Articles filed under Impact on People from Kansas
As a rancher in Osborne County that is not leasing to the proposed wind farm here, I took interest in your article of Dec. 31, 2007, "First Phase of State's Fourth Wind Farm Nearing Completion." I have spent most of my life working to acquire and maintain my ranch properties and one parcel goes back four generations. Am I to sit and let this huge, disruptive, totally scenery changing wind farm operation take place around me, as helpless as the bison that originally roamed the prairie home? I find business contracts offered me the poorest business venture I could ever make. One-third of 1 percent per structure value per year's rent offered or, to my understanding, under 1 percent royalty hardly matches oil royalty. What I see driving past the Lincoln project is a far bigger mess than any oil patch I've ever seen. ...I do not want to be part of a low rent wind farm and hope there are others enough so we have a Kansas prairie fully up to our counties true life blood support of agriculture. With faith in our prairie lands of Osborne County, I, for one, do not feel it appropriate to put up these tombstones to a failed agriculture.
I am equally saddened to see the sorry, unreliable, expensive substitute - a "wind farm" - being installed just west of Salina. A recent full-page ad in the Journal-World dishonestly portrayed children playing under a wind turbine. Fact is, the noise created by these gigantic turbines will make the land uninhabitable for nearly all forms of life, including people and birds. No responsible parent would allow their loved ones to live or play around these monsters.
For those of us who call this area home, there are real worries about the documented health effects that may occur if such an industrial complex is built so close to our homes. There are concerns about safety during the building phase as well as from the turbines themselves after construction. The wind turbine complex controversy continues to divide our county. This conflict isn't about foreign oil or saving the planet -- it's about location and the proposed location is not suitable. ...There are fears about property and market values decreasing on the biggest investment that most of us have. Some claim that there is no proof to any of these concerns. We can provide ample documentation to show that the county is taking a huge risk if this project proceeds. To the doubters, we say we don't want to be the guinea pigs that find out whether the fears and concerns are real or not. It's simple, move the location of the turbines somewhere where there are not homes and eliminate the risks.
There were three different compensation offers, depending on how close each landowner would be to the generators, Gordon said. Most of the offers were for electrical reimbursement, in the amount of either 10,000 or 20,000 kilowatt-hours per year. According to a copy of the agreement obtained by The Hays Daily News, the initial reimbursement rate would be set by the electricity rate in the owner's most recent electrical bill. The electricity reimbursement rate would escalate by 1 percent each year.
Just more than 43 percent of the landowners have signed a formal protest petition stating that they do not want to live in an industrial park. The actual percentage of landowners against this project was closer to 67 percent. ...These are the landowners that live within 1,000 feet of where these intrusive machines are proposed to be built. I use the word intrusive because there is no other way to describe how these 67 percent feel about being forced by others to live under conditions they had not chosen for themselves. Conditions from which the county itself vowed to protect.
The issue of wind farm development in Kansas isn't new to Hays resident and state Rep. Dan Johnson, R-Hays. "I've been (in the Legislature) for 11 years and have probably received more communication on wind farms than any other single issue," said Johnson, who has been on the Energy and Utilities committee for several years. "That's without doing any scientific research." He estimated that this communication is a 50-50 split of opponents and proponents to various wind projects.
This editorial is in response to those who have questioned the veracity of viboracoustic disease and ‘wind turbine syndrome', most recently S.R. Zwenger who asked "can anyone provide published articles on this mysterious and elusive disease?".
I feel as if our community has been kept in the dark about the 130-plus wind turbine facility to be located in Ellis County. I am a neurologist in the Hays community, a taxpayer and a voting constituent. After doing a bit of research regarding wind turbines, I believe all of us residing in Ellis County need to be involved in making the decision of whether or not we should permit a wind turbine facility to be located 5 miles from the city of Hays. I am an advocate of wind and solar power. I believe wind power is an excellent manner in which to generate electricity. But, I do not believe it is in the best interest of Ellis County and the city of Hays to have this facility within 5 miles of our community.
