News that doesn't receive the necessary attention.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

It's not 'climate science' it's 'political science,' UN IPCC author

"Dr. Christy: 'UN IPCC Lead Author's (L.A.'s) have virtually total control over the material and behave in ways that can prevent full disclosure of the information that contradicts their own pet findings and which has serious implications for policy in the sections they author...I saw a process in which L.A.s were transformed from serving as Brokers of science
3/31/11, "Skeptical testimony: UN IPCC's Dr. John Christy: UN IPCC lead author working with a small cohort of scientists, misrepresented the temperature record of the past 1000 years," from Dr. Christy testimony to US House of Representatives, by Climate Depot


Union protesters take over student study room, University of Wisconsin officials approve, student told find new place to study

3/31/11, "E-Mail of the Day: University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee Union Occupation"," to WTMJ, Charlie Sykes


I am a student at UW-Milwaukee, as I sit and type this I am looking at a quiet study room in the UWM Union that has been occupied by those who are against Scott Walker and his bill. They have removed all tables and computers in this room, and replaced them with picket signs
  • and air mattresses.
They have been in this room since Monday, the 28th.

I write to you because I enjoy your show and I loved your calling out of the member of our Student Association who abused the email system for personal interest. I have emailed Scott Grove, the Union director, and await a response on what he plans to do with this group. I should clarify why this occupation upsets me, beyond the simple fact that I greatly disagree with their position.

That room belongs to them, but it also belongs to me, and to everyone else who pays to go to this school. They have removed the tables, computers, and in fact take up the entire space so that no one else can possibly use this quiet study room. They have covered the walls and windows around the room with poster and papers that I have seen all around the protests. I find it disgusting that my academic fraternity has to schedule appointments for meeting rooms weeks in advance, while they walk into a room in a high traffic area in the Union and are allowed to stay in there day and night for the better part of a week. I suppose what disheartens me most is that this is really an example of how their side sees the world to how I would.

They feel that, regardless of what is the best for everyone, regardless of the facts, regardless that they are a minority, they are allowed to do whatever they like because they think they are right. They claim that the entire student body is behind them while they are holding protests, where about 300-400 people show up (some which are non-students and others bussed in from Madison). UWM has about 30,000 undergraduates.

That is ridiculous to claim that they represent the majority, or I believe even a large minority, of the students at UWM. They yell that the teachers are enraged about this, but all my professors have showed up to my classes and shrugged off this movement. I even had one who told me that he would rent a room at the University to teach us should the classes be cancelled because he understood that we pay to go here and it is his responsibility to teach us.

That same professor is also a supporter of Scott Walker and understands what he is doing. The only professors that are really enraged are those in the liberal arts college, my guess is because they don't know the first thing about government financing, economics, or even where their salaries come from. I don't mean to go on for so long, but I have spent weeks watching the SDS yell and scream at people who don't agree with them, or have better things to do and I needed to speak out about it.

Thank you for being a voice of reason,

Jacob Sommerville"



"Here is a copy of Jacob's email to Scott Gore, the director of the UWM Union.

As a student at UWM, I would really like to have access to the quiet room near the Union Terrace Cafe. The students now occupying it make it impossible. Is there no way to ask them to relocate to a less intrusive area? To allow one group to occupy the whole of it for days on end, I feel is very wrong and unfair to all other students.

Gore's Response:

Jacob...Thank you for taking the time to register your concerns regarding the current occupation of the quiet study area. The decision to re purpose the quiet study area was made by the campus administration with my endorsement.This space provides a secure and defined location for the occupation without compromising building security or disrupting the Union's programmatic function. May I suggest you use the Alumni Fireside Lounge as an alternate location for quiet study. Thank you. Scott Gore"



Comment to Jacob's email of the day at WTMJ:


Also, Scott Gore should be fired for endorsing this sort of occupation of University space. At least in the 60s, University Administrations tried to oppose the take-overs of the Universities by the "protesters." Now, people like Gore (related to Al?) actually support the physical take-over of University facilities by some sort of Left-Wing faction. Insane.

Good luck for any Conservative group trying to do the same thing."


Wisconsin school teacher charged in criminal death threats to 16 Republican state lawmakers

3/31/11, "Wisconsin school teacher charged with sending death threats to Republican lawmakers," Gateway Pundit

"A Wisconsin early childhood teacher was charged with sending death threats to state Republican lawmakers.

