2017-04-20 / Opinions

Letters to the Editor

More info needed to make decision on vote

Dear Editor,

Having received information from groups that either favor or do not favor the addition of more wind turbines in Huron County, I feel that more information is needed.

The flyer from the “pro” organization seemed to present an argument based upon financial considerations. The opposing side raises environmental issues, which have generated a number of questions. Do wind turbines affect livestock and wildlife, cause vibrations, create noise, kill birds, leak fluids, catch on fire or lower property values? Do the blades ever break off? Have they affected our earthworm population, so crucial to farmland?

I also wonder why, corroborate by a phone call from Lansing, have the wind turbine companies supposedly hired people to document the location of bald eagles.

I think the presentation of some environmental study would clarify many concerns so that we, as informed citizens, may vote “yes” or “no.” In addition, how much energy turbines produce and what percentage of that is distributed locally should be made public.

John Henning
Port Hope

Park? Farm?

Dear Editor,

Dictionary.com defines a “park” as an area of land, usually in a largely natural state, for the enjoyment of the public, having facilities for rest and recreation, often owned, set apart and managed by a city, state, or nation. An enclosed area or stadium used for sports.

Wind “parks” have none of these criteria. They are privately owned. They cannot be used by the public. There are no areas for rest and recreation or sports. They are used only for the capital gain of large corporations.

Dictionary.com defines a “farm” as a tract of land, usually with a house, barn, silo, etc. on which crops and often livestock are raised for a livelihood.

Again wind “farms” follow none of these criteria. No crops, no livestock, no barn, no silo, etc.

DTE and all other power companies, call windmills what they are - industrial power plants. Please stop trying to make these power plants sound appealing - they are not. You sugarcoat your ads by using words and phrases that disguise what they are - power plants. Somehow, you have slithered your way around getting variances that would change agricultural property to industrial/commercial property.

DTE and all other power companies - be honest and truthful to the people.

Ron Krzeminski
Lake Township

Please vote no in the special election on May 2, 2017

Dear Editor,

The wind energy ordinance of the townships of Bingham, Bloomfield, Brookfield, Dwight, Fairhaven, Gore, Grant, Hume, Lincoln, McKinley, Rubicon, Sebewaing, Sheridan, Sherman, Sigel and Winsor is undergoing much-needed revision. One possible change may be the reduction of hours a residence may be exposed to the shadow flicker of a wind turbine.

Unfortunately, the townships of Sigel, Bloomfield, Dwight, Lincoln and Sherman are being denied the right to benefit from any revisions that are being considered.

Your “no” vote on the wind proposals in the special election on May 2, 2017 will mean that it is not right to deny us, Sigel, Bloomfield, Dwight, Lincoln and Sherman, the opportunity to benefit from the changes in the wind energy ordinance that are currently being reviewed.

Your “no” vote will mean it is not right to exclude the townships of Sigel, Bloomfield, Dwight, Lincoln and Sherman from the Wind Energy Moratorium of the remaining county zoned townships.

Please vote “no” Bingham, Bloomfield, Brookfield, Dwight, Fairhaven, Gore, Grant, Hume, Lincoln, McKinley, Rubicon, Sebewaing, Sheridan, Sherman, Sigel and Winsor on the May 2, 2017 special election wind proposals. It is only fair that all townships be included in the benefits from the revisions of the wind energy ordinance.

Carolyn Guza
Sigel Township

WIND = YES or NO

Dear Editor,

On Tuesday, May 2nd, a vote will be taking place in Sand Beach, Sherman and Sigel townships that will have an impact on the view of our landscape, our property values, our “peace and quiet” and our health for many years to come. The issue is whether or not we want to allow a wind power corporation to erect noisy and unsightly industrial wind turbines in close proximity to our property and homes. There is some confusion on what a “YES” or “NO” vote means.

In Sherman and Sigel Townships, a NO vote means NO wind turbines. A NO vote means we’ve seen more than enough wind mills in other areas and we don’t want them destroying our area.

A YES vote in Sherman and Sigel townships will result in dozens of wind turbines “junkyarding” our landscape, a decrease in value or our homes and property, irritating noise and multiple, red, blinking lights all night long for many decades.

In Sand Beach Township, a YES or a NO vote is somewhat confusing.

