Thursday, March 31, 2011

Writing With (the patience of a) Saint

The following GAG post is comprised of two "Observations from The F.A.R.M." columns. The first segment was published on February 23rd, and the second portion will be printed in the April 6th edition.

I’m going to attempt something new. Something I’ve always wanted to try-- but I never had the opportunity until recently.

I’m going to write collaboratively with another author.

There are worries involved, of course. My co-author and co-conspirator is an older gentleman by the name of Saint. He is a native Midwesterner and grew up on the plains without the sheltering embrace of ancient mountains. He’s a Vietnam veteran, and the father of eight. Children. Eight children. You heard me, right? Saint has eight kids. Yep.

Saint has also traveled all around the globe. He is incredibly intelligent, articulate, and experienced in the ways of the world. And he raises Chihuahuas. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the species, Chihuahuas are similar to dogs, only much smaller.

My friend is a sailor, a teacher, a husband, son and brother. He’s also wicked sharp when it comes to computers—guts and all.

So you can see how much we have in common.


Nope, Saint and I are as different as night and day. Steel and mercury. Hard-headed man of the world and soft-hearted country girl.

This could be painful. I mean, how will two such diverse people work together productively, and in harmony? In what genre will we write? In what style? Should we showcase our distinctive techniques, or should we attempt to make our manuscript appear as if was written by one author?

And what about that? That! Right up there! I wrote “appear as if it WAS written”. Do you have any idea what Saint will do if I write that into any manuscript of which he is a part? I’ll start getting lectures about ‘future conditional’ verbs or phrases or some such garbage…and we all know—the English language is Greek to me. He’ll insist I should have typed “appear as if it WERE written”--and I’ll get testy, and he’ll get cranky and superior… and we’ll both get returned to our corners by the referee as we Google like mad, trying to prove the other wrong.

And yes. Saint is usually right. Just like Jack is usually right. I wonder, sometimes, why I even take a stand.

I suppose it’s the Irish in me. I hate to admit when I’m wrong, and I simply can’t back down without a fight.

Or, how about this? Perhaps I make those mistakes purposely, because I am a nurturing woman, and I realize that the male ego needs a boost on a regular basis. Maybe I’m doing it so that my pals can feel good about themselves, which is the very least that a kind and caring friend should do!

That’s it! I’m sure of it!I must remind them to thank me for that.

So, yes. Saint and I have decided to co-author a manuscript. First, we’re going to take a practice run, and write a short story together. Just to see how things pan out. Just to see how well I can work with an irascible, funny, smart, way-too-confident gent...and to find out if Saint can handle basking in my exceptional glory. (Lord, I’m brave when he’s not around!)

Truthfully? I have every confidence that we will pull it off. It was just about one year ago that I read his novel, affectionately referred to as “Eggless”. Rarely have I read a book which caused me to laugh out loud, but “Eggless” did exactly that. Not since consuming James Herriots’s “All Creatures Great and Small” and delighting in the images of lighting cow’s farts afire have I giggled and tee-heed like I did when reading about the exploits of the young characters in Saint’s vividly written novel.

Any man—any writer—who can bring me tears of laughter is a treasure, and I intend to keep this old timer around for as long as I can.

In the meantime, let’s keep this “irascible, cranky, superior old timer” bit between us, okay? Saint is as prickly as a porcupine and he doesn’t waste his energy in attempting to be diplomatic. He says what he thinks, and when we emerge from our corners, it’s “no holds barred”.

I find that incredibly refreshing. Maddening, but refreshing. I hope you’ll stay tuned. Perhaps we’ll bomb and go up in a puff of smoke. Or maybe, just maybe, we’ll make some magic, together.

Saint will know. He (thinks he) knows everything!


Well, I did it. I co-authored a short story with my friend, Saint. If you read my February 23rd "Observations" column, you’ll know that I had some misgivings about writing collaboratively with this man. I was extremely excited to have the opportunity to create a novelette with Saint, but I felt some anxiety, nonetheless. I had concerns about genre and style. About content and grammar.

