Tracy Valletti elected to PMLP Commission!
2/21/23- In a joint meeting between the Peabody City Council and the current PMLP commissioners Tracy Valletti received 10 of the possible 15 votes to replace retiring commissioner Charles Bonfanti. Ms. Valletti was chosen from a field of 6 candidates, and was the only candidate to cause a contentious grilling from 2 of the current PMLP commissioners. When Ms. Valletti brought up her intent to move Peabody towards an official ‘Green Community’ designation, which would bring hundreds of thousands of dollars to the city, Councillor Anne Manning brought up the fact that in the past the PMLP has been the block to this initiative. At that point commissioner Tom Paras decided to start a conversation on this subject with Ms. Manning, but ultimately withdrew his comment and sat down. Then Commissioner Melvin decided to accuse Ms. Valletti of previously expressing skepticism regarding the controversial Peabody Project 2015A – the ‘Peabody Peaker’, and of having been supported in the last election by a coalition that still opposes the project. Ms. Valletti repeated for the third time she understands the project will be completed and online in a few months, and that her intent is not to oppose it at this time. Both Mr. Paras and Mr. Melvin voted for a different candidate, but Ms. Valletti persisted and ended up with 2 more votes than required to win the position on the board.
It appears the PMLP Commission doesn’t want you to hear what they have to say. At last night’s monthly meeting, Commissioners Tom Paras and Ray Melvin had a temper tantrum that resulted in the meeting not being recorded.
At first, the usual microphones were absent from the desks. “Bring your own microphones,” was their command when Peabody TV volunteers eventually located the needed equipment and began unpacking the microphones regularly used for recording the meeting on video. “Use the microphone in the camera,” was another comment – along with Paras’ comment “we’re getting new microphones anyway.”
The mystery of the microphones played out at the meeting following dissmissive comments Paras made at the September meeting were heard on Peabody TV’s recording. When a member of the public raised her hand to participate in the public remark portion of the meeting, Paras was heard saying “Oh my god, I’ve got to get out of here….when is this thing going to end.”
Paras left the room when asked if the microphone mayhem was related to his off-side remarks being heard at the last meeting. (Are they getting new microphones so it would be easier for commissioners to turn off their microphone?)
The Commission’s lack of transparency with the public and their preference to avoid community engagement is nothing new.
We got another hint at the Commission’s attitude when the paper agenda had an attached handout outlining the specifics of the Open Meeting Law & Remarks of the General Public. It states that to record a meeting the chair must be notified first. As evidenced by the monthly meeting having been routinely recorded and aired by Peabody TV for several months, the Commission was notified about PAT volunteers (who happen to also be BCNS volunteers) recording the meetings.
The Open Meeting handout lists the specific demands of the Commission regarding “remarks of the general public” which they deem “entirely optional and completely wthin the Chair’s discretion.” BCNS volunteers have routinely taken advantage of this one public opportunity to communicate directly with the Commission. (It’s ironic that the Attorney General upheld our complaint and found the Commission in violation of the law regarding the posting of last year’s public/budget meeting.)
The unfortunate result of the sophomoric games the Commission played on October 27 is that the public will have to wait until after their December 15 meeting to learn what happened at last night’s meeting. The minutes of the meeting are routinely taken “by hand” and not available until the Commission votes to release the minutes at a future meeting.
BCNS was interested to hear the details of:
– the future of the Unit 1 peaker generator at the Waters River Plant, specfically regarding the ISO-New England De-list bid
– information on the new “PP & FCA” price increases implemented by the Commission
– PMLP’s holiday party plans (last year they appropriated $5000 for the event)
– We were hoping to learn when the PMLP FY23 budget will be discussed and when the public hearing on the budget is planned.
Another example of the Commission’s lack of transparency is that in more than a year of attending and reporting on the commission’s meetings, minutes of Executive Session have never been released. At our insistence, PMLP has remedied their previous omission regarding posting the minutes of previous monthly meetings. We have not yet pursued the release of minutes of executive sessions, which are held out of the public eye in order to protect trade secrets. Any confidential information could be redacted from the minutes.
Yesterday started out with the great news that the Salem City Council issued a resolution to stop the Peabody Peaker project. I mistakenly thought that the malevolent spirits of the season were aligned with us. Witchcraft had nothing to do with the microphone mayhem – that was the work of the men on the Commission.
On Tuesday 9/27/22 members of Mass 350 and Breathe Clean North Shore had a ‘No New Fossil Fuels’ Rally and Die-In on the Danversport Bridge, overlooking the continuing construction of a new fossil fuel burning ‘Peaker’ plant in Peabody. The effort is continuing to stop this plant from operating and spewing at least 7500 tons, and as much as 51,000 tons of dirty, toxic emissions into the Peabody and Danvers air.
On Thursday afternoon 9/15/22, the Peabody Board of Health held a public meeting at Peabody City hall. Kathryn Rogers, a PHD intern at MCAN (Mass Climate Action Network) presented a health data study and analysis she prepared on behalf of MCAN and BCNS (as an MCAN chapter) to the board and the attending public.
