Help workers first
Last week, more than 2 million people across the country got the worst holiday news possible — their unemployment insurance expired. This is wrong and needs to be reversed. We can pay for these benefits by letting the tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans expire. These wealthiest can certainly afford to lend a helping hand, given that they were handed a free ride in the form of trillions of dollars in tax cuts.
Prolonging the unemployment insurance today will generate the equivalent of 723,000 full-time jobs, according to the Economic Policy Institute, to help spur the sluggish economy.
It is in keeping with the spirit of the holiday season to help those less fortunate. This is one definitive way our federal representatives can act in good faith by doing the right thing by helping to rejuvenate the economy.
Wind, wind everywhere
We are writing to voice our concerns regarding industrial wind development on the ridges of Maine.
It appears to us that there is no end to the destruction of Maine’s beautiful ridges by the construction of industrial wind turbines. The industrial wind industry is steamrolling through the rural and undeveloped portions of Maine while the majority of citizens in southern Maine can largely ignore the issue or enjoy a “feel-good” mood about it while not seeing, feeling or hearing them.
We do not want our hard-earned tax dollars subsidizing an industry that will not curb our dependence on oil, will provide minimal and short-term job opportunities for Maine people, cannot stand on its own financially and, most importantly to us, destroys the beautiful, wild panoramas that set us apart from almost every other state in the country.
Gary and Tici Conant
Raymond and Lakeville
I was a U.S. Marshal for 27-plus years, and I can say I have never seen a cover-up on a crime, especially a killing, like I have concerning Ralph Greenleaf. The young men involved in this never were charged with any crime. Not drunk and disorderly, not disturbance of the peace, not disorderly conduct, not simple assault. Nothing.
Yet the medical examiner declared it a homicide. The attorney general and the Bangor Police Department know who pushed this man down and caused his death.
I must say that Police Chief Ron Gastia was the one who originally dropped the ball. Seems that when he found out who was involved, he had the troops back off. Most people would have been arrested or charged that night or morning.
The attorney general, well that person must have presented the evidence very poorly. It is a rare event that the grand jury never returns a true bill (indictment). It took three months for this to go to the grand jury.
Lots of cover-up, lots of unethical behavior.
Nurses unlike pilots
I would like to respond to Dennis Chinoy’s letter (BDN, Dec. 2) comparing nurses to pilots. What he fails to recognize is that pilots work for the airlines, not the other way around. The nurses work for the hospital. They go to work there under the management of Eastern Maine Medical Center. The hospital should be in charge of its employees’ work orders.
The state and federal inspections said the nurse to patient ratio was well within regulations. Therefore the nurses claim that patients are not receiving proper care is bogus. Plus, if they were so concerned about patient safety, why did they strike and potentially leave them without care?
The nurses should be happy that they have a job. Also, speaking about comparison of the airlines and EMMC, maybe the hospital should do what President Ronald Reagan did to the air traffic controllers — replace them all.
I have lived in Bangor my entire life and always have been proud to say so. It’s a great city with some amazing citizens.
But after the tragic death of Mr. Greenleaf, I’m beginning to question this belief. You may have heard of instances where a crime is committed by an upper class or “elite” citizen and they are acquitted or charged heedlessly. Where it’s quite clear what’s happened and by whom, but because of who they are, know or are related to, they are not held accountable under normal standards.
The lack of such an abominable act has been one of the many reasons I have loved this town. Unfortunately, though, to the dismay of myself and countless others, it has appeared that this has happened. In a country in which we pride ourselves on dignity and justice for all, we clearly have disregarded it. Whoever committed this crime, it is not their fault for getting away with it but ours as citizens of this city and community to let this happen uncontested.
As much as I am uncomfortable with what has transpired, I know there may be little that can be done now. For the sake of our community and its cohesion through all social classes, I hope this never happens again and that someday justice may be found.
Pay freeze misguided
Every day at Customs and Border Protection in Maine, we defend our borders, air and seaports from illegal entries, safeguard our trade and commerce, and protect our food, agriculture and democracy.
Yet our impact was ignored in President Barack Obama’s proposal to freeze federal pay, which will result in the loss of effective, knowledgeable employees. Consider that the modest 1.4 percent pay raise originally proposed by President Obama for 2011 is reflective of the average increase in wages for private sector workers, who already make significantly more than federal employees in comparable jobs.
While negatively impacting vital public services, the pay freeze will have little federal deficit benefit. It is especially disheartening that the president would choose to freeze federal pay before dealing with other, more effective solutions.
Federal employees, like most Americans, have been negatively affected by the recession. They live paycheck to paycheck, face rising health care costs and have spouses who have lost their jobs. The fact is that federal workers are not just faceless bureaucrats in Washington, D.C.
We are hardworking public servants right here in Maine. We pay our taxes, send our children to Maine schools and contribute to the Maine economy. We are part of the community.
We choose public service with a sense of duty to this country and its citizens. Freezing our pay does little to solve our deficit problems.
Alan D. Mulherin
National Treasury Employees Union Chapter 141