Reports claim the decision to pull the plug on the project (Cape Vincent, NY USA) follow years of controversy in the community as the majority of residents were against the plan....ENERGYLIVE NEWS , Feb. 28, 2014

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Great Egret visits Cape Vincent, NY.

This evening, a JLL reader called to tell about a Great Egret that was visiting Stoney Point Road in the  Town of Cape Vincent. When we went out to visit, the bird was still there and successfully feasting on frogs.

Thank you, JLL reader for giving us a call.

The elegant Great Egret is a tall, white wading bird found on every continent except Antarctica. The Great Egret is the symbol of the National Audubon Society, one of the nation's oldest conservation organizations, which was first established to protect birds from feather hunters.
...... National Audubon Society

Just down the road we found these Mute Swans enjoying a Wilson Bay sunset swim.

Today is a great day to view Cape Vincent's ice, ducks and ships.

April 19, 2014

 Red-Brested Merganser gobbles a fresh fish.

 April 19, 2014

The Oaklgen passing  Cape Vincent

April 19, 2014

The Oakglen pushing ice near Wolfe Island's Hinkley Point and Horne's dock.

April 19, 2014.

Common Goldeneyes taking advantage of the areas of the St. Lawrence that did not have ice.

April 19, 2014

The Algoma Navigator, seen here from the Tibbetts Point road, was right behind the Oakglen.

Town of Cape Vincent Public Hearing regarding Water District #2 and #3 scheduled for Thursday, May 1, 6:00 PM at Recreation Park.

Deputy Supervisor, Richard Macsherry, "There's no reason to hold this public hearing up."

At the April 17 Town of Cape Vincent Board meeting, Councilman Paul Aubertine was pressing the issue that a committee from the Water Districts #2 and #3 should be formed to study and recommend to the town how they would like to address the numerous problems with those districts before a public hearing on billing issues is held. 

The other members of the town board were making the point that the bills must be paid and the required public hearing should be held May 1 so the town, as Water Commissioner,  can proceed with establishing a billing procedure that is fair to all members of both districts while the other issues regarding outside users and health and safety in District #2 are separate issues that will also have to be addressed separate from the billing issue.

Councilman Brooks Bragdon made the point that the bills have to be paid and that the committee that Paul Aubertine was suggesting could make their points at the public hearing on May 1.

Councilman John Byrne, who has been meeting with DANC, made the point that the billing issue was separate from other health and safety issues and there was a need for a timely solution for the billing.

Supervisor Hirschey said the bills must be paid and they will have a public hearing meeting. Hirschey stated, "The thing is, we're setting a public hearing for May 1. On May 1, that's the time to argue. I don't think we have to postpone the meeting."

Toward the end of the meeting, prior to the passing of the resolution setting the public hearing,  Town Board Deputy Supervisor Richard Macsherry clarified why the public hearing is necessary and appropriate at this time.

This is a transcript of Macsherry's comment,  prepared from a JLL recording of the meeting:

Richard Macsherry: For the audience and for the purpose of individuals who may be looking at this video, Paul, your Dad (Darrel Aubertine)  met with us last night with Terry (Aubertine) for two solid hours. We already have a list of things that he asked us to look into. We already have an assignment that is, in all probability, very close to what the members of this ad hoc committee are going to charge us to look into. We've already started doing this. That was an impromptu meeting. I was in Syracuse with my wife. I had to really haul ass back here to make that meeting. This was an impromptu thing and it was called with very short notice. We made the effort to be there. We sat there and talked with your Dad about this. We have a list of items to work on. There's no reason to hold this public hearing up. We already have our assignments, so by that two weeks we will probably have some answers. There are going to be answers that are probably going to involve into broader issues. Whether or not the rates that have been set for this year are going to be changeable is going to be a question. We're going to have to involve our attorney as far as the contracts are concerned. It will be a slow process. It is not going to be a quick process to remedy. We have the obligation to get the bills out. Mark and John have worked to come up with one algorithm for how to do it. If that algorithm isn't correct and you want to challenge the algorithm, that's just fine. That's what the public hearing is for. This is just to get on with business. We stayed for two hours, listened to what everybody had to say, took notes, we have our assignments. Let us proceed with that. We're doing that in good faith. Districts two and three, rather than complain about it, should realize that we're listening and we're going to do something. 

