Airborne threat remains

To the editor:

As someone who grew up with asthma, I’ve had my share of frightening attacks, and my share of anger about the unnecessary air pollution often triggering those attacks.

Still, nothing prepared me for witnessing my own daughter suffering an asthma attack. It is impossible to describe the fear that grips you when watching your child struggle to take in a breath of air.

As noted in this paper’s Nov. 17 editorial, “A win for clean air,” Sens. Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe deserve high praise for casting decisive votes necessary to defeat a bill that would have given those polluting our air a pass.

However, there remain several dangerous bills — including three bills introduced by Sen. Collins — that will make it easier for out-of-state power plants and commercial and industrial boiler operators to dump toxic pollution into the air that we in Maine breathe — air that my daughter breathes.

The first of Collins’ three bills would require that boiler emission safety standards be re- written to accommodate industrial polluters, and further delays compliance with even the relaxed standards until 2018. The other two bills would thwart the health protections of the Clean Air Act by letting polluters tie up enforcement efforts with redundant legal challenges.

Maine’s past senators, Ed Muskie and George Mitchell, led the fight for clean air and clean water. Maine’s current senators have an opportunity to embrace that legacy.

I was born and raised in Maine, and after living out of state for a while, my wife and I returned to raise our family in a safe, healthy community. But a healthy community requires clean healthy air.

We need Sen. Collins to abandon her bills, and we need Maine’s entire congressional delegation to protect our right to breathe clean air. My children deserve as much, and so do my neighbors.

Ben Tucker
Brunswick

A tradition of giving

To the editor:

As a native son to Brunswick who no longer lives in the area, I just wanted to say how happy I am that the Santa Fund is continuing its excellent work.

My grandparents, Raymond and Caroline Greenlaw, started the fund to help those in need during what can be a very challenging time of year. The Santa Claus Fund plays an invaluable role in making the holiday brighter for many families, and I know my grandparents would be proud just as I know that my parents, Peter and Barbara Pelletier, are proud that the tradition continues to this day.

While no longer living in Brunswick, I still consider it my home, and I wanted to thank all of the volunteers who take the time to work to continue a tradition that I believe helps to make Brunswick and the surrounding area the special place that it is.

Thank you all for your passion and dedication.

Ben Pelletier
East Haven, Conn.