For the past few days, the news regarding the 1st District congressional race has focused on whether Rep. Chellie Pingree has the right to catch a ride home with her fiance.

Enough of this. The bipartisan ethics committee has spoken in their Sept. 24 letter affirming Pingree’s right to fly with her fiance. Issue over!

Now let’s get back to the substantive issues of the campaign and continue the debate to determine which candidate can be the most effective spokesperson for the people of Maine in Washington.

Chellie Pingree has shown that she can represent the 1st District with passion, honesty and integrity. During her long and distinguished career as a public servant in the state of Maine, Chellie has shown us that she cares about fisheries, economic development, education, small business, alternative energy, Bath Iron Works, the arts and a myriad of other issues that are important to all Mainers.

Mainers want to know what Chellie and her opponent have to say about the real issues and who has the experience necessary to make their needs known in Washington.

No more rehashing hitching a ride with a loved one! The ethics committee has spoken. It is time to move on.

Donna Miller Damon

Chebeague Island

In response to your story Monday, “Congresswoman likely to weather travel story,” maybe Rep. Chellie Pingree will not lose her House seat over her travel habits, but there are plenty of other reasons for her to lose.

Perhaps it’s her vote for $862 billion wasted on the failed Obama stimulus plan. Maybe it’s her vote for the Obama, Reid and Pelosi health care reform hocus-pocus, where she justifies the ludicrous claim of lower costs by counting 10 years of taxes but only six years of spending.

Health care reform without tort reform is a sham — so is finance reform without including Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

And her vote for cap and trade? Aren’t Maine’s electricity costs too high already?

Her concern about CO2 emissions seems hypocritical now that we know of her personal travel habits. Is she a “Learjet liberal?”

Can Ms. Pingree defend that she and her party failed to pass a budget for the U.S. government in this year of record spending and record deficits? It’s not lack of a majority that caused this — it’s a lack of discipline and integrity.

The spending just goes on while the U.S. government borrows 42 cents of every dollar it spends (no lie, you can look it up). And she keeps voting for more spending.

Now we learn that she and the Democrat Congress won’t deal with tax legislation before the election. They’ve had two years to address this and have failed. Instead they bring in the clown from Comedy Central and Ms. Pingree shares a stage with Lady Gaga.

Thankfully there is a great alternative. Dean Scontras favors empowering the individual, not expanding government. He favors rewarding work and thrift, and unburdening businesses from the regulatory avalanche.

He will impose discipline on government run amok. It’s that simple. I’m voting for Dean.

John Atkinson

Topsham

Rep. Chellie Pingree’s use of a private jet is no doubt legal. I’m not an expert on politicians’ ethics, if they have any, but her use would probably pass their ethical test.

Yet with her support of cap and trade for everyone else and her smug “save the planet” stance, she’s a hypocrite. Surprise, surprise — most of the “save the planet” crowd are hypocrites, anyway.

Problem is, we can’t afford these people in Congress anymore. It’s time for her to go.

Then she can fly around on a private jet, increase her sizable carbon footprint and talk about saving the planet without harming the rest of us.

Don Campbell

Sanford

Rep. Chellie Pingree practices “do as I say, not as I do,” and her excuses for traveling via a private jet ring hollow.

Rep. Pingree is a classic example of what many of our elected officials have become, and that is people who preach one philosophy and live another.

Although she checked with the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct, and she conveniently now identifies S. Donald Sussman as her fiance, her traveling on a private jet is particularly hypocritical given her stand on environmental issues.

It is certainly better for the environment for both Pingree and her “fiance” to fly commercial.

Barbara Seelen

Falmouth

Falmouth Library can expand on present site to meet needs

In a Sept. 23 letter, the president of the board of trustees of the Falmouth Library said it would be irresponsible to accept a plan that would add less than half the space needed to serve the needs of the town.

But trustees know the library can be expanded on site to meet all the current and future needs of the town; thus, her statement is irresponsible, dissembling, disingenuous and false.

Last April the trustees received a report from a local structural engineer they hired to evaluate whether the library can expand onsite. He reported a second story could be added over part of the building to create 4,000 new square feet at a cost of only 20 percent of the proposed multimillion-dollar move to Lunt School.

He did not address the possibility of adding a second story over the remainder of the building, which would create approximately 7,000 more square feet. Along with a 4,000-square-foot addition, that would more than double the size of the library.

The trustees did not give the engineer’s report to the full Town Council or the public. Consequently, the public was unaware of the critical fact the library could economically and adequately expand on site.

The public and some councilors were unaware of the contents of the report until late August, when it was made public by concerned citizens who had discovered its existence.

Further, the trustees have another report saying the library needs only 3,900 more square feet to serve a population of 13,500. Falmouth now has less than 12,000 and is not expected to reach 13,500 until at least 2020.

These two reports do not support the trustees’ claim, or anyone’s, the library must move to Lunt School. To the contrary, they are eloquent evidence that, if necessary, it can expand on site.

Now they are both public, let’s have an informed, intelligent, impartial public debate on the library’s future.

M. Roberts Hunt

Falmouth Citizens for Sound Choices

Falmouth