March 17, 2013

Letters to the editor: Dairy farmers face thankless task

(Continued from page 1)

click image to enlarge

Fifth-generation dairy farmer Libby Bleakney runs Highland Farms in Cornish with her family.

2013 File Photo/Gabe Souza

The governor's interest in and ability to provide the best possible support for the schools in our state ought to be an issue of paramount importance in the gubernatorial election of 2014.

William L. England

Oxford

Coverage of laptop official makes big issue of small one

I am appalled by the front-page article in the March 10 Sunday Telegram in regard to Jeff Mao, laptop program director ("State official: Laptop official's handling of emails violated policy").

It actually turned my stomach that backing up information on home hard drives, which is a common practice among many professionals -- compounded by the fact the state has admitted it was lax in providing a way for the information to be backed up on state computers until recently -- should be front-page news and take up half of Page A6 in a fashion to denigrate and cast aspersions on a hardworking professional.

At the most, this should have been handled at the state level and quietly corrected, and it never should have been in the news at all.

What the article says to me is that the owner of The MacSmith computer company has friends at the state level who are willing to help make a scapegoat out of Mr. Mao in pursuit of his own financial gains and chagrin at not being awarded the contracts.

Why the newspaper spent any time on this will remain a mystery. Mr. Mao had nothing to be gained by not releasing information or in delaying it.

With the amount of real corruption here in the state, the fact that this article ever appeared will forever be a mystery to me. I think that Stan Smith, The MacSmith's owner, needs to step up and be transparent himself in his true motives behind all of this.

Julie Hurley Poole

Harpswell

Raising I-295 speed limit would hurt, not help drivers

Legislation proposed in Augusta will increase the speed limit on Interstate 295 to 75 mph ("Bill would raise I-295 speed limit to 75 mph," March 15). This is truly an irresponsible proposal.

Maine drivers already exceed the speed limit and do so under all conditions. With gas prices critically high, lowering consumption should be more than mandates on car manufacturers. Driving 55 mph saves lives and gas. It also lowers insurance rates for all drivers.

We should be more focused on responsible legislation and reject bills like this that worsen conditions, not help the public.

If commuters cannot get up and out in enough time to be at work driving responsibly, then it should remain their problem -- and that includes legislators from southern Maine!

Ernest Canelli III

Fairfield

Talk of 'cosmetics' misses point of gun control effort

In Sen. Angus King's current constituent response on the gun control discussion and legislative proposals dealing with gun control, he says he has serious reservations about limiting "assault weapons," as there is "too much emphasis on the cosmetic appearance of particular firearms rather than their actual functionality."

For those pro-gun control folks who use the "assault weapon" description, a carefully presented National Rifle Association tutorial is being circulated on the "assault weapon" misnomer. Its real intent, though, is to say that if you can't distinguish an "assault weapon" by definition, then your case for limiting anything is questionable.

The gun control effort is not about cosmetics nor technical definitions of weaponry and does not seek to obliterate anyone's Second Amendment rights. This so-called "assault" on gun owners' rights is not a high-capacity, rapid-fire onslaught against all guns nor their owners.

It is, though, a limited-capacity onslaught where the outcome will be a lessening of deaths. It's just common sense: Less ammo power = Fewer deaths.

The Bushmaster's cosmetics are fine and handguns are handy, but take the high-capacity magazines off the shelf.

If a person truly thinks they need to have a firearm that can do so much damage in such a short period of time, their own mental clarity might be questioned during the gun owner screenings that some pro-gun lobbyists say they'd support.

My sense, though, is that when they see these particulars, their support will quickly wane. If you think limiting guns is difficult, wait until you try to qualify someone's mental health.

Of the approaches being aired toward lessening gun deaths, many have merit, but "cosmetics" is not the issue. Magazine capacities are the issue, and Sen. King needs to stop diverting the discussion with "cosmetics." It's wasting precious time.

Will Brown

Lincolnville

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