Thursday, June 21, 2012: The east-west highway, political center and teen texters

Posted June 20, 2012, at 5:49 p.m.

East-west

Every east-west highway supporter I know wants a good future for Maine’s railroads. However, more than 85 percent of the commerce in North America, measured in dollar value, moves in trucks. The fact is if we can improve the economy of Maine, that can also help railroads gain added business. Maine is not big, strong, influential or economically significant enough to cause the trade of North America to move off trucks and back to rails.

Twenty years ago the Maine East-West Highway Association figured out that along with a shorter connection to the American Midwest, one goal of the highway should be connecting Maine to the economic centers of Montreal and Toronto. Looking at a map, anyone can see that a transportation system going west must either go north or south of Lake Champlain.

Going north of the lake takes the route to the Canadian border. Thus a route out of Maine at Coburn Gore works better than a route through Gilead or any place further south. By routing to Sherbrooke the road is only 40 miles north of the Vermont border. The older route through Gilead requires travel through the White Mountains and then around Lake Champlain; thus more miles to accomplish the same trip.

This is not a case of a “new” route if privately funded. The same route to Coburn Gore has been shown by most advocates for 20 years. The proposal is not primarily about highways. It is about Maine’s economy and jobs. Should we put more objections in the path?

Richard Bronson

Bangor

What middle?

Letter writer Kent Price on June 7 did a good job of exposing the shaky basis of Angus King’s independent candidacy for the U.S. Senate, but Price ignores a key aspect of King’s premise. That is, how can one aim at occupying the political middle ground when it has shifted so radically?

Aided and abetted by the news media, which badly wish to not offend anyone and to appear fair, many people think that “both sides are to blame,” that Democrats and Republicans are equally at fault in creating gridlock in Washington. The fact is that, while the Democrats have maintained a fairly even keel for decades, the Republicans in Congress have become increasingly extremist.

Senate Republicans have an announced goal of defeating President Obama regardless of what he favors or what the results for the nation. They threaten to filibuster any and all presidential proposals and thus have redefined a majority as not 50 percent plus one but 60 percent. The

Founding Fathers definitely did not have this travesty in mind.

House Republicans passed overwhelmingly a budget bill that could bankrupt the nation and impoverish millions of people. The Republican Tea Party faction doesn’t even march to the drum of its own speaker.

So, when Angus King says that he hopes to occupy the sensible middle, what is he saying? What middle? What sense? King has an admirable record that is totally at odds with today’s Republican Party. Is he really open to joining its caucus in the Senate?

Sarah Longden

Orrington

Logical stance

In a letter to the editor June 11, Harriet Real asks someone to explain why the Maine Education Association supports gay marriage.

As a member of another organization (the American Federation of Teachers), I’ll try.

Education opens our eyes to the world beyond our family and community. When effective, it helps us understand and not to fear social change. Education teaches us to value diversity of all kinds. Through education we learn that equality in America has been unavailable to some citizens.

Support for the rights of those citizens is a logical stance for a teacher’s association.

Peg Cruikshank

Corea

Good news is good news

Excuse me? How’s that? Gov. LePage says Maine’s economy is improving and it is not on page one, not a headline, not a page two story but a B5 mention. Good Lord, good news is good news, it belongs on page one above or even below the fold.

Wondering if LePage gagged as he said it or if he plans to lay claim to the credit, robbing the poor to make a point.

Sharon E. Weber

Calais

Dam right

Once again I find myself agreeing with Gov. LePage. My question to the Sentinel is: Why is it a good thing to destroy a perfectly good operating dam and then think that building these hideous-looking contraptions that mar Maine’s beautiful landscape is a plus? If we had a Legislature that had the courage of a chipmunk we would bar the windmills and promote the use of dams.

Take a plane ride over some of Maine and come across these terrible looking windmills and see for yourself what they do to the beauty of Maine’s woods. In addition what will the noise generated by these contraptions do to any one living near them and also what will the noise do to wildlife. The other day I read that Maine was 70 percent woods in the 1970s and that now its over 90 percent. How much is enough to these zealots?

Arthur Julia

Fairfield

Our culture

You wouldn’t know it by watching or reading the national news, but Christians are starting to come ahead in the Culture Wars. Last year eight states stopped funding Planned Parenthood of about $62 million.

Planned Parenthood is the country’s No. 1 abortion provider and has been supported by our taxes. This year — 2012 — Ohio, Iowa, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Arizona and now Maine have done the same: withholding funds. We have four pro-life female governors and 17 pro-life women in Congress. Gov. Mary Fallin of Oklahoma signed into law a bill requiring a woman to hear her baby’s heartbeat before having an abortion and another bill says the abortionist must be present when a woman receives medication to induce an abortion.

Although Obama came out in support of gay marriage, 37 states have laws or constitutional amendments keeping marriage between a man and a woman. The Catholic church has started 43 lawsuits against the Obama administration to stop his health care mandate to force religious Church-run charities, hospitals, schools and more to include contraception and abortion-causing pills in their health plans against their conscience. Christians who have traditionally been liberal are beginning to see how the left is going the way of godless socialism against our culture.

Thomas Coleman Sr.

Dedham

Texting times

Worried about teens texting while driving? Let the cellphone company monitor the Doppler shift of all text messages. Since the Doppler shift is a signature of a moving transmitter it would be easy to deny access to moving texters.

Walter Guinon

Lincolnville

http://bangordailynews.com/2012/06/20/opinion/thursday-june-21-2012-the-east-west-highway-political-center-and-teen-texters/ printed on July 25, 2014