April 14, 2013

Letters to the editor: Warming could be good for Maine

On April 3, a group of more than a dozen environmental groups met in Augusta to discuss reinstating the climate change study that Gov. LePage correctly suspended when he took office (“Will Maine revive plan for climate change?” April 4).

You know, there may be some reasons to welcome “climate change” in the state of Maine. There may be some welcome ramifications if winter were a little shorter and warmer.

If our summers were a few weeks longer, we could attract more tourists, one of our greatest resources.

We could grow more potatoes, broccoli, corn and other crops, boosting our economy. 
Our trees, another Maine resource, would grow faster and bigger. We would use far less fuel to heat our houses and businesses.

Throwing more and more money at a phenomenon that has occurred on our planet for billions of years, whether there were humans or not, seems to be more than wasteful – it is a crime.

Since world temperatures have not really gone up in the last two decades, it seems hard to believe we are still talking about oceans rising and the planet burning. It was only a few short decades (1970s) ago that this same group was crying about the coming of another ice age. 

A lot more things are happening in Maine that need real study.

Like how many more mountaintops have to be destroyed chasing the myth of industrial wind.
Like why our state has the most people on welfare per capita in the whole United States.

Like why all the great manufacturing companies that used to be here have left for cheaper energy costs and lower taxes. 

Wake up, Mainers!

James J. Lutz

Bangor

Lawmakers must consider proposals’ statewide impact


As a college student in California, I quickly became aware of the conflict between north and south. Each had a distinct way of life, and outside of California, nobody thinks much about it. In California politics, the differences between north and south create a constant battle over resources.
Upon returning to Maine, I’ve grown increasingly aware of a similar battle.

While growing up in the Bangor area, I had little interaction with folks from the south. I never recognized the cultural split. However, policy has been a great indicator, especially during these tough times of social welfare reform.

A bill to exempt homeowners ages 65 years and over living in poverty from paying property taxes (L.D. 73) was killed this session in committee.

After brief correspondence with a couple of the representatives who co-sponsored this bill, it is unclear how rural Maine communities north of Cumberland County would have been able to offset such a dramatic cut to their primary source of revenue.

The fact that Democratic Rep. Paulette Beaudoin of Biddeford, a co-sponsor of the bill, took a stand for the needs of elders in her community is commendable. I worry, though, that Legislatures do not cooperate enough to find statewide solutions for statewide problems.

Rep. Beaudoin’s heartfelt approach to social welfare was not realistic for the rest of us. Bills like L.D. 73 need to be considered with the whole state in mind.

Maria R. Noyes

Levant

Gov. LePage wise to resist ‘make-work’ borrowing

The Maine Sunday Telegram’s Insight section has Michael Cuzzi’s sloganeering on the governor’s policy changes on state bond sales and health care (“Wanting to be re-elected drives LePage’s reversals,” March 31).

Apparently Mr. Cuzzi neither understands the term “other people’s money,” nor is he able to separate partisanship from politics. The governor no longer controls either house of the Legislature. Thus, Mr. Cuzzi uses propaganda in place of strategic communication.

It’s nonsense to support bond sales to finance make-work projects – it’s borrowing your way out of debt. Forty years of fiscal irresponsibility means Maine has no rainy day fund.

Apparently, neither the party in power nor Mr. Cuzzi realizes “other people’s money” is gone – e.g., my pension earned in 40 years of employment in Seattle is now being taxed $43 per month to fund same-day welfare and generous unemployment give-away programs.

The backward governors of Tennessee, Kentucky, Alabama, South Carolina and Georgia, who didn’t have Mr. Cuzzi’s advice, used bond sales to support manufacturing-sector growth in cars, trucks, farm machinery and airplanes.

In other words, bonds and rainy day funds successfully fueled job growth, not “make work.” The governor should resist the advice to fund “make work” that provides no future growth.

The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), is neither about health care nor good medical treatment. Health care is about long walks, salads and “no” to dessert, not about making me report my snowmobile sale for $3,000.

My chiropractor is worried that the medical community will collapse under the regulatory weight of the Affordable Care Act. The governor is right to oppose Obamacare.

Mr. Cuzzi should read “The Ant and the Grasshopper” to get control of his ideological accelerator.

Theo Nykreim

Stockholm

Frank’s observations belong near list of top fiction titles


I look forward to Barney Frank’s contributions to your paper. Many of your readers believe he is one of the primary architects of the current recession. I find his after-the-fact spin to be especially entertaining.

I do have one small suggestion, however: His submissions should be printed somewhere near the list of best-selling fictional literature in the Audience section. 

Kurt Christiansen

Windham

Ties among charter backers deserve further exploration

I would first like to thank Donald Sussman for helping to keep the Press Herald afloat. Democracy cannot exist without an informed citizenry.

I would also like to thank the Press Herald for reinvesting in meaningful journalism by employing writers such as Colin Woodard. His pieces on charter school implementation efforts in Maine have been both informative and helpful.

As a follow-up to his reports on Jeb Bush’s foundation (“Questioned for conflict, Maine-linked firm ends lobbying,” March 12) and Imam Fethullah Gulen’s foundation (“Proposed Bangor charter school linked to Turkish imam,” Feb. 17), as well as the virtual school programs under the aegis of Michael Milken (“Special Report: The profit motive behind virtual schools in Maine,” Sept. 2, 2012), there is a great need for an exploration of underlying motivations.

Specifically, what are the factors that provide the commonality between a convicted junk bond-selling felon, a Turkish Muslim imam and Republican politicians from Jeb Bush to Gov. LePage to a host of other Republican politicians throughout the state?

It would strain credulity to suppose they were all motivated purely by a zeal for academic excellence in Maine. So what is it?

A wish to privatize education as a means of downsizing public (government) functions; a greedy wish to get hold of the monies raised through our tax dollars for education; a desire for control of the schools in order to promote conservative principles, religious and otherwise, to impressionable young people?

All seem possibilities bearing further exploration.

The lawsuits involving Baxter Academy certainly seemed to be about a struggle for money, power and control rather than any conflicting ideas regarding educational philosophy.

And since when did Florida become such an exemplar of educational excellence that our governor and education commissioner need to go there to plagiarize (whoops, “borrow”) materials to write draft legislation and governmental mandates?

Keep up the good work, and keep digging!

Ann Morrill

South Portland

Note: The letters were updated to include hyperlinks to stories referenced therein.

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