Memorial Day, 2016

Memorial Day memory of Claude and Jimmy.

RWiley Photo

It is early Memorial Day In my little village and the official celebration will soon begin. The American Legion Honor Guard will be out early. They will jump in and out of their cars while visiting all the town grave sites to honor  their soldier friends.  The gunfire will be loud and many people in Cape Vincent will waken and wonder why their sleep is being disturbed during one of their few chances for a late snooze. The guns will be so loud that, hopefully, even the honored soldiers will wake for a moment and realize their friends have not forgotten.

Today,  my thoughts are of a French citizen named Claude and my wife's Uncle Jimmy whom we never had the opportunity to meet.

Yes, I never met Jimmy and, for most of my life, Claude was a complete stranger. 

A few years ago, during a trip to the Galapagos, we befriended a French couple who lived near Paris. My wife told them the story of her Uncle Jimmy. A few days after Jimmy had invaded Normandy, he along with many other soldiers was killed in the Battle of St. Lo by their own air force in a terrible accident which today some refer to as "friendly fire". My wife told our new French friends that no family member, with the exception of a very distant cousin stationed in Europe, had ever been able to afford to visit Jimmy's grave in the American Cemetery  located above Omaha Beach. After hearing about Jimmy, our new friends made us promise to get to France, if only for one day, so we could be introduced to their good friend Claude. 

We made it to France, and it was only for one day.

When that day arrived, we landed at a dock in Le Havre and were swept away to a distant parking lot where Claude, a complete stranger, celebrated our arrival by waving an American flag. He later told us that he always carried an American flag in his car. 

After brief introductions we were taken to Normandy and Jimmy's grave. The complete stranger had arranged for a special day for us and Jimmy. A bucket of wet sand was brought up the hill up from Omaha Beach and rubbed into Jimmy’s recessed name on his cross.  The name "James W. Sanders"  glistened like gold.

Claude had arranged for a special service, pictures and had established a perpetual placement of flowers on Jimmy's grave. 

Those flowers are there today, Memorial Day.

When a young boy, Claude's family home was right on Omaha Beach. His mom was walking the beach that day and saw the invasion approaching. Claude and his dad were above the beach working in the fields. For the next several days they hid near the cliffs and watched Americans die. For three days they watched as the Americans marched up the only road from the Beach and drove back the Germans. Those days of the invasion brought Claude's childhood years under German occupation to an end.

In an effort to be sure American Soldiers, who did not make it, had an acceptable home and legacy, Claude's father, an attorney,  became active in securing the land for the American Cemetery above Omaha. 

At the end of our day in France, Claude, no longer a  stranger, said to us as we parted, “I will never forget America and the soldiers who landed in my town and died for my country. The soldiers who set me free.”


"DOWN WIND debunks the Ontario Liberal government’s propaganda that wind power is economically and environmentally sound, by pointing to jaw-dropping wind subsidies and a fossil fuel back-up system."


 Sun News Network will air the television premiere of the documentary film DOWN WIND on Wednesday, June 4 at 8:00 p.m. ET and 11:00 p.m. ET.
DOWN WIND is a tell-all film that deals head on with how Ontario politicians rammed through green energy laws and dashed forward with the installation of thousands of wind turbines across the province’s farmland and countryside.
The film exposes how the lights of liberty went out for Ontario citizens deeply opposed to wind turbine projects. It tells the stories of communities torn apart, and the rural warriors now fighting for their rights, health and happiness.
Sun News Network host and contributor Rebecca Thompson joined Surge Media Productions to create this passionate, yet alarming story of a flawed attempt to green Ontario’s electricity grid.
DOWN WIND debunks the Ontario Liberal government’s propaganda that wind power is economically and environmentally sound, by pointing to jaw-dropping wind subsidies and a fossil fuel back-up system.
The film tells the ugly truth about lucrative big wind power contracts, skyrocketing electricity prices, and the political connections behind it all.
It uncovers the skeptical sales pitch that wind turbines are good for the air and won’t impact health. And it provides a glimmer of hope that this nightmare can be overcome with fair-minded solutions.
Passionate stories, eye-dropping footage and never-before seen interviews are showcased in this highly anticipated Sun News Network film backed financially by hundreds of concerned citizens.
A DVD version, including bonus features, will be available for purchase at www.DownWindMovie.com following the television release.
Sun News Network is available on cable and satellite across Canada; check your local listings to find it on your dial.


