Monthly Archives: September 2012
Sarah Kelly writes-
Massive 404-foot (that is FORTY STORIES) Turbines Are Coming!
The city of Gloucester is allegedly going to share in the excess electricity generated by two 40-story turbines, soon to be installed by the Gloucester firm Varian. Unfortunately, the residents of the rest of Cape Ann will have two 40-story structures to look at for the rest of our lives without accruing any of the benefits of the energy allegedly generated. And before people respond by saying how much they love the Earth and turbines, let me state for the record that I am very fond of the Earth myself (I even capitalize the word!) and I’m all for turbines, by which I mean the responsible use of appropriately-scaled turbines as a back up for conventional energy sources — sources which come in handy when the wind doesn’t blow or blows when you don’t need it, which, frankly, is much the case with wind — and why we don’t move freight around the world anymore via sailing ships.
All over the globe (especially in the American Midwest, English countryside and in Australia), there is a race to install massive, utility-scale turbines in what appears to be an effort to make a pile of money from tax credits while taking advantage of the public’s low-grade (or full-throttle) hysteria about replacing conventional energy sources before the polar bears all die. This well-intended, deeply-felt desire to use energy more responsibly is circumventing common sense, and the profiteers have seen an opportunity to make a whole bunch of money, tearing around the planet to install massive turbines and wind farms — which can sometimes mean hundreds of massive turbines placed too close to homes in a scattershot, absolutely inefficient manner — before the public understands anything about utility-scale wind. The facts about utility-scale wind technology indicate that wind is just not viable as a mainstream energy source, utterly unsuitable for mass distribution. The technology, such as it is, lends itself to micro-development. So if someone wants to mount a wind turbine on the top of their house (or a turbine in a fast-moving body of water running through his/her property for hydro power) to offset the cost of their electricity, fantastic. But wind turbines become less efficient the more you scale up, which begs the question: why are the Varian turbines so huge? Would an installation of 1.0 megawatt turbines — more along the lines of 200 feet, and more to scale with Cape Ann’s existing structures — have served Varian’s needs just as well? By installing two 40-story skyscrapers, Varian has irrevocably, for all practical purposes, altered a landscape that belongs to all of us. And land is the ultimate non-renewable resource. Once land is industrialized, it is not easily reclaimed, which is why rural areas are zoned differently from urban areas. And while the area where the turbines will be located is zoned as industrial, I would bet that no one on the Zoning Board in Gloucester understood “industrial” to include skyscrapers when the zoning laws were put in place.
So I’m wondering: how is it that Varian can install two skyscrapers without a period of public comment from their non-Gloucester neighbors? Where’s the nearest 40-story structure? A city, of course. In Boston, 248 skyscrapers make up the cityscape, only 27 of which are taller than 400 feet. But no longer will you have to go to Boston to experience the joys of seeing one of those 27 structures. We’ll have our very own skyscrapers, a view of which we’ll have from practically every window in downtown Gloucester, Lanesville, Annisquam, Rockport and Pigeon Cove.
Another factor is that these two 2.0 megawatt turbines, although in an area zoned for industry, are still potentially located too close to residences. International recommendations for the installation of utility-scale wind turbines vary, but the general consensus in Europe is that industrial scale turbines should not be installed within 1.5 miles of a residence, due to shadow flicker and low frequency vibrations that can cause serious health problems for some people. This is no joke, a fact to which people who have been made sick by living too close to massive wind turbines can attest. This situation may be great for Varian, arguably great for Gloucester (we’ll see if the estimations of energy generated actually materialize), but what about the rest of us?
Ed Collard writes-
So the windmills are coming to Gloucester. I am of mixed thoughts on this but I’d have to say that overall I’m in favor of this. With the high cost of energy in dollars, the environment and human lives. I believe that we have to make some changes regarding our energy sources and windmills seem to be a clean, domestic and economical choice. Varian has put in a lot of time and money researching alternatives for their energy needs and would not be spending their money without careful consideration of the return on their investment. We have charged our elected officials, for one thing, to be prudent with our money and they have come to the conclusion that this will save us, the taxpayers on the city’s energy needs. Regarding the visual aspect I for one will look at them knowing that we are being pro-active in our exploration for alternative energy sources. I don’t like telephone polls but I sure do like my phone and cable. There will be many discussions about this in our coffee shops in the months to come but I think we can be proud of the fact that our city is doing something regarding our energy needs.
