Letters
Letters Policy
 
DeWittDailyNews.com welcomes letters to the editor, as a way we can let our readers and listeners sound off on the issues most important to them. If you wish to submit a letter, please note the following guidelines: 
 
  • All letters should be no more than 500 words in length, and should include the writer's name, address and phone number. We will not publish street address, e-mail address or phone number; rather, we reserve the right to contact writers to determine their validity.
     
  • We do not accept handwritten letters or letters submitted on paper.  All letters must be submitted electronically to whow@randyradio.com
     
  • If the editor comments about a letter, the reader may respond with at least as many words as were used by the editor. We would like to stimulate a sincere dialogue.
     
  • All letters become property of DeWitt Daily News.com and Kaskaskia Broadcasting, Inc., dba WHOW/WEZC Radio, and are subject to editing for length, content, grammar, punctuation at the editor's discretion.
     
  • Material that may libel or slander an individual or group will neither be accepted nor posted.
     
  • You may email letters to whow@randyradio.com; to ensure your message is received, please include "Letter to the Editor" in the subject line.
 
We look forward to hearing from you.

Letter to the Editor on DeWitt County Board Vote on Wind Farms

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Posted January 26, 2020

 

Dear Editor:

 

One wonders what a complete sentence would look like if a Dewitt county board member said more than “Yes” if they vote to approve the Alta II project Special Use Permit. It must look something like this:

 

Despite the demonstrated negative impact on NWS Doppler radar from Lincoln IL and ill-conceived curtailment strategy; despite the demonstrated negative impact on the value of homes within the project footprint; despite the absence of a decommissioning plan; despite the unanswered concern about the health of the Mahomet aquifer; despite the unanswered concern about the health of the drainage districts; despite the unanswered concern about the health effects of shadow flicker, noise, and infrasound; despite the overwhelming opposition in the community to transforming Dewitt county into an industrial wind tower field,

I am voting to approve this Special Use Permit by saying only “Yes”.

 

Patrick Ryan

Rural Farmer City

 

0
comments


Letter to the Editor on Alternative Energy Sources

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Posted January 3, 2020

 

Dear Editor:

 

Earlier this month, I saw a letter that posed many questions. Here are my answers: Yes, I was able to sit through all but the last night of testimony in the February ZBA hearings, during which I took notes and politely listened to both sides being presented. Yes, I have contacted experts in the fields of concern to educate myself… that is how I became familiar with operational curtailment and mitigated lighting systems.

 

Yes, I have spent innumerable hours researching scientific articles and have spoken to those who live and farm in the footprint of a wind farm.  Yes, I have consulted with legal counsel regarding the issues presented and have paid for such with my own money. The decommissioning plan is laid out in the lease forms included in the special use permit application. The information within the special use permit application is the DeWitt County Board’s responsibility to question, as part of the job they perform for the county, since I am not responsible for the fiscal responsibilities of the county.  


In 2008, per the National Bureau of Economic Research, America was in a recession, the largest banks recorded billions in losses, the price of gas was $4.12 a gallon, our sons and daughters had been fighting the Persian Gulf War for 5 years with no end in sight at an estimated cost of 3 trillion dollars, there was destruction of oil fields in the Middle East, our allies were being be-headed and burned alive by our enemies, and non-Muslim women were being kidnapped, raped, and enslaved. 

 

Seven years earlier, the World Trade Center was demolished, the Pentagon was attacked, and a flight that ended in Pennsylvania may have saved the Capitol. This was the situation when I first heard about the proposed wind tower project in DeWitt County. As a strong believer that we needed to be free of any ties to foreign oil, I was also a believer that any options that were available, which also had the added benefit of clean energy (i.e. hydroelectric, geothermal, solar, biomass, marine/surf energy, and yes, even wind power), should be supported and utilized. My decision to support wind power was not for monetary gain, but freedom from the situations that were news of the day. 


In the past few years, America has become independent of foreign oil, but with the casting of the next vote or the stroke of a pen, this could change and we could return to the situation of 2008. If every part of the nation would utilize the options available to them, America would NEVER have to be a pawn of the oil producing nations of the Middle East again.

 

This is the reason that I favor alternate energy production, not because I am an uneducated, easily swayed ninny who wanted to fill my pockets with cash and create issues for my neighbors, but because I believe it is the right direction for our nation to move.

 

Kim Spencer
Clinton

0
comments


Letter to the Editor on Getting Third Parties On Ballot in Illinois

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Posted December 30, 2019

 

Dear Editor:

 

Dear Editor,

As we enter a new year, a new decade and yet another election cycle, the ongoing question from fed-up voters keep ringing in my mind: “Why don’t we have other candidates running for office? These candidates on the ballot are awful!”

 

It’s an easy and difficult question to answer, so allow me to break the response into two parts:

Easy response: Democrats and Republicans in Springfield set the thresholds for ballot access regarding all partisan political races from statewide all the way down to the township level. The thresholds they set almost 90 years ago have been preferential treatment toward both parties, while they set ridiculous amounts for anyone unaffiliated with the political duopoly to run for office.

Difficult response: The two-party system hates competition and does everything they can to keep new party and independent candidates from getting on the ballot.

