How Wind Turbines Make Kids Smarter

April 10, 2019

Maybe explains why Trump hates them?

Anti-Winders are often folks who have moved to a rural area, have no roots there, and view the local farmers, many of whom are 4th and 5th generation – merely as groundskeepers to maintain a pastoral backdrop for rich folk’s “lifestyle”.
Benefits to local communities not a factor for these types.

Great piece from Tom Henry at the Toledo Blade, excerpted here, but worth a read.

Toledo Blade:

VAN WERT, Ohio — Walk through the newly opened Lincolnview School District Community Center, and the first thing that comes to mind is this: It’s not your father’s community center.

It’s more like a health club for farmers, a state-of-the-art building that could give YMCA directors a hefty dose of jaw-dropping envy.

Located on the Lincolnview K-12 complex in a heavily rural part of Van Wert County, the $4.5 million center that opened last August was largely funded by revenue generated by area wind turbines.

It is cited by Van Wert County business leaders as a shining example of what Ohio’s budding wind industry — even in the face of many well-meaning and fiercely determined critics — can do for local communities.

The center has a 35,000-square-foot imprint. But what’s more eye-popping than its size is its versatility, an obvious playground for an imaginative architect.

There’s a gymnasium with 14 different acrylic basketball backboards, each of which can be electronically moved up or down at the touch of a button from the trainer height of seven feet for children to the regulation height of 10 feet for adults.

Three batting cages can be electronically lowered from the ceiling. There’s a court to play pickleball, a paddle sport that combines elements of badminton, tennis, and table tennis. There’s equipment for indoor volleyball, soccer, and other sports. There’s even a removable part of the floor that allows visitors to do pole vaulting.

The floor itself is pretty amazing: It’s made of rubber that was poured hot, not tiles brought in and assembled. There are no seams to buckle. There is a room with ample free weights and machines, and an indoor track that allows residents to do plenty of long walks and running away from harsh weather.

The cost? A mere $25 annual fee, which also includes use of locker rooms. Any resident of the district can sign up and get an electronic key. There’s also a community room with lots of seating and tables free of charge for many groups. The only requirement is a $50 damage deposit.

“It’s more than athletics,” Jeff Snyder, Lincolnview Schools superintendent, said of the center. “It really does change the culture of our connectivity.”

Revenue generated by wind turbines have helped improve park districts, township roads, and senior citizen programs while keeping costs down. But, above all, it has brought stability to local schools in uncertain times:

■ At Paulding County’s Wayne Trace Local School District, a higher percentage of students have been graduating and more have scored in advanced and accelerated categories for achievement since revenue from wind farms began coming in, according to state test scores. Superintendent Ben Winans said there has been $4.5 million in turbine revenue since 2014, which has allowed the district to hire 18 additional staffers — mostly for special needs and intervention. Some $848,235 came in the last fiscal year. “We wouldn’t be able to do this without them,” Mr. Winans said of the giant turbines.

■ At Van Wert County’s Crestview Local Schools, wind turbines have generated an additional $880,000 a year, which has paid for new classrooms and other construction, as well as a school resource officer, and money for future contingencies. “It keeps you off the ballot. You can carry that money forward,” Superintendent Kathy Mollenkopf said. “We don’t have to go to our taxpayers for anything. That’s a good place to be.”

■ At Van Wert County’s Lincolnview Local Schools, turbines have generated $2 million since 2014, and — at a pace of $400,000 a year — are expected to bring $8 million in funding over 20 years. It has helped pay for new technology, a boiler, more parking, and a new roof. “Where we decide to put it is endless,” Mr. Snyder said, also stating that the additional money helped refinance bonds to save interest on the community center, which will also serve as a tornado shelter. The new center “would have been a very tough sell” to voters without revenue from wind turbines, he said.

“Our relationship with the wind energy companies has been sensational,” Rick Turner, superintendent of the Vantage Career Center, which serves 430 high school students from Paulding, Putnam, and Van Wert counties, said.

One of the highlights of the visit there was a $80,000, micro-sized wind turbine simulator that could help train future operators, or at least whet their appetites for mechanical science and physics.


5 Responses to “How Wind Turbines Make Kids Smarter”

  1. talies Says:

    We get the same problems in UK. Well-off people from the cities retire to the countryside, buying up the housing stock. They seem to think they’ve bought the view, oppose new affordable housing, wind and solar farms, which would bring new life blood to communities.

  2. dumboldguy Says:

    Great piece! Glad to see some good popping up in the country. Had to chuckle at the well-put “Anti-Winders are often folks who have moved to a rural area…and view the local farmers merely as groundskeepers to maintain a pastoral backdrop for rich folk’s “lifestyle”. Yep.

    In my county in the NO VA suburbs of DC (Prince William), we have zoning called “The Rural Crescent” that is designed to shield the “rich folks” in the McMansions on 5 acre plots to the west from the grunge of development in the “closer in” areas that pay the taxes. Consequently, my part of the county is being overrun with four and five story apartment and condo complexes and “clean” industry like warehouses with 50+ bays for trailers. The traffic they generate is becoming unmanageable.

    And the biggest joke is that when the Rural Crescent was first brought up decades ago, it was the REALLY rich folks dozens of miles further out in the “horse country” in the next county living on mile-square properties that financed those who pushed for it.

    The farmers are now caught and trying to get the zoning changed—many are old and want to retire, their kids don’t want to be farmers, they can’t sell their land for what it’s worth because of the zoning, and the SOB developers have them by the XXXXX and lowball them. I have attended government meetings and spoken in their support, also bringing up the negative impact my area has suffered as well. Both the farmers and I have had some good “chats” in the parking lot afterwards with our local “anti-winders”—hasn’t come to blows yet, though it might.

  3. J4Zonian Says:

    Other ways wind power increases intelligence:

    Prenatal exposure to airborne polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and IQ: Estimated benefit of pollution reduction
    “cohort study in a low-income population in New York City (NYC) … found a significant inverse association between child IQ and prenatal exposure to airborne PAH”

    Multiple Threats to Child Health from Fossil Fuel Combustion: Impacts of Air Pollution and Climate Change
    in our cohort studies in New York City and Krakow, Poland, prenatal exposure to PAHs was associated with developmental delay, reduced IQ, symptoms of anxiety, depression, and inattention (Perera et al. 2012), ADHD (Perera et al. 2014a), and reductions in brain white matter surface in children (Peterson et al. 2015). We observed significant interactions between prenatal PAH exposure and material hardship on IQ (Vishnevetsky et al. 2015) and between prenatal PAH exposure and maternal demoralization on behavioral problems (Perera et al. 2013). Research in Tongliang, China, found that, compared with a cohort born before the closure of a centrally located coal power plant, a cohort conceived after plant closure had significantly lower cord blood levels of PAH–DNA adducts and higher levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a protein important in early brain development (Perera et al. 2008). A small study comparing school-age children in Mexico City with those in a less-polluted area of Mexico found that the cognitive deficits in highly exposed children matched the localization of the volumetric differences detected in the brain (Calderón-Garcidueñas et al. 2011). Other studies have linked roadway proximity or traffic particles to decreased cognitive function (Harris et al. 2015; Suglia et al. 2008). There is some emerging evidence that prenatal exposure to traffic-related air pollutants (Becerra et al. 2013; Volk et al. 2013) and PM2.5 (Raz et al. 2015) may be a risk factor for autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The suggested mechanisms involved in the neurotoxicity of air pollutants are reviewed elsewhere (Guxens and Sunyer 2012; Perera and Herbstman 2011).

    In addition, respiratory illness associated with exposure to air pollution increases school absences, contributing to lower grades and test scores.

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