Construction of a four-lane toll highway across Maine to get freight from Calais to Coburn Gore doesn’t make sense. We are running out of fossil fuel. It is becoming much more costly.

If there is a need to move a lot of freight between those points, the cost and availability of fuel are major factors. We should plan to use as little energy as possible. Why not use railroads instead?

Trucks carrying freight use three to four times the diesel fuel that trains do. We already have railroad tracks in place to move goods across Maine.

Goods coming into a deepwater port — Eastport or somewhere in eastern Canada — will probably be coming in containers that can be loaded on flatcars as easily as onto truck trailers. If the freight is in truck trailers, these trailers can be loaded onto flatcars. This loading is called “piggyback.”

The trailers can be unloaded near their final destination and taken the rest of the way by truck on available roads. If in containers, trucks can also deliver them the rest of the way. This will work well for the just-in-time delivery that customers want.

If the rails are in good condition, trains can move just as fast as trucks do. If not, the rails could be upgraded for far less cost than building a new superhighway.

Burning fossil fuels to move goods contributes to global climate change. We need to change to other sources of energy as soon as we can.

Railroads could be easily equipped to use electricity from overhead wires. Electricity could come from wind or solar generating devices instead of from fossil fuel.

Better yet, we should not import goods from overseas. We should make them here, requiring less transport and creating jobs here.

Elery Keene


Southern Maine doesn’t see full impact of wind farms

Would someone please explain why the state of Maine, where the leading industry by far is tourism and the recreational use of our natural resources, has bought into the notion that out-of-state companies should be allowed to develop industrial wind facilities in some of the most pristine and undeveloped areas of our state?

It is time for the residents of southern Maine to go on a field trip in order to appreciate the degree to which the mountain ridges in eastern, western and northern Maine have been stripped to facilitate the construction of scores of 450-foot (think Prudential Building) towers to produce highly taxpayer-subsidized electricity for sale to out-of-state utilities.

A prime example of this desecration is the proposed Passadumkeag Mountain Project, which involves clearing several miles of the spectacular, undeveloped ridgeline of Passadumkeag Mountain to facilitate the construction of 14 450-foot towers.

The most discouraging aspect of this project is the fact that this mountain, and these towers, overlook the many lakes, as well as the thousands of acres, for which the state recently paid millions of dollars to purchase a conservation easement in order to protect these areas from development.

But for a few initial construction jobs, what benefit accrues to our state by permitting this industrial assault on our wildlands? Wind power is not environmentally sound. It primarily benefits wealthy investors through substantial tax credits, but certainly not the citizens of Maine.

Peter R. Roy


Think tank’s CEO offers skewed view of Nemitz

A recent Bill Nemitz column (“Think tank, government proud to buddy up,” May 27) questioned the Maine Heritage Policy Center’s undue influence on the policies and decisions of Republican Gov. LePage and Republican state legislators.

In a rebuttal in a later Maine Voices column (“Nemitz has selective view of Constitution,” June 3), Lance Dutson, CEO of the Maine Heritage Policy Center, stated that his organization “along with literally hundreds of other public groups in Maine exercises its constitutional right to petition the government under the First Amendment.”

What Dutson neglected to mention in his eloquent (though, at times, containing unwarranted mocking references to liberals) response is that LePage’s office has been highly receptive to all communications from the Maine Heritage Policy Center.

A prime example is the recent witch hunt of the Maine Housing Authority instigated by this fine, upstanding assemblage of ultraconservative ideal-ists resulting in the shameful ouster of its director, Dale McCormick, who was exonerated of any wrongdoing other than being a Democrat.

Conversely, LePage’s door has been firmly closed to petitions of other policy groups, constitutional rights notwithstanding. Their influence on this Republican administration and Legislature has been negligible.

In view of this decidedly tilted playing field, the allegations of partiality Dutson levels against Nemitz are unfair and unjustified. It is LePage and his administration that are guilty of showing “partiality.”

If and when all the hypocritical allegations and name calling come to an end, the “twain” might possibly have an opportunity to meet for the benefit of all concerned.

I would urge the Maine Heritage Policy Center and LePage to consider the likelihood that liberals may not always be wrong and conservatives may not always be right.

Sam Kamin


History of family, country entwined with one another 

Imagine my surprise to see the name of my great-great-grandfather John Deguio (spelled “Diguo”) in the leadoff paragraph of the article by Kelley Bouchard about the War of 1812 in Maine (“Resonating in Maine’s history: The War of 1812,” June 17). Of French origin, the name suffered a number of misspellings during the early years of the Republic.

In the book “Massachusetts Soldiers and Sailors of the Revolution,” the man I believe was John Deguio’s father is listed as having served as a doctor aboard the Salem privateer Morning Star in 1780. Here, the name is spelled “de Guio.”

After the Revolution, John de Guio, John’s father, apparently came north, where he is listed as being a resident of Cape Elizabeth in the 1800 census.

My great-great-grandfather is buried in Western Cemetery, along with his wife, Sophia. I imagine John Deguio must have derived some pleasure from the victory in August 1812 of the U.S. frigate Constitution over the HMS Guerriere, his temporary “home” in the Royal Navy.

Robert G. Bent


Young writers already display creative talents 

My congratulations to Gaelyn Lindauer, Amanda Dickey and Brianna Housman for their award-winning creative writing submissions to the Journey into Writing contest.

I enjoyed reading each story, and I thank the Maine Sunday Telegram for printing them. These are writers of promise who are worthy of encouragement.

Loretta MacKinnon


Entrepreneurial model must change to survive 

The last paragraph of the Los Angeles Times article on SpaceX in the June 3 Maine Sunday Telegram (“Can SpaceX keep its startup mind-set?”) quoted aerospace policy analyst Loren Thompson as saying, “Washington is a graveyard for lean entrepreneurial enterprises. The only path to success in Washington is having a ton of lobbyists, and a ton of resources and doing business on the government’s terms. There is no other model.”

Quite obviously, it is time that there is another model.

Paul Anderson



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