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Monday, July 2, 2012: Wind power, war on terrorism and zombie fantasies

Wind power

A recent BDN editorial hinted that a new approach to wind development in Maine might be advisable. The BDN wrote: “Turbines should be placed in areas that make sense to all involved: people paying for them and people living with them.”

The statement could be a simple and better way to approach wind development in the state.

A reassessment of Maine’s current approach has already been suggested in a legislatively required independent review of Maine wind development completed earlier this year.

Several consultants took a comprehensive look at how things have gone since Maine doubled down on wind development four years ago. That 2008 bet took the form of a sweeping rewrite of historic standards and statute. It gave developers the spring they need to leapfrog over the obstacles to their projects that affected citizens might represent.

The consultants wisely concluded that change might be in order. Without change, acrimony and litigation will continue to define our experience with wind power in Maine. Without more reasonable state standards, residents of organized towns will continue to enact prohibitive wind ordinances to protect their communities.

Without change, residents of the unorganized territory, like me, will still have little or no means to preserve community values in the face of unwanted and unnecessary wind development.

A new approach is essential if we are to have any voice in our own township’s future with regard to wind power. Only our residents can, and should, determine if industrial wind development makes sense in our community.

Alan Michka

Lexington Township

Zombie fantasy

Please assure me that the recent “zombie apocalypse” emergency preparedness drill held at a local event center, which was reportedly attended by over 100 emergency responders from eight Maine counties, was, in fact, an entertainment production, joke or hoax.

I cannot believe that intelligent, self-respecting adult professionals would engage in such fantasy with such a serious subject.

If this exercise was, in fact, a genuine public safety drill, then, ladies and gentlemen, we have certainly lost all sight of reality.

Beth Dalton


Bully pulpit

I have watched the bullying of the grandmother bus monitor and listened to the media reporting for a number of days and would like to point out another perspective. A bus monitor is there to prevent what happened to her. It was apparent that her mere presence was not enough to prevent the bullying. This raises a number of questions to be answered by the school authorities responsible for the program.

What training was she given after being hired? What was she supposed to do under the circumstances shown on the tape? Should she have been sitting in the middle of the bus unable to observe what was going on behind her? Should she have been sitting at the back of the bus where she would be able to observe errant activity throughout the bus? Was she to have the bus stopped while she and also the driver recovered control? How was she to identify errant students?

As a former school administrator, it was evident to me there are a number of levels of responsibility that may have been ignored. Hopefully, this will be a wake-up call to all boards of education and school administrators to be more actively involved and not think the mere presence of an adult is enough in today’s world.

John C. Ferriday


War on terrorism vs. economy

I was surprised that a foreign policy story by Michael A. Cohen (BDN 6/11/12) carried the headline “Why Americans love Obama’s kill list.” The proof of that statement relies on the threadbare evidence of a Washington Post poll of last February and another taken last March by an unnamed pollster.

I can agree that younger generations of Americans love anything high-tech and computer-driven, including the unmanned aircraft misnamed drones. Not nearly enough thought is given to American foreign policy and the prospect of using pre-emptive military strikes to carry it out. I fear Mr. Obama, after consulting his hit-list, will continue some plausible pretext for taking out the heads of state of Iran and Syria.

The Obama administration seems hell-bent on creating a permanent “war on terrorism.” And yes, our warrior-in-chief, Mr. Obama, seeks another term as president. The economy can wait; Mr. Obama is busy with regime-change and human rights policies in which political assassinations with collateral damage to civilian populations is to be expected. Already the president has deleted the names of two unarmed terrorists from his kill list.

Mr. Obama may believe that his extended war on terrorism and foreign political interventions are effective distractions from his failure to improve the American economy. If so, it’s not working. American voters know their own sons and grandsons are being killed in undeclared war and misguided foreign adventurism. It is the duty of Congress to represent U.S. citizens and reassert its constitutional authority in matters of war and peace previously defaulted to presidents.

Carle G. Gray


Spreading democracy

Independence Day, July 4, is a legal holiday celebrating the anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence in 1776.

That being said, what an accomplishment and example to set for others, albeit Austria was helpful in our endeavour. Could it be that as Americans we remember that and realize it is our responsibility to try and help other countries gain their independence? This could be very altruistic, but have we gone overboard with trying to spread democracy all over the world? My feeling is yes, we have set our sights too high and lost way too much of our treasures, e.g., the men and women of our armed forces, to wars that aren’t really about those countries’ independence but ideological wars created by neocons with other criteria.

Yes, we were attacked on 9/11 and rose to the occasion quickly and paid back Osama bin Laden in spades. Was almost over, but got sidetracked into Iraq by false information and the perpetrator even wrote a book later telling us all how stupid we were to fall for all his lies and misinformation.

It is my hope and prayer that America will elect a president in November who will ease off on our aggressions and by doing so prevent this “holy war” from escalating further. Stay home unless attacked, but if attacked, God help whoever has lost his mind and decides to.

Remember, the best deterrent to an attack is a powerful military and we most certainly have that, but perhaps staying at home will prevent one.

Frank Slason


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