Hydropower energy

Why are we afraid of have hydropower from our 3,000 miles of rocky coast waters where tides rise 20 feet twice a day? With cheaper electricity we could heat our homes, run hot water heaters, street lights, paper mills and give our college students jobs so they don’t have to move from Maine for work.

Why is there only one business based in Maine on the Fortune 500 list? It’s a VUCA world — volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous. Electricity giant Furnas in Brazil has built 11 hydroelectric plants and is building seven more. Norway knows how to use hydropower with two companies, Norsk Hydro and Statoil Hydro.

Let’s think about tomorrow, our children’s future. All other energy sources will deplete. Hydropower lasts forever. Hydropower will give us inexpensive energy. Hydropower is the answer.

Jane Stark


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McCain’s choice

I would like to respond to a couple of the more flagrant errors of Sen. McCain’s critics in the BDN letters of Sept. 8.

First, Stephen Allen writes: “We all know why he picked [Palin]. He thinks she is going to pull in Hillary’s 18 million votes plus all the other women voters in the country.”

I thought everyone except Walter Mondale (who lost 49 states with Geraldine Ferraro as his running mate) knew that women vote for the best candidate regardless of gender. And no one in their right mind believes that hard-core Hillary feminists would support pro-lifers McCain and Palin.

Obviously, McCain’s selection of Sarah Palin was done for two reasons: to shore up his conservative base and to bring a Reagan-like articulate conservative with demonstrated ability to the ticket. I believe BDN readers can judge whether his objectives were achieved.

Second, Josephine A. Bright writes: “Reversing his previous position on abortion, candidate McCain has now hopped onto the pro-life bandwagon …” Ms. Bright must be confused because McCain has consistently opposed abortion on demand and has compiled a solid pro-life voting record on the issue of abortion during his four years as a Congressman and 22 years as a U.S. Senator.

Gerald E. Thibodeau


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Teacher corrects student

It must either be his time spent working for arch-conservative Tennessee Sen. Bill Frist or something I neglected to teach him that led my former journalism student Matt Warner of Holden to launch his unwarranted attack on John Knutson in the BDN (“Missed Opportunity” Sept. 2).

If the genesis of Warner’s bile is the purely partisan nature of current Republican attack strategies, blame Frist, but if it is an ignorance of the circumstances surrounding Knutson’s remarks, blame me for not instilling in Warner the need to be, above all else, honest and accurate in all journalistic activities.

First, it should be noted that Knutson had been directed by the party to stall for several minutes so that Sen. Clinton, who had been delayed, could be in the room at a key moment. Knutson’s “speech,” if you will, contained more words than Warner makes note of. What is left out of any attack is as important as what it contains.

Warner’s letter contains at least one additional factual error. Harriet Beecher Stowe was born in Connecticut, not in Maine, and was raised there and in Cincinnati. While she did some writing in Maine, most of her life was spent elsewhere.

The partisan nature of Warner’s letter is further indicated by his mention of only Sen. Smith among his revered Maine politicians, failing to note such luminaries as Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, George Mitchell or Edmund Muskie.

Bruce Pratt


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Butterfield is a leader

I’m writing in support of Steve Butterfield, who is running for the Maine House of Representatives in District 16 in Bangor. As we head into fall, we’re all worrying about how we’re going to afford to keep our fuel tanks full this winter. With prices skyrocketing and no relief in sight, we need forward-thinking, fresh leadership with the right ideas to put our state and our country on a track to energy independence. I believe Steve Butterfield is just such a leader.

Steve came to my door recently and we had a chance to talk. I was impressed with his plan to create jobs here in Maine by moving us to a clean, green economy based on alternative fuels and wind energy. There are many opportunities for re-training in the field of composites, which is one of the fastest growing industries in the wind energy field.

He wants to create development incentives for businesses that bring good, high-paying jobs creating the components for wind turbines, and creating cleaner, renewable ethanol from Maine’s sustainably harvested forests. He wants to expand tax breaks and credits for winterizing and weather-proofing our homes, installing solar panels and pellet stoves, and expand assistance to those who cannot afford heating oil at today’s prices.

Steve Butterfield is the kind of leader we need in Augusta.

Christopher Urquhart


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Snowe’s disregard

If the newspaper’s coverage of Sen. Olympia Snowe was an attempt to further endear her to B.D.N. readers, then it failed miserably for this old great-grandfather.

The concept that the senator purports to represent all of Maine’s citizens while she and her spouse, ex-Gov. McKernan, are in Washington, D.C. undermining public education exemplifies the sneering disregard she and he have for most Mainers.

His income depends on privatizing public education; hers, it seems, depends upon flim-flaming Maine citizens.

David A. Richards


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Support for Collins

It was 15 years ago that Sen. Collins and I were colleagues at Husson College. I remember how impressed I was with her work ethic, strong convictions of right and wrong and her ability to work with others.

She was a true team player. Since then I have been a volunteer in her Bangor office where I have watched her become one of the strong advocates for collaboration across party lines when developing legislation. She has diligently worked to break the gridlock in Congress.

Given her work ethic, I am not surprised that she has not missed a vote in the Senate for 12 years. Knowing her desire to find solutions to complex problems I am not surprised that she has been a leader in the Senate in developing legislation that impacts education, health care and energy, to name a few. I am not surprised, given her devotion to duty, to see her back in Maine almost every weekend in order to meet face to face with Maine voters, thus hearing their concerns firsthand. She listens well!

It is for these reasons that I wholeheartedly support her re-election to the U.S. Senate.

Ken Allen