 

Depending on the particular political race – and often the county – a new party or independent candidate is forced to collect anywhere from three to 150 times the minimum threshold for Democrats and Republicans. Take, for instance, our statewide races. Democrats and Republicans only have to file a minimum of 5,000 signatures. If you’re a Libertarian, Green, Constitution or other party candidate, or if you’re an independent, you have to collect a minimum of five times that threshold and then submit double that to survive a challenge (usually instigated by the Illinois GOP).

 

Since 2013, state legislators have introduced legislation creating for an even playing field, regardless of political party, starting with state Sen. Andy Manar with Senate Bill 1624. Former Sen. Kyle McCarter and Rep. Allen Skillicorn introduced companion bills in the previous General Assembly. In this current Assembly, two House bills with the same goal – making the petitioning threshold the same for all political races, regardless of political party – in the form of House Bills 3535 (Stava-Murray/Ammons) and 3828 (Skillicorn/Welter/Carroll) have been brought forth.

 

It’s overdue time to change yet another outdated election law. Three previous election laws have been struck down in Federal court against former Attorney General Lisa Madigan and with no legislative action, the ballot access petitioning threshold could end up in the courts as well.

Contact your legislators to have them look at the bills and ask for their support:

 

Senator Chapin Rose SD 51 (217) 607-1853 or (217) 330-9356

Rep. Dan Caulkins HD101 (217) 782-8163 or (217) 876-1968

 

Nathan Florey

Chairman, DeWitt County Libertarian Party

Deputy Director of Communications, Libertarian Party of Illinois

Clinton, Illinois

0
comments


Letter to the Editor: Local Farmers Need Support in Washington

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Posted December 24, 2019

 

Dear Editor:

 

As a corn farmer, I am concerned about the future of rural Michigan, including my farm. During the campaign trail, we heard President Trump's promises to support farmers; however, His actions in Washington DC do not match his words on the campaign. Instead, the President's actions out of Washington DC continue to support only the most powerful players, like big oil companies, while harming the livelihood of farmers like me. 
 
Over the last several months, President Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has sided with the likes of big oil companies and refused to repair the damage done by special refinery waivers that have destroyed the demand for biofuels made from farm crops. These waivers have ultimately lost billions of gallons of ethanol and caused several ethanol plants to shut down, creating more pain for farmers and employees. 

 

Although President Trump ordered the EPA to restore all the lost gallons, as the law requires, the EPA pulled a bait-and-switch by introducing a rule that offers farmers no certainty on moving forward. While I am grateful the president expressed his support for the farm community, it's imperative the EPA act on his words.

 

Eric Voisinet
Laingsburg MI 48848

 

0
comments


Letter to the Editor Opposing Tradewind Energy Wind Farm

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Posted December 18, 2019

 

Dear Editor:

 

 

The DeWitt County Wind Proposal is still the same thing in the same place, within the 'Mitigation Zone' of NWS Doppler Radar. Why not call it “The White Tornado”? Revising this second SUP, 92 out of 118 non-participants will have INCREASED shadow flicker.

 

David Loomis, their "expert," likes all of the benefits of importing Wind Energy. This will create GDP somewhere. For Denmark, China, and many places, this offers tremendous opportunity. Their study does not analyze net jobs. It analyzes the gross jobs that the new wind farm development supports. Gross. (page 14 of the EIS)

 

As far as benefitting our local economy, I disagree with their sales pitch. I guess industry "experts on wind energy" don’t talk about cash value. The bottom line is this. It's about 43 cents on the dollar.

Their sales pitch "$22 million in revenue for Clinton schools" has a 'Cash Value’ around $ 10 million. Similarly, $ 4.6 million for the County is worth around $ 2 million.

The ‘Cash Value’ for each Tower in this scheme is about $ 158,000   

Landowner will of course receive 30,000 tons of concrete they’ll get to keep. That’s fine. Irreversibly alter the value and character of their land, for a present value of $158,000.

 

Same scheme as those TV commercials, "Sell Your Structured Annuity."

No Thanks. Sorry Gentlemen, I will need to offer additional commentary on your financial analysis as this will affect a critically important land use decision that affects my County. 

          

See you in January.

 

Bradley D. Barnes, MBA

Clinton Illinois

0
comments


Letter to the Editor On Not Being Allowed to Speak at DeWitt County Zoning Board of Appeals Meeting

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Posted December 6, 2019

 

Dear Editor:


On Monday, December 2nd I attended the DeWitt County ZBA meeting where they discussed a group of anti-wind farm ordinance amendments. I was appalled by the way the meeting was run.

 

I am a wind farm supporter and I signed up on a list to speak to the board. Once public comment began, the list was abandoned, and people wishing to speak were required to just stand up and do so. Or so I thought. When I stood up to go speak, the ZBA Chairman asked me if I was on the list. I said yes I was. The problem is that a few minutes before me, they allowed two anti-wind farm speakers to speak who were not on the list.

 

Later on, a wind farm supporter who attempted to speak for a second time was refused the right to do so on the grounds that nobody can speak twice. Yet later in the meeting, an anti-wind farm commenter was allowed to speak for a second time.

 

It seems that this meeting was run to shut out wind farm supporters from giving their opinions. The only question is, why? 


