Jan. 12 Letters to the Editor

Posted Jan. 11, 2010, at 5:52 p.m.

Cut wind turbine noise

I am writing to get help for Maine homeowners unfortunate enough to live near an industrial wind development.

Citizens from Freedom, Mars Hill and Vinalhaven have been seriously affected by health issues associated with these huge machines. Industrial wind turbines, whose rotors now can sweep 5 to 6 acres with tip speeds traveling at 180 mph, can send sound pressure waves for miles.

Maine’s rural communities, which experience very quiet nighttime soundscapes, are being invaded with both high and low frequency noise from turbines. Sleep disturbance is the issue most complained about by residents near wind turbines, and noise-induced sleep disturbance (also known as environmental insomnia) leads to further serious consequences for health and well-being.

Our outdated noise regulations do not require the accurate prediction or measurement of low frequency noise emitted by wind turbines.

These regulations were developed to measure noise generated from industrial developments such as factories that produce high frequency noise.

A new bill has been written which will require the measurement and inclusion of unsafe low frequency noise to our regulations. It needs public support to be presented and acted upon by the Legislature to update the science of measuring wind turbine noise.

Call or write your legislators, and ask them to bring “An Act to Regulate Noise from Wind Turbines” to the full Legislature to be made part of Maine noise regulations. Help preserve livable homes and create safe setbacks from turbines that our Maine residents deserve.

Greg Perkins

Holden

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Les Otten for governor

It isn’t often that you see a candidate for governor show up at the WACO Diner in Eastport at 6 a.m. on a cold and extremely windy day in December. I am sure this doesn’t happen for a bunch of reasons, but I was impressed that Les Otten did.

It is just that “out of the ordinary spirit” that we need in a gubernatorial candidate and why he has my support and is worth Maine voters giving him their ear and perhaps your vote.

Of course it takes a lot more than just showing up for breakfast to gain my attention. It takes a resume of business ventures to gain insight on the roadblocks that state government throws at you while providing employment for your neighbors. It takes some insight to opportunities that can be developed in the future, and not just with tax-supported jobs. Les Otten has that insight.

We are in a jam in this state right now. An employer who has had to write checks for payroll, workers’ compensation insurance, sales tax, health insurance, and utilities and prospered has a leg up on candidates who have not. Les Otten is that man and has my support.

S. Dean Pike

Eastport

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Snowe is not listening

I had to respond to John O’Brien’s letter commending Sen. Snowe’s excellent work in the health care debacle, er, I mean debate. He either works for her or receives payment from big pharma like his hero Sen. Snowe.

Every time she goes anywhere near the bill it is weakened. Every problem she sees in the bill ends up making money for the insurance companies and worst of all is the fact that she is completely ignoring the people of the state that she is supposed to represent.

Sixty-three percent of Mainers wanted a strong public option, but she opposed it; she opposed 63 percent of her constituents, so we should praise her? And Mr. O’Brien compliments her vote to release the bill “when her vote was not necessary.” Wow, what a “Mr. Smith Goes To Washington” moment. What bravery.

Nobody stands up for stuff when it doesn’t matter more than Sen. Snowe, except our other senator, who doesn’t even pretend to care what Maine voters want. I long for the day when they are both booted out of office, but even when that day arrives they will continue to get the best health care in the world, for free, at our expense for the rest of their lives.

Mr. O’Brien thinks she should hear “our thanks for the courage she has shown.” I hope she hears me because I know she has never supported reform or the people of Maine, unless, of course, her vote wasn’t needed.

Arthur Morison

Hancock

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Influence and politics

I read with great interest the BDN’s story “Pursuing political favors” (Jan. 9). Gov. Baldacci claims his threat to veto a tax reform measure unless ski lift tickets and real estate taxes on luxury homes were removed from the bill had nothing to do with financial support from lobbyists or his friends and political supporters who worked for these industries. Almost everyone who reads about this would conclude that money and influence certainly did play a part in the governor’s decision.

An even more outrageous statement was made by Severin Beliveau when he said in the same article that Gov. Baldacci has been opposed to taxing outdoor recreation since he was in the state Legislature 25 years ago. In the almost eight years of Baldacci’s reign, hunting and fishing licenses, snowmobile, ATV and boat registrations, guide licenses and fees to enter state parks have all doubled or tripled. So much for opposing taxes on outdoor recreation.

This is a perfect example of why term limits work.

Merle Cousins

Southwest Harbor

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Wrong time for arena

The idea of using casino funds to build a new auditorium was fine in good economic times, but is a poor idea with today’s budget crunch. I realize Bangor residents approved this, but this now needs to be reversed in a hurry and some of the casino funds should be used to balance our city budget.

We cannot afford the new arena at this time and our council must face this reality until the economy turns the corner and improves. We should do whatever it takes to make this happen, whether it takes a new referendum or not. I have no doubt that a new referendum would show that the majority of the public feels as I do.

I keep hearing some councilors say the public wants a new arena no matter what, but if one thinks this through and faces reality it will become clear this is the wrong time to start construction of a new arena.

I have also heard the argument that if construction is delayed the cost of construction and materials will increase, which is probably true.

However, the fact remains that we cannot afford a new arena at this time and we need casino dollars to help keep the real estate tax rate affordable.

I see foreclosures all around and every day new foreclosure notices appear in the newspaper. Real estate tax increases will force more people into foreclosure. Councilors must think this through carefully and ask the taxpayers to tell you what they really think about the issue.

Frank Carr

Bangor

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