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Aug. 21 Letters to the Editor

Rights, responsibility

The Red Sox lost after 11 p.m. Friday, as was reported in Saturday’s Bangor Daily News. Before 11 p.m. Friday when the Red Sox were still playing, the president’s defense of a mosque being built within a golf drive of ground zero, where about 3,000 human beings horridly died on 9/11, was reported on television but not in Saturday’s BDN.

Were front-page, local items of more interest than our president supporting an insulting intrusion on a site as sacred as Arlington National Cemetery and the USS Arizona Memorial? Is not ground zero under God’s protecting embrace? When will Christian churches be welcomed in the Islamic countries where freedom- and humanity-seeking people are being defended by our brave American men and women?

Although many miles from New York and Washington on 9/11, we again felt exactly like we did on Dec. 7, 1941. Some of us have not forgotten, and we don’t deserve thoughtless and insensitive reminders. Maybe a shameful ignorance of the memories and emotions is not front-page news but it sure is, if we may borrow a Harvard-honed president’s vocabulary, an utterance of “acting stupidly” by one sworn to serve us.

We already know about right and not-so-right “rights.” What about responsibility?

Leonard C. Harlow



Bangor forester post

Can someone explain to me why the city of Bangor has a forester? Not only is that crazy, but also that position pays more than $60,000 a year! In these tough economic times, why is Bangor using my hard-earned money to fund this overpaid, useless position?

I don’t recall ever seeing a city tree crew actually doing tree work. The city has two guys going around cutting the bottom branches of trees that they can reach from the ground, and that is about it.

Why would the city waste my hard-earned money on this useless position?

Tyrone Johnson



Ski area did operate

In a phone call to Piscataquis County Commission Chairman Tom Lizotte Aug. 9, I asked him to retract the false statements he made in the Bangor Daily News that appeared in the June 24 issue. Chairman Lizotte was quoted saying, “I heard rumors from some town people that Big Squaw was not open for public skiing and was being run by volunteers as a private business and I believe it.”

He said he would not retract the statements he made to the press. Namely, and among other things, the story reported that, “While the county kept its end of the bargain, Confalone has not, according to Lizotte,” and “They did not do what they indicated they would do.”

Those statements suggested that Big Squaw was not being operated as a commercial ski area, that it was being operated only for certain private programs, not for the public and headed up by volunteers.

Contrary to those statements made by Mr. Lizotte at a commission meeting and being quoted in your widely read newspaper, we are still in business and we have all the payroll records, expense records, etc. showing that we were open for skiing to the public.

In this current disastrous economy, or in the best of times, it is extremely damaging to any business for a commission chairman to give false information like this to the press. I am demanding Chairman Tom Lizotte retract these comments without delay.

Jim Confalone

Big Squaw Mountain


Big wind alternatives

I would like to thank the BDN for running Naomi Schalit’s three-part series about the forces and questionable politics which created LD 2283, Maine’s expedited wind power law.

It was an excellent example of responsible journalism.

The wind industry says it has spent $750 million in Maine to date. I don’t doubt that figure, but it has created very few new, permanent full-time jobs. Much of this money has gone to existing law firms and consulting firms and the few large construction companies that have the technology and scale to erect 400-foot-tall industrial machines on our mountains. Much stimulus money has also gone overseas to purchase wind turbines.

Mainers need jobs, but those jobs will not come when wind-generated electricity raises our electric rates. Add to that the high cost of unneeded transmission lines about to be built across our state to accommodate the wind industry ($1.5 billion), and we will further discourage good employment opportunities from being attracted to Maine.

A better solution — companies such as Backyard Farms that created 200 new permanent jobs in the town of Madison because of access to inexpensive hydro power from a local power company, Madison Electric Works.

Maine generates 55 percent of its electricity through renewable hydro and biomass sources, and Canada is ready to send us the cheap renewable hydro power we need to attract jobs.

Let’s follow the recent lead of both the Connecticut and Massachusetts legislatures, and just say no to industrial wind power.

Greg Perkins



Rape victim recovery

It has been almost 10 years since the BDN reported on an alleged rape at the Ushuaia club in Orono and more than nine years since the BDN posted a very disturbing picture of the defendant with his lawyer after the jury came back with a not guilty verdict.

As the victim in the case, I can tell you that in the 10 years that have elapsed since that evening, the event and that picture are as vivid to me as the events of yesterday.

The label of “victim” carries with it an aftermath that does not fade over time. Even my estranged mother’s closest friend, as recently as a few weeks ago, accused me of “crying rape,” and while statistics will state that these false claims are few, people read about them all the time in the paper. While I have had to live with that mentality, it is important to report that real victims live with this for the rest of their lives.

So on the 10th anniversary of becoming a victim survivor, I want anyone else who may be reading this to know there is light at the end of the tunnel. Even though there will be periods of darkness, there are people who will believe you and support you no matter the circumstance.

Ryan Rudolph



Wind’s dark promise

I wish to thank Naomi Schalit and the Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting for the excellent investigative reporting on the dark side of Maine’s Wind Energy Act.

The deliberate deception taking place by companies that stand to make millions on our tax dollars, and by our own government, should have every Mainer questioning Gov. Baldacci’s scheme to industrialize our mountains and ridge lines into a man-made landscape of transmission lines and roads, thumping blades and flashing strobe lights while sacrificing tourism dollars, degrading property values and diminishing the quality of life of its rural citizens, who seem to matter least of all.

Industrial wind farms are 400-foot tokens of a flawed government hand out. Wind is intermittent and inefficient, cannot be stored or called upon in times of high demand and won’t produce a fraction of our energy needs.

Wind power won’t shut down any existing power plants or wean us off foreign oil.

Most of us don’t heat with electricity or drive electric cars. By 2030, an estimated 5 trillion kilowatt hours will be needed in the U.S., of which an estimated 2.6 percent will be supplied by wind, but at what cost to our natural environment?

Sacrificing our mountains and ridge lines for the promise of a few short-lived tax dollars and the benefit of a handful of corporations and government appointees is wrong. Protecting and preserving the unique beauty of Maine should be our lasting legacy to future generations.

Penny Gray

Fort Kent

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