Her name is Katherine Windels and she is a Wisconsin teacher.

Here’s the criminal complaint.

JS Online reported:

A 26-year-old woman was charged Thursday with two felony counts and two misdemeanor counts for allegedly making email threats against Wisconsin lawmakers during the height of the battle over Gov. Scott Walker’s budget-repair bill.

Katherine R. Windels of Cross Plains was named in a criminal complaint filed in Dane County Criminal Court.

According to the criminal complaint, Windels allegedly sent an email threat to State Sen. Robert Cowles (R-Green Bay) March 9. Later that evening, she allegedly sent another email to 15 Republican legislators, including Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau).

The subject line of the second email was: “Atten: Death Threat!!!! Bomb!!!” In that email, she purportedly wrote, “Please put your things in order because you will be killed and your families will also be killed due to your actions in the last 8 weeks.”

“I hope you have a good time in hell,” she allegedly wrote in the lengthy email in which she purportedly listed scenarios in which the legislators and their families would die, including bombings and by “putting a nice little bullet in your head.”

According to the criminal complaint, Windels told investigators “I sent out emails that I was
disgusted and very upset by what they were doing.”

Asked if she intended to follow through on any of her threats, Windels told the investigators “No,” according to the complaint.

Windels was charged with two felony counts “bomb scare” and two misdemeanor counts of “computer message-threatening injury/bodily harm.” If convicted, each felony count carries a maximum penalty of three years and six months in prison and a $10,000 fine, and each misdemeanor count carries a maximum penalty of 90 days in prison and a $1,000 fine.

Underground Conservative has much more on the violent teacher including this.

She is a 2010 graduate of Madison Area Technical College with an Associate’s Degree in Early Childhood Education, which would fit, since on her PeekYou profile she lists Wexford Head Start as one of her work experiences. She also lists a place called The Red Caboose; a Google search turns up a Red Caboose in Madison for Toddler, Preschool and School Age programs.

Here again is the vile threat Windels sent out to Republican lawmakers in Wisconsin.

W620TMJ posted this earlier (this link goes to the website's current date 3/31. The email below appears to be from 3/9/11) ed.:

I am reprinting verbatim an email that was sent to Republican senators. The email was signed, but I have deleted the name pending what I hope will be a thorough police investigation.

Right on Weathercreek says her father is a psychiatrist.

More… Charlie Sykes reported (2/21) that the Dane County DA’s office drags its feet on issuing charges in the case."

via GWP

US taxpayers blow $529 million on toys for Al Gore, Leonardo DiCaprio and other rich hypocrites-Hockey Schtick

March 30, 2011, "US Taxpayers blow $529 million to produce play toys for Al Gore, Leonardo DiCaprio & other rich hypocrites," Hockey Schtick

"Architectural Digest reports Al Gore and Leonardo DiCaprio are among the first in line to receive the new $96,000 Fisker Karma plug-in hybrid sports car. This vehicle features 400 horsepower, 0 to 60 mph in 5.9 seconds, "eco-friendly" leather seating, and your choice of oak, mahogany, or walnut inlays. AD reports this "fantasy car" was only possible due to $529 million in "stimulus money" courtesy of the Obama administration and US taxpayers.

The Fisker Karma, plaything for the rich

The Karma’s interior is a welcome departure from the chrome-and-black scheme found in so many luxury cars. Various shades of leather—produced by an eco-friendly tannery in Scotland—surround key areas of inlaid oak, mahogany, or walnut (the latter salvaged from 2007’s California wildfires). These earthy aspects contrast with the sleek mid-dash and center EcoLucent polymer consoles that cradle the information and entertainment systems—“a very cool effect when they’re lit up at night,” Fisker says

The Fisker Karma comes late to a luxury market in which rival Tesla Motors is struggling to sell its pricey $109,000 electric roadsters and while relative bargains the Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf only sold 281 and 67 vehicles last month, respectively. Most US electricity production comes from coal or natural gas, negating the claimed environmental benefits of plug-in vehicles, not to mention the large amounts of energy required to mine rare earth minerals and in manufacture of the batteries, which die within 6-8 years. Do US taxpayers really need to subsidize the manufacture of luxury sports cars reserved
  • for hypocritical movie stars and the rich? "

via Tom Nelson

'Soprano State' wealthy NJ machine pol connected from Camden to Trenton to DC given posh 3 month editorial board stint on Gannett NJ newspaper

