The Falmouth Enterprise 4/14/23: Article 15 (article and letters)

See FHMNA article: Town Meeting, April 10, 2023: Voting RESULTS Article 15

Article from The Falmouth Enterprise (link + excerpt):

“Falmouth Town Meeting Backs Select Board Denial Of Wind Developer”

 On Monday night, April 10, Falmouth Town Meeting voted down Article 15, a citizens’ petition that would have reversed a Select Board vote to deny offshore wind developer SouthCoast Wind Energy LLC access to public lands in Falmouth Heights for further soil testing and engineering studies.  …The discussion carried on for an hour and a half, … It ended in a 116-to-72 vote against the article.  … Supporters stressed that approving Article 15 is not a green light for the project. Opponents begged to differ, saying even one small step in favor of the project would lead down a slippery slope.

LETTERS to the EDITOR, pages 4-6 (with excerpts; click on links to read full texts)

“Oak Grove Cemetery” by  Gerard F. Luby, President, Oak Grove Cemetery Association of Falmouth Inc.

On behalf of the board of directors and the 1,256 members of the Oak Grove Cemetery Association of Falmouth, I am submitting a formal objection to the proposed site for the SouthCoast Wind converter station. Located at 396 Gifford Street, the land is presently owned by Lawrence-Lynch Corporation and abuts the eastern property line of Oak Grove Cemetery. Installation of said facility here would dramatically and severely impact the cemetery; not only its peaceful and therapeutic ambiance, but its economic future as well. Oak Grove Cemetery (OGC) is a nonprofit and nondenominational 22-acre active garden cemetery. Established in 1848, it has the distinction of being one of the few cemeteries in the country to be listed on the National Registry of Historic Places by the US National Park Service. Furthermore, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts includes OGC on its Cultural Resource List, as does the Town of Falmouth on its Cultural Resource Inventory. 

Town Meeting Vote by William E. Laberis (Acapesket Road, East Falmouth

Kudos to a clear majority of Town Meeting members who voted to back an even clearer majority vote of the town Select Board, …for those who didn’t agree with votes, don’t fret. If the project is viable at all, it won’t take SouthCoast long to find a new route to bring its cables ashore. … there will end up being no “obstruction” of the wind farm construction, as your editorials have continually alleged. Instead, we’ll see the preservation of the integrity of one of the town’s most prized neighborhoods, Falmouth Heights. 

“Sewerage, Wind Digging”  by Stephen Wagner (Woods Hole Road, Woods Hole)

… on the one hand the select board sides with Falmouth Heights to not have a windfarm power line “land” in Falmouth Heights. …On the other hand, no one seems to object to disturbing Falmouth Heights to bury a sewage outfall pipe and then have it terminate 1,000 to 3,000 feet off the shoreline. If the beach at the Grand Avenue/Clinton Avenue intersection is used as a reference point, 1,000 feet puts the end in nine to 10 feet of water and about twice the distance the Falmouth Harbor jetties extend into Nantucket Sound. The longer 3,000-foot distance is in about 24 feet of water and just shy of the #26 buoy off the entrance to Falmouth inner harbor. Either way, not much.

“Now What?”  by Geralyn Schad (Chestnut Street, Falmouth) 

…The climate crisis is real and it is now, and Falmouth is already seeing the effects of it. So, now what? …what happens as sea level rise continues to come through our neighborhoods and Main Street, … What happens when Worcester Court is flooded more times than not? …inaction is not an option. …Let’s keep this conversation going, together, until we have a plan that works for all of us! What’s our next move?

“Yes On 15” by Peter L. Clark (Woods Hole Road, Falmouth)  

…my yes vote was to stand against these other factors:  The degree to which ..the select board was swayed by the angry, fearful resistance of Falmouth Heights; …developers were demonized; …we feel we should get final design guarantees before the soil sampling; …using state avenues of appeal became mischaracterized (40B housing regulations were triggered by restrictive zoning); …we were bombarded with false equivalencies to our wind turbine mistakes and other skewed information; …animal welfare drove false issues of harm to whales and other creatures.