Friday, April 18, 2014

Town of Cape Vincent Water Districts #2 and #3 became a contentious issue at last night's (April 17) Town of Cape Vincent Board Meeting.

Last night's Town of Cape Vincent Board meeting started with privilege of the floor comments by Judge Collen Knuth who reminded the public that until May 15 the open burn ban is still in effect throughout the State. The open burn ban forbids any kind of intentionally set fire. Heavy fines can be imposed. Knuth also addressed a new law that allows local judges to address sixteen and seventeen year offenders with a "youth court". First time offenders willing to admit to their crime might receive a community service sentence and it is suggested that such service be performed in their community so that parents do not have to deal with driving them to a distant community. If there is a problem with the youthful offender and the community service then they can be immediately sent back to the "youth court" for additional determination. Emphasizing that the offenders would be local youths, Knuth expressed hopes that some agency within the village or town would be willing to participate with the community service.

Deputy Supervisor Richard MacSherry reported on town financials and said the general fund stands at $536, 325 a decrease from the month of March of $82, 241. A major items included payments for the water districts. MacSherry pointed out that water district payments are staggered throughout the year.

Councilman John Byrne reported that the Village of Cape Vincent has been cleaning up brush and was looking into assistance from Cape Vincent Correctional inmates. Mr. Mason will be installing 480 new water meters and Fourth Coast will be installing antennae for reading those meters. It was discovered that gutter drains at the Roxy were going into the village sewers and the village is working on a correction. Due to a faulty timer, the fire whistle is going off twice and the fire department has plans for replacement. The village will be looking for a replacement for Tom Kozlowski, Waste Water Manager, who is retiring. The fourth water filter project is now into long term financing. 

Council John Byrne also reported that most of the board was at a Development Authority of the North County (DANC) meeting. DANC is involved with Town of Cape Vincent Water Districts #2 and #3. Between Water District #2 and #3, the town takes an allocation of 20,000 gallons from the DANC waterline that passes through the town on the old railroad bed. The town signed off on that allocation. Byrne reported that by the time the meeting was over, DANC had answered all of the town's questions.

Councilman Brooks Bragdon reported that the most of the April Town Planning Board business had to do with recent Snug Harbor development. Snug Harbor has plans for replacing older mobile home units with modular "cabin" units. Snug Harbor had first gone to the Zoning Board of Appeals for a special use permit that went through a public hearing. It was decided that the project was fit for approval with the understanding that if a mobile home is removed and replaced with a modular cabin unit then, in the future, that modular can't be replaced with a mobile home. With that understanding, Snug Harbor was granted permission to proceed with plans that will upgrade their recreation park. The Town Board also addressed some "clean up" details regarding the now defunct British Petroleum SEQR as well as the removal of their meteorological towers.

Deputy Supervisor Richard MacSherry spoke in the absence of the Town of Cape Vincent Zoning Law Review and Update Committee Chairman, Robert Brown. Macsherry said that copies of the law including draft revisions have been made and are available for final review by the committee members before their next meeting. Supervisor Hirschey commented that he was very proud of the professionalism and work by Mr. Brown's committee and he is confident that they "fixed what needed to be fixed."

Councilman Paul Aubertine reported on the April 7 Zoning Board of Appeals meeting. In the past it was understood that ZBA alternates could serve only in the case of a conflict of interest by an appointed board member. Chairman Dennis Faulknham looked into the service of the alternates and a decision was made that the alternates could serve in the case of member absence as well. Councilman Aubertine reiterated the same information concerning Snug Harbor that was previously reported by Councilman Bragdon, adding that Snug Harbor was given "resort status" by the ZBA pending the now completed review by the planning board.

