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Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2011: Wind power, mercury and ending the wars

Support Frankfort ordinance

We have lived for 48 years in a part of town where we would generally not see or hear

the wind turbines. Initially we also could not believe that the quietness of the wind could harm anyone.

The company proposing the project would have you believe that you could live directly beneath one of these monsters and the bad effects could be controlled so you could live a normal life and experience no discomfort.

We listened to the stories of the people in Freedom and other communities who do live

near the turbines. They tell a very different story of disruption and discomfort. The ownership of most of these projects changes after they are built. It then becomes difficult to find who is responsible when trouble arises.

The revenue benefits from projects such as this are much less than you would think. The electricity produced, contrary to the beliefs of some, goes into the “grid” and does not directly benefit your electric bill here in Frankfort.

We feel we have some responsibility for the welfare and well-being of all residents, including those most potentially affected by noise and flicker. The committee has devoted its energy to studying the research that has been generated worldwide to help promote the health and well-being of vulnerable people. The results of its work is an ordinance that is generally compatible with similar ordinances already approved in many neighboring communities. It deserves your support.

Norris and Judy Staples


Merry about mercury

Families in Maine have more than one reason to celebrate this holiday season. This December the Environmental Protection Agency is slated to finalize a rule limiting mercury pollution from power plants, the largest industrial source of such pollution, for the first time in history.

Mercury from power plants gets into the fish we eat and poses serious health problems. Mercury can harm a child’s growing brain and nervous system, impacting cognitive thinking, memory, attention, language and fine motor and visual spatial skills.

Mercury contamination of fish is so widespread that one in ten women of childbearing age has enough mercury in her bloodstream to put her child at risk if she becomes pregnant.

EPA’s new mercury rule is expected to cut emissions from power plants by more than 90 percent, resulting in huge benefits to our health, and that’s definitely something to celebrate. Sens. Collins and Snowe should defend this important rule from any attacks in Congress.

Anika James

Environment Maine


Why I stand

Nearly 250 years ago my ancestors fought the imperial British army at the Battle of Bunker Hill over a tax on tea and the quartering of foreign troops on Yankee soil.

I served my country as a soldier in the Army from 1961-1964. Now I stand in aching protest against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan where our young men and women die and where innocent civilians pay the price for our involvement on foreign soil.

Every 80 minutes a veteran attempts suicide. According to Army Times, 18 of my young fellow veterans succeed in killing themselves every day. Some months more soldiers in Afghanistan die of suicide than in combat.

Last week our bombs killed six Afghan children in what has become the longest-running war in U.S. history. At least 150,000 Iraqi and Afghan civilians have died since our invasion began. At least a million Iraqis and Afghans have been made refugees in their own countries.

The cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is over $4 trillion and growing.

These wars are bankrupting our country. There are over 800 homeless in Bangor, some of whom are my fellow veterans. My neighbors in Washington County must choose between heating their homes, buying medications or feeding their families. Spending huge sums on military adventures while Maine children live in poverty is the ultimate obscenity.

That is why I stand. I am one person saying, “No. No more. Not in my name. Bring them home. Now.”

Dick Hoyt


Support workers

Thanksgiving leftovers are now tasteless and stale much like the vacuous political fodder served up by LePage apologist John McGough (“LePage will stand tall against Maine state union,” BDN OpEd, Nov. 24).

The governor is hardly representing the people of Maine through “hard bargaining” or challenging a suddenly dangerous “status quo” — especially when such a status quo supports middle-class families. Since when does management deign to champion its “employees?”

Restructure the tax code to benefit working people. Raise the minimum wage. Invest in our people through education and innovation. Put teachers back to work. Maine people respect leaders who tell the truth, not ones who substitute ideology for intelligent public policy.

It’s easy to blame unions, the poor, welfare recipients and social service spending when economic success will come when public sector jobs are restored, new jobs created and taxes raised for most people. Republican extremism is dead. Slashing more state services and employees will further raise unemployment and homelessness.

Mac Herrling


Under their thumb

Ron Joseph might have thought it was clever to veil his assault on Gov. LePage and Maine Republicans in some feel good language about “building bridges between two distinct regions” in his recent OpEd (“LURC under assault by governor, GOP,” Nov. 23 BDN). He was wrong.

Joseph’s column was nothing more that a rehashing of the same old arguments southern Maine people and environmental extremists have been using for years to keep rural Mainers under their thumb.

I am grateful the LURC study group has traveled across Maine to hear from residents most affected by LURC. The best way for them to understand what impact LURC has on these residents is to go to them.

Under Gov. Baldacci, residents of Greenville had to travel to Portland for hearings on a development in their own backyards. This is the type of bridge people like Mr. Joseph wish to build — one that requires rural Mainers to travel great distances to beg permission from distant bureaucrats and activists to do as they wish with their property.

Mr. Joseph needs to realize those are not the bridges that unite, they’re the one-way streets that create bitterness, distrust and poverty in rural residents for the benefit of far-removed activists such as himself.

Thank you to Gov. LePage and all those who traveled across Maine to hear the voices of rural Mainers. It has been a long time since Maine state government listened to the voices of “both Maines.”

Wanda Lincoln

Old Town

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