Saturday, May 30, 2015

Tower Town Attractions #1

Campton, Exit 28, I-93

On Northern Pass and Disclosure

Joey S Sweatt, NH & VT Broker/Realtor
ATTENTION ALL SELLERS!!!! If you have been contacted by Northern Pass in regards to your property, you are REQUIRED do disclose that to any and all potential buyers - whether you have given them permission to access your property or not. Even if this project is not currently 100% happening. THIS MUST BE DISCLOSED!!! I don't make the rules, I'm just required to make sure they are followed. Please don't kill the messenger:)


Tom Thomson, March 28, 2011

Before you decide if the Northern Pass is a good deal for our state and its citizens, think about this: during the next six or more years, if you happen to be in either the primary or secondary route or even in the “View Shed” of the proposed route, you and your Realtor now need to disclose the potential of this project should you consider selling your property. We all know what the recession has done to our real estate values; this will only drive it down further. If that’s not heart burn enough for you and your families, who in many cases have worked the land for generations, and you don’t want to sell out to this foreign company, you may not have any say. As they plan to take your land through “Eminent Domain” for the public good for those in MA, CT and beyond.


Andrew Smith, October 8, 2012

Sellers are also in a very difficult disclosure position. Both by State property disclosure requirements and by their desire to by honest and fair to potential Buyers they find that when they disclose the potential impact, Buyers stop being interested. The real estate market has already been greatly impacted by the down turn in the market, causing increased inventory and longer marketing periods. The added drag this is creating is impacting hundreds of property owners at the very worst time possible.

 Broker ad for property in Stark NH
"NOT located near proposed Northern Pass  or its view."



Thursday, May 28, 2015

The problem in NH isn't BANANAs

Reprinted by permission of the author.

"BANANA" is an acronym for "Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anyone."

Arlinghaus wrong about NH vs. Mass.

To the Editor: Charles Arlinghaus wrote in his opinion piece that New Hampshire young people are rushing to Massachusetts for jobs since there are none here. Unfortunately, Mr. Arlinghaus didn’t include where he got his facts. I guess he didn’t check with to find that New Hampshire’s unemployment rate is less than Massachusetts’ rate, 3.9 to
4.8 to be precise. He also didn’t check U.S. Layoffs by State: April 2015 YTD. If he had, he would have seen that Massachusetts has had 1,255 layoffs while New Hampshire has had zero. Maybe Massachusetts youth should start flocking to New Hampshire for jobs.

Mr. Arlinghaus was wrong in his assumption that New Hampshire is in worse shape than Massachusetts when it comes to employment. He was also wrong when he blames everything on those who oppose the energy projects proposed by Eversource and Kinder Morgan. First of all, there is no guarantee that all the jobs that these corporations are promising would go to state residents. Northern Pass and Kinder Morgan never specifically made that promise. Second, Eversource has, up until this point, refused to discuss burial of the Northern Pass or the Seacoast upgrade projects. Much of the opposition to these two projects would immediately evaporate if they made those concessions.

No, New Hampshire is not being ruined by too many BANANAS. If you’re looking for someone to blame, look to Eversource and Kinder Morgan, not the people
who are trying to hold onto the jobs they do have, their property values and the safety of their families.



New Hampshire Union Leader 05/28/2015

Thursday, May 21, 2015

MIA: Support for Northern Pass by Affected Communities

MIA: Local Support for Northern Pass
Both Governor Lynch and Governor Hassan have said that affected communities must support Northern Pass. Hydro-Quebec prides itself on favorable reception of its projects by host communities.

"This project cannot happen without local support." - Governor John Lynch (Jan 31, 2012), NHPR.

“Any proposal that they come forward with must be supported by the communities that are going to be affected. I think it is very important to take into consideration our scenic views and natural landscape because they are such valuable assets.” - Governor Maggie Hassan (Sep 5, 2012), NHPR.

"All of Hydro-Qu├ębec’s development projects must meet three criteria before they can proceed: they must be profitable, environmentally acceptable and favorably received by the host communities." Hydro-Quebec, a responsible company.

Opposition to Northern Pass by Affected Towns

  • 33 towns have passed warrant articles or taken other official votes or actions, including "sense of the meeting" votes, against Northern Pass as proposed.
  • At least 11 towns have intervened in the DOE Presidential Permit: Campton, Chichester, Clarksville, Colebrook, Columbia, Concord, Easton, Littleton, Plymouth, Sugar Hill, and Stewartstown.* 
  • 7 towns have written to Quebec Premier Charest and Hydro Quebec protesting Northern Pass:
    Campton, Easton, Landaff, Stewartstown, Stratford, Sugar Hill, and Woodstock.
  • At least 3 towns have established legal defense funds in opposition to Northern Pass: Easton, Sugar Hill, and Landaff.
  • Several towns have passed rights-based ordinances (RBO's) in response to Northern Pass.
  • 17 towns have requested consulting party status in the federal Section 106 historical review.
  • 29 towns have submitted scoping comments critical of the proposed route or design of the project: Campton, Easton, Holderness, Lincoln, Sugar Hill, Woodstock, Bristol, Clarksville, Concord, Deerfield, New Hampton, Pembroke, Pittsburg, Stewartstown, Whitefield, Bath, Campton, Chichester, Colebrook, Columbia, Dorchester, Easton, Franconia, Groton, Holderness, Landaff, Lincoln, Littleton, , Orford, Plymouth, Stratford, Sugar Hill, Sutton, Woodstock.
       *It is likely that additional towns have intervened. Towns that intervened by the initial deadline are listed separately. Towns that intervened after the deadline was extended must be hand culled from the nearly 8,000 scoping comments on the DOE's site for the Northern Pass EIS.

