THE WIND AT THEIR BACKS

Four generations and 80 years ago, Myron Kaplan’s grandmother founded Pearl Road Auto Parts in a grimy little box-trailer in the middle of a small pile of dead cars. It was likely the first good example of a recycling business in town.

add3/1242663463-kaplan.jpgNow sitting on a veritable auto cemetery along I-480 at Pearl Road in Cleveland, Myron’s middle-aged son Jon (pictured) is setting about revolutionizing the family spread. On Friday morning, the family started digging a hole for the foundation to a 140-foot tower that will be topped by a giant fan, 65 feet in diameter.

“If I want this all to be here for my kids,” says Jon, “I have to do things right.”

And due to the infusion of new state grant funds for green energy incubation — not to mention the promise of more tax incentives and federal stimulus support on the way — the Kaplans feel like they just found a pile of money with instructions on exactly how to negate their carbon footprint … at a savings. Instead of an electric bill of $2,000 a month — as well as the gas bill to power heaters in the winter — the Kaplans will pay $1,300 a month on a mortgage for the wind turbine. (A state grant covered more than two-thirds the cost.)

“It’s a great investment incentive,” says Jon. “I was told that I can apply for even more money too, but I feel kind of guilty, you know?”

“God bless,” was how Myron summed up his feelings about the government support.

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