Rebecca Fatheree
Clinton

0
comments


Letter to the Editor Opposing Tradewind Energy Alta Wind Farm Project

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Posted November 29, 2019

 

Dear Editor:

 

All residents of DeWitt County are charged with maintaining the County’s agricultural heritage and rural atmosphere, preserving prime farmland, celebrating rural life, and protecting and preserving the County’s shared natural resources and open spaces.  Because I reside in the footprint of the proposed Alta Farms II wind energy project, I write this letter.

 

Per Tradewind Energy’s second application for a special use permit, nine towers with seven of them at a blade tip height of 599 feet are to be placed within a one mile radius of my residence.  Worst case shadow flicker is to be 62 hours 20 minutes annually, and the octave sound frequency band is to be near the limit set by the Illinois Pollution Control Board.

 

Our family members also reside in the footprint of the proposed wind energy project.  Nine towers, with all of them at a blade tip height of 599 feet, plus an aircraft detection lighting system tower are to be placed within a one mile radius of their residence.    Decibel sound is to be at a level near the DeWitt County sound limits, and the octave sound frequency band is to be at the limit set by the Illinois Pollution Control Board.

 

If a special use permit is issued for the project and the project is commenced, DeWitt County’s rural character over an area exceeding 12,000 acres will be forever altered.  The visible and unviewable undesirable impacts will be substantial and forever change our lives, homelands and farmlands.

Gail Nunnery
Clinton, IL. 61727
 

0
comments


Letter to the Editor Opposing the Tradewind Alta Farms Wind Project

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Posted November 27, 2019

 

Dear Editor:

 

I am writing in opposition to the Alta II Wind Farm project in DeWitt County, Illinois. It is obvious that the proponents of this project have failed to do any in-depth research regarding the issues surrounding these commercial wind turbines. Of those who have written recent letters to the editor, how many sat through all 35 hours of testimony during the February 2019 ZBA hearings? How many have sought out 3rd party independent experts to educate themselves?

 

How many spent tens of hours of their personal time pouring over scientific articles and speaking to those who currently live in the footprint of a wind farm? How many spent their own money to have a lawyer review sections of these applications to confirm how detrimental the language is to our county and residents? How many can even tell us the exact number of pages in the prior or current special use permit applications and in which sections Tradewind has verbiage stripping our county officials of authority to act on important issues?

 

What are the proponents thoughts regarding Tradewind’s blatant disregard for our ordinance requirements surrounding the decommissioning plan or the aircraft detection lighting mitigation system? How do they feel about the fact that Tradewind redacted important information from their initial SUP regarding the weather information? Or that they did not perform the initial siting study properly and failed to note that they sited proposed turbines in the mitigation zone for the NWS radar?  

 

Have any of the proponents read the entire special use permit application for this project and do they fully comprehend all the potential legal ramifications for our county? I think it is time that these proponents stop regurgitating what Tradewind is telling them and pay attention to what is happening around them.

 

Some have noted that the opponents of this project lack common sense. I’d say those that are opposed to agreeing to a legal document that no one in our county fully understands have the most sense of all.

 

Betsy Shifflet .
Waynesville, Illinois 61778
 

0
comments


Letter to the Editor on Tradewind Energy Project

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Posted November 26, 2019

 

Dear Editor:

 

I am a landowner that lives in rural McLean County and I host two wind turbines on my land as a part of the Twin Groves Wind Farm. I have been concerned to see opposition to wind projects across Central Illinois, including in DeWitt County where I own land as well. These turbines have been nothing but beneficial for the community I live in.

 

As a landowner, whenever there has been a problem, it was resolved quickly and with priority. The only problem I’ve had was with service roads needing maintenance, but they always come to fix it quickly. There have never been problems with farming around the turbines. Nobody I know has gotten sick or had a seizure from the wind farm.
 

I believe wind farms are a part of the future of our state and region. In McLean County, we have seen improvements to roads and schools thanks to wind farm revenue. DeWitt County can benefit in the same way that we have here in McLean County. I encourage landowners, communities, and elected officials across our state to look at the economic benefits of wind development, and be forward thinking in making decisions on potential projects. 

 

Floyd Morefield
Bloomington

0
comments


Letter to the Editor Supporting Tradewind Energy Project

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Posted November 26, 2019

 

Dear Editor:

 

I am writing to voice my support for the Alta Farms wind project here in DeWitt county.
I am a resident here and I believe this is a tremendous opportunity we should not 
pass up! 

 

I have attended many of the board meetings and have heard the arguments 
against this project.  That is just what they are, disagreements.  For every fact that says 
these are horrible devices riddled with danger, you can find the opposite argument
based in science. 

 

We could go on and on in this way, so it comes down to opinions
really.  I would like to plead to everyone’s common sense.  It is good sense to offer 
more jobs here, no matter the timeline.  It is good sense to secure income for our 
schools.  It is good sense to be good stewards of the earth.  The heart of the Midwest, 
that beautiful earth. 

 

Adding another resource to harvest here can only strengthen 
the generations of family farms.  It is good sense to what is in the best interest 
for the greater good, not a small percentage of people who oppose growth and 
progress.  Let’s be sensible and take care of our county. 


