PEC Residents ask council to rewind turbine decision

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Turbine piece being moved through Picton  before the project was cancelled.  Photo: County Live

Several residents addressing council’s committee of the whole Thursday afternoon want the County to change its industrial wind turbine designation from “unwilling” to “willing” host.

Don Chisholm addressed wind energy in relation to the County’s recently-declared climate emergency.

“We’re in times of climate emergency without the wind in our sails,” he stated.

“Energy is central to our problem, energy is central to its resolution. We are in one of the best areas of Ontario to capture the free flowing wind energy. Surely it’s time for PEC leaders to reverse unfortunate decisions of the past and to state that we acknowledge the climate emergency; we are now willing hosts for wind energy development; and we petition our province to re-engage the intent of the Green Energy Act.”

Rod Holloway added his support for council to change to an unwilling host and support the development of turbines, purchase electric cars, or fuel-efficient, for County use, and get moving on the environmental action committee.

“Now we need to act,” he said. “We have to stop dumping carbon into the atmosphere… We have about 10 years to change and you have to lead us. The other levels of government have dropped the ball.”

There are four turbines erected of the nine that had been approved for the White Pines development in South Marysburgh before the provincial government terminated the project last July.

“Tell the government you’ve changed your mind and will accept wind energy in the County,” said Holloway. “Allow the completion of all nine turbines. This will do a significant amount stopping carbon from going into the atmosphere. If we activate turbines at Milford, it will create affordable, clean renewable energy, reducing our reliance on carbon.” MORE



Members of Sunrise Movement gather outside the Democratic National Headquarters in Washington, D.C., on June 25, 2019. Photo: Aída Chávez/The Intercept

ABOUT 100 YOUNG activists with the Sunrise Movement rallied outside the Democratic National Committee headquarters on Tuesday, demanding the party to reverse its ban on holding a climate change debate among the 2020 presidential candidates.

Activists have been calling for a full presidential debate dedicated to climate change as the issue has become a top priority for voters, pushing candidates to develop and release detailed policy proposals in the process. In addition to the protest in Washington, D.C., they’re calling on supporters to sign a petition demanding a climate debate.

“It’s an emergency, and we need our leaders to act like it,” said Abby Leedy, a protester from Philadelphia, outside the DNC headquarters a few blocks from the U.S. Capitol.

The DNC is not only refusing to hold a debate but threatening to bar any candidates who participate in a third-party climate debate on their own from future DNC debates. DNC Chair Tom Perez said in a Medium post earlier this month that the party would not hold any issue-specific debates because it could not allow individual candidates to dictate the terms of debate. His position came in response to Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, who has made climate change the centerpiece of his presidential campaign and has called for a climate-centric debate.

“If we change our guidelines at the request of one candidate who has made climate change their campaign’s signature issue, how do we say no to the numerous other requests we’ve had?” Perez wrote. “How do we say no to other candidates in the race who may request debates focused on an issue they’ve made central to their own campaigns?” MORE

Plan to sell 50m meals made from electricity, water and air

Solar Foods hopes wheat flour-like product will hit target in supermarkets within two years

 Solar Foods’ protein-heavy substance can be added to dishes and food products as an ingredient. Photograph: Solar Foods

A Finnish company that makes food from electricity, water and air has said it plans to have 50m meals’ worth of its product sold in supermarkets within two years.

Solar Foods is also working with the European Space Agency to supply astronauts on a mission to Mars after devising a method it says creates a protein-heavy product that looks and tastes like wheat flour at a cost of €5 (£4.50. $7.47 Cdn) per kilo.

The Helsinki-based company, assisted by research from the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and the Lappeenranta University of Technology, will apply to the EU for a novel food licence later this year before starting commercial production in 2021.

The powder known as Solein can be given texture through 3D printing, or added to dishes and food products as an ingredient.

It is produced through a process similar to brewing beer. Living microbes are put in liquid and fed with carbon dioxide and hydrogen bubbles, which have been released from water through the application of electricity. The microbes create protein, which is then dried to make the powder.

Dr Pasi Vainikka, the chief executive of the tech startup, said the company had produced a carbon-neutral way to produce a fully natural protein source without wasting land or water. Pre-engineering on a full-scale factory had just started, he added.