Any comments that are not civil on this post will not be approved.
Saw the 8 marvelous quilts hanging in the Sawyer Free Library… each representing the special ethos and heritage of a Gloucester neighborhood. My photos do not do justice, but all 8 quilts are really delightful! As one who loves to walk Gloucester, they are really a treat and so representative of community pride.
In her interview a couple of weeks ago (see here) Marina Evans said that Dogtown the title track of her new EP was a rocker — and when she released it today, she delivered. Listen below:
You can catch Marina on Thursday and Friday this week (see her schedule here).
Tonight there’s a special Open Jamm with the Bandit Kings at Rhumb Line. Don’t forget you still have time to help them make their record (click here for more info). If you’re not sure what I’m talking about and watch the video below:
You know how mad Uncle Donald Duck would get with his nephews? That would be RD when I got her out of this bag. Thought I was going to carryon but then at the last minute checked the bag and forgot about the rubber one. All was forgiven after I got her some Weissbier.
The Freshmen Football team once again does Gloucester PROUD! These young men practice their hearts out everyday and their efforts show on the field. Catch a Freshmen game soon! You can find the GHS sports schedule at: http://www.usatodayhss.com/school/gloucester-high-school-gloucester-ma
Boston Harbor Beacon has some great arial photos of coastal Massachusetts
Check em out here
Here’s the Boston one (you’ll have to click the link to check out the Gloucester one here)
Aerial views of Boston Harbor and its surroundings
Sitting on the pier in Magnolia watching the ocean spray and waves rolling. The pier was rolling as well. So pretty
During the Captain’s Courageous Festival this weekend, Khan Studio and the GMG Gallery hosted reader, Anita Sanchez and her book The Invasion of Sandy Bay. Anita and I swapped books, so she got Tales of Bong Tree Island and I got Invasion. I have started reading the book, but haven’t finished it yet.
In Anita’s book, a young boy plays a key role when the War of 1812 comes to his Massachusetts coastal fishing village. The little town of Sandy Bay, Massachusetts, was the site of one of the wildest invasions in U.S. history, when the might of the British Empire came up against hardheaded New England townsfolk. The Invasion of Sandy Bay, based on eyewitness accounts of actual events, tells the tale – through the eyes of a twelve-year-old boy – of what happened on the night when the British put too much gunpowder in one of their cannons. The hilarious – and true – events of the topsy-turvy invasion are set against the backdrop of the dangerous lives of the fishermen.
Based on the actual invasion of Sandy Bay (now Rockport), Massachusetts, this work adds a unique perspective to the War of 1812. The invasion is told through the eyes of 12-year-old Lemuel Brooks. On his first night of trying to learn the trade of fisherman, Lemuel and Bill Tarr, a veteran fisherman, are captured by the British frigate Nymph. Bill is forced to pilot the frigate closer to the village so the British Royal Marines can go ashore and capture the fort. Lemuel and Bill escape and warn the town. What ensues is not a typical invasion! One group of Marines captures the fort and takes nine of the town’s militiamen as prisoners. A raft with British Marines sinks near the shore, and the fishermen rescue them and take them prisoner. Colonel Appleton of the Gloucester militiamen bans a proposed prisoner exchange, so the townsfolk take matters into their own hands. Aside from publicizing this little-known incident, the novel also fleshes out what daily life was like with an afterword that helps separate fact from fiction. Students will enjoy Lemuel’s adventures during the invasion and will empathize with his views on life. –Library Media Connection
The book can be purchased on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/The-Invasion-Sandy-Anita-Sanchez/dp/1590785606
Click the photo to view larger and you will see the little Monarch flakes heading into the cherry tree. The clustering Monarchs were well-camoflouged by the autumn foliage nonetheless, their silhouettes are clearly visible in the setting sun.
Another passel of Monarchs poured onto the Point last Thursday at dusk, carried in by the warm southerly breeze. Overnight the wind shifted, coming in from the northeast, and by day break Friday morning, the Monarchs had flown from the trees, carried to shores further south by the blustery tailwind.
