Monthly Archives: June 2017

Niagara Region Wind Farm Open House

Thursday, June 15, 2017

IMG_2776

For sake of anonymity, I will use false names for anyone I speak of in this write up.

It should be noted that the true inauguration celebration happened at approximately 1pm and as noted in Niagara This Week, all the bigwigs in suits were bused in attendance for this champagne shindig.

“Representatives from Boralex, Enercon and the Six Nations of the Grand River Development Corporation all defended wind power and their new farm that straddles Haldimand County and the Niagara Region.”

WAI_JUN22LowbanksWindpAH1___Super_Portrait

Michael Weidemann, executive vice president of ENERCON Canada standing outside of the company’s recent project in Lowbanks. The Niagara Region Wind Farm is a joint partnership with ENERCON, Boralex and Six Nations of the Grand River Development Corporation. – Alexandra Heck/ Metroland – Photo from Niagara This Week.

Here is a local write up from a local media company.

https://www.niagarathisweek.com/news-story/7375757-ceos-address-wind-concerns-at-farm-unveiling/

Here is my write up:

I arrived at the gates of hell, sorry, I mean gates to the property where the event was held on Bird Road, Lowbanks, Ontario shortly after 4pm.

June 2017 118

I stopped and talked to Linda from MAWTi for a quick moment before entering the property.  Her infant was napping in the stroller and I asked how the 1pm shindig went and we discussed a few things before I carried on.  Linda was holding a nice big sign, specific to the design of the Enercon Turbines that infest our rural routes and in many cases, our backyards and as always, she is fierce in her stance against the projects despite the extreme heat, humidity and sun.

So attendees to this event had to drive quite the distance through the agricultural farmed land to the designated parking area by the temporary white tents and out near the turbines.  I was greeted by ‘security’ before getting to the parking and tent area.  Really?  Security?  Is this necessary?  For some reason, the community attendees were required to purchase a ticket(s) online ($0).  Anyways, Mr. Security didn’t ask for my ticket, just told me where to park because ‘its about to get real busy.’
I said ‘Oh ya? Whys that?’
He replied with ‘I just think its going to get super busy, people want to come and see these turbines.’
I replied with a bit of a sarcastic tone ‘most of us get to see them every single day, like it or not’ and I put my window up drove to park.

There was one big white tent with tables set up inside, a bar that clearly had the champagne cleared out, but residents were privy to chilled water and pop.  Inside the tent situated at one end were the typical large displays with descriptive images of the internal mechanics of the project Enercon E-101 turbines, stats and facts and various pamphlets touting the good of the wind industry.  I pretended like I haven’t seen all this before and snapped a picture.  Internally I felt like a moron because anyone who is interested in Industrial Wind Turbines for any reason, knows about the guts so I passed on any further photo ops.June 2017 107

I took a pamphlet from CanWea titled, “The Secret Is Out, Wind Is In. Building a stronger, cleaner and affordable energy system.”  I grumbled under my breath, ‘Gawd, this shit is thick’ and an elderly man I hadn’t noticed beside me snickered and nodded his head. I winked and quickly scooted away before I felt obligated to engage in conversation.  canwea

The pamphlet, if it is to spout the reality of Renewables, should read, The Secret Is Out, Wind Is RAMMED In. Building the most unreliable, intermittent power grid, wiping out ecological systems far and wide, dividing communities, harming humans and creating wide spread energy poverty in Ontario.  That is what it should read.  The TRUTH.

So then I began my stroll to the other end of the tent.  This tent was huge!  Obviously there was a need for this large tent to house all the leaseholders, stakeholders and investors and surely it must be challenging to squeeze that much corruption into one tent.

Fred from Boralex noticed me and walked over and we said our courteous hellos.  We chatted for a brief few more minutes about this and that, but as usual I was eager to jumped into question mode.  There are some mechanics I don’t understand and want to understand better.

I asked ‘are the converters are under the ground?’
Fred replied no they are in the turbines themselves.
Me, not fully understanding how can a converter be INSIDE the turbine did my squinty face and I asked ‘so under the turbine?’
Fred said do you want to go in the turbine I can explain better.  Off we went to the turbine. Fred, Roger and myself.June 2017 114

Before I got to the turbine I could hear this high pitch screaming.  I knew I was in for it with these triggered ears and head of mine, but in I went because curiosity always gets the better of me. It is so loud with this high pitched frequency that I cannot relate it to anything else I have ever experienced before.  It could be like tinnitus in 4D.  Anyways, in I went.  WOW!  Not going to lie, very impressive!  (Impressive minus the high pitched screaming that is).  We talked for a bit about what was inside and how it all works and fans etc. and guess what.  They have an elevator to get to the top.  Yup.  An elevator.

