Can you hear us now?

On Tuesday, the Land Use Regulation Commission began deliberations on Plum Creek’s development proposal for the Moosehead Region. Today, they will continue their discussion.

The majority of the 1,700 citizen-submitted comments are against the project, with very few supporting it. The voice of the people is loud and clear. Some things are just too precious to sell down the river. Let’s hope LURC is listening.

Steve Chiasson



Don’t blame the Dems

Blaming the Democratic Congress for $4 gas is ridiculous. Most of us know it’s the GOP which pushed back against higher mileage standards for years and that Democrats finally forced a change last year. And it was a Republican Congress and administration which reduced oversight on oil-price speculation, which many analysts say had a large impact on the price spike of crude.

Republicans have pushed back against renewable energy technologies for years, trusting instead for the market to control our destiny. John McCain missed eight votes this year alone for S.3335 that tries to extend investment tax credits for renewable technology (this counts as a “no” vote.) Once he was even in the Senate and wouldn’t leave his office to vote. Agent of change? I don’t think so.

The GOP has not been in touch with reality on this issue, choosing instead to spend its time and our money on ideological goals. There is not an infinite supply of oil in the ground. As 4 percent of the world’s population which consumes 25 percent of its oil, we have the most to lose by not moving away from petroleum. More offshore drilling will only have a tiny impact on supply, and only in 15 years. Same with the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska. Our domestic supply peaked in 1970 and currently we import two-thirds of what we use.

We need smart people in Washington and we need them now.

Frank John



Eisenhower’s record

In the letter “McCain’s trade” (BDN, Sept. 15), a reader from Dedham recently described Eisenhower as “an example of a weak president.” I don’t know if the gentleman lived through the Eisenhower administration or not, but I did.

Some of the “weaknesses” of President Eisenhower include: maintaining peace at the height of the Cold War era; enlarging the role of the National Security Council; establishing a strong and effective White House staff system; creating the Department of Health, Education and Welfare; initiating the construction of the Interstate Highway System; producing a budget surplus for three of his eight years in office despite the costs of maintaining a strong military; successfully accomplishing the discrediting of Joe McCarthy; sending troops to Little Rock, Ark., to enforce the integration of public schools; signing the first major civil rights act since Reconstruction; deploying U.S. Marines to Lebanon to prevent a communist takeover of the government; opposing commitment of U.S. ground troops to Viet Nam; supporting construction of the St. Lawrence Seaway; proposing the “Atoms for Peace” and “Open Skies” policies (both rejected by the Soviets); working effectively with Democratic controlled Congresses for six of his eight years as president; having only two of his 181 vetoes overridden; increasing the GNP by 20 percent and holding inflation to an average of 1.4 percent per year; and, not least of all, ending the Korean War.

The writer who called Ike a “weak” president should know that Eisenhower is regarded by today’s leading historians as one of the “10 best” presidents in history. If that’s “weakness”, let’s have more of it in the White House.

Hal Wheeler



McCain is more Bush

We should not elect Sen. John McCain because he will continue President Bush’s policies. President Bush’s unprovoked war with Iraq has sowed bad will around the world toward America. As a result, he has increased, rather than decreased the threat of terrorism. He has flouted treaties against torture, decreasing the safety of American soldiers and civilians abroad.

These policies cost money as well as safety. The Iraq and Afghan wars have cost more than $1 trillion, which could have been spent on health care, Social Security, rebuilding bridges or investing in renewable energy. McCain wants to stay in Iraq until we have “victory,” but he won’t say what victory would look like, and doesn’t seem worried about the cost in lives and suffering and money.

McCain’s war policies will continue the spending spree of the once fiscally responsible Republican Party. This crazy spending is perhaps the greatest threat to our security. Investors are beginning to question the wisdom of lending money to our government. If they become more doubtful about our financial responsibility, our entire financial system may collapse.

We must raise taxes to protect the security of the American financial system, by increasing taxes on corporations and the rich. Their share of tax payments has decreased greatly in the past eight years and their income has skyrocketed. While some, like McCain, own maybe seven houses, others are losing their only home.

We need change. We need Obama.

Jane McCloskey

Deer Isle


Open doors at DECH

I was relieved to read the “Prescription to Talk” editorial (BDN, Sept. 13-14), an insightful description of the situation in Machias regarding the Down East Community Hospital. The concerns of the people of the Machias area are not about the hospital staff that is presently employed; our concerns are about those who are gone. Let’s not shift the focus from the reasons why some have left to those personnel who remain. Let’s keep our eye on the issue the departure of some doctors and staff.

We want the hospital staff to increase so that the quality care we have come to depend on will remain in place. Without an open door policy no good will can be generated when the time comes for tough decisions. Fear and suspicion grow when events happen behind closed doors.

Ironically, it took an uproar to open the door to the workings of the hospital. Otherwise, it might have been business as usual with nothing said to allay the concerns of the community. I am grateful to the community for making their concerns known. I am grateful that the hospital administration has started to open the door. I support the editorial’s suggestion of an advisory board. In addition I suggest that members of the Machias area community consider volunteering at the DECH. It is the best way to show our support of the current doctors and staff by assisting them in what they already do so well.

Gail J. Peters

Roque Bluffs


Palin, love or hate

Apparently, women either love or hate Sarah Palin, with no middle ground. Those who love her rejoice in the fact that a conservative woman with great family values has the opportunity to serve our country as the most powerful woman in the world. We love her because she is intelligent, articulate, pro-life, possesses poise, grace, warm personality, as well as beauty. She embodies everything we admire and respect, and she is a wonderful representative for us and our traditional beliefs.

On the other hand, there are those women who hate Sarah Palin and everything she stands for. These people seem to be primarily the “women’s libber” type. Barbara Walters, who used to be considered fair and the epitome of professionalism, treated John McCain with contempt and total disrespect on “The View,” especially when she spoke of Sarah Palin. Lindsay Lohan and Pamela Anderson say they can’t stand the governor. I believe this hatred stems from these women’s deep desire to have what Sarah has — a wonderful, supportive husband, a life filled with love, success and fun times, and most of all the Lord in her heart. Sarah Palin has everything that is sadly lacking in the lives of many women today, true happiness and real success.

Rosalie Johnson



Rail, not highways

If the governors and premiers are indeed proposing a better and cleaner transportation for the region, then it is finally time to dump the antiquated “East West Highway” concept. Born of thinking from a time when everyone liked Ike, tailfins were king, transport fuel was 25 cents a gallon and the environment was merely a substrate to be paved over, this mythical “build-it-and-they-will-come” link has inspired an army of small town chambers of commerce and contractors for decades. Today, most will agree that the cost of fuel has made trucking marginal, asphalt costs are astronomical, and that air quality and natural resources are not something to be squandered for short-term gain.

A much better option is to use the east-west (and north-south) highways we have, the rail system. Maine’s existing rail lines and rights-of-way can be upgraded at a fraction of the cost of a new superhighway. Rail is a far more fuel-efficient (and cleaner) method of moving cargo. Environmental damage would be limited as corridors already exist. Intermodal connections can offer the best of both worlds as long distance shipping costs will be lowered while still offering the convenience and efficiency of truck delivery. And our overburdened state highways will be safer and last longer.

Greg Rossel