2014-06-05 / Views

Letters to the Editor

Dear Editor:

You can certainly tell who is against wind energy. First, they address the large wind turbines as “industrial”. There is no such recognition in the renewable energy field that uses the connotation “industrial”.

Second, they are always bringing up “who is getting paid”.

We were told the flicker would be a problem, then noise, then visual, now, it’s everything above. Change is difficult for some. Every where you go in this country, you will see power lines and giant power lines, telephone lines, cell phone towers, radio towers, satellites, microwave towers, power plants, paper mills, generating stations, sub stations for gas, phone, electric, propane, there are mines, quarries, gravel pits, etc., these are all signs of progress.

Do they litter the landscape? Yes. So tell me, are there any of these that we as a human race don’t use? No. With world coal and oil reserves being depleted in about 200 years, should we sit back and wait, or should we find a way now, to help our future generations? I choose to help now.

Wind energy is progress, just like solar. We have to explore new ways to produce the electricity we all want, if we don’t, we are just a selfish generation to leave our children with nothing.

Jean Anderson

Cooks,

Dear Editor,

During the May 29 Schoolcraft County Board of Commissioners meeting, Brad Neuman (MSUMarquette) gave a presentation using 2008 data based on smaller wind turbines than those proposed for Cooks. He also shared his opinion on the recently approved zoning ordinance saying that Heritage could challenge the board on “this exclusionary ordinance”. However, he added that he doesn’t have a legal background!

Later, during public comments, he admitted many ordinances in Michigan now include maximum noise levels of 40 decibels and setbacks at three-quarters mile; which is the Schoolcraft County ordinance.

Some Michigan counties/townships, (i.e. Centerville, Emmett, Riga) increased their setbacks and/ or decreased the noise levels due to more recent studies and recent research. People living near these turbines don’t lie. They aren’t making up their health issues. During the open questioning, Mr. Neumann admitted county zoning ordinances have changed to reflect these two issues in Huron County and Mason county. Both which were changed as a result of wind turbine development originally fashioned with the 2008 research he supports. Zoning laws are supposed to protect the health and safety of the citizens.

So, how could Mr. Neumann claim his presentation (not his research, but selected research conducted by others) was unbiased? Was this just his opinion and using only research that supports his opinion? There’s more research available within MSU where Dr. Jerry Punch (audiologist and professor emeritus with MSU), Kenneth Rosenman (professor of epidemiology, occupational diseases, with MSU), and William MacMillian (retired Consumers Energy engineer), show support for the county’s ordinance and is based on research of more current turbines and actual health and safety effects (published June 30, 2011). This should minimize Mr. Neumann’s opinion of lawsuit litigation. He should also have shared potential lawsuits from the other side if they didn’t approve an ordinance that showed due diligence supporting the health, safety and welfare of all residents.

We cannot forget how dishonest Heritage was to our neighbors in Garden. They installed two turbines less than current zoning setbacks allowed and with written communication from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife telling them this entire development was in violation of their regulations (migratory birds, flyways, and endangered species), they did what they wanted anyway. When asked, Mr. Neumann indicated no knowledge on federal governance. He also couldn’t share any response when asked if he ever researched the Garden turbine development.

Those opposed to the Cooks Wind Turbine Development aren’t feeling left out financially, so Mr. Neumann’s proposal to establish a landowners association so everyone gets a piece of the pie isn’t the answer. We’re simply interested in protecting our rights. Why would anyone believe a 400-500 foot turbine would not have any negative effects on neighbors?

Every property owner has rights and once pitted against each other, who says the one with the biggest turbine has the rights to infringe over his/her neighbor?

Sandra Brooks

Cooks

Dear Editor,

I would like to thank the Schoolcraft County Commissioners, Dan LaFoille, Al Grimm, and Craig Reiter for passing the wind turbine ordinance. I realize this was a very difficult decision, but putting our health and safety first was the right thing to do. Thank you again.

I would also like to thank Cloverland CEO Dan Dasho for his excellent presentation at the same meeting. His explanation of how wind turbines and the Michigan renewable mandate would raise rates was excellent. Thank you Dan!

