Mr. & Mrs. Muskrat’s Day On The Mountain:
Early this morning, today’s occupiers headed up, this time joined by State Representatives Sam Young and Peter Peltz. After seeing some of our protesters at the democratic convention this weekend, Peltz asked Robert Dostis, Leader of Customer Relations and External Affairs for GMP, if he could go up the mountain and see what was going on. Dostis replied that he should “wait a month or so.” This immediately caught Peltz’s attention—what would there be to see in a month or so but snow? Why didn’t GMP want him going up now? Luckily, the mountain occupiers have been diligently guarding Vermonter’s rights to observe what GMP is doing to the Lowell Mountains, and were happy to guide Peltz and Young to the top.
Arriving at base camp shortly after 9:00, we could see that blasting mats were being laid near the orange tape and realized that we only had a few minutes to see what had occurred since yesterday’s occupiers were forced off the site. At 9:40, shortly after our first radio contact with base (reinforcing our belief that GMP is monitoring our radio conversations) two law enforcement officials arrived. No GMP officials asked us to move. Today’s law enforcement were an Orleans County Deputy Sheriff, and a state trooper from St. Johnsbury—although they assured us that more enforcement and dogs were “waiting in the wings” and we could see three law enforcement vehicles parked on GMP’s road. Both men were very cordial, and apologized for having to read aloud the entire lengthy preliminary injunction. They asked us for our names – a requirement for serving an injunction, they said—and we were told that we would be issued acitation if we failed to identify. They also made sure we knew that we were free to return to the camp after the blast,and that it did not matter how many times we were served – we could only be arrested if we refused to leave. Peter Peltz was quick to point out that we were not acting “in concert or in participation” with the Nelsons, however the deputy said we could still be arrested if we did not cooperate, and served al lof us, including the representatives, with the injunction.
So leave we did. As we walked, our party was joined by Dave Coriel of GMP and another man in an orange vest. They tailed us down the trail to the 1000’ sign which GMP posted. We chatted a bit with Dave – Peltz knew him from his time working for our last governor. I asked Dave what else he did besides following us around. He blushed and said he attended meetings, and that he had just started the job. I guess that means “not much.” If we had to have a dedicated handler, at least he’s cute.
Although GMP likes to say we are “only” forbidden from being there two hours before each blast, with three blasts a day, carefully timed, the property is basically inaccessible during daylight hours. This issue is exacerbated by the fact that GMP consistently does not report the correct times for their blasts. Today, for instance, blasts were scheduled for 10:00, 1:00, and 3:00. Although we had occupiers scheduled to go up between the blast window times, the 3:00 blast did not occur until 4:30, completely preventing occupiers from going up in the afternoon. If GMP wants to claim that they are not significantly restricting use of the property, they need to do a better job of informing the public, what, and when, they are restricting—otherwise we must assume that they have purposefully orchestrated our state’s law to prevent citizens from monitoring their activities.
At least now two of our representatives have seen it all first hand. We invite any other public officials – or anyone else– to visit and see for themselves what is happening. In fact, there will be an open house next Sunday for that very purpose – see the blog for the official invite. We promise to provide a view untainted by corporate greed!
GOT QUESTIONS ABOUT INDUSTRIAL WIND?
In favor of wind
power but conflicted about industrial ridgeline development?
Concerned about loss
of wildlife habitat, water quality issues, and/or aesthetics of industrial wind
Undecided about industrial
wind in the Lowell
In favor of wind
development along the Lowell
ridgeline and wondering why people are opposed?
Curious about what it
looks like up on the mountain right now?
Want to go for a hike
to see the mountain and hear about the issues?
YOU ARE INVITED
To attend an Open
House to view Green Mountain Power’s crane path construction site on theLowellMountains.
Meet in front of the
Craftsbury Public Library at 11:30 am Sunday November 13. We will carpool to the base of the mountain
and hike up.
Details: Wear bright colors
(it’s hunting season), hiking shoes or rubber boots; (the trail is muddy and
steep). Bring warm layers, raingear, a
wool or pile hat, daypack with water, lunch, snacks. The hike takes 30 minutes to an hour. We will go rain or shine.
What you can expect at the site:
There has been construction on the weekends, so it may be loud, but Green Mountain Power does not blast on weekends. We do not anticipate that there will be
police present and we will not be breaking any laws by being there. There
are tarps and a fireplace with a wood supply; also some tents. Bring a mug and have tea or cocoa with your
The Schedule: 11:45 at the
base: short informational overview of project.
Noon: we’ll start hiking up in small groups based on walking speed. 12:30-1:30 Hiking groups arrive in camp; each
group as it arrives will receive a short orientation to the site, and people
can walk around, eat, and visit. When
everyone has arrived there will be time for Q & A. Helpers will be available to guide folks back
down at half hour intervals, so you can leave when you are ready. You can spend as little as fifteen minutes at
the top or as much as several hours.
Bring your friends!
Questions? Contact Anne Morse at firstname.lastname@example.org or