I believe Lucas Nelson has something to gain.

How North Country communities can make big wind work for them

Speak up about the possible sacrifice of Fort Drum to proposed Jefferson County industrial wind turbine zones.

Fort Drum military operations and our North County border security are at risk and in danger of being sacrificed to hundreds of industrial wind turbines.

For years, other United States military bases have expressed concerns about industrial wind turbines in their vicinity impacting their radar and flight instruments. A Navy base threatened to leave a community because wind turbine interference restricted their operations.

For years it has been reported to JLL that Fort Drum concerns have  been expressed during meetings with the military and Wolfe Island turbines are already interfering with Fort Drum's ability to see what is happening along our international border.

The concerns about Fort Drum's security as well as loss of the economic contributions to Jefferson County have been investigated by the Watertown Daily Times.

You can visit their report and editorial at the following links:

WDT Investigative Report:

WDT editorial:

JLL readers can express their concerns directly to the New York State Public Service Commission at the following links to the proposed Clayton-Thousand Island and Galloo Island projects.

Will Jefferson County sacrifice Fort Drum and our border security so a few land owners can make a few bucks from industrial wind turbines?

A clear path: Wind turbines could impede Fort Drum’s aviation exercises


John Bryne announces 2016 River District 116th. New York Assembly run.

RWiley Photo

Today, John Byrne III, shown here with his family at The Mustard Seed in Watertown announced his candidacy for 116th.  NY Assembly District.

RWiley Photo

This afternoon (May 26) candidate Byrne (R) met the press in Watertown, NY and this evening he will meet with St. Lawrence County Republicans.

Jefferson County's Golden Crescent and Thousand Islands regions are far too valuable to be sacrificed to 600 foot industrial wind turbines.

RWiley Photo

Digging one layer deeper into the motives of the Alliance for a Green Economy

A JLL reader comment.....

It often occurs to me that for some the climate change issue is only a piece of the larger issue. If climate change resulting from increased levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide was the paramount challenge, then the case for more nuclear power is compelling.  But by disdaining nuclear (and all fossil fuel – right now!) and insisting that wind and solar can get us to where we need to be, they are defining a whole different baseline standard of where they think “we need to be.” With that renewable only standard that are really calling for a different economy, a different way of life, a different kind of existence.  That different existence would come with less reliance on consistent and always available baseload electric power --- and with those lessened expectations  would necessarily  come a demand for less travel, less commuting, smaller homes, less industry (certainly less heavy industry), fewer conveniences, less energy consuming  amusements and entertainments, less variety and plenty in food, etc., etc., etc. 

When you dig one layer deeper into what the Alliance for a Green Economy (and so many others) really see as the best way forward you quickly realize that it is much broader in scope than just reducing use of fossil fuels and avoiding use of nuclear fission.

I’m not interesting in going where they would have us go.

WAER Public Radio
Advocates to State: No Nuclear Power in Clean Energy Standard 
By SCOTT WILLIS   5/25/16

Opponents of nuclear power are asking Central New Yorkers to register their opinions at hearings Wednesday as the state prepares to include nuclear energy as part of its “clean energy standard.”  Some are worried too many exceptions are being made for a struggling industry that should not be defined as “clean.”

"FitzPatrick and Nine Mile Point employees who spoke also had the added support from former PSC Chairman John F. O’Mara."

Nuclear power focus of Clean Energy Standard hearing in Oswego


JLL reader contribution....

