Yo Councilor Cox Can We Kindly Request Turbine Results?

Per our discussion in the GMG comment section I contend that if the energy produced and saved results were made available online that it would make the proponents happy and the skeptics happy if the results are what they’ve been projected.

Without the data the general public whose tax dollars erre used in part to fund it are left to (pardon the pun) drift in the wind.

Can you request that at one of your meetings?

Anyone else who would be interested in tjis data chime in on the vomments to this pist as well.

TIA Melissa Full On Footie Duck Jammie Cox 🙂


  • Yes, very interested in the data. I have always been a proponent of the wind turbines (I can even see them from my kitchen windows in Fort Square), but I have noticed more and more lately that when the wind is whipping around my house, so much so that I can’t sleep, I look out at the turbines thinking, at least the wind is now doing a good thing, when lo and behold, all three turbines are not moving, or at most one is moving slowly, it happened again this morning as I left for work. I realize that the wind is really strong on the water, but I can’t believe that they don’t seem to budge much even during the biggest windstorms lately. I have been noticing this for about 3-4 weeks now. Would be very interested in the data.


    • My guess us that you dont just throw these things up and the next day flip the switch and they’re up and running connected to the grid.

      Id love to have the transparency of the data to either reinforce the argument for or against. Especially since tax dollars helped pay for them.


    • Jenn-I think they are probably actually moving pretty fast, but it doesn’t seem like it because they are so large and far away. I’m no expert so let’s see the data and let it do the talking.


      • Thanks, I agree on the data being needed, but really they are pretty close, I can see them very clearly and can definintely tell that they are not moving, especially compared to when one of them is moving. I even have binoculars that I’ve used just in case. 🙂


    • I can only speak about the apparently slow moving turbines. The speed of the blades is carefully regulated, as if they move too slowly, they waste a lot of wind power. But if they move too fast, the blades are always moving through turbulence from the blades ahead of them. So they can only go “so” fast. Would you believe, the speed of the blade tips can approach 200 MPH, thought they appear to us (due to their enormous size) to be creeping along. But the bottom line here is whether they are producing the expected amount of electricity. I’d like to know, too.


  • I’d love to see the data


  • go pound sand Joey! the general public! you do as your told not as you want! the check is in the mail and you will see whats in it for the town when you get it! enjoy the views long time home owners agenda 21 is your friend.


  • I worked on the project to the end when I was a Councilor. The way it works is thy are only allowed to run for specific hours because of the neighborhoods near by. Also, they have not been running long enough to get any usable data, I imagine. the more the turbine runs the less electric the city will need commercially. The city will get credited for the usage.


    • Hi Ann. I haven’t heard of the restricted hours of operation for the wind turbines (what hours are they)? If that is true, good for us. Unlike Scituate, which is in court concerning their the new windmills, and Falmouth, which recognizes noise responsibility to homeowners (taxpayers), and now shuts certain ones off at night. Gloucester’s turbines shut down at what time you say?


      • I’m also wondering how the City will monitor the noise generated by the three wind turbines. I guess that falls on the Health Department, and may also be reported to the Police Department by homeowners as a valid noise complaint.


  • When the blog was first hosting wind turbine discussion, I recalled from my research on Boston.com that the company operating the wind turbine in Scituate offered the public online real time “metering” of the power generation 24/7. That would be a good idea for Gloucester. It basically said: “Eventually, people may be able to monitor the electricity production through a website, and perhaps even view the turbine stats from their cell phones.” Elsewhere in the article, they call this a “public interface.” The link for this: http://www.boston.com/yourtown/scituate/gallery/scituate_turbine_finished_despite_obstacles?pg=14


  • The mayor’s administration will be doing the data on the savings etc..it will be done on a monthly basis..


  • I’ll be happy to see what I can do. Someone stated above that there may not be any stats yet so it may be a while. I am reading the blog after one cup of coffee so this caught me by surprise!


    • What??? You’re not getting this til now????

      Sefathia totally just leapfrogged you on the GMG Gloucester City Councilor Power rankings 😉

      PS- do you still have the footie rubber duckie jammies from the polar plunge or did you burn them?


  • Melissa I talked to Jim Duggan yesterday during a conversation he stated that of course they plan on doing the stats we need to know cost savings, etc he also said it would be monthly..will it take time of course technically on 2 of them it hasn’t been a month, but it doesn’t mean you can’t stay on top if it I know myself and other residents will. good morning off to work have a great day everyone Remember Kindness is Free..


  • I agree. I’m don’t like seeing them from everywhere you go in town! Irritating as hell.


    • They don’t bother me from a visual perspective. I’d be bummed if they didn’t make financial sense.


      • I think the main point that Fred made and I was trying to reinforce was that public online site where folks could check it out.

        I just think that’s flat out cool and would put to bed the arguments pro OR con about the feasibility.


  • An anonymous source indicates the Library is working on a Lyceum program dedicated to the sharing information about the windmills as well…


  • Do you think this is really true..

