Times have changed

The letter from Sarah Nelson really hit home. She told how she met her nephew, an airman, at the Portland Jetport, and how a handful of people thanked him for his service and, the next day, a complete stranger paid for his meal.

How times have changed. My husband Bill was in the Korean conflict and also was in the Vietnam conflict. When he came home, he asked me not to tell anyone that he had been in Vietnam; this was in 1970 and people were ugly about that conflict. My husband was a career airman, he did not volunteer either tour of duty, he was sent over and that was his duty.

He is now 79 years old and wears a cap that says he served in both of those countries. People now thank him for his service and shake his hand. It always brings a tear to my eye. I am very proud to be his wife for 57 years.

Lois M. Farr


Embrace wind power

I want to respond about the proposed First Wind energy project which would involve installing 50 wind turbines in northern Maine. I understand there is concern by some that these turbines would visually impact the area, including the views from a nearby lake. But there’s a compelling case to allow this project to come to fruition. When compared to alternative plants, the impact of, say, a hydroelectric dam, an oil- or coal-fired plant or, heaven forbid, a nuclear power plant, the wind tower project is the cleanest, least invasive and least expensive way to generate power.

I’m not just saying this because the wind farm isn’t in my backyard; in fact, if a company wanted to build a wind farm in Carmel, I’d sell them the land in a heartbeat (if I owned it), with one condition: I’d stipulate that all year-round homeowners be given a quarterly rebate for electricity charges to their homes and businesses, of an amount sufficient to really matter — say 33 percent of their electric bills. This should soften the blow.

Wind power is part of our energy future. It’s time to embrace it as a much cleaner energy option than past technologies and show the country that Maine people are ready for new ways to embrace the future, while we decrease our dependency on big, noisy, messy ideas we’ve used in the past.

Allan White


Highway runs through it

If you would, please picture this: a multilane highway and possibly a pipeline running through historic sites and your hunting camp, wood lot, sugar bush, hay ground, pasture, farm fields, fishing hole, barn, business, backyard, home, serenity and solitude.

It’s not quite the image of life as it should be in Maine’s “hollow middle.”

But if the proposed east-west corridor from Calais to Coburn Gore is constructed, this is the reality those of us in the way will look upon.

Bruce McAfee Towl


Top haphazard

After reading the BDN’s April 11 article “Dover-Foxcroft residents to vote on budget at town meeting,” I felt one quote attributed to Town Manager Jack Clukey required a response. When talking about increasing the Dover-Foxcroft budget by well over a quarter-million dollars, he stated, “I think our intention is all of this will go into paving.”

Think? Isn’t this a rather haphazard, casual, unplanned approach to requesting over a quarter-million dollars from taxpayers? Don’t they deserve a more researched, well-thought out plan for significantly raising their property taxes in a time when their costs are spiking on gas, heating fuel, groceries and anything else they must purchase?

Hilda Mulherin


Unhappy former constituent

State House candidate Lisa Miller’s recent BDN OpEd on the Department of Health and Human Services was not surprising. It was however, disappointing.

Ms. Miller attempts to deflect her own culpability for the department’s deplorable condition, which happened during her years in office. She also tries to deny the dramatic growth of the program by cherry-picking statistics from years with less dramatic growth.

But the blame does in great part belong to Ms. Miller. During her time on the Appropriations and the Health and Human Services committees, the welfare program MaineCare (Medicaid) was expanded well beyond its original intent of providing health care to the truly needy. Maine now has one of the highest percentages of its population on Medicaid in the country. This irresponsible expansion put not only those who depend on this program for care at risk, it shook the very foundations of Maine’s health care network.

During Ms. Miller’s tenure, Maine also witnessed — and is still paying for — the astounding debacle that continues to be the DHHS computer fiasco.

Lisa Miller’s legislative legacy to the people of Maine is hundreds of millions of dollars of hospital debt, massive waste and a MaineCare system that is eating up more revenue than any other state department.

Dissatisfied residents voted Ms. Miller out of office in 2010. Attacking her opponent in this derisive way makes clear she has learned little in the past two years about the realities of the state budget. Nor has she learned about taking responsibility for one’s actions.

Gregory A Hodge


LePage unloads again

I’m writing in response to the April 4 BDN article regarding Gov. LePage’s interview with Phil Harriman on WGAN Radio. The governor talked about how he “keeps hitting a wall with the Democrats” regarding many of his legislative priorities. I am very concerned that our governor called Sen. Justin Alfond a “little spoiled brat.” He also compared Justin to his grandfather and said he was “very fortunate that his granddad was born ahead of him.” I’m having trouble trying to understand what that comment has to do with the governor’s lack of getting his agenda through the Legislature.

I was brought up to defend and advocate my political views, while at the same time to respect those who have different views. The governor’s name-calling and his suggesting that a person’s family has anything to do with his lack of ability to get others to share those views has no place in politics. What kind of message did those comments send to the residents of our state and our state’s young people?

Can you imagine the work we could accomplish at all levels of government if we spent more time working on solutions together? This doesn’t mean that we need to abandon our own political views. It does mean that all sides often have to move off their starting points and arrive at what is best for all residents of the state. This will take an honest effort by all political sides.

John Parola