In regards to Maine’s high cost of road maintenance (“On the Roads Again,” Nov. 28) there is one simple, obvious solution:

Sell the contract, equipment and other assets to Cianbro Corp. Allow this Maine-based, nationally recognized company manage our entire road system with the care, respect and efficiency that they apply to all of their projects.

It’s Cianbro’s Yankee ingenuity that just might rescue the state of Maine from one of its major budgetary headaches. If we can cut deals with gambling outfits from afar in the spirit of creating revenue and jobs, then we can certainly apply that line of thinking to one of Maine’s most respected companies. And help ourselves in the process.

Leslie Harlow
Ellsworth

The gas tax editorial
might benefit from a review of how the state government “raided” the tax-raised “transportation” funds to balance the budget in past years.

It took a bill sponsored by Rep. Kelly Prescott, R-Topsham, to ensure that designated tax monies actually remain in the sphere for which those taxes were designated.

Similarly, in the early 1990s the pension plan was “raided” in order to balance the budget then.

We are all paying the price now (in our unfunded pensions and our crumbling roads, mirrored by our crumbling trust in legislators and further taxes) for the “shell games” our state legislators have played with our tax dollars.

Susan Young

Woolwich

Roadsides could be used for grow-your-own fuel

I read with much interest Sunday’s article regarding grass to pellets  (“Grass for fuel fires hope, debate,” Dec. 5).

I have for years advocated harvesting the grass along the thousands of acres of interstate highways by private enterprise and burning it in biomass boilers to produce electricity. 

It is interesting that there is a variety of grass that could be planted to make such a practice more efficient.  This practice would eliminate a whole step in conversion of grass to energy.

The excess ash the article mentions from burning grass could be returned to roadsides if kept clean and unmixed with contaminants from other burned fuels.

I burned a bale of hay in my wood stove last year and it provided a lot of heat as long as it lasted.

Brian Hanson
St. Albans

Impatient drivers overrate their importance on road

On Nov. 26, with the season’s first sleet and ice on the roads, I had the signal privilege of being tailgated by a member of Maine’s newest overclass: Genus Impatiens.

Like China’s growing middle class, Maine’s new elite are Very Important People. They yack on cell phones, send text messages, consummate business deals, sip designer coffees, arrange meetings with lovers, fiddle with stereos and otherwise amuse themselves behind the wheel.

They are, to a man (or woman) always in a hurry, and ordinary mortals like me are clearly an annoyance and an obstacle to their progress. Foul weather does not change their behavior one whit.
Were I able, I would arrange for a personal escort for each of these VIPs in a Ford Crown Victoria, but I must content myself with the vagaries of chance.

Those of us bound to the laws of physics and gravity (and common sense) must soldier on, doing our best to get home in one piece, with or without the assistance of our betters.

Henry Smith

Sorrento

‘The Carpenter’ editorial smacked of elitism

Surprise, surprise, Richard L. Connor’s newspapers disapprove of the appointment of tea party activist Pete “The Carpenter” Harring to Gov.-elect Paul LePage’s transition team. (“The Carpenter’ bad fit for transition team,” Nov. 27.)

The disapproval of this editorial smacks of elitism. 

It really turns my stomach when I see this monster raise its ugly head.  It is the attitude of “we are better educated then you and know better.”

Who defines who is best qualified to lead, Mr. Connor? I am sorry your editors think Harring is not as “educated” as they are and apparently cannot add anything of value to the transition process of the new governor. 

I am glad Gov.-elect LePage appointed him to the transition team. Pete Harring, along with several other conservative members of the team, will bring a much-needed perspective to the process.

We cannot continue to stay on the same path we have been on for the past 40 years! We know this paper likes the “militant moderate” types, but they too have helped drive us down a dead-end road.

Gov.-elect LePage, I applaud your approach!  Keep up the good work.

Brett Davis

Hollis

Maine should not join health reform lawsuit

It’s disappointing to see that Gov.-elect Paul LePage’s promise of “people, not politics,” is already broken. 

First of all, the decision to join the Florida lawsuit to overturn the Affordable Care Act will result in squandering of Maine’s limited resources (money and Attorney General William Schneider’s time) on a futile effort.

The argument appears to be that the government is overstepping its legal bounds, requiring people to sign on to the program. 

This argument does not address the reality of Maine’s uninsured and underinsured citizens, or provide any credible alternative to the ACA.  The argument does nothing to help control health care costs. 

Mr. LePage claims to be for small business.  Somehow, he remains unaware of (or chooses to ignore) the fact that many people take jobs (when available) with large businesses rather than with small businesses because large businesses offer health insurance for employees; the ACA would help rectify this problem and allow more small businesses to provide health insurance for their employees.

So much for interest in people, not politics.

And where do uninsured employees of small businesses often get their health care coverage? 

From Mainecare (Medicaid), which depends on federal and state dollars.

Shame on Gov.-elect LePage and Mr. Schneider. 

Shame on Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins, for also supporting the Florida lawsuit, at the expense of Maine citizens.

Daniel Krell, M.D.

Hiram

Merriland Farm Cafe deserved a better review

We were surprised and disappointed to read N.L. English’s negative review of Merriland Farm Cafe (“Tastefully put, Merriland Farm Cafe does dessert best,” Nov. 28).

We dine there often and have found it to be consistently good in every aspect.

We have also introduced family and friends who always compliment us for the ambience, food, service and all-round dining experience.

She should return, preferably in the summer, and enjoy a delicious meal on the patio at tables under umbrellas, surrounded by hanging baskets and flower gardens and shrubs.

She is sure to come away with a four-star rating!

Bill and Mary Johnson

Saco