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January 31, 2014

 

Arnold recognized for environmentalism

Groups will applaud work of former Truxton legislator at Feb. 9 lunch

ArnoldJoe McIntyre/staff photographer
Kathie Arnold of Twin Oaks Farms in Truxton checks the output of one of four solar arrays used to help power her dairy farm in this 2010 photo. She is being honored next week by environmental groups for her continued support of the environment, as a Cortland County legislator and a dairy farmer. Arnold did not run for re-election last year, ending a six-year legislative term.

By CATHERINE WILDE
Staff Reporter
cwilde@cortlandstandard.net

TRUXTON — Former Cortland County Legislator Kathie Arnold, known most recently for her criticism of the proposed Crown City Wind Farm, will be recognized for her numerous environmental advocacy efforts at a Feb. 9 luncheon.
Arnold served on the Legislature from 2008 through 2013, a tenure marked by opposition to an industrial wind farm and support for natural resources in the area and locally grown food.
Arnold is also noted for her opposition to a proposed radioactive waste disposal facility in Taylor years ago.
More recently, Arnold was praised by constituents and legislators alike for her extensive research on the proposed Crown City Wind Farm, opposing the proposal to build 44 400-foot tall turbines on land in Cortlandville, Truxton, Solon and Homer.
The research ultimately helped the Legislature reach the conclusion that it would reject the United Kingdom-based wind firm TCI Renewable' offer to lease county land for the project, passing a resolution severing ties in December.
The lunch of appreciation for Arnold is being held from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Grange headquarters on Clinton Avenue in Cortland and is sponsored by Sustainable Cortland, the local anti-gas drilling group Gas Drilling Awareness for Cortland County, and Lime Hollow Center for Environment and Culture.
Sheila Cohen, GDACC member and an organizer of the lunch, said Arnold's contributions to the environment are countless.
"She's promoted soil conservation through the use of perennial pasture and field crops ... and she promoted energy efficiency and alternative energy technology and promoted best management practices for grazing," Cohen said.
Cohen said Arnold's organic dairy farm that utilizes solar panels is another example of her environmental stewardship. The farm installed a 5,280 watt photovoltaic system in 2003.
Arnold co-chaired the Agriculture, Planning and Environment Committee while on the Legislature and also chaired the Local Agriculture Promotion Subcommittee. Cohen said Arnold's promotion of locally grown food is an effort that has really taken off.
Cohen praised Arnold for her informed opposition to things like hydrofracking and the proposed wind farm.
"She is very methodical about doing research and she worked with other municipal officials to get their signatures on letters to the governor and other important officials," Cohen said.
Truxton Town Supervisor Ghassan Wehbe praised Arnold for her hard work and open mind.
"The thing I love most about Kathie is even if there is a topic she and I didn't agree 100 percent on, Kathie was willing to give you the time and listen and to make a judgment after that," Wehbe said.
Wehbe said Arnold's service to the towns of Truxton, Solon and Cuyler was "tremendous."
Lime Hollow Executive Director Glenn Reisweber praised Arnold for her environmental stewardship.
"I have the utmost respect for her ability to research an issue, gather as much information as possible and to make a sound decision," Reisweber said.
Reisweber said he was impressed by Arnold's concern over preserving two marl p onds on a 16.4 acre parcel of land near Cortlandville Sand and Gravel and Lime Hollow. He credited her with gathering legislators to take a tour of the property.
But Arnold herself is humble about her accomplishments.
"I haven't done any of this in a vacuum. It's always been with a community of other people driving whatever issue it is and I've just been a small part of it," Arnold said this morning.
Arnold said she first became interested in preserving the environment in high school after reading the book "Silent Spring," by Rachel Carson.
"It was the first one that really documented the long-term negative effects of things like DDT and how it was decimating eagle populations and the other insidious effects of modern chemistry applied to the land and plants," said Arnold.
She said after reading the book she was inspired to become an organic farmer and work to safeguard the environment for present and future generations.

 

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