Reading the headlines and editorials in The Portland Press Herald brings to mind issues which have remained unresolved for decades. The one which I wish to contend with presently is fuel prices.

I’ve listen to all the excuses that I could possible stand for the gouging which is presently being done to the American people. So, let’s get the facts straight on why gasoline and fuel oil cost so much more then they are worth.

It’s greed. Wall Street speculates on a commodity which is decreasing in demand, is dropping in the wholesale price and is limited in its domestic production — yet, the price was increasing daily until just this week.

Funny, the “drill baby drill” slogan just doesn’t cut it. For those who wish to speak of inflated prices, making them seem like a natural fact of capitalism, you are wrong. For those who wished to blame Libya, Egypt or even the OPEC nations; the facts don’t support your opinion.

While most Americans listen to the brightest journalists in our country, remember one important fact: You are not getting the straight scoop.

You subsidize the oil industry, you subsidize the farmers who grow corn for ethanol and even own all domestic oil production as a right of citizenship. But somehow, you allow yourselves to be overcharged for the product.

Guess what, even when petroleum products were expensive to refine, the products were sold for pennies. What part of that arithmetic class did you all miss? Oh wait, with the budget cuts conservatives plan to make, math will be on the chopping block next.

Peter Hamilton
Gray

If the price of groceries, gas, health care and everything but our wages keeps going up, why do some in the Maine Legislature think it is a good idea to pass anti-worker legislation in the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression?

Last week an orange was almost 20 cents cheaper than this week. The price of gas had reaching the horrific prices we saw in 2008 at more than $4 a gallon.

And lawmakers in Augusta were talking about paying anyone under the age of 20 a solid $2 less than the minimum wage, taking away collective bargaining rights from workers and passing the tried and failed “right to work” legislation pushed by lobbyists in states all over the country.

This cannot be the “good jobs” agenda our lawmakers have been talking about, right?

If it is, we need to have a discussion with our state representatives and senators about what we consider a “good job.” Being able to buy both gas and food instead of one or the other is a good start. Right to work isn’t going to get us there.

Lyndon and Jackie McCommic
Winslow 

Worry about those in need, not the end of the world 

Another end-of-the-world prediction has come and gone. It would be easy to scoff. The more serious question is why do some people feel so desperate that the only solution is an end in which they are whisked away to paradise while everyone else finally gets the punishment they deserve?

Maybe, this sense of quiet desperation and the lack of power over one’s life is because the richest 400 people in the United States have more wealth than 155 million Americans.

Maybe it is because the 155 million are blamed for their lack of success. Maybe it is because the United States as a whole, with only 5 percent of the world’s population, consumes 30 percent of the world’s resources. Maybe, the result of this concentration of wealth and power is to grind people down until all that is left is a prayer of faith for something better after they die.

Maybe it would be more productive to focus faith and works on loosening the chains of oppression, lifting the yoke of injustice and letting the poor go free, than doing the math on when the world will end.

Frank D’Alessandro
Portland 

Scarborough land trust not factor in beach flap 

I am writing on behalf of the Scarborough Land Conservation Trust to correct some misunderstandings that may have arisen as a result of comments made recently to the Zoning Board of Appeals and in a letter published on May 12 in The Portland Press Herald by an opponent of the Sprague Corp.’s proposed Black Point Beach Park project.

To be clear, SLCT has no position either for or against this project, and is not involved in formulating alternative plans or proposals for this property.

Opponents of proposed development often would prefer to see the property protected by a conservation easement or an outright sale to a land trust or conservation-oriented public agency.

SLCT, which has helped protect approximately 1,000 acres in Scarborough since 1977, welcomes opportunities to explore conservation options with landowners; and if such an opportunity arose in connection with the Sprague Corp. project, it would be given careful consideration.

However, nothing connected with this matter is “on the table” with SLCT.

It is not the mission of SLCT to take sides in arguments about the use of specific land or to come between parties with differing views.

There is a public regulatory approval process for this, in which SLCT generally has no standing to intervene. SLCT cannot just step in and take land in order to protect it.

SLCT may originate proposals for conservation projects, but it can only work with cooperating parties who share common goals.

Jack Anderson
president, Scarborough Land Conservation Trust
Scarborough

Dechaine’s backers will never give up 

I have just read the Maine Voices column by James P. Moore (“The state can resolve the Sarah Cherry murder case once and for all,” May 18). Moore is right. The case against lies about Dennis Dechaine is never going to die.

Who are these people blocking a new trial? What planet are they from?

DNA evidence has exonerated innocents who have died in prison. Will these Mainers allow this to happen here? We have given them the power of the ugliest sort. They have the power to support untruths and to deny justice to my children and yours.

I was in a doctor’s office a few days ago reading Down East magazine. This particular issue was full of sentimental quotes talking about “what Maine means to me.”

I slowly became nauseated. I couldn’t help but think of Dennis Dechaine imprisoned for a crime he could not have committed.

All these kind and thoughtful Mainers sitting in coffee shops talking about the news of the day and totally ignoring (root word: ignorant) that one of their fellows has been unjustly imprisoned may I say it again? — for a crime he could not have committed.

The state of Maine is committing a terrible crime and it rests on all our shoulders; we are letting it happen, no matter how many sentimental offerings are printed in glossy magazines.

What the Attorney General’s Office has done is criminal and we are all a part of it. Until Dennis Dechaine gets a fair trial, where all the evidence is heard, we are all participants in this travesty.

Susan Pastore
Portland