“It is a completely new kind of food, a new kind of protein, different to all the food on the market today in how it is produced as it does not need agriculture or aquaculture,” he said. MORE


Electric food – the new sci-fi diet that could save our planet

These students came up with an ingenious way to keep buildings cool

No electricity. No moving parts.

Students working on Phalanx insulation in a workshop.
The student team took a page from mother nature to develop this sun-thwarting insulation. (Photo: Phalanx)

From Mount Everest’s slushy summit to the fading ice fields of Greenland, the dial on the global furnace ticks ever upward.

And so, too, the air-conditioning dial.

Climate may change, but old habits, they die hard. No one wants to sweat out a heat wave. And, indeed, air conditioning can save lives — even as it also takes the long way around to taking lives.

All those AC units chugging away in homes and offices work tirelessly to stave off heat. At the same time, the emissions and particulate matter they dump into the atmosphere makes our lot even worse.

It’s a dilemma scientists have been grappling with for decades: How do we keep our living spaces, well, livable, without adding to the planetary problem that is global warming?

And yet, termites seemed to have worked it all out ages ago. The cathedral-like mounds they build — often as tall as eight feet — may function much as giant lungs, cooling and heating the small inner chamber where the insects actually dwell.

Wildflowers surround a termite mound in Australia.Termite mounds like this one in Australia were just one element of inspiration for the student inventors. (Photo: Martin Horsky/Shutterstock)

It’s the kind of setup that has weathered all kinds of weather extremities over the millennia. And the kind that’s inspiring student engineers to emulate.

Taking a page from the termite construction manual, a team from the Industrial Design program at California State University, Long Beach has developed an insulation that could revolutionize how homes and offices are cooled.

They’ve dubbed the material, which is still in early testing, Phalanx.

“The idea for Phalanx started out with us discovering that the cooling and heating of buildings contributed the largest amount of CO2 emissions to the atmosphere,” team member Albert Gonzalez explained to MNN via email. “Our goal was to find a passive way to cool buildings and limit the use of HVAC units. We began by looking at the eons of research and development done by mother nature.”

They came up with a system of panels that could be attached to existing structures, particularly in places where the sun bears down most.

Those insulating sheets comprise three layers, each taking its cue from the natural world. While termite engineering inspires the middle layer, the first looks to the cactus — a plant renowned for its ability to stare down the sun. Wavy, waxy patterns on that layer, much like cactus flesh, dissipate and reflect heat.

A sheet of Phalanx insulationThe insulation comprises three layers, each inspired by the natural world. (Photo: Phalanx)

The final outer layer channels the sun-coping strategies of camels and even wheat. It gathers cooling dew from the air or draws up gray water from a trough installed beneath.

It all adds up to a passive cooling system that the student engineers maintain can dramatically dial down our reliance on air conditioning.

What’s more, it draws no electricity, there are no moving parts, and — unlike other promising new materials like super-strong sun-cloaking wood — it can be attached relatively easily to existing structures. MORE


Phalanx Insulation


The Indian Act’s contribution to murdered and missing Indigenous women

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The Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) is a National Indigenous Organization representing the political voice of Indigenous women, girls and gender diverse people in Canada.

In early June, the final report of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls inquiry was finally released.

The report determined that the disproportionate level of violence against Indigenous women was genocide that originated from Canada’s colonial ideologies and policies including the Indian Act. It continued that “targeting victims in a gender-oriented manner” destroyed Indigenous communities and left lasting scars.

According to UBC’s Indigenous Foundations website, when the Europeans arrived in North America, they brought with them patriarchal beliefs about the role and importance of women. Europeans believed in universal male dominance. Settler women had few individual rights, were ruled by their husbands and treated as their property.

European patriarchy was imposed on First Nations through the Indian Act, which discriminated against Indigenous women in several ways. First, the Indian Act ruled that to qualify as an Indian, you had to be an Indian male, be the child of an Indian male, or be married to an Indian male.

Whether a woman was an Indian depended on her relationship with a man. Should she marry a non-Indian man, she lost her Indian status. The act’s sexual double-standard was brash for not only did an Indian man marrying a non-native woman keep all his rights, his wife gained Indian status.

