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March  25

Cheers! From Gray, Across The Pond

GrayMontclair’s Environmental Coordinator Gray Russell, has been making tracks in the UK, looking at gigantic wind turbines, eco-friendly demonstration houses in Wales, 500-year-old mills in the Cotswolds, and meeting with Ministerial muckety mucks in London, all part of his three month fellowship to study energy efficiency. Montclair’s town website has the official blah-blah, but Gray’s email to Baristanet was a lot more upbeat:" I'm working hard but I also love the football (soccer) matches and the pubs…and bangers and mash.”

And soon Ambassador Russell will put in a good word for the people of Baristaville:

"…this week we leave for Delft, Holland for a 2-day international conference on Energy Cities…to make a short presentation there on the steps toward energy sustainability that we've taken in Montclair and around the U.S., to get the word out that plenty of people in the States are aware and trying to do the right thing…" "I love the Brits! And they generally seem to like us Yanks but they are confused by our present administration's unwillingness to 'play nice with others'."

March 25, 2006 in Major Dudes | Permalink


Wind turbines provide a small but growing part of CA's energy mix, and a small complex around Somerset PA produces some electric power. It's clean, price competitive against $6 natural gas, and non-polluting.

However, several ideal locations in the east have been blocked due to land value issues. Walter Cronkheit and members of the Kennedy family have led efforts to block turbines off the Cape Cod coast, and the NJ legislature has put obstacles in the way of turbines on and near the Jersey shore.

I doubt that a plan to put 200 foot high wind turbines behind Mt Hebron school, on the Montclair State campus, or off Bradford Ave would get very far, though.

Posted by: Paul from OB | Mar 25, 2006 10:08:00 AM

yeah, i love liberals sitting on martha's vineyard sipping their pinot's and talking about global warming and their concern for the environment. but when they can actually support a concrete venture it is voted down cause it will run their view. it's always the same retort - of course i support that solution but not in my backyard.

Posted by: Iceman | Mar 25, 2006 10:27:54 AM


Posted by: wayne robbins | Mar 25, 2006 11:07:58 AM

There is something very "teletubbies" about that picture.

Not to mention his depthful "political analysis."

Posted by: Right of Center™ | Mar 25, 2006 11:13:42 AM

"I love the Brits! And they generally seem to like us Yanks but they are confused by our present administration's unwillingness to 'play nice with others'."

I love the Brits, too, but methinks they should go back and read the history books, especially the part about unwillingness to "play nice with others."

Posted by: Miss Martta | Mar 25, 2006 11:17:20 AM

If there would be just one Yank to represent Montclair,whom we would all be proud of, Gray would be that Dude.
I'm sure he'll come home with knowledge, ideas, ( perhaps some cool stories too ) which would benefit our Community.

Hey, they might even learn something from him too.

Gray, enjoy your last few weeks with the Brits, and have a safe trip home. and

Posted by: wayne robbins | Mar 25, 2006 11:19:14 AM

Here, here! Wind power for everyone and in everyones backyard!

Posted by: lasermik2026 | Mar 25, 2006 11:59:57 AM

Did I mention I support wind power.

Posted by: lasermik2026 | Mar 25, 2006 12:00:51 PM

Turbines on Baristanet!

Posted by: Chris | Mar 25, 2006 12:05:40 PM

I think they sell them at Party City.

Posted by: cstarling | Mar 25, 2006 12:19:15 PM

I want a 3 month fellowship to study pub power - err, wind power.

Posted by: crank | Mar 25, 2006 12:38:57 PM

Verona seems like an ideal test community for wind power. The town just acquired a large plot of land from the county that was formerly the Hilltop Reservation (to show you what Essex County cares about conservation). Cedar Grove, the town that puts condos wherever they will fit and then wonders why people's yards suddenly are overrun by deer and wild turkey (yep, wild turkey), has already designated its portion of hilltop for a garish K Hovnanian complex. Meanwhile, Verona has opted to put 12 homes on an eighth of the property and designate the considerably larger portion for public use (fields, trails, etc.). I'd recommend that in place of two rusting water towers that the town has just removed, the town take a gamble on wind turbines. Not only could they likely generate enough power for the town, but they likely could sell off the surplus to portions of neighboring towns (West Orange, Cedar Grove, Montclair, Caldwell) as well.

Any Veronites on the board?

Posted by: notteham | Mar 25, 2006 12:50:31 PM

And wait a minute!!! Aren't the Brits the second-largest force in Iraq behind the U.S.? Haven't they been in Basra since the beginning?