Don’t quote me on this, but if I understood correctly the high pitched screaming is because they convert from AC to DC then back from DC to AC.  It is the switching of something at a very rapid pace that makes the high pitched noise and does the converting inside the converters that really are inside the turbine.  So this converting back and forth, as I was told, was the most perfect energy (Hz I believe) wave that is created.  Picture a hand moving in a up and down in a perfect wave motion <– as per Fred with Boralex.

Up Close to Live Grid Input

This photo is of the computer board inside the Turbine.  It is ‘live’ so the numbers are changing accordingly.  Interesting to me is they tout the 3.0MW turbines, yet their measurement for live power is in kW.  The Electrical energy of 5125.397 MWh is from commencement with the Grid, Nov 2, 2016.  Operating hours is the same, since commencement with the Grid.

As we continued to converse with others joining in on the conversation, an eager graduate who proudly just graduated his 4 year program at Mohawk almost bounced over, blonde trendy hair flopping all over as he runs his hands through it, whips his clipboard out from under his arm, fully armed with his resume and credentials from school and bodly interrupted our conversation.  He wanted a job in the wind industry.  BADLY.  I took the opportunity to move on and Fred continued his conversation with this very eager new graduate.

I made my way back to the tent.  I wanted to see what was on the computer screens and to see if there was a presentation.  I asked the young lady there, very nice young lady, if there was a presentation put on later.  Nope.  No presentation, just a slide show of photos of during and after construction of the project.  Nothing worth sticking around for.

On my way back to my truck I noticed a GAS generator.  Ok, best photo OP of the day.  A gas generator used to run the computers for the slide show.  The irony was not lost on me.June 2017 117

When I was leaving I saw the eager graduate at his vehicle.  I stopped and asked him about his program at Mohawk.  I wanted to know if he was serious about Wind and what he knew.  He clearly is in over his head.  It was shocking to me that after 4 years he hadn’t a clue about the simplest thing,  such as The Grid app on a smart phone or a reasonable ‘educated’ response to any questions I asked him.  I asked why the wind industry and he said it fascinated him the most.  I slide into our conversation that you will not be a very liked person within the communities and could cause conflicts between friend and family.
He said ‘my dad and his friends have already yelled at me several times for it.’
I responded with ‘it isn’t the yelling that should concern you; it is WHY they are yelling.  What are they trying telling you? What aren’t you listening too?’
Then I told him Wind Industry will die one day.
He seriously thought I was crazy, I could tell, meanwhile I KNOW he is.  ALL the energy needs of the world?  Ok, buddy, refund in your education should be first on your list.

I asked ‘do you have a smart phone?’
‘Yes”
I asked ‘do you follow any of the grid apps?’ He actually responded with ‘what is that.’  If ever there was a time to smack my forehead in disbelief then would of been an appropriate time.
I asked ‘do you have Google?’
He said ‘yes, I use it.’
I responded with ‘Google wind turbines and do some homework before you settle into the wind industry.’

We talked for a few more minutes and it became more and more obvious to me, and apparent to him that he really didn’t know squat.  I suggested he talk to rural route residents on both sides of the fence.  Talk to people who are slammed with energy poverty.  He inquired on what energy poverty was.  Spending 4 years in a renewables program and no idea with energy poverty is.  Again I encouraged Google, the local news and worldwide news.  We discussed other renewable options ‘taught’ in his 4 year program such as hydro, geothermal and solar.  He (reluctantly) admitted the majority of his program focused on solar and wind, because Geothermal and Hydro weren’t our future.  Boy would I love to get my hands on that program.  He is a young kid, 24 yrs old tops and has no idea that there is a grid app and spent 4 years in the renewable energy program and to boot he PAID for that education.  I showed him my app and what was being contributed to the grid live.

June 2017 120

Snapshot of my grid app on my phone.  It was a pretty remarkable day with West Lincoln NRWF pumping it to the grid.  Good thing I didn’t depend on this 230MW, $1 Billion wind farm to use my toaster this particular day. (was not a current day photo)

He looked confused and said ‘OK, thanks for sharing that.’

I strongly urged him  ‘seriously do yourself a favor and do as most responsible adults would, research your desired field and look into wind and its many complex problems associated with it.’

