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Wind energy education: Organization shows wind farm movie in Wapak

March 5, 2012

People in attendance at the screening of “Windfall” at the Wapa Theatre on Saturday had the opportunity to sign up to be apart of Auglaize Neighbors United and receive more information on the organization.

Area residents filled the Wapa Theatre this weekend to watch an informative documentary on wind farms.

“Windfall” documented the lives of residents of Meredith, N.Y., a rural farming community, and the impact the installation of 40 400-foot tall wind turbines had on their community.

“The purpose is to try to show what the community went through with wind farms,” Auglaize Neighbors United member Mike Burton told the Wapakoneta Daily at the event. “We want to educate the public as best as we can what this will be if this development moves forward.”

The presentation of “Windfall,” which was sponsored by Auglaize Neighbors United, showed the impact that a 400-foot high windmill could have on a small city.

“Meredith’s residents became deeply divided as they fight over the future of the community,” a news release states. “With wind development in the United States growing annually at 39 percent, ‘Windfall’ is an eye opener for anyone concerned about the environment and the future of renewable energy.”

Burton said the goal of the movie was to educate and inform people of wind turbines and their impact.

“We wanted to show this perspective,” Burton said. “These are things people don’t talk about. Once they (wind turbines) are up, they are up.”

Burton said that the community has been engaged in this issue, and he was pleased with the turnout of 235 people that were in attendance of the first showing of the film.

“Windfall,” which is directed by Laura Israel is an informative and educational film about wind energy and the affect the wind turbines had on the farming community in New York. The film showed neighbors, who used to be friends, become enemies over this issue.

Wind farms also caused the town government to evaluate this issue and create rules on this topic, in which numerous hours were spent listening to the public and each side of the issue when deciding whether or not to pass the wind ordinance in the village.

Residents in this film, who lived close to wind turbines, talked about how they noticed symptoms of fatigue, pressure in ears and dizziness, since the installation of these turbines.

Neighbors in the film also discussed the noise levels and dark shadows that the propellers had on the each home.

After the film, Dawn Davis, of Spencerville, spoke up. She said she has done quite a bit of research on the topic, as there was a proposed wind farm to be built near Spencerville High School, which was adjacent to her parents’ house.

“Turbine energy is the most expensive energy,” Davis said. “It’s about 41 cents a kilowatt, and every time they go up, it’s costing.”

Davis applauded the group for waking up the community.

“I’ve been a bit of a watchdog because of my experience in Spencerville,” Davis said, after the film. “It’s a complete taxpayer scam.”

Davis said she did learn some new things from the movie, as she has been studying the issue for 2 years.

“The (Spencerville) school had wanted to put one near the school, but the zoning was denied,” Davis said, “but this industry is here.”

Wapakoneta resident John Horman said he believed this award winning documentary was very informative.

“The problem is people don’t understand it and know enough about it,” Horman said. “Whether you are for or against it, people need to educate themselves.”

Windfall will be presented for a second time at 7 p.m. on March 12 at the Wapa Theater. A third showing is slated for 6:30 p.m. March 27 at Otterbein-Cridersville.

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