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Saturday, Jan. 4, 2014: Wikipedia editing, ice storm and energy glut

The bigger picture

Liberal columnist Amy Fried’s recent complaint about my use of Wikipedia warrants a response. When I stumbled upon my boss’s biography on the user-edited website and saw that it consisted only of a scathing write-up about one offhand comment he made and apologized for the same day, I took the opportunity to give the bigger picture.

House Republican Leader Ken Fredette of Newport went from a poor, rural Maine household to law school and Harvard University on his own sheer hard work and determination. He serves his state and his nation as an officer in the Air National Guard and as a citizen legislator. He has been instrumental in passing laws to make women safer from domestic violence and help more Maine families obtain access to affordable natural gas heat to get through the winter.

Doing justice to this life story, I admit, was a greater priority of mine than reading the fine print of Wikipedia’s terms of use, which apparently asks people to refrain from editing the pages of their employers. I made a point to do so transparently, without hiding behind an anonymous username like those who edited his page before me. Although I won’t be contributing to his Wikipedia page again, I am glad to see that even after subsequent edits, this man’s online biography is a little more reflective of his positive contributions to his community.

David Sorensen

Communications director

Maine House Republicans


Power thanks

Many thanks to Bangor Hydro/Emera, Central Maine Power, and all the out-of-state men and women who have gone beyond the call of duty to bring power back to Maine. Through all hours of the day and night, even giving up Christmas with their own families to bring heat and light to others in the most horrendous weather, they are certainly heroes. God bless them every one.

Lucille Guay


Energy glut? Who knew

With the prices of fuel oil, gasoline and electricity rising to some of the highest levels they have ever been, in a supply-and-demand world this should mean that supplies are at an all-time low. Quite the opposite.

The United States is experiencing a fossil fuel energy boom. Onshore U.S. oil production is rising at the highest rate since the 1950s. We are importing very little oil from our enemies and should be paying far less than we are. The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Electricity Price index was at 202.284 in November, an all time high and nearly 20 percent higher than just six years ago. This holds back jobs and corporate expansion. We are producing record amounts of natural gas. We produce more oil now than we import.

Then why are prices going up? There is a monkey wrench in the works. It’s called the Environmental Protection Agency. Through unnecessary and exorbitant regulations to extend an agenda, the green movement, they are telling us what kind of energy we can have, cost be damned. Nowhere in the Constitution does it give any government agency the power to regulate every aspect of our lives. And it’s about to get worse. While plans are in effect to phase out existing coal plants for natural gas, the EPA is pushing them ahead of schedule to further force on us even higher energy costs.

One other issue, especially to those of us who use lots of small engines in Maine: the wasteful use of ethanol in gasoline. But that is a topic for another letter.

Jim Lutz


Christmas came early

For the Pickerings on Pond Street, Christmas came on Dec. 18. We were awoken at midnight not by Santa but by a host of Santa’s helpers.

At midnight two men banged on the door, telling us to move our cars as the vacant large house next door was on fire. Unfortunately, we never got their names to thank them. Shortly after, firemen from Bangor, Brewer, Orono and Veazie battled the blaze throughout the night in snow and frigid temperatures. The Bangor police were there, too, policing the area, as well as the Red Cross and the media.

Nathan and Betsy Boyce warmly welcomed us into their home, and Ashley Mullins came from the end of Pond Street to express her concern and offered to help. After the fire was out, the Maine state fire marshal and his men made a skillful search for the cause with heavy equipment. Many thanks to all of Santa’s “helpers” wherever they may be for a wonderful Christmas gift to us — saving our home. You have given us a Happy New Year to come.

Joe Pickering


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