it looks as though Vermont’s best nonprofit news organization has stepped away from the hot-button issue of the Stiles Brook wind farm on the Windham/Grafton border.
From what I hear, VTDigger decided a couple weeks ago that it would stop covering the story. At least until after Tuesday’s advisory vote.
Which is too bad. I mean, from my point of view, better no coverage than the badly one-sided anti-wind stories Digger had been posting. But I’d much rather they examined their product and took steps to improve it. Dropping the subject like a hot potato looks like timidity, not a desirable quality in a journalistic enterprise.
Plus, in calling a halt to its coverage, its earlier slanted material stands as VTDigger’s official record.
On the news side, I understand that Digger editors declined to pursue a story about apparent bias in the Windham town clerk’s office. The clerk is a vocal opponent of Stiles Brook, and was accused of misusing her position to sway the town’s advisory vote on the project. The issue was covered by the Rutland Herald’s Susan Smallheer and Seven Days’ Terri Hallenbeck; the latter is a fuller account. Nothing from VTDigger.
There’s a lot of funny business afoot near the sites of proposed wind farms in Windham/Grafton and Swanton. And it’s not a product of those wily Spaniards at Iberdrola; no, it’s coming from local opponents of wind.
Which is par for the course. While the opposition is quick to cry “dirty pool” by would-be developers, they themselves are doing their best impression of the Iron Sheik, the great wrestling villain who did anything he could — up to and including blasts of “fire” — to assert his cartoonish dominance over his foes.
(He’s an entertaining Twitter follow if you can handle his frequent use of the F-word.)
Let’s take a look at a few of the Foreign Objects hidden in their trunks, shall we?
We’ll start in Windham, where non-residents are agitating for the chance to vote on the project. To which my immediate response was, “What The [Iron Sheik’s Favorite Word]?”
Here’s a shocker for you. Iberdrola Renewables wants to hold a pair of meetings to present information on a proposed wind farm in Grafton and Windham.
Sorry, did you blink? That’s it. That’s the shocker.
According to VTDigger, Iberdrola has scheduled “technical workshops” in early April. And local opponents want to crash the party: they’re demanding panel discussions including “both sides of the debate.”
“We are shocked that they are proposing yet another meeting where free exchange of information and ideas will be not just discouraged but crudely squelched,” wrote Nancy Tips on behalf of Friends of Windham.
Do I have to say it? Any person, group, or entity that schedules an event has the right to set the agenda and name the participants. I may play a mean polka, but the Vermont Symphony doesn’t have to put me on its program. When Donald Trump had a rally in Burlington, he didn’t have to share the stage with Bernie Sanders.