And…I worried that he would be critical. That the two of us would get ‘testy’ with each other.

Of course, the presumption was that Saint might be the “challenge”, for we all know I am the most easy-going woman in western Maine. Laid back, calm, a joy to work with and a pleasure to be around. Just ask (almost) anyone! (Better check with me first, though, okay?)

Regardless of my easy-going nature, I didn’t know if Saint would find that I was easy to work with. Would he think I was fun? Focused? Professional? That my writing was half-way decent? I surely didn’t want him to regret saying he would co-write with me.

And trust me… if he DID regret it, he WOULD say. Ouch.

So, being the kind of woman I am (you remember….laid-back, calm, a joy and a pleasure… Oh! And candid! Let’s not forget candid!) I asked him. Straight up.

“Hey, Saint? How much pleasure, joy and calmness did I bring to your life when we wrote a story together?”

This is what he said:

“Dearest Kaz...

“OK, I have to say the pleasure, joy and calmness I found writing with you has been nothing if not immeasurable. Your punctuation alone merits more than the occasional raised eyebrow – and I don’t think there’s any question that when it comes to Big Wind you exude a certain air that leaves no doubt but that the Big Cheese is in the house.”

Yes, that was his response. What the heck did that mean? Was that a compliment, or an insult? Oh, brother. I’ll let you be the judge. He continued…

“To my non-Kaz peeps...

“Hi everyone. I’m Eugene Saint – not to be confused with Saint Eugene who (they tell me) is another guy altogether. So, here’s the deal...

“What some folks like to call “collaborative effort” others might call “milking the old guy for a freebie”. Nevertheless... apparently I agreed to this. In my own defense I don’t remember a thing – they said they had pictures (and historically that’s been my Achilles Heel) so she had me by the proverbial [YOUR WORD HERE]. Of course I capitulated for the sake of harmony and thereafter we wrote a short story called Bee Dazzle (hey, it sounded like a good title at four o’clock in the morning).

“While my admiration for Kaz’s ability to put pen to paper is second to none, I have to admit keeping her in a near-Earth orbit proved a daunting task. She’d write herself into a corner and I’d throw my body on one for the good of the squad. You know the routine. Thus we progressed through 22k words – the results of which weren’t half shabby. Naturally you’ll understand my reticence to mention exactly whose half was the shabby part but suffice it to say... it wasn’t for lack of punctuation.

“Continuously setting the bar lower, we seem to have reached some common ground upon which to begin our new endeavor – a full-length novel. I have no idea what it’ll be about but my guess is it’ll be something happy, sad, terrifying, delightful, hot, cold and otherwise real mid-life crisisy (if you catch my drift).

“Cranky? Me? Ha! I laugh. Bite your tongue, womans.


I had to giggle (and bite my tongue) when I read that—for it is pure, unadulterated “Saint”. He’s the only one who calls me “womans”, too. I imagine you can now understand my trepidation. It takes a lot of fortitude to stand toe-to-toe with such self-possession and orneriness. But I survived, and came out the other side unscathed. Almost. I’m not quite sure how to respond to the “Big Wind” crack, yet, but I’ll figure something out. I always do.

Our short story is available to read online. It is unedited, and in its pure, raw, first-draft form. No editing, no tweaks or changes. We had no outline and didn’t really “collaborate”, per se, either. I would write a few hundred words, and Saint would read it for the first time, pick up the story from there, and run with it. I would do the same. It was a challenge, but a fun one. For me, anyway. Who knows about the crabby old geezer down in Tennessee?

Will we survive co-authoring a full-length novel? Who knows? I’d like to think we will because, after all, in addition to those other stellar attributes, I also possess a world of patience. The patience of a "saint". And obviously… I’m going to need it.

Big Wind and Big Cheese, indeed.

