The polling on wind energy in Maine featured in your recent story, “Mainers full of gusto for wind power, survey finds,” (June 29) should have included residents of Maine’s coastal communities as a second “rim” area along with rural counties.

The pollsters would have found a mighty drop in enthusiasm from commercial fishermen and nearly all the rest of the marine and coastal nature-based economy and culture.

Why? Massive opposition to near-shore wind farming by the lobstering, shrimping and groundfish industries led the Legislature earlier this year to limit support of wind farms in state waters to only three remote R&D test sites.

Commercial wind farming is instead encouraged under Maine law to go 20 to 50 miles offshore, over the horizon and in the U.S. exclusive economic zone, something that the Obama administration is helping Maine make happen.

But that would have been contrary to the conclusions sought by the pollsters’ client. So they carefully set their blinders to exclude coastal Maine as a distinct “rim.”

Instead, only the thinly settled northern and western “rim” of Maine was separated out. Funny, I thought the coast was a rim area, too.

So, as paid to do, the pollster “manufactured consent.” It is striking that staff writer Tux Turkel so uncritically bought into the industry’s purposely limited script.

Ron Huber


Visitors may well wonder: ‘What’s an OOB man?’ 

I often joke with friends about your headline abbreviation for Old Orchard Beach. The headline on June 26 takes the cake: “Pair convicted in OOB man’s murder.”

How can you write stuff like that with a straight face?

I know — it’s a murder trial, and we shouldn’t be joking about it. Well, then, find another way to say Old Orchard Beach. Or just eliminate it from the headline: “Pair convicted in Winston George murder.”

As a regular reader, I am familiar with your abbreviation, so I just shake my head. But there have to be many readers, especially summer visitors, wondering who or what that “OOB man” was. You really need to adjust your stylebook.

Larz Neilson

East Boothbay

Senate bill would help prevent food-borne illness 

We in Maine, together with many more citizens around the country, are sadly lacking when it comes to an efficient system to prevent, and respond to, food-borne illness.

We’re running very short of time, and I call upon the U. S. Senate, with Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins leading the charge, to pass S.510, the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act, without further delay.

Sadly, it has been nearly a full year since the U.S. House passed its food safety bill. This delay seems shameful and surely serves as a huge disservice to the American public, one that should never have happened and must not be allowed to continue.

Food-borne illness occurs relentlessly, day in and day out, causing sickness of varying degrees in millions and claiming the lives of thousands more.

This alarming trend can, and should, be turned around as soon as possible. The way to accomplish this is with the passage and implementation of S.510; no more foot-dragging, please!

Join me right now and raise your voices in an outcry to the U.S. Senate: Pass S.510 without further delay. American lives are at stake!

Marilyn Voorhies

West Tremont

Pingree’s opposition to Afghan war outrageous 

In a June 16 House Armed Services Committee hearing with Gen. David Petraeus, head of the Central Command, Rep. Chellie Pingree chimed in with a few questions on the Afghanistan surge.

“I guess I want to take issue a little bit with your perspective on this,” she told the four-star general. “I disagree with you, basically, on the premise that our continued military presence in Afghanistan actually strengthens our national security,” she said, going on to express alarm at having seen “increased levels of violence” in a war zone.

When President Obama approved the 30,000-troop surge in 2009, he announced to the world that it was only on the condition that they would be withdrawn starting in July 2011, regardless of outcome. Such an artificial political deadline emboldens our enemies and weakens our stance in the volatile region.

Disregarding the congresswoman’s vapid and selective anecdotes, the argument could be made that our troops’ struggles are due to our own policies rather than any inherent wrongness of the war. With our military effectively neutralized by rules of engagement so strict that even requests by troops under fire for illumination flares are denied, it should surprise no one that the U.S. mission faces unprecedented difficulties.

That’s especially true after the president himself announced to the Taliban that they only need to hunker down until next July.

While Pingree makes much ado about the fact that she opposed the war when it was unpopular to do so, for her to oppose the surge when it is so imperative is nothing short of outrageous. We must adapt to win, not crumble in the face of adversity.

Burnell Bailey

South Berwick

Interior Department should buy up threats to Acadia 

Acadia National Park is one example of why Maine is deemed Vacationland, but not because it is filled with luxury condos and golf courses. It helps deem Maine as Vacationland because of the spectacular views and outdoor activities you can’t find many other places in the world.

Maine is unique, and we need to preserve our lands for the more than 2 million people who flock to Acadia each year and for future generations to enjoy.

Until now the park had been able to keep out developers, but nearly 1,000 acres of land inside the park are privately owned and are at risk of being sold to big developers.

As these lands come up for sale, the park service doesn’t have the resources to purchase these lands and make them part of the national park — even if the owners want to sell their lands to the park.

This summer the Obama administration has allocated money for landscape preservation, which can include Acadia National Park if enough public support can be raised.

So, let Interior Secretary Ken Salazar know that Acadia is a priority, and he should invest these funds to keep Maine “the way life should be.”

Michelle Coford



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