Winter walk

I find that walking this winter is almost impossible most of the time. The sidewalks are atrocious. I understand that the city workers have a lot to do when it snows, but I would think that more could be done to keep them free of snow and ice.

I am an older person and walk with a cane. I find it hard to maneuver the sidewalks, so at times I walk in the street, very carefully, I might add. I have been yelled at, given the middle finger and almost run over at times. A few unlucky times when it was raining and there were puddles, I have had malicious drivers drench me and ride by laughing.

It’s not fun to have this happen. I guess I should just stay home and mildew.

Susan Parsons


Restore rights

The Maine House will soon vote on a citizens’ rights bill that received overwhelming, bipartisan approval in 2013. The Democratic-controlled Senate chose not to vote on this bill but carried it over into the 2014 session for further review. The review has been completed. The bill received another “ought to pass.”

A mailer recently sent out by the wind industry asks citizens to contact legislators and urge them to vote against LD 616 — this same citizens’ rights bill.

The industry blatantly misrepresented the intent and language of LD 616, saying: “Bills like LD 616 … seek to squeeze out new wind projects with bad policies that threaten jobs, clean air and a future less dependent on foreign fossil fuels.”

LD 616 doesn’t seek to “squeeze out” anything. It has nothing to do with wind projects, jobs or clean air. LD 616 will simply provide a means for a few disenfranchised Mainers to have equal rights restored to them. It provides a vehicle by which they can attempt to have their communities removed from the expedited permitting area — an “area” they were placed into without their knowledge or permission and which denies them due process — something they had prior to 2008 and which more than 99 percent of Mainers still have.

This powerful corporate lobby mustn’t be allowed to muddy the waters.

LD 616 is straightforward and fair.

LD 616 will not disallow wind development in the communities affected.

LD 616 is about citizens’ rights — period.

Don’t be misled. Voting to restore equal rights to all Mainers can only be a good thing.

Karen Bessey Pease

Lexington Township

Mining rules

As a resident of the Blue Hill peninsula, I am familiar with two mining sites — one in Blue Hill, the Kerramerican Mine, and the Callahan Mine in Brooksville. Although both mines are quite old — more than 35 years — they continue to be toxic, necessitating monitoring and cleanup funds borne by the taxpayers.

For this reason, I am deeply concerned about LD 1772, the proposed metallic mineral mining rules currently being considered by the Maine Legislature.

The result of a failed process at the Board of Environmental Protection, LD 1772 could allow mines in Maine to pollute groundwater and the environment for generations to come. LD 1772 could allow mines that are so dangerous and polluting, it would be necessary to treat their wastewater for thousands of years.

The rules would not require a mining company to provide full financial assurance prior to the start of mining, making it more likely Maine taxpayers would have to pay to clean up polluted mine sites. Furthermore, the mining rules would allow a mine next to or under almost all of Maine’s lakes and rivers and on or near many areas of public lands that Maine taxpayers purchased for conservation purposes.

The Legislature should reject LD 1772.

Siri Beckman


Caller ID

My father recently got a phone call. The caller said, “Hi, Grampa, I really need some help.”

My father replied, “Who is this?”

Caller: “Don’t you know who I am?

Dad: “Is this Robbie?”

Caller: “Yes, this is Robbie. Grampa, I am in a lot of trouble. A friend asked me to go to the Dominican Republic with him, and now I am in jail.” (I have forgotten the reason given.) “You can’t tell anyone! Mom will kill me when she finds out.”

Dad: “Well, tell me what you need.”

Caller: “I need you to talk to the ambassador here at the consulate.”

At this point they were disconnected, and my dad immediately called me to find out where “Robbie” was. My son never identifies himself as Robbie, and as my dad and I talked, I realized that he had identified the caller.

Our elderly are being targeted by these scams, and, because they are helpful grandparents, they want to make sure their grandchildren get back to the U.S. safely. Last year, “Robbie” really was out of the country, so it was not a far-fetched idea for my father to believe the story.

Morals of the story: Don’t guess who is on the phone. Make the caller tell you his or her name. Don’t honor the request not to tell. Call the mom or dad and make sure for yourself where your grandchild is. Don’t just send money via Western Union for a random pick up. If your grandchild is really in a foreign country and stranded, we have consulates who can legitimately assist.

Jo Duhaime