Speaking to a wider audience


To the editor:

The following was sent May 26 to our 1,327 Let Vineyarders Decide (LVD) members on Facebook, Twitter and the LVD site.

It has been almost a year since we were galvanized into action by the sudden arrival of the governor’s plan to place the entire state’s wind factory development in the form of 150, 50-story high behemoths adjacent to the federal wildlife sanctuary of Nomans Land and the state’s wildlife sanctuary of Cuttyhunk and Penikese.

Worse, the plan took away our planning control by bypassing our Martha’s Vineyard Commission and transferring control to the politically pliable energy facility siting board of governor appointed politicians, with no appeal to a court, as now exists.

Let Vineyarders Decide sprang into existence as a vehicle to attempt to salvage home rule and local control over what seemed to us (and the National Fish and Wildlife Service) to be half-baked plans that could do us irreparable harm with no concomitant benefit to anyone anywhere.

We realized that to be effective we needed to speak to more than Vineyarders — hence our change of name and enlargement of mission. Our new name is POINT (Protect Our Islands Now for Tomorrow). Our new constituents are all those who would be adversely affected if poorly thought out energy plans were allowed to continue without vigorous vetting — vetting of the sort I bet we all wish BP had been subjected to before they were allowed to create the ecologic disaster now unfolding.

The more we have studied and participated in the public discussion, the more we have discovered that our vulnerability to the big brother approach of the state was in no way confined to us. The state has systematically stripped local controls and repealed hundreds of years of public trust doctrine relative to our waters and specific protective legislation like the Oceans Sanctuary Act.

Governor Patrick has even used such Orwellian linguistic tricks as calling this drastic change a “Green” Communities Act — as if it were a benign correction in the public interest, rather than a power grab on behalf of those developers who seek to profit from our public resources. The 50-story behemoths are referred to benignly and bucolically as wind farms rather than the energy factories they would be.

POINT’s mission is to work to keep our communities involved, informed and empowered in the discussions and decisions involving the development of a smarter renewable energy plan. We will maintain a website of objective data, sponsor public meetings and otherwise seek to provide reliable information that will provide a basis for informed action. (Check out our new website at www.pointmass.org).

To assist POINT in realizing its mission, we have engaged as counsel Eric Turkington, our distinguished former state representative for many years. His keen understanding of how our government works (or should work, anyway) and the high regard in which he is held make him a perfect counsel for us.

An advertisement will run over Memorial Day not only on the Vineyard, but also on Nantucket. In it we invite all to participate in informing themselves and expressing their informed opinions as critical decisions are made that will impact us for years to come. Now is the time to protect our environment and our pocket books. If we don’t do it, no one else will.

Andy Goldman