Thursday, June 16: Augusta’s bitter brew, fuel costs to blame

Posted June 15, 2011, at 6:52 p.m.

Augusta’s bitter brew

We’ve got some really interesting people presently representing us in the Maine Legislature. One group proposed letting school children work longer hours after each school day. At the same time, another faction tried to dramatically cut the pay to these youngsters. Work longer for less pay. Now that’s a real incentive.

Another legislator fought against allowing concealed weapons in the State House out of concern for the safety of the general public, only then to turn around and champion the right of everyone to pack a concealed weapon within the boundaries of the state’s public parks. Perhaps someone should explain to this individual that it’s mainly the general public who actually uses these parks. Perhaps he’s hinting that only those brave enough to enter the parks fully armed should be allowed access.

In an earlier letter to the Maine Sunday Telegram, a combat veteran claimed that anyone who had to tote a firearm in and among the public — hidden or otherwise — “… was a coward and a bully.” He may have been right.

When the Starbucks company OK’d packing heat in their stores, that became the second reason why I never frequent their establishments. Quite frankly, if my coffee tasted as bitter as the Starbucks brew, I’d keep a close eye for the “Quick-draw McGraw.”

Donald C. Grant

Stetson

•••

New ways needed

America finds itself in tragic circumstance these days. I propose the following actions to help overcome this.

End our occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan and halve our bloated and wasteful military budget. End the Bush tax cuts to the wealthy and make corporations pay an honest share of taxes. Enact pay-as-you-go legislative requirements. Enact a 1 percent tax on speculative transactions on Wall Street. Create an infrastructure bank to modernize our infrastructure. And, finally, create incentives for “greening” our economy.

Our old ways of thinking have led us to where we are. Only new ways of thinking can lead us to a better future.

Ron Warner

Bangor

•••

Fuel costs to blame

Almost every day on one of the news channels, some politician is claiming he or she wishes our economy would improve while also saying they have no idea how to jump start it.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand that as soon as fuel prices started rising, the bottom dropped out of our economy. People started losing their jobs and homes and then they had to relocate in hopes of finding work. Gasoline and fuel oil are the life blood of this country and it is difficult for me to understand why Congress has not done anything about the rising costs. In my opinion, those individuals who are responsible, for whatever reason, pose a bigger threat to this country than al-Qaida terrorists do.

I wonder if these high fuel prices are even an inconvenience to Washington’s politicians. If the politicians had to struggle like most of their constituents have to, then maybe something would be done.

As things stand now, in my opinion, the legislative branch of our government seems dysfunctional.

Randall Probert

Bethel

•••

Bad company

Maine now joins Alabama and West Virginia in blasting and leveling mountain tops to get energy.

First Wind-Champlain is applying for permission to place 27 industrial wind turbines on top of Bowers Mountain in the Down East lakes region — one of the most scenic, pristine, accessible chain of recreational lakes in Maine. Over 1,000 residents, their guests and seasonal tourists will be visually impacted by daytime reflective flicker and flashing red lights at night.

Federally protected bald eagles nest in the area. They regularly soar over Bowers Mountain and feed in these 15 or more lakes. It is a well-documented fact that turbines kill birds and bats. There are rare ad imperiled plants on Bowers Mountain as well as nearby significant wetlands and vernal pools.

Maine should be embarrassed by allowing the blasting of its mountain tops as Alabama does for coal. Once a ridge crest is leveled, the contours can never, ever be restored. The Maine expedited permitting process for land-based industrial wind turbines should be immediately suspended and re-examined before more damage is done to Maine’s scenic mountain tops, wildlife and tourist industry.

I am a winter resident in Alabama and a summer resident in Maine so I have seen the disastrous results in both states.

E.W. McLaughlin

Lakeville

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