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Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2016: Susan Collins leads on clean environment, Maine can elevate political discourse, Donald Trump is not a racist

Sen. Collins leads on clean environment

At Efficiency Maine’s recent annual meeting, Sen. Susan Collins, referring to the United Nations Climate Conference in Paris, noted that climate change requires everyone to act. She understands that climate disruption has no respect for borders, having personally seen its impacts on glaciers, sea level rise, permafrost melt and fish migration patterns in Antarctic.

We applaud Collins’ vote on the Clean Power Plan, one of three Republicans to break with the party block, risking their ire, to do the right thing. A strong supporter of the Clean Power Plan, she believes with current low oil prices, saving should be put to good use by investing in efficiency now.

She has successfully advocated for an additional $22 million for Maine residential efficiency efforts and renewable and efficiency incentives in the federal budget. She believes the public sector should lead the way on efficiency and renewables in municipalities and schools.

During the meeting Collins congratulated Efficiency Maine and top performing businesses and individuals providing energy efficiency and innovative methods, recognizing the hundreds of new jobs created, while combating Maine’s dependency on fossil fuels.

Efficiency Maine has provided significant benefits to Maine residents and businesses by leveraging more than $58 million of Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative money to fund its programs.

Through such leadership as Efficiency Maine and Collins, progress can be made to reduce Maine’s heavy reliance on carbon emitting fossil fuels and set the stage for an economically stronger and cleaner environment that benefits all of Maine.

Becky Layton Bartovics

Chair, executive committee

Sierra Club Maine


Maine can elevate political discourse

Janet Langhart Cohen’s Jan. 26 BDN OpEd was an insightful and eloquent discussion of Gov. Paul LePage’s version of governance in Maine. Her comments demonstrate the high level of civility and dignity that still exists in some quarters of the Republican Party. This is the kind of dialogue that has been the hallmark of her husband, Republican William Cohen, and of Democrat George Mitchell, both of whom have been exemplary residents of Maine. Mainers can be proud of the high level of statesmanship and achievement of men such as these, who raise the standards of respectful political discourse and debate and seek to find avenues for cooperation and compromise at all levels of government.

Rep. Jeffrey Evangelos’ OpEd that appeared on the same day made clear-eyed, incisive, succinct and well-supported comments about the pernicious racism and zenophobia that currently emanates from the Blaine House.

Maine has produced numerous political figures having substantial qualities of character, integrity and dedication to the common good. Margaret Chase Smith, Edmund Muskie and Olympia Snowe have all made deep impressions on our state and national politics. These are leaders who make this Mainer proud. They are the voices of reason and of public service in the finest traditions of liberal democratic ideals. It is my sincere hope people of this distinction will once again emerge to take the executive and legislative seats of Maine government.

Brian Athorp


People are responsible for pets

The story about the abandoned dog in Lewiston has raised many questions. Her owner called a local radio station to express why she took the actions that she did. When she received the dog into her home, the dog became her responsibility, not that of the prior owner. Was the dog receiving proper care from a veterinary? When anyone is bitten by a dog it must be quarantined, in case of rabies. Did the children receive medical care for those bites? If so, the dog could have been turned over to the authorities at that time.

Was this a case of a vicious dog, or was she giving a warning nip to a child that was not respectful of her space? Either way, the dog was in a situation that was not good for her or her humans. Sadly, in this case, her humans felt the need to discard her. In her attempt to find the very humans that treated her like trash, an innocent human ended her misery, in a violent way. Did the innocent person stop to check her well-being? We will never know.

This has become yet another sad story of a dog who was in the hands of yet another irresponsible person. Please get educated before making the lifelong commitment to a furry companion.

Deb Williams


Can’t stand concerts

As I qualify for senior citizen discounts where offered, I guess I’m considered old. Regardless, I still love music and try to see live performances when possible.

These days, I pay $100 for good seats close to the stage and all I see for the next three hours is the butts of the people in front of me as everyone now stands for the entire length of the concert waving their smartphones. In indoor arenas, I thought sitting in the balcony might be different, but no. Everyone stands there, too.

So, no more live concerts for me. I can’t stand it. Literally.

Brian Steinwand

St. Albans

Trump is not a racist

The Declaration of Independence affirms that all human beings have intrinsic value, are worthy of respect, are created equal and have unalienable rights endowed by their creator. Racists believe only human beings of their race have intrinsic value.

Donald Trump is an ethical egoist. He believes there is only one human being who has intrinsic value: Donald Trump. The value of anyone and everyone else, regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, disability, age and marital, parental or veteran’s status, depends on their usefulness to Trump.

So, no, Trump is not a racist.

David Paul Henry


Court limits Penobscot’s sovereignty

Paul Frost in his Jan. 28 BDN OpEd was right on the mark, and Janet Mills in her OpEd on Jan. 19 was wrong. In 1989, I served as an expert witness for the Abenakis in a court case over their fishing rights in Vermont. One thing I remember clearly, because it bothered me, from the preparation for the trial was a statement by one of the lawyers. He said, “This trial has nothing to do with justice, it’s all about legal points.”

The recent Penobscot River case illustrates the point. Maine has a long history of taking territory and limiting the sovereignty of the Penobscot people. What we have in this court decision is simply the latest act in this sorry history.

William A. Haviland

Deer Isle


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