Solar Panels Bring Heat In Carver

By WBZ-TV Chief Correspondent Joe Shortsleeve

CARVER (CBS) – Most everyone is in favor of renewable energy.

However, Chief Correspondent Joe Shortsleeve says some homeowners in southeastern Massachusetts are not happy about a proposed change in their neighborhood.

When Eric Tobolski bought his home in Carver on Leland Road in 2009 he was told someday there would be a picturesque cranberry bog outback. No more.

WBZ-TV’s Joe Shortsleeve reports

Things have changed and now it is going to be a large field of solar panels.

“The way it is sited right now they have the inverter and transformer right behind where my daughter plays out back.”

“The only thing we can do is try and get someone to listen to our concerns.”

Plans submitted with the town now call for hundreds of solar panels and other energy equipment to be spread out across the seven acres. And someday soon the whole thing will be sold to a power company.

Jack Hunter is the Carver Town Planner.

“Solar panels are allowed by law. So we can take a look at it and make sure that it is done right but we really can not say no.”

The owner of the land … the man behind the solar panel project says he is doing everything well within the law. Barry McNeil says neighbors are all over-reacting. He also says projects like this have broad support from the state and federal government.

However, neighbor Mike McGourthy worries about the health effects on his disabled son.

The 23 year old boy is fitted with electronic medical implants which send signals to his brain. Mike fears an electro magnetic field might cause them to malfunction.

“I am fearful of what could happen to my children. It is the unknown of what could happen to their deep brain stimulators.”

All of these residents fear the current political environment with green lights for green energy will change their neighborhood forever.

The owner of the proposed site for the solar panel field says he has plans which he says should address all of the neighbors concerns.

  • Nab71

    With all of the publicity about the state’s Green initiative why is it not a requirement that all of the buildings built with state aid include solar panels? The easiest place to implement this would be in school construction. The state has implemented standard designs for new schools. Solar panels should be part of that design to save on energy costs. Even with existing schools a program shpiuld be implemented utilizing all the roof space on these buildings. An added benefit during the summer would be that more electricity would be produced than used, making a profit for communities.

  • john

    When it comes to “green” technology there is nothing to say bad? Is this a stab at humor? Solyndra and LightSquare pop into mind, not to mention two neighbors who installed solar panels to their chagrin. Even after subsidies the rest of us paid for, the things cost more than he could afford and saved him zip. Both are now former fans. I would think carefully before considering solar.

  • Tee Kay

    I’ll trade your solar farm for an asphalt plant. I’ve got one being built 200 yards from my home. Not to worry though – It doesn’t cause pollution, traffic headaches, noise or curfew violations by truck drivers – at least that’s what they say.

  • Raymond Hargat

    Just because something is “legal” does not make it right. This state has already proven an inability to properly judge or control “green” power. The state is not protecting NEIGHBORHOODS that existed before these intrusive EXPENSIVE technologies. People should call their reps and DEMAND a change to these laws that protect neighborhoods from these green hoods.

    • Nab71

      Excellent point, the laws need to catch up with the technology. Are solar farms fast tracked by federal legislation like cell towers are? If so, it’s more evidence of the one size fits all mentality of the feds.

  • Phil

    Keep smashing them as they put them up, This green scam has gone too far.
    The U.N. is forcing this B.S. on us. Do it with private money instead of blowing the countries wealth on it. It’s a big scam. Who are the unelected officials that are running wild with this U.N. MANDATE called agenda 21 in your town.
    We should make them uncomfortable in their tyranny.

    Harry Reid is holding up F.E.M.A. money because they want to use it for their insane green scam? They’re putting that in front of helping all those hurricane victims!!! Plus IT’S OUR MONEY TO BEGIN WITH!!

    WHEN DO WE REVOLT ON THIS GARBAGE? We better wake up soon because they are walking all over us.

    Doing nothing is submitting to their Tyranny. Harry Reid wants to STEAL MORE OF OUR MONEY INSTEAD!!!

    Time to start the Guerilla war. One more year of this DESPOT KING and we won’t have a country left. We have nothing to lose only to gain because liberty is being destroyed.

    Give me liberty or give me death. I’m really sick of this B.S. and I don’t answer to any world order! Lets reclaim our sovereignty before it’s too late.

    • Mark

      Your an AHOLE do some research before you talk stupid, STUPID

      • phil

        Real bright response there Mark
        It’s obvious research ISN’T something you did is it.
        Stalin had a name for people like you.
        Useful idiots.