Sincerely, 
Brigitte Lamar

Clinton, IL

0
comments


Letter to the Editor Supporting Tradewind Energy Project

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Posted November 20, 2019

 

Dear Editor:

 

I am a 10 year supporter of the Alta Farms Wind Project who feels that we need the new funding it provides for our schools, our fire departments, our libraries, and our roads, along with the opportunity to create jobs, increase revenue for local restaurants/motels/ and businesses, secure jobs for those in our community that are laborers, and create new jobs here at home. 

 

More than 7,667 students and 155 teachers ANNUALLY (and 230,000 students and 4,650 teachers over the length of the project) will be positively affected though continued support of revenue to our schools and libraries. Within our county, 16,434 residents ANNUALLY (and over 493,000 over the length of the project) will receive the benefits of assistance to their local volunteer fire departments and relief from real-estate tax increases. 


As residents of this community, I encourage you not to let a few dictate our future. If you have questions, research answers from reliable sources…do rely on other people’s fears for input…make an educated decision… and contact your representative on the county board to let them know that for the sake of our children, they need to vote for the good of the community. We cannot allow the emotional responses from a few to limit our future, our children’s or their children’s. 

 

We may not get another chance to do so much for our county …especially if we become known as a closed-minded community should another prospective revenue source miraculously arise.

 

Kim Spencer
Clinton, IL  61727

0
comments


Letter to the Editor from Clinton High School Student on Recent Suicides

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Posted November 20, 2019

 

Dear Editor:

 

My name is Areanna Whitlock. I'm a student Clinton High School. Recently our school district has lost yet another student due to suicide. Over the last 2 years we have lost a 7th grader and now a 5th grader to this cause of death.

 

And what has our school administrators done to help prevent another one some of you may be wondering? Maybe changed their policy on bullying/cyber bullying? Maybe worked closely with students and staff to help educate mental health? Absolutely nothing.

 

As a student in the district who has dealt with a similar situation, I was met with actual laughter from my principals at the Junior High, and threats by our superintendent. We students cannot cope with more losses. Especially some that we can take steps with to help prevent.

 

Our community has been through enough, and that has still not been enough to spark change with our administration.

 

I'm asking for this to be shared in hope to start a petition in our community and schools to have them review the "zero tolerance" bullying policy and to help educate students on their mental health so that if they are struggling they know ways to reach out!! Please help us get change!!

 

Thank you, 

Areanna Whitlock

Clinton, IL

0
comments


Letter to the Editor: DeWitt County Governmental Bodies Stonewalling Alta Farms Wind Project Applicatiion

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Posted October 23, 2019

 

Dear Editor:


I am disappointed that the DeWitt County Regional Planning Commission and Zoning Board of Appeals have been stonewalling Tradewind’s new Alta Farms application. It is the county board’s role to approve or deny applications, not theirs.

 

When I was a McLean County Board member, our commissions always scheduled meetings in a timely manner in order to get them to the County Board. By delaying the application process, the DeWitt County RPC and ZBA are attempting to take that important role away from our elected officials.

 

It is time for these boards to do their jobs.

 

Benjamin Owens
Clinton, IL
 

0
comments


Letter to DeWitt County Board on Tradewind Energy Project

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Posted October 1, 2019

 

Dear Editor:

 

The 5 DeWitt County Board members who voted against Tradewind's wind farm apparently think our county is flush with cash, and the impending Clinton Power Station closure is no big deal. Nonsense, it is definitely a big deal!

 

Without new revenue you can bet our DeWitt County taxes will go up and cuts to local services will be deep. These 5 board members claim to be fiscally responsible Republicans, yet they have not submitted an alternative plan to show fiscal responsibility. 

 

What is their plan for DeWitt County revenue if/when the Clinton Power Station closes?


Dennis Rich

Clinton

0
comments


Letter Supporting Tradewind Energy Wind Project

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Posted September 26, 2019

 

Dear Editor,
I am writing today in support of the Alta Farms II wind energy project in DeWitt County.  I am a Professor of Economics and helped create the renewable energy major at Illinois State University.  I also ran the Illinois Wind Working Group under the Department of Energy to help promote wind energy for many years. 

 

I was hired by the developer of the project, Tradewind Energy, to do an analysis of the property tax revenue and economic impact of the project to the local community.  My analysis found significant property tax revenue coming to the schools, county and other taxing entities as a result of the wind project. 

 

Furthermore, the construction and permanent jobs that will result from this project will boost the local economy and provide good-paying employment for union workers and students from programs such as the one at Illinois State. 

 

I want to encourage the DeWitt County Board to approve this project.

David G. Loomis, Ph. D.
Illinois State University
Normal, Illinois

0
comments


Letter Opposing Tradewind Energy Wind Farm Project

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Posted April 24, 2019

 

Dear Editor:

 

I would like to propose a ‘what if’ scenario to our community. You wake up to rain one morning. The sky looks dark and storms are predicted to last all day. You drop your kids at school and head to work out of town. A little later that morning you hear a severe storm is headed toward DeWitt County. Specifically, the city of Clinton. The National Weather Service and spotters are watching for tornados in the area. You think of your kids, one at Clinton High School, one at the Clinton Junior High and the other at Clinton Elementary. Three schools within a 3-block area.  You make sure your phone is set to go off with weather alerts, so you can keep track of the situation.