On a hot Saturday in July, BCNS took a (short) well deserved break from the work to slow climate change and clean the air for a BBQ. Thanks to the Smollers of Peabody for hosting this fun and informative break. Admittedly, even though we were on a break, there was plenty of good conversation and planning taking place as well!
Thank You! to everyone who came out for the ‘Stop the Peabody Peaker’ mass action on the Danversport Bridge on May 26th! It meant alot to all of us and had a positive impact for the Clean Climate cause. Enjoy these pictures of the day, and if you’re interested in one of our BCNS T-Shirts for a $15 donation you can have one! Just send us an email at email@example.com!
New Information released on Peabody Peaker!! Two new reports done by expert organizations – Check them out!
Peaker power Pricing and Alternative Analysis – provided by Strategen Consulting
Risks for Peabody Peaker Owners – provided by Applied Economics Clinic
Watch the Fasting for a Future Rally that took place Tuesday, March 22nd at 4:30pm in Peabody (Facebook feed may require Facebook login to view)
Watch the walk from Peabody Square to the Senior Center
Fasting for a Future
Article contributed by Climate Courage
We, six members of Climate Courage, the direct action wing of 350 Massachusetts, here announce our intention to commence a hunger strike, “Fasting for a Future,” beginning March 15, 2022. We hope to draw attention to the insanity of building new fossil fuel infrastructure at a time when the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) tells us that the world absolutely cannot afford this.
Full Article: http://cleanpowercoalition.
More Info on Hunger Strike
On Wednesday 11/17/2021 members of multiple groups attended a rally by Breathe Clean North Shore at the offices of the EEA in order to deliver a petition signed by over 1200 people. The petition requests a pause in the dirty Peaker Project in Peabody in order to accomodate a full Health and Environmental assessment in accordance with current Massachusetts law. Special thanks to the ‘Red Rebels’ for attending along with State Rep Sally Kerans and Dr. Adrienne Allen – and of course MCAN and Community Action Works for all their work in putting this rally together. (click for photos)
Click here for a fantastic video of the event by Robert Michael Pittsley
Ben Hillman’s video on the Peabody peaker. (also from the petition presentation on 11/17/21) Watch it and spread the word about this effective video.
BCNS sponsored a ‘Day of Action’ on Saturday 11/13/21 and had a fantastic response! Thank you to all who came out to continue to raise awareness of the proposed dirty peaker plant in Peabody. Special thanks to Representative Sally Kerans, Senator Joan Lovely and Gubernatorial candidate Ben Downing for their support and participation. We’d also like to thank Brothers Roast Beef , Giovannis Lake Street and Land and Sea, all of Peabody, for their very generous donations for all the participants who stood out in Peabody Square, the Danversport Bridge and participated in canvassing of local residents.
Also Thank You! to our other sponsors:
DPU Fails Public Interest and Approves MMWEC Funding
Link to MCAN Press Release addressing the Mass DPU action – 8/12/2021
Latest Activity and Info
Massachussetts Sierra Club Article- The proposed peaker power plant in Peabody is unnecessary, harmful and costly
Ben Hillman’s video on the Peabody peaker. (from 11/17/21) Watch it and spread the word about this effective video.
Video of Petition presentation to the EEA in Boston on 11/17/21- video by Robert Michael Pittsley
In case you missed it! Watch the Town Hall from 10/5/21 – passcode is q8kyuC@%
Protesters urge Governor Baker to do the right thing for the environment and health in Peabody
‘Day of Action’ Thursday 9/2!! Click for the Social Media Toolkit and make your voice heard!!
Sudi Smoller speaks at State House rally sponsored by Extinction Rebellion 8/14/2021
Assessment of Potential Energy Storage Alternatives for Project 2015A in Peabody, Massachusett (Clean Energy Group)
MCAN Response to (MMWEC) brief filed with Mass DPU 8/5/21
MMWEC Response to (MCAN) brief filed with Mass DPU 8/5/21
MMWEC brief filed with Mass DPU 7/29/21
MCAN brief filed with MMWEC on 7/29/21
An Open Letter to the Honorable Governor Charlie Baker (Jerry Halberstadt – cleanpowercoalition.org)
Article released 7/5/2021 by Paul Dale, Energy Committee Chair, Mass. Sierra Club
This is a comprehensive analysis of Project 2015a as it stands today, looking at true costs, renewable alternative costs, and explains why “The proposed peaker power plant in Peabody is unnecessary, harmful and costly“
Breathe Clean North Shore members attended and spoke as part of the agenda at the regular public meeting of the Peabody Municipal Light Plant on Thursday night June 24th 2021. The PMLP commissioners answered our questions and agreed to have ongoing conversations regarding future plans and to make more of an effort to inform the public of their ongoing projects and plans.
On Tuesday night, June 22nd MMWEC hosted a public forum that included an extensive informational presentation by MMWEC and some of the member Municiple Utilities. Here is a link to a recording of the meeting. The question/answer session starts at about 1 hour 54 minutes in.