Dave Croft reported on the town Recreation Park. Mr. Croft reported on the multiple activities at the park, recent inspections of fire protection devices, maintenance and delays in usage of the ball field as a result of the late spring. Regarding his duties with the water districts, Dave reported that spring "turn ons" often turned into spring "turn offs" as a result of the uncooperative weather. Although delayed by weather everything is ready to go for the opening of Tibbetts Point and the repair of roofs on some of the buildings.

Highway Superintendent Danny Hubbard reported that the town received from the State $127,000 for paving. Work will be done on Bedford Corners, Branch Road, Grant Road, and Stoney Point Road. Drainage work will be done on Favret Road. Hubbard extended an invitation to any who would like to stop by the Town Barn to see the new grader, a recent major investment. The Town will use their equipment to assist the village with large piles of brush while the village workers will deal with the smaller piles. Hubbard gave an extensive report on numerous town highway activities planned for the spring. He also reported that water is available at the town office for those who want to pick it up. Hubbard reported that the weather has caused his department to be about a month behind with normal spring activities.

Zoning enforcement officer, James Millington, reported that "it has been pretty quiet" and he issued only four permits for March. 

Supervisor Hirschey reported that the water committee for District #6 met with Matt Cooper of Bernier Carr. The time frame for new Water District #6 looks like a Fall 2014 start with the possibility of water on Tibbetts Point by summer of 2015 depending on when permission to proceed is granted. There was some discussion with the Department of Health who was recommending that the new water line go along the road and in front of the homes. Hirschey said that placement would be very difficult and, according to Matt Cooper, they would be receptive to putting the line behind the  Tibbetts Point homes.

Brooks Bragdon reported that he and others representing Cape Vincent attended a recent Clayton meeting about the designation of the Thousand Islands between Morristown and Tibbetts Point as a Scenic Area of Statewide Significance. The designation does not give the area control or restriction over appropriate development but is a recognition of the high quality of the area.

Richard Macsherry was asked by Supervisor Urban Hirschey to report on an Emergency Medical Service meeting they attended in Clayton. Macsherry reported that the Cape Vincent Fire Department  has concerns about the future of local providing local EMS volunteers. TIERS of Clayton may have to become more actively involved in expanding services to the Town of Cape Vincent. If that is the case, Macsherry warned that emergency medical services may eventually become a big budget item for the town.

The rest of the one hour meeting was spent with a heated discussion regarding problems with Water Districts #2 and #3. People from the floor became out of order, often interrupting the town board meeting. Regarding the water district problems, it appeared that the town must resolve two issues:

1). Immediate attention must be given to the setting of fair billing for both districts. Thus, a resolution was passed setting a public hearing.

2) Aside from the billing issues,  Water District #2 legal users are passing on their DANC allocation and apparently billing "outside users". They have built what they have described as a private water delivery infrastructure. One "outside user" of the "private infrastructure" has expressed concerns that he was paying more for his water in Cape Vincent than he does for DANC water in Limerick although DANC charges all municipalities the same rate. The Board of Health and the Department of Conservation have, in the past, have expressed issues with outside users of New York State water districts and it is the town that is ultimately responsible for the health and safety of the water supply systems.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Town of Cape Vincent will hold a May 1, 2014 Public Hearing on the setting of water rates for Water District #2 and #3.


The public hearing for the setting of water rates for Town of Cape Vincent Water Districts #2 and #3 will be held at the Town Recreation Park on May 1, 6:00 PM.

Prior to the May 1 public hearing, at 4:00 PM, the Town Board will interview candidates to fill the vacated position of former Town Councilman Clif Schneider.

At the end of tonight's town board meeting, during the passing of the resolution to set the public hearing for the setting of rates for Water Districts #2 and #3, meeting order broke down when audience members voiced objections to the setting of the hearing date. Members of District #2 apparently wanted to form a committee to work things out before a public hearing was set. One citizen commented that they had been working on the issue for four years, so what does another two years matter?

