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March 18 Letters to the Editor

Homegrown power

In her March 2 OpEd (“NB power deal imperils economy of northern Maine), Rep. Stacey Fitts doesn’t make a very convincing argument for the electric consumers of northern Maine to want to purchase their electricity from the Boralex company.

In it, she indicates that 28 employees at the Fort Fairfield plant receive $2 million in direct salaries, which works out to an average of about $71,000. Since most of the regular workers there probably earn much less than this figure, I must conclude that the owners and a few family members are skimming off huge salaries from each of the three plants.

This seems to bolster the decision of the PUC to direct the purchase of electricity from New Brunswick, where rates presumably are much lower, since they are run by properly operated businesses.

Peter McCarren



Fix Route 2

Recently we were informed of more than $100 million being sent to Maine from the federal stimulus plan for transportation projects. The state has been saying for years that it plans to fix Route 2 out of Bangor westbound. I think I can speak for nearly all the commuters who use this road in saying this stretch of pavement is an abomination and an embarrassment to Maine.

The state has promised for years to fix this, yet time drags on and thousands of dollars in repaired tires, rims and other parts by the users of this road continue. Last I checked, this was a state road. I know backwoods dirt roads that are in better shape.

I would think that out of that $100 million being sent from D.C. we could have used some to fix this mess. I cannot imagine this road being fit to drive in the winter of 2010 if it is not repaired,

Richard Woodbury



Better not win

Does the duplicity of the state of Maine know no bounds?

So infected with the need for every dollar it can get into its coffers that instead of stopping a gambler at the doors of gaming institutions before they piss away the child support money, they say, “Gamble, but you better not win.”

I point to employee identification, instant background checks for guns, retailers sliding credit cards. Why not a magnetic strip on your driver’s license to alert somebody that you are gambling away the kids’ support money?

But alas, you can win or lose, the little ones can have or have not, the state always will get its cut. Here’s a hot tip: Bet on the state to win, place and show, always.

Sidney M. Duncan

Presque Isle


Health care arms race

At least one of the major problems of health care is what I call “the arms race.” Allow me to illustrate. If one hospital in an area buys an MRI, all others in that area now have to have an MRI. Similarly with PET scans and on and on. A large part of the difficulty is that for modern medicine to accomplish its so-called miracles requires expensive devices and expensive personnel.

Why not do that which has been so successful in manufacturing, namely, a division of labor. In this instance the division might be one of services beyond those needed for emergency interventions.

I suspect that there is sufficient work to keep all hospitals in our area busy. But can they survive absent major improvements in efficiency?

Hans Schmidt



If it moves, tax it

Registering kayaks: For sure! And while you’re there, make sure to charge a hefty fee to register your bicycle, your sneakers and, of course, wheelchairs.

I’m sure there are other inventive ways to get money from the people that can’t afford motorized transport devices, so, come on, let’s think. Wheelbarrows, hand trucks …

Hey, here’s a keeper! Grocery stores should have to register shopping carts. They can just pass the cost along to the food shoppers.

Fred Eich



Support LD 400

As a concerned 81-year-old resident of Maine, I write in strong support of LD 400, “An Act to Implement the Recommendations of the Blue Ribbon Commission to Study Long-Term Home-Based and Community-Based Care.” I understand this bill is currently being considered by the state Legislature.

This bill is important to our state because it will help our older residents who need help to remain in their homes. Services such as Meals on Wheels and home-based care services are so important to residents who depend on them. I also understand this bill will assist families who are providing care for their loved ones at home.

We need to do whatever we can as a state to help our elderly neighbors remain at home for as long as possible. This will help save our state money and it will respect the dignity of all of our residents.

Margie Higgins



Lay off smokers

As it is now, cigarette smokers bear the brunt of taxes. We cannot smoke in public buildings, some outdoor venues or our cars when children are present. This is fine. We are basically killing ourselves which is our own choice. We have had no statewide vote to increase taxes on these products. They simply are added on whenever there is a budget shortfall.

Last November, the state’s residents got to vote to block a proposed beverage tax. Doctors and nurses came out with the fact that soda consumption by the nation’s children is the leading cause of childhood obesity and diabetes. When someone drinks then drives they not only injure or kill themselves but also their passengers and the carload of someone’s innocent family. Think of the revenue the state could pull in from the beverage tax.

Everyone drinks some form of beverage everyday and there is no incentive to quit that habit. What will the state do when everyone stops smoking?

Sandra St. Clair


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