Jan. 27 Letters to the Editor

Posted Jan. 26, 2011, at 8:59 p.m.

Benefits for all

Our Maine attorney general is now filing suit against the health care reform act because he says (in the Jan. 19 BDN) that he wants to “settle the con-stitutionality of whether the federal government can force all citizens to purchase or maintain health insurance.”

Well, as things are now and have been for quite a while, car owners are required to maintain at least a minimum level of liability insurance on their vehicles if they want to keep them registered. And why is that? Because it benefits every-one. Same thing with health insurance, Mr. Schneider.

Lewis Richards

Trescott

Just plain evil

I’ve read and heard all week how liberals blame conservatives, Palin, talk show hosts, etc. for the shootings in Arizona. As soon as this happened, they all started in with their hypocritical, vicious, nasty, cheap lies. Who are liberals to point fingers at the conservatives about violence in America when it is they who support the brutal, barbaric violence against unborn babies by abortion.

What about the liberal hate against President Bush and the college bombings and police killings of the 1960s by the liberal left? What about the DNC in 2004, which had its own tar-get bulls-eye map of the United States against Republicans? They should get off their high horse and stop inflaming their violent hate speech against conservatives.

Also, a lot of conservatives and liberals blame the shooter by calling him crazy, a nut job, etc.  Has he been diagnosed by a doctor for anyone to say this?  Don’t insult the mentally ill. Maybe the shooter was just plain evil. After all, he had a shrine with a human skull in his backyard. The mentally ill have it tough enough as it is fighting the stigma of their illness.

Janice Bodwell

Kenduskeag

High price of wind

The Western Maine mountains are a world-class tourist destination.

Recently, Outside Magazine listed Western Maine as the top winter weekend getaway. What happens to our reputation as Vacationland if we line them with 400-foot-tall wind turbines?

Many respondents in multiple economic studies have stated they are unwilling to visit an area if an industrial wind park is built. A research report prepared in June 2010 supports these findings.

Hikers on Bald Mountain in Woodstock were asked how their enjoyment would be affected if a wind park was close by. One hiker responded he would hike elsewhere, and an-other would rate her positive experience as zero.

As unappealing as it may be to vacation next to a wind park, dozens of Maine families now have to live beside them. Energy companies are refusing to learn from mistakes made in Mars Hill, Vinalhaven and Freedom. In Woodstock, Patriot Renewables hopes to construct a development a meager 2,200 feet from a residential structure and wants to be much closer at property lines. Realiz-ing noise compliance issues, the Maine DEP has asked Patriot to run in Reduced Noise Operations at night. Evidently, sleeping during the day or sell-ing properties at market value should no longer be an option for residents there.

After exploring the potential losses of nature-based tourism and the likely loss of property values, the clear conclusion is that Maine is paying too high a price for mountaintop industrial wind developments.

Denise Hall

Woodstock

Civility not enough

The media and the politicians are saying that the Arizona shooting means that we must be more civil to one an-other. Increasing civility is a good thing, but it isn’t enough.

I believe the cause of the Arizona shooting is the old saying, “what goes around comes around.” Specifically, the U.S. has been sending its soldiers and planes all over the world for decades, killing and maiming people who have never done us harm and present no threat to us. We have bombed 23 coun-tries since World War II. We now have soldiers in Afghani-stan, Iraq, Pakistan and probably Yemen.

For the U.S., shooting at people and problems is our way of life.

In Arizona, this way of life came back to haunt us. If we want our people to be civil and stop shooting each other, we have to be civil and stop shoot-ing everyone else. In the inter-est of increasing American ci-vility in the world, let’s talk about increasing our funding of diplomacy and decreasing our knee-jerk funding of war.

Jane McCloskey

Deer Isle

Janice Bodwell

Kenduskeag

Headlights required

Friday, while driving to the hospital for tests in whiteout conditions, I met four out of 10 vehicles driving without head-lights on. The law reads: “Head-lights on when wipers are on.”

Seat belts are enforced, why not headlights? “Lights on for safety.”

Tom Curtis

Glenburn

High price of wind

The Western Maine moun-tains are a world-class tourist destination.

Recently, Outside Magazine listed Western Maine as the top winter weekend getaway. What happens to our reputation as Vacationland if we line them with 400-foot-tall wind tur-bines?

