Let me please respond to Sally Kain and her letter stating that officials should protect residents from turbines. That letter, like a number of others of the same bent, breaks my heart. Ms. Kain, in my opinion, sorry to say, it is probably too late. A number of us have been trying to prevent this scourge for years. A number of hearty souls and this writer have been involved in the anti-turbine movement, KnowWind, since at least 2008.
Many letters to the Huron Daily Tribune, and on blogs and emails have screamed out that these monstrosities would be a problem, and essentially irrevocable. All those writings were in the public arena for anyone to read. I was the official spokesperson for KnowWind, operating out of my Chicago office for several years. I ended my (too many) letters to the editor with KnowWind, and my phone number. I received one phone call from a gent requesting more information. One.
There were many early signs that this thing could easily take over and choke the community. Public apathy and worry about “what the neighbors would think” allowed the turbines to spread during so much of the local silence. First sign was Michigan rather stupidly biting on the federal mandate to become alternative energy self-sufficient. I suppose some of us still think the government is full of nothing but good solutions. The second sign was big money/corporations flipping in and out of Huron County spreading a lot of false promises, and $10,000 a crack to landowners not having the common sense or concern for one’s neighbor to commit their land. Part of the deal was a gag order preventing landowners to then discuss any negative aspects of their contract. Next sign was an essentially dysfunctional group of elected officials, some of whom apparently had an interest as landowners themselves. Then came the comments from some officials as ludicrous as the turbines becoming a tourist attraction. As time marched on and more and more people were dragged into barbeques and cheap dinners at local restaurants, the tide grew.
One township, Meade, is taking a stand, and my hat is off to them. This is an awfully expensive civics lesson. And speaking of expensive, I have had some good discussions with several commissioners in the past month. What is cost to the area? As many people do not want to live in an unhealthy industrial zone, they eventually either move out of the area, or do not move in. I am certain that I am not the only one that for the time being has located a retirement residence away from the Huron County industrial site. I have listed purchase amounts, taxes, home improvements, and what many retired people spend locally in a community. Put that up against the temporary expenditures at the local Holiday Inn Express from turbine installation personnel.
I have strong doubts that all this will have a positive outcome in the long run. Many of us will look back on all this in embarrassment and frustration. In the meanwhile, keep your fingers crossed that the government does not yank your heavy taxpayer-based subsidies. Those concrete pads are going to be tough to remove.
Edward M. Korleski
formerly of Kinde
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