Jan. 2 Letters to the Editor

Posted Jan. 01, 2010, at 6:27 p.m.

Sidewalk management

I recently returned from New Jersey after one of the worst snowstorms that region has seen in decades. I was very impressed with the sidewalk management in the city I stayed in.

After the storm, residents were outside shoveling and salting the sidewalks that ran in front of their homes. These folks have to upkeep their sidewalks year round. The result is having safe sidewalks without ice build up, broken pavement or tree growth. If sidewalks are not maintained properly the household responsible is accessed a fine.

I decided to do some research on sidewalk management in Bangor and learned it is the city’s sole responsibility. With the city budget needing to make cuts, wouldn’t it make sense to shift the responsibility of sidewalk maintenance to residents? It would be nice to be able to utilize sidewalks without falling on ice or uneven, broken pavement. It is also difficult for dog owners to exercise their pets on dangerous sidewalks.

I know residents may resist, but think of the benefits. In order to have a decent, well-maintained community we all must work together.

I know wallets are tight right now, and for some they always will be, but one of the benefits of living in a city is being able to enjoy walking in it. Let’s help the city out and start maintaining our own sidewalks.

Heidi Plante

Bangor

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Bring Mike home

During his 2008 congressional campaign, Mike Michaud had a slogan that went something like “for us, one of us.” A cute slogan to be sure, but now that Mike is running for yet another term, perhaps we should really make him one of us and bring him home. He would enjoy the fruit of his “labors” over the last six years — a road system that is worse than when he went to Washington, higher unemployment than at any time since the Great Depression, higher taxes both locally and nationally, and a massive debt load that our children and grandchildren will be paying off.

Mr. Michaud likes to be seen as one of us; now is the time the voters should have him come on home to live in the place that his lack of leadership or legislative innovation has made worse over the past six years. Come on home, Mike; the mill’s not hiring.

Brian Hanish

Hampden

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Perfectly legal

We’ve been visiting Bangor over the holidays and decided to go out to see a movie on Christmas Day. Speaking to the ticket seller, I mentioned how terrible it is to have to work Christmas, but at least he would be making good money. He mentioned that he was, sadly, making normal wages for the day.

I checked Maine law online and see that it’s perfectly legal to pay straight time on a holiday down here. It’s required in Canada that employers give at least time-and-a-half or paid time off in lieu of working on a federal holiday. It seems sad to me that legislation is needed to avoid such Scrooge-like behavior from employers, especially given how busy it was.

William McDuff

Petit-Rocher-Sud

New Brunswick

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Not-so-green power

Regarding the op-ed column “Costs of home grown power” by Rep. Stacey Fitts (BDN, Dec. 29): Mr. Fitts says pointing out that turbines use oil-based lubricants is a “disingenuous attempt to make them appear less than green.” His statement implies that the turbines actually are green. They are not.

When there is insufficient wind, turbines are run by engines that spew greenhouse gases. Each turbine also requires a clearcut area the size of a few football fields. Multiply that by the 1,700 turbine sites planned for Maine. Goodbye, wildlife! Clearcutting also eliminates the natural canopy. Rain accelerates downhill instead of seeping underground. Higher water temperatures and pollution by sedimentation are the result. Goodbye, native brook trout.

The blasting required permanently alters the flow of underground aquifers. And turbine blades must be cleaned with chemicals. Guess where they end up? In the water and soil. Doesn’t sound green to me. And all for Maine generated power that might go to Boston.

Mr. Fitts concludes with a swipe at people opposed to his opinions, elevating his use of stereotypes from NIMBYism to BANANA (Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anything). If Dixmont’s one-mile setback ordinance actually is a form of ban, so be it. Dixmont has exercised its rights.

Mr. Fitts reminds me of the old joke about the ten most feared words: “We’re here from the government, and we’re here to help.”

Jack Gagnon

Lakeville

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