Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

May 12, 2013

Public Eye - May 12, 2013

By Ken de la Bastide and Scott Smith
Tribune columnists

— Not a Happy Meal

The Tipton County Citizens for Responsible Development have been upset recently with the U.S. Postal Service and McDonald’s.

What has the wind farm opponents blowing a gasket is letters coming out of the USPS in Indianapolis with a wind turbine as part of the cancellation mark. One CRD member at a recent meeting indicated he was retired from the post office and called to have the wind turbine removed.

CRD members were also disappointed that on some McDonald’s bags there is a picture of a wind turbine. McDonald’s received an award in 2012 from American Wind Energy for encouraging the use of wind energy by a supplier to produce French fries.

Some CRD members were urging people to stop dining at McDonald’s and even suggested entering the restaurant and telling management they normally spend money there, but won’t until the wind turbines are removed.

So far there is no word on if the “wind turbine” bag boycott is having an impact on the sales of Happy Meals.

Not in my back yard

For several months the Kokomo Tribune has written numerous stories about the efforts of juwi Wind to begin operation of the proposed Prairie Breeze Wind Farm in Tipton County and the expansion of the Wildcat Wind Farm by E.On Climate & Renewables into Howard County.

There have been several stories about the opposition in Tipton County and Howard County to further development of wind farms.

For the first time, during last Tuesday’s meeting of the Howard County Commissioners, supporters of the Wildcat Wind Farm publicly voiced support for the project.

Since then, several people have called to complain that the opponents have not received equal news coverage.

One person commented they read the newspaper every day and only noticed “letters to the editor.”

At the meeting several people indicated they were unaware of public meetings when both counties approved wind ordinances, signed agreements with the two companies and approved tax abatements.

All of those decisions were made in public meetings and reported about in several area publications, including the Tribune.

This may clearly be a case of the old adage, “not in my backyard.”

Bearer of good news

A few years ago there was a television commercial where a bunch of Wall Street types in a room, talking loudly. But when one of the brokers leans over to a friend and comments that his broker is E.F. Hutton, the room becomes silent.

“When E.F. Hutton talks, people listen,” went the company’s famous slogan.

Fast forward to Thursday’s announcement that the Chrysler Foundation will donate $50,000 for flood relief for Howard and Tipton counties.

Brian Harlow, Chrysler’s head of Powertrain Operations and Global Powertrain Manufacturing Engineering, was on hand for the check presentation. Harlow has been instrumental in the Chrysler Group’s investments in Kokomo and Tipton County.

“Every time Brian Harlow comes to Kokomo, good things happen,” Kokomo Mayor Greg Goodnight remarked.

Tipton Mayor Don Havens echoed those sentiments.

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