Regarding your recent article: “Wind power generating opportunity, criticism in Maine,” there are several points I would like to mention.

To be clear, there is no widespread “criticism” for wind energy in Maine. Whether considering a microcosm like the town of Vinalhaven or statewide opinions, the criticism comes from a extremely small yet vocal minority that is not comfortable with investments that will create billions of dollars of improvements in Maine.

More accurately, a strong majority of Maine citizens from all communities understands that wind is extremely beneficial. Our society needs to shift away from our current policy of spending nearly three-quarters of all energy subsidies on unsustainable fossil fuels. We must invest in energy for a sustainable future.

Maine currently has a total of 432 megawatts of operating and approved wind projects. It is important to understand this in the larger context of the state policies to establish 3,000 MW of wind energy onshore and 5,000 MW offshore. It is the accumulation of this undertaking that will attract investment, employ thousands of Maine citizens and help move us away from foreign, insecure and environmentally harmful sources of energy.

Furthermore, the Northeast region has 21,000 MW of wind energy permitted and proposed. This distinct natural resource advantage positions our state to be a center for manufacturing, construction and service for onshore and offshore wind energy.

And that opportunity means local jobs and economic growth. We have an opportunity to keep the dollars spent on energy here in Maine instead of sending it all out of state.

We also have an opportunity to build an industry that exports energy, manufactured components, and technological expertise beyond the state borders to consumers that will send their money back to the state we all call home.

Paul Williamson

Director and Industry Coordinator

Maine Wind Industry Initiative

Portland

On Dec. 4, people from across Maine came together to show solidarity. Citizens who have become educated about the realities of mountaintop industrial wind stood together to say “no.”

Two years ago, this topic was barely in the periphery of mainstream Mainers. We’d been sold the line that wind power was “green,” that it would reduce carbon emissions and help counter global warming. Now, we know that isn’t true.

We believed wind would reduce Maine’s dependence on “foreign” oil. Now, we realize that despite the wind industry’s claims, that’s not the case. We know that sacrificing our mountaintops and unique “quality of place” will not “save American lives” or “bring our soldiers home.” Once challenged, wind proponents quieted their rhetoric in that regard.

Citizens opposing the plan to install 360 miles of turbines across Maine are made to look like selfish people whose only concern is their view.

But now the huge cost of this plan is coming to light. Now the health issues are being exposed as our neighbors suffer from long-term exposure to low frequency noise. Now DEP sound standards are being proven as inadequate for turbines’ unique noise.

Today, we have proof that we’ve been sold a bill of goods based on false representations. We realize wind will never replace base-load power sources, and that it’s only an “add-on” for which our grid was not designed.

If it creates higher electric prices, if it’s dangerous to Mainers’ health, if it harms our tourist-based economy and reduces real estate values, if it’s paid for by tax-payers while only benefitting developers and creating temporary contracting jobs during construction, and if this wind power is needed for southern New England’s use and not ours, then why should Mainers support this misguided plan?

We shouldn’t. We don’t. And we won’t.

Karen Bessey Pease

Lexington Township

Do away with LURC, it’s blocking progress

Here’s a quote from one of the five members of the Land Use Regulation Commission: “Economic development does not trump resource protection.”

If this is not reason enough to abolish the commission, what more will it take? In a state that lags economically behind most others, that in the last several decades has seen what amounts to an economic exodus from our rural areas, this is an insult to our rural residents.

It’s time to look at “resources” as defined, as sources of livelihoods and income for people. Resources are, after all, sources of livelihoods and income that come from nature, and are something that Maine abounds in.

“Resource protection” is using your resources wisely, husbanding them, nurturing them where possible, not squandering at anytime. “Resource protection” is not locking resources away; they are no longer “resources” when they cannot be used.

Can you show me where our current definition of “resource protection” has led to improved economic conditions in rural Maine? Can you show me that much of rural Maine is thriving as a result of decades of “resource protection”?

Rural Maine is dying, strangled in part by ridiculous rules and regulations in an economic crush that began well before today’s bad economy.

It’s time to let people who are answerable to the votes of rural residents decide what is best for rural Maine. It is time to be rid of LURC.

Anthony Garrity

West Newfield

Let the season remind us that war endangers children

In the book of Ecclesiastes in the Bible, there is a well-known passage that speaks of a time for everything under heaven, a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to reap, a time to laugh and a time to cry, a time for war and a time for peace.

We have had too long of a time for war. The slaughter of the innocent seems to have no end. More children and other bystanders are crippled and killed than are military people in these wars. The numbers are unbelievable and the tears are endless.

We need to recognize the light in all of us as we are steadfastly aware that those in the sights of our guns, our missiles, our drones shine in their worlds as bright stars. A time of peace is ours when we hold that children all over the world are as important and as precious as the life of the Child born under the Star.

The way to peace can only come through disarmament both militarily and in our own hearts. Although we inflict war on countries thousands of miles away, we live in a fantasy in which we don’t see or feel the war that is raging.

But it is raging and children are dying, and this is our responsibility.

Maureen and George Kehoe-Ostensen

Hope

Food at farmers markets priced right for its quality 

Unlike Diana Poulin (letters, Nov. 14), my family and I are happy to pay the fair and reasonable prices for produce at farmers markets.

While supermarket prices are cheaper, consumers are not required to bear the extraordinary external costs that have been brought by the industrialization of the U.S. food system over the last several decades.

These costs include (to name a few): the dramatic erosion of topsoil which is then replaced by heavy use of chemicals; the negative impact of those chemicals on the sustainability of the Earth and on the health of its citizens; the wasterful use of often imported energy as the produce is moved from one corner of the country to the other; the loss of thousands of independent farmers who can’t compete with destructive mass production; and the poor wages of largely immigrants — both legal and illegal — who toil long hours in difficult conditions to allow us to have these cheap prices.

This season I have made purchases at farmers markets from Portland to Prince Edward Island and points in between. I have yet to meet a single, committed local farmer who is living more than a modest lifestyle due to the price of his/her products.

That being said, I want to celebrate Ms. Poulin’s small organic garden in Old Town as part of the solution.

Mac McCabe

CEO, O’Naturals, Inc./Stonyfield Cafe

Falmouth