Saturday, July 27, 2013: Distracted driving, wind power and LePage’s ‘Vaseline’ comment

Posted July 26, 2013, at 12:14 p.m.

Life actions

Two children without their mother. A family struggling to heal after losing a loved one. A young man whose life has also been altered by his actions. These are just a few of the results of choices made by a teenage driver one day in April in Berwick.

While we may never know exactly what caused the accident that killed Amy Harris, it is indisputable that drivers have become more distracted. Just look around, and you will see drivers swerving and drifting, seemingly unaware of their surroundings. Innocent people do die because of distracted driving.

A news article reported that the driver of the vehicle will face civil charges. Perhaps if teenagers and adults knew they could face civil penalties, and possibly jail time, they might alter their actions, and thereby save innocent lives.

Along with legislative changes, the most important change we can make is personal. If readers have a teenage driver in their homes, they should model good driving. Put the cell phone away when driving. Discuss distracted driving with children with the same urgency and seriousness as we do drinking and driving.

These actions won’t bring back our friend, Amy, but it might save someone else from the pain her family and friends will live with forever.

Kate Sheldon

Berwick

Restore mountaintops

It is interesting that after more than a century of damming our rivers for hydropower, we are now restoring these rivers. The removal of the Veazie dam is just one example of the efforts now being made so fish can once again swim upstream to spawn.

More than a century ago, when these dams were being built to power our industries, no thought was given to the impact the dams would have on nature. We are again in that same situation. “Renewable” energy is the current buzzword for ruining our mountains and devastating the wildlife that depend on those mountains for their existence.

Environmentalists have long decried clear-cut methods of the logging industry, to the point where other methods have been adopted. Yet, nary is a word heard from these individuals and groups when multinational developers propose massive wind farms that clear-cut the tops of our most precious natural resources and blast access roads to permit the hauling of the monster windmills to the top.

Where will we be a century from now when these giants are rusting hulks of a bygone era? How many billions will we be forced to spend to remove these unsightly giants? And how do we restore the mountains to their original condition so the wildlife might, once again, roam unimpeded?

William Chapman

Rockport

Li’l Abner and company

I am offended. The voters of Maine are offended. Even Gov. Paul LePage’s proctologist is offended, as is Mr. Whipple, who is now furious and squeezing his Charmin.

This “Vaseline” language may be acceptable in a poolroom or at a horse slaughterers’ convention, but not from the governor of the state. Whatever happened to the principle of nobleness?

He essentially compared Sen. Troy Jackson, D-Aroostook, to the comic strip about hillbillies, Li’l Abner, and Aroostook County to Dogpatch, the setting of Li’l Abner. Those of us living up in The County are doubly offended at being characterized as ignorant backwoodsmen.

For pure tastelessness, the governor’s remarks and subsequent lame and insincere apology are very hard to beat. Hard, but not impossible. The two anti-gay speakers on July 17, with their references to Vaseline and sodomy, do the job. As for these extremist bandwagon jumpers, intolerance and narrowmindedness thinly disguised as morality should have no place or forum in the issue.

Nathan White

Ashland

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