January 6, 2013

Letters to the editor: Repeal the Second Amendment

(Continued from page 1)

click image to enlarge

A gun owner wears a holstered, unloaded pistol at a Second Amendment rally in Sacramento, Calif., in 2010. The ambiguous wording of the amendment has sowed confusion regarding firearm regulation, readers say.

2010 File Photo/The Associated Press

Why are these two things even in the same sentence? The arts promote expression, dialogue and joy. A mandated bulletproof door symbolizes nothing but fear, and, as the author himself suggests, may not even stop an intruder.

This public school teacher votes for more funding for the arts, for the sake of the kids and community.

Charlotte Agell

Talents Program, Harrison Middle School, Yarmouth

and Brunswick resident

Few solar energy systems face production problems

Though the solar array mentioned in a Dec. 9 letter to the editor ("A lesson on grid-tied solar power") was not installed by ReVision Energy, we sympathize fully with the owner's frustration. However, we would also like to point out that the issue experienced is extremely rare.

Of the thousands of solar energy systems installed in the state (1,800-plus by ReVision Energy), we know of only two other instances (also in the Bangor Hydro Electric service area).

Grid-tied solar inverters may only connect with an electrical signal operating within a specific range of voltage and frequency. If the electrical signal exceeds that range, the inverter is required to disconnect and stop producing power.

Most inverters have a five-minute wait period after a disturbance, so unless the error is frequent, it should not lead to more than a few minutes of downtime each day. While frustrating, the overall effect, assuming the system is down five minutes a day, every day of the year, is a reduction of about 1 percent of the system's performance.

More often, below-expected production is due to poor shade analysis and optimistic modeling on behalf of the solar installer.

ReVision Energy has a strong commitment to providing accurate production estimates for proposed solar projects using industry-accepted best practices including site survey equipment (Solar Pathfinder, Solmetric SunEye), and system output modeling (PVWatts, Polysun).

As of April 2012, Efficiency Maine requires solar installers to carry a North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners PV Installer Certification and to model system performance before applying for the state rebate.

As the cost of conventional energy sources increases, owners of solar energy systems are enjoying a reliable return on investment from their solar purchase, as well as helping to reduce regional carbon emissions and dependency on fossil fuel sources of energy.

Fortunat Mueller, P.E.

ReVision Energy, LLC

Portland

Article offers biased view of authorities' use of force

Tux Turkel's Dec. 9 front-page article ("Deadly Force: Police and the Mentally Ill") is a four-page diatribe questioning Maine's state and local law enforcement's use of force, with particular reference made to the mentally ill who've been killed by a police officer.

While undeniably tragic, simply put, law enforcement responds when lives are threatened. Turkel seeks to instill the reader with doubt and distrust and to question the adequacy of law enforcement training. Journalistic objectivity is lost amid the colorful visual layout and denunciatory language.

Bold letters, many highlighted in red ("deadly," "bloodshed," "killed in 2011," "The Toll in Maine"); sidebars of "key findings," and large photographs of grieving people whose family members have died as a result of Maine's "inadequately trained" police force barrage the reader in an attempt to sway us toward agreement with the author's views.

I read every single word, searching for balance, and found but a few informed, objective quotes from Sheriff Maurice Ouellette and Carol Carothers. Turkel seemingly has no idea how many times a potentially deadly situation is defused and ends quietly or that when a law enforcement officer draws his or her gun, it's the last resort in a dire situation.

Officers (and their families) face every single day with the hope that the shift is quiet and uneventful. Does Turkel know what it's like to be mistrusted, disrespected and even hated solely because you wear a badge?

My suggestion to Tux Turkel would be to take a monthlong ride in the passenger seat of a police cruiser in any town in any county of this state.

Spend some time with both state and local agencies, experience how they train and what they endure each day and let's see if the language and color of his article would be different. I dare to think it would.

Marnie L. Rollerson

North Parsonsfield

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