The packed Portland City Council chamber last Wednesday night told the story. There was testimony from the public and from the petroleum industry (local, national and Canadian representatives) concerning the pros and cons of tar sands oil and its potential effect or lack of effect on our land and water.

The debate was sometimes heated and sometimes coldly rational. Statistics and anecdotal testimony flew from both sides.

In the end, the resolution to ban the purchase of oil for city operations from refineries that process tar sands was sent back to the Transportation, Sustainability and Energy Committee for more review, in-depth study and clearer language.

I should have been disappointed, but I wasn’t. We should all, as citizens, be doing our own review and in-depth study and honing our own precise language on the subject of tar sands being piped near our water source and off-loaded in our harbor.

When paid representatives from the oil industry take time out of their busy schedules to come, on one of the coldest nights of the year, to the council chambers of a small Northeastern city in the United States, something larger is at stake than a public relations call. This should be a personal wake-up call for us all to do our homework.

The information is out there, and we can all find it. We are “fact-check nation.” Let’s do it. This resolution will return, and so will we.

Nicole d’Entremont

Peaks Island

 

LePage misrepresents state, maligns our elected officials

 

Firstly, thank you for Ray Routhier’s excellent article on Maine’s Warden Service and the TV show (“Show tracks the wild life of Maine game wardens,” Jan. 23). It portrays Maine and Mainers authentically to a nation that might be misled by other factors.

The primary other factor is our Gov. LePage. He has variously told the world that our schools stink and that educators lie to students, and he has refused to meet with legislative leaders elected by the people to help solve Maine’s problems, leading our state’s credit rating to decline.

It’s incredible that the supposed leader of our great state has accomplished this almost single-handedly! Nice job.

My solution: Impeach this out-of-control man. President Clinton faced impeachment for little more than lying about a consensual sexual relationship.

The governor is causing incredible damage to our form of government. I’m certainly no constitutional scholar, but the idea that he has refused to do due diligence in the exercise of his office must have occurred to some others with more acumen than I.

Two more years of this is two years too much. I have no involvement in any of these particular heretofore-mentioned individual issues.

I am an independent politically and personally and have always been proud to be a born-and-raised lifelong Mainer. Can one maladjusted, tone-deaf, put-up-your-dukes governor destroy our state’s reputation in four years? He’s already done a pretty good job in just two.

Thomas Gribbin

Portland

 

I would like to respond to Gov. LePage’s comment to the lawmakers who were duly voted into office by the citizens of Maine.

Again, anger led to the governor’s blatant comment calling our elected officials a bunch of “idiots.”

I as a citizen want to hear a formal apology to these officials and to the citizens of our great state. This apology should be personally done in front of television cameras and newspapers throughout the state.

Also, it is my opinion that the governor should attend anger management classes. These classes may curb these and other blatant outbursts aimed at our officials and avoid the impact these leave on the citizens.

Daniel F. Lynch

Portland

 

Hardworking caregivers do have resources for relief

 

There is a good chance that if you are not a caregiver yourself, then you know someone else who is.

In the United States, approximately 43.5 million adults provide what is called “unpaid” care to someone age 50 or older. Breaking that number down further, 19 percent of all adults are responsible for daily caregiving tasks such as meal preparation, travel to and from appointments and cleaning for an older dependent or loved one.

When one considers how many caregivers in America have jobs, other demanding responsibilities and/or children of their own, one can start to imagine how stressful their lives can be.

If you know someone who is a caregiver, there are ways to help. A lot of caregivers may be unaware that there are resources available that can provide some relief.

For example, the Department of Health and Human Resources’ Eldercare Locator is a great way to get started, and they are just a phone call away at 1-800-677-1116.

The AARP Caregiving Resource Center at www.aarp.org/caregivers is also a site that offers a wide range of services and supports for both caregivers and for those of us who might wish to help.

If you’ve ever taken care of an older parent or loved one, you know how much it can mean to have a break and some free time for yourself. Helping out a caregiver in 2013 would be a great resolution for the new year.

Helena Trumble

AARP Greater Portland Chapter No. 228

Windham

 

Wrong Newtown count is more than inaccurate

 

Almost all media reported that 26 people died in the tragic Sandy Hook Elementary School slaughter in Newtown, Conn., on Dec. 14. But the true number was 27.

Not to include the suicide of the shooter, Adam Lanza, is to not acknowledge that he was human. He was sick. He was flawed. He was desperately in need of help that wasn’t available. (States have cut mental health budgets by 12 percent since 2009.) But he was human. He counted.

So editors, take note. People, take note. When writing or speaking or thinking of that terrible event: Twenty-seven human beings died in that school. We owe it to our shared humanity to be accurate.

Catherine Wolff

Kittery