February 7, 2013

Letters to the editor: An ill wind off the coast of Maine

The recent decision by the Maine Public Utilities Commission on a floating wind turbine project is bad for the state of Maine and Maine consumers ("Pioneering Maine wind project passes 'biggest hurdle,'" Jan. 24).

Hywind on location
click image to enlarge

The four floating wind turbines that Statoil wants to site off Boothbay Harbor would look similar to this test turbine, now producing power off the coast of Norway. A reader disagrees with the PUC’s decision to approve the terms of Statoil’s proposal.

Photo provided by Trude Refsahl/Statoil

The PUC approved this project at a cost of nearly $200 million, to be paid to a Norwegian company by Maine ratepayers. This offshore wind project in the Gulf of Maine will create only 12 megawatts of power, and it will pass the expense along on the backs of the electricity users of Maine.

There is no guarantee that such a project will be successful, or that Maine people will receive any future return on this investment, and the PUC should not gamble on such a venture with the hard-earned income from its citizens.

If the purpose is to put people to work with good-paying jobs, as is being reported, I don't believe Maine ratepayers should be sending our money to a foreign company. The PUC's continued neglect of the ratepayers will keep Maine as a poor state.

Richard Bernard


King's opinion of rifle ban based on misunderstanding

I am deeply concerned by recent statements from Angus King in the Press Herald regarding his opposition to a ban on assault weapons ("King hesitant on assault weapons ban," Jan. 18).

His justification was that some of his friends like to hunt with semiautomatic weapons. I can relate to that. I used to hunt deer with a semiautomatic shotgun.

Sen. King fails to understand that the present proposal by Sen. Dianne Feinstein would not alter the hunting habits of Maine sportsmen.

What it would prevent is the ownership of guns meant to kill lots of people over a very short space of time.

Sen. King needs to listen to the testimony in Connecticut on Jan. 30 from the parents of the children slaughtered in Newtown ("In gun debate, search for middle ground becomes stand your ground," Jan. 31).

He also needs to listen to former congresswoman Gabby Giffords, who on the same day asked him to be courageous and do the right thing.

Tom Mikulka

Cape Elizabeth

Poem read at inauguration illustrates Mainer's gifts

I think that the people of Bethel have a reason to feel such pride in having their resident Richard Blanco read his magnificent poem at the president's inauguration.

I hoped that as people around the world heard this rich poem full of personal accomplishment and the flaws of all of us, we in Maine would be judged to be a people with open hearts and tolerance that celebrate and encourage brilliance in our residents. He made me so proud to be a first-generation American, from Maine.

I have to confess that this was the very first time that I had heard his poems, but let us learn from Richard Blanco that we should celebrate the gifts that we are given and strive to celebrate the diversity in our ever-changing fabric (yes, even in Maine) toward the enrichment of all of our residents.

Jane Metzler


Crowd turns out to protect what's special about Maine

I moved to Maine three years ago because, as a bumper sticker once told me, it's "the way life should be." We are immensely lucky to have at our fingertips and faucets one of the most beautiful, pristine and unfiltered sources of water in the entire country.

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