2/10/11, "Astonishing! South Jersey 'Political Boss' Member of (Gannett) Courier Post Editorial Board," Cleary's Notebook, Tom Crone, commentary

"Last week a truly unbelievable set of events took place at the (Gannett) Courier Post that we find astonishing. First, political reporter Jane Roh used the social media platform Twitter to announce George Norcross was sitting on the editorial board for three months. For the majority of subscribers who don’t use Twitter, it would stand to reason the Courier Post would make an announcement the following day in their own paper, which leads to the second event (or in this case non event); there did not seem to be an official announcement, warning or editorial on why and how Mr. Norcross came to sit on the editorial board. In fact, this editorial may be the first time your readers have become publicly informed.

It would seem only fair since Mr. George Norcross joined the Courier Post editorial board in this fashion that we seek in a very public and clear voice the same opportunity to balance Mr. Norcross’s view by requesting to sit on the editorial board for the same amount of time. We find it chilling that a man many know as one of the most powerful political figures in New Jersey, a person who has never been elected to office, yet under whose 20 year dominance as an old school political boss the City of Camden has fallen into a deep dark pit, was afforded the option of having his views printed for free in your newspaper.

Mr. Norcross’s position on the editorial board is anything but objective, and some may call it intimidating. We hope Mr. Norcross will address why Camden County and Gloucester County continue to provide lucrative contracts to his firms like Connor Strong and Parker McCay. We hope Mr. Norcross will address questions that are raised in the book The Soprano State, a book largely focused on his political activities. We hope Mr. Norcross will address the federal investigations he was under while being involved in US Vision and Commerce Bank, and ask that he explain the federal lawsuit pertaining to Medicaid fraud at Cooper Hospital.

Image: Political Boss Tweed..."As long as I count the votes, what are you going to do about it?"

Speaking of Cooper Hospital, will Mr. Norcross address why he has turned Cooper Hospital into another patronage pit? Will Mr. Norcross answer objectively questions surrounding why the wife of his political counterpart has an executive-level position at his hospital? Will Mr. Norcross provide insight into the decision to name a wing of the hospital after a career politician who oversaw the dramatic decline of Camden, let alone why he choose a politician instead of a real hero like anyone who died in the line of duty while serving their county, state or county? Will Mr. Norcross answer the multitude of rumors surrounding the building of Rowan University, particularly this misappropriation of the Camden police department to secure the area? Will Mr. Norcross address why, all of the sudden, Cooper Hospital is placing bids to take over the EMS/ambulance services within Camden County towns?

The fact remains that when Mr. Norcross is in the room so is an 800 pound gorilla.

We ask Mr. Norcross to stop hiding behind his brother State Senator Norcross, and State Senators Beach and Sweeney and answer all of these questions and more. Of all the questions we have raised, we hope Mr. Norcross will explain how Camden County residents have benefited from his ‘leadership and vision.’ We know through freedom of information requests how Mr. Norcross’s business interests have benefited, and we ask him to answer how paying for these expensive professional services year after year have made us, The People, better as a community.

For those who may not understand why this is such a big stink to us, Mr. Norcross is a man who 20 years ago invested into the political system, and today is incredibly wealthy. Elected officials and senior bureaucrats throughout Camden and Gloucester county, as well as those in the democrat party apparatus, are his handpicked friends and loyal servants. As a result of his leadership style, Camden County residents are victims of some of the highest property taxes in the United States. We, the citizens, pay for the endless lucrative contracts, salaries and benefits that go directly to Mr. Norcross and to his friends and family.

For example, Camden County Freeholder Ed McDonnell receives more than $200,000 in taxpayer salary and benefits, and State Senator Sweeney was allowed to hold multiple jobs at one time, all on the backs of the taxpayers. In addition, there are several examples where multiple government paychecks are sent to a single household, which is just one reason why the only way to get things done

  • is by supporting the party machine.

It simply cannot be said the rule of King George has benefited the citizens of Camden County.

His oversight led to the state takeover of Camden, yet the public is fed a constant flow of propaganda of how everything is “sunshine and lollipops.” Further to this point, essential services like roads, economic development and libraries are in deplorable condition. We also find it very curious there never seems to be an airing of issues, disagreement, firing or change at the top within his party. As just one example, we find it very odd

  • not a single Democrat asked for Jeff Nash to resign

during the ongoing news of the waste, fraud and abuse coming out of the DRPA.