Top illustration by Eugene Saint (who was, apparently, the model, too...)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Driving with Miss Josie

Almost every parent who has raised a child from infancy through to adulthood has experienced that nail-biting task of shepherding a teenager through his or her ‘driving permit’. Based on the stories shared with other parents who have survived this ordeal, I know that every teenager is different. Some are born ‘drivers’. Some catch on quickly, and soon feel at ease behind the wheel. Others are more ‘challenging’. Simply hopeless. Menaces, in fact.

My oldest son, Guy, obtained his driver’s license way back in 1999. To hear his version of the tale, I had absolutely nothing to do with the fact that he passed his driving test the first time around. Forget the months of letting him drive my Dodge Caravan here, there and everywhere. When it came time for his exam… I was gone. Not here. “Away”.

You all know me. I never go ANYWHERE. But in the spring of 1999, my folks asked me if I’d like to accompany Mammy, my grandmother, to Kansas. She wanted to visit my Uncle Mitch in Towanda, but she was getting a little rickety, and it wasn’t advisable that she fly alone. Long story short… I agreed to go, and our plane tickets were purchased.

Shortly before we were due to depart Guy received a notice in the mail of his date to take his driving exam. I couldn’t believe it! A milestone for my eldest son—and I was going to miss it! Honestly, I was distressed. But others promised to help him prepare by getting him to practice his parallel parking, his ‘stopping on a hill’, etc. And so… I went to Kansas, and Guy stayed home to attain that hallmark of adulthood without his mother’s guidance.

And now, it is twelve years later. Instead of being thirty-six years old, I am forty-seven. (You’re doing the math, aren’t you? Well, so did I… and I stand by my statement.) But instead of having a son with a permit—this time, I have a daughter.

Is there a difference?

Oh, yeah!

I am different, and driving with a daughter isn’t the same, either.

For one thing--I’m older. Wiser. Am I more patient? I THINK I am, but who am I to judge? One thing I do know… I’m more suited to the task of teaching Josie-Earl to drive than her father is. I’d already received a commentary about every dire thing her father told her was about to happen on the one morning she drove with him.

She was going to sink into the shoulder of the road. A dozen times. She was going to roll the truck over. Take out the bridge in Solon which spans the mighty Kennebec River. Clip a passing car. Total the truck, lose her life, and cause great embarrassment to her father… if he managed to survive the experience.

In fact, Josie’s words to me when she arrived home from her friend Chloe’s that fateful morning, were this:

“I’m never driving with Papa, again!”

Well. After such a statement, I was determined to be the ‘cool’ parent. I mean… if there’s a contest going on—I want to WIN! And besides--I want Josie-Earl to be a confident driver, and a competent one. Not reckless, but poised and able. I’ve told her many times that if she can pass a driver’s exam in my 22 foot long Dodge Ram, she’ll be able to drive anything.

It had been three months since Josie had driven, due to the fact that we rarely go anywhere during the evenings, she works weekends, and the few times we did venture out this winter, it was snowing and slippery. But her 16th birthday is coming up, and so I suggested that we start driving regularly so that she can take her test as soon as she’s able.

Here’s where the difference between Guy and Josie is most evident. One of them did as I suggested, without arguing. And the other… didn’t. Doesn’t. And probably never will.

“Move away from the shoulder, Josie. It’s soft, this time of year.”

“Mama! There might be a car coming!”

“But there’s not. And if you see one, you can slow down and move over if you need to.”

“By then it’ll be too late!”

“Okay, Jos… we’re going to turn right at this intersection… Oops, you didn’t come to a complete stop. If this had been your driver’s exam, you would have failed, you know.”

“There’s no stop sign there!”

“Yes, there is. You’ll need to pay attention to that sort of thing.”

“Pffftt! When I take my test, I’ll be in town. THEY have traffic lights AND the stop signs aren’t covered by branches!”

“Josie, this isn’t just about passing your test. This is about being a safe driver.”

“Pfffftt! YOU were the one talking about failing my driver's test.”

