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Friday, June 10, 2011: For a song, stick to the union, electricity sources

For a song

Suze Rotolo died in February. She said on NPR in 2008 that Don Hunstein took the cover photo for “The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan” as they were walking down Jones Street toward West Fourth Street in Greenwich Village, N.Y. She interested Dylan in Arthur Rimbaud, Bertold Brecht and painting before the pressures of his fame caused her to leave in 1962, inspiring “Don’t Think Twice, its Alright.”

Happily married to producer John Porter today, in 1964 Linda Keith went through the windshield in a car crash driving back from Stonehenge. In Kris Needs’ 2004 book “Keith Richards: Before They Make Me Run” she says of Richards visiting her in the hospital: “He showed me I wasn’t a monster. I wasn’t revolting. And that was Keith.” In Mojo Magazine Keith Richards said “Ruby Tuesday” was written on a Tuesday in January 1967 because Linda had “…pissed off somewhere.”

The Brownfield (Texas) News says Buddy Holly’s high school friend Peggy Sue Gerron is again living in Lubbock, Texas after raising two sons, co-writing a book and being the first licensed female plumber in California.

Lucy Vodden (nee O’Donnell) died at 46 of lupus in 2009. On BBC Radio she said she and Julian Lennon were throwing paint at each other at a double-sided easel in their nursery school the day he painted the picture of her he called “Lucy — in the sky with diamonds.”

“Melodies are memories,” as the Five for Fighting song says.

Keith C. Taft

Van Buren


Stick to the union

After having gone through the process of having no union at the American Can Co. in 1949, I have been able to see the benefits of a union shop that benefited not only the workers but also supervisors and foremen. I rose from the cleaner to shift superintendent, to the top scale, thanks to the benefits that the union provided. Following are the benefits:

New jobs were given to the senior man. Layoffs were to the last man hired. You couldn’t be fired without just cause, documented. Protection from unjust accusations. Free from nepotism.

Vacations according to the number of years service with pay and according to seniority. No shut downs without being negotiated with the union. Shop stewards elected by the members.

Both health and life insurance negotiated by company and union officials.

The right to negotiate new contracts and benefits for their members, called collective bargaining.

To know that you cannot be fired without just cause and that the union will fight for you all the way. You have the right to be heard.

You vote each year. If you don’t like an official you can vote someone else to office.

All the benefits you currently receive are because of the union’s efforts on your behalf. With everyone belonging you will have more clout. The are national organizations with the sole purpose of breaking unions. They have high-priced lawyers that are backed by big corporations and come in and try to break up MSEA.

Edward L. Davis

East Orland


Unfair signs

I feel it’s just fine to run an honest and robust political campaign, but when it comes to erecting signs that aim to intentionally hurt or demean an opponent’s character, then that is crossing the line of fair play.

I awoke this morning to signs beside the road that belittle the tea party movement. You be the judge. This is what was on one of the signs: “Tea Party, No Thanks. Vote Sensibly.”

Little do these folks know about what they have had printed on these signs and erected in the middle of the night. The tea party is all about fair play and honest government and not spending money we don’t have.

Who would take the time to print up such misguided baloney? I bet they have never been to a tea party meeting. What say you?

Gene Graves



Electricity sources

I just received a “disclosure” report that electricity suppliers are required to make to consumers. It shows power sources: 22.7 percent nuclear, 30.7 percent gas, hydro at 18.6 percent, municipal waste, biomass and wind at 1.8 percent, oil at 2.3 percent and coal at 8 percent.

There is also a chart showing air emissions from the generation of that electricity. Nitrogen oxide emitted is 74.3 percent less than the New England average. The sulfur dioxide emitted is 70 percent less than the New England average.

But the carbon dioxide emitted is 40.9 percent greater than the New England average.

Maybe those bad air days we get are not because we are at the end of the funnel from the Midwest but from ourselves.

While Bangor Hydro delivers my electricity, the electricity itself is supplied by Integrys Energy Services, Inc. and the NB Power Generation Corp. Carbon dioxide is the major cause of global warming.

Pat Schroth



Great season

Congratulations to the University of Maine baseball team for a great season.

Maine is fortunate to have great coaches and young men representing all of Maine.

Also congratulations to all of the other coaches and young men and women participating in all sports at the University of Maine.

Ervin Morrison



Contempt for public

It has been a bad week for democracy in Maine.

The Legislature has launched a frontal assault on our election process, creating new obstacles to voting while practically inviting wealthy special interests to buy our elections. Recent bills would end Maine’s tradition of Election Day registration and deny the vote to anyone who can’t produce the right kind of identification card.

Those changes are bad enough, but at least the Legislature followed its own rules. In contrast, they are gutting another law without a public hearing and in violation of longstanding precedents.

This provision is the limit on the money that gubernatorial candidates may accept from wealthy contributors. In 1996 a voter-approved initiative established a limit of $500. This amount has been increased slightly, but it generally has worked well and was obviously no obstacle for our current governor.

Now a majority of legislators has voted to set the amount at $1,500 — multiplying the influence of wealthy special interests on our elections.

As a former legislator I believe such contempt for the public is never pretty. It is especially ugly where it involves the rules our elected leaders must follow when raising money to benefit their own campaigns. And it is downright shameful to undo a citizen initiative without even bothering to hold a public hearing.

Our democratic system is intended to ensure that our elected officials honor and respect the will of the public. This legislation shows little honor and respect for the people the Legislature is supposed to serve.

John Brautigam


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