Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

February 21, 2013

Letters to the editor - Thursday, Feb. 21, 2013

From staff reports

‘Kokomo’s best days are ahead of us’

I was recently given the privilege of touring the new eight-speed transmission department at the Chrysler Kokomo Transmission Plant. Prior to that visit, I did not truly appreciate the transformation that has occurred there the past three years, nor did I fully grasp how significantly Chrysler is revolutionizing the transmission production industry.

The scope of the technology that has been deployed at KTP is astonishing. It is clearly state of the art and it is equally clear that a substantial investment has been made by the company in that technology and the equipment that embodies it.

Most impressive, however, were the people. I interacted with or observed literally hundreds of Chrysler employees from team members to team leaders to supervisors to top management and, without exception, they were enthused and focused on their mission to conduct a world-class manufacturing process.

Kokomo and Chrysler have been partners in this community since 1937. Their futures are as interconnected as their histories are shared. After observing firsthand the cutting edge technology being applied by a team of such committed and dedicated members, I walked away believing Kokomo’s best days are ahead of us, due in no small part to the commitment of resources, technology and talent that Chrysler has invested in our community!

Ronald J. Metz, Kokomo

Mourdock could ‘slink away into anonymity’

In an article bylined “Evansville” and published in the Feb. 18 Tribune, it is stated that Indiana Treasurer Richard Mourdock has not ruled out another run for political office. What?

Mourdock lost a seat in the U.S. Senate in the election last November that easily should have been a Republican seat. The state went significantly for Romney. Mourdock was after the seat Richard Lugar had held for decades. What sunk Mourdock was his comment in an Oct. 23 debate, in which he said that pregnancy resulting from rape is “something God intended.” The article went on to say, “... many Republicans cast Mourdock as a good man who paid an extraordinary high price for a poor choice of words.”

For one, I am grateful Mourdock revealed his religious beliefs before he could do harm. Clearly, the people of Indiana understood this. Personally, I would like to see Mourdock quietly slink away into anonymity for good. I would like for those Republicans who just believe a poor word choice was the problem to do likewise.

The Republican Party has enough nut cases to handle.

Kent Blacklidge, Kokomo

Turbines will result in falling population

The current debate over wind power has brought up some interesting thoughts. The two main arguments for the projects were jobs and taxes.

Now that the Wildcat Wind Farm is complete, it appears most of the jobs moved to the next assembly area; only a few people remain locally employed. So much for jobs. With the now-questioned conflicts of interest in western Tipton County, will anyone question possible conflicts in eastern Tipton County? Just wondering.

Pardon me, but it seems to me the construction of the Prairie Breeze Wind Farm with the now-voiced concern over property values will result in a declining residential population. Only farmers it seems want the windmills in their backyards.

With a declining population comes fewer students. So I have to question the expansion of the Tri-Central building fund. Why have all that money if no new students are going to appear? And where will the taxes go?

The Wildcat Wind Farm generates about 1.76 megawatts of electricity and occupies approximately 8,500 acres. It is financed using your tax dollars, as no bank or venture capitalist would touch it, and is owned by a German company.

And pardon me, it is an eyesore. At the same time, an 1,800 megawatt coal-powered power plant occupies only a few hundred acres (somewhere else). Of course the smokestack is several hundred feet high. But you understand that the stack only goes up because we allow it to.

Clean coal technology has existed for many years, and we have the ability to make this a pollution-free product that could pay for itself.

Oh, most of the jobs created stay around. It might even be able to get the same financing as the preferred Germans, if there were someone rational in the EPA, Energy Department and White House. And yes, this is an eyesore too, but it’s somewhere else.

Ed Roberts, Windfall