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Thursday, Nov. 24, 2011: Tank needed in Searsport, supercommittee failure

Protect the innocent

We are hearing more and more every day how our own neighborhood children are losing their innocence to sexual predators. If you are appalled and angered by what is going on under our noses right here in Maine, think of this — there are millions of children, as well as adults, who are being controlled by predators. Human trafficking brings in billions of dollars to these greedy plunderers.

The carnage of innocent children and adults should not be tolerated and should not be ignored. If you are unaware of the innocence lost and the horrible abuse to the millions of humans trafficked every day, it is time to join in the fight to end this abuse of innocent people.

G.A. Merritt


Searsport tank needed

I am writing in support of the DCP Midstream proposed propane marine import terminal in Searsport. I am a propane marketer in Maine, and I have an informed view of the need for propane supply in our state to meet the needs of our customers.

In February 2007, a rail strike in Canada stopped propane from entering one of our major supply points in Auburn. In order to make sure Mainers didn’t run out of propane to heat their homes our company had to pay as much as 90 cents additional per gallon to get the product trucked into Maine from places as far away as Texas and Ohio.

Today, much of the propane coming into Maine is trucked in from out of state. By supporting DCP Midstream’s proposed marine import terminal, we are reducing the overall truck traffic in the state and lessening the cost of overall transportation for Maine consumers.

DCP Midstream’s terminal will not add new trucks on the roads. These trucks are already traveling all of Maine’s roads to reach retail distributors.

The propane industry is highly regulated as are the drivers for the retail distributors. Our industry has been safely delivering propane gas throughout Maine and the Northeast for decades.

Thank you for the opportunity to offer a perspective on the benefits of this proposed project and to reinforce the industry’s strong stance on safety standards and performance.

Doug Morrell

VP Downeast Energy


Flawed decision process

In a logical world, after two renowned forensic pathologists staked their reputations on their findings that time-of-death evidence eliminated Dennis Dechaine as the killer of Sarah Cherry, the Attorney General’s Office would have consulted with the scientists in a search for the truth. Instead, the AG’s Office stuck with its smug claim of infallibility, disregarding the cause of justice and the future consequences of having continued what appears to have become a cover-up.

By so doing, the AG’s Office confirmed the observations of famed Nobel Prize-winning psychologist Dr. Daniel Kahneman: that decision-making commonly is based on biased, invalid, short-term considerations.

Good decision-making requires open-minded effort. According to Kahneman, decision-making by groups where everybody is “susceptible to similar biases” is inferior to that of individuals. And organizations do not invest in “trying to figure out what they have done wrong” because “they don’t want to know.”

Kahneman’s focus was on financial decision-making — explaining, in effect, why a dartboard can outperform Wall Street experts — but his conclusions are widely applicable.

Given the national flood of wrongful convictions, Kahneman’s writings should be required reading for all prosecutors. That people believe what they want to believe, despite clear evidence to the contrary — in the Dechaine case, 100 percent of the scientific evidence is exculpatory — has been proven, ad nauseum, by 23 years of tragically misguided official decision-making. And once again, the AG’s Office has decided to double-down its bet, just like an investor wedded to a plummeting stock.

William Bunting


Failure was best option

Since the supercommittee failed to strike a deal there will be an across-the-board automatic reduction. The military will be cut equally with the civilian cuts, which the committee would never have allowed to happen if a deal was struck.

Also, if no deal was reached the current budget plan does not cut Social Security and Medicaid and makes only small cuts to Medicare. So the $1.2 trillion reduction would have to be between what is left of the civilian budget, and the military which presently consumes 58 percent of discretionary spending.

Allowing the supercommittee to fail was our best option.

Eliot Chandler


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