 

You are an administrator, principal, teacher at one of the schools in Clinton. You are aware of the impending severe storm. You remain vigilant to weather updates as you need to have time to get the children in your care to safety. You hear that a tornado watch has just been issued so you plan accordingly. A few minutes later someone comes running down the school hall saying a tornado has touched down.  You now have seconds, along with all the other school staff to get the children to safety.

Now you hear the sirens, that should have gone off minutes ago, start to sound.

 

You are a child at one of the schools in the middle of one of your classes. Your teacher is telling your class to calmly but quickly move to your ‘shelter in place’ and that you must go now. You can tell that they are very worried, and you start to get scared. You hear the wind and noise outside the building and someone says there is a tornado. You wonder why the sirens didn’t go off.

 

You are the parent at work monitoring the weather situation in Clinton. Suddenly on the news you hear a tornado has touched down near Rt 54 and Rt 51. Right by the schools. Due to interference by wind turbines the rotation was not spotted in time and the sirens went off too late. Your heart sinks – did our school staff, teachers, kids – all our loved ones – have time to get to safety?

Later that night on the news people in other counties hear about a tornado touching down in Clinton with no warning due to turbines that were allowed to be placed in the mitigation zone for the National Weather Service in Lincoln. They look at each other and say, “what were they thinking when they allowed that to happen.”

 

The residents of DeWitt County are now aware that we have a wind developer wanting to establish multiple wind farms in our area. Some residents are opposed for safety and quality of life reasons. Some residents are for the development because they have been told it will bring money to the schools and leaseholders. No matter your position I am confident we can all agree that the scenario above is something we never want to have happen.  And to those who say it would not occur, “never” happens every day somewhere in the world.

 

A wind developer who would redact information from the SUP regarding the weather information should not be allowed to do business in our county. A wind developer who failed to do the initial siting study properly and failed to note 23 of the proposed turbines are in the mitigation zone for the NWS radar should not be allowed to do business in our county. A wind developer who wants to move forward with a project knowing full well the danger it poses to our residents should not be allowed to do business in our county.  To me, this last fact alone, speaks to the makeup of this company.  

 

I am confident that our county board, made up of our friends and neighbors, who are intelligent and caring DeWitt County residents, would never compromise the safety of even one child for financial benefit.  

 

Sincerely,

Megan Myers
Clinton IL 

0
comments


Letter to the Editor Opposing Wind Farm Project

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Posted April 17, 2019

 

Dear Editor:
 

This letter is probably the most important letter that we have ever written.


We are asking you to contact the members of the DeWitt County Board to vote “NO” on the special use application from Tradewind Energy on the proposed Wind Turbine farm.  The three reasons that are important to us and to our community members are safety, drainage, and decommissioning.


Safety:  On May 15, 1968, a tornado struck Wapella, Illinois. My Powers family of nine hovered under a table in the basement listening to the crashing of objects and breaking glass overhead.  We had no warning of this tornado, (there was no Doppler radar) and we were just plain lucky that our family was gathered in the kitchen near the basement stairs when the windows starting blowing out. The beds upstairs were completely stripped by the force of the wind, leaving just the bare mattresses and bed frames.  Shards of glass were impaled in the east walls like knives.  No one could have survived that tornado if they were upstairs in those bedrooms.
As a result of this tornado, four people in the Wapella area died.


We understand that the ALTA Farms II wind project will have turbines that fall into the radar line of sight for the primary beam elevations used for radar detection from the Lincoln Doppler.  Wind farms create motion and turbulence that interferes with radar signals and corrupts data.  ALTA II falls in the Doppler radar classification of Mitigation Zone – moderate to high impacts on radar.  
We feel the redacted enclosure submitted in the application from Tradewind Energy regarding the mitigation zone was inaccurate and deceptive.


The National Weather Service has agreed that the wind turbines are in the wrong place and will affect radar detection of forming tornadoes.  However, the National Weather Service is prohibited by law from speaking out against the project.
If the Doppler cannot detect tornado activity, how will the folks of Wapella and surrounding residents downwind of the wind turbine areas be warned?


Drainage:  Since we own land in the ALTA II area, we are especially concerned about the drainage issue with the wind tower construction cutting through tiles and surface drainage, and also about the flow of water and water table when the concrete pad is 9 – 15 feet deep and 60 feet in diameter at the bottom, and 12 – 15 feet diameter at the top. 


Who completes the drainage repairs?  Who is held accountable that the drainage will be restored and crop yields for all adjacent landowners in the footprint of the towers are not impacted by faulty drainage?


Decommissioning:  Lastly, 25-30 years from now when we have departed this earth and Tradewind Energy has sold ALTA II to the new company owners who in turn have sold to another company and then another company in a foreign country, who is held accountable?  Where does the money come from for decommissioning?  Are these monstrosities left as a scar to mark a folly for all the future generations?


John M. Killian
Mary Pat Killian
Clinton, IL  61727

 

0
comments


Letter to the Editor Opposing Alta Wind Farm

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Posted March 16, 2019

 

Dear Editor:

 

The Dewitt county board will soon decide on allowing the Tradewind Energy Alta II wind energy conversion project to proceed in western Dewitt County. The Regional Planning Commission (RPC) and the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) have already studied the project and recommended disapproval. Principal among their concerns was the location of sixty seven 591’ tall towers (100’ taller than any in Illinois), each set in 30,000 tons of cement directly atop of the Mahomet Aquifer. The weight, vibration, and potential leaching into the aquifer wasn’t considered by Tradewind Energy in their special use application, and the project engineer heard of the aquifer for the first time during the ZBA hearings.

