Crisis to opportunity
The news out of the presidential transition process has been generally encouraging, if not ecstasy-inducing. It will take extraordinary focus, not politics as usual, to get the country out of the economic ditch.
If there is to be deficit spending to jump-start the economy, let it be more than mere consumer stimulus. If auto companies are to be bailed out, require them to manufacture plug-in cars. The same principle goes for other industries.
If unemployed people are to be compensated, let them be employed installing insulation and erecting solar panels and windmills. If they are not put to work, they should be educated, to build a future work force and an enlightened electorate.
By focusing on four Es — economic strength, energy independence, environmental sustainability and education — we can turn crisis into opportunity.
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On Nov. 7, I was greeted by a very dedicated group of volunteers at the airport in Bangor. These volunteers welcomed us with hugs, handshakes and warm smiles. There were men, women and children. They informed us that even though we were on our way to a very dangerous place, they wanted us to have an appropriate send off. They promised that they would be waiting when we came home.
This group made a less than enjoyable day (try traveling for 36 straight hours) a little more bearable. Thank you to all of the volunteers, especially the 8-year-old Boy Scout who made me realize not all of our children are lost in video games.
Al-Asad Air Base
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Benefits of trapping
Living in Down East Maine I know a few trappers, but not many. I do not trap myself, though I am an avid hunter and fisherman. Recently I have been watching and listening to the squabble regarding lynx being incidentally trapped in northern Maine.
In Canada, just over the Maine border, lynx trapping occurs without interference from groups such as The Animal Alliance of Maine, The Animal Welfare Institute or The Endangered Species Act. The same could be said regarding restrictions between the two countries involving Atlantic salmon and predation.
My belief is that trapping benefits lynx, and the more trapping the better. When bobcat, fox, coyote, fisher and pine marten are trapped, look at the competition being removed for the lynx. This means there are more rabbits, mice, moles, squirrels and other small animals and rodents for the lynx.
Trapping should be encouraged to promote lynx survival, not blasted as an excuse to stop trapping, which is what I believe is the ultimate goal of a few.
Just a few years ago, coyote snaring was a tool used to protect deer in their wintering yards from coyotes. Coyote snaring was stopped because of a few “incidental catches.” Washington County is now overrun with coyotes and the deer are paying the price. And Maine claims to be trying to help the deer herd?
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Don’t be seduced
We take exception with a recent letter regarding the Winter Harbor “ecoresort.” Contrary to the writer’s opinion, many of us who are against the project are not “environmentalists who come out of the woodwork every time someone proposes a development.” We are also not “a very tiny minority with an anti-growth mindset.” Unlike the writer, we are Schoodic residents and business owners who understand that the essential, defining element of Schoodic is its natural habitat. We recognize and appreciate the ecological significance of the land in question, and we support sound stewardship.
We know how easy it is for people to be seduced by the proposal. The potential for new tax revenues, jobs and housing is enticing. For local small-business owners like us, an expanded customer base seems alluring. But the possible benefits of the project are far outweighed by the clear negatives.
There is the obvious devastation that would occur, the questionable quantity and quality of the jobs that would be created and the burden that would be placed on local resources and services. Perhaps the major flaw, however, is that this is a proposal by outsiders for outsiders. It has no Schoodic connection or involvement. It is not community based or focused.
We understand that it is possible to create an ecologically friendly community that complements the environment. We recognize that careful development and managed growth are important. The ecoresort is none of these things. It is the wrong proposal for the Schoodic Peninsula.
Garry and Rosemary Levin
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Think before closing tolls
Lucien Potvin’s Nov. 24 letter suggested that Maine follow the lead of Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick in eliminating the Turnpike Authority.
Perhaps Mr. Potvin should spend some time reading the full Bay State plan, as along with the dissolution of the Massachusetts Transportation Authority comes $7 tolls on Tobin Bridge and on other major roads into Boston to pay off the Big Dig efforts.
I agree that the plan to move the York toll is fiscally irresponsible at this point in time, but to suggest that dissolving the Maine Turnpike Authority would eliminate cost problems is simply ridiculous. While Gov. Patrick is eliminating the MTA, he’s relocating certain tolls to Massport.
Perhaps Mr. Potvin can suggest who will man the tolls and collect change, since he seems to be such an advocate for more bureaucracy.
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Don’t blame the victim
Despite the changes in hunting laws in the past 20 years, it is obvious that the attitudes of some people remain in the Dark Ages. For Thelma White of Sorrento (letters, BDN, Nov. 22-23) to continue to imply that Karen Wood was somehow at fault for her death because she was wearing white mittens on that fateful day just perpetuates the stereotype of the ignorant, gun-toting Mainer that filled the out-of-state media reports after the shooting.
We need to stop blaming the victim and start putting the blame squarely where it belongs, on Donald Rogerson. The BDN needs to stop providing him with a outlet to try to shift the blame elsewhere and to elicit sympathy for a tragic event that was his fault.
I am not anti-hunting, and I know that most hunters in this state are responsible when discharging their firearms. Dredging up the Karen Wood tragedy and its very dissatisfying legal outcome just paints all hunters with the same brush; unfair to them and unfair to her.