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LTE – Lorelei Swanepoel – 1-15-2014

PRESERVING RURAL VALUES

We once again received an unsigned letter blaming the present Forest Town Board for all the problems of the township.

Has anyone looked in the mirror and asked the person looking back, “How did this start and how did we get here?”

“Did we make sure all our neighbors and friends knew about the wind project?”

 One man told my husband, “Oh, we couldn’t talk about it.” When he asked another man, he said, “Oh, we could talk about it.” Which one was telling the truth?

It’s too bad there wasn’t more concern about “rural values” when EE started going to certain farms with contracts to sign up their land for a wind farm.

I was on the Plan Commission when Emerging Energies first showed up in the township.

I was at the first couple Plan Commission meetings with EE. From what I saw at these meetings, my gut feeling told me there was more to turbines than EE was telling us. Nothing has happened since 2008 to prove my gut wrong.

I happened upon a saying that says “Always, always trust your first gut instincts. If you genuinely feel in your heart and soul that something is wrong, it usually is.”

I wasn’t surprised the township came unglued when the non-host families learned about the turbines when they received a postcard about visiting the Shirley wind farm. I could write a page why I wasn’t surprised.

If “preserving rural values” was so important wouldn’t honesty, integrity, faith and friendship be at the top of the list? They are also more than rural values.

If we are concerned about “rural values”, why allow 41-44 500’ industrial wind turbines?

If “rural values” is about farming then we need to make sure we do the best job possible with our farming practices.

Many comments on the PSC docket 2535CE100 were about reducing our carbon footprint and dependence on foreign oil. For all the lip service given these concepts we notice very few farmers in this community practice no or minimum tillage, which will accomplish both goals and doesn’t cost the government a cent and will save you money.

I yearn for the days when I felt like the neighbors I grew up with in this community were truly friends. When we played cards because we enjoyed each others company. When friendships were more important than money and stuff.

As several friends and family have passed away in the last couple of years, the question I ask each time is “are not people more important than stuff or money?”

Lorelei Swanepoel
(lived all my life in Forest Township)