Imagine you are a firefighter, and the first to respond to the scene of a house ablaze. As you prepare for action, an explosion sends flames onto a barn where you can see many animals inside. Suddenly, you hear a crash as two vehicles distracted by the fire collide, with those inside likely to have suffered injuries. Another volunteer arrives only to collapse, holding his chest. As sirens approach, you hear another fire reported. It is at your house, and your family was there asleep when you left. You face the toughest choices and decisions under the most stressful of all conditions.
This extreme scenario would not happen to a firefighter often. A nurse at Eastern Maine Medical Center faces life-and-death responsibilities with people and families they may or may not know daily. With four or five rooms to be in at the same time, they must decide who needs the most care at each moment and who deserves less care. Choose correctly, and the families leave happy. Neglect the wrong one and face their harm or death, lawsuits and the loss of your nursing license.
Reducing RN workloads results in better health for all. Support your nurses.
Costly holiday lights
Anyone casually reading the BDN’s Nov. 22 editorial, “Power rates in perspective,” might be lulled into thinking that lighting up your Christmas tree in Bar Harbor won’t cost much more than anywhere else. I don’t buy it.
My bill from Bangor Hydro consists of three separate charges: distribution energy, 6.549 cents; transmission, 2.436 cents; electricity supply, 8.78204 cents (standard offer).
When these three charges are totaled, I end up paying a rate of 17.8 cents per kilowatt-hour, far above the 12.6 cent average rate quoted for Maine or the 15 cent average for New England. If the PUC has a coherent explanation for Bangor Hydro charging more than 17 cents per kilowatt-hour, I have yet to hear it.
In honor of the holidays, I was wondering: Could we add a holiday that is free from any quotes or news from Sarah Palin, her family or friends? I may be in the minority, but I do not care about her opinions on politics or anything else, for that matter.
I do not care how her daughter Bristol is doing on “Dancing with the Stars.” I do not care what her 16-year-old daughter, Willow, is writing on Facebook. I do not care what her husband, Todd, thinks about anything. Actually, I am not sure I have ever heard him speak. I guess being married to a Mama Grizzly, one learns to keep quiet and maintain a low profile. I do not care about her excellent adventures in Alaska and do not watch her show on TLC, so please stop showing what you consider the highlights 24-7.
I know her true believers will say that if I don’t want to know about her, then don’t read about her. To them I say, “I promise I will not buy her books and add to her ever-increasing fortune.” I am not on Facebook or Twitter, so I will not read her tweets. But I like reading the newspaper and magazines. I like watching the news on television, and I enjoy surfing the Web. I am just asking for a brief respite from Sarah, perhaps a day — just 24 hours. I know any longer would be too much to ask. Give us nonPalinistas a break.
John N. Kelly
A while back, the Bangor Daily News published a letter from a motorist who complained about elderly drivers who drove slower than the speed limit on I-95. He suggested that us old duffers may be afraid of the highway speeds and traffic.
Well, here’s one old motorist who’s afraid of only one thing — the monthly Exxon-Mobil gasoline bill. I used to drive 65 mph with an occasional slight boost. Then I discovered that if I drove my Honda Element 60 mph, my gas mileage improved by 3 or more miles per gallon. At 55 mph, I gained around 7 to 8 miles per gallon compared to the posted speed limit. So, when the gas price passed $2 a gallon, I slowed to 60. Now that the price is more than $3 a gallon, I’m down to 55 on I-95.
But don’t worry, young feller, I won’t be driving in the passing lane. That lane is just too crowded all the time, even for an old hot-rodder like me.
Donald C. Grant
In his recent letter to the editor, Dean Girdis again tries to justify the Downeast LNG project in Robbinston. He claims pipeline capacity is inadequate to bring more gas into New England because the pipelines are at capacity from November to March and cannot be expanded. He also claims building a new pipeline is not possible because “it is impossible to secure the necessary rights-of-way.” According to Girdis, LNG is the only solution to bring in more gas.
If the pipelines are truly saturated, there would be no way for Girdis to transport LNG from Robbinston to the rest of New England. Perhaps he is planning truck convoys?
Pipeline companies size their capacity to have minimal reserves during peak demand times. However, they can expand capacity. For 2007, pipeline gas flow into New England increased 11 percent; in 2008, pipeline capacity was increased 11 percent. The average annual utilization of gas pipelines into New England has been around 50 percent.
Pipeline capacity to New England continues to expand. Today, there are several “impossible” pipeline expansion projects in the works to bring inexpensive shale gas to New England. This will avoid the expense of LNG, and the continued reliance on foreign sources for our energy requirements.
If we really need to import more LNG, the three existing New England LNG import terminals are functioning at just 29 percent of capacity. If they were to increase to a mere 60 percent of capacity, this would equal the planned capacity of Girdis’ unnecessary project.
Rep. Bob Nutting is a great choice for Speaker of the House. Those of us fortunate enough to be his constituents can attest to his character.
Nutting is downright honest.
Mistakes were made in his business. Nutting took responsibility and took whatever steps he could to rectify a bad situation. End of story.
Grassroots newcomers calling for his downfall should ask themselves three questions: If Nutting has something to hide, why didn’t the opposition use this before? Why did Democrats not run a candidate against him on Nov. 2? Why have people in his district returned Nutting to the House three times?
Nutting may be part of the establishment, but he is not part of the problem. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. He is just the person we need in Augusta as Speaker of the House — someone who experienced the loss of a business due to unreasonable regulations, whose experience will help other job-makers avoid that same fate.
We are indebted to him for his many sacrifices and are proud of his service.
Art and Laura Smith