Oct 12 Letters to the Editor

Posted Oct. 11, 2010, at 6:32 p.m.

LePage’s mind

Candidate LePage boasts “I speak my mind” and further admits “I am not politically correct all of the time,” according to a lead story in the Sept. 30 BDN. So far, we are hard-pressed to define what he means by his “mind.” The idea that “Gov. LePage tells Obama to go to hell” speaks more to mindlessness than thoughtful consideration of cooperation to make a democracy of widely varying views work for all of us in Maine and our relation to our country.

An unraised voice, attuned to civic reticence, is what we require to gain a hearing by the Maine electorate in these times of serious need for effective leadership in Augusta. LePage seems least capable of even an effort to be civil or attuned to much of anything we really need done.

John Lyman

Steuben

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Cassidy for House

In Washington County’s District 32 race, one candidate appears to be enthusiastically supporting constituent protections for our residents: Ms. Katherine Cassidy.

I was pleased to know that Ms. Cassidy would have voted yes for the prescription drug disposal program, especially after reading the BDN’s Sept. 27 article, “Nearly 4 tons of drugs collected in Maine.” Ms. Cassidy’s foresight of addressing unused medications is crucial to protect our health and environment.

Cassidy elaborated on a larger problem: medications and illegitimate users. Her finger is on the pulse of constituent protection issues in Washington County. Experts state drug addiction is a severe problem statewide, but Washington County has been hit the hardest with this problem.

Why would our representative vote no to protect our health and safety? I would think he’d be interested in protecting us from contaminants and the criminal elements. Ms. Cassidy should be our elected official to advocate on our behalf in Augusta. She truly cares for our health, safety and well-being.

Jerry Kasunic

Lubec

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Atrazine facts

Paul Sheridan, who often promotes a vegan diet, in his Oct. 2 letter (“Keep atrazine out”) raised several dubious points about a common herbicide that farmers have used safely for more than 50 years on corn crops. Mr. Sheridan claims atrazine is widespread in drinking water, is linked by science to health problems and for that reason has been banned by the European Union.

Fact: The U.N.’s World Health Organization has found atrazine to be so benign that it has raised the suggested limit of trace amounts of atrazine in water to 100 parts per billion — more than 33 times the limits enforced in the United States.

Harmful health effects? This rash of recent studies, which seem timed to affect EPA’s deliberations, already have been rejected by EPA’s panel of scientific advisers as not credible.

Europe? The fact is atrazine has been found to be safe by the British government; farmers in Europe use a nearly identical chemical in their fields. Why does this matter? The loss of atrazine would, according to EPA’s conservative estimates, cost more than $2 billion. Farmers would stand to lose $58 per acre.

Why is atrazine being attacked? The activist campaign is nothing less than an attack on corn, a staple of the American diet and a feedstock for cattle. If activists want to promote a vegan diet, it is their right. However, using bad science to prompt the heavy and unnecessary hand of regulation is an intellectually disingenuous way to go about it.

Robert Tardy

Palmyra

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Ruhlin for Brewer

On Nov. 2, Brewer voters will have the opportunity to elect a truly experienced and knowledgeable candidate in House District 21 — Dick Ruhlin.

Dick has had a long, distinguished career of serving Brewer in the Maine Senate (three terms) and in the Maine House (five terms). He also served three terms as a member of the Brewer City Council (two as mayor).

A lifelong environmentalist and outdoorsman, Dick is a strong advocate for high quality educational programs for our youth as well as for the development of good and sustainable jobs. Dick believes strongly in supporting more investment in research and development programs, as well as providing increased support to Maine’s institutions of higher education — both at the university and community college levels. He sees education and job growth as being strongly interrelated.

Affordable, adequate and easily accessible health care for all Brewer residents, especially for the elderly, is a major priority for Dick. He is well-known and highly respected as an effective and reasoned collaborator with those with whom he might share different views on a topic — a quality that is sorely needed in Augusta these days.

Dick is a compassionate, caring and highly committed person who will serve Brewer with integrity, a strong work ethic and pride. Join me in voting for Dick Ruhlin on Nov. 2.

Beth Davis-Spencer

Brewer

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Spires rise, doors open

Local churches are a rare place where we read, sing, listen, meet, study, eat, be still and share things sacred. It is one of the central places in our towns where we gather to celebrate and grieve.

Churches are not funded by the government, but survive by the generosity of the local community. It is proportionate to the commitment of all as to what will be the health and well-being of our spiritual centers. Our participation, our time, our financial support, and most of all our prayers will determine how high our spires truly rise above our town greens, not just our symbolic structures.

Church doors are open not only to members, but for all who seek such solace. We are also open for the daily activity and the betterment of our society with Scout meetings, public forums, Alcoholics Anonymous and other activities that strengthen us for our common good.

Our lives are isolated and divided, we try to connect through electronics, but that does not compete with a handshake, an embrace or a conversation face to face. The local church offers a place where friends and neighbors can gather. Meeting to pray and worship is the great affirmation to live and love and the revolutionary declaration against the twin tyrannies of apathy and avoidance.

It is important that we support our churches, that we keep these institutions alive, vibrant and healthy. Our neighborhood churches are struggling. Anyone can contribute to keep these important institutions in our towns.

Rev. Peter Jenks

Thomaston

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