July 12, 2013

Letters to the editor: Truth about fireboat accident still elusive

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The report on the investigation into the 2011 accident involving the Portland Fire Department’s fireboat “is not worth the paper it is printed on,” says a reader who calls for a “much more thorough” inquiry.

2011 File Photo/Tim Greenway

In summary -- please rescind the legalization of fireworks.

With the utmost sincerity and high hopes for our beloved Stover's and our incredible state of Maine,

Bertie Smith

Harpswell

WE RESIDENTS OF SACO are enormously grateful to our City Council, our police chief, Brad Paul, and the friends and neighbors who worked with them to prohibit fireworks in our jurisdiction.

The descriptions in the paper of pleasant little backyard fireworks displays bear no resemblance to the barrage of cannon-like noise that hit us night after night after night.

It was impossible to put young children to bed before 11 p.m., our pets were terrified and residents near the beach were constantly watching to see if the dune grass would catch fire.

Add to this the personal injury dangers associated with fireworks, and it's easy to see why we believe this prohibition has dramatically improved the quality of our lives. Thank you very much to all who took this stand.

Ellen McCauley Gross

Saco

Column gives rational view of current energy dilemmas

The commentary by Dr. Daniel Martinez ("Off Campus: Wealthy, developing nations face different energy challenges," July 8) hit on a very important point that may be lost in our rush to embrace alternate energy solutions to our ever-growing energy demand.

As Dr. Martinez notes, even though we would like to think otherwise, fossil fuels will be the choice for energy generation in the developed world for many decades to come. A transition to alternate energy sources such as wind, hydro and solar ultimately needs to happen. However, the marketplace is telling us that the time is not ripe for a massive move to these sources.

So what are our choices? We need a bridge to the future that will lead to alternate energy. One bridge could have been nuclear power, but the risks in this arena are perceived to be too great. So what is left?

I would propose that indigenous sources of natural gas may be the bridge we need. People may be concerned with hydraulic fracking, but with proper regulation it could provide an indigenous source of energy for the rest of the 21st century. What are the alternatives?

We can continue to import fossil fuels from foreign sources. These governments would be pleased to have us become dependent on them once again and allow us to maintain their dictatorial regimes so we believe our source of energy is safe.

We need to think long and hard about choices we are being asked to make. What are the risks of foreign oil versus exploring for indigenous sources? What are the risks of using pipelines to transport oil versus trains?

Any decision we make has risks. We need to weigh these risks in the light of real data before we can make an informed decision. Dr. Martinez has provided one rational look at this issue.

Ivan G Most, Sc.D., P.E.

Old Orchard Beach

 

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