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Saturday/Sunday, Nov. 12-13, 2011: Wind power, pension taxes and 61 percent


An open mind

Since my son was killed on June 23, 2007 in Iraq, my outlook has changed and I try to look at the positive in all situations. There is a lot of fear about wind turbines, but we can’t be captive to fear.

I grew up with 14 brothers and sisters, worked as a logger for 20 years and I am a

registered Maine Guide, so I feel I know a little about preserving the Maine way of life. But I also remember a time when there were few second homes on the lakes I fished, fewer power lines, fewer highways and a lot less pollution.

Times change and we adjust. The guiding industry and the logging industry are both struggling, but it is not due to the windmills, it’s Maine’s economy in general and we need to look for solutions. The windmills will change the view, but I don’t believe they will cause people to stop coming to Maine to hunt and fish as some people fear.

On the other hand, they are already bringing lease payments to the timber industry

and substantial tax dollars to communities such as Lee where I live and work.

We have to try new things in Maine if we want to secure our future, so I say give the windmills a chance.

Paul House


Dog owner responsible

However unfortunate the incident was in which a man shot a dog, mistaking it for a coyote, I can’t help but feel some anger that the person responsible is facing charges for shooting a domestic animal. Where is the responsibility of the owners of this dog?

If the owner’s yard is not fenced or the dog is not tied, the dog owner should not have let the dog out unattended. So often we place blame on the hunter, driver or whomever may have killed or injured the pet because it was allowed to roam free.

I have had my garden destroyed because a neighbor allowed a dog to run free, ruining my family’s food for the winter.

I hear people say the pet “is like my child.” Would you let your “child” out in the yard unattended?

My thoughts are with both parties, but it’s a tragedy that could have been prevented had the owners been a little more responsible. Those who say the hunter should have known it wasn’t a coyote have not seen the coyotes I have seen, including the ones that took my cat.

Lisa Green


A pension strategy

I have read with great interest recent BDN articles that reported the governor may propose eliminating pension taxes in Maine. Though this idea has been raised before, and though times are challenging, I hope the Legislature will seriously consider this idea.

My wife and I were among the thousands of Maine children who left the state over the past 40 years to join the military, go to college or pursue a living or career not available to us here. Last year after my former employer moved to California, we decided to come home and enjoy our parents while we are all relatively healthy. That said, unless things change, we are likely to move elsewhere within the next few years to a state courting the “boomer” retirees.

There are many states — not just Florida and Arizona — actively courting boomer retirees by their tax structures because boomers have disposable income. Wherever boomers choose to reside, we buy real estate and maintain it. We shop locally for food, clothing, goods and services. We dine out. We recreate where we live. We hire local people to do jobs for us. All this spending creates jobs which, in turn, generates tax revenue.

Maine should capitalize on the coming wave of retirees by eliminating pension taxes and then aggressively marketing that fact — and Maine’s famed quality of life. There is no doubt that we have fiscal challenges, but this idea seems like one that will more than pay for itself in the long term.

Bob Baker


A familiar number

Sixty-one percent of voters favored retaining same day registration. Sixty-one percent. I know I’ve heard that number somewhere before.

Bruce Pratt


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