EDITORIALS

And another thing …

Posted Oct. 13, 2011, at 5:49 p.m.

• A recent story by Mal Leary of Capitol News Service noted the problems of speeding drivers, which is as old as the automobile and as elusive to solve as it was 100 years ago. The story reported recent infractions that included a 16-year-old clocked at 103 mph on the Maine Turnpike, a 38-year-old mother with three children in her car going 93 mph in a 45 mph zone in Aroostook County and an 82-year-old man driving 108 mph on I-95 in Carmel.

So much for the generalizations many of us make about crazy-fast teen drivers and ridiculously slow older drivers.

Interestingly, the advances made in car suspensions over the last 20 years — creating a smooth ride that belies the speed at which the vehicle is traveling — was named by police as one of the culprits. The prevalence of seat belt use and the addition of air bags and other safety features have made crashes less deadly, but technology remains a two-steps forward, one-step back proposition.

• Colorado billionaire John Malone now is the nation’s largest landowner. Earlier this year, he purchased 1 million acres of commercial timberland in Maine and New Hampshire. If he proposed a multi-faceted plan that allowed different kinds of public access in different regions, or if he planned to donate some land and money toward creation of park, would he be vilified with bumper stickers like “We Don’t Condone Malone”?

As long as he quietly holds the land and bans access, he should be fine.

• It confirmed what we all suspected, right? Two former postal workers admitted to opening packages while working at the U.S. Postal Service’s sorting facility in Hampden. One of them, a woman, was said to have opened a package containing a book, thumbing through it, then repackaging it.

Inquiring minds want to know the title of the book that so piqued — but failed to hold — her curiosity.

• For those who may have begun to lose faith in the LePage administration’s commitment to frugality in state government, or who doubted it had green-leaning tendencies, we have this to report: Two BDN staffers received documents this week from state offices bearing the letterhead of former Secretary of State Matt Dunlap and former Attorney General Janet Mills.

Of course, given the way elected state officials cycle through these jobs, maybe every legislator has a box of letterhead with his or her name and those titles printed when they first arrive in Augusta. They probably end up getting used for low-priority mailings and faxes, like those going to journalists.

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