Someone else’s back yard
During a stop at the Kokomo Tribune last Thursday, Mike Rucker, the CEO of juwi Wind Energy’s North American operations, was asked if he personally lives near a wind farm.
His company is in the process of developing the Prairie Breeze Wind Farm, a project slated to install up to 94 turbines in Prairie and Liberty townships in northern Tipton County. Most of the opposition to the project is coming from homeowners who say they simply don’t want to live next to 300-foot tall windmills.
As it turns out, Rucker does not live near or in the midst of windmills.
Rucker said he currently resides in Boulder, Colo., and he said from his office can see the wind turbines at the National Wind Technology Center, which is about 7 miles away.
Rucker said he lived near a wind farm at a previous address in California.
Opponents of the juwi project are citing a loss of property values, noise from the turbine operation and shadow flicker from the turning turbine blades.
Done with that idea
When Republican Mitch Daniels was governor a repeated topic of discussion by members of the Indiana General Assembly was government reform based on the Kernan-Shepherd Report which advocated elimination of township government and the streamlining of county government offices.
During the Third House session last week local lawmakers were asked if local government reform would return to the front-burner during the first legislative session of Gov. Mike Pence.
State Rep. Heath VanNatter said “no” in reference to the plan as it existed during Daniels’ tenure.
“Merging townships has not been popular,” he said.
State Sen. Jim Buck said it’s a divisive issue among lawmakers.
“It will create a large bureaucracy,” he said.
State Rep. Mike Karickhoff said no bills have been filed and none were likely to be introduced during the 2013 session.
“Local voters rejected township consolidation,” he said in reference to last year’s local referendum vote on a plan to consolidate six Howard County townships into two units.
More of the same?
When the recession hit in 2008, Daniels rescinded a $300 million annual school funding increase the Legislature had already voted on, saying the state didn’t have the money. It wasn’t a cut, but rather a flatlining of the schools’ funding for the next two years. Two years later, the Legislature continued that flatline budget, while simultaneously finding money for school vouchers. Now newly elected Gov. Mike Pence is proposing a 1 percent increase for K-12 public education for the next two years and expanded vouchers.
By the end of the next biennium, that plan would mean school funding (as separate from full-day kindergarten) will have been essentially frozen for six years running. Pence is also calling for the Legislature to fund a $790 million state income tax cut.
We asked Karickhoff what he thought of a 1 percent increase in school funding for another two years.
“It’s too early to tell,” Karickhoff said. “I just got a 144-page summary of Gov. Pence’s budget plan, and I’m going to look at it. I don’t want to offer an opinion right now.”
Back on the agenda
VanNatter, as expected, signed on as a co-author of a bill to require welfare recipients to be drug tested. The idea is wildly popular among VanNatter’s ultra-conservative base in District 38, but is viewed as unconstitutional and mean-spirited by opponents. It went nowhere last year; we’ll see how it fares this time.
Someone else’s back yard
- Local News
- Northwestern Elementary robotics team seeks sponsors for April competition Northwestern Elementary School's Pixelated Piranhas robotics team has earned a spot at Vex IQ robotics competition in Anaheim, Calif., and now needs support to get there. Currently ranked second in the world in programming, team members have what it
- Right to hunt, fish debate delayed INDIANAPOLIS - A much-debated ban on same-sex marriage wasn't the only proposed constitutional amendment to get knocked off this November's ballot. Gone, too, is the less contentious proposal to protect Hoosiers' right to hunt and fish. Backers of th
- Team adds solar panels to Haiti parish BAS LIMBE, Haiti -- After 20 years of trips to Haiti, I still like to listen to newbies talk about their experiences as they travel to the poorest country in the western hemisphere. I watch their faces as we travel through Cap-Haitian to our remote v
- Volunteers give gift of sight to Haitians PILATE, Haiti -- Hours of traveling on dirt and rock roads that look more like paths winding up and down the mountains brought a group of volunteers to the remote village of Pilate, Haiti. They traveled there to bring sight and as Linda Winkleman of
- There's still tornado recovery work to be done A group of volunteers set out Saturday to let tornado-ravaged neighborhoods know there is still help out there if needed. The small group of volunteers hit the streets of the worst areas hit by the Nov. 17 tornadoes passing out flyers informing resid
Question Time: Daylight Saving Time begins again
“What’s your opinion of DST?”
- Reaching higher standards for early childhood education [Editor's Note: This is the third installment in a series examining Indiana's early childhood education options and how they are funded and regulated.] Classroom tables come up to an average adult's knees, and miniature chairs are small enough to sli
- State regulations differ for daycare centers Though the state of Indiana does not designate funding for preschool, early childhood programs still must comply with the state's regulations. Indiana recognizes home daycares, ministry daycares and daycare centers, with the most regulations imposed
- French students gain perspective at Maconaquah BUNKER HILL -- Sitting in the bleachers of a high school gym cheering for your classmates on the basketball court is a staple in any Indiana teenager's high school experience. But it was something new for the French students who recently visited Maco
- Glass Canopy Café to re-open Wednesday Culinary arts students at the Kokomo Area Career Center will hold their second semester grand opening of the Glass Canopy Café for the public Wednesday and Thursday. Students will open the café for lunch from 11:50 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. every Wednesday a
- More Local News Headlines