Many respondents in multi-ple economic studies have stated they are unwilling to visit an area if an industrial wind park is built. A research report prepared in June 2010 supports these findings.

Hikers on Bald Mountain in Woodstock were asked how their enjoyment would be af-fected if a wind park was close by. One hiker responded he would hike elsewhere, and an-other would rate her positive experience as zero.

As unappealing as it may be to vacation next to a wind park, dozens of Maine families now have to live beside them. En-ergy companies are refusing to learn from mistakes made in Mars Hill, Vinalhaven and Freedom. In Woodstock, Patriot Renewables hopes to construct a development a meager 2,200 feet from a residential struc-ture and wants to be much closer at property lines. Realiz-ing noise compliance issues, the Maine DEP has asked Pa-triot to run in Reduced Noise Operations at night. Evidently, sleeping during the day or sell-ing properties at market value should no longer be an option for residents there.

After exploring the potential losses of nature-based tourism and the likely loss of property values, the clear conclusion is that Maine is paying too high a price for mountaintop indus-trial wind developments.

Denise Hall

Woodstock

Civility not enough

The media and the politi-cians are saying that the Ari-zona shooting means that we must be more civil to one an-other. Increasing civility is a good thing, but it isn’t enough.

I believe the cause of the Ari-zona shooting is the old saying, “what goes around comes around.” Specifically, the U.S. has been sending its soldiers and planes all over the world for decades, killing and maim-ing people who have never done us harm and present no threat to us. We have bombed 23 coun-tries since World War II. We now have soldiers in Afghani-stan, Iraq, Pakistan and proba-bly Yemen.

For the U.S., shooting at peo-ple and problems is our way of life.

In Arizona, this way of life came back to haunt us. If we want our people to be civil and stop shooting each other, we have to be civil and stop shoot-ing everyone else. In the inter-est of increasing American ci-vility in the world, let’s talk about increasing our funding of diplomacy and decreasing our knee-jerk funding of war.

Jane McCloskey

Deer Isle

Benefits for all

Our Maine attorney general is now filing suit against the health care reform act because he says (in the Jan. 19 BDN) that he wants to “settle the con-stitutionality of whether the federal government can force all citizens to purchase or maintain health insurance.”

Well, as things are now and have been for quite a while, car owners are required to main-tain at least a minimum level of liability insurance on their vehicles if they want to keep them registered. And why is that? Because it benefits every-one. Same thing with health insurance, Mr. Schneider.

Lewis Richards

Trescott

Blueberries so Maine

Arriving at the Whoopie Pie as a Maine state anything is a poor choice. It’s basically an unhealthful “comfort” food. I offer that all concerned should instead consider the humble Maine blueberry. Rich tradi-tions, with many generations of benefits to Maine, come from this wonderful crop.

How many families have en-joyed going out to handpick blueberries? What joyful times for so many kids, eating as many as they pick, and getting mouths so blue. How beautiful is a basket of fresh picked blue-berries coming home to a happy kitchen ?

Whether picked yourself or bought from a roadside stand, blueberries are everywhere in Maine. Blueberry pies, muffins, jam, jellies, and blueberry cob-bler are so “Maine” in charac-ter.

The blueberry is a personal touch of Maine to vacationers. As a business for a lot of hard-working people, blueber-ries provide employment and income revenue for Maine.

The beauty of berries grow-ing thick on wild plants is Maine at its finest. There is more to say about blueberries, but back to the Whoopie Pie. I know it’s popular here, but it’s popular everywhere else, too. How do Maine families or summer visitors have a tradi-tion relating to a Whoopie Pie?  Is that history  written in a vol-ume titled “Once, When I was Thin”?

Consider the contribution that consumption of foods heavy with sugar and calories  makes to one of Maine’s worst health problems today, obe-sity. Hey, the humble blueberry is looking really good compared to that.

Keith R. Heavrin Jr.

Surry

Liquid petroleum

Recently, DCP Midstream, an American-owned company, had the opportunity to host a com-munity meeting for Searsport residents regarding a proposed marine propane terminal that it is evaluating in the industrial area of Mack Point.

As part of the proposal, a 137-foot storage tank and truck rack would be envisioned. In our height simulations, the tank can be viewed only par-tially above the tree horizon from both the road and from the bay.

We appreciate that this is an important consideration for residents.

