LNG common sense

In a Nov. 9 BDN article, Kevin Raye asserts, “common-sense solutions are what have been missing in Augusta.” He also said, “I intend to lead by example.” If those two statements are true, then Sen. Raye needs to get off the LNG train.

That train is not limping through a regulatory morass. It’s been derailed by the industry.

All applications now before federal and state regulatory boards are stalled due to lack of completion on the part of the developers. There is ample evidence of a domestic natural gas supply for the next 100 to 200 years; in other words, there is a natural gas glut.

Sen. Raye and his LNG gang need to look around at the resources we already have. Sen. Raye says “Washington County is who I am. It has shaped me.” I think all those years in Washington D.C., have done more to shape Sen. Raye than Washington County.

Washington County is abundant in natural resources and resourceful individuals, both of which can thrive if given the tools needed for successful economic development: like connectedness, access to health care, educational facilities, transportation, etc. We encourage our children to get an education, experience the world — and, if we’re really careful and don’t screw it up entirely, we create an environment where they will want to return, maybe start their own business, and raise their families.

Jeanne Guisinger



Time for IRV

Thanks to the BDN for endorsing Instant Runoff Voting (“A Better Way to Vote,” Nov. 5 editorial). If IRV had been used in the recent gubernatorial race, it would not have been possible for a candidate to win while being opposed by a majority of the voters.

With IRV, voters rank candidates, and if no candidate wins a majority, the weakest candidate is eliminated, and the votes for that candidate transfer to the voters’ second choice, and so on until one candidate receives a majority. This method is preferable to an actual runoff election, which is expensive and may have lower voter turnout.

IRV also discourages strategic voting, where voters vote for a candidate they think will win, but who is not their top preference. With IRV a vote for a minority candidate is not “wasted.” IRV may also discourage negative campaigning, since candidates will seek to be the second choice of their opponents’ supporters.

IRV has been used in national elections in Australia and Ireland. Some American cities have adopted IRV. This fall North Carolina adopted IRV for statewide races to fill court vacancies. IRV has been endorsed by prominent Democrats and Republicans and some state parties.

One hurdle is the modification of voting machines to accommodate listing preferences and tabulation of results. This may require a significant initial investment. But as the BDN editorialized in 2004, “inadequate equipment is not a reason to hold back on an idea that encourages participation in democracy.” For information, see fairvote.org.

Michael Howard



Unite for Piscataquis

I would like to offer my congratulations to Doug Thomas on his election to the Maine Senate, representing District 27. After a hard-fought campaign on both our parts, the people of the district have made their choice. It is now time for all of us, Republicans, Democrats, Greens and independents, to get behind Doug and the rest of the Piscataquis delegation to advocate for our area, and craft solutions to the pressing problems that affect our people, our economy and quality of life in rural Maine.

Although we may disagree on some of the issues that are facing us, as well as the strategies to confront them, we must work to find ways to build bridges between us, rather than indulging in constant criticism and erecting barriers. This can only happen by making a renewed commitment to listening to each other, working toward understanding others’ points of view, and compromising for the common good.

I offer my services to our legislative team in any way that I can be of use to help in the effort to bring new jobs, ensure a quality education, cultivate a healthy citizenry, and to provide a quality of life for all our residents. I urge all of you that voted for me to do the same.

For those of you that didn’t vote, now is the time to get involved in the process. We all, regardless of community and political affiliation, can contribute something.

Sue Mackey Andrews



What’s best for Maine

I was watching CNN last week where a commentator was interviewing several Republicans asking where they would cut spending, and not one of them could give a concrete answer. With the Republicans in control in Washington, D.C., it will be interesting what they will cut for the good of the people. I certainly hope it’s not education, Medicare or Social Security.

Here in Maine, the day after Paul LePage was elected governor, the BDN reported that he had promised the residents of Milo that he would build a prison in their town to create jobs. I think he could find a better solution for employment than building a prison.

Last, I believe that had there been no early voting, Eliot Cutler would have been our new governor. People really got to know what kind of a man he was late in the game.

He never ran a smear campaign and just stayed on the issues; that in itself showed his strong integrity. He also had a great vision for the state of Maine.

I hope four years down the road he will consider running for governor again. I want what’s best for my beloved state, and I believe he is just that.

Estelle J. Bowden



Listen up — no arena

After voting, I had an opportunity to speak with Bangor City Councilor David Nealley. I oppose the construction of the event arena being proposed by the Bangor City Council.

I was hoping to share my opinion with Mr. Nealley. Unfortunately, this was a bad idea as, before I could share my reasons as to my opposition, I was fed an enormous and unpalatable dish of political jargon mixed with his interpretation of history.

I attempted to ask why approximately 2,500 to 3,000 free tickets per waterfront concert had been quietly given away, but again, was not heard. I believe Mr. Nealley’s sworn duties include weighing issues, but not condescension.

Many Bangor residents do oppose the construction of this costly event arena. However, this seems to be ignored as verbalized by Richard Stone on the local news when he stated “when” the arena is built, not “if.”

I propose to let the public decide upon the arena once transparency regarding cost is publicized. After all, isn’t it the duty of city councilors to represent the people and not their own personal endeavors?

Marcella Martelle