Supervisor Hirschey told the objecting group, including Councilman Paul Aubertine, that on April 16 he and others had spent two hours with Darrell Aubertine, Paul's father,  and had worked some things out that would have been addressed by a committee. Hirschey also made the point that the billing issues needed to be addressed immediately and that other issues like health and safety were matters aside from the billing.

Clayton Route 12E ospreys return to find their home missing.

These two Ospreys returned to Clayton, NY to find their home missing. There was talk about what happened. Some say that the wind blew it down. But, no osprey would believe that. In Florida hurricanes, the last thing to go is a well built osprey  nest. Other rumors point to some big fat meanies who got up there and removed every last stick.

Home is home and this loving pair got right to work just a bit down the road, seen here as the Mrs. oversees the initial wedging of the foundation branches.

Statement from Tom Connolly, Vice Chair of NYS Independence Party

Share this:    
For Immediate Release: April 17, 2014
Contact: Tom Connolly | 518-598-4026
Statement from Tom Connolly, Vice Chair of NYS Independence Party

"Games, they're what political insiders play to try and confuse voters.  
Last week the Stefanik Campaign filed 137 Independence Party signatures, certifying to the state they had number the number of valid signatures required by the Election Law. The law requires 1222.  As Vice Chairman of the State Independence Party, these actions raise concerns that the Stefanik campaign is either not ready for prime time or is trying to dupe voters and the State Board of Elections.
That is why today we are reiterating our support for Matt Doheny.  Matt is North Country through and through, what you see is what you get. He is a straight talking, hard–working family man with a deep knowledge of the issues that confront the 21st CD. When he is elected to Congress there will be no games, no political insiders – just what’s right for the North Country. "


Town of New Orleans tells the New York State Public Service Commission, "Respect our local laws".

The Thousand Island-Golden Crescent
proposed industrial wind turbine
sacrifice zone.
According to an article on the front page of the April 16, 2014 edition of the "Thousand Island Sun" The Town of Orleans has sent a letter to the New York State Public Service Commission regarding Matter #12-02811, the Horse Creek Wind Farm, LLC, Petition for a Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need Pursuant to PSL Article 10  for a Major Energy Generating Facility.

According to the article, the town of Orleans has asked the PSC to respect local law if Iberdrola Renewables proceeds with an application to develop. The letter was submitted a few days ago but has not yet appeared on the PSC website.

For over a decade, The Thousand Island-Golden Crescent Town of Cape Vincent was also targeted by big industrial wind as a turbine sacrifice zone. However, that siting attempt fizzled several years after becoming a Public Service Commission matter. According to a London business news agency, British Petroleum abandoned their attempts to pursue and sell the project  after they came to the conclusion that the "majority of the residents were against the plan". The PSC record of the Cape Vincent matter is still available for viewing at this link.

Cape Vincent Town Board Meets tonight.

The public hearing addressing billing problems with Water Districts 2 and 3, which was originally announced for 5:00 PM, tonight, April 17, one hour before the  regularly scheduled monthly board meeting, has been canceled.

The  town board meeting will take place tonight (April 17) at 6:00 PM at the Town Recreation Center.

It is expected that, at some point in the near future, perhaps tonight,  the Town Board will go into executive session to chose a replacement for the position of Clif Schneider who recently resigned. It is my understanding that as many as six Cape Vincent citizens have submitted applications for the vacant position.

It is also my understanding that one or more of the applicants for the town board position have gone on the public record as  opposing the voting rights of seasonal citizens and taxpayers either by their assembly, by signing a petition, passing an illegal resolution or signing a Supreme Court affidavit alleging voter fraud by 80 taxpaying residents on a list or many others who legally voted in the 2013 fall elections.  An appointment of any of those candidates by Hirschey, Byrne, Bragdon and Aubertine would jeopardize any goals that have been set for a "healing of the community" and "moving forward" after a decade of community struggle under the threat of becoming an industrial wind turbine sacrifice zone. Season residents make up 75% of the year round tax base and it would be wise for this Town Board to be sure that the majority of those who pay the bills at least have a chance of fair representation and respect from our town leaders.

