Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

December 1, 2012

Letter to the editor - Sunday, Dec. 2, 2012


For the Kokomo Tribune

Who wants to live in a wind farm?

At a recent Tipton County Council meeting, a representative of a wind energy company told council members he had received a great reception from residents when he has proposed building more giant wind turbines in Prairie Township and areas east of U.S. 31.

No doubt he was well-received by 50 landowners, who could receive thousands of dollars every year for wind turbines placed on their property.

But what about the other 1,200 people who live in Prairie Township, plus another 1,000 or so who live in Sharpsville, Prairie Acres and the rest of the area?

This proposed wind farm would stretch from Clinton County to Sharpsville, and from County Road 200 North to Howard County. It could have as many as 94 giant wind turbines.

Just a short drive to Windfall and a quick look around will tell anyone that such a wind farm will dramatically change the rural landscape in this part of Tipton County forever.

The majority of people who have chosen to live in this area aren’t doing it for convenience. People live in this area for the rural environment. Most in our area of Prairie Township work in other counties. But by living here, they pay Tipton County property taxes. They buy Tipton County license plates with wheel taxes that pay for our roads. And they send their children to Tipton County schools.

We wonder how many would choose to reside here if it was in the middle of a wind farm.

If these county residents wanted to live in an industrial zone, they would have moved next to a factory. If they wanted red flashing lights shining in their windows all night, they would be living upstairs from a pizzeria.

When speaking to our neighbors about the possibility of living in the middle of a wind farm, almost none of them were even aware this was happening.

The Tipton County commissioners have recommended the county council offer the wind energy company a tax abatement to encourage filling our countryside with these 400-foot towers with spinning blades.

From what county council members have heard so far, the wind farm company has received a warm welcome for its plan.

A public hearing will take place at 7 p.m. Monday at the Tipton County Foundation. Following the hearing, council members plan to vote on the abatement, so now is the time to let your opinions be heard.

John and Emily West

Sharpsville

Ever wonder what happened to nation?

Some days, I look around and wonder what happened.

What happened to the optimism on people’s faces? Or when everyone you met on a sidewalk looked you in the eyes and spoke to you? Or the friendly wave everyone gave you in rural areas? Or the people on porches who waved as you passed by?

What happened to music with a melody and beautiful lyrics? Or the movie stars you could actually recognize, when fame lasted longer than a reality show?

What happened to the great athletes who played for the love of the sport and not much money? Or the people who took pride in their work and had a strong work ethic? Sometimes we had to take a handout, but we were embarrassed and tried to get back to being financially stable as quickly as we could. And, people didn’t make purchases until they could afford them.

What happened to good jobs? When did we stop building quality products in America? What happened to the great mentors we had when growing up, who taught us our business skills and crafts? Or when minimum wage was created for mentoring young people and never intended to be a family wage? And, why do politicians keep bringing this up when they know it’s not true?

What happened to the railroads and the high schools in every little town? Or the spirit those towns had and showed for their basketball teams? How many winners can there be before everyone is a loser?

What happened to picnics in the park? What happened to drive-in movies, drive-in restaurants and miniature gold courses? What happened to people who didn’t have to tell you how spiritual they were? You could tell by watching them.

What happened to leaving your house and car unlocked? Or when children could leave their yard without a chance of being harmed? What happened to common sense? And, what happened to comedians who were actually funny without four-letter words?

What happened to the little mom-and-pop stores and the friendly retail clerks? Or the really clean and neat people who worked in restaurants? What happened to people dressing up when going out in public, and kids who didn’t use foul language? What happened to people who talked to you without their fingers?

What happened to the beautiful cars of different colors? You could tell the brand from a thousand feet away and what kind of personality owned it.

What happened to all the honest politicians who cared about this country and less about greed, and who didn’t use foul language in public? What happened to news media not being biased? What happened to individualism and people not following like sheep? Or when every other woman didn’t have a tattoo on her back, and every other guy didn’t have earrings?

What happened to all the wholesome things we did? Or when men were men and women were women and were extremely proud of both?

What happened to values and beliefs over everything else? What happened to people saying, Merry Christmas? Some days I look around and wonder who stole our planet.

This time of year can sometimes bring on depression for many different reasons. If you find yourself in this position, serve others. They’ll feel better and so will you. Merry Christmas, everyone, and God bless our country.

Jim Richardson

Sharpsville

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