The citizens of Camden County, as a result of Mr. Norcross’s iron fist approach, are treated to high costs associated with the CCMUA. In addition, just in recent months, we were informed of a $6 million dollar proposed real estate project that would have been very profitable for the politically connected. At the time of this writing, we are being told that countywide police and fire departments are good for residents despite the fact that our entire political system is under single party rule, and notwithstanding the facts billions have been dumped into Camden without any accountability. In other parts of the world,

  • this is referred to as tyranny.

We find it preposterous Mr. Norcross chooses to exert additional influence on the Courier Post editorial board, yet the candidates under his thumb refuse to debate or run a real, truthful campaign each year. Everyday citizens wonder why career politicians spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to stay in office. From our standpoint, the reason is clear--to protect Mr. Norcross. Unfortunately, there is also a history of Courier-Post staff leaving and accepting key positions within the Camden County Democrat Party. It is very disturbing to us that Mr. Norcross has the next three months to walk into the Courier Post newsroom and use the opportunity to develop and foster relationships that can turn into “real time” sources for information and allow him to recruit the next generation of government spokespersons.

Furthermore, it has been reported that with George Norcross “you’re either part of his machine or you get crushed.” He has been called a “thug” by another reporter and even State Senator and Co-Chairman of the Camden County Democrats has said “I wouldn’t want to cross him.” These statements, like the condition of Camden County,

  • are of grave concern.

There is nothing special, extraordinary or remarkable about Mr. Norcross and his leadership. Quite the contrary, his very existence, decisions and influence on the political scene must be more than questioned; they must be investigated by state and federal authorities. The power of the press to shape and change opinion is far too powerful to be placed in the hands of a man who has lurked in the political shadows for decades. While Mr. Norcross wields the fa├žade of businessman and entrepreneur as a surgeon does a scalpel, it is also true that he is the unelected and reputed boss of a vast and corrupt political machine reaching from Trenton to Camden to Washington, DC.

Finally, what does this decision of placing Mr. Norcross on the editorial board say about the credibility of the Courier Post? Allowing Mr. Norcross to sit on the editorial board reeks of another “insider deal,” and is at best a questionable decision by the Courier Post. It isn’t right that Mr. Norcross is “visiting” and it isn’t right the Citizens of this region have gone decades without a legitimate advocate within your newsroom. We seek answers and an alternative voice.

This is a time of new ideas, a time for citizens to put their hands up and say “STOP” to the corruption and politics as usual in our community. The Courier Post has decided not to allow the voices of the People to be heard, yet will invite a man so politically connected and rooted in the problem to shape and craft the debate on HIS very indiscretions. The Courier Post has shown poor judgment and we ask that you rectify this immediately."

"The author is the executive director of the South Jersey Citizens United"



3/30/11, "NJ paper defends putting ‘political boss’ on editorial board,"


3/15/11, "Ex-Gov. Codey slams Norcross in new book; Camco powerbroker jabs back," Courier-Post, Bob Jordan, Gannett Statehouse Bureau


Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Wisconsin April 5 election is David vs Goliath, judicial election is hijacked by millionaire politicians against Judge David Prosser

Increasingly uncivil behavior by the left ensues because Obama supports it. He is on record that wielding a deadly weapon at a polling place is just fine. He publicly scolded and slandered American governors-who don't work for him--and praised taxpayer funded public sector employees and their unions. The unions turn around and donate hundreds of millions of union dues/taxpayer money to Democrats. Private sector American taxpayers are out of money so this will end sooner or later.

3/30/11, "April 5th: As Crucial and Close Election Looms in Wisconsin, Unions Double Down Intimidating Local Businesses," BigGovernment, by John Nolte