 

The ZBA heard testimony regarding the impact of these machines on the NWS Doppler radar in Lincoln. The impact was demonstrated on December 1 when the signature from the tornado that hit Livingston was lost as the system passed through the Radford’s Run complex in Maroa. Local weather broadcasters believed the system had dissipated and the channel returned to the regular broadcast, only to have the tornado reappear and cause more damage near Leroy Illinois.

 

These projects are a nuisance to the people forced to live within their footprint, they are a threat to a stable electric transmission system, and they effectively lock-in reliance on fossil fuel to compensate for intermittency. They’re only a symbolic gesture to climate change concerns and should be recognized as such.

 

The Dewitt County board should not approve the Alta II project.

 

Pat Ryan

Farmer City, IL

 

0
comments


Letter to the Editor on Proposed DeWitt County Wind Farms

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Posted December 30, 2018

 

Dear Editor:

 

Wind Energy Conversion is a Bubble ready to burst. During the space race, the US spent millions to develop an ink pen to be used in space. The soviets used a pencil. Simple? Quite.

 

Wind Energy Conversion uses massive quantities of pristine, often prime agricultural acreage to produce electricity with about 30% efficiency. Wind Energy Conversion industrial complexes displace other, more desirable economic development alternatives, some, permanently. Nor is Wind Energy Conversion sustainable. Not quite that simple. Nor free.

 

This global “Big Wind” build-out is the latest financial scheme in a long list of frauds dating back to the tulip mania of 1637. Bigger than the Junk Bond fiasco and the collapse of Drexel Burnham Lambert, and looms larger than the effects from the Dodd-Frank bill, which enabled the housing bubble, and lead to the sub-prime mortgage meltdown, and the financial freeze of 2008. Fannie Mae, and that means ‘You the Taxpayer” ate that one. Wind Energy is a bigger fraud than Enron, or at least a derivative thereof. And I would suggest that you stay away from derivatives as well.

 

Most if not all government regulations supersede the spontaneous order of “the invisible hand” of free market enterprise in a civil society, presupposing that governmental intrusion will improve upon an open free market. This pattern keeps recurring and no one seems to remember the earlier mistakes made on both sides of “the aisle”.

 

Using the Wind Energy’s own playbook, their NREL methodology known as “JEDI”, Wind Energy should create economic development, on a macro level. In theory, that’s arguably true. As an example, the parable of the broken window was introduced by a French economist (Frédéric Bastiat) in 1850. As the parable goes, if you break windows, that creates jobs for the guys who fix windows, and causes money to circulate.

 

On a microeconomic level, for example, let’s say, for example, we host a “Million Man March”. We get a million bottles of Perrier for free. We charge everyone $ 3.00 a bottle. As they enjoy the event, we ask that they “pursue” exchanging their bottle for someone else’s. Each exchange, using this “JEDI” methodology, counts the output of one entrant as an input for another. We have just created $ 21 Million in gross economic impact.

 

I urge you please stand up for your own best interests. We need to end this destruction in America. We need better economic development than this option, for DeWitt County, and leave a better legacy for our following generations.

 

Thank You,

Bradley D. Barnes, MBA

Clinton, IL                                  

0
comments


Letter to the Editor on Wind Farm Meeting

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Posted November 15, 2018

 

Dear Editor:

 

On October 30, 2018 I received an invitation to attend a landowners meeting hosted by Tradewind Energy. From the letter: “We look forward to sharing some new and exciting information regarding the Alta Farms Wind Project II and let you know what this means for you.” I RSVPed, and when I arrived at the meeting on November 14, 2018, I was told to leave by the Development Director, Tom Swierczewski. He informed me that Tradewind Energy already knew how I felt about the project, and that they had made a mistake in inviting me in the first place. 


I have testified at hearings concerning ordinance changes for the County. My concerns were (and still are) related to setbacks from non-participating landowners, how wildlife and migratory bird routes would be protected, what impact what may be the tallest land turbine towers in the US may have on hunting access and agricultural practices such as aerial spraying, and the potential for light pollution and aircraft safety due to the proposed height of the nearly 600 feet proposed per tower. This tower height is what they have submitted to the Federal Aviation Administration for approval. Their applications can be found under Interim and Determined Cases at this point. Only the meteorological towers have reached the determined stage as yet-https://oeaaa.faa.gov/oeaaa/external/gisTools/gisAction.jsp?action=showWtBuildOutToolForm . Tradewind Energy looks at most of these concerns as project killers, and thus I am the enemy now, I suppose.


On Tradewind Energy’s website, they state: “At Tradewind Energy, our commitment is to listen to you, answer your questions honestly, and partner with you to make each project a joint success. We take great care to engineer and construct our projects to minimize impacts and maximize benefits for all involved, giving careful consideration to the needs of landowners and communities.”  https://tradewindenergy.com/wind-landowners/


It was obvious that this is not the case, and the manner in which I was treated after receiving their invitation in the mail, RSVPing and being told “We look forward to seeing you there”, and then being told very bluntly to leave, was crass to say the least. If they had made a mistake in sending invitations to landowners and residents that they had no intention of “sharing new and exciting information” with, then that was their mistake and they handled their response very poorly.