I appreciate the Brits' sentiment, but they are HARDLY a people who should talk about getting along with others. Forget the easily arguable military history from, oh, about 1066 through the 1800's. Let's focus on the 20th Century alone. Britain, other then a incestuous monarchal pissing match, gets involved in World War I for no real pressing reason. Then there's the "troubles" in Ireland, the mau mau uprising, Cyprus, the Suez, Brunei, Indonesia-Malaysia, Aden, the Falklands... an old empire who spent the tail end of its existence being expelled from its far-flung colonies may have some friendly advice to offer people travelling down the same road, but it certainly shouldn't be scolding people for not "playing nice with others."

Posted by: notteham | Mar 25, 2006 1:03:57 PM

Miss Martta<--------Veronite
{But my heart is in Montclair, the Montclair of the 80s and 90s)

Posted by: Miss Martta | Mar 25, 2006 1:27:01 PM

Iceman: you are misinformed about MV residents: http://www.capewind.org/.

Posted by: Jim | Mar 25, 2006 1:59:39 PM

Great news, thanks for the update. When I was there over a year ago it wasn't a go. Good for them. I'm a whole hearted supporter.

Posted by: Iceman | Mar 25, 2006 2:05:10 PM

As a Verona resident of the east ridge area, I don't see how Verona's hilltops—or any other hilltops in NJ—are ideally suited to wind turbines. The population desnsity of this state makes having such large enegry-producing structures ill-suited. What little preserved area there is available should be just that: preserved for nature. Maybe offshore wind turbines are an answer, but ask NJ boaters how they feel about the aesthetic landscape those turbines would create. How far offshore does the state of NJ own? There are much better vast spreads of land in the US that are better suited to wind turbine farms (the country's mid-section, for example) than urbanized NJ.

Posted by: Jim | Mar 25, 2006 2:07:12 PM

If we can have sky-high power lines distributed across our dense landscape, why not wind turbines?

Or, will we learn that there's a magnetic field disturbance from the wind or whatever the vitality collection mechanism to which neighbors should object?

Posted by: innagaddadavida, baby | Mar 25, 2006 3:12:09 PM

notteham and miss marta

thank you for the reminders that the British gov't represented the worst of imperialism, especially in the case of Ireland. Playing nice with others is not their strong suit.

They perfected class warfare, sectarian elitism, genocide, civil unrest via religious division, torture (starvation, famine, half hangings and draw and quartering), and penal servitude all right in their backyard.

And this translated to the rest of the world as we remember the adage "the sun never sets on the British empire". A sad testament for a sad nation.

Im not impressed and Im glad to see neither are you.

Posted by: Shitalker | Mar 25, 2006 4:15:37 PM

Power generators are different than power delivery systems. And contemporary, new construction delivery is all buried wire underground now.

Posted by: Jim | Mar 25, 2006 4:17:16 PM


Just to reiterate, though: My thoughts about the British imperialist government have nothing to do with how I feel about the U.K. and its citizens. I love the country: its culture, literature, art, music and people. I even like some of their cuisine! I am dying to visit there again someday.

Posted by: Miss Martta | Mar 25, 2006 4:27:01 PM

The British Empire? 1066? (eyes rolling).

Let me put it this way. In 1939 the English recognized the existential threat to democracy freedom and America was reticent, naive and slow to join.

Now it is we (some of us) who recognize the threat and the need to "not play well".


(Notte, get your all caps ready. Mazie clutch your screen squeegee. And, Lasermike look up how to spell "facist" once again and stand ready... )


Someday, years hence, when the history of this period is written, they will speak of Churchill and Bush and Roosevelt and Blair in the same breath!

Posted by: Right of Center™ | Mar 25, 2006 5:09:07 PM

I hope they'll be ready because they'll feel the need to brush their teeth and gargle afterwards.

Posted by: pissant | Mar 25, 2006 5:11:13 PM

ROC, that maybe true, but only because they have held the same job. The differences between Churchill, Roosevelt & Blair, Bush couldn't be more stark.

I'm not sure they will write the history of this period. The youth of today, (The historians of tomorrow) are most likely to watch a video podcast of this period... on fast forward!

Posted by: Lee Blair | Mar 25, 2006 5:20:56 PM

"Winnie & FDR rocked, Bush & Blair are douchebags."

With breath to spare.

Posted by: crank | Mar 25, 2006 5:56:10 PM

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