Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

September 8, 2013

Sept. 8, 2013: Letters to the editor

Kokomo Tribune

---- — Would you rather have a nuclear plant?

I am writing to you about the arguments that opponents to wind farms are putting out to the public. I have been to the wind project in Elwood. I stood under a wind turbine in operation and never heard the blades moving less than 200 feet over my head, or noticed any flicker.

A school in Union City has two older wind turbines in operation. Taylor University in Upland is using both geothermal solar and wind to help in powering its campus, and the Eastbrook school system has installed wind turbines for power. There is no pollution from wind like there is from oil or gas-fired electric plants.

Studies of bird deaths and devaluation of property due to turbines have shown more birds die from striking buildings in cities than wind turbines. Also, an 85-page study, just released by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, of 50,000 home sales, near 67 wind facilities in 27 counties in the United States, was unable to uncover any impacts to nearby home values.

The question I would like to put to these opponents of a non-polluting renewable energy source is, “Would you rather have a wind turbine or a nuclear power plant close to your schools and homes?”

Monty Davis


Three strikes, Acres, and you are out!

The remarks made by Mr. Jerry Acres as the presiding official at the end of the March BZA hearing regarding the Prairie Breeze Wind Farm were astonishing. How anyone could attempt to persuade by admitting his own inadequacy in deciding such an issue is one for the books.

Espousing regret over his prior vote on a similar issue, and blaming the system for not providing more detailed information, was far from proper hearing decorum if not disqualifying.

And then, at the July 31 BZA meeting, Mr. Acres began the meeting with even more obvious ineptness by deciding an issue that required a public hearing at what was announced only as a procedural meeting. The final capper was his decision Aug. 28 not to hold an announced hearing that was all but underway.

Every competent leader knows tough decisions don’t come easy. More information is always desirable. Jurists know this, and so do military commanders.

The fact remains when the onus is on you by virtue of the trust placed in you by your holding an official position, you must work with what is available, do your own homework, study, listen to opposing views, weigh the facts at hand, use the best reasoning you can muster and then vote.

More importantly, if you don’t know what does and doesn’t require a publicly announced hearing, or you are biased and have a prejudged notion, recuse yourself.

Begrudging Tipton County landowners for monetary benefit and whining about the established process during the March hearing was very unseemly for two primary reasons. (1) In a capitalist society, economic development that produces wealth is the very basis for enhancing a community’s well-being. (2) Moving the goalposts is not possible during a football game and it is most assuredly not appropriate in the middle of a meeting, whose expressed purpose is to deliberate and vote on an issue.

Then, holding a subsequent meeting in July that wasn’t announced as a hearing and deciding hearing matters was an affront to the community at large. And finally, not holding the announced hearing on Aug. 28, when the parties were gathered, confirmed Mr. Acre’s bias toward the wind farm with his unilateral decision that smacked of a bully mentality. What is a five member board for?

The public deserves better than this, particularly since it affects so many people: the local school, the county tax base and the overall financial wealth of the community. In fairness to all Tipton County citizens, Mr. Acres or anyone in a like position in the future should step aside if in their own good conscience they are biased and predisposed about an issue, can’t accept the rules, feel inadequately prepared or don’t understand due process.

The time is now for Mr. Acres to be admonished by the appointing authority and replaced! Three strikes and you are out!

Owen Leon Ratcliff Jr.

O’Fallon, Ill.

She should have faced consequences

I would like to show my support for the theater owner in Kentucky who is refusing to show the nation’s top movie, “The Butler,” because one of the stars is Jane Fonda.

She should have suffered some consequence for her part in the Vietnam prisoner of war debacle.

Pat Duchane