He said with so much excitement and enthusiasm, ‘look at these,’ both hands held out, one with a water bottle in it and his blonde hair flopping around in the wind.  ‘They are huge and incredibly technical and generate so much energy to your home every day.’

I dropped the f-bomb and said tell your dad he has more yelling to do, I have to go.

I left the scene.  Yes, scene.  I feel like it wasn’t real and entirely staged.  There were maybe 2 dozen tops when I was there.  People brought their small children and there was a great mix of people of various ages.

Now, it is time for reflection.

Open house.  It is slightly interesting but predictable, that the entire community wasn’t invited to the inauguration.  There wasn’t even a great attempt at getting the word out that there was an open house with left over, sun exposed heated gooey cheese, bread and non-alcoholic beverages for the left over community.

If the people I communicate with almost daily didn’t share the info, I wouldn’t of been informed of this event.  Which also raises an eyebrow, as I am suppose to be on the list of event notifications with Niagara Region Wind Farm.

There wasn’t even a wee bit of an attempt to ooohhh and ahhhh us with a small guided presentation, touting the benefits of the wind farm, the project completion, what this means for the community, how many jobs they (didn’t) create and so forth.  No attempt to dazzle us, the left over community, with a show of any sort.  We don’t matter.  Clearly.

The designation of this champagne shindig was for those who profit financially.  Stakeholders.  Upper Management. Leaseholders.

Left out of the 1pm champagne inauguration is all the community members who are forced to live with these monstrous jolly green giants.  Our choices revoked, our voices silenced and in too many cases, family units shattered.  Our health can be adversely impacted, with families forced from their homes, permanently or to seek temporary relief.   All the rate payers for electricity who are forced to subsidize an embellished industry, were left out of this celebration that they felt was appropriate to have in our backyards.  All of us were left out of the celebrations.

This was not an accident.  This is a Wind Industry, excelling with the support of the Liberal government, decimating rural route Ontario on our dime.

My wounds are salted.

I have been working on this write up for a few days.  I was rattled by the photo below.  It literally stopped me in my tracks.  I stared at it and over the last few days, looked at it several times.  It took me some time to actually grasp and process this picture.  It became apparent that I needed to acknowledge there are people actually celebrating with champagne around the corner from our once treasured home, while my family and my personal life has been inverted.   WAI_JUN22LowbanksWindpAH3___Super_PortraitThis is not my photo, this is from Niagara News This Week.

This picture right here.  This picture brought it full circle for me and flooded my soul with a wave of raw emotions.  These people are truly proud, celebrating the very same project that has devastated lives.  Destroyed lives.  Causing harm to family members and collapsing family units.  Is causing physical harm to people. Is causing harm to the environment.  Is forcing families from their homes.  This project, this celebration, is also a contributor to the highest rates of electricity in North America.  Energy poverty is forefront.  A top news chart.  These projects are costing rate payers BILLIONS of extra money.

All of these champagne celebrating guests have hijacked my family of our rights to prosper, to enjoy our home and property, our right to health and protection and have subscribed to the removal of our rights, both under the Charter and in the Constitutional Act.  This is no small feat.  This is no small crime.  This is a methodical conquering of the removal of many rights for everyone.  You are not exempt from this wind industry corruption because you have your champagne glass in hand.  You just haven’t felt the true wrath of your ill informed decisions.  Yet here we have my neighbors celebrating with a corrupt industry, champagne filled glasses held high, in honor of all the mayhem forced into many peoples lives.

The ill placement of Industrial Wind Turbines has stolen our future.

Excuse me while I fill a glass with champagne to celebrate.

 

**Some photos compliments of Niagara News This Week.

 

 

Advertisements

Because I can…Does It Mean I Should?

Absolutely.

Remember when you were a child , you swore when you were an adult (which according to my calendar was taking way tooooo long) and could do anything you wanted, you would?

I think I was defiant from the day I was born.  I was going to stay out after dark every single night.  I was going to go to bed when I wanted or even if I wanted.  I was never planning on cleaning the bathroom and who cares if the dishes ever got done.  I was going to talk on the phone for hours to my friends and just to be extra defiant, I wasn’t going to answer the other line when it beeped.  Defiance right there 🙂  I was going to have purple hair, be covered in butterfly tattoos, but just the temporary tattoos of course.  I will wear my shorts as short as I wanted and dammit I was going to wear a ripped t-shirt every day of the week.  I was going to take a basket and skip through orchards collecting apples, pears, peaches and cherries as my HIGH PAYING job.  In my spare time I was going to swim with wild orcas who would of course wait for me in the bay.  The bay of what I don’t know because I live in Ontario with lakes.  HAH!  I was going to eat candy whenever I wanted and especially before unstructured meals.  *GASP*

Meal structure was a simple item to rebel against, but I was met with opposition everywhere I went.  I recall being at my grandparents home often and it was a bowl of cereal for breakfast.  Or toast with jam.  I was not allowed deep fried French fries no matter where I slept and had breakfast.

