L E T T E R S T O T H E E D I T O R
What Fox Island Wind Turbines Mean
to Me and My Family
A little history first. When I first started paying my own electric bills on North Haven they were just like any other bill that came once a month, your jaw would drop open and then you would write a check. More recently when our power would go out on a regular basis because of an old, worn-out extension cord strewn across Penobscot Bay, we were told we needed a new one which we all agreed was true. So $11 million later we got a new cord. So, now it’s time to pay for it, well, the bill came in the mail like it always does every month and the jaw dropped open but this time it was different.
I was paying more for electricity per month than I was paying for a mortgage payment on my house. So we did what any person on a tight budget would do, we started snapping lights off, turning down the thermostat, buying compact florescent lights and anything else we could do to reduce out electric bill. I guess a lot of people decided to do the same thing we were doing and our Electrical Coop had to raise the rates again to pay for this cable. That’s when the Coop started to look at alternative ways to get our bill down or at least get it locked in over the next 20 years. So, we were asked if we wanted windmills. 90 percent-plus of us said yes. We bought them, they’re up and they are doing every thing we were told they would do and more. I love the things! I think they look cool! My electric bill is manageable and when it’s blowing a gale and I can’t get out to fish I can look over at our windmills and know at least were getting something out of a blowy day. For the people who don’t like them, they’re not coming them down any time soon.
Sorry. Try and feel good that there are year-round families in North Haven and Vinalhaven who are getting a better quality of life because of these windmills. h
North Haven, Maine
Message to Your Staff Writer
I am from Newfoundland. I am currently in Florida for the winter. A neighbor of mine from your state passed on to me one of your “Fishermen’s Voice” newspapers because of the story you wrote on the problems in our Newfoundland fishing industry—a result of the 1991 moratorium.
You did a very thorough job. Congratulations. It was so interesting, especially the input from Mr. Roger Shears of Rocky Harbor—an amazing Newfoundlander. Equally as interesting was your input from Trout River and your interviews with Mr.Malcolm Butler and Mr. Henry Parsons, retired Harbor LeCou fisherman.
Bill Buckland hit the nail on the head. His picture of the way things were and the way things are now is both beautiful and at the same time depressing.
As you quite rightly pointed out, industrialized fishing is the Achilles heel of our onetime sustainable and generous fisheries lifestyle now practically non-existent.
We can blame the foreign fleets for their greed, two governments (Provincial and Federal) who turned blind eyes to the rape of our cod stocks, and the various plant owners from our province who knew the problem was coming but the almighty $$$ was more important. Their foolhardy harvest is now being reaped.
The distressing picture you rightfully and so thoroughly painted in your story from Newfoundland (and Labrador) is perhaps the saddest thing that has ever happened to our province in my lifetime (I am now 70 years of age).
While you concentrated on a few very important areas, I am sure you know this problem with our declining fishery is very widespread. The fishery on the east coast including Conception, Bonavista, Trinity and White bays are also devastated with the exception of a few smaller species that are putting well-earned money into the pockets of those brave souls who refuse to quit and let a complete way of life go extinct. I predict though that these species too will soon face the same death as our cod.
I worry about the next generation—the children and grandchildren of these fishers of today. I can’t see for a moment why they would want to go out on the sea to make a living, like their forefathers did day in and day out, year after year.
Long gone are the days we could go out and jig a nice codfish for supper. It is a shame. It’s a disgrace and a monument to greed, and irresponsibility.
Thank you again. It is nice to know someone from what we call “away” can write about a people, my people, who are still dignified, educated and loyal even though facing extreme difficulties.
With the help of God, my proud fisher people from bays and inlets everywhere throughout Newfoundland and Labrador will overcome no matter how long it takes and how much more difficult their lives become.
Thank you for your voice.
From Clarke’s Beach, Conception Bay, Newfoundland