Blockade is illegal
Recent letters and an OpEd in the Bangor Daily News supporting Israel’s raid on a Gaza aid boat and the commando killings of nine civilians fail to mention that Israel’s blockade in international waters to prevent humanitarian aid from reaching Gaza is a violation of international law and so also, therefore, is the boarding and searching of the flotilla boats by Israel — not to mention the murder of civilians.
International law is clear that there cannot be a legal blockade in international waters without a “war” between the governments of two independent nations. Israel cannot be at war with Gaza because Gaza is an Israeli-occupied territory, not an independent nation. Therefore, Israel’s illegal blockade, and the subsequent killing of civilians, must be challenged quickly in the U.N. and in the courts.
Little hope for reform
The writer of the June 5-6 editorial, “GOP Must Offer Tax Plan,” has little confidence in the intelligence of Maine voters. It was not only Republicans who killed this plan, it was the voters who could spot a hoax.
As one example, replacing the mortgage interest deduction with a “credit system” is a giant and unfair step toward “distribution of wealth” among hard-working families. Those paying mortgage interest would end up transferring real dollars to those who don’t.
Until fiscal conservatives reclaim control of the Maine Legislature, there seems little hope for real reform.
Richard C. Gibson
What Clifton gets
In a recent letter titled “Upping the ante,” Paula Kelso questioned whether the tax relief payment we’ve offered the residents of Clifton was a “not-so-subtle bribe.”
So often, people ask developers what’s in it for them without getting a good answer. We’ve stipulated that the $32,000 per year we’ve offered Clifton must go directly toward tax relief to the residents of Clifton, not to municipal budgets or anything else. This payment would add to the $166,500 in property taxes the project already would pay the town each year.
Thursday night, residents will vote on a moratorium on wind energy in Clifton, despite a two-to-one margin on the recent town vote approving the new land use ordinance, the most restrictive in the state. This ordinance, which the planning board worked on for nearly a year, ensures that no one in Clifton will be hurt by our project.
Harvesting the wind has been around for hundreds of years. It is not a nuclear hazard like Three Mile Island, or a polluting coal-fired power plant or an ugly oil refinery. There are no pipelines filled with toxic petro-chemicals in your backyard. No tanker must be risked to deliver the energy to its destination. The blowing wind spins the blades and electricity goes down the wire: simple as that.
One only has to look at the gulf oil spill to know it’s time to do things differently.
Paul Fuller and Mike Smith
Change the path
Experts have been saying for years that a true investment in clean energy could move our economy away from oil over 20 years. We just need to start down that path.
The amount of oil being dispersed in the Gulf Coast is the worst catastrophe ever. The oil being pumped into the gulf is the equivalent of 63 million gallon milk jugs that would line up for 5,500 miles — the distance from the spill to BP’s London headquarters, and then to Rome.
The choice is clear, as are the consequences. If we don’t move away from oil, the next disaster is just a matter of time.
It is time to do something to push for starting down the path of moving our economy away from oil.
Insist on clean energy
Because of BP’s exploitation of our addiction to oil, and because of its gross negligence, the Gulf of Mexico has been devastated, those who make their living there have been devastated, and the devastation has only just begun.
The technology for clean energy is in place. The need for clean energy is clear. The greed of oil giants must be overcome so that clean energy can be put into practice.
We the people must reduce our use of energy. We the people must insist on clean energy. We the people must elect only those politicians who insist on clean energy. We the people must force the oil giants to stop drilling in our oceans.
For if we the people don’t do what needs to be done, it is not very likely it will get done.
Seventy years ago
Seventy years ago on June 17, James F. Dow of Houlton and five other brave airmen at Mitchell Field, N.Y., climbed into a B-18 Douglas bomber for formation practice. The four-plane squadron flew at 150 mph at an elevation of 1,500 feet when they began their risky maneuver 45 minutes later. Two planes collided and crashed to the streets of Queens below. All the airmen, including Dow, were killed. They were in the vanguard of those whom Dwight Eisenhower would later call the Great Crusade.
Dow was honored for his sacrifice when the new air base at Bangor was named Dow Field. From this airfield, thousands of men and women, many of whom were from Maine, left for distant battlefields in World War II. Later, the base became Dow Air Force Base and served nobly during the Cold War era as a crucial link in the Strategic Air Command.
Today, from this same ground, Maine servicemen and women along with thousands of their countrymen embark for distant wars. They courageously face danger and peril as did those in the past. Bangor continues to serve the defense needs of our nation and to occupy an honorable place in our country’s history.
Dr. David H. Bergquist
As I came into Bangor south on Broadway with a trailerload of plants, the light by Bangor High changed to orange and I slowed down to stop. The black pickup behind me accelerated and passed in the oncoming lane, flipping me off on the way through the red light.
A few lights later as I pulled into the left-turn lane, the truck beside me passed and then forced its way into my lane, causing me to slam on the brakes to avoid broadsiding it. This catapulted 500 plants into the side of the trailer. When I reached my destination and opened the trailer to survey the mess, the person receiving the damaged plants commented that I must drive like a maniac. The response was, “No, I just had to drive through Bangor.”