The rules around meals were meant to be broken and the defiant kid in me will rule the world, or at least I will rule my meal time when I am all grown up and ultimately I will be the boss of me.

As an adult, I realize how influenced the parental adult brain is with the concept of preferred food items for each meal time and truly is very structured for anyone willing to obey.  This structured meal concept is passed on from generation to generation.

Breakfast is cereal, toast, eggs, fruit etc. You know, we have all seen the recommendations, even on school display boards starting, classroom walls in pre-kindergarten.  On daycare kitchen walls.  In hospital cafeterias, in school cafeterias, in diabetes clinics and so forth.  You know where it isn’t?  In my home.   Is it a recommendation? Or is it here let us control the dairy industry, poultry, cattle and so forth, contributions into each home, on the dinner plate.  No need to think for yourself, the government is always willing to do it for you.  Ok, I promised myself I would not get political in this post, so back to the topic.

Lunch should be a sandwich on whole grain bread, wrap, salad, juice, fruit, veggie sticks, water.  Those sorts of items.

Dinner should be a meat protein, (back off vegans/vegetarians, eat your tofu in the corner and be quiet over there), carb such as potato or rice and veggies, salad, water, milk.  Don’t forget that big old glass of cold milk.
You are welcome dairy industry for that push.

I told myself so many times as a young one “when I grow up” I will eat Oreos for breakfast.  Chips and my current favourite chocolate bar for lunch.  Popcorn for dinner.  I love popcorn so even breakfast and lunch is a suitable option.  I will eat when I want and what I want.  I recall in my childhood mind, that these choices and their health implications don’t apply to me.

But, here I am in. In adulthood and all those childhood promises to myself are not even a concern. Why? Because I truly can.  I can have candy before meals.  I can stay out after dark.  I can have purple hair and all the butterfly lick on tattoos I want.  Yes, I used to lick them on; no need for a wet cloth with this girl.

Today, as a practicing adult, I am just happy with a good cup of coffee sitting on my front porch watching and listening to nature when I wake up.  Who cares about Oreos for breakfast. Just give me good COFFEE.  COFFEE.  COFFEE.

However, every now and then I get a wee bit hungry for something to go with my liquid energizer in the morning.  There was a day earlier this week that was so stinking hot, humid and gross that the thought of anything other than a bowl of ice cream seemed unacceptable and almost intolerable for consumption. Suddenly, out of nowhere, the inner child appeared.   We, the adult me with the child me, decided we will have a big bowl of chocolate ice cream with sliced bananas for breakfast.  Brilliant!  Thank you inner child for the collaboration!

My daughter (who is 27 now) loved to have cookies smashed into milk for breakfast.  A gross sludge looking concoction in a big oversized mug.  GAG! I let her. Yup, as a responsible adult parent, I allowed the cookie slop for breakfast.  Why not?  I know, mother of the year right there right?  I had in my back pocket, the security that she was a fantastic eater, veggies, fruit, and a balanced diet and knowing soggy cookies wasn’t her choice every day I was fine when she did eat it.  She also taught her much younger brother the love of smashed cookie slop for breakfast or a great movie time snack.  I personally can’t be bothered to even try it, its gross in my books, but hey, if you like smashed soggy cookies drowning in milk, be my guest.  My son (who is now 17) loves eggs.  He eats eggs a lot. Breakfast, lunch and dinner.  Eggs aren’t just for breakfast in case you haven’t heard.  I believe we as a society, welcomed the versatility of eggs many years ago (also influenced by the poultry industry to increase egg consumption <– shit, sorry got political again).

So if you are hankering for some ice cream for breakfast, go ahead, listen to your inner child.  It is OK to step away from the embedded food schedule that Health Canada and their ‘professional’ structure has influenced onto our very own kitchen tables.

I think I’ll have popcorn for dinner tonight.  Extra butter! Just because I can.

(photo compliments of google images.  I was too busy eating my ice cream breakfast to think to snap a photo.)