“The Empire State Connector project is an especially welcome proposal that I will be following closely because it promises to have very low environmental impact and virtually no visual impact,…”

If it is important to minimize visual impact from transmission lines running through the Mohawk Valley and down through eastern and southern New York, why is it any  less important to address visual impact from giant wind generating turbines in central, northern and western New York?


5:19 a.m. | May. 24, 2016 
A proposal by private developers to run a $1.5 billion transmission line down the Hudson River is a sign of things to come.
The 260-mile-long Empire State Connector line would connect upstate renewable projects and nuclear providers with the New York City market. The high-voltage electrical current line would run through the Erie Canal and along the Hudson River and be buried underground in some spots.
It’s the type of major energy-infrastructure project New York can expect to see more of as the Cuomo administration moves the state toward reliance on cleaner, smaller power producers instead of large coal or gas-fired plants.

JLL Reader comment....

I have long felt that NY state legislators from upstate were not doing enough to protect communities in their districts from unwanted wind power development, and that the Legislature in general was deferring too much to the executive branch in forming energy policy for New York.  (I have been told that there is no staff person working for either body of the Legislature that is a true energy expert.)

Maybe the Legislature’s deferral on this issue has been a good thing in light of this news item below.  And as far as protecting upstate from unwanted wind development, the dominant downstate perspective does not help matters.

A few weeks ago there was a letter to the editor in the New York Post.  I could not find it online to pass around.  The letter writer said that rural upstate areas have a “moral obligation” to accept rather that resist large scale renewable energy projects…that the few cannot stand in the way of the needs of the many…that clean energy consumption by the millions living in the NYC metro area depends on clean [wind] generation in the open areas of rural New York.

That may be the dominant attitude in downstate biased Legislature as well.

NY AP Top News 

NY lawmakers propose codifying renewable energy goals

Updated May 24, 2016 12:40 a.m. ET 
Associated Press

ALBANY, N.Y. — A dozen New York lawmakers have introduced legislation to codify Gov. Andrew Cuomo's goal of eliminating human-produced greenhouse gas emissions statewide by 2050, replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy.

Read more....

Which Federal or State elected official will have the courage to step forth and question why Jefferson's County's Golden Crescent and Galloo Island should be sacrificed to industrial wind turbines?

(Apex Clean Energy also has a wind proposal in place that would deface the Cumberland Mountains in Tennessee.  Us Senator Lamar Alexander lists ten good reasons why it should be opposed. Senator Alexander’s ten reasons also apply to Apex’s designs on Galloo Island and Iberdrola’s plans for Clayton and Orleans and vicinity.)

Senator Lamar Alexander questions Apex Energy industrial wind project.

In 1867, when the naturalist John Muir first walked into the Cumberland Mountains, he wrote, "The scenery is far grander than any I ever before beheld. ?Such an ocean of wooded, waving, swelling mountain beauty and grandeur is not to be described."

In January, Apex Clean Energy announced it would spoil that mountain beauty by building 23 45-story wind turbines in Cumberland County.
I urge citizens in Cumberland County - and all Tennesseans - to consider ten questions before allowing these massive wind turbines and new transmission lines to destroy the beauty of our state.

I still can recall walking into Grassy Cove in Cumberland County one spectacular spring day in 1978 during my campaign for governor. I had not seen a prettier sight. Over the last few decades, pleasant weather and natural beauty have attracted thousands of retirees from Tennessee and across America to the Cumberland Plateau.
Apex's proposed Crab Orchard Wind Project would be built less than 10 miles from Cumberland Mountain State Park, where for a half century Tennesseans and tourists have camped, fished and canoed alongside herons and belted kingfishers around Byrd Lake.

It will be fewer than five miles from Ozone Falls Scenic State Natural Area, where the 110-foot water fall is so picturesque that it was filmed as scenery in the movie "Jungle Book."

