Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

June 16, 2013

Public Eye

By Scott Smith and Ken de la Bastide Kokomo Tribune
Kokomo Tribune

---- — Potential buyersteps forward

During the Tipton County Citizens for Responsible Development meeting, Madison County property owner Dave Johnston said he was having no luck finding a buyer for his property.

Johnston, who lives near the Wildcat Wind Farm, said the appraised value on his property declined by $65,000 after the wind farm began operations. He said in a year there was only one couple that looked at the property and he has received no offers to purchase.

The property consists of 3.68 acres and includes a house, barn, silo and grain bins. The assessed value is $140,600, according to the Madison County Assessor’s office.

The Kokomo Tribune was contacted Thursday by someone who read a story in the newspaper about the property. The caller is interested in living in the area and said the wind farm would not bother him. He planned to contact Johnston about a possible purchase.

The Public Eye will keep you posted if a sale actually takes place.

Are wind turbines causing strange weather? During the CRD meeting a woman raised the specter of wind farms centered in Oklahoma, Kansas and Texas as the cause of the large outbreak of tornadoes in the area.

The woman said she is trying to determine if the turbulence from the wind turbines is causing changes in atmospheric pressure, temperature and humidity.

A Purdue University study done over a one-week period in November 2010 of a wind farm in Benton County found the turbines “churned the air.” It stated the air dries out as it moves through the wind farm and there was a change in temperature.

The conclusion to the study didn’t provide any definitive answers, other than a longer period of study was needed to determine the impact on weather conditions.

She also cited Wikipedia, which is notoriously inaccurate, as the source of claims that wind turbines affected the weather.

Since Oklahoma has long been considered in the heart of “tornado alley,” the increase in the number of storms might just have to do with historic weather patterns.

Tell him I’ll be there

We were surprised this week when the Tribune became a courier of sorts between Kokomo city officials and Howard County government officials.

It all started with Kokomo Mayor Greg Goodnight sending a letter to local media, calling on county officials to show up for a meeting on Friday, to discuss emergency dispatch funding.

Well, we asked Howard County Board of Commissioners president Tyler Moore about it, and he relayed that he couldn’t get enough county people together to make the meeting work.

Not to be deterred, the mayor sent word that the meeting would take place, county or no county. Rather than seek out the county’s response to that message, we reasoned that we’d already written two stories on the subject of the meeting. Maybe we’d just be better off showing up at the meeting, and seeing what happened, we finally decided.

More to investigate?

Strip club opponent Don Burris wants the Kokomo-Howard County Plan Commission to investigate whether local strip clubs have run afoul of local zoning laws, which state that sexually oriented businesses cannot have private rooms where patrons and employees are both present.

Burris brought his concerns to the Kokomo Common Council, and plan commission director Greg Sheline promised to look into it. In all likelihood, all of the clubs have “grandfather” protection from that zoning provision, as they all (apart from perhaps the Tease club) went into operation before the provision was passed.