Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

June 6, 2013

June 6, 2013: Letters to the editor

In defense of those who serve the public

Memorial Day was our yearly reminder to appreciate the men and women who serve in our armed forces. There have been times in our past where we have not shown them the proper respect. As Indiana’s attorney general, I often remind people that we should also try harder to appreciate the men and women who serve and protect us on the streets every day as law enforcement officers. But there are also many others who are also underappreciated who serve us in local, state and federal government.

As the attorney responsible for representing our state government, I know all too well the failure of some to uphold the public trust. Over the years I have brought many legal actions against those who took public funds for their personal benefit. Each action serves to demonstrate that this will not be tolerated in order to maintain some confidence that taxpayers’ money is being protected. But we must also take care not to make the public believe that everyone in government is equally guilty for the actions of the few.

Today there are scandals of sex abuse in the military, criminal prosecution of law enforcement officers and public corruption charges against people in current and past government positions. But for all the attention these cases bring to the abuse of power and the public trust by a few, we should not let it diminish the respect for all those who serve us each day without much notice, with little appreciation and no thanks.  

In my years in public service, most of those I have met are part of the vast majority who are truly worthy of the title “public servant.” While they do not expect thanks, they certainly do not deserve any disrespect due to the actions of others who have failed to live up to their standards.

Greg Zoeller

Indiana attorney general

Wind developers are making the rules

If I am a renter and I sign a lease with the landowner, I abide by the rules set forth and decided by the landowner. This legal agreement must not be in violation with the laws of the community where the leased property exists.

But wait! When a wind energy company rents land, it tells the landowner the rules on how he will lease his property. And it tells the local government what it expects to be provided. Tipton County has made laws for land use, and the juwi wind energy company has told the Tipton government the laws it has made are not acceptable.

We have heard and read much about “green” wind energy. We have heard there are health problems with wind turbines; there are discrepancies with the benefits of wind energy; there are discrepancies in the money elements related to wind farms. Yet the wind energy companies dictate how they will rule a community, and if there is opposition, there is no basis for it. And if you don’t want to play by their rules, and there are no tax abatements, then they will take their ball and play the game elsewhere.

Why would any wind energy company need a lease clause that states, by signing: “Owner has granted, bargained, sold and conveyed to the tenant (Wind Company) the following easements: (d) an exclusive easement for any audio, visual, view, light, shadow, noise, vibration, air turbulence, wake, electromagnetic or other effect or any kind or nature whatsoever resulting, directly or indirectly, from any Operations conducted or Wind Power Facilities owned, leased, operated or maintained by Tenant on the property and on lands near the property”?

If there are no problems associated with wind turbines, why all the unnecessary wording in a lease? Why not put a turbine within 20 feet of an occupied building? And why do we need laws for something that is problem-free? Perhaps there is a lot more to the green energy story than is being reported by the green wind energy companies. Does the word deception play a part in this story?

Before you know it, the green energy companies will be telling the media what they can and cannot print or say.

Russell Turk