Arkwright Residents Deserve Mitigation

To The Reader’s Forum:

I am writing in response to the article that ran in The Post-Journal 1/20/19 titled: Wind Turbines Topic Still Causes Tension in Arkwright. I am compelled to respond to the highly sensationalized and inaccurate reporting. I don’t want readers to think I am prone to “unruly” behavior or a light flicking terrorist.

The Observer’s reporter misrepresented the timeline and actual events. The Observer received complaints from other attendees who were upset by the factual errors and tone reported in the news article. In response, the Observer removed online, one of the more ridiculous and erroneous statements regarding Ms. Dando.

FACTS: Ms. Dando spoke much earlier – before my light flicker demonstration and even Facebooked to acknowledge this reporting error — so when speaking, she obviously could not be “shaking in the aftermath” (of my light flicking) as reported. Also, no little children were present or made afraid.

Here is a factual summary of the meeting, posted in the Observer by Rob Leary on 1/20/19 titled Another Side to Town Meeting.

I presented to the Arkwright town board the Vestas Shadow Flicker Detection System, an option for those residents being disturbed by strobing within homes and properties. (The EDPR wind company can well afford this — brags how they are such great corporate citizens and work well with communities, using the latest technology). This is a system that can predict and detect flicker and shut down problematic turbines accordingly. Mr. Norton was dismissive and said people can use curtains. I responded that curtains and blinds don’t work. I then told the board, if it affected you, you’d want it fixed. I will show you what it’s like and proceeded to flicker the lights 3-4 times. (There are many You Tube shadow flicker videos -showing what these residents are experiencing).

I did keep speaking because I was not over the three-minute time limit. It is extremely upsetting to witness board members make demeaning jokes or see the board member with a wind lease sit grinning, as residents complain of noise, flicker and vibration and asking for help. Guilty conscience perhaps.

Tragically, unlike the town board, subjected to mere seconds of my light flicker, Arkwright residents are sentenced to 20 years of shadow flicker. The town board rejected the Planning Board’s more protective wind laws that likely would have prevented noise and shadow flicker, in favor of profit- driven wind laws.

These residents deserve meaningful mitigation. When residents make complaints, they get bounced back and forth -the wind company says tell the town board and the town board says tell the wind company-nothing gets resolved. That is just plain wrong and should be unacceptable.

This incident has been very humbling and embarrassing. I just want people to know the reason for my actions and clarify reporting errors.

Joni Riggle