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Dec. 24 Letters to the Editor

Too close for comfort

I fully concur with those groups seeking a wind power moratorium (BDN Dec. 20 editorial, “LePage Right on Wind”). Consider the following.

The First Wind project at Mars Hill went online in 2007 and it became obvious the turbines were much too close to many homes. Turbine noise levels were routinely exceeding Department of Environmental Protection allowed levels at homes downwind from the turbines. Pre-construction noise modeling of the project had been seriously flawed. Clearly, wind turbines within a half-mile of homes were simply too close to meet noise criteria.

Every project since Mars Hill has been allowed to proceed and place turbines too close to homes. The computer noise model being used is seriously flawed and our environmental protection agency evidently has been prevented from acting by the Baldacci administration.

DEP inaction has given us the Freedom and Vinalhaven projects with the same excessive turbine noise problem. Construction has begun at Lincoln and approved at Oakfield using the same flawed noise modeling. At this very moment turbines are being placed too close to homes.

The solution is so simple — just require more physical setback from homes.

Construction should be halted until DEP revises citing criteria so that people near future wind power development can continue to live in their homes.

Dennis Small



Drug supply, demand

Isn’t it a cardinal rule of economics that where there is a market, it will be supplied? Hasn’t anyone at the higher level of government figured out that this might apply to the sale of drugs?

We have lost the war on drugs in spite of spending millions (or billions) in such places as Colombia, Indonesia, etc. What is happening in Mexico at the present time?

We have blamed the people of other countries for the drug problem here. Perhaps we should look at ourselves. If the money that has been spent on supplying forces and munitions to other countries to fight our war on drugs could have been spent on education and rehabilitation right here would it have made a difference?

It could hardly have made the problem worse.

Roberta Best



School not helping

A few months ago, the people of Millinocket voted to keep the current school staff employed. A few months later, many are wondering if the vote was worth it.

As a parent, I have witnessed not only my child, but many other children struggling and not one teacher, ed tech or anyone else in the school system reaching out to these kids to help. For example, during the meeting for basketball, the athletic director stated to everyone that they will do anything in their power to make sure the kids get any and all help they need, even if that included a tutor. So why were four students sitting out a basketball game due to bad grades?

We have heard all the preaching of “they should study harder, ask for help, etc.” For some kids, school comes easy and for others, it’s a challenge. Why isn’t the school reaching out to those who are struggling?

I have been to that school twice in two days looking for answers as to why my daughter isn’t getting the extra help she needs. All they do is point the finger at my daughter or us as parents. If we can’t help our own kids, what are they going to do with future tuition-paying students, who will have there own struggles?

Mike Austin



That pesky 10th

“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.”

Oh, that pesky 10th Amendment! It gives the states the right to require its residents to carry automobile liability insurance. It does not give the federal government the power to force its citizens to purchase any good or service.

Just because the feds need the provision that everyone purchase health insurance or face a fine to pay for their attempted takeover of our health care system, does not make it legal. They will have to find another way.

Dan Richardson



Cause for outrage

The story that ran in Monday’s Bangor Daily News on the misuse of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, benefits is cause for outrage. According to the article, two young men allegedly bought 600 bottles of water, dumped the contents, and returned the empty bottles for the cash deposit. While rare, behavior such as this is deeply disturbing and compromises the program’s ability to serve those who are truly in need.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture does not take such matters lightly and is drafting enforceable regulations to be published in 2011 that establish penalties, including disqualification, for SNAP participants who engage in such egregious behavior. We also understand that Maine’s attorney general may level criminal charges against the men who did this, and we support the state’s efforts to hold them accountable.

At a time when many Americans are facing economic struggles, USDA is focused on ensuring that SNAP and other public benefits are used as intended. While committed to providing vital nutrition assistance to our most vulnerable Americans, protecting taxpayer dollars and ensuring program integrity are equally important.

We are most mindful of the critical importance of these nutrition programs in the lives of hundreds of thousands of Mainers, and are equally conscious that such programs are paid for by Maine and U.S. taxpayers. Individuals who deliberately violate the intent of the program threaten the availability of, and public support for, needed food assistance, and we strongly condemn their actions.

James Arena-DeRosa

regional administrator, USDA Food and Nutrition Service

Boston, Mass.


LePage’s business sense

Gov.-elect Paul LePage has complained that state commissioners are not paid enough, but state employees are overpaid.

This is in keeping with LePage’s campaign promise to run Maine like a business. In a typical business (such as Marden’s), the executives get paid in excess of $250,000 while the employees get paid minimum wage.

Jim Alciere

East Machias


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