50 pro-wind signs stolen in Rumford

RUMFORD — Police are investigating the theft of blue and white political signs asking people to "Vote Yes to Wind Energy" and to "Vote Yes on the Wind Ordinance."

Terry Karkos/Sun Journal

Fifty signs like these at the corner of South Rumford Road and Route 2 in Rumford were stolen sometime Monday night into early Tuesday morning along Routes 2 and 108. Police are investigating the theft.

More than three dozen signs that were placed Monday along Route 108 and from Rumford Center to the bottom of Falls Hill on Route 2, were gone by Tuesday morning, said J. Arthur Boivin, who helped place the signs along the roadways.

“This is totally ridiculous and illegal as hell,” said Boivin, who with another man, was going around replacing the missing signs Tuesday.

Taking, defacing or disturbing political signs is a civil violation with a possible fine of up to $250 per sign.

Boivin said 50 signs were taken. Some had the paper sign ripped off the metal frame and the frame left standing; two were yanked up and thrown onto a baseball field. But most were simply gone.

"To me, these signs say Rumford is open for business" if the ordinance is approved, Boivin said.

Police Sgt. Douglas Maifeld said Tuesday that they had no suspects.

“Apparently, people don't have anything better to do,” Maifeld said. “If you don't like the message on a sign, then vote against it; don't steal the sign.”

Town Manager Carlo Puiia said the signs were still in place Monday night when he was returning home from the town business meeting which ended at 9:30 p.m.

“There's still some around town, but there's a number of them that were removed without authorization,” Puiia said.

“It's troubling. It's one thing to think that it's a random act of vandalism or an act of some of the opposition that were probably upset or concerned about First Wind's placing the signs out,” he said.

The signs were paid for by Boston-based wind developer First Wind, which has had a $65 million wind farm project on hold for two years to allow Rumford to draft an ordinance to regulate such development.


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 's picture

Signs of the Times

It was distressing to read "an act of the some of the opposition that were probably upset or concerned about First Wind's placing the signs out.”

While I hope it's not the case, I suppose it's only natural that opponents of mountaintop industrial wind are some of the first suspects people think of, but to have Puiia state that is of great concern. Surely he knows better than to throw out statements like that? I hope that before making similar statements, Mr. Puiia takes a moment to consider the weight of his words. Has he taken a 'position' on industrial wind?

The fact of the matter is-- everywhere wind developers go, they divide communities. It would be one thing if their product had real value. But it doesn't. There are a few land-owners who will make a fast buck... but the only real winners are the developers. On a $65MILLION project such as this, the 1603 cash grant FW can obtain is upwards of $18MILLION. A no strings attached gift from the federal government-- which doesn't HAVE that $18MILLION, of course... so it will borrow it from countries like China. And it will be up to us-- and our descendants--to repay the loan. Not only that, but up to 60% of the cost for the development is spent in places like.... China. Where the turbines are manufactured.

Add to that the accelerated depreciation (another tax-payer subsidy), TIF's (tax-payer subsidy), REC's (tax-payer subsidy) Tax Production credits (tax-payer subsidy) and other rate- or tax-payer gifts, and First Wind walks away with a pretty good chunk of change in their pockets. All provided by Rumford citizens, Maine citizens, American citizens.

And yet.... wind is the least valuable energy source we have.

Please think about this, people of Rumford. Please invest a few hours in independent research. All is not as the wind developers like to have you believe. Europe is saying 'no' to industrial wind in a big way, after 15+ years of giving it a try. Let's learn from their mistakes before making the same expensive and catastrophic ones here at home.

Karen Pease
Lexington Twp., Maine

Gary Steinberg's picture

Fight Back Rumford!

Communities under home rule preserve natural rights to preserve their land, air and water.
Communities can totally ordinance out by local rule wind turbines.
See http://www.celdf.org ( Citizens Environmental Legal Defense Fund . Contact chad@celdf.org)
"Civil Disobedience Ordinances" are fully called for in this respect. Rumford,do it or be ruined. The selectmen who say you have no right to regulate out by ordinance are being told distorted facts by the wind lobby and First Wind, or are being bribed or otherwise self-serving and protecting themselves.
Recall them, disobey their preaching, confront them.

Do not give in.

Get the facts.
Stop the process before those in control metasticize beyond control in your communitiy like they did in Lincoln, where the citizens were lied to consistently .
First Wind is controlling your process, and some selectmen are probably under their direct influence now.
Fight it tooth and nail, or YOU WILL BE SORRY.
Come to Lincoln and see what is at stake.

Gary Steinberg's picture

Fight Back Rumford! Be Defient, or Wind up like Lincoln!

Is the “displacing of signs” by citizens an illegal act?


Was the dumping of tea into Boston harbor an illegal act?

History will show both were needed and necessary to repel the scoundrel interlopers!

Rumford, Lock arms and Kick First Wind out!

Always remember this;
They are All Despicable Snake Oil Salesmen

They are neither virtuous nor wise.
The developers like First Wind are mostly cynical profiteers out to make a buck, who pull the necessary strings and grease the necessary palms to win their approvals...They are opportunists who travel to financially distressed rural areas like Rumford and entice unsuspecting residents and rural folks to sign their lease agreements which neuter their rights to their own land.Most of the others are ill-informed and idealistic-and maybe a bit impulsive-who have no idea what they are in for once the blades of the industrial energy generator begin to spin.

They reassure energy committees and town fathers that everything will be fine.
They bribe with other half baked schemes. Talk is cheap!

Angus King and his son, a CEO of First Wind involved in Merger and Acquisition of Wind projects, are no more than despicable snake oil scoundrels and salesmen, using past political history to make millions off the backs of Mainers to scam taxes and desecrate environment.

Kick them out!

 's picture

signs paid for

NO NO NO boston based first wind DID NOT pay for signs and offering to invest 65 million in Rumford.
You you you the tax payers are supplying the funds.
You the poor people of western Maine will pay for this mistake the rest of our children's lives.

I hope people living with-in 3 miles from these farms never want to sell their house.

Sale lost on Common Road. Buyer heard turbines were coming.
2 Sales lost in Highland due to turbine threat.
I am sure when the real estate business comes forward with buyer refusals based on wind turbines we will not be surprised.

Rumford, the value of the turbines will depreciate and so will your land values. Who pays for services then?

 's picture

First Wind Should Just Go Away

That this should happen doesn't surprise me. Everywhere that wind developers come, it ends up dividing communities, even families. There is a large contingent in the River valley region who understand that wind is a folly, that it's huge footprint destroys mountains and the mountain ecosystems, that don't want huge 40 story towers looming over their town, that don't believe it is OK to say a certain number of citizens are "expendable", whose rights to peaceful existence and well being are just collateral damage to the wind industry. Its just wrong!

First Wind always says they don't want to be in a community where they are not welcome, yet the company is so persistent in imposing itself onto Rumford. It is arrogant in waging its second political campaign for access to Rumford, knowing full well that citizens don't have the money to wage a political campaign back. First Wind pulls out everything in the wind industry playbook, that's for sure. So although I will recognize that it is wrong to take political signs, I can understand the frustration of the local person who just wants First Wind to leave Rumford alone.


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