Friday, May 18, 2012: Clean air, east-west highway and Armed Forces Day

Posted May 17, 2012, at 3:04 p.m.

Toxic protection

On behalf of the Leadership Board of the American Lung Association of Maine, I would like to commend former Attorney General Steve Rowe for his thoughtful letter, “ Support for carbon rule follows Maine’s lead”, and for his work in public service to protect the health of Maine children and adults from toxic air pollution.

We have always been proud that our own Sen. Edmund Muskie was the original sponsor of the Clean Air Act over 40 years ago. Since then, our U.S. senators have exemplified our state motto, “Dirigo,” or “I Lead,” when it comes to air quality. Sens. William Cohen and George Mitchell played a critical role in updating the Clean Air Act 20 years ago. Like Sen. Muskie before them, they saw that healthful air for our children is not a partisan or political issue, but a regional issue that has a tremendous effect on the health of our state.

Over the years, Sens. Snowe and Collins have both taken important votes in support of air quality. We are going to need them more than ever in the months to come as out-of-state polluters and the members of Congress who are doing their bidding continue in their attempts to weaken or dismantle core protections of our air and our health. We’re counting on Sens. Snowe and Collins to be on the side of Maine people, not the industry polluters.

Andrew Filderman, MD

Rockport

Considerations of east-west highway

The Maine east-west highway proposal has a billboard’s factual depth and a political campaign’s hype. This makes objective evaluation impossible. Priority No. 1 in filling this information gap should be a published route proposal of specific town tax lot numbers, acreage to be taken and owner’s names. Will compensation be based on town assessed value, assessed value plus timber or fair market value? How will truncated lot access problems be addressed? What will be the taxation rate for the highway owners? Is a pipeline part of this project? Is commercial water extraction planned?

Other questions include noise pollution and wildlife mortality. Is exclusion fencing planned? Is it wise or safe to encourage gawking tourists on a working highway?

Considerations of tourist safety leads to considerations of sovereignty. Will the highway be patrolled by Maine State Police or a Canadian rent-a-cop company? This in turn leads to a host of other safety and security issues. This proposed corridor is analogous to the Panama canal and could be correctly named “The Isthmus of Canada.”

Big money does not spend without careful planning. The roses and sunshine viewpoints some legislators are pushing are suspicious. The devil is always in the details. If this issue has been “studied to death” as claimed, it is time they started sharing some of this info.

Gene Wilbur

Parkman

East-west highway

In the May 12 BDN article “East-west highway critics mislead, bully, Cianbro chief Peter Vigue says,” Peter Vigue is quoted as saying that those who are opposed to the development of an east-west corridor are “misleading people” and “not telling the truth.”

He refuses to discuss the potential route of the 2,000-foot-wide corridor because he is concerned about the protesters “bullying the landowners whose land will be crossed.” He talks about our region as the “hollow middle,” as if it is without people.

Does Mr. Vigue really think the protesters are just people from “away” who are being bussed in to carry placards? My neighbors and I whose land is potentially in jeopardy are the very protesters he is referring to. We live in Maine because we love the natural resources, clean water, quiet of the woods and beautiful vistas. Our history, heritage and values are tied up in the land. We are suffering mental anguish due to worry that our homes, farms, natural environment and way of life are being taken from us in secretive meetings by multinational corporations bent on “economic development” at all cost. Even before the precise route is made public, our property values will decline because of inevitable environmental degradation which will occur with any industrial project of this magnitude near our homes.

I resent his characterization. I am a citizen, a professional, a taxpayer and a landowner. I do not bully. I am just not in favor of his proposal and I intend to be outspoken.

Diane Boretos

Sangerville

Give thanks to our military

Saturday is Armed Forces Day.

What everybody needs to be reminded of on this Armed Forces Day is how much our men and women now serving are sacrificing at home and all over the world on our over 800-plus bases protecting our freedoms.

Combat and noncombat overseas and statewide all are far from home, lonely and apart from their loved ones, serving their country without complaining, some in terrible places, some not-so-terrible places. My own children, following in their dad’s footsteps, served many years in the U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Air Force respectfully. They always received a letter each month from their dad and sometimes more often depending on circumstances. Their dad had been there, done that, and knew how important communications were to all serving.

To all readers of the BDN, I’m sure you know someone now serving or know someone who knows someone serving. How about sending a letter, email, Skype or phone call or even a care package to someone you don’t even know. He or she on active duty will appreciate it and you will feel good doing it.

May I personally thank all those serving and hope and pray that in the future you all may be saved combat and serve in and for a new world where peace will prevail and no more lives will be lost.

Frank Slason

Somerville

Manna thanks

On behalf of our neighbors, thank you Renee Overlock and all the letter carriers and Sara Yasner of The United Way for all the energy and time you put in to make the 2012 Postal Letter Carrier Food Drive a success.

Thank you Boy Scouts and the many volunteers that drove throughout the area collecting the food, the sorters that boxed the food and the many hands that unloaded the food and finally distributed it to the food providers — you’re an awesome group to work with. Due to your kindness and sacrifice, many people, including our children, will not go have to go without a meal this summer.

This is why living in the Bangor region is so terrific; the community cares and will provide assistance to our neighbors when asked. Thank you Greater Bangor for your compassion and kindness, you turn a thought into an action.

Bill Rae

Manna, Inc.

Bangor

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