  • The Hawk

    Some of us have been fighting this stupidity in Carver for years. We have a left wing conservation agent who has been abusing her authority for years. We turned down CPA, green communities, school building projects built on tax i ncreases and a combined police and fire station and an open space plan loaded with radical proposals that could bankrupt some residents but they just revote them and hope they win. The days of revoting are over. The people of Carver have had enough. Don’t buy the as of right bit. These left wing loons are the ones that got that language inserted into the bylaws. Many of us opposed those changes. This project was to be a cranberry bog. How does one strip the land of all vegitation under the guise of agriculture then turn around and use it for an industrial application. The trees that used to be on this site will no longer contribute to reducing the greenhouse effect and the sand they removed will no longer filter the water going into Ms. Hewins (the conservation agents) precious aquifer. All this while she stood by applauding. What a hypocrite.

  • ConcernedCarverite

    Why weren’t the abutters kept informed every step of the way?? Oh wait, this is Carver, where the powers-that-be claim they want transparency, then do what they want on the down-low. Why didn’t Sarah Hewins, our full time Conservation Agent, submit a SURVEY to determine interest and whether this plan was appropriate? As long as every green initiative is not in HER backyard, all is fair game. The lying, cheating and scheming continues. Perhaps this will get townspeople out to vote in coming elections!

  • foxy

    According to Sarah Hewins, our conservation agent, people moved to Carver for it’s “rural” character” not it’s “solar character”. A Cranberry grower stripped the land unser the guise of building a bog, and now wants to put in a solar field. The town doesn’t get any tax revenue from these Left-wing projects. Carver needs commercial businesses , not solar fields!

  • vb


    jesus christ. i am so worried about this world.

  • massman

    Bunch of ignorant right wing rants. If Donald Trump made a solar project proposal, you’d all be kissing his butt, claiming “business ingenuity”. Now go back to Fox news, and stop whining.

    • Nab71

      Of course any criticism is linked to Fox News Turn off Rachael Maddow and look at the real world. There is both liberal and conservative corruption. You may have missed the Solyndra story where a bunch of crooks have taken advantage of a well intended federal program. It looks like the same thing in Carver on a smaller scale.

    • Sheila Firmin

      Solyndra a great example of waste…surely somewhere in that gr8 state there would have been a building suitable for this FACTORY….no recycling here huh.As soon as these libs have their annual procto exam we will know the number of fools who found their heads.

  • The Hawk

    hey massman keep the left wing kookoo projects in your neighborhood. You can put up with the poor water quality and land denuded of trees and higher taxes. I guess it’s OK to pilage and rape the land when it’s your proposals. How hard would you cry if this had been a Donald Trump project? Go back to Michael Moore and Al Gore and stop your whining. We’ve had enough!

  • ConcernedCarverite

    No one is stating that “what we have been doing for the last 200 years is perfect”. Perhaps you do not live in, or never heard of Carver. If you do or had, you’d understand that there have been many instances of corrupt town officials (elected to REPRESENT town residents) ignoring residential votes. Have you not heard of the repeated school votes? There is absolutely no trust in this town, because there cannot be. Town officials vote increases for themselves and their buddies then try to finance this on the backs of already-strapped tax payers. Take a drive through town, and observe the significant number of abandoned homes. People are struggling financially. Carver is and has always been a primarily blue collar town. Now, we have zealots ignoring this reality and trying to turn Carver into Deluxebury. This is why people are saying ENOUGH.

  • tsal

    If there’s that big a problem in Carver, where are the people at election time?? I’m for solar power, wind power, any type of alternative energy solution. Put it in my back yard. I do agree that the cost of solar is too high and needs to come down. If it did and I could afford it, I’d have it in a heartbeat.

    I absolutely agree about using it on new construction especially schools. As far as not putting it in existing neighborhoods, where in most towns is there an area that doesn’t have some sort of existing neighborhood. This reminds me of the residents of Weston not wanting cell towers in their backyards but being upset because there is no cell service in the town.

    • Nab71

      You’d be amazed how many people say put it in my back yard until someone actually proposes a project in their back yard.

      Of course that may be because the project is always much larger than the abutter envisioned. For example, in my town Verizon asked the town to allow a switching cabinet on a town right of way. When given permission Verizon altered the plans to include a 2 1/2 story building with room for vehicles to park. Verizon expressed shock that anyone would object.

    • Phil

      Tsal. read above statement by Concerned Carverite,
      it’s not JUST Washington that ignores constitutional principles.
      Government is corrupt from the top down. They ALL have to go.

  • Eagle Eye

    Eagle Eye
    The only green going on in this town is the green being remove from our wallets.
    Was there a public comment period or hearing ? I didn’t hear of one. We have a CA and town planner, who only promote themselves not the town. The open space plan had a section to insure her job as a full time conservation agent. Not far from this project, Plymton is build two projects that will provide a lot of jobs and do you know they managed to do it without a town planner or a conservation agent.