 

When this project was first proposed over 10 years ago, I attended the open house that was held in Heyworth. At that time the door was wide open. This time the door was slammed in my face. What a way to run a business.


Sincerely,
Elizabeth Burns
Clinton, IL 61727
.

0
comments


Letter to the Editor on Position on Wind Farms

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Posted November 2, 2018

 

Dear Editor:

 

I have seen my name lambasted on Facebook for daring to point out the lack of evidence provided by the residents of DeWitt County who oppose the wind farms based upon my testimony at a County Board land use meeting. I based my testimony on scientific fact because I can practice based solely on proven scientific fact and not on fear, hearsay or what we in the health care community call “Dr. Google”.  

 

I presented to the board evidence-based science which can be reproduced and dispels the notion that wind towers cause all sorts of health effects.  In their article http://ijomeh.eu/Evaluation-of-annoyance-from-the-wind-turbine-noise-a-pilot-study,2025,0,2.html, Pawlaczyk-Luszczynska et al concluded that if you have a negative attitude towards wind farms or turbines you are more likely to report negative health effects.  

 

In another research study of those who live around wind farms, Chrichton, Chapman, Cundy et. al stated in https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4227478/; “An analysis of the evidence concerning symptom reporting attributed to sound produced by wind farms supports the nocebo expectation hypothesis; that health complaints can be explained by the influence of negative expectations.”  

 

None of these studies have found any direct link of a wind tower causing negative health effects.  These symptoms were brought on by negative expectations which I normally see in patients with stress, anxiety and sometimes paranoia.  I have yet to diagnose anyone with “wind turbine syndrome”.  You may continue to throw your brickbats at me, however I do have scientific evidence on my side.

 

Sincerely,

Sara O'Brien, RN, BSN, MSN, APRN, FNP
 Wapella, Illinois 61777

0
comments


Letter to the Editor from DeWitt County Board Chair and Co-Chair

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Posted October 31, 2018

 

Dear Editor:

 

To the Residents of DeWitt County, 

 

It is hard to believe Election Day is upon us. November 6th is right around the corner.  We come to you as different people with different backgrounds and sometimes different views. But our common thread is that we are united in our vision for the future of DeWitt County. We love this County. It is where we have spent our lives giving back to our communities, raising our families, and trying to make it the best it can be for generations to come. 

 

Our bipartisan board has a lengthy list of accomplishments in the last four years. We have balanced the budget and done so while bringing our expenses in line with consistently diminishing revenues. Some of the Board’s accomplishments are:

 

    • Working with state officials and Exelon to pass the Future Energy Jobs Act. This bill kept the Clinton Power Station open and insured the continued employment for 750 people. 

    • We have gone from subpar to much needed state of the art animal shelter facilities. Soon the University of Illinois will be training students of their Veterinarian program at the new DeWitt County Animal Shelter.

    • This board developed the DeWitt County East Annex which houses the DeWitt County Ambulance Service next to the animal shelter. It is a benefit for all citizens of DeWitt County to have these centralized Emergency Medical Services.

    • Marina upgrades have been made including drafting and signing a new lease agreement for the marina, complying with the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements, a new septic system, and other projects in the works. 

    • Due to the aging of the county building, we have been modernizing the lighting, air-conditioning, roofing, and parking lot of the Courthouse and Jail facilities. 

    • We reached an agreement with the Landfill to keep toxic PCBs out, while at the same time recovering over a million dollars in tipping fees.

    • Four years of balanced budgets with the cooperation of elected officials and department heads. 

 

The future of this County is always our number one concern. 

 

We believe that what unites us as citizens is far stronger than the issues that divide us. As a county we continue to face challenges. As a board we have been transparent while supporting sound fiscal policies and promoted growth and prosperity here in DeWitt County. 

 

We understand that during some of our most partisan times as a nation, what we are asking is unconventional: to go beyond party lines and re-elect those that have delivered results as board members. 

 

We ask that you please re-elect these candidates so that we may continue to make a Better Government for DeWitt County. 

 

District B:

 

 

RANDY PERRING      

CHRISTY PRUSER 

TERRY FERGUSON

 

 

District D:

 

 

RITA SUE WHITTED   

CRIS ROGERS     

MELONIE TILLEY

 

Sincerely, 

David Newberg, Republican                     

Chairman DeWitt County Board                                 

District C                               

 

Camille Redman, Democrat

Vice Chair DeWitt County Board

District A

 

0
comments


Letter to the Editor: Progress Out of Fear is a Bad Choice for DeWitt County

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Posted October 30, 2018

 

Dear Editor:

 

I cringe when I hear support for the proposed wind farm project based on the minimal economic impact it will provide to our schools. Tradewind likes to throw out lots of numbers without any context behind them so let me put in perspective exactly what we will gain while greatly jeopardizing the health, safety and welfare of those who will live near the turbines day-to-day. 


Yes, the school district will receive some monetary gain. But let's break it down.

