Falmouth Town Meeting - Article 9 - "I was about to say..."
by Mark J. Cool
My name is Mark Cool, precinct 6.
Last December, durning my annual FAA flight physical, I reported my accounting of noteworthy physical changes since my last physical to the FAA New England Flight Surgeon.
I explained the pressure headaches and about not being able to get the sleep necessary to perform my air traffic controller duties. In short, the remedy I received was a warning that medications, that may relieve my symptoms, might also disqualify me from performing duties as an air traffic controller.
I was suddenly placed in the position to either -
tolerate the headaches, get use to the sleep depravation and continue my 30 year career as an air traffic controller
OR take prescriptions that would �down me�, disqualify me, force me to retire. Yet, they would possibly relieve my symptoms.
In other word, continue to suffer and be an air traffic controller OR, hopefully, feel better and be forced to retire.
I�ve chosen to remain being an air traffic controller. Not many people can do what I do. I am responsible for more lives in a single day than any doctor at the Falmouth hospital has charge for in a 3 months. The most significant difference now, as compared to before the turbines, I am responsible for the same lives.. only with less sleep. Imagine!
Article 9�s concern is strictly about Citizen Health. The fear expressed last night by Mr. Gary Anderson (Financial Chair) is that if passed, the action may hinders the possibility of �re-start� operations.
Near the end of last night a TM member echoed this fear, reading portions of what she believes to be proof from Mr.Funfar�s letter to the editor that.... permanently shutting down wind turbine projects in Falmouth was the intent of article 9 petitioners.
Even member�s of the Board of Health, seeming to support the spirit of the article, have expressed a concern for a date certain it could be turned on again.
Everyone is entitled to their opinions, but it�s about the Health facts. Facts that each one of us in this room want uncovered.
The facts of how much clean energy is generated, how many pounds of CO2 is eliminated or how many dollars will be lost.... has no bearing on what has undeniably become a health issue because Wind I & II have been possibly improperly sited. No one knows answers without the facts. No one knows if this is an honest to God health threat.
The Selectmen voted unanimously for a wind speed curtailment. They acted without all the facts. They didn�t know it would cost $175,000. Did they care? My impression is that they cared only about the fact that citizens were suffering and that it was within their power to offer relief.
The Board of Health officially stated they needed facts! They�ve contacted the State DEP and DPH for guidance. They�ve contacted and requested a Falmouth specific epidemiological case study be conducted by the Boston University School of Public Health. My impression is that they were specifically addressing facts relating to the health of the residents. (not clean energy or CO2 amounts)
One of the BoH members made it crystal clear. I Quote - � �The bottom line is that we�re the board of health and we have to be concerned about the health of the community.� End quote.
He further remarked - Residents who live near the turbines did not have the symptoms before the turbines were built, but they do have symptoms now. And no one knows why because the health facts remain uncovered!
Another Fact worth noting. State Legislators have before them this session, five (5) bills that, it is hoped, will ultimately provide the guidance and facts necessary to move toward a SAFE state wind energy future. It seems the search for facts on this issue is wide spread. And no one knows why because facts remain elusive.
At a February BoH meeting, after listening to the neighbors, the BoH acknowledged possible health related problems stating that �things may quickly proceed from annoyance to sleep deprivation to health effect.�
I would ask Town Meeting members - if the turbines, at any stage of previous town meetings, had been presented to cause possible health and quality of life threats on 50 or more citizen ..... would you have voted to continue to fund this wind energy project?
The only thing that can keep noise controlled is awareness and vigilance on the part of everyone.
You can't rely on town government to stop all illegal noise pollution. If you�re a witness to a noise activity not in compliance with law, most of us can call the authorities. The cops, the health or building inspector comes out, investigates and stops the noise.
When Turbine noise threatens me and my family�s health and my ability to sleep, there�s no one to call in Falmouth. Local authorities, instead want neighbors to e-mail descriptions of the events taking place.
No one comes out. No one stops the noise. No one stops the pressure. No local authority is on duty to investigate and enforce the noise ordinance on the source of the noise receiving preferential treatment (Wind Power Plant).
My neighbors have been Aware. We have been vigilant. Since local authorities don�t take calls, tired and sick neighbors call upon our neighbors for help this night.
I�m telling Town Members this to make one simple point. Ultimately, the health and safety of your family, your neighbor�s family, and indeed your community, is up to you, the citizen. What�s that worth to you?
It�s only about basic protections. The article asks that the fate of the turbines be dictated by science and medicine, not un-budgeted financial loss. A mistake is a mistake, budgeted or not. And this mistake, no matter the best intentions, jeopardizes the health of neighbors. What�s the price tag on the Cool�s or the Anderson�s or the Drummey�s?
Affording a citizen�s right to his or her health, as well as that of their family and neighbors in a community, should have no confines or price. This vital issue can only be judged with the universal conscience of basic community decency. Please Support art 9.