Friday, Feb. 22, 2013: Taking from our veterans, wind energy, bullying

Posted Feb. 21, 2013, at 1:31 p.m.

BDN support

I feel so bad for the BDN regarding the brouhaha over the concealed carry issue. I think the paper caved too soon, however.

The information is important to the public and editors at the paper. I guess that’s the reason they tried to access it before the effort to keep it under wraps took effect.

The old adage “armed and dangerous” means if you are armed, you are dangerous. Even children can explain how scary a picture of a hot-headed administrator waving a concealed carry card is.

Isn’t it time we stop being intimidated by the National Rifle Association and its supporters and step up to make the massacre of babies in Newtown, Conn., a “focusing moment”?

Those of us without guns need help from the Fourth Estate to defend our First Amendment right to life.

Ellen Steen

Bangor

Unchain CPI

A little-understood proposal to cut federal spending would demand sacrifice from our nation’s veterans, including those with severe disabilities and elderly survivors of World War II.

The proposal, known as a “Chained Consumer Price Index,” is touted by some in Washington as a more accurate way to compute cost-of-living adjustments to federal benefits than the current inflation index.

Unfortunately, that’s not true for older Americans, including many veterans and people with disabilities, whose hard-earned benefits would no longer keep up with inflation if this proposal takes effect.

Even more troubling, permanent adjustments for the cost of living index take a bigger bite over time. The effect would be a stealth and growing benefit cut for the rest of a veteran’s life.

In Maine, we have approximately hundreds of thousands of veterans. If the Chained CPI proposal goes through, collectively, Maine veterans will lose millions in benefits over the next decade.

Reductions would build up for Social Security benefits, which millions of veterans nationwide

depend on. Under a Chained CPI, a retiree who lives to 92 years old would actually lose a month’s worth of benefits each year.

Budget decisions should be fair and promises should be kept. Reducing the cost-of-living adjustment by shifting to an improper formula falls short on both counts.

AARP, the American Legion, Disabled American Veterans, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, and more than a dozen other veterans’ organizations oppose the Chained CPI.

A chained CPI is out of touch with our daily lives. Let’s keep it out of the law.

Dick Eustis

Old Town

Thanks for not delivering

Many BDN subscribers depend on the company’s carriers for their papers. Carriers delivering to very rural routes often must drive miles and miles between boxes.

I honor all BDN carriers for leaving their homes very early each morning to spend long hours — often in bad weather — so that we can have our newspapers.

We did not get a paper Feb.18. The snow was particularly heavy Down East, and about 16 inches fell that night and throughout the day. The wind created deep drifts.

I was actually relieved to find no paper in our box. To me, the health and safety of our carrier is more important than receiving the paper.

Our thanks to our carrier and the others. We rarely see them, but we know they are out there serving us.

Joel and Hope Pratt

Roque Bluffs

Positive publicity

Bullying is one of those “flag waving” issues school districts use for positive publicity. However, only the publicized cases get any real involvement from administration.

My son’s experience with bullying at Troy Howard Middle School in Belfast led to him threatening to kill himself and me to home-school him.

For two years, my son was given advice such as “Take the high road” and “Walk away.”

This is how we were dealt with. There was no talk of going to the other child.

Plus, the privacy of the bullies must be protected at all times, so seldom do you know if the child(ren) causing the issues have even been disciplined.

My son has attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and anxiety. I work hard to support him and try to show him ways to deal with these things.

He is not one of the popular students teachers find easy to deal with. He is one of the kids who are often targets with no support because their level of visibility in schools, due to their diagnoses or other issues, carries a stigma.

It’s a stigma that administration and staff further every time they tell a bullied student to “take the high road,” while perpetrating students continue to get the teacher’s smiles.

Not all teachers at the THMS left my son out in the cold. The staff at East Belfast School from first grade until he went to THMS worked hand in hand with me to help him be successful.

Lisa Whitney

Belfast

Which way wind blows

Iberdrola Renewables has proposed building a large wind-energy facility in Concord and Lexington townships.

While specific details of the project have been kept from the public, we know that wind turbines are growing in size with each new facility proposed.

First Wind’s latest project calls for turbines 512 feet tall. To put that in perspective, these

machines are almost 100 feet taller than the elevation Lexington’s village center rises above sea level.

The majority of the residents in these communities have signed petitions opposing the project. In addition, our senator, representative and county commissioners support our stance.

We’ve conveyed our position to Iberdrola Renewables and Plum Creek, the land owner, but have been ignored.

Not only have they disregarded the will of the people who reside here, but they’ve just submitted an application to erect a fourth meteorological tower north of Peaked Hill.

Why? To expand an already massive project that’s staunchly opposed by those who will live within its shadow and sound-shed?

We’re Maine citizens who have been denied input in the future of our community. We’ve done our homework — studying the science and economics while weighing the benefits and negative impacts.

We’re not uninformed. We’re educated, and we are Americans. Do our votes and voices still count, or will a foreign corporation decide our fate?

Karen Pease

Lexington Township

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