What ever happened to Northern Pass?

Published by the Littleton Courier, May 20, 2015.
Letter to the Editor
What ever happened to Northern Pass?

With the arrival of better weather, neighbors whom I haven’t seen all winter are out and about again. The other day, one of them asked me, “What ever happened to Northern Pass? Is it still around?”

At first the question stunned me. The media campaign of Northern Pass’s PR army seems ubiquitous. (NHPR recently reported that the project has been coached by the aggressive Saint Consulting Group, a nationwide PR agency that promotes itself as “winning controversial local, state and federal land use campaigns since 1983.”)

But as I thought about it, my neighbor’s question made sense. Over the fall and winter, the promotional efforts of Northern Pass (or its alter ego, Eversource) have focused on southern New Hampshire and on Coos County, not on our area, Grafton County. If you don’t follow the downstate daily papers, which carry frequent reports on Northern Pass, or the Coos weekly papers, you might well wonder whether Northern Pass is still around, still trying to build an overhead line in New Hampshire.

It is, unquestionably.
To the south of us, Eversource NH’s CEO Bill Quinlan recently made the rounds of editorial boards, energy conferences, and the like to promote Northern Pass to the business community and its allied chambers of commerce. Parent company Eversource sent executives from Hartford to participate in a press conference in Londonderry announcing new conservation grants funded by Northern Pass. Northern Pass representatives have met with the Concord City Council over the winter and spring.

To the north of us, Northern Pass (or Eversource) publicizes the local initiatives with which it hopes to win hearts and minds in Coos County – funding for a cell tower, broadband, a job creation program. At the recent annual dinner of the North Country Chamber of Commerce, the banner of Eversource, one of the “grand sponsors” of the event, was prominently displayed.
Here in Grafton County, Northern Pass and Eversource do not draw such overt attention to themselves, but the project has by no means gone away. We hear the rental helicopter flying low and slow over the PSNH (Eversource) ROW in our communities; we see the environmental and other contractors out on our roads; and we hear about the project’s quiet efforts to try to clean up “problems” with landowners in our area.

Northern Pass is definitely “still around,” and it will flare into high visibility when the Department of Energy (DOE) issues its Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) in June or July, followed soon after by the project’s filing an application with the state permitting authority, the Site Evaluation Committee (SEC). The DEIS is not a permit; it is a preliminary statement of the DOE’s evaluation of the project’s various impacts. The DOE will take public comment about its statement before it decides whether or not to issue a Presidential Permit to allow the project to cross the international border. The SEC, which will make the critical decision whether or not to allow the project to actually build in New Hampshire, will also consider public comment.

However, neither the DOE nor the SEC will come to you directly and ask you what you think. There will be no public referendum in which you or your town votes Northern Pass up or down. Any warrant article that your town has already passed concerning Northern Pass is advisory, not binding. If you want your voice, or your town’s voice, to be heard, it’s easy enough, but you or your town must initiate the action with both the DOE and the SEC.
Now is the time for everyone who cares about Northern Pass and its impacts on our communities and state to act. This is your final chance to affect the outcome of Northern Pass.

Please join us on Sunday, June 7, 2015, at the Easton Town Hall, 1060 Easton Valley Road, Easton NH, from 3:30 PM to 5:30 PM for an update on the project and information on how to have your say on Northern Pass. This event is organized by volunteer, grassroots opponents to the project, either as proposed or altogether. Speakers will include Will Abbott, VP Land Policy, Forest Society; Kenneth Kimball, Director of Research, Appalachian Mountain Club; Nancy Martland, Sugar Hill Tower Opponents; Bob Baker, Jim Dannis, and Susan Schibanoff, Responsible Energy Action LLC.

The event is free, open to the public. There will be time for a discussion Q&A period.
Contact if you would like to add your name to the mailing list for further updates and information.

Susan Schibanoff
Easton NH

Additional information about this meeting is posted here.

January 26, 2015. PSNH/Eversource ROW. White Mountains.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Opposition Info Meeting, June 7, 2015

Northern Pass Opposition
Information Meeting

An Opportunity to Learn How You Can Have a Voice in the Federal and State Permitting Processes to Begin this Summer!

Sunday, June 7, 2015
3:30 PM - 5:30 PM

Easton Town Hall
1060 Easton Valley Road (Rte. 116)
Easton NH 03580


Panel Presentations (3:30 PM - 4:30 PM)

Will Abbott, VP Policy/Reservation Stewardship, Forest Society
Kenneth Kimball, Director of Research, Appalachian Mountain Club
Bob Baker, Member, Responsible Energy Action LLC
Jim and Sandy Dannis, Members, Responsible Energy Action LLC
Nancy Martland, Coordinator, Sugar Hill Tower Opponents
Maggie Stier, Field Service Representative, NH Preservation Alliance,
will speak briefly on "Special Historic Places, Northern Pass and You."
2015 Advocacy Workshops in Five Locations.
Followed by
Discussion Period (4:30 PM - 5:30 PM)
Moderator: Susan Schibanoff, Member, Responsible Energy Action LLC

Please join us! 

Free. Open to the Public

Organized by an unaffiliated, volunteer, grassroots citizen group.

Read a related Letter to the Editor of the Littleton Courier here.

Read a related Letter to the Editor of the Concord Monitor here.