Dozens of signs, displaying opposition to wind farms, are being stolen and vandalized around Newfound Lake. More than 36 signs have been stolen or vandalized over the past few months. Residents from as many as seven towns have reported theft and vandalism of their yard signs.
"This is totally ridiculous and illegal as hell," said one victimized resident. "I'm an elderly woman voicing my opinion through my sign — peacefully, and now I have people walking through my yard at night vandalizing my property."
Some residents had their signs ripped off metal frames, some were lit-on-fire, some covered in grease and spray-paint, some were folded up and stuffed down sewer drains across the street from the Bristol Police Station... but most were simply stolen.
To me, these signs represent free speech and a very clear message — wind farms are not welcome here. Apparently, people don't have anything better to do and feel threatened by our community stance. If they don't like the message on a sign, they can pay for their own signs and put them in their yards. It's that simple.
The green "YES" signs (paid for and distributed by Iberdrola Renewables at a private closed meeting hosted at the Alexandria Fire Department last month — Ed Cherian present) are very hard to find and lack no sign identification. The lack of "YES" signs truly shows a lack of support for future wind proposals here.
Lawn signs are used for many reasons: elections, yard sales, moving, etc. Our signs clearly state we are united against the next three proposed wind farms. Our rule of thumb is that when one sign is stolen or vandalized we replace it with two signs. There's still about a thousand of them being proudly displayed throughout the community, but there's a number of them that were removed without authorization.
What's troubling to us — it's not a random act of vandalism by the opposition — it's planned and organized. Opposition signs are paid for by New Hampshire Wind Watch (NHWW) a Bristol-based non-profit organization. NHWW is fighting the next three wind farms targeting our mountain ridges around the Newfound / Cardigan Mountain area.