Friday, Aug. 19, 2011: Families, LIHEAP and elephants

Posted Aug. 18, 2011, at 4:49 p.m.

Broaden family definition

The BDN’s Aug. 12 editorial, “Fathers, families still basic building block of civil society,” concludes that the study quoted and other studies support “the value of the two gender role models” and “should influence policy.”

Many factors have been identified that influence the success of children — education level of parents, income of parents, quality of schools. When it comes to family environment, it is the support of multiple adults, who can be grandparents, teachers, church leaders or family friends that appears to contribute to success; yes, children with two involved adults providing support are more likely to be successful than children with only one involved adult — but those adults do not need to be a mother and a father.

In particular, the idea that children will not thrive without “gender role models” is not supported by the research. In fact, research focused on same-sex parents shows the same or more positive outcomes as with traditional heterosexual parents.

We create families in many ways. One model is not superior to another. We also support our children in the relationships we establish with them in our communities, in our schools and in our churches. For the benefit of children, extend the definition of family — don’t narrow it.

Jean Lawlis

Hampden

Save LIHEAP, lives

How in the world can President Obama even consider cutting or reducing LIHEAP? Does he realize, or even care, how many will freeze to death as a result of this? What, if anything, can be done to prevent this stupid action?

Mary Stockley

Bangor

‘Other Voices’ out of tune

If you are going to print “Other Voices” on the editorial pages, is it too much to ask that they be informed?

And yet in the Aug. 16 issue, a barb entitled “Worst U.S. president ever,” courtesy of the Toronto Sun was published. Never mind that the Sun is a tabloid which leans heavily for sales on the strength of its daily, full-page, bikini-clad “Sun Girl.” And never mind that it’s a Canadian paper, as in “who asked you?”

What really galls is that its screed is bereft of fact. President Obama’s economic troubles were indeed inherited — by a Republican administration which took a Democratic surplus and emptied it into the sands of the Middle East while at the same time lowering taxes: a recipe for disaster which hardly takes a degree in economics to parse.

And he has been thwarted by a Republican-dominated Congress only too happy to allow the situation to fester as a means to get him out of office. As to the merit of Standard and Poor’s downgrading of the U.S. credit rating, here’s what Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz, economics professor at Columbia University, has to say about the agency actions previous to the recession: “I view the ratings agencies as one of the key culprits. They were the party that performed that alchemy that converted the securities from F-rated to A-rated. The banks could not have done what they did without the complicity of the ratings agencies.”

Other Voices? Please. Responsible voices at a minimum.

David Crane

East Orland

Boycott on behalf of elephants

We are boycotting the Skowhegan Fair this year due to the fact it is using elephants. The organizers must realize that elephants are not born knowing how to entertain but are tortured as babies for the greed of owners and people who use them as an attraction.

Patricia and Leo Caler

Bangor

Markowsky remembered

It was with great sadness that I heard of the loss of Judy Kellogg Markowsky. I felt that folks should know her reputation as a kind lady and great naturalist spread far beyond the confines of Maine. She gave freely of her time to many.

On my very first trip to Veazie she showed me places to bird and it was always such a pleasure to visit with her at Fields Pond — a magnificent and fitting tribute to her drive, enthusiasm and hard work. She is greatly missed.

Bob Foskett

Bedford, England

Dams, not wind

In reference to a recent article run about the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration focusing on smaller Maine dams, I wish more people had been aware of the meeting. I wish I had known about it. By focusing on small dams, we could take care of two problems at once: More hydro power and more fish ladders would provide more renewable power and more streams accessible to migrating fish.

Right now, wind power supplies less than 2 percent of the power used in Maine. We have 200 turbines providing 1.8 percent of Maine’s 16,300,000 megawatt-hours. We could do away with wind power totally by revamping these 700 small dams referred to in the NOAA article. We’d have so much power we could sell extra out of state.

I hope someone from NOAA reads this letter. Please, if there is money available, pool it with some Department of Energy dollars and rehabilitate these dams. Put in fish ladders and voila, salmon going up every little stream they can swim in and power being generated from a renewable source, cutting down on more biomass and more wind.

This would be a win-win solution. Let’s work towards it.

Merrylyn Sawyer

Wayne

Misguided lawsuit

The Natural Resource Council of Maine wants to put some companies in Maine at a severe disadvantage by suing the EPA over its biomass fuel regulating policy. This fuel has long been seen as carbon neutral and to rule it otherwise would again put the United States at a disadvantage with our European competition.

It is deemed carbon neutral because when trees grow they absorb the carbon that is emitted while burning wood during the production process. It is cheaper and cuts down on the use of petroleum fuels which makes environmental sense. It also makes us more energy independent. To let the EPA take its time to figure out the proper use for biomass fuel only seems logical, especially in this time of economic frustration.

It seems to me when the European nations are developing a policy for using more biomass fuel to drive the cost of heating and manufacturing down, we would not want to handicap America by creating bad regulations without the proper study. European nations have an advantage because they have a manufacturing policy and they are now developing a biomass policy.

U.S. leaders, on the other hand, seem to want to ship all our jobs overseas by continually embarking on bad trade deals and by regulating our industries beyond reason. We need to stop using lawsuits to discourage well-thought-out environmental regulations that will help maintain our manufacturing base.

Emery Deabay

Bucksport

https://bangordailynews.com/2011/08/18/opinion/letters/friday-aug-19-2011-families-liheap-and-elephants/ printed on April 24, 2014