 

 

Lemon Blueberry Muffins

I really should of been a baker. Not a fancy sort with funky icing designs, or cake too pretty to eat sort of baker, but a practical, every day healthy food consumption kind of baker.  Stop at my little corner bakery on the way to work for your breakfast to-go.  I could do it.  Maybe I should do it…

Sixteen years ago when my son was diagnosed with life threatening food allergies (peanuts and tree nuts) I started paying attention to ingredients in food. Up until then I had the grab and shove in cart mentality.

That many years ago there wasn’t a large variety of peanut/nut free foods or even strict allergen listing requirements that is available today. So, if my child was to enjoy a cookie, or a muffin or at that point, bread, I had better get the baking ingredients out and get’er done.  Besides, I started to notice this food in EVERYTHING called ‘Soy’ and labeled in many different forms. Soy lecithin, soy flour, hydrolyzed soy, soy soy soy. After much research into the world of soy, we avoid all soy in this home and if you buy anything premade/boxed etc., you will more than likely find it in the ingredients list. Anyways, this post isn’t about the deteriorating ingredient list in foods, its about super refreshing delicious Lemon Blueberry Muffins.

When it comes to blueberries and baking, the type matters. The small wild blueberries, won’t give you the blue bleed. The taste of biting into a juicy blueberry isn’t as prominent in the small blueberries, so I recommend Blueberries. You can use wild blueberries, just not my fav when it comes to baking.

If you are lucky like us, you will have a Mennonite Blueberry Farm around the corner. I can pop in anytime of year and grab a bag of frozen big juicy blueberries.

Chances are you can buy blueberries in your local area in the late summer when it is in season. The good things about this farm is they don’t use pesticides or harmful treatments so you can just plop them in a freezer bag and have on hand all year around. No washing. (Fantastic for smoothies too).

I also got a wonderful gift recently from a friend who went to Mexico and brought back vanilla.  The good stuff!

Like most of my recipes they have happened by accident and the measurements are my critiquing over time. Ok, here we go.

Side Note: I never advocate for the use of margarine in my baking.  It has a different outcome and really, if you are using margarine, do yourself a favour and don’t.  Seriously, don’t believe all the crap the agencies tell you.  Hydrolyzed anything and soy is not for human consumption!

Ingredients

1/2 cup melted butter
2 large farm eggs
3/4 cup of milk
1 cup of organic cane sugar
2 cups of blueberries (frozen is best for the addition to baking)
Zest of 2 organic lemons (zest of anything should be organic to avoid crop sprays)
2 tsp of vanilla
2 cups of AP flour, plus more for blueberry dusting
1 1/2 tsp of baking powder
1/2 tsp of salt

See that ingredient list?  Wonderful!  Okay, lets get ready to bake!

Preheat your oven to 375 – I use convention oven, but any oven will do.  Line your muffin tray with paper cups.

In a medium bowl add the flour, baking powder and salt and mix.

In an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, add your melted butter (room temperature so you don’t scramble your eggs), vanilla, sugar, milk and mix until all incorporated.  Add in your lemon zest.jUNE 2017 058
(yup, those are pretty blue eggs from a friends farm)

Put the frozen blueberries into a bowl and cover them with flour and make sure they are all dusted.

jUNE 2017 059

After your wet ingredients are all mixed well, add in your dry ingredients slowly with mixer on low.  Let it mix for 1 minute on medium speed.  If your batter looks too dry don’t be afraid to add a splash of milk to get the desired texture seen in the picture.  Some flours, especially depending on age, can be more dry than others.  A bit more milk never hurt anyone.

jUNE 2017 060

Remove bowl from mixer stand.  Add your frozen flour dusted blueberries (not all the flour in the bottom of the bowl, just the blueberries) to your batter.  Fold the blueberries in gently.

jUNE 2017 061

Once completely mixed, scoop into lined muffin tray.  Fill them up!

jUNE 2017 062

Put the trays in your preheated oven.  Turn 1/2 way through cooking.  Watch your muffins as they can easily overcook in the matter of 2 mins.  Then you’ll have dry I need a drink of coffee kind of muffins.  Look for a bounce back when gently pushed in the middle to see if it is done.  Cook for 15-20 mins depending on your oven and elevation.

Remove from tray immediately and place on a bakers rack to cool.

jUNE 2017 067

Bakers tip:  Baked foods always continue to cook for a few minutes while cooling.  So its OK to pull from the oven when JUST done, that extra minute you would wait in the oven, let it do it on the counter.

This is such a great ‘summer’ muffin that can be enjoyed at anytime of the year.  The lemon is fresh and the blueberries are juicy!

Thanks for stopping by!