The paper reported on July 28 (“Permit clears way for CMP to start power grid update”) that Central Maine Power Co. has received its final federal permit to begin working on the $1.4 billion upgrade to its transmission system.

The paper failed to mention that this environmentally and financially expensive project wouldn’t be necessary were it not for Gov. Baldacci’s goal to install 350 miles of 400-foot turbines along Maine’s iconic ridges.

It also didn’t point out that CMP ratepayers would be paying for a percentage of this upgrade. Readers weren’t informed that the electricity generated by wind turbines and transmitted along these high-voltage lines isn’t needed — nor will it be kept — in Maine. The power to be carried along this corridor is for others, and yet it will be our land and its people who pay for it.

“Maine is prepared to host thousands of megawatts of generation capacity from wind and biomass” to serve southern New England’s “insatiable appetite for energy,” said Gov. Baldacci in July 2007.

The account cited problems found in CMP’s electrical grid which make this 450-mile-long corridor necessary, and yet, the paper stated in another article that the expansion and upgrade was necessary due to future plans to construct wind energy plants on our pristine mountaintops: “Mainers will benefit from a smarter, stronger grid that’s bulked up to handle future wind power projects.”

In truth, Mainers will not benefit. Our electrical rates will rise. Some people will find their health compromised, whether due to cancers known to be caused by living in proximity to these corridors, or due to wind turbine syndrome, a malady suffered by citizens subjected to the high-, low- and ultra-low frequency sound produced by industrial wind turbines.

These omitted facts are just the tip of the iceberg. Mainers deserve to know the full story. When they do, they have the right to say no.

Karen Bessey Pease

Lexington Township

Deporting English couple makes no sense at all 

Can anybody say Immigration and Customs Enforcement works against our interests?

Illegal immigrants are flooding across our nation’s southern border daily by the thousands, draining society of several vital resources (dollars for health care, law enforcement, education, etc.), taking American jobs, most likely getting paid under the table and avoiding paying taxes like law-abiding people because they cannot legally obtain a Social Security number, and generally being a sore in our nation’s side.

But an English couple (Dean and Laura Franks) legally enters the country, starts a business, employs local citizens, basically doing everything the legal way, by the book, and ICE decides to deport them?

Because their business was only making a “marginal profit”? During the Great Recession? Any business pulling in any profit these days is doing well.

How is “marginal profit” even defined? And an ICE employee from California — you know, that great safe-haven state that welcomes any immigrant, as long as they’re illegal — has the audacity to deport this couple?

Laws are supposed to be applied equally to all, regardless of race, color, creed, religion, etc. But this just is another case of institutional idiocy.

What is wrong with this country?

Greg Paquet


Publisher’s view on Obama, Bush gets facts confused 

Thanks to your publisher, Richard Connor, for letting readers know he is able to spend some free time playing and relaxing outside this summer (Insight column, July 25).

It’s been warm. Maybe it’s the heat which caused him to become confused when he described President Obama as being cocky and former President George W. Bush as being confident.

Take the rest of the summer for free time, Mr. Connor. Take the fall and winter, too. Your columns are neither informative nor insightful.

Fear-mongers say terrorists lurk around every corner. It might be best to stay in the yard with your coconut ice cream cone.

Kernan Cross

Boothbay Harbor

Votes show Snowe, Collins not in the proper party 

After researching the financial overhaul law, I got totally confused. I thought the senators in Maine are Republicans.

If they are not voting with their party, then they should run as Democrats. That appears to be the way they voted in the bank takeover and other Democratic issues that the Republicans disagreed with.

I realize Sen. Susan Collins is rich, but if she wants to keep her job I suggest she vote the way the people of Maine wanted when they voted for her with the idea that she was a Republican.

Thom Locke


Columns on social services don’t conform to reality 

Two commentaries in the July 18 Insight section were misleading.

In the first, “Obama administration poised to run up big welfare tab,” the authors claim “welfare” is out of control because the president proposed $10.3 trillion for means-tested programs over 10 years. They single out Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, which serves the poorest families, implying its budget is expanding.

It’s not. Long a whipping boy of conservatives, TANF is relatively small by federal standards — just 2 percent of “welfare” spending. In fact, most federal social spending benefits elders: Spending per senior is seven times that per child.

Indeed, TANF is shrinking, its budget at $17 billion in 2009 from a high of $24 billion in 1996. Child poverty was about 20 percent in 1996 and it’s about 20 percent today — no progress, and still a much higher rate than other rich democracies. Federal budget woes are not caused by spending on poor families.

The second commentary, “Maine could work its way to top rating for business,” lamented a CNBC report, “Top States for Business,” that placed Maine 39th and Texas first. We all agree: Profitable businesses are important, without which government and nonprofits would suffer.

But to get to the top, would Maine, ranked sixth in quality of life, really want to be like anti-tax, anti-government Texas? A conservative’s dream, Texas is lowest in tax revenue raised and lowest in per capita government spending.

Federal data show it also has the nation’s highest, or near highest, rates of imprisonment, teen pregnancy, uninsured children, child abuse and hunger. Further, Texas has sent its most pro-business politicians to Congress and the White House, serving as principal architects of pro-business policies bringing near ruin to our economy.

Yes, Maine should foster a climate where business can thrive. But a Texas-style model isn’t the answer.

Michael R. Petit

President, Every Child Matters Education Fund

Washington, D.C.

(Petit was Maine’s human services commissioner in the 1980s.)

Bikers rally for hurt veterans; they would have liked coverage 

I enjoyed your article on July 18, “Skowhegan hosts motorcyclists by the hundreds on bike night.”

I attended a rally for Maine’s disabled veterans on July 10, and unless I’m mistaken, that event never made the news.

It made me a bit sad to think that it wasn’t newsworthy. The cause alone was important, aside from the fact there were hundreds of motorcycles present, a pretty spectacular sight.

I met present-day vets, Vietnam vets, Korean War vets, and to me the greatest generation, World War II vets, and I thanked each one for their service and for my freedom. If it wasn’t for the World War II vets, my friends, we wouldn’t be here.

God bless our troops.

John Maniatty

Old Orchard Beach


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