LETTERS

Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2011: Big rigs, helping small businesses

Posted Oct. 04, 2011, at 5:22 p.m.

Return to 80,000 pounds

It is disappointing that the BDN supports the misnomer “Big Rigs Belong on Big Roads” (editorial, Sept. 29). The truth is 100,000-pound trucks are dangerous and damage bridges and pavement no matter what road they travel.

Sen. Collins used selective statistics and claims supporting her position in allowing 100,000 pound trucks unrestricted travel throughout Maine; statistics were omitted which show a direct correlation between increased truck weight with crashes, fatal accidents and damage to roads and bridges.

One fact omitted was changing the weight limit law which does not restrict 100,000 pound trucks from downtown streets and secondary roads. “Big rigs” eventually leave the interstate to reach their point of destination. The safety of citizens and destruction to Maine’s roadways are being compromised under the guise that change in the law makes sense “from an economic, environmental and safety perspective.”

I challenge Sen. Collins and the rest of our elected officials supporting this law, which benefits some in the trucking industry, to consider creating a real sense of safety by upholding the 80,000-pound weight limit on I-95 and change the law in the opposite direction: limit the weight on all roads at 80,000 pounds. Using Susan Abraham in an argument promoting a false sense of safety is wrong.

Sen. Collins “scored a good start” — what is the score for the safety of the residents of Maine?

Carol Abraham

Shapleigh

Rosen helped

It is not often we get to personally experience government in our lives in a good way.

This summer, our small business in Brewer was threatened with the loss of many feet of our road frontage due to road construction for the new school. At first, it appeared we would lose so much that we would be unable to get vehicles into our garage, in effect shutting us down. We tried everything, but were getting nowhere, with big machines getting closer and closer and no end in sight.

Finally, I decided to call Kim Rosen, our state representative. I asked her for guidance, and asked her what we were to do, short of losing everything we have worked so hard for, firing three mechanics and losing our business. Within hours, Mrs. Rosen was at our business, evaluating the matter, helping us figure out who to talk to and asking hard questions of the folks doing the work.

It turns out she is on the Legislature’s Transportation Committee. I cannot say enough about Kim and her willingness, knowledge and ability to help us. She helped us so much, and was such a powerful resource. We are thankful to Kim for truly getting her hands dirty and helping the little guy.

Michelle Harmon

Orrington

Too many chemicals

I am a nurse practitioner who has worked with children and families for more than 30 years. It is on their behalf that I ask Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins to co-sponsor the Safe Chemicals Act of 2011.

I appreciate Maine legislators phasing out BPA in children’s products and upholding the Kid Safe Products Act Now the federal government must follow Maine’s good example by overhauling the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976 (TSCA), a law so flawed that it prevents the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating even the most deadly chemicals, such as asbestos.

TSCA has allowed more than 80,000 chemicals to enter the market with virtually no testing for long-term safety, leaving us to wonder and worry about what these chemicals are doing to our bodies.

The Safe Chemicals Act of 2011 would fix TSCA, eliminating the most dangerous toxins from common household products and requiring chemical companies to provide consumers with basic safety and health information about their products.

A new chemical law is long overdue. In 1976, when TSCA was passed, the chemical industry told lawmakers that “the dose makes the poison.” Current science reveals that children’s physiologic development makes them uniquely vulnerable to the toxic effects of chemicals, even at very low doses. TSCA does not recognize this, failing to protect child health and safety.

Eighty-thousand untested chemicals on the market give me 80,000 reasons to urge Sens. Snowe and Collins to co-sponsor the Safe Chemicals Act of 2011.

Lisa Belanger

North Yarmouth

Dinner too rich

It bothers me that I have to struggle to pay my rent even when I work four different jobs and first lady Obama is requiring people to pay up to $5,000 to attend her little fundraiser. Fundraiser for what?

People are struggling and hurting in America and politicians are charging $5,000 to have dinner? Something is seriously wrong with this picture. Please help.

Scott Barnhart

Hermon

Too much power

Anwar al-Awlaki, an American citizen and a radical Muslim cleric, was assassinated by the U.S. last week in Yemen. Outside of a war zone, as Awlaki was, under U.S. law, lethal force can only be employed in the narrowest and most extraordinary circumstances: when there is a concrete, specific and imminent threat of an attack; and even then, deadly force must be a last resort.

His killing was based on the mere assertion that he is a dangerous member of a terrorist organization. He was killed without due process and without any effort to capture, arrest and try him. The U.S. government knew exactly where he was.

Is this the world we want? Where the president of the United States can place an American citizen, or anyone else for that matter, living outside a war zone on a targeted assassination list, and then have him murdered by drone strike? Should any government be allowed to order people’s killing without due process?

This killing has dire implications for all of us. There appears to be no limit to the president’s power to kill anywhere in the world, even if it involves killing a citizen of our own country. Today, it’s in Yemen; tomorrow, it could be in the United States.

Natasha Mayers

Whitefield

Paranoia tranquilized

The arrogance of the Maine Secretary of State Charlie Summers is incredible! First, he spends the taxpayers’ money in a two months investigation that started with not much to look at; at the end of which he concludes that there was no fraud after all, therefore demonstrating that our system of voting in Maine works well.

Finally, he has the guts to state that the Maine election system is “fragile and vulnerable”! And, where did he find that?

I wish Gov. LePage would not allow taxpayer money to be spent to tranquilize some of his employees’ paranoia.

Robert Gossart

Salisbury Cove

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