Community members urged to fight local wind energy projects

February 13, 2013

By Sarah Frank


(NORWOOD) Prior to 2009, Barb Ashbee and her husband didn’t have any objections to wind turbines.

After 133 wind towers went up near their home, northwest of Toronto, Ms. Ashbee says she and her husband started experienced stomach aches, ringing in their ears, heart palpitations and cognitive and memory problems. Both started to suffer headaches of varying degrees, presumably caused by the constant noise made by the turbines and the resulting vibrations they could feel throughout their home.

Ms Ashbee was one of several people who spoke about various health complications which could arise as a result of industrial wind turbines at a community information session in at the Norwood Townhall on Feb. 13.

More than 60 people came out to the meeting to learn more about the possible health implications of living near wind turbines, which could pop up in the area in 2014. Zero Emission People, who currently have eight wind farm projects operating or in the works, are planning to build “Wind Farm Collie Hill,” which will consist of three wind turbines on County Road 2 between Hastings and Keene. The towers will be at least 100 metres (more than 30 stories) high.

Ms Ashbee says she and her husband could hear and feel vibrations from the turbines in their home.

“Some days were worse than others,” she says, adding her pets were also distraught by the low-frequency noise. “Our dog would sit in the middle of the living room and whine.”


Animals, too, suffer from Wind Turbine Syndrome

August 22, 2011

Miriam Raftery, East County Magazine


Like those proverbial canaries in the coal mine, chickens near wind farms may provide early clues to potential harm to health of humans and animals. That’s the contention of Hamish Cumming, a farmer battling proposed wind turbines near his home in New Zealand.

He has written a letter to East County Magazine seeking help from people living near wind farms locally (and in other locations) to document cases of shell-less eggs, dead chickens, or other animals that suffer internal hemorrhaging.

The “humble chicken” is common in rural areas near wind farms and can be easily monitored, Cumming says. Chickens under stress may produce a soft-shelled or shell-less egg that can’t be laid, killing the chicken. Such incidents have been documented near wind farms, says Cumming, who has also collected examples of livestock and a dog that died from internal hemorrhaging near wind farms.


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Wind turbines blamed for giving dog epileptic fits

February 20 2013

East Kilbride News


by Andrea O’Neill

Residents opposed to the two wind turbines at Blacklaw Primary have stepped up their campaign.

They have launched a petition calling for the removal of the two 17.8-metre  windmills erected in the grounds of the school as part of an eco-project.

They say the turbines are causing noise and light pollution and could pose a health and safety problem for children at the primary.

One woman believes her dog is suffering severe fits because of the windmills.

Widow Irene Cardle, 65, said she and other St Leonards residents were at breaking point over the turbines’ “constant droning” and shadow flicker outside their homes.

The distraught gran-of-three is convinced the “nightmare strobe light” effect is causing her dog Shadow to live in constant fear.

Irene claims that since the turbines were erected in 2009, the 10-year-old labrador collie cross has also suffered epileptic fits, varying in frequency from monthly to daily.

The seizures, which can last up to four minutes, cause the rescue dog to drop to the ground, shake uncontrollably, and foam at the mouth. The fits can leave Shadow disorientated for up to four hours.

Irene said: “The fits are horrendous and so distressing to see and I’m terrified that my grandchildren will see Shadow like that.

“It was bad enough for my daughter to see – it left her in tears.”

Irene believes the rapid flashing effect caused by intensive sunlight flickering through the rotating blades is triggering the seizures.

Flash photography and strobe lighting are common triggers for human epilepsy sufferers.

Neighbour Sandra Carol, who is a dinner lady at Blacklaw, said 63 residents had already signed the a petition calling for the turbines to be brought down.

Sandra, 60, said: “The noise and flashing light is horrendous. The council are putting kids lives at risk by putting these blades in a school playground. How can they say they are safe?”

A South Lanarkshire spokeswoman said: “Within the curtilage of Blacklaw Primary there are two wind turbines installed as part of the development of the new school. While complaints of noise have been received we can confirm a ‘Statutory Noise Nuisance’ has not been confirmed following our investigation. Confirmation of a possible mechanical failure at the end of January 2013 resulted in the two units being shut down for maintenance checks.

“As to the issue of ‘shadow flicker’, the interruption of light caused by the rotation of the turbine blades, a study commissioned by the Department of Energy and Climate Change, and, peer reviewed by independent experts, concluded it does not pose a ‘significant health risk’.”

Members of the public who have concerns can contact the council’s environmental health service during office hours on 01698 454320.

A Dog’s Sixth Sense

February 18, 2013

…the 100 MW Talbot project was not functioning all day yesterday… it was fabulous here… so quiet and peaceful with snow falling all day (so you couldn’t even see most of the turbines). I noted that my 8 month old dog seemed very different. He was quiet all day, never once barked inside or outside… a distinct contrast to the previous windy days when he was barking in the house (seemingly at nothing), and barking outside while looking in the direction of turbines. Then at 6:15 last night he suddenly was barking inside, I let him out… the turbines had just started up.. he continued to look at them barking.

Effect on Alpacas (LLama-like animals) being Raised

April 6, 2009
By Ann Wirtz

“I just know it’s not good to live in this house anymore.” (Oakfield, Wisc.)

