Friday, April 20, 2007

Our Own Little Spot on Earth

The following is a copy of what I am sending in to The Hays Daily News Reader's Forum. I am posting a copy of this in case it doesn't get "selected" for printing in the HDN.

How would you answer this question? Where is the one place in this world that you can call your own? A place that you can physically point to, locate on a map and has your name on a document that proves - it is yours. For most of us - the answer would be our home, our property, our land. I know this is true for my family and I.

My home is my little spot on this earth that I can take refuge, relax and be myself. My home consists of a little under five acres, a two-story farmhouse built in 1917 and a horse barn. Owning your own home and property is the "American dream," the quest that so many seek and the "right of passage" from being "footloose and fancy free" to being grounded, steady and mature. Our homes and property define us somewhat. It gives clues to what we like, what we do and who we are.

I am free to do as I want with my home as long as I follow some basic common sense rules or guidelines that keep me and my home on the right track. The first rule is that I cannot do anything on my property that breaks the law. The second rule is that I cannot do anything on my property that infringes on others' property or well-being around me. These two very basic rules and guidelines have been a part of our country since the beginning. It is similar to the golden rule of "do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

When home and property owners follow these very simple, basic, common sense guidelines - home ownership is most rewarding. By following these guidelines, everyone has the opportunity to own their little spot on this earth and live in peace. It is when one of these guidelines is not followed, that our little place on earth that we can call our own - is threatened.

I, of course, am referring to the proposed wind industrial complex southwest of Hays. This complex that will cover over 10,000 acres and overshadow many more - breaks the second rule - that of infringing on others' property and well-being. The infringement consists of having to live in the shadows of 400 foot machines, noise, increased lightening strikes, lessoning of property values and the potential for health problems. The resources outlining these problems have been spoken about, written about and documented since this project has surfaced for those who care to find out the truth.

Persons in the position of making decisions regarding this proposal are supposed to protect us and our property from these infringements. These people have the duty and obligation with what they have signed on to do, to put any biases, potential for financial gain or basic local politics aside - and make a decision based on those two very simple concepts outlined above. The rule of thumb for most actions and decisions such as these is to "error on the side of caution." The wind turbines will effect homeowners surrounding and in the midst of them. We can argue about how much it will effect those around this complex forever - but there is no question that it will effect those around the complex. So - based on that simple concept alone - in that the wind industrial complex will effect homeowners surrounding it - the judgement or decision that must be made to, at the very least, "error on the side of caution," would be to disapprove of this proposal.

I hope that those who have found themselves in the capacity of making this very important decision will simply do what their role was created to do. Follow the two rules outlined above and error on the side of caution - putting blinders on to any biases, financial gain or local politics.

Please help us all to hold onto the idea that we can have our own little spot on earth that is protected from the infringement of others.

Sheryl Butler
779 Golf Course Rd. Hays

To Sign the Petition:
If you are an Ellis County, Kansas, resident and you wish to support a petition to stop this wind farm from being constructed next to Hays, Kansas, you can follow this link and leave your name, real address, and a single comment about your support of this petition. Click here now!

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