Collins above partisanship

As a leader of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, U.S. Sen. Susan Collins is conducting a bipartisan investigation into the Sept. 11 attacks in Benghazi that killed four Americans, including our ambassador.

The goal of this investigation is not to cast blame on Susan Rice but rather to determine what steps might be taken to better protect Americans and officials abroad. Over the course of this investigation, Collins has become the target of numerous personal attacks that claim partisanship or politics as her motivation for conducting this pursuit of the truth. While these attacks against Collins may be an effective political tool, they cannot substitute for answers to the important questions raised over the course of her investigation.

Given the current environment in Washington, where truth and politics seldom mix, I commend Collins for having the courage to do what she has always done, which is to place the pursuit of the truth and interests of America and her Maine constituents above the partisan political process.

Mark Andre


GOP must understand

In his column ” Future of the Republican Party: Identity crisis,” in the BDN on Nov. 30, Matthew Gagnon proves that he, too, still doesn’t get it. He bemoans his party’s lack of understanding of the electorate, but his own diction shows the same utter misperception of the purpose of elected officials when he writes that, “Republicans do not need to become Democrats to survive. They simply need to understand what faces the people they mean to rule.”

Republicans need to learn that elected officials in a republic do not rule but rather govern with the consent of the people. Dictators rule. You know, those guys who censor art and thumb their noses at the wishes of the masses.

Bruce Pratt


Column brings understanding

Regarding Matthew Gagnon’s column, ” Future of the Republican Party: Identity crisis,” I agree with most of what he said about the Republican Party being out of touch. I am an independent voter and was very disappointed with the candidates offered by both parties during the last election and politicians in general. When I read the last sentence, where he states that Republicans need to understand what faces the people they rule, I understood why the Republicans fared so poorly in the last election.

It is my belief that politicians serve their constituents. Both parties seem to forget this fact.

Sam Ogilvie


Kudos to Scouts

Thanksgiving boxes were a bit heavier for clients of the Clifton Community Food Bank thanks to the efforts of the local Boy and Girl Scouts. We appreciate the young people who collected food during a Fill the Bus event in Eddington recently. Every box packed included a bit of their effort, enthusiasm and generosity.

Debra Z. Walsh


Clifton Community Food Bank

Planning board responsibility

Several years ago, Freedom faced a “disamenity” intrusion, not unlike Searsport does today. We were asked to permit installation of three industrial wind turbines atop Beaver Hill. We learned:

The applicant can and will sell the facility, so assurances based on word or record are built on sand.

The applicant’s promises are only as good as ordinance enforcement. Performance standards must be monitored constantly but not by the applicant. Freedom avoided this expense by repealing the commercial site review ordinance and its proffered protections.

Computer models are incapable of representing actual circumstances.

Freedom residents experience noise levels and incidence of flicker beyond all computer study projections.

The tax-revenue boost lasts only until county and school commitments catch up.

Beaver Ridge Wind divided Freedom and generated one permanent part-time job. The applicant and subsequent owners have had to purchase properties close to the site. Our neighbors have moved. Our home lost value, and, like our neighbors, we probably have only one possible buyer, the turbine company, so we will remain too close for comfort.

State officials, representatives of the wind industry and townspeople say that Beaver Ridge Wind is a mistake, should never have gone forward and that too many homes are too close to the turbines. This hindsight is useless to me and my neighbors. I hope it informs the Searsport Planning Board. I urge the planning board to err on the side of its responsibility to guard the health, safety and welfare of the people of Searsport and the surrounding region.

Heidi Brugger