Saturday, May 5, 2007

Sleepless Nights: My Story & My Feelings

Gary Hammersmith, a member of our Coalition, submitted this personal letter to the Hays Daily News this week. These are Gary's own words:

Years of work at risk due to wind farm It’s 2:30 a.m. when I start writing. Seems like I only get two or three full nights of sleep per week anymore.

Now I wake up during the night thinking about industrial wind turbines and just how wonderful it’ll be living under one or two and what they’re going to do to my property value and most of all I worry about what they will do to my health. I’ve already had a heart attack and bypass surgery and if these things do cause heart problems, my future doesn’t look too promising, does it?

It’s about 25 years since my wife, Linda, and I bought what was then the remains of the old Yocemento Feed Lot.

I spent two years cleaning up what was left of the pens and concrete slabs, then I planted trees on the spot where we had planned to build our house. We hauled water from town to keep them alive because we had no water well or electricity on the place yet.

After we built our home (which most of the work was done by myself, Linda, and my children), we started adding outbuildings such as a nice machine shed and an old-style barn with a new-style price. I thought with the acreage we had added to the buildings, my family would be able to sell it someday to someone with horses.

With these wind turbines across the roads, it’s really doubtful anyone with horses will be interested in this property, or anyone else for that matter.

I don’t understand why the people who are being affected the most are being ignored the most. Well, we do exist and we have lives too. But who cares, right? We can’t let the little people’s lives get in the way of all that money now, can we?

It’s kind of funny how this was done, too. Sneak in under the radar, hand-pick who is needed to make decisions, and then try to buy everyone else in the country.

Our commissioners have made a decision about a race track north of Hays because of the dust and noise. It’s bothering the people who live around it. OK, is it hazardous to their health? Does it affect their property values? In a few years, these kids will quit racing and everything will be normal. Where I live, this will never go away. Property values will suffer and some of us will have to leave.

I would like to please ask our commissioners to think of the people instead of the money.

Wind energy is a good thing. There’s plenty of land for wind farms that’s less populated. Now it’s 4 in the morning and I do have to work tomorrow. I would like to thank the wind farm and my neighbors for this sleepless night and I know that there will be more.

So many affected by so few. This is just my story and feelings — there are more people and more stories.

(Submitted by Gary Hammersmith, Hays, Kansas)

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!