June 26-27 Letters to the Editor

Posted June 25, 2010, at 7:41 p.m.

I love hearing Harleys

Yes I do! I’d rather hear 100 Harleys than those that aren’t Harleys.

To the people who don’t like hearing them, move. Go to New Hampshire or Massachusetts.

Some day you’ll be old and deaf, and wish you could hear them again.

Gayle Milian

LaGrange

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Time for Maine’s senators

If ever there was a time when Maine should lead the nation, that time has arrived. Sens. Snowe and Collins can help lead the nation in shaping a comprehensive climate and clean energy bill that would put the country on a new energy path. Because Maine’s senators understand these issues, they have important influence that can be used to shape a winning bill that is good for Maine. But that influence is likely to diminish if it is not acted on now.

None of the bills proposed so far in the Senate has the support to win, which means a new bill will need to be crafted. Some lawmakers want an “energy only” bill, but our senators should insist that any legislation also address carbon pollution. Congress must put a price on carbon emissions so that we stop treating the atmosphere like an open sewer.

A well-designed climate and energy bill can provide benefits for Maine businesses, jobs for Maine workers, and protections against serious energy price hikes for Maine people. Such a bill also will help protect Maine’s environment from the threats posed by a warming planet, which largely is being caused by unbridled carbon pollution.

Maine’s senators should reject the delay tactics from the coal and oil states. Maine will benefit when the shift away from fossil fuels begins in earnest. We know that our senators can provide the leadership that is needed. We are counting on them to do it now.

Brownie Carson

Executive Director

Lisa Pohlmann, Deputy Director

Natural Resources Council of Maine

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A good START

A very important treaty is moving through Senate committee hearings in Washington. The New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) replaces the 1991 START agreement between the U.S. and former U.S.S.R. that expired December 2009.

On April 8, Presidents Obama and Medvedev signed New START between the U.S. and Russia. Aggregate limits of the New START are 1,550 warheads, 74 percent lower than the limit of the 1991 START. It is a solid step toward international cooperation to thwart nuclear terrorism and prevent more nuclear weapons states.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee has heard testimony favoring New START from a broad spectrum of supporters including former Secretaries of State James Baker and Henry Kissinger. Former Secretary of Defense James Schlesinger testified, “It is obligatory for the U.S. to ratify this treaty.” Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said, “The new START treaty has the unanimous support of America’s military leadership.”

Clearly, this treaty has strong support from Republicans and Democrats alike.

More committee hearings are scheduled into July. Sen. Susan Collins, on Armed Services and Sen. Olympia Snowe on the intelligence committee will be reviewing the treaty carefully. Maine has a connection to supporting the pact.

For the treaty to go into force it must be ratified in the U.S. Senate by at least 67 members. New START needs support from at least eight Republicans, and Maine’s two senators could cast the essential votes. Please encourage Sens. Collins and Snowe to show bipartisan leadership by supporting New START ratification now.

Roger Q. Fenn

Brunswick

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A link in the gun chain

Did you ever give any thought as to how criminals purchase guns?

If our current gun laws are effective, criminals could not buy guns legally (except at gun shows and yard sales). It follows then that criminals must purchase guns illegally.

But where do those guns for illegal purchase come from? They come from “responsible” gun owners — even police departments!

Virtually every day, if not every hour of every day, guns are stolen from “responsible” gun owners and thus become available for criminals. If we truly wish to have a safer society with fewer guns available for criminals then there simply have to be fewer guns in the hands of “responsible” gun owners.

So, if you are thinking of purchasing a gun, realize that you may become a link in the chain of events that arms a criminal.

Ken Horn

Hermon

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Lesser bad option

The death of Orono soldier Brandon Silk in Afghanistan is a painful reminder that our occupation there is unraveling fast. The burden on our military families is extremely heavy. A relative of mine, for example, will be sent to Afghanistan for a year, leaving behind a 2-year-old son.

The only results of our continued presence there will be further wreckage of the country and a greater number of casualties for the U.S. The Taliban can outsmart us and outlast us, unfortunately. Obama has two bad options: get out now and leave a mess or get out later and leave a mess.

Peg Cruikshank

Corea

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Sen. Perry’s taxes

As the head of the taxation committee, Sen. Joe Perry has been behind the majority of taxes imposed on Maine people in recent history. Besides that, he has supported some very suspect tax efforts over the years.

In the past few months, Sen. Perry worked hard to pass the tax scheme that would’ve hurt many small businesses and the less fortunate people of this state. Looking back to last spring, Sen. Perry submitted a bill that would’ve taxed heating oil and put more of a burden on the people of Maine during a slow economic time. Then, if you go back to 2008, Sen. Perry supported the beverage tax that would have crippled many Maine businesses.

The common theme with these three efforts is that they all failed. The tax on heating oil never made it to the entire Legislature because of its questionable goal, and both of the others were soundly defeated by the people of this state via citizens initiatives.

So, not only is Sen. Perry behind much of our tax burden, he supported measures that would’ve made it worse. This tells me that he only has the special interests, instead of the people he represents, in mind when he comes up with these nonsensical taxes.

Jacob Turmel

Hermon

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