February 16, 2013

Letters to the editor: Rail service expansion poised for success

(Continued from page 1)

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Passengers board the Amtrak Downeaster in Portland in 2004. A reader takes issue with a state Department of Transportation prediction that “a Lewiston/Auburn expansion would only carry an additional 30,000 riders.”

2004 File Photo

The militia mentioned is one meant to protect citizens from government abuse. States' militias came much later.

Thomas O'Connor


Extraction of tar sands oil destroys species, livelihoods

On Sunday, hundreds of Mainers will travel to Washington, D.C., to take part in the largest climate rally in history and to tell President Obama to say "no" to tar sands oil.

Canada's Boreal Forest was as close as you could get to paradise on Earth. Known as "North America's rainforest," its trees held 11 percent of the Earth's carbon. It supported populations of moose, caribou, bears, wolves, lynx.

Four migratory bird flyways converge in the Boreal, and it was known as the "North American bird nursery." First Nations citizens lived on the abundance of fish and game, just as their ancestors had for generations. The Boreal was one of Earth's remaining natural treasures.

Tar sands oil comes from the destruction of the Boreal Forest. Hundreds of acres of trees, wetlands and animal habitat are bulldozed into oblivion every day. Huge amounts of water, gas and chemicals are injected into the soil to extract tar sand.

Paradise is turned into a moonscape with tailings ponds so large they can be seen from space. These ponds are so toxic that when flocks of ducks land on them, it results in instant death. The few ducks that may survive are doomed to slow, painful starvation.

First Nation elders report the effects on fish and game -- moose with discolored livers and deformed fish.

How can we allow this to happen? How can we knowingly allow the wholesale destruction of bird and animal species? How can we allow the destruction of the home and livelihood of First Nations people? All in the service of Big Oil, Big Greed and Big Stupidity.

Linda Dumey


Most stations fail to fulfill obligation to inform public

Rush Limbaugh jokes about and scorns the "low-information" voter. Channels 6, 8 and 13 certainly did their part for voter ignorance on Feb. 5, when they failed to air the governor's State of the State address.

From their newscast reports, it is apparent that the three channels had cameras and recording equipment in the legislative chamber, so noncoverage was seemingly deliberate. What has happened to civic responsibility in the media? Were the 7 p.m. - 8 p.m. "filler" programs more vital to voter information?

I thank Channel 10 for its efforts to keep the public informed by airing the governor's State of the State address. Having seen and heard the speech enables me to separate truth from fiction and politically slanted news reports on the governor's goals for the year.

Herbert Dobbins


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