Smiley too grumpy

Until her column was published in the BDN Sept. 8, I thought Sarah Smiley was a pretty good writer. Then she started grumping about her poor kids playing outside in 79 degree “cold” in their fleece shirts, how the movers mistreated her good china, and how the kids make footprints on her sofa.

There are people here who will be cold this winter. There are people who won’t have cookies — or anything — for dinner. There are women who don’t have husbands to “rescue” items from the trash so they can cart them around for another 10 years. And there are some women who would give their eye teeth to have a couch with a few footprints on it that were made by happy kids, have those vanilla wafers and have a husband they can count on to be around another 10 years.

Most movers are good guys. In our move to Maine more than 20 years ago, we had a number of items on the Bill of Lading shown as “Chester Draw”; this meant anything from an antique secretary to old bureaus. “Barn” items ended up in the “Attic,” things marked “Front Bedroom” were in the kitchen, etc. The movers were polite and careful with most of the things, and a big bunch of sub sandwiches, soda and coffee midday perked them up again.

Life is different here from what it is in the South. Mrs. Smiley should either learn to like it, at least accept it, or talk her husband into getting a transfer.

Andrea Maberry

Deer Isle

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Greens push organics

The Maine Green Independent Party is dismayed about the rejection of organic farmer Deborah Aldridge for a seat on the board of pesticides control. During the hearing on Ms. Aldridge’s nomination, reference was made to her advocacy of a modest and sensible proposal to have a 500-foot buffer zone between aerial blueberry spraying and adjoining crops. The Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry should be ashamed. Of all the places where an organic farmer should be welcomed, it should be the board of pesticides control.

Organic farming is growing as we learn more about the link between diseases and chemical pesticides. It is logical to control pesticides and to avoid them whenever possible. For some chemically sensitive people, such avoidance is a matter of life and death.

We also understand the correlation between decreased wildlife in Maine and pesticides. Pesticide runoff has terrible effects on aquatic life. Not only does MGIP seek clean water and air for our fellow creatures, but also to preserve an environment conducive to a prosperous tourist economy.

It is shortsighted to reject a qualified person due to her perspective on organic farming and pesticide use. We encourage the governor to either resubmit Ms. Aldridge’s name for reconsideration and actively support her nomination, or substitute another nominee with the same type of qualifications. We desperately need an organic viewpoint on this critical regulatory board.

Lynne A. Williams

State Chair, Maine Green Independent Party

Bar Harbor

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Bad combination

Forget Father Pfleger. Forget William Ayers. Forget Jeremiah Wright. Forget Tony Resko. Forget that a community organizer has only minimal executive experience.

Look at what Barack Obama proposes for our economy. Increase taxes in a time of economic turbulence and reject NAFTA (the latter indicative of a protectionist mind-set). The last time this combination of proposals was enacted was during the administration of Herbert Hoover, anathema to Democrats well into my lifetime. Many economists and economic historians believe that this winning combination was the major contributor to the Great Depression of the 1930s.

This may be a change we can believe in, but is it the kind of change we want?

Hans Schmidt


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Irresponsible spending

As far as I know, the government’s major source of income is from taxes. It seems logical, therefore, that when the tax rate is reduced and a slowing economy produces less taxable income, as is now the case, that spending should also be reduced.

Where, then, is the government getting funds to take on additional expenditures for aiding reconstruction in Georgia and underwriting repairs to the massive damage inflicted by Hurricane Ike? Add to those the bailouts of Fanny Mae and Freddy Mac.

It seems that an administration which has loudly touted its tax cuts is spending funds it doesn’t have as improvidently as the proverbial drunken sailor. I don’t believe that is what is taught at Harvard Business School.

Barbara Bowler


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Collins enabled Bush

Most Maine voters recognize that the Bush presidency has been a disaster for America. It is time we recognized how much Susan Collins has done to facilitate that disaster. Look at how she backed up Bush on the economy. Bush took a federal budget in surplus and turned it into a huge deficit. He has added $4 trillion to the national debt. He accomplished this through leading us into an unnecessary war in Iraq, costing us $10 billion a month, and pushing through three rounds of tax cuts, mostly for the rich, costing even more. He appointed regulators who were ideologically opposed to regulation, leading to the collapse of the mortgage market and into the present recession.

Susan Collins supported Bush in all these blunders. She voted for the war in Iraq, and continues to support it. She voted for the tax cuts, enabling the rich to get even richer. And she voted to confirm the lobbyists Bush appointed as regulators. In the House, Tom Allen was voting almost the opposite. He voted against the war in Iraq and against the irresponsible tax cuts. The House does not vote to confirm appointments.

But this election is not just about ending the Bush policies. Tom Allen has definite plans for getting us out of Iraq, improving our health care system, rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure, and aiding small business.

If you want a change from the Bush policies, why not vote for the man who has already voted for change? Vote for Tom Allen.

Rufus Wanning


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Good move by Fraser

It was announced by Fraser Papers Inc. that Serge Sorokin is to concentrate his expertise and efforts on making Katahdin Paper’s Millinocket mill site a profitable operation. It is proper to concentrate a seasoned executive with high operations skills where the greatest opportunity is: the Millinocket mill site. The site has advantages but what it doesn’t have is thermal energy, steam, at a profitable cost. Getting that is not going to be easy. As he pursues that goal he may discover other opportunities to help make the mill site profitable.

It is wise to have a strong individual, who is unburdened from day-to-day operating responsibilities, be totally focused on one objective: get the Millinocket mill site operational again with a good sustainable profit in a short period of time.

The management of the project in this way is different than in the past and gives the project its highest likelihood of success.

Sheldon Cote


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Goodman vs. GOP

Telling the truth is risky these days. Ask Amy Goodman. Amy, a gray-haired grandmother with Maine roots, spoke in Bangor recently. An award-winning reporter, Amy covers events not normally covered by mainstream media.

At the Republican Convention she was called from the convention floor to a disturbance. Without warning, she was attacked by two brutes who took her press card, wrestled her to the ground, cuffed her, and dragged her by one leg across the pavement until her face bled. They hauled her off to jail to join dozens of other arrested reporters. Their crime? Doing their jobs. One reporter from the Post yelled, “Hey, don’t arrest me, we’re a Republican paper!”

Here’s the clincher: Amy tells how the Republican Party made a cozy deal with the Minnesota police before the convention. Some judge who forgot to read the Constitution issued a warrant so police could arrest certain reporters and confiscate their “weapons” such as cameras, cell phones and tape recorders. Many of these reporters will sue and win but the Republican convention fund will pay millions to compensate them.

In effect, the Republican Party bought an entire state police force to do its dirty work. You didn’t know this because a reporter in jail can’t report. What is done to Amy today can happen to any of us tomorrow if we continue to allow the government to use military containment tactics against law-abiding American citizens.

Karen Johnson


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Evaluating candidates

It’s election time again. Each candidate is blurting out personal slander, back-stabbing, and making fun of the other, and the list goes on. Just once I would like to see a clean election, an election in which candidates talk about the issues facing this country. I don’t care about the other things that they are talking about. I want to know how they will persuade Congress to pass the necessary bill to make it happen.

I think the people of these United States of America forget one thing about all the promises made by the candidates. These promises must first be made into a bill, debated on, sent to both the House and Senate for a vote. If members of Congress don’t think it’s a good bill, it won’t pass.

I hope we don’t get caught up in the frenzy and emotions so we forget who we should be voting for. We need to make a choice for the candidate who will be the best president for this country. We need to make choices for candidates, both on the national and state levels, who will listen to the people and vote accordingly.

Becky Wiers