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.

  • Front.geese
    ON THE MOVE—Six goslings head out on manuevers with their parents in an area lake. Baby waterfowl are showing up in lakes and ponds throughout the area.
  • Front.little Ball
    Fayette's Demetrious Whiteside (left)Skylar Lester attempt to keep the ball from going out of bounds during Morenci's recent basketball tournament for fourth and fifth grade teams. Morenci's Andrew Schmidt stands by.
  • Front.tug
    MORENCI pep rallies generally end with a tug of war. The senior class entry, shown above, did not advance to the finals. Griffin Grieder, Alaina Webster, Kyle Long and Jazmin Smith are shown at the front of the rope, giving it their best effort.
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    FAYETTE resident Patricia Stambaugh, 64, was declared dead on the scene of a single-vehicle accident Friday morning south of Morenci. Rescue units were called around 9 a.m., but as of Tuesday, law enforcement officers had not yet determined the time of the accident. According to Ohio State Highway Patrol, Stambaugh was driving west on U.S. 20 when her Chevrolet Malibu traveled off the north side of the road and down a steep embankment, coming to rest in Bean Creek (Tiffin River).
  • Athletic Fields
    SPORTS COMPLEX—Fayette’s outdoor athletic facilities will include three ball fields for summer recreation leagues at the southwest corner of the school. The baseball and softball fields, along with the running track, will be constructed on the east side of the school. Outdoor athletic fields were not part of the new school project from 2007, but voters approved a $1.4 million levy for a school addition and the sports fields last August. Both projects are scheduled to be complete by July 20.
  • Front.teacher Leading
    PRESCHOOL MUSIC—Fayette band director Jeffrey Dunford spends the last half hour of the day leading the full-day preschool class in musical activities. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.F.band
    TROMBONISTS Jake Myers (left) and Max Baker perform Friday at the annual Senior Citizens Luncheon at Fayette High School. The National Honor Society and the FFA chapter teamed up to serve a meal to area seniors and to provide musical entertainment. Both the school band and choir performed. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.

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