LETTERS

Friday, Oct. 28, 2011: Wind power, Biddeford and Washington County racinos

Posted Oct. 27, 2011, at 1:12 p.m.

Election Notice

The Bangor Daily News will stop accepting letters to the editor and OpEds related to the Nov. 8 election on Wednesday, Nov. 2. We will continue to publish election-related submissions through Saturday, Nov. 5, though due to the volume of submissions, not all can be published.

Biddeford’s boost

For over 50 years, I have watched the harness racing industry prosper and falter. The Biddeford racino proposed in Question 2 offers a chance for renewed prosperity — not only for the racing industry but for our state. In these difficult economic times, Maine needs a tax revenue boost.

The ripple effect of a yes vote will result in sorely needed new tax dollars. Not only will the passage of Question 2 benefit Maine agriculture — horse farmers, hay sellers, veterinarians and feed dealers — but additional revenue will come from the racino being a draw for tourists. Added tax dollars will be realized by way of expanded business in restaurants, motels and shopping areas.

These potential tax dollars are important. There has been a lot of wheel spinning going on in Augusta and no one is seriously talking tax reform or tax increases. From 2000 to 2004, I served on the Legislature’s Taxation Committee. I spent the bulk of those four years trying to get a consensus to reform our antiquated taxation system. My attempts failed.

Question 2 offers a new stream of revenue. It will tax those who support harness racing — people like myself who enjoy being at the outside rail of a racetrack cheering on our picks as they thunder by and savoring the excitement that comes with the sport.

Maine also needs a spark in building and construction. This could be the project that starts us on an upward turn.

I’m voting yes on Question 2. Please join me.

Barney McGowan

Pittsfield

Wind: buyer beware

As a “permanent visitor” to this wonderful state, I glory in the topography that abounds in this region of America. Perhaps due to my “flatlanderness,” I especially adore the many hills and mountains of Maine. These land masses rise majestically above their surroundings and create relatively unspoiled vistas.

Recently, some of these vistas have been adulterated with numerous structural behemoths called wind turbines. Noisy and ugly, these eyesores may one day be as commonplace to our mountaintops as gawky telephone poles are to our roadways.

In my neighboring town of Frankfort, efforts are under way to construct a series of wind towers on Mount Waldo. Who will benefit from these 400 foot citadels? Will the residents of Frankfort experience decidedly cheaper electric rates? Will their property taxes meaningfully decrease? Will the abutters of the towers discover that their real estate appreciates in value? Will the majestic appearance of Mount Waldo improve? Does wildlife languish in the new surroundings?

I live near Snow Mountain. Will that crest have wind towers in the future? What about the Camden Hills, Blue Hill or perhaps a dot matrix of wind machines on the many gorgeous islands that are part of Maine’s unspoiled heritage? And let’s not forget the mountains and hills of western Maine. Do we really desire such architectural pollution?

A minority of people will benefit from these gargantuan turbine projects. The benefactors will not drive expensive cars with Maine license plates nor will they reside within the bucolic confines of Maine. Buyer beware!

Tracy R. Gran Sr.

Winterport

No to Bailey

I noticed that Dennis Bailey, the perennial hired gun for CasinosNO!, wrote his own letter to the BDN. What does it say when Bailey can’t find anybody else to beat his drum?

For years we have listened to Bailey’s bought-and-paid-for voice harp against the supposed evils of a racino in Washington County. Bailey and his cohorts offer nothing positive. The people of Washington County, Indian and non-Indian alike, have waited long enough for the “better” economic development that Bailey and his naysayers cannot identify or produce. It’s time to vote no on Dennis Bailey and his tired arguments, and vote yes on Question 2.

Paul Thibeault

East Machias

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