Regarding the latest venture by the Maine Turnpike Authority, we only need to look back at its track record over the last 30 years to decide if it has the best interests of the state at heart.

We were told that once the turnpike was paid for, the tollbooths would be removed. That never happened.

The widening project that the MTA “had the money for” in the late ’90s resulted in higher tolls to “pay for the project” once it was done. That particular project was the result of what appeared to be MTA-created backups on the three holiday weekends the summer before the vote to widen the turnpike.

I spent 2½ hours traveling from Mile 37 to York to find only four booths open as tourists tried to exit the state after July 4.

The MTA’s epic blunder remains electronic tolling. Initially, TransPass was installed in spite of the fact that most of the states in the Northeast were sold on E-ZPass, a proven system. A few years later the MTA realized TransPass was a failure, removed the entire system and upgraded to E-ZPass.

How many millions did that cost? Makes no difference, the MTA “had the money to pay for it,” but it raised the tolls to cover the cost. Things just never seem to add up.

I do appreciate the well-maintained highway. The employees do an excellent job at that. I realize the tolls cover all costs, and I do not have an issue with this.

I do think that all avenues should be explored thoroughly before moving forward on the new tollbooth project and that the MTA is long overdue for new leadership.

Mike McClintock

Athens

 

Antiwar fervor seems to have declined lately

 

Where’s the outrage now? I read an article about July being the deadliest month for our troops in Afghanistan since the war began nine years ago. I believe that June of this year was the second deadliest month as well.

I remember a few years back, when George W. Bush was president, that every time soldiers were reported killed, that the liberal media would beat the antiwar drums loudly.

Every night, on the evening news, there were gory images of destruction. Quite often, if they could find blood, we would see it on the nightly news.

The folks on The View were constantly ranting about “Bush’s war” and how stupid it was. Liberals were constantly demonstrating in the streets, with Bush’s image being burned in effigy, and calls for his impeachment.

There were complaints about not being able to view the images of flag-draped coffins arriving at Dover Air Force Base. the way, I haven’t seen any coverage of the flag-draped coffins lately.

Now that there is a Democrat in the White House, and the Democrats control both houses of Congress, the level of contempt seems to have waned. Does this mean that it is now OK for our young soldiers to die in a far-off land, for God knows what end, or is it just no longer politically expedient to complain?

Let us all support our troops in battle, and when they return home as well. Let us also pray that they all come home sooner, rather than later.

Richard C. Sanborn

West Baldwin

 

Facts on wind’s poor stats not being publicized well

 

What are the “true numbers” where wind power is concerned? As a concerned citizen of Maine who has read extensively about the performance statistics of wind power, I feel that the public is being left in the dark on this issue.

Why are the very people who serve us so reluctant to spill the facts on the lack of effectiveness of wind energy? Could it possibly be that they do not want us to know the truth?

There have been reports regarding the poor performance of wind turbines in the news recently.

It is very troubling to me to see the way this is downplayed by most of the media, and how wind energy is pushed forward as the cure-all for Maine’s dependence on oil.

I don’t get it. How is wind power going to help Maine’s dependence on oil, which is not used to generate electricity?

I recently read of a challenge for Angus King and Jonathan Carter to debate wind-power issues in a public forum so that the questions citizens have may be brought to light and answered in a straightforward way.

I happen to know that Carter is very willing to debate King publicly on the issues of wind energy. Will King accept the challenge?

I think the public has a right to have the honest facts about the effectiveness of wind power. What better way to get them out in the open? How about it, Mr. King?

Linda Miller

Lexington Township

 

EPA cement plant rules latest job-killing action

 

I see the latest ruling of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency limiting the release of mercury from cement plants is to be implemented, and as a result, several billions of dollars will be spent to install pollution scrubbers at existing kilns.

The response of the industry is that this ruling would lead to plant closures and job outsourcing.

I ask the question, does the EPA consider how many jobs will be lost due to its rulings?

I look at the towns of Berlin, Gorham and Lincoln in New Hampshire and Westbrook, Rumford, Millinocket, East Millinocket, Lincoln and Madawaska in Maine, and I consider how many jobs have been lost over rulings governing odor, clear-cutting, vernal pools and every other ruling that comes from a government office and not the homes of the working people.

I traveled through these towns years ago, and the happiness and well-being of these communities has disintegrated. This could also happen to Thomaston and all the cement plants in this country.

We have had rulings against hydro dams and oil and coal power generating plants, and as a result our electric rates have gone from 0.035 cents per kilowatt-hour to 0.165 cents.

With all these rulings, are we better off with our cost of living, health and unemployment today than we would be without the EPA?

EPA should eliminate two of its own jobs when it eliminates any job from the American workplace. In fact, I would eliminate the EPA.

Bucky Buchanan

Gray