This proposed LPG (liquid petroleum gas) terminal would benefit Maine and the North-east in assuring adequate ac-cess for propane supplies in an area that is becoming increas-ingly challenged logistically for incoming supplies.

LPG terminals differ from LNG (liquefied natural gas) facilities in that LPG facilities store propane or butane rather than natural gas and are con-structed specifically for that purpose. LPG is safe for trans-portation and for storing in a concentrated form, and LPG gas is a cost-effective energy source.

DCP Midstream, known as Gas Supply Resources in the Northeast, operates eight wholesale propane facilities in the U.S. Its propane operations have received numerous indus-try safety awards, and its em-ployees have earned the com-pany’s top honors for employee safety.

We welcome the commu-nity’s questions, so it may bet-ter understand this potential initiative if it proceeds to next stages. It is our practice to regularly communicate our progress with town officials and local communities where we are evaluating potential projects.

Jeff Hurteau

asset director,

Northeast Propane

Operations,

DCP Midstream

Fountain tragedy

If you haven’t heard, seen the video clip or read about the woman who, while texting, walked and fell into a fountain, you haven’t heard about the latest victim.

Cathy Cruz Marrero is so mortified and humiliated that she just had to grant an inter-view to a reporter at the local newspaper and have her pic-ture taken. If she hadn’t come forward, nobody would have even known her name. In fact, Cathy is so shaken that she has recruited an attorney, James M. Polyak, to “conduct an in-vestigation into what hap-pened.”

Let me save you some lawyer fees, Ms. Marrero. Here’s what happened: You were not paying attention. I’m  just glad you found the fountain before you found your way into the park-ing lot and into your car. With both  thumbs clicking away, you might have run over some-body.

I am sick of “stupid” being a lottery jackpot. You are not a victim. Any lawsuit in this case would be frivolous.

Terry Shortt

Amherst

Gun sense

While the shooting in Ari-zona is a terrible tragedy, reac-tionary laws, misinformed journalism and a very biased agenda pushing against fire-arms is the wrong avenue to take.

Trying to legislate against violence and murder through the tools used will only result in different tools being ac-quired and used. Russia has a very wide sweeping ban on firearms; however the murder rate is five times that of the United States. England is simi-lar with its firearms ban, yet has an astronomical amount of stabbings. In fact, purchasing basic steak knives requires an ID check and to be at least 18 years of age.

Limiting the magazine ca-pacity to only 10 rounds would be equally pointless due to the most important puzzle piece: Criminals do not obey the laws. Rather than further restrict an already very well-regulated hobby and something many Americans enjoy on a daily basis for the sake of feel-good legislation, we should enforce what we have on the books.

Punishing honest, law-abiding citizens because of irra-tional fear is a shame and against the very ideals this country is based on.

Dan Lemik

Milo

New state motto

Since reading that Paul LePage had declared that he would tell the president of the United States to go to hell over fishing regulations in which no doubt the president was per-sonally deeply involved in mak-ing, I knew I could count on him.

Now he has gifted us with a new state motto: Kiss My Butt. It would take up a lot less space on the license plates than all that Maine: The-Way-Life-Should-Be claptrap. What busi-ness has the state got in telling us that life in Maine should be anything but The Heck With You, Buddy. I Got Mine. A nice alternative license plate, too.

The governor speaks of rep-resenting the whole state of Maine, except for the special interest groups, which do not include special interest groups such as Republicans, or busi-nesspeople or Caucasians. I, myself, belong to more special interest groups than I can re-member, including the business folk, the farmers and the job-creating plutocrats. Like most special interest groupers, I am also a taxpayer.

I bet there are some other special interest group folks who pay taxes, too. Maybe some Democrats, some independents or some members of the NAACP.

Certainly some voting, tax-paying grannies who will just have to give up on expecting grown-ups in high elected posi-tions not to tell anyone to “kiss my butt” and accept the new reality of civic discourse: trucu-lent, crude, overbearing, and, oh, rude. Can’t wait to get my new license plate.

Tabitha King

Bangor

A lost Cat

Sunday marks the end of an era with the Cat making its last sail out of Bar Harbor headed for its new route.

From the start in 1950 and ending in 2009, there had been a ferry route serviced by CN Ma-rine, Marine Atlantic and Bay Ferries between Bar Harbor and Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. This ended because two sides could not come to terms with how to fund the route.

