Independence on the Horizon?


I realize that you must *click* on this photo to enlarge it to properly see it!

I have always stayed on the straight and narrow, avoiding controversy at nearly all cost, as I am not one who enjoys debates. Lively discussion always interests me as long as participants are on “equal ground”….ie, “informed”.

A few years back, there was a lot of hubbub regarding installing wind generators in our neck of the woods. Folks were vehemently opposed. Reasons included chasing away wildlife, killing birds with their guillotine-like blades, and just ruining the beauty of the hills surrounding us.

One of the most influential nay-sayers was self-made Rochester billionaire Tom Golisano. Mr. Golisano grew up in Rochester, just an average kid from an average family.  He had one of those “lightbulb going off” moments several years ago when he decided he would open a company doing payrolls offsite for companies. Thus, his “baby”, Paychex, was formed.  Despite banks declining to loan him the funding, he used every asset he could, and beat the odds and, well, the rest is (as *they* say) history.

After researching further the benefits, as well as liabilities of wind-generated power, Mr. Golisano became a believer…..beginning yet a new venture called Empire State Wind Energy. (totally unrelated, he is also the owner of the Buffalo Sabres)

Mr. Golisano went around to areas considered to be likely sites for generators, presenting the benefits and facts regarding these behemoths and beginning heated discussions amongst townspeople. One of the areas was a small town south of Naples, called Cohocton.  As we drove through this little community, it was obvious the homeowners’ stance regarding wind power, as they either had signs declaring “no”, or, “yes”.  A few months ago, supporters began sporting little wooden replicas of generators in the front of their homes.

I read with interest many of the arguments in the community, but as life got busy here, I kind of forgot all about it.

Thus, the photo above, taken this morning, was a great surprise as I saw the gigantic towers standing on the hillsides!  I had seen machinery on the hills for months, but had no idea the windfarm had advanced to this stage!

Yes, the towers aren’t the prettiest things to look at. However, in July of 2006, we visited the Tug Hill windfarm.  We traveled the roads leading to the towers and we even stood under the towers. We found cows peacefully grazing and I never saw a bird even come close to the blades which happen to spin, not rapidly, but at an almost hypnotizingly steady pace.

As the price of gasoline and travel are on the increase, as well as the shrinking dollar on the world market,  I see these windfarms as a symbol of independence. After all, isn’t that what America is all about?