What’s more, the Indian Act did not allow Indian women to possess land or martial property. If an Indian woman’s husband passed away or they separated, she and her children could not stay in the family home and left with nothing.

Although Canada was forced by lawsuits and the Charter to amend the legalized gender discrimination of Indigenous women through Bill C-31, inequality still exists in that the generational offspring of an Indian woman that married a non-native man will eventually become ineligible for Indian status.

Another way the Indian Act discriminated against Indigenous women was by excluding them from governance. Traditionally, Indigenous women participated in governance as advisors or decision makers.

The colonial racialization and sexualization of Indigenous women resulted in stereotypes that made violence against them acceptable.

Based on the European patriarchal belief that women were not fit for politics, the Indian Act implemented a male-only elective system. Indian women were not allowed to vote in band elections or hold political office. MORE

Trudeau’s paradoxical definition of Indigenous consent

The federal government’s skewed view of Indigenous consent, and its apparent conflict of interest on the pipeline, could pose a legal problem.

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Photo: Indigenous drummers perform a drum circle prior to a demonstration against the approval of the Trans Mountain pipeline, in Victoria on June 22, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Dirk Meissner

he latest cabinet approval of the Trans Mountain pipeline came less than a day after the federal government declared a climate emergency. While the irony was a dream for satirists, it wasn’t the biggest contradiction of the day. Instead, it was Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s bizarre definition of free, prior, and informed consent (FPIC) with regard to projects that will impact Indigenous land and rights: “[FPIC] is what we engaged in doing with Indigenous communities over the past number of months. It is engaging, looking with them, listening to the issues they have and responding meaningfully to the concerns they have wherever possible.”

By Trudeau’s definition, consent is: listening to issues, responding to concerns wherever possible, and then forging ahead. As Indigenous lawyer and scholar Pam Palmater pointed out, imagine if that definition of consent was applied in the context of sexual relations?

The prime minister’s comments largely went unnoticed in the mainstream media, but his government’s skewed understanding of FPIC and half-hearted attempts at consultations with Indigenous communities remain the core reason it will be unable to move the project forward. Moreover, Ottawa’s purchase of the pipeline created an inherent conflict of interest as it purported to sit down for meaningful consultations.

“Listening to the issues”

So, what exactly was the government “engaged in doing” with Indigenous communities since last August, when the Federal Court of Appeal found that “Canada did not fulfil its duty to consult” on the pipeline and quashed the National Energy Board’s approval of it?

Many of the First Nations that had appealed to the court expressed their dissatisfaction with the renewed Stage III consultation process that the court had mandated.

The Squamish First Nation said it had been assured there were no time limits for the consultations, only to discover that cabinet did have an end date in mind. Khelsilem, a Squamish Nation spokesperson, told a news conference that they had been sent documents for feedback after May 22, the federal government’s self-imposed deadline for comments.

“What we experienced was a shallow attempt at consultation that resulted in a failure to address our concerns,” said Khelsilem. “The failure to meaningfully engage with rights holders means this government is either not serious about building this pipeline or not serious about respecting Indigenous rights.”

Chief Lee Spahan of Coldwater Indian Band said, “The meaningful dialogue that was supposed to happen never happened.” A study of the community’s aquifer had not yet occurred, and an existing pipeline spill has yet to be remediated.

Chief Leah George-Wilson of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation said that consultation once again fell well below the mark set by the Supreme Court of Canada in a number of key decisions, including Tsilhqot’in. This constitutional obligation of the Crown’s was re-emphasized in the Federal Court of Appeal ruling. George-Wilson also noted that the federal government was in a conflict of interest – that its multiple hats as proponent, decision-maker, enforcer of laws and fiduciary to First Nations and all Canadians made it impossible to make an open-minded, unbiased decision.

Can Greta’s Movement Bring Moral and Financial Responsibility Into the Climate Conversation?

We need to shake ourselves loose from governments that are beholden to corporate interests and the elite. Like a snake shedding it’s skin we need to leave those politicians and their ideas behind.

I bet she’s thinking…what is wrong with you…you do have kids don’t you?