Pat Carley

Cooks

Dear Editor,

Recently, we were bombarded with TV ads extolling, in very general terms, the many virtues of Dan Benishek. I’m not aware of any impact, positive or negative, that Dan has made in his four years in D.C. but I think everyone should be aware of how his votes could affect so many of us.

In our U.P. depressed economy, one out of six of our neighbors uses food stamps. These are the people who most need Dan’s help. Yet, the “good doctor” voted for Paul Ryan’s immoral budget which would have cut forty billion from the food stamp program.

Dr. Dan voted fifty times to allow the insurance companies to drop 26 year olds from their parents’ insurance.

Dan voted fifty times to allow insurance companies to drop people if they required expensive medical treatment.

Dan voted fifty times to allow insurance companies to refuse coverage to anyone with a preexisting condition. That could include a wide range of doctor of hospital visits and the patient wouldn’t know there was no coverage until after the surgery.

These are some of the negative things that repealing Obamacare would do to our neighbors. Also, the eight million who signed up via the exchanges and the millions who now qualify for Medicaid would no longer have insurance. If you think that wouldn’t affect you, wait until you need to go to the emergency room.

Another thing everyone should be aware of is how Dan feels about climate change, good luck finding out. I called Dan’s office in D.C. and four of his Michigan offices and asked if Dan thought humans were affecting climate change, a no brainer. No one could give me an answer but I’ve heard he thinks it a hoax.

It’s no wonder our students do so poorly in math and science compared to other countries when irrefutable science is discredited by our legislators and the scientists are accused of perpetrating a hoax on the American people.

Jude Collins

Manistique

Dear Editor,

My husband and I, who reside in Cooks, have no reliable source we can rely on to tell us the long-range goals of the wind turbines. The disadvantages, however, for residents in Cooks are numerous.

We have heard from residents who live on the Garden Peninsula, which is close to the Cooks area, who are not benefiting from them monetarily or in any other way.

They are bothered by the noise pollution and the change in the beauty of their land. We can see how they have robbed the Garden Peninsula of its former openness, and its natural, non-industrialized beauty. Should the wind turbines be placed in Cooks it just makes common sense that the land in the area will have less value to others because it will have less value to us.

The deterioration of them is for sure and the impairment of them after their predicted nine to 10-year life span can lead to many future problems for the Cooks community as well as Schoolcraft County. These mentioned factors would naturally affect tourism and people desiring to locate to our area.

Other reasons against their placement in our area continue to appear. We have heard from a reliable source that the wind power in the Cooks area is small. There would have to be a large number of turbines to produce any significant amount of electricity to the Traverse City area which is the area largely receiving the benefit from them.

Most of those living in the Cooks area will receive no electrical advantages from them. The fossil fuel used to produce the turbines would hinder the benefits of the wind energy in our country’s environment. The stress from the consequences of their presence could harm people physically. Some people who live in wind turbine areas complain of pressure in their ears. The huge turbines belong in an area where people are far enough away so they will not be harmed in any way by their presence.

If there are any long-range advantages over disadvantages for the use of wind turbines, we have not been able to find them after much research over the internet. We know one area in another county not far from us who fought the presence of them in their community and won.

From the people we have talked with about the turbines we know that we express the opinions of the majority of residents in Cooks. We see the matter as having dire consequences for all of Schoolcraft County if they are allowed to be built in our area as well as our county.

Ron Palmer

Carolyn Palmer

Cooks

Dear Editor,

Spring is finally here and so are Project Petunia flowers.

All over town people are weeding and planting so our community will once again be in full bloom. We are very fortunate to have so many hard-working generous people who give of their time and expertise to make everything look so special.

We ask that you respect our efforts by keeping pets and bicycles out of the beds, and please don’t pick the flowers. Leave them so everyone can enjoy them.

As a strictly volunteer organization Project Petunia needs your help. We always need people to help water our beds. The more volunteers we have, the less work there is for everyone.

Also, we need your generous donations to keep us afloat. You can send your donation directly to the State Savings Bank earmarked for Project Petunia, to Jackie Bruce, 788N W. Gulliver Lake Road, Gulliver, MI 49840 or Andrea Wedegartner, 7717W Island Lake Road, Manistique, MI 49854.

