Vote mischaracterized

Charleston is a community through which Cianbro’s much vaunted east-west corridor may pass. A group of dedicated citizens understood this would be detrimental to the town environmentally and economically, serving corporate and investor interests and providing a pathway for oil and gas distribution pipelines between Canada and the Atlantic Coast.

A group of dedicated citizens who oppose the corridor developed a rights-based ordinance to prevent this from happening. On Dec. 14, there was a special town meeting to vote on the ordinance at which Sen. Doug Thomas was present. Prior to the meeting those who developed the ordinance realized some were concerned about a definitional inconsistency that they felt would leave them exposed to suit for minor land improvements or broadband expansion. Sensitive to that, the group itself proposed that the ordinance be “passed over” and a final vote postponed, and this was done.

In the Dec. 28 BDN letter to the editor, “ Thank you, Charleston,” Thomas completely mischaracterized the nature of the vote as Charleston having voted down the ordinance, failed to mention that in a straw poll of those present who had an opinion, most opposed the east-west corridor, spoke of the group’s efforts to refer to the only counsel available to it with relevant experience as somehow suspicious, and then simply impugned the group itself. Yet in all this, Thomas never mentioned how an east-west corridor contributes to the well-being of Charleston residents or encouraged the discussion.

Phillip Bennett


Actions speak

Congress recently passed a budget for the first time in years. This budget increases government spending and only makes a token $23 billion reduction in the budget deficit over the next 10 years.

Unfortunately, that $23 billion includes cuts to military pensions and benefits for disabled veterans.The entire Maine congressional delegation voted for this budget. The entire Maine congressional delegation professes its support for veterans at every opportunity, but when push came to shove, all of them voted to cut veterans benefits. As the saying goes, actions speak much louder than words. I shall remember those actions when I go to the polls, and you can bet that I will not be voting for any member of the Maine congressional delegation no matter what office they are running for.

Timothy Grant


Ice and power

With the many stories that emerge from the aftermath of the great ice storm of ’98, add this one:

Among the student crew of the Schooner Bowdoin, of Maine Maritime Academy, which was Boston bound for OPSAIL 2000, were Steven and Larry Barriault, linemen of Massachusetts. During that memorable ice storm, they bravely scaled many towering steel pylons to chip away ice and restore power to the storm darkened and freezing communities of that commonwealth.

Like our fine Central Maine Power and Bangor Hydro/Emera crews and their visiting allies during the Christmas ice storm of 2013, they earned “hero” status from us greenhorn sailors, MacMillan fans and Ernest Shackleton “wannabes.” Upon sailing into Boston Harbor in line with that parade of wooden schooners, the redoubtable brothers asked our skipper, Elliot Rapaport, if they might scale the fore and main masts to stand astride the cross trees for our arrival. Permission promptly granted, up they went.

Upon passing the South Boston promontory, we could hear the loud cheers, as cannons boomed, bagpipes played and balloons flew upward. This was a fitting tribute for the Barriault brothers. Never mind that all that shore-side commotion was intended for the schooner from Ireland astern of us. We were peacock proud of the Barriault brothers, our Schooner Bowdoin, her skipper and crew and ourselves.

Lawrence Barry Mutty


Story telling

We owe thanks to many people who help others during storms — both recently past and likely yet to come. Their training, equipment, dedication and hard work begin to restore life to its normal pace and offer protection in more ways than we may recognize.

Power/utility companies, road crews, police, ambulance and fire departments continue to serve their customers and their neighbors, often at great risk and personal sacrifice.

Wages, salaries and stipends may cover some costs, but much of the work is beyond monetary value. We should also be aware of unpaid volunteer labor and service within and between communities: neighbors bring food and chainsaws; strangers offer use of mobile phones; supporting organizations set up safe shelters.

An early morning fire call on Saturday, Dec. 28, reminds me that all Orland firefighters are volunteers. While most towns offer some compensation during incident response — be it a house fire or lines and trees down on roads — Orland Fire Department doesn’t pay for missed time at jobs, child care or lost sleep. Department members serve because they want to. They have quality equipment, excellent training, fine leadership and immeasurable good will.

Thank you to all emergency and repair responders and to local newspapers for telling our stories.

Sharon Bray


With Phil Robertson

A recent letter, “Harsh Words,” comes up short as unbiased thoughts on the Phil Robertson controversy. The writer allows that Robertson did not violate his free speech rights. He then proceeds to assert that A&E was justified in firing him for derogatory comments. What is ignored here is that those comments were in no context related to A&E or the show Duck Dynasty. Surely, companies are not given legal right to fire employees for speech totally outside the employer domain when such speech makes no reference to that employment.

Unless the contractual agreement between Robertson and A&E explicitly prohibits him from publicly stating his opinion on homosexuality, it would seem A&E overstepped its right in this situation.

I would also submit that the writer is presumptuous in declaring Robertson shows a lack of understanding as to homosexual relationships. It certainly is clear that’s the writers opinion! What Robertson does show is an understanding of biblical teaching on homosexual sex activity; that it is in fact unnatural.

Whether or not same-sex attraction is loving is not the issue here. Choosing to engage in unnatural sex is, and that is clearly unbiblical!

Of course, if one holds no truth or value to the Bible, one can postulate any moral code or activity one chooses. Robertson follows a Christian belief. The writer professes something different.

I’m with Robertson.

David Anderson