In 1997 my husband and I purchased our current property. It was an old farmhouse in the country. We knew it would be work because the house and yard needed so much. So for more than the next decade we spent all our money improving our property and renovating our home. We buried barn ruins that had laid charred for years. We took down old buildings and fixed the ones we chose to leave. We dismantled a total of 3 old silos. We spent $12,000 putting in a swimming pool and deck for our family.

In 2005 we refinanced our home to add $60,000 for all new cedar siding and new windows. We had come so far and were finally seeing that we had improved so much and that everything we envisioned was getting closer after years and years of hard work.

In 2002 I purchased two alpacas (llama type animals) for $12,000 each. I started with 2 alpacas and kept breeding them to build my herd. I currently have 10.

Alpacas are very easy animals to raise. We never had any problems with birthing, breedings or daily care. An alpaca’s gestation period is just shy of a year. This last summer, in 2008, after waiting a whole year for our new babies, we had one mother abort early in spring. Then in late summer our second mother gave birth to a stillborn baby.

Is this coincidental? I don’t think so. Year after year I never had any problems, and then I lose two babies the first time I re-breed after the turbines were up.

I know it is not coincidental because the sounds that echo through the metal pole-shed our animals live in are unbearable at times. It is like being in a tin can with echoes of jet engines running right outside. I spent an entire night out there while caring for the birthing mother and I knew in my heart what had happened here.

Alpacas are gentle animals and, since dealing with the wind turbines, we have seen a huge change in the behavior of our animals. They are no longer gentle. They are very jumpy and always stressed.

All the years prior to this we never saw this behavior.

When we found out about the wind turbines that were going to be put up around our property, we listed our home for sale. Even without the remodeling complete, all realtors who came through thought it should bring a price of over $300,000. We had an appraisal done that appraised the property for $315,000 as it sat.

We had several interested parties, but everyone that looked at it asked what the roads were that were going in down the road. As soon as anyone found out they were the driveways for wind turbines that were to be constructed, the interest in the property stalled.

Month after month of getting the house perfectly cleaned for showings, we decided to just take it off the market.

My three older children are from a previous marriage. Their father and I divorced years ago when they were little kids. When the kids were little I always feared he would quit his job and I would not receive child support. Fifteen years later this fear came true.

In May of 2008 my children’s dad left his job after 25 years of employment. I did not receive any child support from April to December of 2008. And even now it has been a struggle to get him to pay anything at all. I had to pay an attorney to take him back to court several times.

In June of 2008 several of our rental properties we had owned in the City of Fond du Lac were flooded. Three units were even condemned. We found ourselves faced with a financial disaster. We were faced with foreclosure on our condemned rental properties.

From there we looked at what we could do to restructure our financials. We had lost a lot of money in the rental properties. The animals I invested in are now a great risk to pay $1000-$2500 to re-breed. So, in turn, my initial investment costs are wasted.

Everything we had was turning upside down fast. I had to make a decision. Did it make sense to stick any more money into our home to finish it? We were already being told we couldn’t sell it for even close to what we already had in it. We had watched neighbors’ homes sit on the market for years.

I am a mother of four children, and all these years we thought our home would be our nest egg. Now it is only another losing gamble as to if we could ever sell it. Not because of today’s market, but because of the turbines behind our home. I talked with a couple of realtors and heard time and time again that people will not pay big money to live near these wind turbines. I was told we would have to price our home under $200,000 in order to interest anyone. This is the same home we had just had appraised at $315,000.

My husband is seeing a doctor for depression. I have a daughter who is seeing a specialist for serious stomach problems. I have had endless sleepless nights since the wind turbines went up. I constantly have feelings of anxiety. My children have complained of headaches and not sleeping well.

Let me ask you, What would you do?

I have been forced to make a decision I never thought I’d have to make. My husband and I have decided to walk away from our property. We can’t wait years to sell it.

I can’t stand it here for another day. I can’t leave soon enough. You may be able to put turbines up behind our home, but that doesn’t mean I am going to do nothing when it affects my family’s health and my animals’ well-being. The only recourse I have at this point is to just walk away.

I have a 21-year-old daughter in college, a 17-year-old son, and 16- and 8-year-old daughters.

It’s too late for me to take any more chances. I have kids I need to get through college. I don’t know how I’ll do it. I just know it’s not good to live in this house any more. This property I once loved and was so proud to own is of no use to me.

I have worked 60 hours a week for years, only to find myself with nothing. But my health as well as my family’s cannot be sacrificed.

So as you read this, I do not know where we are going to live, but I do know it won’t be under a wind turbine or anywhere near one. The safest bet would to find a house right next door to the people who determine these setbacks, because no matter what they decide, it seems they are never the people affected.

Ann Wirtz
N11957 Hwy YY
Oakfield, Wisconsin 53065

Editor’s note: Gerry Meyer (see his turbine diary) is Mrs. Wirtz’s neighbor. “Alpacas,” he was told by Mrs. Wirtz, “give birth from 6 am to 12 noon, due to the fact they are mountain animals. This gives the newly-born alpaca time to dry off and get some strength in its legs before the cold night sets in. Before the turbines, her alpacas did give birth that way. Since the turbines went up, they have been birthing in the evening or even night-time.”

Actual article