February 21, 2018
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Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2018: No tax giveaways for General Dynamics, use renewable energy, communication breakdown

No tax giveaways for General Dynamics

As a Bath resident and Maine taxpayer, I oppose LD 1781, a $60 million tax giveaway to General Dynamics, extending a tax credit that analysts hired by the Maine’s economic development office recommended for elimination.

I urge the members of the Legislature’s Taxation Committee, who have already questioned the value of tax breaks and Pine Tree Development Zones, to vote no to a defense contractor so awash in profits created by our tax dollars that they have used our money to buy back their own stock.

Where is the value to Maine taxpayers if all our $60 million will buy is another three years of compensation to their CEO? What is the cost of degrading the Kennebec River, wringing concessions from their workers and bullying our legislators into giving them what Mississippi gave their nonunion competitor?

If Mississippi jumped off the Carleton Bridge tomorrow, would Maine follow? Only if we are in a race to the bottom.

Leslie Manning

Bath

Communication breakdown

Phones are carried by almost everyone today, but they certainly are not telephones. It seems phones are used to do just about everything except communicate. I will qualify that by saying texting is the polar opposite of true communication, what with all the abbreviated text talk that is so commonly used, that is, when the user “decides” to take your call at all. Phones also seem to work at only about 50 percent of their predecessor’s capacity to make calls and sustain them.

Telephones on the other hand rang out loud, you picked the receiver up and said hello, then two people actually carried out a dialogue. One did not even have to be articulate to create a noteworthy conversation. Telephones were rarely if ever ignored when they “rang” because you were happy that someone wanted to speak to you and god forbid it should be an emergency call.

Telephones always worked. They were not a physical appendage that you were drawn into staring at all of your waking hours. They were used only when somebody wanted to actually talk to someone else.

I miss telephones, and I miss people interacting with each other. I have actually had to call someone who was in the same room, as that was the only way to gain their full attention at the time.

Ah, telephones, those were the days, my friend.

Ron Dearborn

Bradford

Use renewable energy

The debate of global warming is a rather unintelligent one. Our president, Donald Trump, says, “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.” Our leader thinks what 98 percent of climate scientists believe true is wrong.

We the people need to fight this overwhelming threat. We have to use renewable sources of energy. The world can defeat the overwhelming odds by using wind power, biomass and solar.

Wind is the first tool to defeat unnatural climate change. According to ewea.org, “an average onshore wind turbine with a capacity of 2.5-3 MW can produce more than 6 million kWh in a year — enough to supply 1,500 average EU households with electricity.”

Another is to burn trash for energy.The ecomaine waste-to-energy plant processes about 175,000 tons of trash a year and generates enough steam to create about 110,000 megawatt-hours of electricity annually.

In the 21st century, solar energy is expected to become increasingly attractive because of its inexhaustible supply and its non-polluting character, in stark contrast to coal, petroleum and natural gas.

The use of these energy sources can make sure future generations don’t need to worry about a dangerous and unpredictable climate. I urge you to write a letter to your senator. This is a serious problem and needs to be addressed quickly. Like many important people in our society say, “Climate change is happening whether we are ready or not.’’

Rayyaan Hakizimana

Portland

Break our habits

Our brains love a habit because they use less energy in the form of glucose, and habits are like well-worn neural paths through the annual fall corn maze. Easy peasey. Our brains want to save up that energy to do reports, balance our checkbook, negotiate for that raise or win that argument with our partners, but I digress.

Any habit change therefore can be a difficult process. Try brushing your teeth with your left hand. You will notice you have to pay attention and concentrate a little more. This in itself creates some biological stress (on top of what is already inundating you on a regular basis) but is doable with the right support, structure and plan.

So instead of stress eating, meet the need in another way. Repeat, repeat, repeat the behavior you decide to substitute, such as calling someone you love, doing something creative, meditation, prayer, or dancing. I promise you overtime it will require much less effort. The beauty is you get to choose where that new path leads you.

Shawna Oliver

Bangor

CMP’s solar bill opposition

Central Maine Power is a shady operator when it comes to renewable energy. Its consistent lobbying efforts to kill rooftop solar power run counter to its published environmental policies and public statements. It’s time to shine a light on the truth.

On its website, CMP claims to be “conducting business in a manner that minimizes adverse environmental impacts on present and future generations.” Specifically, CMP states its environmental practices “support and implement actions designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and counteract global climate change.” And in a Jan. 17 Maine Public interview, CEO Doug Herling said, “I think everyone should put solar panels on their roof if that’s what they want to do. It doesn’t impact our company and we’re not against that at all.”

Sounds good, right? Here’s the rub. For three years, CMP, with counsel from its lobbyist, has joined a handful of naysayers to oppose any modest solar legislation, most recently LD 1686 introduced by Republican Sen. Tom Saviello and overwhelmingly supported by ratepayers and environmentalists. CMP opposed the bill in part on grounds the bill would stiff ratepayers without solar.

Now some bad news for those ratepayers. CMP just told legislators that all ratepayers likely will pay for recent storm damage. The irony: Scientists tell us Maine can expect more intensive, expensive storms, as a result of climate change. Solution: more solar and renewables.

Anne Burt

Edgecomb

 


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