    This is biased and bad…

    This, like many things, is just not the way it is supposed to be. Children of congress members do not have to pay back their college student loans. How nice! Monday on Fox news they learned that the staffers of Congress family members are exempt from having to pay back student loans.
    This will get national attention if other news networks will broadcast it. When you add this to the below, just where will all of it stop? . Governors of 35 states have filed suit against the Federal Government for imposing unlawful burdens upon them. It only takes 38 (of the 50) States to convene a Constitutional Convention.

    This will take less than thirty seconds to read. If you agree, please pass it on. This is an idea that we should address.

    For too long we have been too complacent about the workings of Congress. Many citizens had no idea that members of Congress could retire with the same pay after only one term, that they specifically exempted themselves from many of the laws they have passed (such as being exempt from any fear of prosecution for sexual harassment) while ordinary citizens must live under those laws.

    The latest is to exempt themselves from the Healthcare Reform… in all of its forms. Somehow, that doesn’t seem logical. We do not have an elite that is above the law. I truly don’t care if they are Democrat, Republican, Independent or whatever. The self-serving must stop.

    If each person that receives this will forward it on to 20 people, in three days, most people in The United States of America will have the message. This is one proposal that really should be passed around.

    Proposed 28th Amendment to the United States Constitution: “Congress shall make no law that applies to the citizens of the United States that does not apply equally to the Senators and/or Representatives; and, Congress shall make no law that applies to the Senators and/or Representatives that does not apply equally to the citizens of the United States.”


    • Thank god not true..


      • Q: Is it true that members of Congress, their staffers and their family members do not have to pay back their student loans?

        A: Not true. Some congressional employees are eligible to have up to $60,000 of student loans repaid after several years — just like other federal workers. But that’s not the case for members of Congress or their families.


        My sister just sent me a chain e-mail that is trying to make a case for a 28th amendment to the Constitution stating that Congress shall make no law that members of Congress are exempt from obeying themselves. The e-mail uses the following example, and I’d like to know if it’s true:

        Monday on Fox news they learned that the staffers of Congress family members are exempt from having to pay back student loans. This will get national attention if other news networks will broadcast it. When you add this to the below, just where will all of it stop?


        We have received dozens of e-mails asking us if members of Congress and their family members or staffers are exempt from repaying their student loans. Many of those questions include the viral e-mail above or make reference to it or Fox News.

        Some of the different questions we have received:

        Are members of Congress exempt from repaying student loans?
        Are members’ families exempt from having to pay back student loans?
        Are children of members of Congress exempted from repaying their student loans?
        Do congressional staffers have to pay back their student loans?
        The answers are: no, no, no and yes — although some full-time congressional staffers participate in a student loan repayment program that helps pay back a portion of student loans. No more than $60,000 in the House and $40,000 in the Senate can be forgiven and only if the employee stays on the job for several years.

        The confusion appears to stem from remarks Fox News political contributor Dick Morris made Aug. 23, 2010, (a Monday) on “The Sean Hannity Show.” Morris misrepresented the student loan repayment program, and then his comment was further distorted by the viral e-mail and those who passed it along as fact.

        Morris: Do you know — my wife Eileen just told me yesterday that staff in the House of Representatives and in the Senate do not pay student loans back? The government pays it for them?

        Hannity: I didn’t know that.

        Morris: The House of Representatives last year spent $25 million paying the salary, student loans of their staffers.

        It is wrong to say congressional staffers “do not pay student loans back.” There are student loan repayment programs that may be offered to eligible House and Senate staffers, but those programs have annual and lifetime caps. It’s possible that some congressional staffers will not have to repay their student loans, but that depends on how much they owe and how long they remain on staff. It is also worth pointing out that a similar program exists for executive branch employees, so congressional staffers aren’t the only ones receiving this benefit. All of the programs were created to help recruit and retain qualified employees.

        We don’t take any position on the merits of the programs. But it’s simply not true that they exempt anyone from repaying their student loans.

        Student Loan Repayment Program for Federal Employees

        The student loan repayment program has been in effect for executive branch employees since 2001. It was established after the National Commission on the Public Service found that “the federal government had serious problems in recruiting and retaining a quality workforce,” according to a report by the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service.

        On its website, the Office of Personnel Management says federal agencies are not required to offer this benefit to their employees. But those that do can pay up to $10,000 per year per employee. The total payments are capped at $60,000 per employee and paid directly to the lender. Loans eligible for repayment include PLUS Loans, which are federal loans parents take out to help pay for their child or children’s education expenses. (To be clear: federal employees who are parents can get help with their PLUS Loans, but a PLUS Loan taken out by an employee’s parent is not eligible.) Eligible employees must sign a contract agreeing to remain in their federal job for at least three years — or reimburse the government “all benefits received.” Political appointees are not eligible for the loan repayment program.

        In 2009, “36 federal agencies provided 8,454 employees with a total of more than $61.8 million in student loan repayment benefits,” according to OPM’s August 2010 report to Congress. That represented a 23 percent increase in the number of employees receiving loan repayment benefits from 2008 and a 20 percent increase in the amount spent on the program. The average payment was $7,317.

