August 17 Letters to the Editor

Posted Aug. 16, 2010, at 6:02 p.m.

A wind perspective

There has been an abundance of inaccurate press about wind energy in Maine. Articles by Naomi Schalit and Jonathan Carter are recognizable as agenda-laden propaganda. These articles are a poor oversimplification of the difficult energy and economic issues we face.

Key points are being ignored.

Those operating businesses or creating jobs in Maine know that the state doesn’t need additional complexity in regulatory processes. The negatively worded poll question accompanying the Schalit article was a disservice to the business reputation of Maine.

Oil prices will rise consistently over time. What happened in 2008 illustrated our desperate need to find other alternatives of energy; it will happen again with longer-term consequences. Failing to plan is planning to fail. Efficient electric heat pumps are now and will be a viable solution. Interest in plug-in hybrid vehicles will be rejuvenated.

Our state needs new industries and jobs. Textiles and shoemaking won’t be revived to previous levels. Wind power has already invested $8 million in Maine. Developing wind in thousands of megawatts rather than hundreds will create manufacturing jobs. Creating a manufacturing job adds $200,000 yearly to the Maine economy. Creating a tourism job adds $40,000 yearly.

The average age of Maine’s work force is over 45. We need new jobs to keep and attract young people to Maine. Carbon pollution is a world issue. We need energy that is carbon neutral or free. Energy independence, economic benefits, environmental solutions: Wind energy is a great opportunity for Maine.

Paul Williamson

director

The Maine Wind Industry Initiative

Augusta

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Mitchell no Smith

Comparing Margaret Chase Smith with Elizabeth Mitchell is hogwash.

Margaret Chase Smith, through her brilliance, opened the door for women in Maine politics. Unfortunately, Libby Mitchell went through the door and decided she would stay forever.

Her record of spending and championing these wasteful welfare programs goes on and on. It’s time for her to retire.

Augusta needs good solid business management providing jobs for our young people and incentives for our young people to stay here. We absolutely need welfare reform. Government has grown larger and larger since Angus King left. State government has grown so big that not a single person can be held accountable. There are so many regulations in place, business owners wait weeks for answers.

I’m sure this was not Margaret Chase Smith’s method of governing. Libby Mitchell, however, has been in state government so long, she has become an icon for spending our money on one failed program after another.

I, too, am retired. I didn’t get a cost-of-living raise last year. The number of people on welfare, the number of state employees, and the state budget all had one thing in common — they all were increased under the tutelage of Elizabeth Mitchell and John Baldacci.

If the Bangor Daily News needs an interesting headliner for the front page, try writing about the life, successes and plans of a Mainer named Paul LePage.

Kimberly Ellis

Chelsea

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Good journalism

Public service journalism, such as the series on wind power development in Maine, is a rarity these days. So, too, is a newspaper’s willingness to devote space to solid, investigative reporting. As a result, the public loses a critical opportunity to learn, to form opinions based on facts, and then to act.

The Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting and the Bangor Daily News deserve credit for reporting and publishing such important series as the recent stories on wind power in Maine.

Susan Stranahan

Chebeague Island

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Social Security’s role

On Aug. 14, 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act. This new program aimed to alleviate the burden of poverty and unemployment during the Great Depression of the 1930s.

The good news is that 75 years later, Social Security continues to provide financial security to retired workers, spouses and children of deceased workers, as well as people with disabilities and their dependents. The bad news is that some of our leaders in Washington want to use Social Security funds to pay down the deficit.

If this happens, Social Security’s promised benefits could end.

There are good reasons why the Social Security program should be improved instead of cut.

In Maine, four out of 10 seniors are kept out of poverty by Social Security. In fact, Social Security is the sole source of income for more than a quarter of Mainers age 65 and older. Not all Social Security recipients are retirees; nearly 40 percent are children, disabled, widows or widowers. Nearly 24,000 Maine children depend on Social Security for support through their school years.

And one of the Social Security program’s greatest attributes is that it does not contribute to the federal deficit. Not one nickel. Mainers who receive Social Security benefits have earned them over a lifetime of hard work.

The nation’s budget deficit must be addressed, but Social Security is not the answer. Instead, Social Security must be strengthened so that it will endure for future Americans.

Roberta Downey

AARP Maine Executive Council

Bangor

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Heaven help us

I would like to congratulate whoever wrote the BDN’s July 29 editorial, “The French Connection,” about Paul LePage’s campaign for governor. The editorial was well-researched, well-written and certainly justified.

Heaven help Maine if this guy gets elected.

Stephen Allen

Belfast

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Fresh air on wind

The recent articles by Naomi Schalit and the Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting have been a breath of fresh air. For too long local media outlets have been spreading the “feel good” propaganda of the industrial wind developers and their politician friends, without giving equal time to those who would present the actual facts about mountaintop industrial wind development in Maine.

I am happy to see that the tide is beginning to turn, and that fact-based reporting may be making a comeback in Maine.

David P. Corrigan

Concord Township

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http://bangordailynews.com/2010/08/16/opinion/august-17-letters-to-the-editor/ printed on July 25, 2014