Thursday, March 6, 2014: Wind energy, Medicaid expansion, Lockman resignation

Posted March 05, 2014, at 1:43 p.m.

Collins gets it

I want to compliment Sen. Susan Collins. She is a vocal leader in Washington advocating for both research into finding a cure and for compassionate care for those impacted by Alzheimer’s disease. Few others fully recognize the burden not only now but in the future with the aging population.

Medically, Alzheimer’s is the greatest problem facing the nation in the future as the population ages. As a neurologist, I know only too well the economic burden on society, the loss and stress to the family, and in particular, the gradual loss of what makes an individual unique. It will be due to leaders like Collins that we eventually conquer this disease.

Bruce Sigsbee

Rockport

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Energy view

Mars Hill, Spruce Mountain, Kibby Mountain, Record Hill, Stetson, Rollins, Fox Island, Beaver Ridge, Bull Hill, Lee.

These places all have something in common: wind turbines. Maine is losing its beautiful mountain views every time a wind turbine is raised. If this trend continues, they will be lost forever.

The largest owner of wind farms is First Wind with five of the 10. It owns 28 turbines in Mars Hill, 55 at Stetson I and II in Washington County, 40 at Rollins in Penobscot County, and 19 on Bull Hill in Hancock County. Proposed First Wind farms include Longfellow Black Mountain in Oxford County ( 19 turbines) and Oakfield in Aroostook County ( 34 turbines).

First Wind is the company doing the most damage to our state. Enough is enough. I remember traveling to Aroostook to visit family. The view coming into Mars Hill was so beautiful. Now you see 28 wind turbines lined up across the skyline, stretching to Canada, destroying the land and the view completely. Really sad.

First Wind is based in Boston. However, it does not have any wind farms in Massachusetts. Odd. It is making money at the expense of our state’s most important resource, while selling the power out of state. What is going on here?

First Wind should be stopped before it does any more damage to our beautiful Maine. Many wind farms are located in plains states, where there is maximum wind and less damage to the views and land.

John Dufour

Lakeville

Lockman resignation

The Democrats who are calling for the resignation of Rep. Lawrence Lockman, R-Amherst, for comments he made decades ago are revealing an ignorance of history. In their context, the remarks weren’t particularly inflammatory.

Until 1975, it was a crime in the state of Maine, punishable by a minimum one year to a maximum of a 10-year sentence, for gay people to have sex.

In 1997, the Maine Legislature, Democrats included, voted to affirm the sanctity of marriage between one man and one woman.

In 1996, President Bill Clinton signed the Defense of Marriage Act, which did more to harm gay rights than anything Lockman could ever do.

If Lockman should resign, the 1997 Maine Legislature and Clinton are at least as culpable.

Lawrence E. Merrill

Bangor

Cover Mainers

The Maine Council on Aging values the lives of older adults and works to ensure that they thrive in their communities. The council and its many member organizations support the expansion of Medicaid to cover nearly 22,000 older uninsured Mainers who are not yet eligible for Medicare.

For many older workers who lost jobs and insurance during the recession, finding employment has been difficult because it takes longer for older workers to re-enter the job force. These Mainers are not only struggling to survive financially but are going without access to primary and preventative care.

If Maine accepts federal funds, older Mainers with no insurance and incomes of less than $15,856 per year can get insurance and the health care they need. This is good for older adults and good for our economy, since keeping people healthy costs less than treating them when they’re sick and uninsured.

We want to set the record straight about what accepting federal funds means to home care services. Some have suggested that expanding Medicaid benefits will increase home care “wait lists” for older and disabled adults. This is simply not true. The home-based care programs that have “wait lists” in Maine are entirely state-funded. Federally expanded benefits will not give any new people access to these state-funded programs.

As chairs of the Maine Council on Aging, we call on legislators to embrace this opportunity to except federal funds to help older Mainers access the care they need to maintain their health.

Jess Maurer

Harpswell

Don Harden

Portland

Questionnaire

This is in response to a community news brief posted online Feb. 20 by Maine House Republicans Communications Director David Sorensen concerning an annual survey questionnaire conducted by Rep. Allen “Mike” Nadeau, R-Fort Kent, in his Aroostook County district. The conclusion was that the “respondents” in dramatic “percentages” stated that Maine spends way too much money on social welfare programs and wants Maine to fix its welfare system.

“There are lies, damned lies, and then there are statistics,” to paraphrase Mark Twain.

First, there is no number of respondents: It could be 1, 10, 100, but none are given. So if 3,000 surveys were sent out and only 10 responded, those high percentages favoring Republican agendas would only reflect 0.3 percent of the total.

Second, who exactly were these questionnaires sent to, and who responded? All of his constituents? Some? Republicans? Democrats? Independents? Nadeau does not say. In fact, questionnaires could have been sent only to Republicans or close friends. So the percentages, again, would all be skewed toward Republican agendas and grossly misleading.

Third, something is fishy when the survey just happens to favor Republican agendas by huge percentages while disfavoring Democratic ones. Strange indeed.

Fourth, why did the BDN allow the release to be posted to its website without doing some fact checking? Maybe as follow-up, the BDN could ask for this data and then present a story of the actual facts.

James Chasse

St. Agatha

 

http://bangordailynews.com/2014/03/05/opinion/letters/thursday-march-6-2014-wind-energy-medicaid-expansion-lockman-resignation/ printed on September 30, 2016