“Josie, slow down a little. It’s easy to lose control in a truck when you’re going over washboards this fast. The back-end is light, and it can get away from you.”

“I’ll be taking my test on the tar. They don’t HAVE washboards on tar roads.”

“This isn’t about passing your test. This is about being a safe driver.”

Her eyes rolled so far back in her head that the irises were barely visible. Could she see the road when they were positioned like that? I didn’t think so.

“Quit rolling your eyes and pay attention, please. Now, you probably ought to speed up a little…”

“You just told me to slow down!” Another roll of the eyes, but quicker. Less whites, but more attitude.

“We’re on the tar, now. And the speed limit is 45 mph.”

“How do YOU know?”

“Because I know. When a road is un-posted, it’s taken for granted that the speed limit is forty-five.”

“Everywhere? Or just… HERE?”

“I don’t know, Josie. We aren’t driving anywhere else. We’re driving in Maine.”

“I hate driving this truck.”

“You’ll love it, eventually. Driving gives you an incredible feeling of independence.”

She made her little expression of disdain, again.

“I’d rather just be driven around.”

“Well, you’d better work hard to get good grades, so you can get scholarships, get a great education and terrific job… and then you can hire a chauffeur. Until that time, please pay attention. Do you see that truck parked on the side of the road? What are you going to do as you approach?”

“Slow down.”

“Okay. And then what? Okay, slow down, Josie. JOSIE, slow down!”

“I AM, Mama! Don’t holler! You just TOLD me to go faster!”


I so wanted to be cooler than her father. But even way-cool “Mama’s” have their limits.

To be continued. If I survive…

Monday, March 14, 2011

Foreign-Owned Maine Wind

Maine isn’t just a magnificent piece of real estate—it’s a brand. This beautiful state in which we live is a destination. Maine residents already have what millions of people the world over are craving.

Maine is unique—and Mainers are distinctive. We’re independent. Resilient. Proud. We’re a people who resist domination and prefer to be self-reliant. We’d rather do without, than do wrong.

Maine is at a cross-roads. For years we have been inundated with propaganda from the wind industry and its biggest supporter--the Baldacci administration. We’ve been told that we must do our part to counter-act global warming, and we’ve been led to believe that installing hundreds of miles of industrial wind turbines on our mountains would help affect that change. Wind proponents have also used fear tactics to encourage us to support their plan. As Angus King said in May of 2010, “I haven’t talked to anything about global climate change… but the bottom line is—we’ve gotta stop burning! And we particularly have to stop burning stuff we have no control over… It just strikes me as not very sensible to be totally dependent on other people—particularly other people who don’t like us very much.”

Science does not support the notion that adding wind-generated electricity to the mix will reduce carbon emissions. In fact, it may do just the opposite (See the Bentek Study “How Less Became More”, “Wind Farms are Redundant” and “Wind Power Won’t Cool Down the Planet” R. Bryce, WSJ, and others).

In addition, less than 2% of Maine’s electricity is generated by oil. Adding an undependable, intermittent power source to the grid will not reduce Maine’s usage of ‘foreign oil’.

But our dependence on the oil-producing countries in the Middle East ‘who don’t like us very much’ has been advertised exhaustively as an important reason to invest in wind. In March of 2010 Dr. Dora Mills, then head of Maine’s CDC, wrote in an email, “The unfortunate thing is that currently Maine people are dying from our world's dependency on fossil fuels. Wind turbines and other strategies to reduce our dependency on fossil fuels help improve our overall health.”

The scenarios conveyed by wind supporters show dire circumstances if Maine does not build extensive wind turbine developments along our mountain ridges… only a few of which have ‘sufficient wind’ resources. Independence Wind, the development company owned by Angus King and Rob Gardiner, used to have the following statement on their website. (From a PDF copy of the page titled “Wind Power Site Selection”, which has recently been removed from the site.)

“Wind strength is the most critical factor, and less than 2 percent of the state has
sufficient wind.”

