Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

February 3, 2013

Letters to the editor - Sunday, Feb. 3, 2013

Take time to learn about wind farms

We should be proud and thankful that we live where we can be a part of the decision process and have a part in our local communities. But these decisions should be based on facts, not emotion. It is so easy to let our hearts influence our minds.

There is certainly nothing wrong with loving our families, our lifestyles and our neighborhoods. But we must also remember there are two sides to a story, and one is usually more factual than the other.

If you are concerned about wind turbines, be sure to get the facts and not just listen to runaway emotions. Take a drive on a sunny day and look for shadows or a flicker. And while you are there, stop and listen. Take another drive after dark and see if the red light reaches the ground.

I always enjoyed hearing Paul Harvey report “The Rest of the Story.” The facts are a wind farm will improve roads. It will make payments on leases that will help the local community. It will create jobs, and any new job is better than none at all. It will pay application fees, fees for building permits, and taxes, even through the abatement period. It will produce clean, renewable energy.

If you are asked to sign a petition against a wind farm, make sure you know the facts and you are aware of what you are giving up.

David Etherington, Russiaville

Karickhoff bill helps a privileged few

I think Mike Karickhoff’s HB 1219 that would allow police, judges, prosecutors, etc., to opt out of government-run databases is poorly thought out. The people this bill is designed to protect are law enforcement professionals. Most carry weapons. Surely they would know how to go about getting a restraining order if someone is truly a threat to them.

Newspapers and their journalists should be up in arms about the bill: The public’s right to know trumps the fear of what someone “might” do with information from those databases. We don’t arrest or convict someone because they “might” do something.

Examples: A judge presides over a case of landlord vs. tenant. Should we be able to know if that judge owns multiple rental properties? Wouldn’t that likely influence his decision on the case? How about a police officer who owns rental property and spends the majority of his shift patrolling around only those particular neighborhoods? The public has a right to know.

Will Karickhoff’s bill allow politicians to opt out? Shouldn’t the public have the right to know where local politicians own property in order to know if they are unjustly enriching themselves through misuse of the power of their office?

If law enforcement personnel can opt out, why not the banker who enrages a client by denying mortgage refinancing? Why not a teacher who fails a student and angers the parents? Why not a doctor who loses a patient on the operating table and must deal with the anger of the patient’s family? Why not the fast food manager who deals with disgruntled public all day?

In theory, anyone who has a job dealing with the public could have more to fear from an individual looking at a database than does the chief of police, who wears a badge, carries a gun, and has other law enforcement officials to rely on.

Either all should be able to “opt out,” or no one should. This bill does nothing but help a privileged few.

Peggy Lane, Kokomo