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Anna Cominos

52 weeks in Tsirigo - The Winds of change are a Blowin'

Some weeks living in Kythera is like watching non-rating television - your kind of trapped in Groundhog Day, the same day in day out, except everyone has a few more wrinkles. And other weeks it seems you are on the frontline of existence. Everything appears life and Death. Such is the past week in Kythera.

Firstly locals of all walks of life gathered in Chora to protest the lack of daily shipping services. It was rousing to see hundreds of Kytherians (from all political persuasions and industries) coming together in sheer desperation to bring a collective resolution to this age-old problem. Considering that hundreds of people included the seriously ill have had to taken to mainland on caiques (fishing boats) just as 50 years ago - Sigginonea (transport) has become the number one problem facing the island.

(While it has been confirmed by the Maritime Ministry, that the regionally subsided service The Mirtioditissa is here to stay, it has been statistically proven that it was the local daily services to the mainland that created the rising stream of visitors. The argument for a local daily service, such as the Martha or the Andreas II is economically powerful. Kythera and that translates into local jobs and a future.

Unlike the last 100 years that saw more than 60,000 young Kytherians travel to the four corners of the globe to survive and prosper, over the past decade (with the assistance of various EEC-funding grants) we have witnessed the unique phenomena of a generation of young local people staying on Kythera.

The second issue to vex the locals is the sudden decision by the Mayor and the Local Council to allow wind generators on the island, without any public discussion, debate or insight. While most Kytherians are only too aware of the global environmental issues, we also have TVs and see the docos and when your olive trees flowers 3 months early, you ‘get’ the Greenhouse effect, there appears to be nothing in this ‘greening’ for Kythera…… not even a watt.. Basically and from the little information that has been leaked, the 60 or more wind-power towers would be set-up by a company to generate and sell all the energy off-shore... Not one kilowatt of power would stay on Kythera, in-fact if there is a black-out the wind towers cannot even power themselves. It is said that island only needs 3-4 wind-towers to meet all local demands including the heavy demand placed in the summer tourist season…….so why 60???????

The wind-towers would be between 60-110 metres high and placed 200 metres apart and here is the big banana friends………they each need between 500 and 1500 cubic metres of cement in their foundations to strengthen against the winds. Now each Cement truck takes approx. 10 cubic metres…you do the numbers. That is between 50 -150 cement trucks x 60 windrowers…….that is a lot of cement and a lot Euros There has got to a ‘greener’ way
Something is rotten in Denmark my friend???? And it stinks to high-heaven of money-laundering, back-patting and a heavy dose of concrete. It is heartbreaking to see the daily desecration of our common inheritance –Kythera/Tsirigo, irreversibly prostituted by a few short-sighted buffoons in places of power.

Finally I take heart from the local groundswell of opposition that is moving beyond the kafenions (cafes) and into the auditoriums with clear, concise agendas…..ACT NOW!!!!!
(More to come on this subject.)

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Margaret Tuite
on 31.01.2008

Dear Anna, I enjoy your weekly blog and love to read any news of Kythera, but news of 60 wind turbines is shocking. Anything "friends of Kythera" can do? I heard from someone that they would be installed from Gerakari to Milopotamos. The landscape and the beauty of Kythera would be ravaged, decimated, destroyed. I've seen wind farms in Denmark...not a pretty sight. Best regards, Margaret

Vikki Vrettos Fraioli
on 02.02.2008

Anna, Please keep the blogs coming. We love to hear the news from Kythera but as Margaret said, please let us know what we can do to discourage the building of these wind turbines! How do the locals feel about this? There are mountainsides of these wind turbines not far from where I live at the Altamont Wind Farm. http://xahlee.org/Whirlwheel_dir/livermore.html Has there been an environmental study to determine the impact on wildlife? One unforeseen problem of the Altamont Wind Farm is that it lies in the path of a bird migration route. A 2004 report by the California Energy Commission found that 880 to 1,300 raptors are killed at the Altamont every year when they get caught up in the blades. In addition, often blades break off of the unsightly monstrosities, towers tumble, and all that remains is an unsightly mess. I’d hate to see this happen to our beautiful Kytherian landscape. See also: Unexpected Downside of Wind Power http://tinyurl.com/yt2lf7