The type of awareness that Greta has raised for climate change is unprecedented. No one could have anticipated that a 15 year old girl from Sweden sitting alone outside of the Swedish parliament could have turned that single action into a worldwide movement. But she did and the reason it worked is that it was a genuine stand against a ruling class that stopped paying attention to the 99%. I think we need to be very mindful to not tell young people who have the most to lose, what they need to do, what is achievable and what will work.

We need to learn from the misguided exchange that Senator Feinstein had with a group of passionate students (7 -16 yrs) from the Sunrise Movement. After the senator heard their pleas to address the climate crisis she said:

I’ve been doing this for 30 years. You come in here and say it has to be my way or the highway. I don’t respond to that…I know what I’m doing. Maybe people should listen a little bit.

With all due respect to Senator Feinstein, I don’t think she has the first clue as to how to address this emergency. She and her political allies like Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer are stuck in the past. And in that same light, I think we also need to be weary of the billionaire class that likes to think that they can solve problems like “superheroes”.

As Anand Giridharadas explores in his must read book, “Winners Take All”, billionaires have a way of solving problems in ways that maintain the status quo. Whether by accident or by design billionaires and the corporate elite avoid systemic solutions that could erode some of their wealth in favour of “market solutions” that shelter their wealth or even give it a chance to grow. That’s the beauty of “doing well by doing good” it looks like you’re trying to help, you think that you’re trying to help but in the end, you’re only helping yourself by sharing your wealth in ways that leave the door open to accumulating more wealth. I explore this in greater detail in my article titled, “How Billionaire Greed Ruined a Perfectly Good Strategy Called Corporate Sustainability.”

The beauty of “doing well by doing good” is that it looks like you’re trying to help, you think that you’re trying to help but in the end, you’re only helping yourself by sharing your wealth in ways that leave the door open to accumulating more wealth.

So, no thank you Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Bill McGlashin, Meg Whitman and Jack Ma and any other righteous billionaires who suddenly feel like they have what it takes to save the planet — just pay your taxes and your unpaid bills for the social and environmental harm that you caused and we’ll take care of the rest.

The reality is that no one really knows what to do or how this will play out. Each day the playbook is being written and those young people just might have the best chance of writing a winning script. MORE

Read Greenpeace Magazine Online

imageActivists from all walks of life attend the School Strike for Climate in Montreal,QC on March 15, 2019. ©Thiery du Bois

This edition of Greenpeace Magazine includes articles on the youth action that’s energizing the global climate movement. You’ll also read about our new campaign – 6ix Reasons to Sue – to hold big polluters accountable for their role in creating the climate crisis. And you can learn more about ways you can help turn the tide on plastic pollution, our thoughts on industrial meat and dairy, and much more!

Read your copy of Greenpeace Magazine online now.


What did we hear at The Pact for a Green New Deal Town Halls?

Historic floods and wildfires. The MMIWG final report linking resource extraction and violence against Indigenous women, girls, and two-spirit people. Growing economic inequality. Our government’s failure to live up to the demands of the Truth and Reconciliation committee or to fully implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. This moment of systemic crisis calls for systemic change. That’s why over 100 groups have come together in 2019 to launch The Pact for a Green New Deal.

The Pact for a Green New Deal is a coalition calling for a far-reaching plan to cut emissions in half in 11 years, in line with Indigenous knowledge and climate science; create more than one million good jobs; and build inclusive communities in the process. Its bold, justice-based vision is galvanizing thousands of people by recognizing, and working to respond to, the multiple crises we face.

Since The Pact launched on May 6, 2019, organizations in the coalition have set off with the goal of listening to people from coast to coast to coast in the ambitious project of defining what a Green New Deal looks like for their community.

In less than a month, volunteers organized an astounding 150+ town halls, taking place in every single province and territory, to build alignment towards a set of shared principles for a Green New Deal. 

Of these 150+ events, about half were held in large communities (over 100,000 people), and half in small communities (under 30,000 people). The organizers we heard from hosted town halls ranging in size from four people, in Iqaluit, to over 300 in Edmonton. All in all, more than 7,000 people joined Green New Deal town halls in their communities — representing environmental groups, labour unions, faith groups, political parties, city councils, community and neighbourhood associations, Indigenous organizations, women’s organizations, the Fight for $15 and Fairness, student unions, local media, and more.

