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July 18, 2009 Letters to the Editor

Tidal project laws

After reading the June 25 article by Sharon Kiley Mack about the FERC hearing in Eastport on a proposal to erect a dam at Half Moon Cove for a tidal hydroelectric project proposed by Normand Laberge and Leslie Bowman, and the letter of July 7 from Lois Grossman, both attacking Dana Murch of the Maine Department of Environmental Protection for pointing out the concerns of DEP about the proposal, I did not know whether to laugh or cry.

Dana Murch is an outstanding public servant. I respect his knowledge, work ethic and integrity. Laberge, Bowman and Grossman overlook two critical points: The state of Maine has laws in place to regulate the development of hydroelectric power. They were enacted in order to ensure that environmental, economic and social values are taken into consideration when evaluating the merits of a proposal. Dana Murch was articulating some of the concerns which DEP will consider when a proposal comes before it.

Both Bowman and Grossman expressed outrage that Dana Murch’s remarks could “discourage prospective investors.” This misses the basic point that any proposal addressed to prospective investors must, under the so-called “blue sky” laws, disclose the difficulties facing the proposal, and the downsides as well as the upsides. Failure to make full disclosure of negatives as well as positives could potentially be construed as fraudulent.

Clinton B. Townsend


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Tax bill hurts industry

Just when you thought that it couldn’t get any worse, it did. The business climate in Maine has been miserable. Then, Reps. Michaud and Pingree voted for the biggest tax bill to ever hit the floor of the House of Representatives.

The cap and trade bill will tax the carbon emissions from every industry and small business, increasing the cost of everything that you buy, including a gallon of gas. We expected this from Congresswoman Pingree, but not from Congressman Michaud, who likes to tout the fact that he is a working man from a paper town.

The paper industry, which is already bleeding to death, is going to have to pay this new carbon tax. How can it handle another hit like this? I wonder if Rep. Michaud thought of this before he voted to help kill the industry that has supported his friends, his family, his town and himself for those many years.

The Democratic Party pushed this bill through, and most who voted for it never even read it. How ridiculous is that? I hope the unions are paying attention. They say the Republican Party is the friend of big business. Is that such a bad thing? When was the last time anybody ever got a good job with benefits from their next door neighbor?

Please remember Reps. Pingree and Michaud’s concern for business and industry in Maine when the next election comes around.

Mike Sherrard


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Slow down, vote no

July 20 marks six months since the president was inaugurated, and we as Americans have nothing to show for his presence except total chaos on Capitol Hill.

Hurry up and vote on the stimulus and omnibus packages so we can have new jobs created — now unemployment is nearing 10 percent. Hurry up and vote on cap and trade so we can save our planet. Now, hurry up and vote on the health care package, so we can save ourselves from the insurance industry.

All of these have something in common — no one had the bills to read beforehand, so we are finding out after the fact. This president does not want his liberal agenda exposed before Americans wake up.

Now, we have a Supreme Court justice nominee being grilled about her growing up years and not about her past and potential rulings. She did not have a background that is much different from many of us who managed to grow up without the aid of grants to minorities with which she was able to attend the best colleges and law school. Has anyone asked the question: “How much did your mother have to scrimp and save so you could better yourself?”

I could tell you many County stories about growing up poor and becoming someone who cherishes the sanctity of human life, traditional marriage and the Word of God. Wake up, Americans, to a United States which can be renewed through remembering our heritage. Call your senators and ask them to band together and vote against Sonia Sotomayor.

Sharon I. Rideout


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Good old wood

The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed energy and climate legislation requiring 20 percent of our nation’s electricity to be generated from “renewable” sources. Importantly, the legislation recognized sustainably produced wood as a critical element in reaching the goal. As a forester who has spent 22 years working in Maine’s forests, I know this is especially important to Maine, where millions of acres of working forests provide timber, wood products, clean water, recreation, wildlife habitat, carbon sequestration and more.

Rep. Mike Michaud understands this and supported the use of forest biomass as a renewable energy source in the bill. Rep. Michaud’s leadership will help generate new markets and more jobs for the forest products industry in Maine.

As our country debates renewable electricity and alternative fuel sources, we need to embrace wood, the original renewable fuel. It has been used for decades for power by manufacturers, and, unlike petroleum products, wood grows back. Along with other renewable sources such as wind and solar, the use of renewable forest biomass to generate electricity and transportation fuel can decrease our dependence on foreign fuel sources and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

I hope our senators will step up for Maine jobs by supporting renewable forest biomass alongside Rep. Michaud.

Mark Doty


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Backyard patriotism

Regarding Sarah Smiley’s July 13 column concerning her and her family’s experiences with the Boston crowd over the Independence Day weekend and the lack of, or rather the scoffing at, any show of patriotism: She might find it good to know that she only has to look in her own backyard to see the greatest displays of love for this country she will find anywhere.

Attend any parade and this is very apparent, whether you witness it from the sidewalks or are fortunate enough to be part of the parade and see the throngs of neighbors who are cheering and applauding as you proudly march by.

Follow this with a visit to the Cole Transportation Museum, enjoy the displays and listen to the school kids read their essays about what freedom means to them.

Per John Lee


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