It is interesting that after more than a century of damming our rivers for hydropower, we are now restoring these rivers. The removal of the Veazie dam is just one example of the efforts new being made so fish can once again swim upstream to spawn.

More than a century ago, when these dams were being built to power our industries, no thought was given to the impact the dams would have on nature.

We are again in that same situation. “Renewable” energy is the current buzzword for exploiting our mountains and devastating the wildlife that depend on those mountains for their very existence.

Environmentalists have long decried clear-cut methods of the logging industry (to the point where other methods have been adopted). Yet nary is a word heard from these individuals and groups when multinational developers propose massive wind farms that clear-cut the tops of our most precious natural resources and blast access roads to permit the hauling of the monster windmills to the top.

Where will we be a century from now when these giants are rusting hulks of a bygone era? How many billions will we be forced to spend to remove these unsightly giants? And how do we restore the mountains to their original condition so the wildlife might, once again, roam unimpeded?

William Chapman
Rockport

Republicans encourage belief in self-determination

Alan Caron denigrates the Maine Republican Party for electing a new state chairman recently (“Alan Caron: Bennett appointment signals Maine Republicans’ distress,” July 25). I’m surprised this is such a big deal to him.

He was all over the map in his column, bashing Gov. LePage and the tea party’s credibility, deeming our justice system racist because the recent verdict in the Trayvon Martin case was not to his liking and apparently thinking he is an oracle able to see the outcome of the next gubernatorial election. He wishes …

If one is a thinker, a reader, a problem-solver, a constitutionalist and believes in curbing the reach of government (the Internal Revenue Service scandal) and being “allowed” to keep one’s earnings, you are welcome in the Republican Party. The tea party fits!

The Democrats march in lockstep, speak in talking points with one voice and one philosophy: Get the prize, no matter the methods.

He’s welcome to his opinions, but I’m taking them with a grain of salt.

Mr. Caron was the head, in 2006, of GrowSmart Maine, an Agenda 21 dealy (which probably now calls itself something else). It was one of those pushy nonprofits that deign to know best how Mainers should live and what they should desire.

Remember, grain of salt …

Rose Marie Russell
Westbrook

Paper offers too much space to views of right ‘extremists’ 

It is becomingly increasingly nauseating for those of us who have read widely for decades, have furthered our education to higher degrees and can demonstrate a knowledge of socioeconomic history to have to encounter the incessant unsubstantiated nonsense in views from extremists of an ideology reinforced day and night by such sources as Fox News.

There are at least as many letters, views, columns and ideological insights published by the Portland Press Herald that reflect the views of the ideologues who peddle the bitter teas manufactured for their party by this right-wing propaganda bureau.

If anything, there should be more space given to those who know enough to see through this extremist distortion of socioeconomic realities.

Few of us benefit from our democratic representation, more than ever being seriously undercut by gerrymandering and filibustering, and the pouring-in of corporate monies to buy America state by state by international financial interests given license by the Citizens United misnomer that treads upon our freedoms and rights as individual citizens, including those of us who fought in wars to protect them.

I prefer the newspapers I read daily to be right on and not obeisant to the values of those extremists who are knowingly or unknowingly coming against all that has long proven to work to “promote the general welfare” insisted upon by the U.S. Constitution.

George Eaton
South Portland

State benefit package shows reason for budget problems

I noticed an ad in the July 21 Kennebec Journal for a legislative human resources director, which stated the state’s share of retirement is 17.07 percent of the employee’s gross pay. The pay scale for this position is between $69,000 and $83,000, which means that taxpayers will be paying an additional $11,778 to $14,168 into this one employee’s retirement fund per year.

It is no wonder we have budget problems in this state. Are legislators, the governor and department commissioners included in this type of windfall? Is that why no one has done anything to protect taxpayer cost?

Why are not all state employees, including our elected officials, treated equally, as are those under Social Security? Is this why the state has not paid its fair share into the retirement system and has taken the cost-of-living adjustment away from state retirees trying to get by on a fixed income?

If legislators are involved in this windfall, the public should know. Everyone who contributes should be treated the same and receive according to what they put in — not what position they hold — and everyone should have the same percentage of taxpayer contributions.

Rest assured that anyone running for office in this state should be prepared to answer these questions in the next election.

Our politicians have bragged about fixing the state retirement system; looks like they have a long way to go to have equality for all state employees.

We will probably not get straight answers from our elected officials; looks like we need some good old-fashioned investigative reporting done.

They could start by asking why the Legislature needs its own human resources director in the first place.

Davy Crockett
Augusta