We are less than a week away from Tuesday’s crucial winner-take-all April 5 State Supreme Court election in Wisconsin, an election that will likely set the legislative course of that state for a generation. The stakes are for all the marbles and boil down to a simple choice. Either sitting State Supreme Court Justice David Prosser will be re-elected and the voters, though their elected officials, will be allowed to govern,
  • or
Big National Labor, Big Spoiled Public Employees, and the White House Re-election Machine will prevail in electing Joanne Kloppenburg — a hardcore Leftist with zero judicial experience. The result of that catastrophic possibility is almost assuredly an end-run around democracy as four Robed Masters take over the running of the state through judicial fiat. Prosser is presently the tie-breaking 4-to-3 vote in favor of judicial restraint on the court. Should Kloppenburg prevail, however, it’s no secret the court will legislate from the bench and
  • strike down all reforms passed by Gov. Scott Walker and the state legislature.
Big Labor most certainly understands the stakes on April 5 and undoubtedly did from the beginning. Pro-union supporters have launched an unprecedented campaign of violence and intimidation in the state all with an eye on the prize of stopping Walker with a firewall built around the State Supreme Court and an ongoing recall petition drive. In addition, just when you think the thuggery — which has been all but ignored by local and national media — can’t get any worse, we learn that a union campaign of outright extortion only the mafia could be proud of has just been launched against Wisconsin small business owners:

Members of Wisconsin State Employees Union, AFSCME Council 24, have begun circulating letters to businesses in southeast Wisconsin, asking them to support workers’ rights by putting up a sign in their windows.

If businesses fail to comply, the letter says, “Failure to do so will leave us no choice but (to) do a public boycott of your business. And sorry, neutral means ‘no’ to those who work for the largest employer in the area and are union members.”

Jim Parrett, a field representative of Council 24 for Southeast Wisconsin, confirmed the contents of the letter, which carries his signature. But he added that the union was also circulating letters to businesses thanking them for supporting workers’ rights.

Parrett said that since the letters were sent out, he has received threatening phone calls as well as calls from people supporting the state workers.

  • “I’ve gotten a lot of threatening phone calls,” Parrett said.

Parrett said he believed the letter campaign was going on in other parts of the state. His region includes Racine and Kenosha counties, as well as parts of Waukesha and Walworth counties.

  • “It’s going on in other parts of the state,” he said Wednesday.

Parrett referred questions to Marty Beil, the head of the Wisconsin State Employees Union. Beil was not immediately available for comment.

In the letter from Parrett to some businesses, he says that, “It is unfortunate that you have chosen ‘not’ to support public workers rights in Wisconsin. In recent past weeks you have been offered a sign by a public employee who works in one of the state facilities in the Union Grove area. These signs simply said, ‘This Business Supports Workers Rights,’ a simple, subtle and we feel non-controversial statement gives the facts at this time.”

Translation: “I’m gonna make him an offer he can’t refuse.” In other words, if you don’t put a sign in your window proving you side with us we will “publicly” boycott your business. Obviously, that could mean anything up to and including picketers driving away customers until you’re bankrupt. And you have to love the union official’s tactic of complaining about “threatening phone calls.” A real reporter would’ve asked for a police report and if there was none, asked why.

This is extortion, pure and simple, well beyond the normal boycott, against

  • businesses already ravaged by this recession.

A business that hangs a partisan sign in their window choosing sides on a hotly debated political issue is certain to alienate customers one way or another. These union thugs are intentionally putting what are mostly small, personally owned businesses in a no-win situation. This is all part of the coordinated psy-ops campaign launched the day the 14 Wisconsin Democrats fled the state. The idea is to make as many people in the state as miserable as possible in the hopes they put pressure on Walker

  • to make it go away.

It might sound contradictory for me to claim the media is ignoring this ongoing bullying campaign and then link to a Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel story covering it. But reporting on the dribs and drabs as opposed to a comprehensive front-page analysis of the overall campaign (which you can be sure the Tea Party would receive) is a way to cover the story without really covering it. What are you going to do, though, when George Stanley, the managing editor of the state’s largest newspaper, looks at the ongoing death threats, vandalism and intimidation tactics as nothing more than Walker supporters

Okay, so we know for a fact that the other side is engaged and energized. The question is, are we? Michael Barone is not too sure, and who’s going to argue with Michael Barone?

There is some good news, however. It appears as though a $3 million dollar television blitz smearing Justice Prosser with the worse kind of lies has completely backfired on Kloppenburg and a terrific ad is up and pushing back hard:

Also, as Charlie Sykes reports here, the WMC, a pro-business Wisconsin group, has met their fundraising goals to air more ads like the one below, that effectively do what the media won’t, and that’s vet Kloppenburg:

The goal of the pro-union supporters and their allies in the media is to make the April 5th election a referendum on Governor Walker and the only way to do that is to ignore Kloppenburg’s crazy-left positions and lack of any judicial experience. The White House and Big Labor have done an effective job in bringing down Walker’s poll numbers and if April 5 is about him, we will lose that race. However, Wisconsinites simply won’t put a soft-on-crime, out-of-control lefty candidate into any statewide office, so the more her record is exposed, the better chance we have of protecting democracy in Wisconsin.