  • liz

    I do not have a problem helping the environment. But I take issue when its done behind closed doors and shoved down residents throats. Its a total disgrace when the Town Planner Jack Hunter, says nothing can be done. Let’s hope and pray, that the young disabled man doesn’t have serious health issues. Because it seems that Jack Hunter cares more about the money than a disabled human being. Let’s hope that Jack Hunter and Sarah Hewins can live with themselves and their greed.

  • Sheila Firmin

    Take your solar and shove it.. take your wind mills and fly away. Spain was insane with the green movement….read what has happened there..they are advising us to stop this foolishness, lost jobs and HUGLEY expensive…it wll not pay for it self. The more we read about AGENDA 21 the more frightening it gets.

  • Michele

    It’s not being opposed to green energy, the issue is that the land out there was zoned for residential and agricultural land….Put these where they belong…in a commercial/industrial zoned area..They had to cancel the last meeting about this because the residents in the area were not informed (shocking that the town/proposers would not inform the effected people because they figure they could throw a blanket over it and no one would find out until this was already built!!).There are meetings for the planning committee and conservation committee next Tuesday 10/4 and Wednesday 10/5, please come out and show your support, the more we have there the stronger it looks!!! As for Sarah and Jack, why don’t you put these panels in your back yard instead of ours, you see no problem with it. As for Barry MacNeil, you have raped the land, taken away the animal habitat, and lied to buyers all under the pretense that there was going to be a beautiful landscape behind their houses that they were about to buy only to bait and switch and pull this. I hope that you can sleep well at night.

    This also does bring up a good point though, if these politicians in town are really willing to look the other way so people can turn our rural little town into something that we didn’t want, then they should be replaced with people who will actually think and act with the intentions of listening to the the residents.

    • Carver clean

      There is a simple solution to this problem, If you wanted picture perfect when you look out your window you should have bought the land and turned it into a zoo for all the animals or whatever you wanted to do with it but you didn’t so now you can buy some posters of water falls and rain forest and hang them in your windows for picture perfect

  • The Hawk

    Thank you one and all. Visit and read what we have been saying for years about the corrupt ways of the current majority inhabitants of 108B Main Street. We need to make up a little more space at Clown Hall for some new blood. Fact, there is a Sarah Hewins for selectmen black and white political sign in the bushes at the Middleborough Carver Town line on Purchase street just yards from this disaster. Let’s see if the owners have the gall to put one up next April when Sarah Hewins runs for reelection in Carver.

  • ConcernedDad

    These moonbat liberals have to be removed come election time! We need people who represent the taxpaying population of Carver. Jack Hunters facebook page touts himself as a liberal (Tax & Spend). from Holyoke/Amherst. Why is he here in Carver? Why did he leave Holyoke? Lets send him back to the land of liberals, I’ll call the hybrid taxi

  • foxy

    The point is, that this project will not benefit the people in Carver one bit. No real estate taxes. Sarah Hewins claims to be all for the environment but allows all the strip mining in town. I rode down purchase street to look at this site and it looked like a bomb had been dropped. I wonder if Sarah would be so quick to see this abutting her property, and for Jack Hunter, he doesn’t even live in town, so why would he care?? I have been told that there are at least 7 solar projects in the works for Carver. Why is it that the public has had no information on these. Back room deals as usual!

    • Phil

      Agenda 21…….It’s evil.

  • foxy

    The place for these fields is the commercial/business zones., not near residental neighborhoods!

  • Phil

    I have a new name for global warmists. FLAT EARTHERS!!

  • philips66

    Carver received a $50 Clean Energy Choice grant to help pay for a membership in ICLEI Local Governments for Sustainability

    Why would the town of Carver join the ICLEI?

    It doesn’t make any sense to look at an international group, or to foreign countries for solutions to local projects. Why do the elected officials in Carver want to affect international policy?
    Why does the town hire a clean energy consultant, and pay a lawyer big $ to push the green agenda? They have a full time Conservation Agent already. The state and federal gov’t already provide these exact same services, services that are already paid for by the taxpayers.
    The true reason is more likely to push the UN Agenda 21 “soft law”, a favorite of the radical left.
    Who would have thought a small town like Carver would vote in a leftist ivy league radical? It makes sense that she would hire another Ivy League Phd as a consultant. But let’s not kid each other. The consultant isn’t looking out for the best interest of the taxpayers of Carver. Only for the fringe enviro-moonbats!

  • cheyenne

    Jack-ass Hunter does not live in Town? Then why the hell doesn’t he go back to where he came from – a hole in the ground where volatile animals live – and build the solar panel farms there and not in our backyards! Hypocritical liar.

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