Dunkirk comparison not well-takenThe admittedly bad situation for NOLS and its severe impact on the Lander Community is noteworthy. I am not sure, however, the Dunkirk analogy is apt. On this 75th anniversary of the defeat of Hitler’s 1000-year Reich it is fitting to remember what happened at the Battle of Dunkirk.
In the fighting leading up to and during the nine-day evacuation of the French beaches and harbor, more than 60,000 Allied troops were killed or wounded. 1,000 civilians in the town of Dunkirk were also killed by Nazi shelling.
In the end, more than 330,000 Allied troops were rescued by over 850 ships and boats. Unfortunately, more than 200 of those were sunk, adding to the casualty list. Another 80,000 allied troops were not able to be evacuated and wound up as POWs. Many of those did not survive the next five years.
Turbines’ red-blinking lights are excessiveDid you know Laramie’s Red Light District might be returning? That’s right. Every Industrial Wind facility approved requires red lighting on each and every tower. Red lights, red-blinking lights on each and every tower. According to a wind facility application presented to Planning and Zoning last June, the glow from these red blinking lights may be seen up to 30 miles! Yep a 30 mile red light district!
The old version of these red-blinking lights, blink incessantly day and night, on and off, on and off. Lighting our beautiful dark skies, every few seconds, of every minute of every hour of every night, night after night after night, on and off. This is the version of red-blinking lights (red light districts) that our County allows via our Wind Regulations. Our regulations state, ‘the Board of County Commissions MAY require installation and maintenance of an audio visual warning system in order to mitigate light impacts to nearby residential areas.’
ADLS (Advanced Detection Lighting System) is one such FAA approved audio-visual warning system. ADLS only turns the red-blinking lights on when an airplane is in the vicinity. Granted the lights will still blink red as required by the FAA, BUT they will not blink every few seconds of every minute of every hour of every night, night after night after night. This can be a requirement in our wind regulations by the simple substitution of the word may with the word WILL….require.
Requiring Industrial Wind projects to use the latest proven and accepted technology shows we are not still living in the ‘Olde West’ and we are keeping pace with the changing times.
To minimize our red light districts, please change the Albany County Wind regulations to require all wind projects, use this Advanced Detection Lighting System.
If you too are concerned about our County’s Red Light Districts let our County Commissioners know. The county web page co.albany.wy.us has all their contact information.
Dropping Flynn case is troublesomeThe US spends millions investigating Russia and the 2016 election. People working for Trump are convicted of lying among other things. Many plead guilty! (Michael Flynn).
At the end of the big investigation Mueller turns over all his findings to who else, President Trump’s stooge, William Barr. Why are we surprised that little is forth coming and the issue is now before, the totally impartial, Supreme Court. Not holding my breath for something exciting here!
Oh! Just heard the Barr led justice Dept. is dropping the Michael Flynn charges. Yes, the same Michael Flynn who had already plead guilty? See a pattern? Stone is looking like a sure bet about now.
Trying to put things in perspective. This is like the FBI giving Al Capone and his hit men the finding of the St Valentines Day Massacre investigation for review and redactions prior to charges being filed. And then, the icing on the cake, returning their Machine guns with a short note, Sorry!
Are we in trouble? Maybe, but is it because of Trump or because of the other people in our government we depend on to be smarter than a cabbage patch doll?
County should re-examine turbine rulesAs an adjacent property owner of a proposed wind project, I am concerned that Albany County’s turbines be located at least 5.5x turbine height from residential dwellings, but only 1.1 turbine height to adjacent property lines.
Under the regulation, neighboring land owners are effectively forced to absorb the health and safety risks of ice throw and other operational failures including turbine collapse, blade/component throw and fire. Turbine fires are of particular concern as they are common and dangerous.
In the last year, turbine fires consumed thousands of acres in Iowa, Texas, Wisconsin, California, Michigan and Washington State. In Wyoming a 2017 turbine fire destroyed 1600-acres in Uinta County. These are only the fires that were reported in the press. Research shows that many more fires occur that go unreported.
Cheatgrass, which flourishes in disturbed areas like turbine construction sites, is just the fuel needed. The flames of a typical cheatgrass fire can reach 8-feet in height and travel more than 4 mph. A turbine fire, especially one that occurs at night, could easily spread to neighboring properties before anyone is aware a fire was ever ignited.
Wind turbine safety distances that extend onto non-participating properties risk rendering portions of those properties unsafe for further development and could cause homeowner insurance to limit coverage. Jurisdictions around the US recognize these risks and are increasingly requiring turbine setback distances to be measured from the property line and not encompass portions of non-participating properties.