Town of Cape Vincent must address and finalize serious issues with Water District 2

The unwillingness of residents of Water District 2 to allow regular water testing is a potential liability for the town.  The risk is that tainted water from District 2 could make people within the district sick, and it also could contaminate DANC water down stream through inadequate or faulty backflow preventers.

Several years ago Matt Cooper, engineer for Bernier and Carr Associates, made a presentation to the Cape Vincent Town Board that described operations and locations of all of their water districts. I attended that work session and many water district related town meetings and work sessions that followed.

As a result of those meetings, the town was made aware of concerns that had to be addressed to ensure that the town fulfilled their function as the legal and sole "Commissioner of Water Districts".  The New York State Board of Health, the Department of Conservation, and the Development Authority of the North Country are aware of those concerns. Recently, members of the Town Board have been meeting with DANC to work out billing issues in Water District 2 and District 3.

According to the water district agreement for Water District #2, there are five users. However, since the original agreement was made between the users and the town, the Water District #2 DANC water allocation  is being passed on via "privately installed infrastructure" which may be serving as many as a dozen other families. The additional families privately joining the district are being called "outside users". The BOH and DEC has issues and concerns with water district "outside users".  Members and unknown "outside users" have refused to allow Fourth Coast, hired by the Town of Cape Vincent, to survey and determine the extent and location of the District 2 infrastructure.

You can read about Water District #2 by visiting this link to the Watertown Daily Times.

One of the legal users has a sufficient well. Although a private line has been run to his property, he has not tapped into it. Consequently, he has, "refused to pay a monthly charge on his tax bill of $106.85 for the past 19 months, assessed by the town because his house that is equipped with an underground well could instead be connected to a waterline operated by the Development Authority of the North Country…." You can read his story at this link to the Watertown Daily Times.

Also, the Blog, Pandora's Box of Rocks, has published information about Water District 2 that was obtained with a FOIL. You can visit the Pandora's Box of Rocks report at this link.

The Town of Clayton, Orleans, Brownville and Lyme might want to become more familiar with the consequences of developing an industrial wind turbine sacrifice zone around Horse Creek.

The Never Dull Life of a Wind Farm

We all hear about the wind farm build-up — siting, permitting, development — but what happens after the project is commissioned?

 A wind farm’s story is a little bit like a romantic comedy. It’s all about the buildup. We tend to rivet our attention on the development phase – the controversies over siting, the struggle for permitting, the landing of contracts.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Congressional 21 candidate Matt Doheny reacts to decision to uphold SAFE Act.

For Immediate Release: April 16, 2014
Contact: David M. Catalfamo | | 518-729-0469
Statement from Congressional Candidate Matt Doheny on Today's SAFE Act Ruling

“Notwithstanding today’s ruling, it doesn’t take a Supreme Court scholar to know that the SAFE Act infringes on the rights of law abiding citizens to bear arms or that the use of a Message of Necessity was purely a cynical tactic to avoid public scrutiny of an ill-conceived, poorly constructed law. While today’s decision is disappointing, I applaud those with the courage to stand up for our 2nd Amendment rights and hope pending litigation will result in a better outcome for law abiding gun owners.”

Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River pack ice still interferes with St. Lawrence Seaway shipping.

Update:  Today, April 20,  the scene is much the same. Early this morning what little open water that could be seen was frozen over from last night's low temperatures. It is worthy of drive  to Cape Vincent to view on this sunny Easter Day.

April 15, 2014

The Canadian ice breaker, Griffon, in the rain and fog, was still working  in the source of the St. Lawrence River.

