 
When two of us met this spring with the Director of the Governor’s Energy Office, Patrick Woodcock, we asked how come the test site wasn’t located further down in southern Maine.  His response was to the effect, “What?  Are you kidding?  Near all those rich people?”  I guess it was assumed that the citizens making a life on  a struggling island and the hard working people on the peninsula wouldn’t have the energy to stand up for themselves.
 
When asked about the potential impact of the laying of the cross-bay cable, and the cable itself, on the lobster fishery and the lobster fishermen, we were told, “It is a dying industry anyway.”
 
The special Bristol Town Meeting is on Wednesday, Oct 1 at 7 PM at the Bristol Consolidated School. 
 
Two 576 foot tall turbines with a 15 mile long, 6 to 7 inch wide cable having a potential life span of 20 years, situated 2.5 miles off of Monhegan Island.  Is this really the best place for this commercial research project to be performed? Do we really need to destroy “life as it should be” to be “open for business”?  Please come and vote “NO” on the citizen’s petition.

VOTERS and NON-VOTERS WELCOME

One week from tonight, Wednesday Oct 1, is the special Bristol Town Meeting.  Please mark your calendar now and encourage folks you know to attend.
 
We encourage people to vote “NO” on the Citizens Petition and to vote “YES” on the Shoreland Zoning Ordinance.  Both votes will strengthen our options and protections regarding the cable coming across the bay and connecting to the mainland.

Registered voters only are permitted to vote.  Anyone can attend the meeting, however registered voters are given colored cards for the voting process.

Please help spread the word and encourage EVERYONE to attend.

 

Update on Last Night - and Time to Act

Dear Friends,

One week from tonight, Wednesday Oct 1, is the special Bristol Town Meeting.  Please mark your calendar now and encourage folks you know to attend.
 
We encourage people to vote “NO” on the Citizens Petition and to vote “YES” on the Shoreland Zoning Ordinance.  Both votes will strengthen our options and protections regarding the cable coming across the bay and connecting to the mainland.
 
Last night, UMaine representatives were at a very odd meeting in which they were asked to update people on the project and to answer questions.  A few things that were said that may be of interest, followed by a thought from me:
 
1.  The current plan is for the cable to land on the west side of Long Cove Point, though other options are being looked at including paying private property owners for the rights to access their property.  (Does this mean they are planning on landing on the small beach as that is town property?)
 
2.  There is a 150 foot exclusionary zone on both sides of the cable.  (Given how narrow Long Cove is, does this mean there will no longer be any lobstering allowed in Long Cove?)
 
3.   The cable has to be connected to the grid because the power needs to be sold to help pay for the project. (Last Spring UMaine said that the power had to be connected only because it needed to be dispersed somewhere.)
 
4.  UMaine will provide for free for of the power needs of Monhegan - 10% of the power generated by the turbines.  (If the power is really needed to pay for the project, are they really going to give away 10%?  Perhaps that’s why some Monhegan residents were leary when they were told they would be provided the power if UMaine “could afford it.”)
 
5.  When the wind isn't blowing, power for Monhegan will be provided by the mainland. (Thus, there is no plan to store power on the island.)
 
6.  When asked about the planned cable for the Statoil project, the answer back was “We aren’t aware.”  (While general knowledge is that it was a north-south planned cable, not east-west and was therefore much less controversial.)
 
As a matter of fact, at least 6 times, in response to simple and straightforward questions, the answer back was "I don't know" or "I don't have that information with me." 
 
It was a befuddling meeting.
 
Our newspaper ad will be published today; postcards will be mailed before the weekend.
 
Please keep spreading the word for people to come on Wed Oct 1 at 7 PM at the Bristol Consolidated School.  Your vote, and your presence, matters.

Andrew

What Happened at Monday's Meeting

Our thanks to everyone who attended Monday's meeting.  I found the conversation very helpful....thank you.

For those who weren't able to join us, we talked at length about our approach to the upcoming town meeting.  We then had a very productive work session, stamping and adding labels to just under 1200 postcards that will go out to Bristol folks shortly before the Oct 1 special town meeting. 


If you have any questions, or would like additional information, please shoot me an email.  We'll be sure to keep you all posted.

PS. We've gotten permission to hang our large banner on the side of the post office in Chamberlain.  That should catch the eye of folks driving by!

 

Meeting Tonight (Monday) and Latest News Article

Dear Friends,

Our next meeting is tonight, Monday Sept 8 at 7 PM at the New Harbor Methodist Church. As you can see below, the project is still moving forward. Per a Saturday article in the Bangor Daily News:

"By 2017 or 2018, Dagher hopes to have two full-size turbines off Monhegan Island for further testing before stretching the technology into commercial use. Significant legwork still is required to secure financing — somewhere between $100 million and $150 million — and iron out the engineering and logistics of the project, he said."


You can find the entire article by clicking here.

We hope you'll join us tonight.

Monhegan Balloon Test and Next FOMB Meeting

Yesterday morning (Thu, Sept 4) , there was a balloon visual test held off of Monhegan Island.  Sadly, little notice was given for anyone to give it a look. Take a look  at the only poster put up on the Island:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Friends-of-Muscongus-Bay/693964757333208

What are they trying to hide?

Our next FOMB meeting is Monday night, September 8 at 7 PM at the New Harbor Methodist Church.  The plan is to talk about how we will get folks to show up for the special town meeting in Bristol on Wednesday Oct 1 at 7 PM to vote for the Citizens Petition that would prohibit the landing of the proposed cable connection to the test site.  We will also put together the postacard mailing to go out to area residents. 

Please join us.