Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

March 3, 2013

Letters to the Editor: March 3, 2013

Here’s what common sense says of turbines

Who am I? I am a working, taxpaying, voting resident of Cicero Township in Tipton County.

Who I am is a resident of a rural community who moved here for lower taxes, a quiet, country setting to enjoy my retirement with my family and grandkids.

I get upset when I can’t get a signal for my cellphone, so I have accepted the cell towers springing up. I can see them out the south, west and north windows of my home. But they are far enough away that they are just there, not annoying or causing a vibration or noise or shadow.

I am someone with enough common sense who says no one will buy my house in a few years with a windmill casting a shadow across my patio. I know I would not even consider looking at a house in these areas, no matter how good the deal.

We recently moved back to Tipton County, not knowing anything about the Windfall wind farm project. I can guarantee you the sellers and their agent did not mention it, if they even knew about it at the time. Had they, we would not be living here today.

Common sense tells me if my house drops in value because of the windmill, and they are looking to compare a house in the area for sale, that house will be devalued also, even if not directly in sight of a turbine, because that’s the way real estate comparisons work.

I am someone with enough common sense who says, if I look at the energy and materials required to manufacture turbines and towers, and all the semis and escorts needed to transport the turbines to the location, 30 years of maintenance and the supposed removal at the end of their life, I wonder if that is figured into the “efficiency” of the overall project. And when you factor in the fact that the electric companies must provide enough reserve electricity to supply when the wind doesn’t blow, then there really is no value.

I am someone with enough common sense who says, if there are a lot of unanswered questions, time needs to be given to get all the facts and make sure everyone is made aware of what is going on. Tipton County is a quiet, rural community, and I am sure there are some who do not take a newspaper, there are some who do not use the Internet, and there are some who do not get out and get involved but would be very upset and surprised when a windmill was erected in their backyard.

I am someone with enough common sense who says that if I am a company and I want to build this wind farm, I will provide the best studies money can buy that make me look the best and discredit any opposition.

I am someone with enough common sense to think that the local farmers and land owners would not do anything to even possibly jeopardize the seed corn industry, which is a major form of income and revenue to the county, the farmers, their workers, the seed companies and others who provide support throughout the season. I don’t know if the windmills will affect seed corn, but common sense tells me it will.

I am someone with enough common sense to look around on the Internet, and look for myself — not what the Tipton Wind Concern has said to look at or what juwi has said to look at, but just looking. Try Googling “health effects by wind turbines”. There are more health studies in Canada, England and Australia, where wind turbines have been in use longer. One Australian article states they are looking at a minimum 5-kilometer setback. Doing the math, that is 3.1 miles.

I am someone who does not want to sit on my patio for the next 20 or 30 years and have to look at a windmill and watch the blades flicker across my house and yard.

Who I am not is an expert on electrical engineering, green energy, hearing loss, sound waves or health issues relating to noise, wind and light. I am not an expert on property values, or have a degree in economics to fully understand the tax abatements, property taxes, money for schools or other economic information studies made available by both the wind energy companies or by those opposed. I am not an expert in agriculture to know if there will be an effect of the wind turbines on crops, especially seed crops.

Because I am not an expert on these matters, I must rely on our elected officials and “experts” to provide the best, most truthful information available and make sound decisions based on what is best for the entire county. And quite frankly, that scares me.

Stan Jones, Tipton


Let’s enforce the gun laws we already have

I noticed in the paper recently there were several firearms stolen at three different addresses. One was a Marlin rifle; others were a Glock pistol, a Mossberg shotgun, a Jennings 9mm pistol and a Ruger .38 revolver.

There should be a law against people stealing firearms. Oh wait, there already is.

There should be a background check on those people who owned those guns. Oh wait, that wouldn’t do any good because the people who owned them had them stolen.

There should be a law against those people having firearms in the first place. Oh wait, if that were the case, then only criminals would have guns.

There are those who would believe that if these guns were used in a crime, then it would be the fault of the people who legally owned those guns, because if they didn’t have them in their house, then they wouldn’t be there for them to steal. On another point, if these criminals decided to go back to these homes again to commit another crime, the homeowners won’t have their guns to protect themselves or their families.

These criminals should register those guns so they could be traced when they use them in another crime.

Why don’t they ask for everyone to turn in their guns, then these criminals won’t have these guns that they stole? Oh wait, that wouldn’t work because the criminals wouldn’t turn them in.

I guess we could go outside on our porch or deck, as Vice President Joe Biden suggested, and fire off a couple of warning shots with a double-barrel shotgun if we think someone is going to break in our house. That should work.

But we couldn’t actually do that because it would be illegal. Besides, if we did that, we’d be out of ammo.

Here’s an idea: Why don’t they enforce the 2,000-plus gun laws that are already on the books, instead of coming up with new ones that would only affect the law-abiding citizens?

Bud Harmon, Kokomo


Licensing beauty pros ensures public safety

Chemical cuts, chemical burns, infectious diseases, lice, fungal infections and hepatitis B or C. These could happen to you if your barber, cosmetologist, esthetician or manicurist were an uneducated and unregulated quasi-professional.

At the request of Gov. Pence’s office, Sen. Randy Head, R-Logansport, introduced Senate Bill 520 in this 2013 legislative session. SB 520 was presented to the Senate committee on commerce, economic development and technology to create the eliminate, reduce, and streamline employee regulation (ERASER) committee. This committee would be required to “review and evaluate” initially 38 professional licenses. After passing out of committee and before reaching the full Senate, 25 of those professions were deleted — beauty culture not being one of them.

What this means, according to the bill’s latest printing, is the beauty culture industry could cease to exist — eliminating regulation or the need to have licenses. This will happen July 1, 2017, if the 2017 session of the General Assembly fails to take action.

SB 520 passed out of the Senate and is headed for the House commerce committee on government reduction, chaired by Rep. Steven Stemler.

As with other professionals wanting less regulation, the beauty culture professionals I have spoken to desire regulation. More than half the states require some form of continuing education. I believe the general public, who has put their trust in these professionals, would want the same.

Rep. Kevin Mahan, the House sponsor of the bill, says he thinks licensing of all industries must be examined, according to an Indianapolis Star article. Why then were 25 of the 38 professions deleted from the original bill?

I attended the Senate committee hearing on the original bill and witnessed a representative from the governor’s office say that Gov. Pence campaigned on “jobs, jobs, jobs.” And that “regulation is a barrier to employment.” I testified that jobs are very important, but the No. 1 priority should be “safety, safety, safety.”  

Additionally, there are in excess of 63,000 licensed beauty culture professionals in Indiana who brought in, according to the Indiana Handbook of Taxes, Revenues, and Appropriations, nearly $1 million dollars to the general fund in 2012. Funding appears not to be an issue here.  

Next time you go to get your hair cut, colored or styled, your new or existing nails painted, trimmed or polished, do you want someone who is trained, licensed and keeps up on the new trends and styles?

Call your senator and representative and voice your opposition to SB 520. If anything, ask that the reference to the beauty culture profession be deleted from Senate Bill 520.

Clee R. Oliver, Kokomo