LETTERS

April 25, 2011: Free speech vs. ‘newspeak’, bottle bill, doe permits

Posted April 24, 2011, at 8:36 p.m.

No to “newspeak”

Back in 1955, I read a book by George Orwell. The title of the book was “1984,” and it was about a citizen of a totalitarian government. The ruling power directed and controlled the population with a form of propaganda called “newspeak.”

“Newspeak” was a device employed by the ruling authority to direct the thinking of its citizens. The intention of the propaganda was often the opposite of the literal meaning of the wording used.

Maine’s new attorney general has stated publicly that the governor is exercising his right of free speech by removing the paintings by Judy Taylor depicting the labor history in Maine.

The governor had these paintings removed from a building representing Maine labor!

The attorney general calls the governor’s removal of the paintings “free speech.” I call it censorship, and I don’t like the employment of “newspeak.”

John Langerak

Chester

• • •

Keep bottle bill

Repeal the bottle bill because we don’t get money back on shampoo bottles and tomato sauce cans! Are you kidding me? Shampoo and tomato sauce are not used in the car. They are used in the kitchen and bathroom and disposed of appropriately. Beverages are consumed in cars, and bottles and cans are thrown out the window by irresponsible people who are too lazy to carry their refuse home with them.

I know several people who pick up cans and bottles along the highway while they walk for exercise. What else do they see? Lots of garbage from fast food restaurants. Unfortunately, there is no redemption value in picking up food containers, so that stays there.

I have been told that 80 percent of the cans and bottles picked up along the  highway once held alcoholic beverages. The other 20 percent are water bottles  and various other soft drinks. People do “drink and drive,” and most do not want to be caught with empty beverage containers in their car.

Keep the bottle bill. It is doing what it was designed to do. Perhaps we need redemption for fast food containers, too. Then our highways would be spotless.

Shirley G. Aube

Skowhegan

• • •

A new economy

I woke up this morning to read in the BDN that there was yet another anti-casino group formed in Maine. My mind is boggled about why people would not allow jobs, revenue and tourism to this area in Washington County.

Maine has long had problems with its old economy, and I am sorry to say that many of the mill jobs such as Moosehead Manufacturing are never coming back. In a similar situation recently, the Plum Creek proposal was also shot down which would have brought hundreds of jobs to the area and even more tourism and revenue. What people in this state fail to see is that tourism is going to have to replace the old ways of making money.

As for a casino with table games, I have no issues with one and would very much like to spend my money at one in the state than to  have to drive to Foxwoods. I wish that people would stop huffing and puffing about it and admit that it passed and open up a new economy for this dying state, or else we’ll miss our chance.

Jon Coburn

Monson

• • •

Doe Permits

According to the Maine Outdoors article in the Bangor Daily News on Saturday, April 16, to quote the headline: “Biologist: Permit reduction unalarming,” I am sure that the very drastic proposal by Maine Inland Fisheries and Wildlife is far from being unalarming by the majority of Maine deer hunters, myself included, at a 46 percent reduction of doe permits.

This deer crisis didn’t happen overnight, but has been eroding over many years and our state has done nothing to alleviate a bad situation. If, in fact, our state’s chief industry is supposed to be its tourism, deer hunting and the deer herd should be counted as a great partner toward bringing tourists to our state, not neglected as has been the case.

It’s the same story with inland fisheries. In the ’40s and ’50s, fishing was good but the state said it would reproduce itself. It could not and did not, so instead it’s a losing battle of catch up ever since like a garden planted in the spring but not tended, yielding a poor harvest for all.

People who used to come to Maine for hunting and fishing now go to other states and Canada. Like our industries now lost, Maine will continue to lose and no longer be a good place to live, make a decent living or hunt and fish for recreation.

Too little, too late for a greater loss, and once again a faulty justification called “unalarming”?

Wayne R. Perkins

Belfast

• • •

Gasoline prices

If President Barack Obama is sincerely concerned about the price we are paying for gasoline, all he has to say in his next speech is: “We’re going to drill in Alaska, we’re going to drill in the Gulf of Mexico and we’re going to drill for natural gas and oil in these United States.” And I can almost guarantee the price of oil worldwide will drop like a rock.

Carl Savage

Eagle Lake

• • •

LD 1210 Doesn’t Limit the bottle bill

Unfortunately, LD 1210 has been lumped into a handful of bills related to Maine’s Bottle Bill, and most seem to think it has something to do with rolling back or eliminating the way Maine recycles bottles. It does not.

LD 1210 inserts a single phrase into already-existing law and its sole intent is to correct a regulatory glitch that hurts small business. All of Maine’s large distributors are exempt from paying a monthly fee because they belong to so-called “co-mingling” recycling groups. Small Maine distributors (even though they recycle as aggressively as their larger competitors) cannot join these groups and so have to pay up to $30,000 a year to Maine Revenue Services — a significant burden that threatens their ability to retain employees, create new jobs and-or pay for health insurance.

LD 1210 asks one question: If small businesses are the backbone of Maine’s economy, why are they saddled with an expense the big guys don’t have to pay? It is a citizen-initiated, not lobbyist-sponsored, bill.

Nothing about LD1210 changes in any way how the Bottle Bill operates: Deposits will still be collected, redemption centers will still operate, and distributors will still shoulder the cost of recycling. All that LD1210 does is level the playing field for all distributors; it’s about fairness, not litter.

Tammy Lacher Scully

Easterly Wine LLC

Belfast

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