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Thursday, March 21, 2013: Scenery, ‘Kwikies’ and iPads

Whose Maine will be preserved?

In a BDN OpEd piece on March 19, Jackson Parker, CEO of Reed & Reed, claimed that a decision by the Department of Environmental Protection to exclude wind turbines from Passadumkeag Mountain “threatens to undermine Maine’s attractiveness for investors.”

There is another kind of “investor” who comes to Maine, and this one spends a lot of money to see our scenery, not wind turbines: tourists. Whose Maine will be preserved?

The Maine Office of Tourism reported that in the summer of 2012, Maine had an estimated 9.6 million overnight visitors and 13.8 million day visitors. In winter of 2012, there were 2.9 million overnight visitors.

Maine’s “beautiful scenery” was the top reason all visitors came to Maine. In 2006, the state commissioned the Brookings Institute to create an action plan for promoting our sustainable prosperity and quality of places.

The report, “Charting Maine’s Future,” states: “As the search for quality places grows in importance, Maine possesses a globally known ‘brand’ built on images of livable communities, stunning scenery, and great recreational opportunities.”

The DEP has shown not only leadership but stewardship for our scenery by denying the Passadumkeag wind project. Hopefully, on March 21, the Board of Environmental Protection will exhibit the same stewardship for Maine’s economic driver, our scenery, and support the DEP decision.

Paula Moore


Lifetime entitlements

I keep hearing that the majority of the financial problems we have in this country are because of entitlements. I don’t understand the mentality of members of both parties when they refer to benefits that we have paid for our whole lives — by either service or monthly deductions, mandated by law — as a giveaway.

We did what we were supposed to do, Washington should live up to its side of the agreement

I don’t believe that the majority of people are getting anything for free. I am disgusted when the Washington crowd talks this way, and they are not including themselves.

They refer to all those folks getting some form of check from the government as meaning we are on the dole, that we are lazy, perhaps even dishonest.

I don’t know of a single person who is not responsibly paying his or her own way. I do see many corporations that are too big to fail, with their hands out, lining up to the trough to get bailed out by the people.

How about some ethics for a start? Congress gets many lifetime entitlements; I think that is the place to start.

James Landry


Retiring system

In response to Sen. Troy Jackson wanting to take away Gov. Paul LePage’s retirement if he fails to win reelection — I feel that no elected official in the state of Maine should be permitted to obtain a retirement provided by the state.

Should they want to be involved in obtaining a retirement, then they should involve their pay in the Social Security system. The state should not provide any state retirement to any elected official.

They should understand this when seeking an elected office. They are seeking to provide a civic duty, and it provides no other benefits. Should they be seeking election for its benefits, then they are not in it to perform their civic duty, and should put their energies into a job and not seek public office.

Roger Bryce


Not-so-common sense

The director of the Maine Bureau of Alcoholic Beverages and Lottery has now said it no longer plans on calling the scratch tickets “Kwikies.”

Congratulations, where did the sudden shock of common sense come from? When I first read of this idea in the paper, I was shocked to say the least. How could anyone have ever looked at this suggestion and made any sense of it?

The naming process took three to four months and 50 to 60 names before picking one. Talk about a ridiculous waste of time and money.

What qualifications does one need to be the director of one of our state’s departments? It makes one think.

It was bad enough to waste the time and money picking a name, but then they even proceeded to produce the radio and television ads before a name was finalized. What kind of thinking does one have to be so irresponsible?

The next time such a difficult task faces the department maybe they should consult with John Doe. It probably would save a lot of time and money.

This type of activity in our state government needs to be watched more closely and eliminated to reduce waste of our money. The thought of how widespread this type of thing might be is scary.

Robert Beaulieu


Alone Together

This letter is in response to a March 20 story about Maine possibly giving iPads to all middle school students.

Sherry Turkle, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and author of the book “Alone Together,” said that as technology becomes ever more pervasive, our relationship to it becomes more intimate. As a result, we are granting it the power to influence decisions, moods and emotions.

In a way, there’s an immaturity to our relationship with technology.

Richard W. Sykes


Dismal display of ‘Mecca’ support

Having shot around at the Bangor Auditorium Saturday, March 16, and participated in the alumni game, all I can say is “ouch.” I couldn’t believe my eyes at the small number of people who participated in the auditorium’s farewell shoot around, which was sponsored by the Maine Basketball Hall of Fame.

However, maybe the lack of advertising caused the dismal numbers. With all the students, fans, players, coaches and cheerleaders over the 58 year history, to say I was surprised and disappointed at the lack of participation is an understatement.

Thanks go out to the Cony and Ashland high schools, Lee Academy and other ladies for supporting the alumni game. It was awesome to participate and play one more game.

Jennifer Theriault


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