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Thursday, May 11, 2017: Solar energy good for business, assisted-dying is wrong, slot machine concerns

Follow Texas’ lead on energy

I testified last week in favor of LD 1373, a bill to promote and protect access to solar energy in Maine. I want to highlight the example of Georgetown, Texas, a conservative town in the middle of a red state that today is powered 100 percent by solar and wind energy.

How did they come to embrace renewable energy? According to mayor Dale Ross, “environmental zealots have not taken over our City Council … our move to wind and solar is chiefly a business decision based on cost and price stability.”

When the old power contract was up in 2012, Georgetown city managers sat down to look at their options and realized wind and solar power were more predictable. That’s especially appealing in a place such as Georgetown, where a lot of retirees live on fixed incomes.

The decision to move the city to renewable energy has brought millions of dollars in new investments and offers a cost-effective and sustainable alternative source of power.“Georgetown may not be run by environmental activists, but our residents do want us to help them raise their families and run their businesses in a manner that is cost-effective and sustainable,” Ross said. “We hope other cities follow our lead.”

Following Georgetown’s lead will create Maine-based jobs, reduce the drain of energy dollars out of state, be a net financial benefit to all electric ratepayers and reduce our dependence on dirty fossil fuels. Please urge your legislators to support LD 1373.

Karen Marysdaughter

Bangor

Biomass has problems

I am writing on behalf of a group of high school students from Maine and New Hampshire studying forestry and land management at Maplestone School in Acton. At Maplestone, we are learning about different types of logging and we work with a forester.

Our forestry group read the April 3 BDN article, “As paper mills die, here’s how Maine’s loggers hope to survive,” by Darren Fishell. We thought it was biased and did not discuss any of the problems with logging for the biomass industry. For example, biomass doesn’t leave any branches or stumps to disintegrate into the forest floor or to be used by forest animals, and this will likely have a long-term effect on wildlife and hunting. Brush like this is important because it keeps animals safe and it degrades down and becomes new soil for the next tree.

The two experts featured in the article have financial interests in promoting the biomass industry, and they mostly talked about how it might lead to “a second golden age for Maine’s forest economy.”

We think the reporter should do another article about the problems with the biomass industry and its effects on Maine’s forests. In the future, please try to be more balanced when writing articles about logging and the biomass industry.

Dave Bennett

Maplestone School

Acton

Slot machine concerns

I have found through experimentation and keeping a watchful eye and reading many articles about playing the slots that, as we all already know, you will in all probability walk away from a casino will far less money than you came with. One reason is that we can just plain loose the random numbers that appear. The other reason is we find it hard to control our thirst or maybe, greed and we think we can roll once more and win that big jackpot in the sky.

In comparing Hollywood Slots in Bangor and the Oxford Casino in Oxford with a track record of playing small amounts maybe once a month I can assure you that Oxford has it all over Hollywood Slots. The perks are better at Oxford, soda is free (all you can drink), the atmosphere is much more friendly and with my limited budget, I have way more fun, win, lose, or draw. Winning is nice, but if you are a non-smoker and a non-drinker, then money goes a long ways at Oxford.

I have concerns about how they program a slot machine so that you can see very obviously that the machine has been tinkered with. I observe many different machines and many different players — to do so is cheap as it costs nothing to watch. It is uncanny how, even with the proviso of the random access rolls, that certain extra winning opportunities, such as a dice throw, can be virtually eliminated for an entire day versus random times a few days or weeks earlier. I am not convinced and never will be that these machines are not altered.

Dale Hayward

Rockland

Assisted suicide is wrong

The specter of legalizing “physician-assisted suicide” has once again raised its ugly head. The so-called “death with dignity” bills, LD 347 and LD 1066, must be recognized and strongly opposed because the potential for abuse is inherently there. These bills create an insidious conditioning process, a process that targets those who are most susceptible to this message, and persuades them to cooperate in their own demise. Soon, however, it could be without people’s cooperation, as it is happening in Holland today.

In the Netherlands, where physician-assisted suicide has been practiced extensively, doctors have definitely moved from voluntary assisted suicide to involuntary assisted suicide. Doctors routinely euthanize patients who never requested it. “Compassion” and “dignity” are no longer the points of concern. Instead, “quality of life” and convenience are the major factors as doctors — and others — decide who has a life worth living.

Although some measures have been put forth to make the Maine bills more palatable, I am not convinced that these supposed “safeguards” — request in writing, mental competency, counseling, terminal illness, etc. — speak to the worth of human life. These “safeguards” will most likely make things neat, clean, and legal for a while. But in a relatively short time, they will probably not be worth the paper they’re printed on.

Therefore, LD 347 and LD 1066 will merely become the door through which those who are deemed unproductive, unwanted or a tremendous inconvenience be legally dispatched to a morgue.

The elderly, the disabled, the terminally ill, or the burdensome already have their dignity, as befitting children of God. What they don’t need is legislation that emotionally and effectively contradicts this belief and puts them at great risk.

LD 347 and LD 1066 must be rejected.

Pat Truman

Hallowell

 


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