Another moment of community pride.
It was the best theater in the High Desert. Newberrians
came together Tuesday night, December 17, 2019, in a united front to oppose
the Daggett Solar Power 1 project and to push the Community Services District
to file an appeal of the County Supervisors' approval of the project.
The Senior Director of Development for the Clearway Energy project,
James Kelley, who was expected to attend, was a no show due to stated medical reasons.
In his place, Edward J. Bonadiman, a Civil Engineer on the project, represented
(Sorry, some copy that was here was somehow lost after publication.)
The attorney was reportedly paid $3,000 for preparing a letter
outlining the deficiencies in Clearway's Environmental Impact Report. Due
to the time involved in research, the letter appears to be well worth the money.
The attorney was only retained for the letter and initial advice.
He may or may not be used further.
Unger stated that the attorney suggested that if the CSD was to
pursue an appeal, that probably at best, it would lead to a compromise of the project's
Based upon the attorney's opinion given by Unger, the meeting's discussion
thereafter centered upon the notion that an appeal would focus on acquiring a settlement.
Possibly a reduction in the size of the project.
This line of defeatist thinking is totally wrong.
It is an attorney cop-out. The Clearway project CAN BE STOPPED! and
it should be. There is no way to mitigate a utility-scale photovoltaic solar
facility being placed in a Sand Transport Path. The idea that a compromise
should be considered at this point is hogwash.
Unger reasoned that Clearway is a huge corporation with unlimited
funds that will litigate small Newberry into the ground. This represents limited
and dangerous thinking which disappointedly seems pervasive on the CSD's board.
This matter, if litigated, can become a war that will
last for years. A legal war is not resolved with one battle, but many.
The factor necessary to succeed is to stay in the game, waging one battle at a time.
The concern of the CSD is financial. It needs to
immediately file an appeal to stay in the game, yet it will probably need to
file a few responsive briefs as Clearway will try to quash the appeal.
The idea is to stay in the game long enough to find an angel, an environmental
group willing to financially take over the legal fight.
The Newberry CSD should not fear doing the entire litigation alone.
We only need to buy time.
Special thanks goes out to Pat Flanagan who drove from the Twentynine
Palms area to provide insight to the numerous violations of Clearway's Environmental
Impact Report that was certified by the Planning Commission and approved by the
County's corrupt Board of Supervisors.
Flanagan has been most helpful to Newberry
by providing technical assistance.
Flanagan is a director on the board of the Morongo Basin Conservation
Association which is deeply concerned with solar development in their area.
The Lucerne Valley and the Morongo Basin are also impacted by
Sand Transport Paths and they see the Daggett solar project as the front runner
of mammoth super projects headed their way.
The CSD Board members
should expand their thinking.
If the CSD files an appeal on time, they need to expand their
scope of thinking. This will be war. Many strategies should be taken.
In a war, one tries to cripple the enemy. This can be
done through educational propaganda. We need to educate the public on
the corruption of Clearway Energy placing a solar facility in a Sand Transport
We have a fascinating national 60-Minutes type story that is
begging to be told.
Destructive mega-sized solar facilities vs. Distribution
A bullying Clearway conglomerate destroying small economically
disadvantaged communities for corporate gain.
Clearway, building in a terrible Sand Transport Path, will
make great Social Media news that will take on a life of its own world-wide.
Clearway's Social Injustice will resonate.
We need to personalize the dying wildlife as their corridor
across the Silver Valley is cut-off. We need to emphasize through visual graphics
the emphysema and COPD that Clearway is forcing upon our families.
There was a Board member absent. Vickie Paulsen was Missing
In Action due to a legitimate illness.
During the meeting, the audience voiced concern about Paula Deel voting,
feeling that there might be a current or future conflict of interest on her part.
Deel stated that she has never personally profited from her participation in either the
Chamber of Commerce nor her Newberry Springs Economic Development Association.
However, Deel was silent about directing thousands of 'community'
billboard dollars to the organizations, including thousands of dollars for well
drilling that would have been better spent on the (Senior) Community Center's
roof/ceiling repair. Few in the community will benefit from the
community dollars going into a well.
Paula Deel did decide to recuse herself from the vote on the Clearway
appeal (which leaves the financial door open).
That left President Robert Springer, Jack Unger, and Larry Clark.
All three followed the voiced desire of the audience and they all voted to proceed with
the appeal. BUT IT ISN'T OVER YET!
The Board has called a Special Board Meeting for this coming Monday,
December 23rd, to select an attorney and to determine a funding amount.
It is not known if Vickie Paulsen will be well enough to attend
or whether there will be any Director's voting remorse. Newberry Springs is
not blessed with a representative Board that is forthcoming on their positions to
safeguard the community.
Community participation is welcomed at the Special Board Meeting
as the Directors finalize the Board's vote.
We strongly thank Robert Springer, Jack Unger, and Larry Clark
for standing with the community with their vote.
Jack Unger was flying pretty good with me at the meeting on the solar
issue but then he had to stick his foot in his dang mouth. He again
assailed my participation in this news blog by complaining that my writings are
not helpful to the community and that this Web site should cease.
What does Unger have against Free Speech and expression? Why
the attack upon Free Press? If Unger disagrees he doesn't need to read.
Others want to know what is impacting them. Sorry, Jack, more blogs to come.
Thanks to all who attended the Tuesday night meeting.
The Board does need to hear your input.
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Be my neighbor?
CSD Special Board Meeting|
Monday, December 23, 2019
Newberry CSD Building
South end of Newberry Road