Wind turbines: Make a visit before you vote 2012.07.11

Written by David Green.

How could anyone not like a wind turbine?

That’s often the opening sentence in articles that are about to point out reasons not to like them. 

It’s a good question because the concept of “free” energy from the natural source of wind is a very attractive one. Day after day, the wind keeps blowing—well, most days—and a turbine continues to churn out electricity with little human intervention.

It seems that most people find a spinning turbine attractive. We’ve talked to people who love to watch Fayette’s school turbine in action. The blades spinning up against the blue sky, a low whooshing sound as the turbines make their rounds—what is there not to like?

You don’t have to dig too deep to learn there are people who don’t like living near wind turbines. Life near the so-called industrial wind turbines simply isn’t a pleasant experience for many people.

What makes the issue so contentious is that the unpleasant experience is a very subjective matter. What one person considers a background noise to grow accustomed to, another person finds incredibly annoying. The latter doesn’t see it as something to get used to, but instead as something that invaded their life. Some people can actually “feel” the low frequency noise that’s sometimes emitted. Another neighbor will have no idea what they’re talking about.

A meeting two weeks ago at the Legion home didn’t produce any information favorable to wind farm development, nor was it intended to. The speakers were from a group calling for larger setbacks between a turbine and a home owned by someone who didn’t lease land for a wind farm.

Visit a wind farm—that’s the suggestion made by more than one person at the meeting. Seneca Township residents will vote Aug. 7 to decide if the existing wind farm ordinance is sufficient or if it needs to be changed.

Don’t go only as far as Fayette, because the school turbine measures about 180 feet from the ground to the top of an upright blade. Head southwest toward Paulding or north to mid-Michigan and take a look at the turbines that are more than twice as tall. 

Spend some time in the area, talk to residents who like them and those who don’t like them. Read through some information about health effects and see what you think. Then you’ll be ready to cast your vote.

  • Girls.on.ride
    NADIYA YORK and Aniston Valentine take a spin on the Casino, one of the rides offered at Wakefield Park during Morenci’s Town and Country Festival. This year’s festival remained dry but with plenty of heat during the three-day run. Additional photographs are inside this week’s Observer.
  • Front.softball
    Angela Davis (2) and teammate Allison VanBrandt break into a jig after Morenci's softball team won its third consecutive regional title.
  • Front.art.park
    ART PARK—A design created by Poggemeyer Design Group shows a “pocket art park” in the green space south of the State Line Observer building. The proposal includes a 12-foot sculpture based on a design created by Morenci sixth grade student Klara Wesley through a school and library collaboration. A wooden band shell is located at the back of the lot. The Observer wall would be covered with a synthetic stucco material. City council members are considering ways to fund the estimated $125,000 project and perhaps tackling construction one step at a time.
  • Front.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks
  • Funcolor
    LEONIE LEAHY was one of three local hair stylists who volunteered time Friday at the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Her customer, Aubrey Sandusky, looks up at her mother while her hair takes on a perfect match to her outfit. Leahy said she had a great time at the event—nothing but happy clients.
  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Front.soccer.balls
    BEVY OF BALLS—Stair District Library Summer Reading Program VolunTeens, including Libby Rorick, back left and Ty Kruse, back right, threw a dozen inflatable soccer balls into the crowd during a reading of “Sergio Saves the Game.” The sports-themed program continues on Wednesdays through July 27.

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2016