But some lakeshore residents are fearful of proposed wind farm project
A fight over wind turbines is shaping up in Oceana and Mason counties,
where 400 area residents have organized to oppose a proposed wind farm
project on Lake Michigan.
Norweigian-based Scandia Wind has proposed erecting up to 200 wind turbine
generators in a 100-square mile area of Lake Michigan between Silver Lake
and Ludington. The wind farm would provide power for 350,000 homes,
helping Michigan to meet its goal of generating at least 10% of its power
needs from renewable resources by 2015. The company, which is also
currently building a wind farm in the Texas panhandle, claims that its
wind towers would appear as tiny needles seen from the shore, a minimum of
two miles away.
But POWER. (Protect Our Water, Economy and Resources), a Pentwater-based
group of locals, summer residents and businesses, are opposing the Scandia
Wind Aegir Project in its present form, claiming it will ruin the
The groups website, www.protectwithpower.org, claims that the Scandia
project would be the largest offshore windfarm in the world, covering an
area twice the size of Grand Rapids. “It would be under four miles from
shore at Pentwater and under two miles from shore at Silver Lake. It would
consist of up to 200 wind turbines, each towering 300 feet above the Lake,
and it would extend for 12 miles, altering our shoreline forever.
We are united in our love for this area, and our firm belief that this
proposed wind development will be disastrous for tourism, the economy
and the environment, said Jeff Hoenle, president of the POWER Coalition
and landowner in Oceana County. We support smart exploration of
alternative energy sources, like wind energy, but this proposal from
Scandia is not a smart approach.
Hoenle said in a news release that his group is concerned that Scandia
Wind is trying to push through a project by taking advantage of a gray
area in current state law, at the same time ignoring recommendations by
the Great Lakes Wind and Energy Council regarding desirable offshore wind
The group also feels that the deep-water site may not work.
During the first public meeting, even representatives from Scandia
admitted that no one has tried to build turbines at the depth they are
exploring in Lake Michigan, Hoenle said. We are not interested in
risking our water and natural environment to be a test site for something
that might or might not work.
The project will need local, state and federal approval to go ahead.
Thereafter, it would take five years to construct before going
Help for Haiti
Shoppers packed Oryana Food Co-op in TC last week to support Haiti
Fundraising Day, in which 10% of all sales was donated to help victims of
the earthquake disaster.
It was really pretty good - we have $3,400 going to donate, said general
manager Steve Nance. Plus, were going through the end of this month with
collections for Haiti being taken at the registers.
Nance added that most shoppers came out in droves later in the evening.
The funds will be donated to Oxfam, an international aid group which is
already on the ground in Haiti. Their focus is similar to our approach on
social justice and poverty eradification, Nance said. There are so many
worthy charities out there but we felt this was a pretty good fit.
Other efforts include:
Traverse Citys Rotary Club is collecting funds for Shelter Boxes, each
of which can help up to 10 people with shelter, blankets, cooking gear and
water purification. The club recently raised more than $14,000 for
earthquake victims. To help: send donations to Rotary Camps and Services
at 202 E. Grandview Parkway, Suite 201, Traverse City, MI 49684.
The State Theatre in TC also reports raising $3,361 for the Haitian
relief effort from ticket sales the weekend after the disaster.
Shimmers at the Holiday Inn, TC, is donating a portion of its cover
charges to the Red Cross on two consecutive Fridays.
Food Rescue delivers
The team at Food Rescue have a lot to be proud of during the current
economic crisis: as of Jan. 15, volunteers with the group had collected
288,283 lbs. of soon-to-expire fresh food and beverages that would have
otherwise gone into local landfills.
Food Rescue is Northwest Michigans solution to the problems of hunger
and waste, states its website. Our method is quite simple: Rescue
perishable and prepared foods as well as beverages and deliver them to
organizations that serve the hungry.
Launched in October, 2008, the Traverse City-based group collects food
from sources such as grocery stores, restaurants, caterers and bakeries
for distribution to people in need through 57 food pantries, shelters and
community meals programs in a five-county area.
According to USDA guidelines, a pound of food is the equivalent of one
adult meal. For more info on Food Rescue and how to lend a hand, see