LETTERS

Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014: Political parties, debates, Wiscasset airport

Posted Sept. 01, 2014, at 10:32 a.m.

Independent candidates

Retired History professor Lynn Parsons’ attack on wealthy independent candidates for office, like Sen. Angus King and independent candidate Eliot Cutler provides a useful, accurate account of the Founding Fathers’ initial aversion to political parties (“Parties invite fair politics” from the Aug. 25 BDN). But Parsons’ insistence that contemporary political parties offer a better way of electing responsible leaders is not convincing. Neither Gov. Paul LePage nor Rep. Mike Michaud had primary opponents forcing them to clarify and defend their positions on various issues, so how does that distinguish them from King and Cutler? And if Michaud certainly has had vast prior political experience, what prior rugged political experience did LePage have besides his election as mayor of Waterville? Both King and Cutler have waged vigorous campaigns before as independents.

Equally important, Parsons curiously ignores the familiar need by most Republican and Democratic candidates today either to be wealthy already or to be able to raise tons of money in order to have a chance of victory. We are not back in the late nineteenth century, when both participation in politics and voter turnout were at their height in our history. Indeed, the cry of especially progressive Republicans at that time of widespread political party corruption was for “The Best Men” to run for office — and these were not impoverished potential candidates.

Ever more Americans, Parsons, support independent candidates precisely because they are not bound by the conventions of our major political parties that you, however, apparently embrace.

Howard P. Segal

Professor of History

University of Maine

Orono

Informed vote

In the 2010 campaign for governor there were 31 debates amongst the candidates, allowing voters to make informed choices at the polls. This year, Mike Michaud and Paul LePage don’t want to debate Eliot Cutler. They want voters to vote early, before the six scheduled debates, which are all after the early voting starts. Michaud has even said that he won’t debate Cutler if LePage isn’t on board.

What are they afraid of? If you want to make an informed decision about who you want as the next governor, don’t vote early. Watch the debates and then decide who you think will do the best job leading our state the next four years.

Bruce Wildes

Cumberland

I like Mike

The month of November will be here before you know it and it is imperative that everyone take the time to cast their vote. On the local level I will be supporting state Sen. Michael Thibodeau who has worked tirelessly for the people of Waldo County.

You might ask, “Why Thibodeau?” That answer can be summed up with the words “common sense,” which Michael exhibits on a daily basis. The state budget is no different than your personal budget, it’s your money, and you cannot spend money that you do not have. Thibodeau understands this basic principle and makes those hard decisions needed in order to balance the budget.

He also has ensured that state departments, such as the Department of Transportation, follow up and correct deficiencies in work that has taken place. This was exhibited when he intervened on behalf of the Winterport Water and Sewer Department when it was discovered that incorrect flanges were installed on manhole covers during the Route 1A project and DOT was balking at addressing the problem. With Thibodeau’s help this situation was corrected.

He realizes how hard we all work for our money and is committed to make sure that your tax dollars are spent wisely. He is a great father, loving husband and a generous individual who supports many local charities with “his own” money. We need Thibodeau to finish the work he started for the sake of our children and grandchildren.

Phillip G. Pitula

Winterport

Fulford support

As a kid growing up in Monroe, I counted Jonathan Fulford as a friend and neighbor. I went to school with his children, and his home was always a center for creativity, learning, and community. Jonathan taught me to value the opinions not just of adults or of my peers, but of younger children, too — something he taught by example, asking for and respecting the perspectives of us kids and not only of the adults around us.

Jonathan was generous with his time and knowledge. He lent his talents as a carpenter, a gardener, and a caring adult to neighbors, school projects and games of capture the flag. He exhibited faith in our abilities, celebrated our successes and supported our failures, making sure we learned from our experiences and felt wiser, not weaker, when we fell short of our goals.

One particularly vivid memory: when I was four years old, Fulford helped save my father’s life. Pinned under a tractor in a field behind our house, no one would have heard my father yelling for help if Fulford, who was nearby splitting wood, hadn’t heard and sprinted toward the sound.

I have the utmost faith that if elected to the Maine Senate, Fulford will similarly respect, advocate for, and work to protect the people of the state of Maine.

Dinah Grossman

Monroe

Misleading article

The Aug. 27 article “Airport Could Force Campground to Close” is misleading and portrays a one-sided story about a serious safety concern. The issue involving trees and safety at the airport has existed for years, and has nothing to do with neither the current master plan nor any proposed projects.

Most of the trees did not exist when the campground was first opened and it has managed to survive 50 years. But suddenly the need to clear or trim a small percentage of the trees has created a perceived economic calamity. The campground planted trees that would eventually grow into the airport’s protected airspace, not vice-versa.

The BDN painted a sympathetic picture of the campground, but failed to comment about the impact the trees have on the aviation community. The article also did not note the hazard campers face because they elect to camp under the flight path of aircraft inside a Runway Protection Zone. This zone is an area off every runway used to enhance the protection of people on the ground. Statistically, the highest probability of an aircraft accident is right after takeoff or shortly before landing, hence the purpose of an RPZ.

This airport brings thousands of visitors to the area and supports a wide variety business and pleasure flying. According to the Maine Department of Transportation, the airport generates in excess of $2 million in annual economic benefits. This number that does not include the highly popular Wings Over Wiscasset event that drew over 7,000 visitors to the two-day airport event this month.

Ervin Deck

Airport Manager

Wiscasset Municipal Airport

Wiscasset

 

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