Monday, September 23, 2013: Eliot Cutler, freedom of religion and texting and driving

Posted Sept. 22, 2013, at 3:25 p.m.

Energy future

Candidate Eliot Cutler, in his campaign book, largely ignores the entire subject of Maine’s energy future except for a grossly false platitude about wind energy. After stating that “Maine’s onshore and offshore wind energy sources are endlessly renewable,” he adds that wind energy sources are “increasingly cost-competitive in life-cycle terms.”

Enormously expensive wind power cannot compete with cheap natural gas and hydro. Just about everyone knows that. That inability to compete is the reason our Legislature passed a law to all but ban cheap hydro power from Canada.

Clyde MacDonald

Hampden

Rights, freedoms

I have been reading articles and getting emails about Bar Harbor not renewing the lease on the Christmas tree for the prisoners of war and veterans because it offends some people. This country is 77 percent Christian, 5 percent non-Christians and 18 percent non-religion affiliated. In a country that was built on freedom of religion, we Christians have to bow down to 23 percent of the population because our beliefs and rituals offend them.

Something is wrong here when a relatively small amount of people can tell the majority of the population that our traditions offend them. I personally have no problem with non-Christian religions and their traditions as long as they don’t break any laws. But what is going on is nothing less than discrimination against Christians and our beliefs.

For our town, state and federal officials to go along with this is basically turning their backs on more than half of the population of this country and the men and women who serve this country fighting for our rights and our freedoms.

Tony Boucher

Orono

Take the pledge

Texting and driving has become an epidemic among drivers of all ages and has made our roadways dangerous for drivers and pedestrians alike. As a legislator and chair of the Transportation Committee, I have worked on distracted driving legislation, but to make a real impact in our community, we need to get a commitment from each other. The message is simple — it can wait — the text is not important enough to risk causing injury or death to take a quick peek.

“It Can Wait” is also the slogan for a national public awareness campaign to educate the public about the dangers of texting and driving. Please join me in taking the “It Can Wait” pledge at www.itcanwait.com and ask your children and their friends to take it, too.

Convincing even one person that texting and driving is wrong could save a life, so I urge people to do their part and take the pledge.

Sen. Ed Mazurek, D-Rockland

Strong argument

In the Sept. 16 edition of the BDN, Gov. Paul LePage cited a study in the Annals of Family Medicine that indicated a correlation between Medicaid expansion and increased care for smokers and heavy drinkers.

The Annals of Family Medicine said: “Given the higher prevalence of tobacco smoking and alcohol use, however, broad enrollment and engagement of this potentially eligible population is needed to address their higher prevalence of modifiable risk factors for future chronic disease.”

In other words, if we enroll this population into services, and engage them, we can lower the cost of future care. The article makes a strong argument in favor of Medicaid expansion.

Jim Alciere

East Machias

Something wrong

Kudos on having the intestinal fortitude to print the recent article by David Estey. The BDN should run it at the top of page 1 every day until it is no longer true.

On another not unrelated note: The state of Maine lets a Washington, D.C., hedge fund buy parts for its corporate jet tax free, while raising the sales tax on the parts our minimum wage earners need to keep their old “jalopies” on the road.

No matter how you frame it, there’s something wrong with this picture.

Scott Gardner

Eddington

Trying to listen

When I listen to friends, I try to understand what they mean. When I listen to politicians, I try to understand what they want.

Charlie Cameron

Addison

A better education

Having read the Sept. 4 BDN article, “ Working on your GED? Get it done before Jan. 1,” I was discouraged for the many people who are trying to get ahead in life by working toward a better education.

According to the article, Lewiston alone typically has 150 students a year who graduate with GEDs, and many more have started but not completed. They may have to start all over again from the beginning, since a new, harder General Education Development test takes effect Jan. 1, 2014. How many people is this affecting in the state?

Are we trying to discourage people who are working to better themselves by telling them that by Jan. 1, 2014, whatever work they’ve done is no longer valid? Isn’t there a place in our adult education system to provide such a thing as a “grandfather clause” for people who are more than halfway done through the old system? Why would anyone even want to continue working on obtaining their GED once they’ve read this article?

I understand that improvements must be made, but at the expense of knocking down the people who want to improve their lives with a better education? I feel that more thought should be put into helping the many people who have come close to achieving their goal.

Irene Dumond

Van Buren

Critical review

The theater reviewer enjoyed Penobscot Theater Company’s “The Fox on the Fairway” as much as we did and gave well-deserved praise to the Bangor area actors who had us all laughing from start to finish.

Why do critics, however, feel obligated to say something negative in reviews? Who are the “theater police” who say the first play of a 40th anniversary year needs to “make a statement on how PTC sees itself”? Our audience loved the farce and zany over-the-top antics and humor. We didn’t go to the play to be “intellectually challenged.” We went to put the world’s woes behind us and to be entertained by skilled comedians.

The reviewer could have omitted her criticism of the choice of play. It had no relevance to PTC’s 40th anniversary.

Barry Connelly

Orient

 

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