Feb. 25 Letters to the Editor

Posted Feb. 24, 2009, at 5:59 p.m.

Kudos to delegation

We want to thank all four members of Maine’s congressional delegation for their recent votes in favor of the federal economic stimulus bill. The “green jobs” provisions of this bill are particularly heartening as they could help solve so many problems at once.

The new investments in clean and efficient energy use, ecosystem restoration, clean drinking water and public transportation will create thousands of jobs in Maine, save families money, improve energy security, cut global warming and air pollution, reduce the flow of dollars out of Maine and the U.S. and bolster our economy for years to come.

Reps. Michaud and Pingree were stalwart supporters of the House stimulus bill. Sens. Collins and Snowe deserve special thanks for their willingness to step beyond partisanship, move the Senate bill forward and ensure the final stimulus package passed. We are proud that Maine is in the nation’s spotlight because of the tremendous work of these leaders.

Maine’s delegation has always displayed a strong commitment to our environment, understanding that our natural resources are the foundation of Maine’s economy and way of life. It is gratifying to see that at this moment in history, Maine’s motto “Dirigo,” or “I lead,” proved true once more, as Maine led the nation toward not only an economic recovery but also a cleaner, greener future.

Adam Lee

president, Lee Auto Malls

Lisa Pohlmann

deputy director, Natural Resources Council of Maine

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Meatless in Maine

In response to the recent article “Maine schools expand meatless options,” I find this trend incredibly encouraging and would encourage Reps. Michaud and Pingree as well as Sens. Snowe and Collins to expand such practices on the national level.

In economic times such as these, we need to be supporting local business and agriculture as much as we can. While most Americans expect to consume at least three servings of meat daily, we need to begin the process of consuming less. In 2003, the U.S. raised more than 10 billion farmed animals in one year and that number has likely increased with the availability of such cheap meat.

Meat is environmentally and ecologically unsustainable at that production level, with staggering amounts of corn, animal byproducts, hormones and antibiotics being pumped into these animals daily, not to mention the carbon and methane outputs that contribute to rising global temperatures with one-fifth of the U.S. petroleum consumption going toward producing and consuming food.

Buying locally grown produce and meat, as well as consuming less meat in general, will support the environmental and economic impact that will benefit all.

Alisha Targonski

Monticello

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Save by not spending

Martha White’s letter (“The habit of eating,” BDN, Feb. 19) contains the type of flawed thinking that has brought this country to the economic mess that we’re now experiencing. I had to read it twice to make sure that it wasn’t written tongue-in-cheek.

Obama and Congress have bought into what American retailers have been trying to convince us of for years — that in order to save, we must spend.

They tell us to come to the shopping meccas to spend, and thus save. The only true way to save is to not spend in the first place; in fact, to spend less than we have been. That is true savings.

The stimulus package will take our money (tax dollars) and reallocate it to where Congress feels that we’re not smart enough to spend it. We apparently are not bright enough to know what to do with our own money. God forbid that we should be allowed to keep some of our own money and do something as foolish as save it for our children’s education or our own retirements.

Martin Somers

Eddington

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Yield, don’t merge

I must correct the misinformation given by Susan Cosgrove in “Advice on merging” (Letters, BDN, Feb. 16) The signs on entrance ramps to the interstate say “yield,” not “merge.” According to the Maine Drivers Handbook, a yield sign is a red and white triangle, and means you should slow down to wait for traffic to clear on the road you are entering or crossing, giving the right of way to all vehicles and pedestrians.

The handbook also states that “most expressways are reached by an entrance ramp and an acceleration lane,” but “some expressways do not have acceleration lanes. In this case you should stop before entering, wait for a break in the traffic and then speed up and merge. Proceed carefully as cars which are already on the expressway are traveling very fast and do not have to yield for you. Do not impede the flow of traffic by pulling into the lane before you have built up some speed.” Most entrances to I-95 are not acceleration lanes.

According to Maine law, “A person commits a Class E crime if the person operates a vehicle past a yield sign and collides with a vehicle or pedestrian proceeding on the intersecting way.” An infraction also occurs when someone “operates a vehicle past a yield sign and fails to yield the right-of-way to a vehicle or pedestrian proceeding on the intersecting way.”

In some states, expressways have merge signs but Maine is not one of them. I have had many close calls because of drivers entering I-95 without yielding.

Roger B. Frey

Hampden

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‘Moderate’ senators

The liberal media have seen fit to dub Maine’s two senators “moderate” Republicans, and by implication, all other Republicans besides Sen. Spector are immoderate and all Democrats are moderate.

As senators, Collins and Snowe never have been of any value to the Republican Party, other than by body count on various committees.

They consistently break ranks with their party. Only by the two of them did the stimulus bill achieve passage. They consistently voted against amendments offered by Republicans, and of particular note was one introduced by Sen. McCain that would have reduced spending after two successive quarters of GDP growth.

They know that the votes that keep them in office come from the more populous southern part of the state, where the voting pattern is simply an extension of nearby liberal Massachusetts.

Readers should be reminded of the way Sen. Snowe’s voting habits have changed since she represented the more conservative 2nd Congressional District and now curries votes statewide. I’m sure she would be embarrassed for her constituents to know that she nominated Newt Gingrich to be minority whip when she was in the House.

Sen. Collins has gone on a speaking campaign to justify her vote on the stimulus bill, and it has been said that Sen. Schumer is in grave danger when he gets between her and the camera.

Both should change their party affiliations and are hypocritical if they do not. Should they do so, most Republicans will breathe a sigh of relief.

Douglas Hundley

Perry

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Grateful to Collins, Snowe

I’d like to express appreciation to Sens. Collins and Snowe as well as Reps. Pingree and Michaud. At least some in the political arena are listening to the people and not allowing themselves to be dictated by their party affiliation.

Since our president has been in office, the behavior demonstrated by many of the Republicans in this country has not only been disrespectful but outright childish. I feel as if we are witnessing a daily tantrum by the opposition. I am proud to say our senators voted for the people and not the party.

It is my hope for the people of the United States to show our president some respect. It is a disgrace to witness the blantant acts of disregard for a man who was elected by the people.

Linda Canham

Winterport

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