Here are my ten questions:

1.    How big are these wind turbines? Each one is over two times as tall as the skyboxes at the University of Tennessee football stadium, three times as tall as Ozone Falls and taller than the Statute of Liberty. The blades on each one are as long as a football field. Their blinking lights can be seen for twenty miles. These are not your grandma's windmills.

2.    Will they disturb the neighborhood? Here is what a New York Times review of the documentary "Windfall," said about New York residents debating such turbines: "Turbines are huge” with blades weighing seven tons and spinning at 150 miles an hour. They can fall over or send parts flying; struck by lightning, say, they can catch fire and can generate a disorienting strobe effect in sunlight. Giant flickering shadows can tarnish a sunset's glow on a landscape."

3.    How much electricity can the project produce? A puny amount, 71 megawatts. But, that's only when the wind is blowing, which in Tennessee is only 18.4 percent of the time according to the Energy Information Administration.

4.    Does TVA need this electricity? No. Last year, TVA said there is "no immediate need for new base load plants after
Watts Bar Unit 2 comes online."

5.    Don't we need wind power's carbon-free electricity to help with climate change? No. Nuclear produces over 60 percent of our country's carbon free electricity and is available 92 percent of the time. Wind produces 15 percent of our country's carbon-free electricity. Relying on wind power to produce electricity when nuclear reactors are available is the energy equivalent of going to war in sailboats when the nuclear navy is available.

6.    How many wind turbines would it take to equal one nuclear reactor? To equal the production of the new Watts Bar reactor, you would have to run three rows of these turbines, and transmission lines, along I-40 from Memphis to Knoxville.

7.    Can you easily store large amounts of wind power and use it later when you need it? No.

8.    So even if you build wind turbines, you still need nuclear, coal or gas plants for the 80 percent of the time when the wind isn't blowing in Tennessee? Yes.

9.    Then, why would anyone want to build wind power that TVA doesn't need? Because billions of dollars of wasteful federal taxpayer subsidies allow wind producers, in some markets, to give away wind power and still make a profit.

10. Who is going to guarantee that these giant wind turbines get taken down when they wear out in 20 years and after the subsidies go away? Good question.

What do you suppose John Muir would have written if his first view of the Cumberland Mountains had been massive, unsightly wind turbines instead of "waving, swelling mountain beauty?" What if he had seen sprawling transmission lines instead of "forest-clad hills?"

I hope that citizens of Cumberland County - and all Tennesseans - will work to stop out-of-state wind producers who are encouraged by billions in wasteful taxpayer subsidies to destroy our mountains.

There are few places in our state more beautiful than Cumberland County. We should not allow anyone to destroy the environment in the name of saving it.

Sen. Lamar Alexander

Lamar Alexander may be reached at alexander.senate.gov/public/index.

Question from the WDT: Are the post’s radar systems able to account for wind turbines?

Fort Drum relays some concerns about wind turbine development, says more research necessary


While the rest of the world recognizes industrial wind as a mistake, some in Jefferson County, NY are still willing to sacrifice the environment, the bucolic nature and the home values their neighbors.

Robin WhitlockWednesday, 11 May 2016
In the mid-2000s, the UK often topped the league for renewable energy investment but it has now fallen to 13th place in EY’s Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Index (RECAI). The reasons for this fall in interest are depressingly clear, including political hostility to clean energy and environmental action, slashing of clean energy subsidies by central government in favour of tax breaks for North Sea oil, nuclear power and shale gas. The report concludes that as a result, investment worth tens of billions per year in clean energy projects will be lost to the UK.
“A non-committal approach is putting the attractiveness of the UK’s renewable energy sector on a landslide” said Ben Warren, energy corporate finance leader for EY, speaking to The Guardian. “The current approach is going against the grain of almost universal global support for renewables, and is masking the UK’s advantages of a growing energy imperative as ageing power plants are retired, strong natural resources, and efficient capital markets.”
Please support the Town of Clayton, The Town of Henderson and other towns in the county by voicing your opinions directly to the New York State Public Service Commission matters at these two links:

Horse Creek Clayton:

Galloo Island

Don't be talked out of making your voice known!    Wind developers would love to have you remain silent! 

