Friday, Nov. 4, 2011: Wind power, Hampden politics and voter responsibilities

Posted Nov. 03, 2011, at 1:10 p.m.

Election Notice

The Bangor Daily News is no longer accepting opinion pieces — letters to the editor or op-ed columns — related to Tuesday’s election. Some election-related opinion pieces accepted earlier from among the large volume received will be published through Saturday, Nov. 5.

Stick to your guns

I would like to thank LURC for taking the first step to deny First Wind’s 27-turbine Bowers Mountain project northwest of Grand Lakes Stream.

Tourism has propped Maine up for well over a century and will continue to do so only as long as we remain responsible stewards of this beautiful state. Before we sacrifice our mountains and ridge lines to industrialization, Mainers deserve to see some real scientific proof that industrial wind will provide cheap reliable power, reduce CO2 levels and wean us off foreign oil.

If money is truly the top concern — not people’s health, not property values, not the killing of wildlife, not climate change, not whether there is any benefit to us as a society — why jeopardize the 170,000 full-time jobs and $10 billion in goods and services that tourism currently provides?

Stick to your guns, LURC, and we’ll stand behind you to protect Maine’s quality of place for future generations as well as our long-term economic prosperity.

Penny Gray

Fort Kent

A thousand cuts

Voters of Frankfort will be voting on a wind ordinance on Dec. 1. Although the stated purpose of the ordinance includes “fostering orderly commercial wind energy facility development,” the self-selected ordinance committee has created a draft that will effectively prevent such projects.

This proposed ordinance is “death by a thousand cuts” for wind energy development. Two of the most egregious prohibitions are included in the Standards for Setbacks and Noise sections.

A one-mile setback effectively gives any landowner with a property line one mile or less from a project the ability to prevent that project. The noise limits are arbitrary and are already exceeded by ambient noise in the area of Frankfort near Mount Waldo. The committee never monitored local noise levels before setting these limits; it just used a cut-and-paste approach using bits of ordinances from towns where wind projects are essentially prohibited.

No current method of generating electricity commercially has less negative environmental impact than wind power. The Eolian proposal for four turbines on private property near the summit is the right size at the right place; a place that I see clearly from my home. The state wind map indicates Mount Waldo as a premier wind site. The proposal keeps the project footprint to a minimum — no ridgelines filled with turbines across the horizon — but rather four turbines up there with three communications towers. The electrical grid is a half mile away. This is a great location for wind power.

Vote this ordinance down.

Steve Oleksyk

Frankfort

Embarrassment factor

So Brian Duprey was “embarrassed to be from Hampden” at the sight of Hampden Town Council members advocating opposing positions (BDN, Oct. 20)?

That’s funny, because I felt embarrassed to be from Hampden whenever Brian Duprey was featured in national news reports with antics such as co-sponsoring a bill requiring jail time for adulterers. I’m not in favor of adultery, but I do want minimal government involvement and I want Hampden to be presented to the nation in a positive light.

Jean Lawlis is a proud Hampden resident who has worked to improve Hampden parks. She supports innovative ideas to cut town expenses. That’s why I encourage all eligible voters to join me in voting for Jean Lawlis to represent District 3 in Hampden.

Anne Powelson

Hampden

Keep Rockport school

I urge Rockport residents to keep the Rockport Elementary School property for the townspeople who have owned it since 1951, when heirs of the Harkness family gave it

to the town for a school. I feel it should be kept so the people of the town may use it.

Our community already knows the ball field as a place for our adults and children to play sports: softball, baseball, soccer and field hockey.

This is a prime piece of property located within walking distance of the downtown area and Marine Park. It has off-street parking facilities which could be used to park boat trailers or cars and people could ride their bikes to town if they so chose.

The existing school modular classrooms could be sold to the highest bidder and moved. The rest of the buildings not fit for use could be torn down. The gym could be used by our community for such things as flower or antique shows, sporting events and many other possibilities for local businesses and organizations. This site would also be available for future town growth.

If this property is sold, the town would lose control of what develops on it and it would be gone forever to the townspeople. I hope, when people vote on Nov. 8, they will realize how valuable this property is to the people of Rockport, both now and in the future.

Loretta Wentworth

Rockport

Voter responsibilities

I have been following the debate on the Question 1 issue through the letters to the editor and so far disagree with all of those who are urging a yes vote. I have not yet heard a single argument against having to register before an election that holds water.

Voting is both a right and a responsibility. You only have to register once, not every year.

It is no secret that we have elections every November. If you are not already registered

and you are not responsible enough to make the time to go register, then you obviously

don’t take your rights and responsibilities very seriously.

You have to go register your vehicle every year; that is the perfect time to take care of your voter registration. The integrity of the voting system must be protected and even one person having their vote nullified by a fraudulently cast vote is one too many.

I am even in favor of having every voter have to produce a photo ID. I will vote no on Question 1.

Timothy Grant

Glenburn

Hampden direction vote

If you appreciate the direction the town of Hampden has been going during the last several years, Tuesday, Nov. 8, is a critical day.

Members of our town council have been under attack by a small but vocal group of residents who insist on changing that direction. This is our opportunity to let them know the majority of the town feels differently.

Please get out and vote in District 1 for Janet Hughes, District 2 for Tom Brann, District 3 for Jean Lawlis, and District 4 for Bill Shakespeare. Our voices need to be heard! Please vote and re-elect our councilors to show our support. The polls are open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Walter Cupples

Hampden

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