Islander's Blog

Goodman’s Gam

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Most, if not all of us, were bombarded with phone calls, television ads and I even received a text message in the recent U.S. Senate campaign. Whatever the effect on your psyche resulted from this media bombardment, the voters turned out in droves. A month ago, I was sure there would be few people at the polls on Tuesday. I was pleased to be incorrect.

I may not have agreed with your choice, but voting is an important part of being a good citizen. This election was a financial boon for print, TV and radio folks, coming at a slow time of the year. I won’t miss the incessant palaver of pundits all day long. Now, it will soon be time for local candidates seeking town elective office to begin seeking our votes.

Now we have a new U.S. senator, Scott Brown. He wasn’t my choice, though I wish him and his constituents (all of us) well. All I want is a representative who works for us, not the party they belong to. Partisanship is killing this country, and it’s obvious to see, right down to our local boards and commissions.

I was sorry to hear of a broken blade on the Bartlett Farm windmill. Wind energy is one of the ways we will be able to conserve petroleum, gas and coal needed in the future. Tide power is further down the road and I believe it is an even better source for Nantucket and other saltwater venues.

This malfunction out at the farm is a good example of why the Nantucket Sound wind farm frightens me. I worked at a house that had a well-functioning windmill about 25 years ago. That is after the first windmill they erected had internal problems a number of times. Eventually they got it right.
Then we have the bladeless windmill on Vesper Lane. It worked for a very short time and then the thing helicoptered right off its tower and landed close by. It was replaced, though I’m not certain if it worked after that. Regardless, it hasn’t turned in a couple of decades.

We had the property out by Bartlett Farm that turned out to be a good tax dodge by the people who put windmills in there. I’m not sure whether they generated much (if any) electricity in the short time they stood there. For years after that, I remember the rusted-out remnants lying by the side of the road. I’d rather we not have to deal with that sort of situation in Nantucket Sound.

I like the idea of wind power. My question is whether a huge farm in the sound is going to hold up to the elements, and are we going to save money from this proposed project. There are several more problems I see with this idea and they have absolutely nothing to do with NIMBYism. It’s simply not the right place for what may end up being a hazard to airplanes, boats and birds. That doesn’t include it becoming a junkyard in the near future. We’ve seen that here already.

I was sorry to hear of the layoffs at Nantucket Cottage Hospital. The staff is wonderful. None of us want to hear of friends and neighbors on island losing their jobs. This is tied in with a downsized economy and it hasn’t helped that many (more every year) uninsured people use the emergency room as their primary care physician. That’s not the sole reason for their deficit, there are many factors contributing to any modern health-care facility.

As I was driving out toward Madaket a couple of days back, there was a huge red tail hawk sitting 10 feet up in a tree surveying the field in front of it. I felt it was similar to what many of us are doing at present. We’re looking at what’s in front of us and waiting for something new and hopefully good to appear.

The last remnants of snow have melted and with more sun than clouds, getting outside is more comfortable than it was over the past month. I don’t believe for an instant that we’re going to experience great weather for the next few months . . . but it would nice were it to happen, if even for a week or two. If it’s decent on Saturday, I have a date with a freshwater pond.

Another way to vacate the house this weekend is to attend the Zumbathon at the Nantucket Boys & Girls Club. It’s a fundraiser for the Nantucket Emergency Food Pantry, plus it will help some folks lose pounds gained over the holidays, and get in shape. Betsey Minihan and Suzanne Davis are certified instructors and the agility and energy they exert is amazing to watch.

A few months ago I attended a fundraiser at the Legion Hall and was amazed at the high-energy workout. Zumba is a dance routine set to Latin rhythms. To attend Sunday’s event ( 3-5 p.m.) you need to show up at the B&G Club with $15, exercise gear and be ready to work your buns off. For more information, call Debra DeCosta at (508) 280-2813.
– Goodman’s Gam appears weekly in this space and monthly in The Inquirer and Mirror.

4 Responses to “Goodman’s Gam”

  1. Kenny B Says:

    Hi there David – I agree. Sad to see the picture of that broken windmill blade. That has set wind generated electricity back years on Nantucket. Certain no one will want to see that windmill next to the athletic fields. Unless it was tethered somehow when people were around. Gosh, that’s most of the time at the schools. How long it takes to get the Bartlett mill repaired will make a great difference in whether wind energy is dead around here for the foreseeable future.

    Don’t forget the wonderful play opportunities at the NHS this weekend. Seeing our young people perform is a great way to build confidence in what the future will look like.

    Birds seem a bit sparse still. Where are the juncos? Theory says they had a poor nesting season. Most of the birds we see in winter were hatched last summer – at least our songbirds that is. So no youngsters means we have mostly older birds left here. Let’s hope they don’t have two bad years in a row.

    And the election? The Dems were too confident and put up someone who just didn’t seem to want to work as hard as her opponent. Of course they were both good looking. Be interesting to see how the vote broke down by sex of the voter??!!

    Cheers – Ken

  2. David Says:

    Hi Ken, Wind power is a great alternative source of electricity. So far, it needs a bit of tweaking. One has to worry about people becoming shish kabob from an errant blade. I hate to say this, knowing you’re a birder, par excellence, but I’ll have to go look up what a junko looks like. Basically, I’m familiar with cardinals, robins, crows, sparrows, sea gulls, terns and some hawks and ospreys. Talk to me about fish, they’re what I know. Martha Coakley isn’t a good politician, but she would have been a terrific Senator. As usual, the voters got what they deserved. **David**

  3. peter mosse Says:

    Nantucket (Jan. 21, 2009) – Nantucket town counsel Paul DeRensis announced this week that he is considering a run for Sen. Scott Brown’s state senate seat, according to the Dover-Sherborn Press.
    DeRensis, a partner in the Boston legal firm of Deutsch, Williams, Brooks, DeRensis and Holland, is a selectman in Sherborn and one of four individuals interested in Brown’s state senate seat.

    “I am exploring this, I’m talking to district leaders and I think my career as a municipal lawyer shows I can help my government work for people,” said five-term Sherborn Selectman Paul DeRensis.

    “People should know I’m not encumbered with political baggage and can offer a fresh voice,” said DeRensis yesterday.

    Democrat Paul DeRensis, a Sherborn selectman, is also eyeing the seat.

    “I am reviewing the situation, talking to people within the district,’’ said DeRensis, a Democrat. “I’m assessing what I could add and contribute.’’

  4. Andrea Watson Says:

    wind farms are eco friendly and can generate massive amounts of electricity””

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