So. Only a small portion of Maine has ‘sufficient wind’. Those locations are atop our iconic mountains, which are synonymous with Maine’s ‘quality of place’—that same quality which draws millions of tourists and buyers of vacation properties to our state. That same quality for which so many residents remain.

Also-- according to wind developers, anyway--it is imperative that we stop being dependent on foreign oil producers.

I find that puzzling; given the current ‘wind’ climate in Maine. Former governor Baldacci went to Spain to court Iberdrola, the corporation which owns Central Maine Power Company and the parent company of Iberdrola Renewables—the world’s largest wind developer. Iberdrola was only too happy to collaborate with the former administration and foist their product on Maine and its people.

However, Iberdrola is affiliated with corporations in the Middle East. In a May 25, 2008 article in “TAQA”, we read that Iberdola partnered with Abu Dhabi National Energy Company, of the United Arab Emirates.

The goal of the partnership was to “explore co-investment and development opportunities in power generation, renewables and upstream assets in… North America. Thanks to this strategy, the Company has become the 4th largest in the world energy sector… and world leader in wind power.”

And today, March 14, 2011, we learn that Iberdrola has a new investor.

Chron Business News states: “Qatar Holding is the main investment arm of the OPEC member's Qatar Investment Authority sovereign wealth fund… Monday's deal calls for it (Iberdrola) to set up a regional headquarters and research and development operations in Qatar…

“(O)ur investment in Iberdrola provides significant exposure to other important global markets including… the United States of America," Qatar Holding managing director and CEO Ahmad Mohamed al-Sayed said.”

My question then, is this: If these foreign, oil producing countries ‘don’t like us very much’, and if we are frantic to reduce our dependence on them, why are we inviting them to Maine? Why are we giving the largest wind developer in the world carte blanche on our mountains? We won’t only be importing their oil, we will be allowing them to export our wind—pitiful energy producer that it is.

I often wonder if all these smaller, independent wind developers aren’t the ‘front men’ for the biggest industrial wind developer of them all. I envision Independence Wind, Patriot Renewables, Maine Wind Power LLC—and perhaps even First Wind—building their projects, receiving their millions in tax-payer subsidies, and then selling out to this multi-national conglomerate which owns our major electric utility. Currently, CMPC is barred from both producing and delivering electricity at the same time—but I’ve heard whispers that the law which created deregulation is going to be challenged. I hope I’m wrong. I hope we are not allowing our government to set Maine up to be at the mercy of a huge foreign corporation which will have a monopoly here in our state.

We independent, resilient and proud citizens still have power. We still have the right to say ‘No!’ It’s not too late to change the policies which put our state in this tenuous position. But we must stand up—and stand together. Sound science and economics should be the basis for our energy policies. If we adopt and enforce that strategy, there is no way that ‘wind’ will dominate our unique mountain summits.

Wind developers use scare tactics, but that’s a double-edged sword. When they tell the whole story, maybe then--they can be believed.

Friday, March 4, 2011

The Landlubber in All of Us....

I have a friend who is a sailor. A man who is at home on the open ocean. A man who talks about ‘following seas’ and jibs and rudders and companionways. His language is made up of ‘fore’ and ‘aft’, of ‘bow’ and ‘stern’, and of ‘port’ and ‘starboard’.
In truth, that’s all gibberish.

I am a landlubber. I’ve only been in an ocean-going vessel once--during the summer of 1979--when my grandfather arranged for us to accompany a lobsterman on his boat as he checked his traps. We never got further than a mile away from Gouldsboro’s shore. Still, it was an exhilarating experience for me.

For me… but not for Grankie.
He was okay on the ride out. We motored along at a decent clip, and Grankie sat on the stern gun-whale, as content as could be. But I didn’t want to sit. I wanted to stand. I wanted to lean out over the sides and gaze at our wake. I wanted to feel the rise and fall of the waves underneath my feet. I wanted to be a part of the experience, and not just a spectator to it.

