Thursday, April 24, 2014
(Continued from page 1)
Signs warning motorists to keep to the posted speed limit dot Washington Avenue in Portland in 2010. Speeding is one of the myriad driving infractions that is rampant in Maine, a reader says.
2010 File Photo/Kat Franchino
Below is an excerpt from a letter submitted to the Department of Environmental Protection by Rainer and Gaby Engle of Switzerland, who bought their "American dream getaway" in Lincoln a few years ago.
The DEP is considering granting a permit to First Wind to build an industrial wind facility on mountain ridges overlooking the Downeast Lakes region.
The Engles know first-hand what kind of impact the Rollins wind project has had on the value of lakefront property in the nearby Lincoln Lakes region.
Their well-kept, attractive cabin is just three feet from the water's edge at Upper Pond, and the property has 550 feet of shore frontage.
Once the Rollins project was built, the owners faced 21 turbines -- the sounds and sights of which dominated their lakeside experience. They lost their enjoyment in the property and listed their property for sale.
The Engles state, "We try (sic) to sell our camp since almost 2 years now: but no one is inquiring, since no one wants to see industry. One comes to Maine for nature and recreation. Getting away ..."
What happens when a high-impact industrial facility creates, in essence, a "taking" of our property values -- for some, our only investment?
"Quality of place" is a big selling point in Maine. What happens when the quality of place disappears?
Karen Bessey Pease
Hospital payback deprives poor Mainers of state aid
You and I know that the math in budgets is about as simple as it gets -- addition and subtraction will do. So what is the government's problem?
It appears to have something to do with priorities. The government is stuck on priorities. Perhaps the ordinary citizens in Maine could share their secret priority system.
Our first priority is putting food on the table for our families. With that priority and you face rising costs in food, gas for the car, heat and more, you know there is not enough income.
Ordinary citizens look for ways to increase their income because food on the table is first.
Family is first. There isn't enough money to sustain our families -- a second or third job is required, in part because our hourly wages are lower than other states', requiring us to take more time to produce enough cash to feed our families.
Ordinary citizens sometimes don't pay their debts because they need the money for food. Sometimes they don't pay the mortgage, but pay the car debt because they need a car to get the family to doctors or school.
Family-first budgeters don't understand why the government would choose to pay off a large, mortgage-like hospital debt and allow poor members of Maine's family to go hungry.
It is hard to understand how government chooses a potentially suspect debt (see Time magazine's article "Why Medical Bills Are Killing Us") to pay off, instead of honoring the promised funds for schools.
I know hospitals had agreed to the annual payments and budgeted accordingly.
Where is the honor in choosing to speed up payment to corporations, while lowering promised education payments?
Where is the honor in not increasing the income stream, as is done by poor working families?
It is really simple math. Add income, pay down debt and keep food on the table for families in Maine.
Feiner's writing draws on opinions, not on the facts
It was interesting that Susan Feiner's latest caustic rant ("Women and children last") was on the front page of the Insight section of the Telegram's April 21 edition.
I do wish, in the interest of full disclosure, that you label, in large bold print, her future essays as politically biased opinions, rather than factual reporting on an issue of the day. Obviously, "balance" is not a word in her vocabulary.
Perhaps it might be better, in the interest of objective discussion, to find another contributing author, rather than continuing to provide a forum for someone with obvious disdain for a substantial percentage of the reading public -- that being those holding different points of view.
Robert H. Smith