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Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014: Senior votes, EqualityMaine, snowmobile safety


Future votes

I belong to the Blue Hair-No Hair Club — often mistakenly referred to as “Them Old Geezers.” However, I like to delude myself that I’ve now reached the pinnacle of my life — a sort of “prime senility.”

The Dec. 7 BDN article, “No Place Like Home,” was pitch-perfect — even with hearing aides. However, as informative as the article was about Maine’s aging issues, I’d be willing to bet that the BDN’s letter feedback was miniscule compared with its latest articles: “ Eliot Cutler Refuses PAC Contributions” and “ No Crystal Ball Needed with LePage’s Campaign.”

How can I be so sure in making such a rash, brash statement, you ask? Well, old age or death as topics of interest are often ignored or avoided. Gubernatorial grub is a far better response to a “What’s for dinner?” question than some article entitled “Like it or not, this is your future.”

Those proverbial chickens (aging issues) have come home to roost in every nation’s hen coop. And to whomever becomes Maine’s governor, I’d be suspect of those voters who may appear enfeebled or wobbly in behavior. It’s time to reshuffle that old deck of cards and listen up. The future does vote. Old people are everyone’s future — no exceptions.

Elizabeth Jalbert Pecoraro

Fort Kent

Freedom, liberty

Standing on the deck of our ship entering New York Harbor in the early morning light, I said, “There’s Liberty holding her bright torch, our symbol of freedom.” Liberty has welcomed millions to our shores seeking or returning to a country that represents that hope of freedom for the rest of the world.

Obama should stop allowing Vladimir Putin to direct political situations that arise on the world scene. Obama is the standard bearer of the torch of freedom. Obama should go to the opening ceremony of the winter games being held in Sochi. He should stand with our U.S. athletes and hold that torch of freedom high, demonstrating to all that a free, democratic society supports every citizen of our country regardless of ethnic group or gender preference.

I strongly believe that this very act would gain the ultimate respect of all those who cherish the principles of freedom throughout the world.

Robert Chaplin

Bar Harbor

Snowmobile safety

Any time you go afield, tell someone where you’re going, get a new trail map and plan your trip. Always use the buddy system and stay on the ATV or snowmobile trail if anything happens. This may be the best year for snowmobiling from the coast to The County.

Always check local ice conditions. This past week at Alford Lake in Hope, there was 7-9 inches in the coves and 5-6 inches in the middle of the lake. Check with fishermen and wardens. Also keep your cellphones and GPS warm, as close to the body as you can; they don’t like the cold.

Ron Bennett



The current sniping over EqualityMaine’s endorsement of Rep. Mike Michaud further demonstrates that Eliot Cutler is exactly where Gov. Paul LePage wants him. When Cutler or his campaign staff attack Michaud, Michaud loses some voters. The result of the divided left-of-tea-party vote is predictable — a second term for the personally crudest governor in the nation.

For the record, in 2010 I voted for Cutler. This time “I Like Mike.”

Alan Ginsberg


Wind data

Philip Conkling has nicely penned another pro-wind piece, but he omits the carbon debt that must be tallied before any serious discussion of environmental benefits of wind turbines can begin. The turbines do not begin on a mountain or in the ocean. Their roots are in the rare earth mines of Baiyun Obo in China.

Fueled by coal, the heavy industry of China has moved the country into the No. 1 position for carbon dioxide emissions. How much of that is due to building turbines, towers and electronics for the wind fad in the U.S.? How much diesel fuel is burned by the ships transporting the wind parts to our shores at one gallon per foot? Who is adding up the trucking and construction emissions? How about the maintenance? How much energy do the wind turbines use?

If we are serious about reducing emissions we need real solutions arrived at by studying empirical data. True, the future can’t vote, but we can learn from the past. It tells us that industry needs to be heavily regulated, whether wind, oil or natural gas. They will not do it themselves.

Mike DiCenso


Small donations

It warms one’s heart to witness the outpouring of love given to our country’s children this Christmas. On New Year’s we embraced children displaced by wars and weather events — forced into refugee camps without clean water, food, medical care and adequate shelter, through no fault of their own.

The organizations Food For the Poor and Catholic Relief Services specialize in getting food, water, shelter and hope to those people in need. Their worldwide operations have a remarkable capacity to use donated administrative costs and find surplus food for their devoted mission.

Their operating budgets are a small percentage of donations, making our donated money have a meaningful, direct impact on this massive problem. One million children can have a heartwarming drink of clean water, a spoonful of rice and some hope, with many small donations.

James A. Leach


Gas disposal

Bob Meyers’ column “5 tips to prepare for snowmobile season” on Jan. 4 may have inadvertently left the reader with the impression that it was acceptable to “dump” “a half a tank of gas” in the backyard. As a retired fire chief and environmentally responsible citizen, I would hope that a little more detail would be included in future pieces. Information such as safely transferring flammable liquids, proper transportation of them and proper disposal thereof might save a lot of heartache.

The secret to success regarding seasonal machinery that uses gasoline actually starts at the end of each season. If you use (or safely transfer) almost all of the gasoline from the tank, put the additive in right away, and then top the tank off with fresh gasoline at the start of the next season, you’ll prevent most problems caused by the painfully short shelf life of the gasoline presently available.

Larry Willis


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