There is a town in Michigan called Benzonia, near the middle of Benzie County. It was not, as I first assumed, named by Snoop Dogg after a 24-hour bender, but rather is how Americans mispronounced the French name of a nearby river. Americans are like that.
A few locals in the area are uninterested in having wind turbines around. (More like NIMBenzie, amirite?) So they are fighting back. In a weird way.
Some Benzie County residents launched a new weapon in their efforts to block rural wind turbine development: helicopters.
Turbines can’t be built near heliports — lift-off and landing pads for helicopters — and experts believe turbine opponents’ tactic could reverberate statewide, just as Michigan’s alternative energy debate intensifies.
Benzie’s Joyfield Township — once considered part of a four-township site for an industrial wind farm — could soon have up to eight licensed, stand-alone public heliports. It would give the rural farming township of 800 souls south of Benzonia more heliports than the rest of Michigan combined. …
“It seems pretty fishy to me,” said Susan Zenker, who lives near one of the proposed heliports. “I know all of the people who have applied, and as far as I know not one of them has a helicopter.”
As far as she knows. Some of her neighbors may have one of those houses where the roof splits in two and opens up to allow a helicopter to fly out of the attic.
The conflict over turbines originated with a plan by Duke Energy to build between 60 and 110 in the area. Duke scrapped the plan, but the conflict continued.
Not every helipad constructor is doing it to avoid having a turbine nearby.
Myron Burzynski constructed a heliport on property he owns on Six Mile Road. Burzynski said he did it as a side business to promote tourism.
“I’m working strictly with one pilot,” Burzynski said. “I can’t speak for the others.”
For those of you looking to take a helicopter tour of beautiful western Michigan, call Myron.
Not really, of course. You’re not fooling us, Burzynskizzle. You have that helicopter pad to live that Rick Ross lifestyle. Burzynskizz in the Benzie / something something feeding frenzy. Another two lines and I’m taking this to iTunes.
Hat-tip to @glhjr.
- Unusual tactic in wind turbine battle, Traverse City Record-Eagle