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Dec. 8 Letters to the Editor

Dechaine questions

Since January 1989, when Dennis Dechaine was denied his request for DNA testing on the evidence surrounding the gruesome death of Sarah Cherry, this case has been massively tilted in the state’s favor.

In the 22 years hence, new evidence has been unearthed and-or substantiated that both the state and the court do not want considered in new proceeding that surely should result in a new trial.

The evidence, some sealed in the state’s lockboxes for years, includes perjury on the part of testifying police officers; officers who were allegedly reading from their notes at the first trial, but when those notes were finally unsealed we learned they said something very different than what the jury heard as revealed in trial transcript.

The time of death questions raised are clearly the most evocative, but so are the highly improbable mathematically statistics of Dechaine’s identifiable assets being discovered at and near the crime scene as they were.

Why did the state incinerate evidence; hairs found on Sarah’s battered body that would have exonerated Dechaine and perhaps identified her killer? We now know, the male DNA found under her thumbnail did not belong to Dechaine.

Why is the state so reticent to have all the facts on the table at the same time? Why does it want a potentially innocent man to remain in prison for life for a crime a massive amount of evidence says he did not commit?

Dechaine is not looking for a get-out-of-jail free card, he is seeking a new fair trial.

Dennis Curley



When will we learn?

The utility baron Samuel Insoll expressed the Republican Party credo then and now: “My experience is that the greatest aid to efficiency of labor is a long line of men waiting at the gate.”

Republicans realize that such blatant honesty — that is the party goal of transferring the nation’s wealth to the upper 3 percent of the population — sounds a little too harsh to working class Americans. They learned at the feet of Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and Lee Atwater to employ democracy talk as cover for greed and racism. The genius of the Republican Party, including Sens. Snowe and Collins, is the mobilization of poor and middle class whites (tea party) while making certain that power, wealth and privilege are never shared or redistributed.

Cory Robin, author of “Conservatism and Counter-revolution from Burke to Palin” observed, “the task of right wing populism: to appear to the masses without disrupting the power of elites or, more precisely, to harness the energy of the masses in order to reinforce or restore the power of the elites.” When will we, the masses, ever learn?

James L. McDonald



Earmarked funding

Maine is making real progress when it comes to creating jobs through federally funded research and development. The UMaine-based offshore wind technology development program has created 250 jobs this year alone within over 25 Maine companies and organizations, and has potential to eventually bring $20 billion in private investment to Maine, along with 15,000 jobs.

The UMaine research facility that spawned this program, the Advanced Structures and Composites Center, itself employs some 140 people, including engineers and other professionals working alongside students and Maine industry. Innovations developed through university and industry-based R&D hold an important key to Maine’s economic future.

None of this progress would be possible without federal research investments, for which Maine has to compete. As Congress considers modifying funding mechanisms for large-scale research projects, we Mainers should keep in mind the real and lasting value of these projects. We should also be thankful that we have elected officials like Sen. Susan Collins, who continues to demonstrate exceptional leadership when it comes to supporting economic development initiatives that create jobs. That is a primary focus of Sen. Collins’ efforts, and we Mainers — including us at UMaine and our industry partners — are fortunate to be her allies in working to improve the economy and create good jobs for Maine, now and well into the future.

With her recent vote on Congressionally directed projects, Sen. Collins has demonstrated again her unwavering commitment to investing in Maine and to protecting Maine jobs.

Dr. H.J. Dagher, P.E.

Director, DeepCwind Consortium

University of Maine



Astounding letter

I was astounded to hear that 42 U.S. Senate Republicans had signed a letter to the effect that the whole Republican Senate body would filibuster all legislation going through the Senate unless there was legislation that approved the $700 billion tax break for the richest 2 percent of American citizens. Nothing was going to be approved until that was done.

No way would our two senators, Snowe and Collins, be that callous and insensitive, I told myself. I called their offices and sure enough they did in fact sign such a letter. It is now there for all history to read and marvel at.

No legislation, period. No extension of unemployment benefits, no legislation on job creation, no legislation on anything at all until that $700 billion tax cut for the super rich is approved, added to our growing deficit, and making the super rich even richer.

And the heck with the rest of America! Who cares about the poor, the unemployed, the sick, job creation, everything that means anything for the 300-plus million Americans who are suffering and will suffer in the coming years. And yet two very smart senators from Maine signed this letter. I believe they live to regret this egregious action.

So much for what Christian charity and what the Christmas message (Christ born in a manger in a barn) really stand for.

James Chasse

St. Agatha


We are Vinalhaven

In regards to Cheryl Lindgren’s ongoing misrepresentation of our island and our windmills, consider this: One of the most important things to remember (in my opinion) is that Vinalhaven is a working community and working communities make noise. From the lobster boat’s engines to the airplanes that often fly low and directly over my house throughout the day and even night to yes, the noise of children playing, dogs barking and yes Mrs. Lindgren, your goats bleating. This is called life.

The majority of us (probably the same ones who support the windmills) are working residents, paying all of our property taxes and trying to raise our children in a very unstable economy, not retirees who have the time and funding to be able to constantly spread some pretty major untruths about our community, the windmills and FIW.

It is disturbing, to say the least, that local and national media outlets are printing half-truths and sometimes outright lies without fact checking the story first. We are Vinalhaven. We are the majority. We support our community. We support our windmills!

Joanna Reidy



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