  • Again, the media won’t do it so a privately-funded ad blitz is the only way.

From what I’ve read, internal polls show the race is close, and it shouldn’t be. Unfortunately, Big Labor has their rage on and if our side is just waking up now — just 6 days away — it isn’t a minute too soon.

In my Sunday piece, I went into great detail in order to explain why this race matters to all of us, not just my fellow cheese heads. So let me repeat my closing

  • plea for you to get involved:

If you live in Wisconsin or if you know anyone who does, make sure Tuesday April 5th is circled in red on the calendar. Vote. Vote. Vote.

In the meantime, you can volunteer.

And you don’t have to live in Wisconsin. Get engaged on Twitter. Get engaged on Facebook. Anyone, anywhere can be an activist today using social media.

Start here with Justice David Prosser’s campaign site and Facebook page.

What you can’t do is nothing."


6/14/08, "Obama: ‘If They Bring a Knife to the Fight, We Bring a Gun,’"
Above, 11/4/08, Philadelphia voter polling place, New Black Panthers
standing near front door, one brandishing a deadly weapon. US civil rights attorneys have demanded prosecution of this case for over two years, but Obama refuses to allow it. His attorney general, Holder, says the incident was nothing compared to what "his people" went through.

1/27/11, "New Black Panther Party case: The facts are in," Washington Post, Right Turn, by Jennifer Rubin


3/17/11, "20 days of left wing thuggery in Wisconsin: When will Obama, Democrats, and MSM call for civility?", John Nolte


Spring, 2010, "The Beholden State-How public sector unions broke California," City Journal, Steve Malanga


(I contributed to Club for Growth Wisconsin which is supporting Judge Prosser in the upcoming election. ed.)


NJ the most densely populated state in the country dissed by caring 'greens' who stuffed solar panels in family faces and left town with taxpayer cash

I'm curious as to who all the parties were that made this $515 million deal with PSE&G.

Commenter #1, "There are 3 outside of my home and now there are bird droppings on them."...Commenter #8, "Monday March 28, 2011, 6:42 PM - genemct says:
OK, so I noticed that a bunch of the panels on Kinderkamack by Emerson are becoming covered with bird poop. How effective are these things going to be in a month or so??"...(Who cares? The perps have gotten their $515 million and have moved on.)

PSE&G is installing 180,000 solar panels in towns across New Jersey with no planning or consultation with neighborhoods in which panels are placed. Program started in 2009, now some panels have bird droppings all over them. But, hey, big money has changed hands and left town on the deal.

3/27/11, "North Jersey towns object to solar panels," Bergen Record, O'Neill and Superville

"The large rectangular solar panels that PSE&G has been installing on utility poles across North Jersey are not winning style points from residents and local officials, who call them hideous, an eyesore, even "ugly as hell."
  • "I'm all in favor of solar energy. It's a great technology," said Wyckoff Township Committeeman Brian Scanlan. "That said, this project is an example of good intentions going awry."

Scanlan is concerned about the look of the 3-foot-by-5-foot panels perched on poles "especially where you have a neighborhood with front yards that are relatively small."

Ridgewood Deputy Mayor Tom Riche was more blunt, calling the panels "hideous."

"It's just horrible," he said.

In Oradell, Dick Joel is angry about the one that went up on the pole outside his home. "It's ugly as hell, leaning over my driveway," he said. "PSE&G just came into town without any notice and started slapping them up."

PSE&G has installed 82,000 solar panels statewide since 2009 as part of a project to install at least 180,000 panels in a $515 million program by 2012. The project also includes installations at PSE&G facilities, schools, municipal buildings and private property in Urban Enterprise Zones.

The project will double the state's solar capacity. When up and running, the array of 180,000 panels will provide 40 million watts of power, enough to supply electricity to 6,600 homes, said Al Matos, PSE&G's vice president of Renewable and Energy Solutions....

"In general, when we explain the benefits — that our customers are getting a mix of fuels, including solar — they are proud to have the panels in their neighborhood," Matos said. "The program is designed to help make us more independent of oil."

If a homeowner calls to voice displeasure with a solar panel, "we listen, we take a look, but to be fair, generally we will leave it there," he said. "To give preferential treatment to one customer over another is not fair."