Residents in two Indiana counties filed lawsuits where the plaintiffs each argued their county’s ordinance infringed on their property without just compensation. There are clear deficiencies in Albany County wind energy law when it comes to protecting the health and safety of neighboring property owners. It’s time for the county to take a stark look at the known risks of turbine siting and amend the current ordinance to be sufficiently protective of those living nearby.
Can’t we do it ourselves?It seems to me we have a problem. We have a strange virus among us – and we can’t carry on as usual until we deal with it. So, let’s deal with it. There have to be some among us who can figure it out. So, this is what I propose. In 3 steps, let us proceed. Maybe we will succeed and maybe not, but let’s give it a try – and if we succeed, we can share our process with the world.
1. Ask some who are known to have the virus spit into a vessel or pad of some sort – and ask someone who is considered virus free, spit into another vessel or pad. Then think about some agent that is commonly available and dose the two samples with it. Try different agents if necessary until one shows some positive results – until the pad with a virus turns one color and the pad without a virus turns another. But try not to develop a test that depends on some complicated lab process. Be open; and maybe someone with knowledge about such things can come up with something soon.
2. Once we have resolved by spit retrieval and examination about what works, set upon some community facility like a city park in warm weather and a local church in bad weather to test an entire community. Prepare tags to be worn by those tested. If one passes the virus color test and is found likely virus free, attach a green tag to that one that states such and a last date tested. If one does not pass the virus color test, attach a red tag to that one that states such and send that one to a doctor, hospital, or urgent care facility to determine necessary treatment. Then insist that one is treated accordingly.
3. Open up the community, including all public places like stores, restaurants and churches, but only allow those with green tags to enter who cannot infect others for being known to not have it themselves by previous testing within a past determined span of time.
Francis William Bessler
Thanks for nothing
As our country experiences an epidemic of biblical proportions, Albany county has been spared. Why? The constant flow of traffic between heavily affected states should have brought the virus to us. The relatively few cases in Wyoming should have spread to our university. But that didn’t happen. Maybe luck and our sparse population played a role, but it is likely that strategic closures of schools and businesses, and personal responsibility guided by sound epidemiological principles have been the real factors.
In public health, the greatest measure of success is that nothing happens. Wyoming, and particularly Albany County have come very close to that ideal. So, let’s all pride ourselves, and thank our public health folks and our state and local governments for our remarkable success. “Nothing” didn’t happen by chance. Smart people and good decisions made “nothing” happen.
This pandemic is not over. As we all feel frustrated about being cooped up in our homes and our economy suffers, let’s be extra careful how we handle ourselves now. This virus is like a black panther hiding in the dark. If we make a mistake, the panther will have us for dinner.
University of Wisconsin Emeritus Professor of Virology
Do your part to keep city cleanOur Community Cleanup Day model has changed this year to an extended period to keep people at a safe COVID-19 distance. People will still select an area to clean, typically gateways, I-80 access points, downtown, and other major streets and locales that collect trash over the winter.
But these efforts don’t go deep into our residential areas or business areas other than downtown. This cleanup is usually timed for graduation and the tourism season, but it always makes me wonder why it isn’t done on a quarterly basis because those of us not “passing through” also deserve to have a clean city.
So here’s a suggestion once again: please go outside your own home or business and clean the street of litter and debris and think about doing it for your entire side of the street; clean the alleys behind your place of business even if you don’t own the building; clean the alley behind your home or rental and avail yourself of the free landfill vouchers good from May 1st to June 6th to get rid of whatever has been dumped there that won’t go away on its own; take gloves and a plastic grocery bag with you (making it not single-use!) when you go on your regular or COVID-19 walk and pick up trash along the way; adopt a park and clean up as you walk around or through it; get your kids involved in any cleanup effort and make it an out-of-school object lesson on civic responsibility/community involvement.
Just imagine how clean we can get the city if we all just do our own small part every couple of months because we’re the ones that make it a mess after all. And it’s a way to get out of the house!
Ivinson’s billing practices need work
Is anyone else having problems with billings from Ivinson Memorial Hospital? Must be, because when I tried to call about it this morning, I was down the queue a bit.
For six months or so I’ve been getting bills that say i made payments that in no way actually reflect the amounts I wrote out on checks to them. They bill me for services for which I’ve already paid. Despite many letters and phone calls, this continues. Now they are threatening me with a collection agency.
I was told that the new billing system has “problems.” One would think 6 months or more would have been ample time to fix it. They don’t seem to comprehend that a bill should show previous balance, actual amount paid, new charges, and new balance--how hard is that?
I’m tired of this “problem” and of feeling harassed and threatened when I’ve made payments all along. I’m tired of dealing with billing in Laramie and their billing department in Denver. This is not acceptable practice for a community hospital. Those whom they are billing are already stressed due to illness and/or injury. Ivinson should not add to that.