In Tux Turkel’s article about the unprecedented land conservation accord struck in northern Maine (“Moosehead Lake pact links two million conserved acres” May 16) we learn that Plum Creek will still develop thousands of “high-end” generic housing units that will end up severely degrading the culture of Maine and further morphing our state into a bedroom community for the affluent. Meanwhile, our state has become a deathbed for honest working-class people.

Yet again, we witness a false economic premise at work, one which claims that the largesse from the rich will gracefully trickle from their gloved hands onto the working person’s disheveled head. No doubt these will be opulent places with posh British titles that are, in the end, far out of the financial reach for actual Mainers.

Lower-income folks will construct these elegant and certainly expensive homes, and the rich will grace Maine with their presence for a brief moment and then return to Phoenix for the remaining 10 months of the year. And once the projects are completed, hundreds of Maine people will be out of jobs again. Home-building work lasts only so long.

We need real, sustainable jobs in Maine, work that gives average Mainers dignity and utility. At some point we have to realize that we need far more than Walmart, McDonald’s and these opulent condo-building operations if we wish to survive and thrive again.

If these are the only types of jobs we can hope for in America, then I think we are probably finished as a people, a state and a nation. We need to return to widespread productivity and creativity. Only great nations produce, and we have been backsliding from that principle far too long now.

Benjamin Holmes


Cleaner energy provides answer to nuclear waste

Another public official, Maine Attorney General William Schneider, wants to be our new U.S. senator.

When I asked him about high-level nuclear waste on our coast, he said, “We could send it to Yucca Mountain.” That site is closed! (How’d we get it here anyway?) But even if it were open without present worries about leaks, there’s not enough room there.

We’ve paid more than enough over many years in support of nuclear power. It still pollutes with invisible, allowable radioactive releases. In Maine, we stopped it.

Let’s pay enough now for cleaner, safer energy.

Maria Holt

former Maine legislator


Photo of gun broke every rule of safe gun handling

After reading the May 13 Maine Sunday Telegram article on gun sales (“Business is booming”), I want to congratulate you and your fine newspaper.

I haven’t seen a more disgraceful use of perfectly good paper and ink.

The picture with the story is of a handgun pointed straight at the reader. I assume that was for maximum effect. Darned poor choice!

The picture violates the first rule of gun safety and the second rule of gun safety and the third rule of gun safety as well. I can only guess this egregious violation was made by the editors who are ignorant of the most basic rules of safe gun handling.

I am certified to teach gun safety and this picture will be used in my future classes as perfect examples of pure ignorance and stupidity.

For your information:

First rule: Never, never, never point a firearm in an unsafe direction.

Second rule: Never, never, never, put your finger on the trigger until you are going to shoot the firearm.

Third rule: Always assume the firearm is loaded. Always.

In an age when 6-year-old children are removed from school and suspended for a pencil drawing that only somewhat resembles a gun, your editor prints this picture. Might a small child see this picture lying around in his house? Shameful!

Have your editor(s) attend a firearms safety course as soon as possible.

George MacKinnon

New Harbor

Anti-wind power letter relies on misinformation

I take issue with Penelope Gray’s May 13 letter (“Wind power isn’t the answer”), which includes several misinformed arguments condemning wind turbines.

Gray refers to a “Bentek study” that refutes the idea that wind power reduces CO2 emissions.

Bentek Energy is an energy market analytic company that specializes in the natural gas market. Bentek’s study cherry-picked its data to reach its conclusions, and not surprisingly, Bentek’s president and CEO, Porter Bennett, is a prominent member of the Independent Petroleum Association of Mountain States, an industry lobbying group, and a member of the Colorado Oil and Gas Association.

Migratory bat and bird kills by wind turbines are miniscule in number if compared to their deaths at the hands of other man-made hazards. And where is the concern over the fragmentation and harm of wildlife habitat for the sake of the rest of our energy infrastructure, which has a far larger impact on the environment than do wind farms?

Her claim that there are “thousands of abandoned, rusting turbines littering the landscapes of Hawaii, Texas and California” is a hoax that has been promulgated and reiterated on the Internet. There is not a scrap of evidence to support this.

Gray finally gets to the heart of the matter for many who passionately seek any arguments, factual or not, that support their position: the viewshed, i.e., the visual impact of wind turbines on the landscape. But what is wrong with a viewshed that includes wind turbines? Gray assumes that tourists will be repelled by their appearance. Maybe they will come to see them, as they do for our lighthouses.

Stephen Small


Field hockey players should also wear head protection

The May 20 feature (“Field hockey’s goggle gripe”) on the debate around safety goggles for girls playing field hockey inspires me to send you a simple reply.

There is no reason, with our current understanding of head injuries, for these girls not to wear head and face protection.

Didn’t this publication just feature an article on concussions in girls playing soccer?

Is there misplaced machismo in the coaching staff and elite players of this sport?

That ball is hard, and if the players are “colliding” due to impaired vision, they should simply wear helmets with plexiglass shields.

Boys play lacrosse — a very fast-paced game with the same size ball — with full head and face protection; I have never heard anyone say that they were running into each other accidentally and couldn’t see the ball. It should be the same with field hockey.

As an osteopathic physician who treats young athletes suffering from a myriad of head and other injuries, and as an athlete who by luck survived competitive sports, and as a father, I would like to put in one vote for safety.

Derek Libby, D.O.