Feel free to contact either of us for more information.

Jackie Bruce 283-3867

Andrea Wedegartner 341-

2901

Project Petunia

Dear Editor,

I understand that there is an effort to construct an additional wind turbine industrial park in Schoolcraft County and the surrounding areas.

I have a home in Garden, and I can give you my experience and observations on the 13 wind turbines in our community. This is only my opinion and I am sure there are others, but for what it’s worth I wanted to share my experience.

I also appreciate that there are financial considerations for those leasing their property to the developers and property tax benefits to the county. I don’t participate in either. I do not lease any land to the developers and last I checked my property tax has not decreased even though I am convinced my property value has declined due to the wind farm project.

My Garden home stares down all 13 wind turbines and this is what I have observed over the last two years.

One – the obvious complaint is the destruction of the view and landscape. But it’s really more than that.

The turbines are a “draw of your eye” and in my experience, they are all that you can really see. No matter how hard I try to enjoy my old view, you cannot see anything but those spinning blades. They just pull your vision in their direction and everything else is lost.

Two – the noise. Outside will never be the same. The noise never stops and this includes both the day and night.

Last summer I tried to camp out in a tent with my five year old son. After an hour of a steady and relentless roar, we packed it up and went inside. We have never used that tent at our home again

Three – light beacons. Forget about the stars, at night you will only see the flashing of red beacons. Similar to the noise, they never stop and at times it seems like we live at the end of a runway at a busy metropolitan airport.

Four – property values. I am not sure, but I don’t think a home has sold in the area since the turbine complex went up. That is, other than the homes the electric company purchased to resolve “issues”. Think about it, if you were looking for a home in the U.P. would you buy one in a wind turbine development? I don’t think people live here for that life style.

I often travel through Traverse City and last I looked I did not see any wind turbines in the home of the company that is driving this development. Why is that? Based on their marketing efforts and similar topography you would think Traverse City would have hundreds of wind turbines.

The representatives from the wind turbine companies will likely challenge these observations, but when they do so remember this. They don’t live in it. We do and until they build them in their neighborhood they have no credibility on this issue.

The one thing we have in the U.P. is the beautiful country and all that comes with it. When you are faced with that decision about wind turbines in your area make sure you remember it’s not just about you. It’s about your neighbor, your community and our way of life.

Jim Skinner

Garden

Dear Editor,

Since Jerry Cannon is a candidate for Congress, every voter in the 1st Congressional District has a right to know what his position is on Obamacare, which is going to consume one seventh of the U.S. Budget.

Giving Cannon the benefit of the doubt, it is not my fault that he had two totally different positions on Obamacare within twenty-four hours when he was interviewed by the Daily Mining Gazette. First, he was dead against it, saying that it was a complete debacle. The following day he claimed that someone other than him – his evil/twin imposter – made that statement and that he was actually in favor of Obamacare.

So, as a voter in this district, I have every right to ask Jerry Cannon which story are we to believe? In fact, every registered voter should question Cannon’s double talk.

As for Victor Hughson’s attempt to denigrate me and the questions that I raised in a previous letter to the editor, it appears that Nancy Pelosi and her democrats are planning on spending over a million dollars on the 1st Congressional race. Hughson has implied that the Koch brothers fund Congressman Benishek’s ads.

Are we to believe that none of the Democrat monies would come from the Hollywood elites who want to ban our guns while turning out nothing but violent films for our youth, or the environmentalists in Pelosi’s home district of San Francisco who want to end timber harvesting and mining, or from that world famous exploiter of national currencies, “honest” George Soros?

Jerry Cannon earned the label of “loose Cannon” with the double talk coming out of his own mouth, not mine.

He, like General Shinseki who just resigned as the troubled, incompetent director of the VA, might be a very nice person, but that does not make him qualified to run for Congress nor to represent us, the citizens in the 1st Congressional District.

Paul Walker

Manistique

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It is refreshing to me to see

It is refreshing to me to see that people in Schoolcraft County have the confidence to speak up on issues concerning the county and the towns..........Whether right or wrong, it is a GOOD thing to see that the people in the county are able to think for themselves and not be concerned about what 'harrasment' will befall them. Keep it up