The lead editorial on Dec. 3 had a headline that read, “Bypass plan has more than one problem” with a smaller headine that read, “The discovery of a bald eagle nest has temporarily put the $100 million road project on hold.”

I am reminded of a Brunswick project that was not put on hold. The old Brunswick High School was demolished to make way for the new Harriet Beecher Stowe school.

A tall chimney that served as a roosting stopover for migrating chimney swifts was toppled. Each year, more than a hundred of these amazing birds rested in the old chimney before completing their spring migration from as far away as Peru, Chile and Brazil.

A new, smaller chimney in a slightly different location was provided by Merrymeeting Audubon funds, but only 20 or so swifts dipped into it and abruptly abandoned it.

(Another old, tall chimney at Maine Medical Center in Portland has more than 800 roosting swifts. My hope is that Maine Med’s chimney can be saved.)

Old chimneys are rough on the inside, enabling the birds to cling overnight. Hollow dead trees used to be the preferred niches.

Destroying one nest and one chimney does not seem to make a big difference, yet multiplied across the state, nation and beyond, it adds up to a human-dominated landscape that is more and more crowding out other species of our world.

It fills me with a great sadness.

With that in mind, I have always wondered why a pedestrian overpass would not be the least costly and least invasive solution for Wiscasset’s summertime Route 1 traffic congestion problem.

Bronda M. Niese
Woolwich 

Wiscasset’s bypass is on hold because of an empty eagle’s nest?

Now I have heard it all! The fact is that birds are better treated than humans.

If the owners won’t move, offer them alternative accommodations. If the nest is abandoned, tear it down.

If that doesn’t work apply eminent domain. All the above apply to the human race, why not the birds?

And then let’s get this bypass built.

Colin Brown
Rockland 

Only by joint sacrifices will nation be restored 

Letter writer Tom Foley could not have better expressed the reality of our country’s economic condition and what is required to resolve the serious problems that are plaguing us and future generations of Americans.

His letter Nov. 26, “On sacrifice and being left in the cold,” notes the causes of our country’s present fiscal dilemma: deregulation, tax cuts, earmarks, wasteful spending, etc., while not placing blame or accountability on any political party or individual.

Americans got to this point by naively believing we deserve it all at no cost. We want our social programs, Medicare, Social Security, great school systems, health insurance, well-maintained roads and bridges, safe skies, mass transit, an adequate defense program, etc., but we balk at the idea that we should be expected to provide the cost for these services and programs.

It’s time our elected leaders stop the promise of tax cuts and have the courage to tell the American people that sacrifices must be made at all levels of government and including all Americans.

This is not the time for political divisiveness. The consequences of not immediately addressing the real fiscal issues which face this country and not making the tough decisions necessary to resolve them are far too great.

As Mr. Foley stated, 10 years of tax cuts and deregulation have not created jobs and have not reduced the deficit.

It’s time all Americans make the sacrifices necessary to put this country back on the path of fiscal responsibility, job growth, world respect and the sense of pride that being an American once held.

Fred Conti
Freeport 

Nuclear arms treaty very important to pass 

News of heightened tensions between North Korea and South Korea underscores the importance of nuclear arms reduction.

Before he died, former President Richard Nixon argued forcefully, perhaps thinking of the future, that America must always make Russia its first priority in foreign policy.

Nixon’s reasoning was sharply realist, even Hobbesian. When asked why Russia was so important in a world that clamored for attention, Nixon replied that Russia was the only country that could annihilate America.

It is this existential threat that has been lost sight of by some senators who seem more interested in self-indulgently scoring points against Obama than in the safety of our children.

It is so obviously in America’s national interest to keep the ball rolling on nuclear arms reduction and cooperation with Russia on missile deployment, that any delay in ratifying the New START pact is foolish.

John C. Carney, Ph.D.
Kennebunkport 

Cable bill up nearly 20 percent in two years: Who oversees this? 

My monthly bill from Time Warner Cable has just gone up $13.33 (approximately 8.5 percent); this increase after a similar rise approximately two years ago.

I can bring up the time-worn arguments about being forced to deal with a monopoly, about having to pay for a vast numbers of channels that one does not need or want. I have suffered the agony of hearing those on fixed incomes (like myself) who have either given up cable TV or who intend to do so.

However, we must ask the poignant question: Is there any real justification for this other than to increase corporate profits? My immediate concerns are as to how we can continue to pay these charges, and more so what it does to our community.

I have no idea how many customers Time Warner has in the Portland area, but we can speculate that if fees have increased almost 20 percent in two years, that millions of dollars are flowing to distant corporate coffers from a community already economically distressed.

A final question, although I fear it moot: Who in city government is responsible for the oversight of this public utility?

Duane Robert Pierson, Ph.D.
Portland