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Sept. 21 Letters to the Editor

Fund conservation

My wife and I are avid outdoor enthusiasts and own 1,100 acres of forest in Milford and Greenfield. We are strong support of efforts across Maine to control urban sprawl and to try and keep Maine’s forest intact.

Maine’s senators need to support full funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). There are many projects in Maine that depend on these funds to protect habitat from urban sprawl. The LWCF has helped farmers and ranchers protect their land with conservation easements and saved some of Maine’s richest wildlife areas for hunting and fishing. I ask BDN readers to ask their senators to support the Land and Water Conservation Fund.

We really need strong support from Maine’s senators for this bill to authorize full funding for the LWCF. The LWCF has broad support from both political parties. The funding from this bill comes from fees on oil and gas and does not involve funds appropriated from the federal budget.

Details can be found at: lwcfcoalition.org/legislation.html. There are many forest protection projects in Maine that are impacted because this bill has not been authorized.

Bryan Wells

Old Town


Error hints at more

The issue of the LePage family’s discrepant tax returns may not seem like much of a problem at all to some. Indeed, the LePage campaign has attempted to portray the uncomfortable issue as a minor error of paperwork, irrelevant to his campaign for governor. However, inadvertently claiming residency in two different states seems a rather unlikely error, even if the LePages had prepared their own taxes, which is doubtful.

The issue also seems to be an incredibly touchy one for LePage, given that he represents it as an error. More importantly, though, the discrepancies are an issue because much of LePage’s campaign has centered on his business experience and his plans for fundamental changes to the state’s regulatory system.

Though changes are desperately needed, shrewd businessmen with little regard for the law are the primary reason for the recession that the world is still attempting to scratch its way out of. I find the risk of giving one of them an opportunity to freely manipulate Maine’s regulatory system too much to stomach at this point.

Joshua Cyr



Restraints a tool

It is understandable for people to have a strong feeling about restraints on patients, but many people don’t understand that a restraint is the last line. “Coercion free, restraint free treatment” is the first line when a person is in crisis. Treatment plans per person are always followed first, using whatever coping skills the patient has helped put into place.

The many times a person doesn’t end up in a restraint is more the norm than the times they do. Having worked with children for years who are learning these new skills, I can honestly say restraints were not our first thoughts, but to defuse the situation with safety is. That underlying thought of safety is what often ends up being the cause of a restraint — the safety of a client or patient, their caregivers and other clients around them. To remove that option for caregivers puts all concerned at risk.

Restraints are a tool and it doesn’t fit every situation. Acadia Hospital CEO David Proffitt is putting all under his charge at risk. I would be interested to know how often he works (not walks) the floor with patients and staff.

Stephanie Simpson



Floridians lost

Paul LePage’s response to the specific question about his children’s Florida State University tuition rates reveals the demeanor of a man who refuses to be held accountable. The tax exemption of roughly $200 that he admits his wife owes the city of Waterville is chump change when compared with the difference between tuition rates for resident Floridians and out-of-state students attending FSU.

With two children attending, the LePage family has likely saved tens of thousands of dollars as a benefit of Ann’s temporary Florida residency. As long as she met Florida’s residency qualifications, the in-state tuition rate is legal. But is it fair?

Mr. LePage claims he “gave” his wife the homes in Maine and Florida because he loves her; how cute. If Mr. LePage’s story is complete, then it is truly fortuitous that his own Maine residency allows for his current candidacy while his wife’s Florida residency allowed for such substantial tuition discounts. On the other hand, if this was all conjured, then “cute” hardly describes the man.

Moreover, his odd response to a fair question raises serious concerns about his ability to lead. The man “doth protest too much, methinks.”

Matthew Leahy



No harm, no foul

Waldo County Superior Court “dismissed for lack of standing” yesterday actions against Gov. Baldacci’s Sears Island plan brought by Ronald Huber, Harlan McLaughlin and Douglas Watt.

The court’s ruling doesn’t get to substantive issues about the easement or development of a port on Sears Island. The judge did say that “preservation of the land within the scope of the protected property is fully consistent with the nature of the interests on which they [Huber et al.] rely as a foundation for this action.”

In other words, the easement supports the ecological future of Sears Island!

The ruling quite narrowly concludes that there is simply no real threat at this time to the ecological future of the island, as Huber et al. claim.

Unless there is some kind of imminent and specific development plan, the court can’t even consider whether Huber et al. and their avowed ecological interests would be “harmed” by the governmental actions taken in setting the protected property aside and marketing the remainder for port development.

The judge said, “As of the present, the plaintiffs’ [Huber et al.] interests as described in their complaints have not been damaged. Further, on this record, such injury cannot be viewed as imminent.”

Stephen Miller

Islesboro Islands Trust



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