Monday, July 27, 2009, Letters to the Editor

Posted July 26, 2009, at 6:29 p.m.

Legislative conduct

I read with great interest the July 21 BDN story about the Old Town lawmaker confronted by state fire marshals on the Fourth of July for possessing fireworks at his camp on Cold Stream. Kudos to the officers and all our other law enforcement officials. Since the lawmaker paid the fine, he seems to be guilty in the use of illegal fireworks.

If the lawmaker wants to use fireworks, he should work to change the law. Which reminds me further of the conduct of our lawmakers in public. Countless times while traveling on the interstate at the posted speed limit I have witnessed state officials such as representatives and senators zoom past me. I kick myself for not writing down their special license numbers. These public officials aren’t above the law. Being elected to public service doesn’t provide them with perks such as speeding or firing off fireworks. When they are in the public eye, they should act with humility and be held accountable for their actions.

Finally, if a person such as the Old Town representative poked me in the chest as a law enforcement officer doing my job, that person would be on the ground and handcuffed.

Tom Dickey

Eustis

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On ‘obscene profits’

I am writing to express my gratitude at Sen. Olympia Snowe’s leadership and initiative on behalf of the people of Maine in the area of health care reform. Mainers, like all Americans, are in desperate times with regard to health care and her willingness to stand up to the big insurance lobbies for the benefit of her constituents shows the kind of courage, integrity, and leadership that she has always been known and respected for.

I was at the Saturday rally in Portland, and it was truly wonderful to hear her publicly come out in support of quality, affordable health care for everyone. I thank Sen. Snowe for putting people’s lives over the obscene profits the insurance companies make at our expense.

Marguerite Wilson

Port Clyde

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Media wild about Palin

Michael Carey’s piece on Sarah Palin continues to show how infatuated the media is with her. We’ve got record deficit spending, a war in Afghanistan, unemployment through the roof and all the BDN can do is print a half-page on demeaning her decision to step down as governor.

The first flag on Carey should be his association with the liberal Public Broadcasting Network. The second is his and the left’s fear of her actually running for president in 2012. With Obama being in office just over 180 days, I suggest you focus your attention on what he’s trying to accomplish rather than who will be his foe come 2012.

Lloyd Bryant

Benedicta

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Blanchard’s example

It is unfortunate that the behavior and attitude of Rep. Blanchard turned his July 4th party into a negative experience for him, his guests and the officers who had to come to his property.

Rep. Blanchard is aware that fireworks are illegal in Maine and that as a state representative he is not excluded from this law. He can feel lucky that there was no mishap with the fireworks that caused any injury to the 15-year-old grandson that he referred to or others at the gathering.

According to official reports Rep. Blanchard’s behavior was belligerent, intimidating and included Blanchard “poking an officer in the chest and warning that the officers were making a big mistake.” He was also described as “visibly intoxicated” and “very abusive.”

Apparently, his behavior incited other attendees to engage in taunting the officers, too.

Shocking behavior for any elected official to exhibit and even more shocking Rep. Blanchard did so in front of that 15-year-old grandson and others. I would like to think this is not the kind of role model Rep. Blanchard would like to be for his family and friends or as an elected official.

Hopefully, the ethics panel will ensure that Rep. Blanchard takes appropriate responsibility for his actions.

Lessons can be learned from this and young people learn by example.

Beth Gott

Kenduskeag

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North Woods paranoia

One silver lining of the economic downturn, especially in the lumber market here in northwestern Maine, is that attention is once again focused on Canadian labor in our forests. It would seem that finally state and federal officials are taking seriously these illegal actions by landowners and Canadian logging contractors who have for years thumbed their noses at our labor laws.

With many local contractors sitting idle this summer, the woods of northern Maine are abuzz with equipment and vehicles from Canada. It would seem the landowners are feeling the pressure because paranoia appears to be creeping in.

They have enlisted the help of a local company that operates checkpoints on roads. On one occasion recently, four local loggers tried to pass one such gate and after much debate were allowed to go through. When they stated they were looking for work being done by Canadian contractors a “Red Alert” e-mail was immediately sent out to all interested parties, mostly landowners and their representatives. The e-mail basically stated that the Americans were coming.

I wish I could make this stuff up. Since when are people who are looking to make a living and support their families treated like terrorists?

Time will tell if there will be justice served to an area that is most often overlooked and forgotten by the rest of the state.

Louie Pelletier III

Allagash

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Pellet problems

Before the people in Burnham allow a pellet plant in their area, I suggest they talk with those of us in Corinth who have one in our area. They will not like the odors and brown junk that gets all over their cars and houses. There are times when we cannot leave our windows open, and at times we need earplugs to sleep.

Good luck, ask the DEP about it.

Ernest Levasseur

Corinth

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