Our captain was an older man, and not given to idle chatter. He had a job to do. Upon spotting buoys emblazoned with his distinctive ‘colors’, he would cruise up alongside, grasp his ‘stick’ and snag that buoy by its rope directly underneath the waterline.

Obviously, you can tell I’m a landlubber by my use of the word ‘stick’. But I don’t know what else to call the captain’s staff. And in reality…the poor man had no ‘staff’. On his lobster boat, he was a ‘sole proprietor’…

Anyway, once the captain snagged that line, he hauled it onboard and somehow hooked it onto a winch. (Please forgive the technical phraseology which I’m using. It can be a bit intimidating, I know…) He’d start the winch’s motor and drag the lobster trap up from the ocean floor--and once it surfaced, he’d pull it onboard the boat. Inside the wooden trap were treasures never before seen by this girl from the western mountains of Maine.

Crabs of every size and hue. Starfish. Shallow-sea creatures for which I had no names. And of course… lobsters. The lobsterman would grasp a crustacean by its segmented back, take a ruler from his pocket and measure it. His ruler wasn’t a simple straight-edge, either--but rather, it had adjustable thingies fore and aft (note the mariner jargon, here) which would quickly tell him if the lobster was a ‘keepah’, or a ‘tossah’. (Okay... the word I was looking for just came to me… Calipers.) If the little bugger was long enough, from eye socket to the rear of its body shell, he went into the hold. If that distance was less than 3 ¼ inches, he got tossed back into the sea.

The experience of being on a real Maine lobster boat was priceless. From the captain’s expression and judging by the number of lobsters he threw back, ‘priceless’ didn’t equate ‘profitable’. The man spoke even fewer words on the way back into harbor than he had on the way out.

It was on the return trip that I noticed that Grankie wasn’t talking, much. He was a man given to garrulous discourse—a treasure-trove of exciting but exaggerated tales--so his reticence was palpable. He was gripping the gun-whale so hard that his knuckles were white. Luckily, white is a color which doesn’t clash with others, because his gills were pea-green. I stood in front of him, facing the stern (and Grankie)-- my feet planted shoulder-breadth apart as I rode the waves. I jibber-jabbered away… excited about my first trip into the Atlantic Ocean. He tried to smile. Made an attempt to speak. And finally, he took a deep breath and muttered, “Big Kay, Little Ay…If you don’t sit down and shut up, I’m going to barf.”

My grandfather was seasick! We hadn’t even ventured out into what I would consider ‘the open ocean’ but Grankie was having all he could do not to up-chuck, right there on the deck of that little lobster boat. His eyes beseeched me not to tell the captain… so I didn’t.

Instead, I stepped away from the man, trying my best to calculate the maximum distance of projectile vomiting.

Grankie survived he trip without incident and made me proud. I kept one prized starfish—the best of the bunch—as a souvenir of my excursion. And this landlubber--proud of her accomplishments and her ‘sea legs’--proceeded, the very next day, to fall off a cliff on Cadillac Mountain.

The voyage out to sea? No problem. No wooziness. No sea-sickness or nausea.

The concussion from falling off (okay… running over) a twelve foot cliff? That had me listing to port for three days.

A lobster boat in harbor
Me... the land-lubber
Grankie, my son Guy (1984) and Mammy
A lobster buoy
Grankie and Mammy--1981
Somewhere I have a photo of myself on that lobster boat, holding a starfish... but I can't locate it to scan, so I've posted a pic of me at the same age (one month later) with my Appaloosa, McDuff

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Sitting Cows (i.e. How Close are the Neighbors?)

Below is a quote from Angus King, a 'principal' of Highland Wind LLC, which proposes to build a 39 turbine grid-scale industrial wind facility on the five mountains in rural Highland Planatation...despite massive opposition from many of the locals.

