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Jan. 8 Letters to the Editor

Not convinced

According to Gov. John Baldacci, the sale of NB Power to Hydro-Quebec will be good for Maine. He came to this decision after meeting with Quebec Premier Jean Charest. He says he got assurances that the deal would lower high power rates in the state. What was Premier Charest supposed to say, that our rates would go up?

I remember all the assurances we got about lower energy rates when the public electric companies went private. What I don’t seem to remember are lower energy rates.

This is short-sightedness at its worst. If Hydro-Quebec buys NB Power and its transmission lines, then it will have a virtual monopoly on Canadian power coming into Maine. All the assurances in the world won’t mean much when that happens.

I urge the governor, or any member of the energy committees in the Legislature, to contact the premiers of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador about this issue. They have energy projects in the planning stages which could supply reliable renewable energy to the Northeast but this proposed sale could make those projects less viable.

We should be maximizing our potential sources of reliable energy, not putting all our eggs in Hydro-Quebec’s basket.

Robert W. Derry



Never cry coyote

The BDN’s Jan. 6 editorial “Coyote Logic” suggests that perhaps the town-sponsored derby hunt for coyotes in Jackman is just another unnecessary ploy to rid the woods of a creature trying “to carve out a living in the same ecosystem” as the deer. It is true that the coyote is here to stay and has been here since the late 1960s. It can also be argued, as suggested by the BDN, that the deer decline more recently can be linked to the recent harsh winters that produced deep snow.

The editorial goes on to quote Camellia Fox, a California-based director of Project Coyote, saying that “in fact coyotes keep deer populations healthier.” She states that “in the natural cycle of predator-prey, the predators like coyotes will keep down the sick, diseased, compromised [the deer should really like that word] animals and actually help to keep the herd genetically robust by keeping the weaker animals out of the gene pool.”

I’ll bet Ms. Fox has never wallowed around in the waist-deep snow of northern Maine, looking for those weak and compromised animals the coyote seem to thrive on. She ought to visit any deer yard, if she could find one before all the deer are gone, and see some of the carnage a small group of coyotes can do to a bunch of “sick deer” in one night. I guess the healthier deer are all off in that “gene pool” she mentions. I wonder how the water is over there?

Ben Brown



At stake in health bill

In a recent letter, Sen. Olympia Snowe expressed concern over the current status of Congress’ ideas for health care reform. This is well-appreciated.

We should thank her for her understanding, though it seems she does so only in part. If she were to listen to her constituents, really hear their cries, feel their despondency, she wouldn’t hesitate to stand firm for free health care for all, like what she and her colleagues have at the expense of their constituents — us.

She writes “no one person or party has a monopoly on good ideas.” If she were referring to the ideas of so-called “specialists” and her fellow lawmakers, then it is obvious why she would make such a statement. From the actions of Congress, however, it is quite clear that more than one person or party has a consensus on bad ideas, lengthy debates, procrastinating and voluminous bills.

Meanwhile, Americans and our economy grow sicker and weaker each and every day.

What is at stake here is a great deal more than the petty haggling going on in Washington. Corporate greed — CEO and stockholder greed — is rampant and is sucking the very life and health out of our economy, rapidly. Surely the senator would agree.

I am saddened to see the haughty attitudes of many of our elected politicians these days, their mockery of the U.S. Constitution, their blatant expressions of disregard for humanity.

Les Simon


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