It is hard to believe that when traveling into downtown Bar Harbor you will no longer see a ship sitting alongside the now-Bay Ferries wharf. So as the Cat makes its final ap-proach out of Frenchman Bay and continues through between Sheep and Burnt Porcupine islands, we have to remember the history and the end of an era without a ferry between Bar Harbor and Yarmouth, Nova Scotia.

Rick Hathaway

Bangor

NAACP and bear bait

Having recently moved from North Carolina to the great state of Maine and having lived all my life up to this point in North Carolina, rest assured that the NAACP is nothing more than a political engine, which will run over you if you let it. North Carolina is a very good example, as it is currently being governed by a woman who is more than easily swayed by “good ’ole boy politics” and the political maneuverings of the NAACP.

So good for you, Gov. LePage for your more than appropriate response to the “overtures” and “invitations” presented by the NAACP. The “invitation” was purposed to inflame — the term down South is “bear bait.” There is always an underlying motive.

And the invitation had abso-lutely nothing to do with honor-ing Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  Dr. King was indeed a gentle-man, one whom we all would do well to honor and remember and be thankful for, for his vi-sion and his peaceful way of going about living what he be-lieved.

The NAACP would do well to emulate him rather than use this time of remembrance as a political game with which to antagonize Gov. LePage.

Leigh James

St. David

In recent editorials in the BDN some people have com-mented on Gov. LePage’s rather bad habit of responding to peo-ple with whom he disagrees with inarticulate and often rude remarks. Some people say they consider these remarks to be a “breath of fresh air.” If this is a breath of fresh air, then I can’t help but wonder if they live next to a row of portable outhouses.

Mike Avery Sr.

Milford

Youth movement

I am writing in response to Carolyn Ball’s Jan. 21 OpEd, “A calming analysis on Maine’s aging population.” The author put forth a few interpretations of the term “the oldest state,” her emphasis being that Maine is not the oldest state.

Maine is indeed the oldest state when referring to median age. The U.S. Census Bureau’s table of median age by state (using 2009 population esti-mates) shows that Maine’s me-dian age is 42.2, the highest of any state. Vermont is second at 41.2, a difference of a full year compared to Maine. Florida is fifth at 40, California is 46th at 34.8 and Utah has the lowest median age at 28.8.

Nationally the median age is 36.8.

While a few states have a higher percentage of their population aged 65 and older compared to Maine, those states also have more vibrant young populations, as reflected in the median age.

Many of Maine’s young adults have left the state. Some leave for college and do not re-turn; others leave the state af-ter high school or college. This exodus affects Maine’s median age.

We need to attract more young people to Maine with well-paying jobs. We need their energy and creative ideas to grow a vibrant Maine economy. Those of us who have raised our children here know what a great place Maine is to live and raise a family, and we must convince more young people to do the same. They are our fu-ture.

Christine Sady

Rockport

What FDR said

President Franklin D Roose-velt, in a message to Congress, wrote, “The first truth is that the liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic state itself. That, in its essence, is fascism — ownership of gov-ernment by an individual, by a group, or by any other control-ling private power.”

Today the American people, in ignoring FDR’s admonition, are tolerating private power’s takeover by the huge corpora-tions: Wall Street banks, phar-maceutical, communications and defense industries, for-profit health insurers, the mer-cenary military and Washing-ton lobbyists such as AIPAC.

Our democracy is being di-minished as these corporations, etc. continue to gain more power over our government. We see uprisings in Tunisia, France and England, but Americans are too busy watch-ing sports and “American Idol.”

Are we a nation of sheep?

Eliot J Chandler

Hampden

Backward, please

So the BDN thinks Gov. LePage wants to move Maine backward (“Moving Maine Backward,” Jan. 26 editorial). Really?

I sure hope so! Looking in the rearview, we had woolen mills, shoe shops, tanneries, canner-ies, railroads, industries and on and on. We had jobs! Boatloads of jobs!

After 40 years of government meddling, taxation, regulation, suffocation by bureaucrat, look where we are now. I hope to tunket we do move backward!

Now I know full well I’ll be attacked for  using these words. The handwringers will worry about clean air, water and land. That’s not the issue; no one wants fouled air and water ever again. But the paths Mr. LePage wants to take, will take us back —  to prosperity.

Ken Durkee

Charleston

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