John Moran of Fair Lawn turned onto Fifth Street recently and did a double take. There were eight new solar panels on his short block. They hadn't been there that morning.

"There was no notice, no warning. We're all talking about them," Moran said of his neighbors. "Everyone is in full agreement that they're ugly. They're an eyesore."

The solar panels are all on the same side of the street, many on consecutive utility poles. Residents are puzzled about why the panels are "crammed" onto their block when there are none on other streets, despite similar tree and shade conditions.

"Solar is a good idea, but this was very poor planning by PSE&G," Moran said. "They should have put them by

  • borough buildings or industrial areas."

In Westwood, Mayor John Birkner and council President Robert Miller met with PSE&G officials this month after numerous complaints from residents. They got the utility

  • to halt installations.

Miller said the borough supports the use of renewable energy sources, but was concerned the panels were placed without any consideration as to how they would affect the residents.

"All we are asking them is to let our residents be a factor, not the ultimate, but a factor," Miller said. "Their objective is solid. We are supportive of it. Maybe it's their pole,

  • but it's our town."

PSE&G is evaluating if there are other areas in Westwood where panels can be installed, said Francis Sullivan, a company spokesman. "If there are appropriate poles, we will resume installations after answering the town's questions," he said.

Matos said that until the project reached North Jersey, PSE&G had not had any requests from towns to halt the work. But recently, work was temporarily stopped in several Bergen County communities, including Ho-Ho-Kus, Waldwick, Wyckoff and Ridgewood, until the utility could meet with town officials, he said.

Liability concerns

Besides the look of the panels, local officials have objected to the way they are being installed with little or no notice. Some have asked whether PSE&G has the right to place the panels on the poles, arguing that municipalities own the right of way between street and sidewalk, where most poles are located.

Town officials also worry about liability if a panel breaks or ice falls off them onto pedestrians. In Ridgewood, officials are concerned that the panels will interfere with the low-voltage cables that run along the utility poles to power village fire box alarms as well as fire alarms for Ridgewood High School and The Valley Hospital. "That would be a huge public safety issue," Riche said.

Matos said the safety and liability concerns are unfounded. "The liability is not the town's issue; it's PSE&G's issue," he said. He said little snow or ice accumulates on the panels, which are installed at a 30-degree tilt, and when snow does accumulate, the warmth generated by the panels melts it.

  • As for disruption to the emergency fire box systems, he said there is no interference.

Matos also said PSE&G has a legal right to put the panels on utility poles — they own them.

"The applicable law provides a clear definition that we can use the right of way to install equipment related to both the supply and distribution of electricity," he said.

PSE&G customers are billed 10 cents a month to help fund the solar panel project, which also receives federal tax credits and state energy credits earned by producing solar power.

PSE&G considered smaller panels, but that would have required putting them on more utility poles. The company has about 800,000 utility poles in its service area, and only about 200,000 meet the criteria needed for installing the panels, Matos said.

The utility poles chosen for the panels must have a clear southern or southwest exposure with a 120-volt line attached to it so the panel can be hooked directly into the grid. The pole can't be cluttered with other hardware, such as telephone or cable TV equipment. The panels must be installed a minimum of 15 feet off the ground to comply with safety codes. The solar energy goes directly to the homes near the panel, Matos said.

Many local officials said they understand the need to reduce the reliance on carbon-based energy. In fact, Scanlan said Wyckoff could talk with PSE&G about other locations for panels, such as the roofs of public buildings.

In Ridgewood, Riche said the park-and-ride facility on Route 17 might be a good spot, as well as the right of way for high-voltage lines that runs through the village.

Westwood resident Neil Volant believes there are enough poles along highways and in commercial areas for the panels.

  • Volant wants PSE&G to remove the panels from residential neighborhoods.

"I don't think our neighborhoods should become power generating stations," he said. "They have a negative effect on property values, a negative effect on quality of life. You can't miss them.

"It's not just my back yard," he said. "I don't want them in Ridgewood's back yard. I don't want them in Edison's back yard. I don't want them in anybody's front yard. They just don't belong in anybody's residential neighborhood.""


Teddy Kennedy didn't want wind turbines in his ocean and he succeeded in keeping them away in his lifetime. ed.

via Big Government, photo Bergen Record


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I'm the daughter of an Eagle Scout (fan of the Brooklyn Dodgers and Mets) and a Beauty Queen.