The Burnham’s Field Community Garden was a hive of activity over the weekend. The gardeners held our fall clean-up, pulling weeds, trimming back overgrown plants and making the place look shipshape. Hard to believe the Garden’s been around two summers now. Thanks to all the gardeners – and our friend Donna Ardizzoni of the One Hour at a Time Gang – for rolling up their sleeves and pitching in. The Garden looks great.
- John McElhenny
Barbara Collins clears an aisle of overgrowth next to her garden plot.
Diane Wolff-Thomas pulls some wayward strawberry plants that developed happy feet and migrated outside her garden plot.
This might me the most random email you’ll ever get…but I had to send it regardless. My fiance and I are planning engagement pictures in Gloucester (like…very soon. this week, soon! eek), where we’re also getting married. Your Flickr pictures are amazing, and you’ve already given me awesome ideas from that….but I was just wondering if you knew of any different spots that only a person who knows Gloucester as well as you do would know of? We’re trying to stay away from super beachy engagement pictures….I love the old fisherman boats and we’ll probably take pictures down town, too. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.
Joey C writes-
I would contact Cory and Violet at Sweet Shots Secret Spots and book a day in their jeep-
Where would you suggest?
Whatever you do, don’t do this to your future husband-
The ties to Gloucester for the Bluenose II are strong and historic. We’d appreciate it if you could post the relaunch of the Bluenose II live relaunch webcam in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. As you probably know, the relaunch will be next Saturday morning ~7:00 EST (8:00 in NS).
The link to the live relaunch webcam is http://www.novascotiawebcams.com/south-shore/bluenose-ii-eventcam.html though it is not live yet.
The link to the Bluenose II current view is http://www.novascotiawebcams.com/south-shore/bluenose-ii.html
Thanks so much, Margaret Jeddry
Lunenburg Shipyard, Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, Canada
Nova Scotia’s famous sailing ambassador is undergoing a major rebuild during 2011 & 2012 to ensure its legacy for many years to come. The project is taking place at the Lunenburg Shipyard, site of the construction of Bluenose in 1921. The public is invited to see and learn about preserving this important piece of Nova Scotia’s heritage. The work is being carried out by the Lunenburg Shipyard Alliance consisting of Snyder’s Shipyard, Covey Island Boatworks & Lunenburg Industrial Foundry & Engineering. Come visit the site until the re-launch this summer and see Nova Scotia boat-building at its best.
Shanty Singers from Len Burgess
Saturday on the Adventure. -Len Burgess
Joey C confession- While I admire the spunk of the Sea Shanty crazies they drive me up a wall when they fire up in the middle of a bar and all thoughts of holding a conversation are out the window. I’m also fairly certain that when the boys were out fishing the Grand Banks they weren’t strumming any ukuleles.
Cool reptilian encounter! from Ann Kennedy
Enjoying the local book stores today, we found that Toad Hall was hosting the Cape Ann Vernal Pond Team. Our daughter from Chicago is visiting us (yippee!) and here she is with the nice ladies and their snakes. Very informative and fun!
Hess House At Good Harbor From The Ocean Side. Photo by Anthony Marks
Good Harbor From Skip Montello
Hi Joey…Got this shot of Good Harbor Thursday afternoon as the sun was setting astern of my boat.
North Coast Angler www.northcoastangler.com
Skip Montello Photos www.skipmontellophotos.com
Thursday evening sunset with the moon. -Len Burgess
This week and this week only GMG will be accepting Health/Wellness submissions as part of GMG Health/Wellness week. Get your submissions in this week and I will run ONE POST for your organization- note this is only for this week and then we will close the health wellness publicity machine down til next January so get them in for submission. (try to make them creative along the lines of what the fabulous Treetop Yoga did by incorporating some Gloucester settings, locations or fun into your submission. YouTube videos are a great way to get your point across. Make ONE video and send me the URL and I’ll run that for you. You have til Thursday to get me something. email your submission to firstname.lastname@example.org
No excuse if you miss the deadline, no excuses if you didn’t see this post in time (you should be dissecting every square inch of the blog every day anyway so shame on you if you missed it)
One Week and One Week Only!
Use the Treetop Yoga Post as a guide to what I mean by making it creative and not simply an ad for your joint