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Wednesday, June 26, 2013: Loggers, LePage and birds

Offended logger

I am offended by the rude and uncaring comments by Gov. Paul LePage. I have worked as a logger for Great Nothern, J. Paul Levesque, Irving and a handful of private woodlot owners for 35 years.

In all that time, my employers always treated me with respect. Working in the Maine woods provided for my family. It allowed me to buy my home, my vehicles and other necessities.

When the governor insulted Maine Sen. Troy Jackson, D-Allagash, he insulted all Maine loggers.

When is the governor going back to his “homestead” in Florida to shine his shoes?

Dan Gagnon

Van Buren

Action long overdue

As a bird lover, I welcome President Barack Obama’s recent announcement in Berlin that “bold action” on climate change is forthcoming. At this point, we won’t be able to avoid all the effects of climate change, but if bold action is taken now we may be able to mitigate some major effects, not just for people but also for birds.

Birds have important roles in the ecosystem, including plant pollination, seed dispersal and insect control.

A new National Wildlife Federation report, Shifting Skies: Migratory Birds in a Warming World, says that climate change is the biggest threat that birds face this century. Human-caused climate change is already disrupting the habits of many species of birds and is especially threatening to migratory birds that require specialized habitats for breeding, stopping over and overwintering.

Here in Maine, during this last year, the majority of puffin chicks starved in their burrows on offshore islands due to the lack of small enough fish, which scientists think may have shifted geographically due to climate change. This isn’t just sad for these iconic birds and those who love them but also for the tourism industry in Maine.

This report is just one of many warnings by scientists to quickly reduce carbon emissions while taking other steps to safeguard our natural habitats. Obama should truly take bold steps, and limiting carbon pollution from all coal-fired power plants as soon as possible using his authority under the Clean Air Act is long overdue.

Leda Beth Gray

Blue Hill

Right to work

I read the June 7 BDN story about anemic gross domestic product growth in Maine and the rest of New England and remembered articles written by Rep. Erin Herbig, D-Belfast, and Rep. Stanley Short, D-Pittsfield, applauding Democrats for defeating the “right-to-work” legislation.

Both quoted statistics from the Economic Policy Institute as rationale for their positions. Thinking that this was a nonprofit independent organization, I further investigated and found it was a left-wing operation whose primary funding comes from big labor, and its board of directors is almost all officials of labor unions, which I’m sure was not known to Reps. Herbig and Short.

Herbig, in her rant, stated that if they had passed the “right-to-work” legislation, that we would join in a race to the bottom. I would submit that by defeating it, she and her fellow Democrats not only entered the state of Maine into that race but put us in a very good position to win it.

Wayne Paul


Langley’s vote on mining

As a resident of Blue Hill near the old Callahan and Kerr American mine sites, I want to thank Sen. Brian Langley, R-Hancock, for voting on strong environmental safeguards should new metal mines be opened in Maine.

We need to avoid a repeat of past mistakes. The Callahan mine operated for six years, has been closed for 40 years and so far has cost taxpayers millions to clean up. Additionally, the mine has polluted the surrounding watershed with toxic chemicals.

By voting in support of LD 1302, Langley voted to protect Maine’s waterways and taxpayers from pollution caused by open-pit mines. Although the bill was defeated in the Senate, Langley voted twice in support of the majority report to LD 1302.

The bill would have ensured that wastewater treatment at a mine is completed within 10 years of a mine’s closure. Additionally, it would have ensured that Maine taxpayers are not left with the cost of cleaning up a mine after it has closed.

Although LD 1302 failed, the Department of Environmental Protection is currently rewriting the state’s metal mining regulations. The Legislature will take up these new rules in January 2014.

I urge Langley to ensure that these new mining rules include strong environmental protections, ensuring that taxpayers are not left with the cost of cleaning up these toxic wastes. In an ideal world, mining should not be allowed in Maine.

Linda Deming

Blue Hill

No shame

In response to Gov. Paul LePage’s “Vaseline” comment to Sen. Troy Jackson, D-Allagash — I am reminded of Sen. Margaret Chase Smith’s question to Sen. Joseph McCarthy during the Communist blacklisting of the 1950s: Sir, have you no shame?

Dianne Kopec


Governor foul

Gov. Paul LePage is such a crass and vulgar man. It is embarrassing to me to have such a foul-mouthed person lead my state. He has some good ideas that I agree with, but his mouth overshadows those ideas, and they get lost in the conversation.

We need not bring him back for a second term, if we can stand him that long. Is there a classy person out there who wants to lead our state?

Doug Pooler


Taxing rhetoric

The budget problem in Augusta was created by Gov. Paul LePage by taking an existing $300 million dollars in revenue out of the budget to provide the wealthiest Maine people tax breaks, according to a Dec. 22, 2012, BDN article.

Now LePage says we have a spending problem, yet he spent $300 million on tax spending for his wealthy cohorts. His “no new taxes” scheme isn’t new taxes; it is restoring the $300 million he took out of the budget by rescinding the tax expenditure he initiated earlier for people who hardly need a tax break.

If you call a bump in sales taxes new taxes, then have at it. I am not fooled by LePage’s rhetoric. LePage has cast the darkest of practices on Maine people since I can remember. Even sadder is the fact that the rest of the GOP is following him right off the pier.

Tim James


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