Hays - Jacinta Faber is just the kind of person you would picture advocating wind energy. She and her family buy organic food, recycle and even use low-flow toilets to conserve water. While Faber likes the concept of wind energy, she doesn't particularly like the idea of the almost 400-foot-tall wind turbines looming on a ridge about 2,000 feet from her house southwest of Hays. She fears there could be health repercussions from the constant noise of the low-frequency whooping sound that the spinning turbines make and the strobelike effect from the blades' shadows.
Wind farm advocate and beneficiary Pete Ferrell had one message Thursday night for supporters of the Ellis County wind farm proposal: Make an effort to win hearts and minds now... • On noise: "I can hear the turbines from my home, and I didn't expect to (Ferrell's home is 1 mile from the nearest wind turbine). The odd thing is that I can hear it on days when it's not blowing that hard. When it's blowing hard, the wind covers the sound. It sounds like a river in the distance."... • On construction of the wind farm: "It was very hard. OK, it was a nightmare. Thank God it was professional done and it was over in six months."
Wendy Todd, a resident of Mars Hill, Maine, and her husband, Perrin, live about 2,600 feet away from one of the 28 turbines that compose the Mars Hill Wind Farm, Wendy Todd said. Todd's story is one opponents to the Ellis County wind project have referenced. When her family first heard about plans for construction of the project in 2006, they were not led to anticipate problems, she said. "We thought we had asked all the right questions. We thought ‘if we can deal with the visual aspect and get through the construction phase, we'll be all set,' " Todd said. "There was never any mention of strobing, shadow flicker was never even mentioned. The noise issues were put on the back burner almost immediately." However, she and her husband have been battling these issues, particularly the noise, which Todd said varies with the wind speed.
Doug Ewert also spoke with emotion. Ewert is owner of ETek Group Inc., and expressed concern at the concept of placing tall structures so close to residential homes. "I'm a company owner, I build communication towers," Ewert said in a voice thick with emotion. "I know what these things are about. I know that they're dangerous." Last winter's ice storm ripped down several communication towers in northwest Kansas, and left Ewert picking up debris from communication equipment scattered 2 miles away, he said. "In not one location that I've ever put a (400-foot-tall) tower would I put a tower next to a residential community," Ewert said. "It's amazing that this is even being evaluated for that area because of the community that's there. That community should be protected by Ellis County.
The twinkling red lights of the Spearville Wind Farm look like a Christmas display at night, but Kansas City Power & Light isnÕt waiting until Christmas to celebrate. The company has invited the entire community of Spearville to attend a picnic to celebrate the completion of the new Spearville Wind Energy Facility.
Nov. 30--LINDSBORG -- Three opponents of large-scale wind farms explained their reasons Tuesday night in Lindsborg to a group of about 50 people.
Rose Bacon, member of the Governor's Energy Task Force and a rancher who owns property in the Flint Hills, spoke about the vulnerability of communities facing proposals from international companies that want to build commercial wind farms in rural areas. She pointed to the lack of “teeth” in regulations, and the attractive tax write-offs granted to wind energy companies, and the inexperience of local officials in dealing with such monstrous deals, depicting a state-wide scenario akin to the “wildcatter days in the oil business.”
Manhattan (Kansas) benefits greatly from the scenic and intrinsic values of Flint Hills ranching landscapes and the from the stewardship of ranch landowners who struggle to preserve a way of life in the Flint Hills in Riley County and the two adjacent counties to the south and southeast.
Scientists compare the environmental importance of the tallgrass prairie to that of the rainforest. Its roots act as a carbon sink, cleansing the air of pollution. Its plants and limestone soils purify rainwater. Per acre, it provides more environmental benefits than any other ecosystem in North America.
There is less than 4% of native tallgrass prairie left in North America, and two-thirds of it is right here. Once you have experienced the spaciousness and exceptional beauty of open native grasslands, you know there is nothing in the world quite like it. These native grasslands are truly a national as well as a Kansas treasure.
Money will not purchase balm for our eyes or salve for the spirit: a place of beauty provides these. The Flint Hills provides.
He had been charmed by the spirit of our grassland, and kept coming back.