We worked with analysts to pull themes from the town hall conversations that took place: people gathering in grief, in rage, and in hope to share what they think the Green New Deal must include, and what it must put an end to. What follows is a summary of some of those themes; it is not a complete analysis or completed report. There is much work still to be done to bring in those who did not attend town halls, to allow time to hear from other groups, and to make sure voices marginalized by the status quo are made central in the process. MORE

Jen Ackerman: PEC Revoke the Unwilling Host Declaration

Ackerman offers approximately $20 thousand lease money per year for 20 years to the County to get the  turbines spinning

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Thank you Mayor Ferguson and Councilors. My name is Jen Ackerman , and I am here to speak about the climate emergency, and to request a willing host declaration for wind farms in Prince Edward County. The outdated “unwilling host ” declaration needs to be revisited,since it was decided when the anti-wind people from South Marysburgh were fighting about the Gilead wind farm. This is no longer the situation as there are no turbines planned for that area by any wind company.

I am not one for talking in public,  I get really nervous,so for me to put myself through this unnerving situation it has to be something hugely important. I consider saving my kids future to be of the utmost important to me. So I have to speak up about what we ALL should be doing to save our planet, our future, and the future of all life sharing this communal space.

There are a lot of deniers in this room who really do think that money and business,tourists and housing developments are what we need more of in the County. But all the money in the world isn’t going to prevent the waters from rising around the fancy new high rise housing development or another new cottage resort on our once pristine shoreline.

County Weekly News

Your bank account could be worth millions of dollars, but what good is that if you are completely miserable from the effects of climate change. Drought,intense heat,lack of fresh food or drinking water and,if that doesn’t bother you, your sky high hydro bill will. Everyone’s air conditioners running full blast day and night will put an added strain on the hydro system, causing a shortage of electricity leading to blackouts. We already start the year off complaining that it is too cold outside,so the kids stay home from school, and the warming stations are opened. Next comes the complaining about too much snow,then spring comes and it’s too wet, and the homes and farm fields are flooded. Then a late frost kills all the buds on the grapevines, which leads to no wine for the tourists to spend their holiday bucks on. The damaging hot and dry conditions that follow cause poor crop production, dry wells, massive forest fires,and we are told to stay indoors with the air conditioner on, especially seniors as their lives are put at risk. All this extra use of hydro as people are trying to keep cool,causes an overload creating blackouts. These uncomfortable conditions will continue to worsen each year as the global temperature rises at a rate that we can not adapt to.

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This is, of coarse, the reason countries around the globe are declaring climate emergencies. As this County continues to make wrong decisions about how to care for natural habitat and continues to change existing property zoning, and continues allowing developers to rape the woodlands, shorelines,heavily treed areas and meadows, then all you are doing is adding to the climate problem and being hypocrites by saying we have a climate emergency but not changing your life choices.

Going against all the warnings and continuing to think like Ford with his wrecking ball mentality, is not an intelligent way to deal with global warming. These nearsited decisions are not only taking away the attraction to the County, but you are also putting another nail in the earth’s coffin.

If the County acknowledges that we have a emergency to deal with, then I think some serious decisions have to be made,and a lot of those decisions may not be popular with everyone in the County.When we see that other countries are all switching to green , renewable energy choices, the decision makers in this County and Quinte area (namely Todd Smith ) only stand out as fools , moving against the crowd. And that crowd is getting bigger, louder, and more determined to do whatever needs to be done to keep the earth livable.

We have something in this County that we should be feeling proud to show off to the tourists and locals,to all the other counties and to all of Ontario. We have a wind farm that should have been generating clean energy for many months now. Some people don’t like the look of them. Well too bad for them. I don’t like the look of dead dried up lawns and trees. I don’t like the look of corn fields without corn because the ducks are swimming in them. I really don’t think a forest looks so great when it is left smouldering after another forest fire. The green and blue algae in the contaminated water is a really pretty colour but is any one going to be at the Outlet beach spending those tourist bucks if the “BEACH CLOSED ” sign is posted, and the shore stinks so bad from dead fish.