Don't take any wooden nickels from ANYONE who claims your comments to the NYS Public Service Commission are a waste of time.

Become part of the public record!

The following is the most recent citizen comment to the Galloo Island matter:

Regarding noise propagation across the open lake:

Previous contributors noted that wind power generators make noise whether the blades are turning or not and have mentioned that along the lakeshore, we can often hear fairly minor sounds from activities on Stony Island (such as generators low growl), despite the Island being 4 miles away.  We can clearly overhear boaters' conversations at certain conditions, even when the boat is very far away.

But I'm confident that most residents are unaware of why or how this might happen, and why we shore residents are concerned about the intrusion we may suffer if this wind power project were to proceed.

This link connects to an article which shows why the noise can travel so far without dispersing....http://doorstoarrival.com/meteorological-effects-change-sound-propagation/.   Of course, the first reason is that there are no trees to dissipate the sound along the way, but there is another atmospheric factor that traps the sound.

Basically the issue is that when there is an inversion layer (of more dense air above a surface layer), the sound does not radiate in all directions, but rather is conducted in a layer of air between the lake surface and this higher layer....  

The phenomenon is a bit like how a skipping stone travels across the surface of the water, and a little like how radio waves skip around the world.  the link does a much better explanation than I can; it is written by an atmospheric scientist who deals with airplane noise impacts in Southern California....where a similar marine layer traps noise generated below it.

My concern is that for those of us with property directly on the shore, with nothing to dissipate the pulsing sounds of the many huge blades travelling at up to 200 miles per hour, we will be excessively affected by this project.  Please force the developer to demonstrate the sound levels which will be detected, down wind of 30+ huge turbines at ~5 miles away across open water in a variety of atmospheric conditions before any agreement to proceed.  

Actually, there are many summer residents quite nearby Galloo Island on Stony Island...a mere 1 mile away, down wind.  Certainly these people would suffer worst of all. Any study should indicate also the acoustic impact those property owners would suffer as well.

New technology, such as the bladeless windmills demonstrated recently in Spain, or the efficient flying wing will be commercialized in the near future which eliminate or vastly reduce these noise effects of industrial wind generators. See this link:  http://www.techinsider.io/google-x-wants-to-revolutionize-wind-energy-with-makani-power-2015-8.  

Please do not allow any industrial development on Galloo Island.  There is too much to lose, too much unknown about its noise and light pollution and too little to gain.

“We had no knowledge of the purchaser,” Pamela Atwater said. “If we had known, there wouldn’t have been anything we could have done about it.”

Almost any town that lies on the shore of Lake Erie, Lake Ontario or the St. Lawrence should consider itself to be a possible target for wind development. Rather than be surprised to discover that local officials have established financial ties with wind developers, local residents of these towns should be inquiring about this before local officials are elected or appointed – and to keep inquiring periodically thereafter.
“Article 10 also requires that the developer must publish a list of any public officials in the affected locality, or their relatives, who have sold or leased land to the developer.
Three of the names listed on the disclosure form, which was released last week, already had been revealed by Somerset officials. They are Councilman Gary R. Alt, whose mother signed a lease for four parcels on West Somerset Road; Planning Board member Christopher Czelusta, who signed a lease for a lot on Hosmer Road; and Code Enforcement Officer Stephen B. Lee, who leased land on Haight Road.”
Husband of Apex foe listed as seller of land to company 
By Thomas J. Prohaska | News Niagara Reporter

on May 22, 2016 
·         SOMERSET – Randall B. Atwater, whose wife is the president of a citizen group opposing a wind turbine project in Somerset and Yates, is listed among a group of public officials who have sold or leased land for the project.
Pamela R. Atwater, president of Save Ontario Shores, or SOS, said her husband, a member of the Barker Board of Education, did not sell land to Apex Clean Energy for its Lighthouse Wind project.