February 7, 2013

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

(Continued from page 1)

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

I joined the 1,500 people gathered in Monument Square on Jan. 26 to rally against the proposed shipment of tar sands oil through Portland's watershed.

Tar sands oil is a thick, peanut butter-like substance, diluted with chemicals, that would require obscene amounts of pressure to even begin its sludgy journey down the 62-year-old pipeline between Portland and Montreal.

If a spill were ever to occur, like we've seen in Michigan's Kalamazoo River in 2010, Maine's waters would be irreversibly devastated.

Despite the bitter cold of winter, cheering alongside 1,500 others to protect our beautiful state reminded me just how special Maine is and how important it is to keep it that way.

Madeline Ray


Solid information available on transmission of viruses

Instead of attacking Paul Mahn, like commenters on the Portland Press Herald's website did in regard to his letter "Avoid devastating viruses -- don't eat animal products" (Jan. 26), I would like to offer a more balanced response.

Let me make three points:

According to the Centers for Disease Control: "Influenza B viruses circulate widely only among humans. ... While it is unusual for people to get influenza infections directly from animals, sporadic human infections and outbreaks caused by certain avian influenza A viruses have been reported." (http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/viruses/transmission.htm)

There is no mention of the flu being transmitted by eating infected meat.

A related article by the CDC states, "People with flu can spread it to others up to about 6 feet away. Most experts think that flu viruses are spread mainly by droplets made when people with flu cough, sneeze or talk. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs." (http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/disease/spread.htm)

There are many farms that raise animals to produce "natural meat": i.e., "No antibiotics of any kind. No added growth hormones. Not fed animal by-products. Fed a strict vegetarian diet. Raised humanely on sustainable farms." (http://www. pinelandnaturalmeats.com/) Sounds like a safe source of meat to me.

I would like to see the references that Mr. Mahn used to back up his concerns.

Jim McLaughlin



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