 

What will be received won’t be close to the level of funding provided by the power plant. We need to stop comparing the two. One will not replace the other.. Those who say we need this project because the power plant may not be here in the future haven’t done the math. They are actually signing a deal that will put our schools in great financial danger if the power plant went offline.


The amount of proposed benefit from the wind farm (all projected at this point since Tradewind’s special use permit is alarmingly vague) would be approximately 5% of the district's operating budget. That's it. Again, this will not "save" the school district if things go bad. There are other ways to gain 5% that will not reduce property values or negatively impact health and quality of life of residents.


Wind companies have historically targeted areas with struggling schools to prey on their fears. And after operation begins and the money comes in, the school district still finds itself in bad shape. Because again, it's not that much money. Take a look at other school districts who were hoping to be "saved" by wind farms. It doesn’t work.


And let’s not forget that our tax dollars are paying for the subsidies that build these wind projects. Our money is making Tradewinds millions, but comparatively we will only see pennies come back to our community. In 2016 a proposed 1% sales tax that would have directly benefited facility upgrades for our schools did not pass. Yet, now we are desperate for additional funds? This doesn’t add up.


Progress is great and vital. But progress for the sake of appearance, or done out of fear, will not net a positive result. Instead, we need to be taking a holistic approach to progress for the county. This SHOULD be happening through the new comprehensive plan being developed right now for DeWitt County and soon to be voted on by our county board. In reality, allowing wind farms to surround our communities actually limits any future progress in those areas where they are built. And that will limit progress for 40 years!


Let's not handcuff progress, let's be strategic. I support the County Board candidates who have shown genuine interest in doing what is best for the county:


District B

Terry Ferguson

Christy Pruser

Travis Houser


District D

Nate Ennis

Melonie Tilley

Dan Matthews

 

Sincerely,
Andrea Rhoades

Kenney, IL
 

0
comments


Letter to the Editor: Misrepresentation of Better Government for DeWitt County

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Posted October 30, 2018

 

Dear Editor:

 

It’s that time of year when election mailings are plentiful, along those lines I’m writing to clarify the position of Better Government for DeWitt County in regards to the recent direct mailings, letters, and advertisement in the local paper for the County Board races in District B and District D. 

 

In all of these ads the Better Government for DeWitt County logo was used in conjunction with a pro wind farm logo.  Let me be clear that Better Government has NO position on a potential Industrial Wind Facility and has committed to remain neutral on the issue.


The use of the Better Government logo by these County Board candidates was not only unauthorized but also very misleading to the voters that received the ad. 

 

ONCE AGAIN LET ME REITERATE THAT BETTER GOVERNMENT FOR DEWITT COUNTY HAS NO POSITION IN REGARDS TO A POTENTIAL INDUSTRIAL WIND FACILITY. 


Best Regards,
Tom Hieronymus
President- Better Government for DeWitt County
Farmer City, IL

0
comments


Letter to the Editor Opposing Tradewind Energy Wind Farm Project

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Posted October 29, 2018

 

Dear Editor:

 

I support truly renewable, safe “clean energy solutions" to replace our aging and rapidly closing power stations. However, the current and rapid build out of Wind Turbines from Sea to Shining Sea is destroying our Beautiful Country. All subsidized by our tax dollars. We're getting destroyed from within. This is absurd. 

 

For those few creative financial types out there, fresh out of a minimum security prison after that nasty Enron deal went south, here's the playbook behind this Wind scam. The production tax credit (PTC) or the investment tax credit (ITC) Then the fun starts. Securitization is the process by which contracts such as leases and loans are pooled and processed into financial securities which are then sold to investors. This will be substantially similar to the sub-prime mortgage meltdown.

 

Just to add a bit more ‘profit’ to this byzantine pyramid, renewable energy credits are traded like Al Gore’s “Carbon Credits”  Typically, all of this will be bundled and find it's way into our retirement accounts. Then, poof, it's gone. We got suckered. Didn't read the fine print, did we? Thought it was free and easy. Well, things are never quite that simple. We will reap the whirlwind, from this complex capital structuring scheme. I'm not making this up. But they seem to be. Sounds like Enron.

 

After massive foundations are implanted (forever) and Offshore scaled Turbines are obsolete in a decade or so, a new "disruptive" or innovative breakthrough technology will certainly emerge, and more quickly than imagined. I agree we need sustainable, clean carbon free and renewable energy. These Wind Farms are not farms; they are industrial pirates, threatening our National Security.

It is simply stunning to see how this sector is being 'securitized'.

 

Current 'renewable energy sources' have so many negatives, it is impossible to arguably defend their deployment. With such huge global impacts to our environment, critically important wildlife, public health, safety and welfare, property values, and the myriad of negatives all of us against these things are very well aware of, the "Environmental Lobbies" aren't doing their jobs anymore. They've been bought out apparently.

 

This isn't a Zero Carbon deal. We know that. Surely you know a good deal from a bad one, but Wind Farms off both coasts, Long Island, Block Island and all over the Heartland? Come on. This is looting the U.S. Treasury. If we don't stop Wind Energy Conversion, the only survivor that will utilize this energy will be artificial intelligence.

 

Bradley D. Barnes, MBA
Clinton, Illinois, 61727

0
comments


Local Weather