" close are the neighbors? That's a big factor and one of the great things about the Highland site is that-- there are 2 camps....summer cottages on the side of one of the mountains that are about 1/2 mile from the nearest turbine. Other than those, NOBODY is within a mile or a mile and a half of the turbines,... except for those two camps, the closest people to Highland are 6,000 feet. The people at Mars Hill are 1,000 feet. That's the difference--- a huge difference! The issue about sound. It's just like a truck going by on 201. If they're 100 yards away, they're louder than hell. If they're a mile away-- you're not gonna hear them. That's how sound works. It's a question of distance. The simplest way to think of it that I've come up with... if someone builds a turbine today in Seattle, Washington, I think we'd agree that no one in Skowhegan would be bothered by it. If we put one right by where the basketball courts are-- you'd hear it. So that means the only question is-- what's the right distance between Seattle and the basketball courts? And the answer is, based on Mars Hill and wind projects around the world is-- about 1/2 mile. Depending upon the wind, topography.... 2-3,000 feet, you're not gonna hear them.

Here's a quote from a resident in Mars Hill--that northern Maine town that Mr. King references as having residents living only 1,000 feet away from the wind facility...

"The closest resident is about 900 feet, the next closest is 1200 feet, the next 1400, the next 2 at about 1600 feet, one at 1800 feet, about 4... are at about 24 - 2600 feet, two more at about 3000 feet, two more at about 34 -3600 feet and one at about 4000 feet. The turbines keep many of us awake at night. I know that the house at 3600 feet has nights of disturbed sleep and the woman of the house gets migraines (turbines make them worse)."

Angus King's words, again:

"And by the way, what you hear from these things.... somebody wrote in about "The roar of the turbines" Come on! There's no noise at all from the machine. The machinery, the gears and stuff are all enclosed in this sound-proof box. You could stand from here to that wall and not hear that.

"There's not a sound issue, there's not a health issue, there's not a bird issue, there's not a wildlife issue-- if you want to see the effects of wind turbines on wildlife... on animals... go to... google image...put in 'wind turbines cows' and you'll see hundreds of pictures of wind turbines and cows sitting around underneath them... completely unconcerned, doing whatever it is cows do....."

Well. All else aside-- I don't believe that cows are known for 'sitting'. But I could be wrong.

And so could Angus King. I have spoken to people who live much further away from a turbine development than one-half mile who are very affected by the unmistakable high, low and ultra-low frequency noises. Mr. King is famous for trivializing 'wind's' affects on those who live within a wind development's shadow. It's time that he, and other wind developers, took responsibility for the negative affects of these industrial facilities.

This is also a quote from our former governor:

"The neat thing about Highland-- except for those two camps, everybody else is twice the safe distance away. And the two camps, from talking to the people in Mars Hill... It's winter time, that's the problem... because you don't have the leaves on the trees, and that's when you hear them. The camps are summer camps. I think it's very unlikely that they'll have a problem. We're legally responsible for not creating a problem."

Those are Mr. King's own words. He admits that he's "legally responsible for not creating a problem." That's good to know.

That's good to know, because industrial wind developments are riddled with problems--here in Maine and around the globe. At least three of Maine's new industrial wind facilities are embroiled in disputes at the current time. And if Mainers are not able to call a time-out-- if we cannot call upon our legislators to take a measured and practical approach to the current proliferation of grid-scale wind facilities on our mountains-- then I predict that there will be many, many more conflicts and lawsuits.

This can be avoided. There are bills pending before the Maine Legislature which are designed to give experts the necessary time to study the true impacts of industrial wind. To determine whether those perceived benefits outlined in the preamble to the 'expedited wind law' are justifiable. To determine, using scientific methods, whether or not they are true.

The FACTS will speak for themselves... just like Mr. King speaks for himself.

Shown in photos, above: Blue-- a 'cow' from The F.A.R.M.
Perrin and Wendy Todd, Mars Hill, Maine
Greg and Jenn Perkins, Highland Plantation, Maine
Heidi and Justin Emery, Highland Plantation, Maine
Art and Cheryl Lindgren, Vinalhaven Island, Maine
Dan Bell, Highland Plantation, Maine