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Thursday, July 19, 2012: Lobstermen, wind power and health care cuts

Rugged individualists or crybabies?

The last time it was the high cost of fuel and bait. Lobster fishermen should know their catch is just another commodity. Instead of docking their boats they should seize the opportunity and flood the market with low-priced “shedders” as an exceptional Maine bargain. Comparing $16-per-pound filet mignon to $5 lobsters, I’ll take the shedder — sweet and delicious. How about a cheaper lobster roll? I’ll take two, please.

Neither fishermen nor consumers benefit from withholding product from the market, driving prices higher. Boat payments and insurances continue to mount. My solution is to catch and sell as many as possible, creating new customers, while breaking even until the shedders are gone. Tourism in Maine is in high gear now, so why not give our visitors a treat they will never forget?

Today, no Keynesian economist mentions either price elasticity of demand or the theory of comparative advantage. Paul Krugman and his ilk pontificate only about lack of demand and needed federal stimulus — our tax dollars. Lobster fishermen have both supply and price to whip the competition. Nobody else can catch these creatures. I encourage them to set an example of free-market capitalism and show the political economists that higher prices, restricted supply and rationing are bogus solutions for the real world. Americans need lower prices and the free market to work properly and morally so we can extricate ourselves from the present economic wilderness.

Dudley G. Gray

Rangeley Plantation

Department praise

This October, I will retire after 30 years of service to the city of Brewer. In our 143-year history, there have been 28 chiefs who have led the department and served the city. Brewer is now poised to create the new position of public safety director, a position that will lead both fire and police. This is a bold step for Brewer, and we believe it will be a very successful opportunity.

An important reason that this position is being created is the anticipated cost savings. This can be achieved without the loss of responding personnel or sacrificing the safety and security of our residents. While cost is a factor, protecting our residents with the best fire and police departments is our first priority. This would not have been proposed for only financial savings.

This will work in Brewer due to the long history of the police and fire departments working together. Not only do we have a decades-old track record of teamwork, we also share the same facility and routinely train side by side. With this unique insight, Chief Perry Antone, who has many years of experience working closely with both departments, knows and understands the people that work here and has great respect for them. Equally important, the members of the fire department respect him and his department.

When I leave in October, I can go with the knowledge that the Brewer Fire Department, my department for 30 years, will be in very capable hands and will continue to be one of the best fire departments in the state.

Gary Parent


Open for business

Maine, the way life should be. Now that Gov. Paul LePage has opened it for business, we must double our efforts to preserve that way of life.

Imagine 20 years from now looking out on Passadumkeag Mountain. Instead of a pristine natural environment of incomparable beauty, there are 14 inoperative, rusting turbines, 459 feet high — taller than any building in the state.

I never expected to be opposed to wind power. At Tuesday’s county commissioner hearing on tax increment financing (money accrued by tax dollars from the proposed turbine project), I learned that these turbines are an old, inefficient technology that is not projected to last and that the project will only create 225 temporary construction jobs and 5-7 permanent technical positions.

The energy from these turbines won’t even benefit Mainers. We were told to be happy with the meager 40 percent of the TIF revenue we’d receive and that the project might not be viable if we demanded more. Adding insult to injury, commissioners assumed that funds should be allocated for further development of the Unorganized Territory. I am a UT resident. Am I alone in not wanting to see Maine’s UT further developed? Isn’t it bad enough that big red blinking Xs on the turbines will flash all night every night?

Let’s do our homework about wind power. This is not green energy as we want it to be. It’s a wake-up call about corporate greed, the bullying of disenfranchised residents and exploitation of Maine’s natural resources.

Esu Anahata

West Lake, Township 3 Northern Division

Supporting Dan Levesque

As a business owner in Aroostook County, I have had the pleasure of working with Dan Levesque on several occasions.

While Dan was the owner-operator of Levesque Lumber, K-PEL Industrial Services Inc. completed several mechanical and piping projects. In later years, North Star Tower and Communications and Aroostook Internet worked closely in expanding internet services to Aroostook County businesses and residents.

Dan conducted his business operations in a fair and professional way. His straightforward attitude and his experience in Aroostook County make him the prime candidate to fight for small business in Northern Maine.

Kevin Pelletier


K-PEL Industrial Services, Inc.

North Star Tower and Communications

Archie support

I was so excited to hear that Archie Verow is running for the Maine Legislature in Brewer that I am writing my first letter to the editor. I am happy Archie is running because he is the type of person who knows how to bring people together to find common-sense solutions.

Archie has shown this skill in his many years of service to Brewer as mayor, city councilor and town clerk. If Maine government is to move beyond its current state of dysfunction, electing problem-solvers like Archie will be crucial. I hope all Brewer residents will join me in supporting Archie Verow for the Maine Legislature on voting day this coming November.

Marco Orlando


Care Act

Gov. Paul LePage and the Maine Legislature cut MaineCare knowing the cuts were illegal under the Affordable Care Act. Now that the health care act has been upheld by the Supreme Court, the governor will ask Kathleen Sebelius at the Department of Health and Human Services for a waiver.

U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree has recommended the waiver not be given. This does not make her part of the “jet-setting elite.” Instead, the governor and the Legislature have crafted an irresponsible budget based on faulty assumptions and are now trying to cast the blame on someone else.

James Alciere

East Machias

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