Image result for wind turbineWe have something here in the County that the tourists love to see,  WIND TURBINES! But they come in my shop and question me as to why they are not spinning and I tell them the whole story about Todd Smith and the couple of dozen anti wind people that got their way last July and halted progress and stopped the completion of our wind farm.

I get a shocked response of disbelief from these visitors and County residents. They question what is wrong with people? We are in a worldwide climate emergency, and they do something as stupid as this? I hear it over and over.

The best thing that the people of the County can do to prove to the world that we are not just a money hungry tourist trap destination, and that we really do care about the future of ALL life on Earth,and we want to do our part to help, slow down the effects of climate change, is to get our wind farm project back on track. It needs to be completed and allowed to start generating clean energy! We need to show our intelligence and set an example to all of Canada. We are not as backwards-thinking as it appears we are, from past mistakes. There were a few South Marysburgh residents, who thought they had some kind of special rights to decide for all the people in the area, that a wind farm was a bad idea. Many of those people have now moved out of Milford, or have died.

This outdated mistake needs to be changed to willing host, NOW.There isn’t much time to waste. If there is an agreement reached soon that forces WPD to tear down our wind farm, we will pay an unacceptable environmental price plus a ridiculous 100 million dollars. There will be many months upon months of exhaust pollution from approximately 1000 dump truck loads carrying tons upon tons of smashed up rebar and cement and dumping it in some landfill. There will be months of exhaust fumes from huge ram hoes, cranes, dozers, adding carbon pollution, noise, vibrations, road damage, squishing all those endangered Blanding’s turtles, disrupting the habitat that has adjusted to the turbine sites, and appalling the tourists and majority of County residents!

The news of this disaster will hit all the media because it does not only effect one little area like the County. This is a world wide problem, and every decision made here or anywhere else in the world effects all life. Cutting down rainforests in Brazil effects us in Canada. Shutting down a wind farm in the County negatively effects everyone everywhere. County leaders that plan to sit back and turn a blind eye to this wind farm will be ridiculed and attacked from environmentalists,the Green Party,the media, the general public, the Fridays for Futures kids, and eventually your own children as their future happiness and health disintegrates.

The negative effect of the cancellation of White Pines goes beyond just energy creation. The creation of a beautiful meadow, 74 hectares of bird and pollinator habitat will be plowed underground and turned into a hay field. This thriving bird paradise was planted in in 2015,and has been paid for and maintained by WPD.

To establish such a spectacular meadow, composed of millions of wild flowers and a selection carefully chosen special grasses, is a move in the right direction. This habitat was intentionally created and planted to encourage and increase the population of threatened species such as bobolinks and whippoorwills. Also, it was designed to attract and feed our dwindling numbers of butterflies and bees which we all know have been put at risk due to humans destroying their habitat. The Blanding’s turtle, which has been highly overused as leverage to stop the wind farm would have had a chance to be removed from the threatened species list, if WPD was allowed to build the turtle nursery and education area at the Toronto zoo as they had offered to do at a cost to them of over two million dollars but like all their offers, the County turned it down.Turtles can not fly, so how would a turbine kill a turtle anyways? The turbines are already built , so they won’t get run over by WPD workers’ trucks.

Now I would like to present the County councilors with an offer.

Since I have been endlessly accused of only wanting a wind farm because I am a landowner to turbine nine and would be making money because of the project, I would like to prove that my passion for wind farms has nothing to do with money. I am offering my entire 20 year lease money to the County which would be approximately $20,000  a year,to be used only for the purpose of helping the many environmental issues we face here, The money would be spent on such things as wetland protection,and rehabilitation, bird and pollinator habitat creation,educational programs in schools, injured wildlife rescue and release, tree planting programs,shoreline protection, garbage cleanup to name a few. This offer is ONLY if this White Pines wind farm cancellation decision is reversed and the blades start spinning. Consider also, how far 100 million dollars would go if put towards fighting climate change instead of being taken from Ontario residents,including you,to pay the dept owed to WPD.

I am here asking you today to commit to doing more than just giving up plastic drinking straws as a solution to the climate emergency problem, but to do the right thing. I am asking this new council to reverse this insane decision handed down from the past council,and lets proudly boast a willing host status in support of clean energy. Lets be a place where we are proud to say, we are doing our part,and helping our children, and all living creatures.

Thank you .