The vote in Sand Beach is whether or not we want to accept new, improved amendments to the wind zoning ordinance. Those improved amendments increased the distance a wind turbine must be placed from a home or property line and decreased the noise levels that would be tolerated. These improved amendments were approved by township officials in an effort to better protect the health, safety and welfare of the residents of Sand Beach by requiring any wind turbine to be placed farther away from a home and property line than the old ordinance permitted.

A YES vote in Sand Beach means we accept the improved amendments to the wind ordinance. A YES vote means that any wind turbine erected in Sand Beach must be placed farther away from a home than what the old ordinance allowed.

A NO vote in Sand Beach means that we go back to the old ordinance, which would allow turbines to be placed closer to our homes and that we must tolerate higher noise levels.

So, in Sherman and Sigel, a NO vote = NO WIND TURBINES.

In Sherman and Sigel, a YES vote = dozens of new turbines around our homes.

In Sand Beach, a YES vote = keep turbines farther away from our homes by approving the amendments to the ordinance (in other words, YES, I approve the amendments.)

A NO vote in Sand Beach = put turbines closer to our homes and louder noise levels.

Robert Gaffke
Port Hope

Review the facts

Dear Editor,

The Port Austin Township voters will vote May 2, 2017, on the referendum to pass a bond proposal, which will finance the construction of the proposed new township hall.

I urge all voters to review the facts about the proposed new township hall at the township’s website portaustintownship.com or at the current township hall’s location at 8265 N. Van Dyke, Port Austin. Thank you for your thoughtful consideration concerning this issue. I recommend a “yes” vote.

Judy Beam
Port Austin

Vote to honor your freedom

The right to vote is one of the freedoms everyone should honor and should not be taken for granted. On May 2, voters in the 16 county-zoned townships will have an opportunity to vote on whether or not more wind turbines will be allowed in four more townships. If you do not live in one of the affected townships, you may think your vote does not matter. Wrong! It does matter. You only have to take a look when you drive through our county. If these newest overlays get the nod, you may as well accept that our entire county will end up as one giant industrial wind district.

I live in a self-zoned township and do not have the right to vote on May 2nd on these overlays. Yet I live in Huron County. I do not like how the turbines and their red lights have changed the view as I drive through the county. I do not like the view from the lake looking at the shoreline cluttered with pinwheels sticking above the tree line and then, again, those obnoxious blinking lights as the sun sets. I do not like the fact that my electric bill has increased in order to pay for a very unreliable source of electrical generation. Did you ever notice that on the hottest days of summer, when the wind is not blowing, and air conditioners are running strong, that those turbines are doing absolutely nothing!

As a veteran who served to protect our freedoms, I’m asking voters who live in the townships of Bingham, Brookfield, Bloomfield, Dwight, Fairhaven, Gore, Grant, Hume, Lincoln, McKinley, Rubicon, Sherman, Sheridan, Sebewaing, Sigel and Winsor to make sure to vote on May 2. Other counties and townships throughout Michigan have said “no” and sent the developers packing. Let’s send a message to our commissioners and these carpet-bagging developers that enough is enough!

Louis J. Colletta
Huron County

Support energy proposals

Dear Editor, Property rights are the reason I urge every voter to support the two wind energy proposals on the May 2nd special election ballot in most of Huron County. The actual question in this election is one of property rights, not wind energy.

Some may say they don’t like the way the wind turbines look. I may not like the way someone’s house or barn looks, but I do not believe that neighbors should be able to control what we build on our land or how we use our land.

The May 2nd election is no different than holding an election to decide whether someone should be allowed to put up a new barn or if they should be allowed to grow beets or beans. People across Huron County, from Sebewaing to Port Hope, are being asked to intervene on whether landowners in Dwight, Lincoln, Sigel and Sherman townships should be allowed to harvest wind, no different than if they were deciding whether landowners should be allowed to harvest beets.

We should all be fans of the tax revenue the wind energy industry contributes to our county and local governments. These new tax revenues have been more than $8 million per year. They have also brought in millions in other direct or indirect economic impacts to local families and businesses.

Basic property rights and significant economic impact are the reasons why I urge you to vote “yes” on May 2nd.

Joni Iseler
Huron County

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