        Congressional Staffers, But Not Members or Their Families

        The congressional programs were created soon after the one for federal employees took effect. They were started for the same reason: to recruit and retain highly qualified employees. The 2002 CRS report said that “some members of both the Senate and House” were concerned about “high turnover and ‘brain drain’ in their personal and committee offices.” Unlike the program for federal employees, the House and Senate programs require a service agreement of at least one year — compared with the three-year minimum requirement for federal employees.

        The House student loan repayment program was established by law in 2003, and specifically exempts House members.

        Title 2, Chapter 4, Section 60c-6: The Chief Administrative Officer shall establish a program under which an employing office of the House of Representatives may agree to repay (by direct payment on behalf of the employee) any student loan previously taken out by an employee of the office. For purposes of this section, Member of the House of Representatives (including a Delegate or Resident Commissioner to the Congress) shall not be considered to be an employee of the House of Representatives.

        Dan Weiser, a spokesman for the House chief administrative officer, confirmed that House members and their families are not eligible for student loan repayment. “The loan must be in the employee’s name,” he wrote to us in an e-mail. (However, PLUS Loans taken out by congressional employees are eligible for repayment under both the House and Senate programs. So, congressional staffers can get financial assistance in repaying loans they took out for their children’s education expenses — same as executive branch employees.)

        In congressional testimony last year, former Chief Administrative Officer Daniel Beard said that more than 3,000 House employees participated in the program in 2009. The cost was about $12 million in 2009. Beard also told Congress that the House increased “both the annual and lifetime caps for the Student Loan Repayment Program. The House’s student loan program now parallels the executive Branch program with an annual cap of $10,000 in benefits and a lifetime cap of $60,000.” The caps had been $6,000 and $40,000, respectively.

        It’s important to note that the laws establishing the House and Senate programs set minimum requirements, but the congressional office can establish additional criteria. For example, a member’s office can cap the payments at less than $10,000 per year, impose a waiting period before the employee is eligible for the program, or require the employee to meet certain performance standards in order to maintain eligibility.

        The Senate student loan repayment program, which was authorized by the fiscal year 2002 legislative branch appropriations bill, was started “for recruitment and retention purposes” in mid-March 2002, according to the 2002 CRS report. The law, as recorded in the Congressional Record, also says the purpose of the program is to permit Senate offices to “recruit or retain highly qualified personnel.” So, clearly the Senate program is for Senate employees — not senators and their families.

        The law states that payments are limited to $500 per month per Senate employee up to $40,000 in total. Those limits were in place for the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, 2010, and will remain in place for this year, according to reports that accompanied the annual spending bills for the legislative branch in fiscal years 2010 and 2011. The Wall Street Journal reported that the Senate spent $4.7 million on its student repayment program in 2009.

        We don’t know if the Senate, like the House, plans to raise its annual and lifetime limits — which is still possible since Congress has yet to pass a permanent budget for the current fiscal year. There isn’t any information on the program on the website of the secretary of the Senate, which by law is responsible for the student loan repayment program. We called the secretary’s office for details on the program and were told to talk to Vanessa Johnson, the student loan program administrator. We left messages for Johnson on Jan. 4, 5 and 6, but she did not return our calls. We also have outstanding calls to the Senate Rules and Administration Committee and the Senate Committee on Appropriations. We’ll be happy to update this item, if any of those Senate offices get back to us.

        Coming Soon: ’Public Service Loan Forgiveness’

        One last thing: Morris didn’t mention this on Hannity’s show, but the Department of Education will begin to provide forgiveness on direct federal student loans for employees who have worked for 10 years in “public service” jobs — including federal, state and local governments — as long as those employees made 120 consecutive payments on those loans over a 10-year period. The Public Service Loan Forgiveness program was created by the College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007, and applies only to payments made on direct federal loans after Oct. 1, 2007. That means the earliest that federal employees can benefit from the program is Oct. 1, 2017.

        Does that include congressional employees? Yes, it does, says Nikki Harris, who helps administer the program at the Department of Education. And congressional employees can participate even if they have already benefited from the existing student repayment programs, Harris said. But members of Congress are specifically exempted from this benefit. The department’s regulations say: “Government employee means an individual who is employed by a local, State, Federal, or Tribal government, but does not include a member of the U.S. Congress.”

        Bottom line: Members of Congress enjoy a lot of perks, as documented by everyone from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution to CRS to Fox News. But student loan repayment is not one of them. And the blanket statement that congressional staffers “do not pay student loans back” is simply not true.

        – Eugene Kiely

        Sean Hannity Show. Transcript, via LexisNexis. 23 Aug 2010.

        Congressional Research Service. “Student Loan Repayment Program for Federal Employees.” 6 Jun 2002.

        U.S. Office of Personnel Management. “Student Loan Repayment Program.” Undated, accessed 4 Jan 2011.

        U.S. Office of Personnel Management. “Federal Student Loan Repayment Program Calendar Year 2009. Report to the Congress.” Aug 2010.


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