What in the world is the Maine Turnpike thinking? I received a letter from them today saying they are doing away with the commuter program and replacing it with a “discount” program. In my situation, it increases my cost by almost $200 per quarter.

I was paying $100 per quarter to use the turnpike from Auburn to South Portland. The new “discount” program increases my cost to $294 per quarter. Here’s the math:

Under the new program, my daily tolls are $5.55. On average, there are 22 workdays per month. That translates to $122 per month (keeping rounded numbers).

Under the “discount” program, I qualify for a 20 percent discount of $24 per month. Taking the discounted rate of $98 per month and multiplying by three months per quarter, my new quarterly cost becomes $294 — triple what I was paying before.

This does not include any additional trips that I may use the turnpike for. These trips, which were part of the original plan, will now be above and beyond the $200 per quarter they are adding to my cost. Are they nuts?

Mitch Beaulieu

former turnpike user

Auburn

The Maine Turnpike Authority sent out its toll increase letter to E-ZPass holders. All along, they said commuters would face a 10 percent increase. Frauds — our current commuter rate from Eliot to Wells is $42 per quarter. The new rate exceeds $100.

To even get close to our current costs, we have to go through the tolls 70-plus times a month. Who the heck commutes to work 70-plus times a month? We may have to drive to work and back twice every day and on weekends just to try to reduce the new costs.

Can you imagine that an agency whose former leader stole money and then got paid more than $300,000 for unused vacation thinks that the way it covers its bloated bureaucracy and increased costs is on the back of hardworking Maine families? Gov. LePage should be ashamed of himself for allowing this to happen.

I hope other hardworking commuting Mainers join me in protesting this outrageous action. Shame on all of you government officials involved in picking the pockets of Maine citizens again.

David Gray

Eliot

Help birds, cats stay safe by keeping felines indoors

Re: Voice of the People, “Evicting healthy feral cats will backfire,” Sept. 10: Here is another take on the feral cat situation.

The American Bird Conservancy, The American Humane Association and the Humane Society of the United States published a pamphlet, “Keeping Cats Indoors Isn’t Just for the Birds!” The Campaign for Safer Birds and Cats is made possible in part by support of the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation and others.

For the cats: Cars, animal attacks, human cruelty, overpopulation, disease, parasites, poisons and traps are some of the dangers encountered by outdoor cats.

For the birds: Cats, domestic and feral, are unnatural predators that have a tremendous impact on wild bird populations. It is estimated that cats kill hundreds of millions of birds each year and three times as many small mammals.

Some myths about the bird and cat interface are that cats with bells won’t catch wildlife; that well-fed cats do not kill wildlife; and that once a cat releases a bird or chipmunk, it will survive.

Cats can be happy indoors if they have a safe outdoor enclosure, such as a screened porch, a window shelf for viewing, regular play with their owners, kitty grass and clean litter boxes.

Please keep cats indoors for safer birds and cats.

Bronda M. Niese

Woolwich

‘Extreme weather events’ no cause for warming alarm

In response to:

The July 27 letter by Ben Seel (“Solving pollution at a national level”) stating that “extreme weather events, like the storm that flooded parts of Portland in early June” are due to global warming.

The Aug. 24 letter by Ruth Gleim (“Human activity cannot be separated from natural cycle”).

The Aug. 7 McClatchy Newspapers article saying that the “extreme heat of recent summers” was caused by human activity.

It certainly is true that many extreme weather events have occurred lately, but is this unusual?

Global warming alarmists quickly blamed anthropogenic man-made global warming when Florida was hit by several strong hurricanes in 2004-05, and said more are to come.

Fact is, the National Hurricane Center and I both examined hurricane landfalls during the past 100 years, and we came to the same conclusion. Strong storms have routinely occurred in the past and are cyclical.

Then came the deadly 2010 tornado season, with a record number of tornadoes across the United States and near Springfield and Worcester, Mass.

Global warming alarmists were again quick to blame the tornado season on human-induced global warming. But examination of records again revealed a similar year in 1953, the year of the great Worcester tornado and a recurring approximately 60-year cycle.

The great Mississippi River flood of 2011 was blamed on global warming by some. But you have probably already guessed that it is cyclical.

During the past 100 years, the five greatest historical floods have occurred on a fairly regular 19- to 24-year natural cycle. And the 2012 warmest July on record was also cyclical. Similar warm records were set in the 10-year warm period in the 1930s.

I suggest everyone reach out for correct facts concerning natural cycles by watching the newly released movie “The Boy Who Cried Warming” on the website theboywhocried warming.com.

You can learn more about climate cycles on the website globalweathercycles.com/Speakers Presentations.html.

David Dilley

CEO, Global Weather Oscillations Inc.

Hiram

U.S. response to Sept. 11 resulted in more atrocities

Remembering 9/11, another day that will live in infamy.

Unfortunately our revenge, which ultimately did kill the mastermind of this atrocity, also resulted in the deaths of more than twice as many Americans as died on that fateful day, as well as the maiming of tens of thousands of Americans and the deaths and maiming of perhaps hundreds of thousands of Afghan and Iraqi civilians.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t feel better.

David Larsen

Portland