Thursday, April 12, 2012: Irving, redefining marriage and LePage’s behavior

Posted April 11, 2012, at 3:13 p.m.

Helping Irving

I am troubled by the actions of the Legislature in recent weeks.

It has passed a bill to fund a study for a private toll highway and is considering changing the mining laws of the state. After seeing the proposed highway route in the BDN on April 10, I concluded that this route will benefit only one company, Irving. The route goes to Canada and that does not help the majority of the population. The federal highway route proposal would be a boon to all Mainers.

Similarly, the proposed changes in the mining law will benefit one company, Irving. I urge the Legislature to look at the results of open pit mining in the west and the impact on the environment. If this were an underground mine, the impact would not be so great. However, the ore concentration will not economically allow that.

I urge all Mainers to read a book called “Citizen Irving” and open your eyes to the company that is not only the largest landowner in the state but provides a large amount of fuel and now controls a large proportion of the rail access in the northern part of the state.

Geoff Anthony

Blue Hill

No more eyesores

I’m proud to be an American, I’m proud to live in Maine and I’m proud to live in Dexter, but when I see public buildings not being taken care of, I’m not very happy.

I think all public buildings in our communities should be kept in good shape and serve as examples to the rest of the town. Whether it’s a federal, state or municipal building that you think is being neglected, speak up and inquire as to what gives; there is no need for any more eyesores.

Doug Pooler

Dexter

Marriage and authority

In the debate over whether the definition of marriage can be changed, I have not yet heard an answer to the following question: whence comes the authority to change the definition?

Certainly state legislatures have constitutional and other authority to develop and define contractual relationships (e.g., a civil union). These legislatures have the authority to determine the benefits and responsibilities that accrue to any specific contractual relationship (e.g., to declare that within a state all benefits and responsibilities pertaining to a “marriage” also shall pertain to a “civil union”).

The U.S. Congress may have the same authority, and if so could choose to develop and define a civil union and direct that the benefits and responsibilities of a marriage also apply to a civil union. Alternatively, the Congress could direct that federal benefits already granted to a marriage also could be granted to a civil union in any state that chose to develop and define such a relationship.

What is not clear to me is what authority individuals, voters, judges or legislatures have to change the definition of marriage and where that authority comes from. It would seem to me that if such authority exists, someone should be able to explain what the authority is and whence it comes.

I would be very grateful if any learned person would educate me about such authority — perhaps by a thoughtful column prepared for this newspaper. I also would be happy to read any response mailed to me here in Whiting.

Michael McCabe

Whiting

Fading outrage

Once again, the people of Maine have been embarrassed by the inappropriate language and behavior of Gov. LePage when he referred to Sen. Justin Alfond as “a little spoiled brat from Portland. He’s very fortunate that his granddad was born ahead of him.” Sen. Alfond called for an apology and said “the governor was wrong to bring [my] grandfather into the discussion.”

Where is the outrage? When is this character assassination going to end? And when will some brave Republican finally say, “We’ve had enough of our governor’s bullying behavior; it needs to stop.” Gov. LePage’s behavior is outrageous, shameful and demeaning and should not be tolerated by anyone in our state, regardless of party affiliation.

Speaking of bullying, the only important piece that was left out of the anti-bullying legislation was the naming of the biggest bully of them all.

Mark D. Roth

Bangor

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