Saturday, Sept. 29, 2012: Statoil, desecration and rural Maine

Posted Sept. 28, 2012, at 1:17 p.m.

Energy costs

Responding to the Sept. 14 article, “PUC accepts commentary for offshore wind project,” I am disappointed by the short-sighted thinking of some in Augusta.

Statoil is a multibillion dollar international corporation with a strong North American presence willing to make investments in Maine. People need to understand that this would be an investment, not an income resource for Statoil. In return Maine would become the host for new technology and industry that is desired around the world.

Local engineering, technology and manufacturing firms would be contracted to do the work. Maine companies will develop globally exportable expertise and reputations, creating greater wealth for our local economy.

The success of this project will allow reduced electricity costs 10 and 20 years from now. Maine can’t focus on short-term energy costs that we don’t control. We need to invest in long-term energy cost reduction and stability.

Benefits outweigh the costs. Rate increases are measured in cents. The benefits of this project are long term, and we will reap the future rewards in ways not currently fathomed. Short-term quibbling on small jobs numbers or unnoticeable rate increases is foolish. Opportunities like this come to Maine once in a lifetime.

If Maine turns down a slam-dunk opportunity to work with and attract the investment of a recognized international giant like Statoil, companies worldwide will take notice of the fact that Maine is not truly interested in investment or open for business in any market.

Paul Williamson

Director and industry coordinator

Maine Wind Industry Initiative

Portland

What is the real rural Maine?

I was quite taken by the article “How can rural Maine attract business?” ( BDN, Sept. 15). It’s very well written and speaks to many points and truths about rural Maine and its lacking a skilled workforce, but I believe there is another side about rural Maine that should be brought forth.

Having grown up in a small town in Piscataquis County and living in Cumberland County for a number of years before coming to Bangor 25 years ago, I believe I have a well-rounded perspective to describe rural Maine. My most recent employment position was traveling east, north and west of Bangor, from Rangeley to Eastport to Fort Kent.

Across the board I would say that most of the territory I covered looked and felt like a depressed area with little or no hope. Where do they go for education or skills training? How can they afford to go anywhere? Skills are the key. The Maine woods is still here.

Perhaps there are other products that could be manufactured? I believe you can market almost anything if you really try. Helping rural Maine is about helping people. Get everyday people involved.

I believe there is a great deal of untapped talent already here. Maine has long had a reputation for its strong work ethic and dependable workforce. In Maine, we always get the job done.

I say, give Maine workers a chance to prove themselves. They have skills, and some of the older force that is mentioned could be used to start up and-or manage new businesses.

Bud Butterfield

Bangor

Tolerance

I was shocked and angry to learn of the desecration of two of Bangor’s synagogues with swastikas last Friday. That these events took place at all is most regrettable. That they took place on the Sabbath between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur is particularly worrisome and suggests that all of us have much work to do in shaping and maintaining a tolerant community.

Churches, mosques, synagogues, cemeteries and private homes have been the targets for such intolerable behavior for centuries, if not millennia. Fortunately, such hate crimes are not common in Maine or Penobscot, Hancock or Washington counties, but they do recur periodically. When that happens, all of us are threatened, as are the institutions and fabric of the communities in which we live.

In 1986, about a year before he died, Holocaust survivor Primo Levi stated simply, “It happened, therefore it can happen again … it can happen, and it can happen everywhere.” This time the desecration may affect my house of worship or cemetery, but next time it may well be yours. All of us, therefore, have a responsibility in creating, maintaining and promoting greater tolerance within our community. All of us have a responsibility to ensure that our discourse is civil, that we treat each other with mutual respect, and that we respect the laws of our nation. All of us are responsible for constantly educating our children, each other, and ourselves that we choose to live in this community and work together because of our shared basic values and in spite of the individual differences we may have.

Richard C. Dimond, M.D.

Southwest Harbor

Support Gratwick

Democrat Geoff Gratwick is running for State Senate so that he can advocate for the people of Bangor and Hermon. Like all of us he is frustrated by what has been going on in Augusta. He believes that what becomes law in the next two years must address the concerns of the folks who live in our Senate district and must not simply benefit or please a special interest.

I have watched him work throughout his three terms on the Bangor City Council to attract new businesses, improve public transportation and foster economic development in downtown Bangor. He knows that there is no magical fix to Maine’s problems, and he believes that the solutions approved by the current Legislature have not made those problems better.

He believes in looking at proposals from all points of view, separating the good ones from those that are simply ideology put into print and working with all who seriously want to make Maine a better place to live.

He is the kind of senator that we need in Augusta. He has my support and my vote.

George Burgoyne

Bangor

The Declaration of Dependence

When in the course of human events, it becomes obvious that many people do not like to work for a living, a certain respect for their condition declares that we set forth the means that will impel us to provide reparation. Abhorrence of work will not be changed by thoughtful and proven reasons. And accordingly, all experience has shown that mankind is more disposed to get something for nothing than to stress themselves by looking for work.

Therefore, with a firm reliance on sublime generosity of our liberal benefactors, we mutually pledge to each other to never work for a living and always and forever vote for the Democrats.

David Huck

Swanville

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