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Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2011: First Wind, gay marriage and bath salts

Embarrassing proposal

The Republican congressional redistricting proposal is reminiscent of the tactics and behavior often seen when the alpha dog emerges in a game of Risk or Monopoly.

This is not why our representatives were sent to Augusta and hopefully enough voters will realize that this game playing needs to stop. Why persist in breaking things when, if there’s a problem, a tweak will do?

The notion that a compromise need be reached in this case is ridiculous when you look at the redistricting maps proposed and see how much displacement the Republicans call for in order to gain, within a handful, the state’s population in total balance per district. The game playing and power ploy is all too apparent. It’s embarrassing that their proposal has made it beyond joking over a cup of coffee in the cafeteria.

A good compromise might be for the Republicans to withdraw their plan, apologize for their arrogance and get back to some thoughtful work.

A reminder to those Republicans who enjoy breaking things for their gain: Please stop playing games at our expense, both figuratively and fiscally. There is another election coming and regardless of what district you happen to live in now, your job is on the line, so grow up.

Will Brown

Dirty tricks are wrong

Moral Mainers who are for integrity and honesty in our political discourse must condemn the dirty tricks used by the Maine Heritage Policy Center and Americans For Prosperity of Maine.

The Republicans are breaking faith with the people of Maine when they bring in outside agitators to lie about our government. The ninth commandment is, “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.” Convicted criminal James O’Keefe went into a state office and presented false witness to our employee.

All our moral leaders must condemn these groups and their lies. There is no room in Maine politics for dirty tricks. Trying to entrap a state employee with a hidden video camera is plain wrong.

I watched the entire video, where the clerk told O’Keefe the rules, and she did not tell him to cheat or lie. DHHS workers are not police and they should not police people who come to them for help. Shameful attacks by these outside extremist groups on the hardworking people of Maine must stop.

I urge every voter to show these people the door with your dollars and your votes. Do not support the businesses that pay for lies and dirty tricks. And do not vote for the politicians who encourage this type of behavior.

Claire Adams

Numbers should dictate

Statistics don’t lie. Here’s the final tally after public comment on First Wind’s proposed development for the Downeast Lakes region of Maine: 34 supporting (9.1 percent), 337 against (90.1 percent) and 3 neutral (0.8 percent).

The Land Use Regulation Commission has scheduled deliberations for October and November. So now we find out: Do we live by democratic rule, or will the people of Maine be overridden by former governors and their sons, and out of state developers’ contributions to targeted groups, like the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine, to buy their support?

Jack Gagnon

False premises

The editorial “Marriage Debate Renewed” (BDN, Aug. 20-21) is based on two false premises. Remove those and there isn’t much left.

The first is that the gay marriage movement has something to do with “marriage equality.” Not so. It’s an attempt by a vocal minority to acquire rights which it has no intention of sharing.

Under Maine law there are at least 16 categories of forbidden marriages. Marrying a person of the same sex is just one; others include marrying a parent, a person with significant mental illness, a person who’s already married or one’s favorite sheep. Gay rights advocates aren’t trying to legalize any category but their own, as they would if they honestly sought marriage equality. If they don’t advocate something like “Any person or thing can marry any other person or thing” then equality isn’t the goal.

The second false premise is that “Everyone must be treated equally under the state and U.S. Constitution.” The BDN has advocated raising taxes on “the rich” and lowering them for “the poor.” Where’s the equality in that? Thousands of laws treat groups as diverse as terrorists, felons, youths and elderly unequally, for various reasons. Nothing in either constitution requires that any person must have the right to marry a person of the same sex.

Must we all go through this again, so soon?

Lawrence E. Merrill

Bath salts facts

There is a glaring error in a recent BDN story on bath salts. The article states: “The 125th Legislature actually passed a law in June that bans the sale of bath salts and makes possession a misdemeanor crime.”

This is incorrect — possession of bath salts in Maine is currently only a civil violation much like possession of a usable amount of marijuana. Trafficking or furnishing of bath salts is just a misdemeanor unless there are certain aggravating factors that can make that activity a felony.

This error misses the entire point of the need to change this law.

Eric Walker
Waldo County Deputy DA

Park study supported

On Aug. 18, Medway citizens were asked to support a resolution for a national park feasibility study on the east branch of the Penobscot River. Over 250 people attended. After a presentation and discussion, citizens of Medway voted overwhelmingly to adopt the following resolution:

“Whereas, Roxanne Quimby proposed a 70,000 acre national park on the east branch of the Penobscot River, which is important to [town] residents as a gateway community and to the State of Maine;

“Whereas, the east branch of the Penobscot River has a long established history with … Medway and its early settlers;

“Whereas, the east branch of the Penobscot River is a natural and pristine river that ends in Medway;

“Whereas, a feasibility study of creating a national park would answer many questions for the residents of Medway and the state, such as: Examine the qualifications of the area for designation as a national park; understand the economic and social impacts to our area and the state; discover the ability of the national park service to protect the manage the resources; [and] realize the educational opportunities provided by the national park service;

“Now, therefore, be it resolved the Selectmen of the Town of Medway and its citizens, voted to support a feasibility study of a National Park on 70,000 acres on the east branch of the Penobscot River as proposed by Roxanne Quimby.”

Thank you to all of the Medway and regional citizens who came and voiced an opinion on the future of the Katahdin region.

Medway Board of Selectmen

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