Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

August 18, 2013

Letters to the Editor: Aug. 18, 2013


We are blessed with these representatives

I would like to thank two members of the Tipton County Plan Commission for their compassion, concern, and bravery in speaking out against the further development of Industrial Wind Turbines in Tipton County at Thursday nights Plan Commission meeting.

Mr. Ashley stated unequivocally that there is no place in Tipton County for Industrial Wind Turbines. He furthered his point by saying that in 2008 when he and others were working on the ordinance they could not foresee that “ultimately Tipton would be covered with windmills over two-thirds of its geographical area”.

Mrs. Tragesser and Mr. Ashley expressed concerns over population density, property value loss, set back issues, sound issues, and safety. Mr. Ashley cited Benton County as an example, providing other members of the commission maps of turbine siting, where there might be zero to one residential properties per square mile, there are between four to six in Tipton County. He also called for a moratorium for two to three years to study the further effects of turbines, including property sales, complaint remediation, and actual tax revenue received by the county. Noting that many counties around Tipton have done the same.

Mrs. Tragesser gave an impassioned speech saying that while landowners have a right to do what they wish with their own property, it could not be at the expense of their neighbor. Stating that it is everyone’s responsibility to look out for the health and safety of our neighbors and if we were to destroy one life because of the turbines would it really be worth it?

Well said, we are truly blessed to have these people representing the citizens of Tipton County.

Theresa Vaughn, Tipton



Wind leaseholder arrogance astounds

Last night’s Tipton County Planning Board meeting of 8-15 was an eye-opener. An ad-hoc committee had worked extremely hard to address issues relating to the Wind ordinance and the board members, with a few exceptions, seemed to be very pleased with their efforts.

After some board discussions, Jim Ashley stated he always tries to represent the “will of the people” — not his own opinion. He also stated if the Wind issue were placed on the public referendum wind farms would be banned in Tipton County. Both, Helen Tragesser and Jim Ashley, showed they had done a lot of research and they indicated that Tipton County may be too populated for wind farms.

Conversely, another board member, Mr. Cohee appeared obstinate and rebelled against any real changes to the ordinance. He said with the 1,500 foot setback from a property line it would be difficult for any additional large wind farm development in Tipton County.

This is the same gentleman who voted for the 1,500 foot property line setback in the BZA meeting of March 20. Based on his comments last night, it is apparent that he hasn’t done any research and he doesn’t intend to be swayed by factual evidence.

Unlike the other board members, Cohee continues to ignore the reality that close proximity of industrial wind turbines and people cause many problems such as those in Wildcat No. 1.

He had the audacity to say he wasn’t impressed by the technical information supporting changes to the Wind ordinance. Furthermore, Cohee stated there are always winners and losers which means non-participating property owners in a wind farm are just collateral damage.

It is sad when you see someone who ignores the misery caused by wind farms and relies on directions from a backroom club. It would seem Cohee has been reprimanded by some big farm leaseholders for his March 20 vote and he would not offend them again.

It is all about the money gained or lost by the leaseholders and their buddies who are a very small minority in Tipton County.

Darrell Pennycoff, Sharpsville



Follow the money to school reform

While the press and the public attempt to connect the many dots in the Tony Bennett “school reform” scandal, here is one more connection of which some may be unaware: Tony Bennett’s wife, Tina, since early 2013 has been working for Charter Schools USA, the for-profit company that Tony Bennett picked to take over the so-called “F” schools in the Indianapolis Public Schools system. 

As is by now widely-known, Christel House, a charter school founded by Christel DeHaan, Bennett’s $130,000 donor, was given a revised grade to reflect an A, which it hadn’t earned under Bennett’s grading formula. 

Yet Howe and Arlington High Schools, part of the IPS system, were denied the same exemption for “combined” schools which was given to Christel House. Had they been [given the exemption], these two public schools would have received passing grades.

Bennett denied Howe and Arlington, and they were then taken over by the for-profit Charter Schools USA, Tina Bennett’s current employer.

To say that change in education under Tony Bennett, Mitch Daniels and Mike Pence is for the good of Indiana’s students has by now been clearly exposed as a lie.

Want to know what’s really driving “school reform” in Indiana? Follow the money.

 Ruth Herrold, Greenwood