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By Miriam Raftery

August 9, 2012 (Ocotillo) -- Ove 360 million acres of public lands are targeted for industrialization with renewable energy development.  Among the first of these large-scale projects is Ocotillo Wind, a 12,500 wind project now under construction just over the San Diego-Imperial County line on the border of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park that has left horrified residents convinced this is anything but green.

"Ocotillo is the beginning--and must be the end.  San Diego mountains and wilderness are next for destructive energy projects," reads a flyer that asks the public to join in a "Take a Stand in the Sand" event on Saturday, August 11 at 7 a.m.

Indeed, today San Diego Supervisors voted to approve the Tule Wind project in McCain Valley, the first of several industrial wind projects proposed in San Diego's East County.  

People opposed to the industrialization of public lands will meet at the Ocotillo Community Center Park at 7 a.m. Directions: From I-8, exit S-2/Imperial County Highway (Ocotillo/Desert Parks exit). Go north on S-2. The park is about a mile north of Ocotillo on your right.

Organizers want the public to help "save these beautiful places" and send these messages to political leaders:

  • Stop destroying public lands for priate profits by big energy corporations
  • Stop desecrating Native American sacred sites and entire cultural landscapes
  • Stop endangering health and safety of residents. Infrasound is dangerous.
  • Stop the wind scam. Stop the bulldozers.
  • Stop killing our wildlife. Protect their habitats--and our peace and quiet.
  • Stop killing our children's heritage. Public lands should be protected for us all.

Residents of Ocotillo also object to Governor Brown's recent statement that opposition to big energy projects must be "crushed."  Their flyer observes, "We are the people! We will not be `crushed.' "

The project would place over 100 wind turbines, each over 450 feet tall with a bladespan the size of a football field, less than 1500 feet from homes. Residents fear noise, health problems from infrasound and stray voltage, and loss of the peaceful solitiude of the desert.  Many object to the developer, Pattern Energy, receiving take permits to kill Bighorn sheep lambs and ewes.  Native American tribes also object to desecration of their ancestors' graves.  

Residents have endured dust, noise, night construction lighting, and flooding from the project that left a chemical residue on household lawns.  The Bureau of Land Management, which owns the federal preserve, has turned a blind eye also to violations of the Environmental Impact Report, such as roads built three times wider than allowed, destroying vast swaths of desert habitat for animals such as burrowing owls and kit foxes.

"We must stand together to save Ocotillo," their flyer concludes.

Opponents of the wind project believe there is a better way to meet our region's power needs.  "Solar on rooftops and parking lots is cheaper, cleaner and faster," the flyer states.

High temperatures are forecast for this weekend. If you attend, bring plenty of water, as well as food, hat, sunscreen and folding chairs.   Organizers also ask that you bring vehicles if possible, as well as posters opposing the destruction and supporting rooftop solar.

Click here to download a flyer that you can post or forward to friends. 

For more information and to RSVP, call Terry Weiner, Desert Protective Council, at 619-342-55234. 

If you want to carpool from the San Diego area as a rider or driver, e-mail at writerink@cox.net



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Take a Stand

I am in sympathy with the residents of Ocotillo as their community is about to be changed forever or at least a lifetime. My biggest fear is this only the beginning of a much larger installation of turbines. Permits? Rubber stamped. EIR violations? Insert the sound of crickets chirping. Local concerns? Ha ha ha ha.
Go to Google Earth and look at the area between Palm Springs and Beaumont (Blow-mont to the locals), see the hundreds of wind turbines.
If you plan to travel to Ocotillo on Saturday please be prepared. From the East County it is 80-90 miles each way. Is your vehicle in good shape; tires, oil, radiator, etc. It's a 3-4 hour (round trip)drive in 100 degree temps. Drink fluids Friday to hydrate your body.
The forecast low temp for Saturday morning is 91 degrees! High of 108.
These temps from Naval Air Station El Centro this Thursday, Aug. 09 morning:
0500 91 degrees
0600 87
0700 88
1000 97
Relative humidity from 47% to 61%.


There is Good Reason to Protest

About all that is left to do, is to protest. Any discussion about these turbines is useless because a corrupt system has already decided to force them upon society. Unfortunately it is the corrupt, those that play the game, that are promoted in our society. It works because those at the top are already corrupt.

This is what is wrong with the wind industry. The corrupt have been hiding all this behind the bogus studies, the fraud, lies, and agency collusion, since the early 1980's.

The plight of the Whooping Cranes is a perfect example of our corrupt system. More than 100 were lost the last year and this endangered species will be gone within 5 years. This is due to the thousands of turbines have recently been stuffed into their flyway. In a few years there will be so many turbines with so much rotor sweep in their habitat, it will be impossible for them to survive. The turnover in the population will be too great as the population loses it's breeders.

But the public has heard nothing of this and you probably never will. The official blame for their demise will be some disease like botulism, bad weather or some other made up tale. When this does happen a lot of hoopla will be made about how the USFWS is going to revive the population from their “contrived” catastrophe. Politicians will step in for the good publicity and plenty of money will be allocated for the production of bogus studies and for the care of these refugees.

But it will all be just another lie, just like it has been for 28 years about the propeller style wind turbine. In the end, all we will have left of the Whooping Cranes will be small populations from breeding projects that do not migrate. They will be fed and taken care of……….. But their world will have been taken from them.

This has already happened with the California Condors, Mercenary experts, the media, politicians, and government agencies all deceived the public. But I am not just concerned about Golden Eagles, California Condors and Whooping Cranes. There are dozens of other species destined to be annihilated by the wind industry. Species that are not high profile and that most have never heard of. Species never seen hanging around Wal-Mart parking lots. Those like the Least Bell’s Vireo or the Egyptian Vulture.

I have seen every conceivable argument and tidbit of propaganda justifying wind energy from every corner of the world and there is one element that is nearly always overlooked. Regardless of the energy source and the arguments, no one should ever condone the fraud that has carried this industry for decades. I know from all the wildlife studies and surveys I have read, that with this industry, there never has been a level playing field and because of many layers of corruption, wind industry mortality has been hidden.

Take it from an expert that doesn't play the game, if the public insisted on proper mortality studies at wind farms, they will find the results to be staggering. One of those wind farm areas that would shock the public lies in Texas. I have written about  the Whooping Cranes disappearing in Texas but what you do not know is that Texas has a large resident and migratory population of golden eagles. Texas also has more than 20 times the rotor sweep of Altamont and much of it lies in Golden Eagle habitat. Yet reports for wind industry golden eagle deaths are virtually non existent. I know with out any question that thousands of eagles have been killed in Texas.

As far as I am concerned there will never be any viable solutions for problems in America, with a system in place that rewards the criminals. That is because the best ideas can and will be buried for decades. I know that one of those ideas, is that we should have killed the propeller style wind turbine long ago.

A noble stand for a worthy

A noble stand for a worthy cause.

Yesterday's Tule Wind Farm decision by the board of supervisors was especially heartbreaking. By it, they have already written their own legacy as the greatest destroyers of San Diego wilderness in the history of our city. 

Deepest shame on all of them. They are truly beyond contempt.


Craig are you coming?

I'm looking for someone I know to carpool with. I can drive, just want a rider, or 2 or 3.

 Desperately want to, Miriam.

 Desperately want to, Miriam. But missing work by spending a full day down at the supervisors meeting was already "pushing the envelope" for me.

Regretfully, I'd better not.