April 16, 2014
Western edge of the village of Cape Vincent, NY looking toward Lake Ontario

April 16, 1024
Tibbetts Point Road looking west.

April 16, 2014
Tibbetts Point looking toward Granadier Island. A temporary dead end for Seaway shipping.

April 16, 2014
View from Tibbetts Point looking west into the shipping lane of the Seaway.

April 16, 2014
View from Tibbetts Point Road looking east. Carlton Island is in the background.

April 16, 2014

View from Tibbetts Point Road looking north at Hinkley Point, Wolfe Island.

April 16, 2014

The Manitoba was off Bear Point, Wolfe Island, pushing its way downstream.

April 16, 2014

The Griffon, shown here passing the Cape Vincent, NY waterfront spent the day in service off front of Dodge Bay near the east end of Carleton Island.

Bliss, NY - Home For Sale - asking less than 1/2 of what they bought it for, pre-wind farm.

3598 Telegraph Rd, Bliss, NY 14024

Many homes in the Towns of Clayton, Orleans, Brownville and Lyme, NY still live with the threat of being thrown into an industrial 
wind turbine sacrifice zone.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Town of Cape Vincent, NY is an incredible place for a nature drive. Even some birds go out of their way to visit Cape Vincent.

Of the hundreds of thousands of ducks that have passed through Cape Vincent during the 2014 spring migration, this is the only pair of redhead ducks that we have noticed. The Redhead is a common breeding duck of the prairie marshes but is uncommon on the east coast. You will find it in summer on ponds and lakes and during the winter in tidewater areas. It is found in most of North America and Mexico. Redheads breed in the summer in central Alaska, the Great Plains and throughout the west.

Vermont family driven off their land by industrial wind turbines.

The residents of the Town of Cape Vincent, NY are expressing relief that British Petroleum has "actually gone away" and the threat of their community becoming a British Petroleum industrial wind turbine sacrifice zone has been removed. Spring is in the air and the community is getting itchy to move ahead with summer events and planning for the future.

"I still can't believe it," said one person who recently pulled over his car and rolled down the window, stopping me during my walk. "This removes ten years of uncertainty and I feel better about the future of my family's Cape Vincent lifestyle.",  he further commented. 

Folks have been stopping by the house, sending emails and calling on the phone. The general consensus? Let's count our blessings and move our community ahead so we can catch up to what could have been done while we were on hold. One person commented, "It was one long #%!@*&# winter, but British Petroleum gave us a spring like no other."

And of course they all posed the question, "What do ya think?"

My answer,  "Its up at the top of my blog. An energy business news organization just down the road from British Petroleum's London Offices reported that the majority of the Cape Vincent residents were against the plan and that is why they could not sell it and bailed out."

Yes, count our blessings and thank the Cape Vincent town officials and volunteers for their hard work. For, this is what has happened to a family in Vermont who have been on their land for 72 years:

Utility buys out Vermont wind turbine neighbors

Nelson family, troubled by Green Mountain Power's Lowell Mountain wind facility, accepts $1.3 million

Written by
Free Press Staff Writer
Don and Shirley Nelson, neighbors of Green Mountain Power Corp.’s Lowell wind turbines who fought the project for years, have settled with the power company and will move away, the company and the couple said Monday.
Green Mountain Power will pay the Nelsons $1.3 million for their 540-acre Albany property that sits on the east side of Lowell Mountain, where the utility has installed 21 wind turbines. The Nelsons will retain 35 acres and have up to two years to remain on the property, the utility said in a statement.
The Nelsons fought the siting of the turbines overlooking land that has been in their family for 72 years. After the project was completed at the end of 2012, the couple complained that the noise from the turbines made them ill and disputed the company’s noise measurements that showed them to be within standards set by the state.
The couple said they plan to move “well away” from the turbines. They said they realized that the turbines would never be removed.
The couple and the company had been in a protracted legal battle that included a disagreement over the property line and claims that the Nelsons and their supporters trespassed during construction of the turbines.