June 26 Letters to the Editor

Posted June 25, 2009, at 6:24 p.m.

On energy efficiency

The economic downturn has been hard on many sectors in Maine, particularly within the design and construction industries. As projects have grounded to a halt all over the state, work has slowed to the point that many of our colleagues in the architectural, engineering and construction communities have lost jobs and are struggling to make ends meet.

That’s why so many of us are grateful to members of the Legislature for listening to our concerns and responding with action, despite the tight budget constraints they were confronted with. The Maine Energy Housing and Economic Recovery Fund in LD 1485 signed by the governor June 12 will help put our sector back to work, building 30 percent more energy-efficient affordable housing for Mainers of modest incomes.

The LD 1485 initiative was championed by Senate President Libby Mitchell, Sen. Phil Bartlett and House Speaker Hannah Pingree.

They should be commended for their leadership. It is also noteworthy that legislators on both sides of the aisle, including the members of the Joint Select Committee on Maine’s Energy Future, supported the bill.

Rather than waiting for others to help move our economy forward, the Legislature used some of the few resources at its disposal to simultaneously help create needed jobs, modestly priced housing and energy reduction. They deserve recognition and thanks for doing so.

Stephen B. Rich, John R. Nelson

co-chairs, Architects-Engineers Legislative Task Force

Carol Gillis

president, American Institute of Architects Maine Chapter

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‘Native’ Americans

When scientists found human remains that carbon dated back 6,000 years, whose physiognomy bore no resemblance to so-called “Native Americans,” studies decisively concluded the visage of the Indian related to people in northeastern Asia whose Mongol ancestors migrated into the Americas. Few people on this earth are truly “native” to the region they may now inhabit.

Even as late as the 6th and 7th centuries, mass migrations were documented. And many took place long before that. Stirring usually occurred because of the need for more farmland, i.e., forays of the Vikings into Ireland and Normandy, or pressures from hostile tribes such as those that brought the Visigoths from mid-Eurasia into Spain, the Ostrogoths to Italy, the Saxons to England.

No one would apply the word “savage” to Indians today. Indians have become good Americans, just as the Scots, whom the Brits once called “savages,” have become good British subjects. The signs in Castine were put up more than 75 years ago. They are merely an effort to recall the conditions of the past, including the mindset in early settlements.

Most viewers now will simply conclude that we have come a long way from early life in Castine, to the present harmony we enjoy with those who once were enemies. We all should learn from the Scots’ example and make peace with a long ago description.

Jewel R. Reed

Castine

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Shrug and shop

In Iran, outraged citizens risk their lives and take to the streets when they suspect a fraudulent election. In the United States, voters learned that the election of President George W. Bush was flawed and what did they do? They shrugged and went shopping at the mall.

Then we let Bush lie to us about his motive for making war on Iraq. A few of us took to the streets but to no avail. There were no weapons of mass destruction, and there was no connection between Iraq and 9/11, yet even so the war grinds on with its grisly death toll — numbers that by comparison make 9/11 a minor massacre. Congress keeps on funding war, plunging us further into debt. Where is our morality?

In Iran, “When the president lies, nobody confronts him,” said Mir-Hossein Mousavi, the man who is likely the real winner of the Iranian presidential elections. “I’m a revolutionary and I’m speaking out against the situation he [President Ahmadinejad] has created. He has filled the country with lies and hypocrisy,” Mousavi said. Sounds familiar.

I hope President Obama can untangle our wayward foreign policies, and that he can set us on a just and moral course. We can help by demanding nothing less of our leaders.

Steve Cartwright

Waldoboro

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Health care reform

I recently heard on the radio a Republican senator state that he thought that it would be unfair if the federal government had a health care plan because the private insurance companies would have to lower what they charge us in order to compete. Did this guy hear the words coming out of his mouth?

What’s wrong with the private insurance companies lowering their prices?

The CEO of Anthem BC/BS might have to take a 25 percent pay cut. That would mean he would take home $30 million instead of $40 million. The private insurance companies might even have to cut back on the hundreds of lobbyists they pay to see that health care is kept in their hands.

But what the politicians fear most is that these private insurance companies would have to scale back the millions they funnel into re-election campaigns.

And why are our politicians now stating that “socialized medicine” will end life as we know it? One-third of all Americans already have socialized medicine. Recipients of Medicare, Medicaid and military, federal and state workers, to name a few, all benefit from socialized medicine. When was the last time anyone heard a congressperson or senator gripe about their own gold-plated medical care?

Conservative Republicans and Democrats should have the courage to admit who they really work for. Their personal slogan has always been “government of the corporations, by the corporations and for the corporations.” The time for health care reform is now.

Rocky Mann

Bar Harbor

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Recipe for Robbinston

It is shocking to me that the people of Robbinston have learned nothing of the horrors of LNG in Passamaquoddy Bay after all these years of information. It is equally shocking that they cannot think creatively of other means of employment.

What do we really need? We need organic farming, local food growers, used home building materials sellers, local and national railroads, mechanics, bike paths, wood stove sales and service, wood cutters and haulers, more local, small food stores, recyclers of everything mechanical, builders of small, energy efficient houses, handyman fix-it guys, solar and wind installers and manufacturers, electric bicycle production, home chicken raising, heat pump manufacturers, etc.

LNG is not the answer and most of the employees would come from somewhere else.

Jane Sanford

Belfast

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