CAPE WIND FARM A LESSON FOR CONNECTICUT?

The Cape Wind Farm project in Nantucket Sound that received approval by US Interior Secretary Kenneth Salazar this week is seen by supporters and most environmentalists as a huge step forward in technology to wean the country off foreign oil. It’s also a project on which Connecticut should go to school and put a major effort into researching whether it could work here.

The developer of the project, Cape Wind Associates, says it plans to start construction of the 130 wind turbines (high-tech windmills) 5 miles off the coast of Cape Cod, by the end of the year. Opponents vow to go to court to try to stop the $1 billion project. The opponents of the project range from the very serious—Indian tribes on Martha’s Vineyard who don’t want ancestral ocean beds or sun greeting rituals disturbed, to the hypocritical—the late Sen. Edward Kennedy, et al, who decry reliance on foreign oil but don’t want their precious views of the sound disturbed. As a Massachusetts native and one who views Martha’s Vineyard as a magical jewel of an island, The Shad supports the project that will result in 1,000 jobs and clean energy.

Connecticut energy officials should start investigating whether a wind farm could work in this state; not necessarily offshore, but possibly in the Berkshire Hills of Litchfield County where wind is plentiful as is the land. Opposition will be strong but those concerns should be trumped by the need for clean, renewable energy.

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Are the rank and file members of state employee labor unions pressuring their own leadership to accept the early retirement incentive program (ERIP) proposed by the Rell administration? Like most issues in union negotiations, it depends on who you ask.

Talks on the ERIP broke down this week with each side blaming the other for the stalemate. There is real question as to whether the administration even needs the unions’ approval for the ERIP, with some leaders, including House Minority Leader Larry Cafero, claiming it’s not a concession and therefore can be done arbitrarily.

The union leadership admits some of its members would certainly take advantage of the ERIP but they want to know the fiscal and workforce impact it would have and claims the administration will not provide that information.

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Forbes magazine is out with a list of the top ten most beloved sports mascots and no surprise—the San Diego Chicken is on top. He is followed by the Phillie Phanatic, Mr.Met (?), The Racing Sausages (Milwaukee Brewers) and the Gorilla (Phoenix Suns). Read about the full list here: http://sports.yahoo.com/top/news?slug=ys-forbesmascots042910

The travesty is that the Red Sox’ Wally the Green Monster is only 7th. Of course, when Wally debuted in 1997, he was booed off the field by purist Sox fans and the Boston Globe ran a hilarious parody story about how on that debut day, Wally was later found drowning his sorrows at a local Beantown watering hole. He has since found a place in the heart of Red Sox nation and is loved by the kids (although he is not much of a role model against childhood obesity. He seems to get bigger around the middle every year; quite likely the result of those luxury off-season spots he enjoys).

The Milwaukee Brewers’ Racing Sausages got the sympathy vote. In 2007, Pittsburgh Pirates first baseman Randall Simon playfully hit the Italian Sausage with a bat as they passed the visitors’ dugout. She (yes, it was a she as it turns out) fell, knocking over the sausage next to her. Simon was subsequently interviewed by the county sheriff’s office but no arrest was made. See the still-side-splitting local news report here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3V9kJw-kWQ8&feature=related

And finally, sadly for Yankee fans, the Yanks’ mascot—the fat, drunken, beer-spilling, expletive-spewing “Bronx Guy”—did not make the list.

Only kidding, my people.