Wind Farm Project Clears Key Hurdle

Army Corps of Engineers Releases Long-Awaited Environmental Report for Controversial Cape Wind Plan

The controversial Cape Wind project vaulted back into the news this week with the long-awaited release of a draft environmental impact statement from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

After three years of deliberation and months of anticipation, the environmental report found that the wind farm proposed for Nantucket Sound would have economic and air quality benefits but little or no long-term negative impacts.

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Early Wind Farm Review Finds U.S. Army Corps Lacking for Objectivity

Top federal environmental agencies found fundamental flaws in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers review of the controversial Cape Wind project, the Gazette has learned.

Responding to an early version of the Army Corps draft environmental impact statement, the National Park Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Mineral Management Service all questioned the objectivity of the Army Corps analysis.

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Tax CaseTalks Come to End
Ian Fein

The chairman of the West Tisbury board of selectmen reversed
position last week and called off settlement talks with town resident
William W. Graham about his costly property tax case with assessors.

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Green Day: Saving the Earth Across 35 Years of Conservation

Thirty-five years ago today, some five dozen Vineyard residents gathered in Owen Park on Vineyard Haven Harbor and walked along Beach Road into Edgartown, picking up garbage along the way. They filled six trucks with more than two tons of trash, and brought the glass they gathered to the West Tisbury dump, where they gave a demonstration of what would grow to become the Vineyard's recycling program.

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MVC Votes to Approve Cozy Hearth Subdivision with Heavy Conditions

Weighing the pressing need for affordable housing over its other planning principles, the Martha's Vineyard Commission early this morning approved with heavy conditions an unusual 11-unit subdivision in the rural outposts of Edgartown.

"This is really a referendum on us as a community. If we can't find a way to provide homes for our working-class residents, then we fail," said commissioner Chris Murphy of Chilmark. "The results of this project are damn good. I think the applicant should be proud, and we should be proud."

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Vineyard Commissioners Urge U.S. Army Corps: Put Cape Wind on Hold

Amid an escalating political climate around the controversial Cape Wind project, the Martha's Vineyard Commission decided last week to finally step into the fray.

While commission members were clear they would not take a position on the project itself, they unanimously agreed to take up as a cause the inadequate regulatory framework for permitting offshore wind farms.

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Early Study Finds Island Hospital Safe, Roads Vulnerable in Extreme Storms
Ian Fein

Following a category two hurricane or a 50-year coastal storm, Beach Road and Eastville avenue would likely be buried under water, and the only remaining access to the Martha's Vineyard Hospital in Oak Bluffs would be Temahigan Road, according to preliminary results of a risk assessment study prepared by an independent consultant.

But even under a worst-case storm scenario, the actual hospital facility would avoid major flooding, the preliminary study suggests.

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Defense Department Cites Potential Radar Interference from Wind Farms

Pentagon officials are calling for additional studies to determine whether the proposed wind farm in Nantucket Sound would impair a crucial missile detection radar system located on Cape Cod.

In a special congressional report released last week, the U.S. Department of Defense found that wind turbines located within the line of sight of military radar can adversely affect its ability to track aircraft and other aerial objects. The results were based largely on military tests conducted by the U.S. Air Force and United Kingdom Ministry of Defence between 2002 and 2005.

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Fate of East Chop Parks Rests with High court in Richly Historic Case

An esoteric case that has implications for the future of small parks in Oak Bluffs and throughout the commonwealth was argued at the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court on Monday.

A decision is expected sometime in the next three months.

On its surface the case is about three small wooded lots behind Crystal Lake on East Chop, and whether the current owners can build there, though the lots have been labeled as parks since they were set out in an original 1872 subdivision.

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Town, Tribe Collaborate on Kids Summer Camp
Ian Fein

Sitting in a circle on the floor of tribal headquarters in Aquinnah yesterday, roughly 20 town children were talking about the history of whaling when the conversation quickly turned to how excited they were about playing on a slide and possibly going swimming later in the afternoon.

Officials from both the town and Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) are equally excited about the collaborative children summer program, which opened yesterday morning.

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