Letters submitted by BDN readers are verified by BDN Opinion Page staff. Send your letters to letters@bangordailynews.com.

Think about it

Central Maine Power has taken a lot of flack about its proposed New England Clean Energy Connect corridor, which would bring renewable hydropower from Quebec to Lewiston. Opponents have quite literally not been able to find one positive thing to say about it, even though state regulators from a variety of agencies have all given the project their blessing.

As someone who has worked the transmission lines as a surveyor, field engineer and lineman for many years, I support the NECEC corridor. Having over 1,500 logged in hours on environmental matters for transmission line construction, I can assure you the utmost protection of our environment will be given the most attention. We need the reliability and proven lower cost hydropower that this line will bring to our region. Our society is increasing the demand for electricity and it needs to be consistent. Hydropower offers this solution and our neighbor in Quebec have an abundance which they are willing to share.

Why would we want to risk our energy future on higher cost renewables like wind and solar? Added to which fossil fuel gas plants that leave us dependent on pipeline supplied gas from other states. It just does not make sense to put all our eggs in baskets without a solid bottom. Mainers are more common sense than that. We have learned to adapt and diversify to make a living we need to do the same with our energy needs. As a pretty smart former governor said, think about it!

Arrin Farrar


There is cause for fear

The premise for Stacey Guerin’s recent OpEd in the BDN, “COVID-19 is no Longer Cause for Fear and Paranoia,” is both dangerous and demonstrably false. Per the World Health Organization:

“Mortality for COVID-19 appears higher than for influenza, especially seasonal influenza. While the true mortality of COVID-19 will take some time to fully understand, the data we have so far indicate that the crude mortality ratio (the number of reported deaths divided by the reported cases) is between 3-4 percent, the infection mortality rate (the number of reported deaths divided by the number of infections) will be lower. For seasonal influenza, mortality is usually well below 0.1 percent. However, mortality is to a large extent determined by access to and quality of health care.”

There were over 41,000 new cases of COVID-19 documented on Sept. 1. That’s over 40,000 cases in one day. That’s cause for fear and paranoia.

Jim Alciere

East Machias

How we got here

I began reading Douglas Bermingham’s Sept. 1 letter to the editor, “Act Now to De-escalate,” with interest. His opening paragraph spoke of de-escalating the tensions between opposing political factions in our country.

De-escalation implies groups with opposing viewpoints finding common ground through open dialogue. Four paragraphs later, it became apparent to me the only people he wishes to “de-escalate” are those he doesn’t agree with, which apparently in his case happens to be the right.

Ironically, it’s a prime example of the attitude that resulted in our current state of affairs to begin with.

Larry Balchen


Take a look around

Contrary to the protestations of the savants in the White House and Senate, institutional racism is alive and well in America. Could you find a more pellucid example than in Kenosha, Wisconsin?

People are killed, allegedly by a gun-toting teenager from another state, and as prepared as they seemed, riot police let him saunter right past them, his weapon of choice in full view. Problem: a loss of focus commingled with a flawed and fatal perception. Besides this dereliction, there is another egregious failure.

After a declarative use of the word riot, why did law enforcement allow civilians to stalk through the streets with loaded firearms? This was a riot! So why, I ask you, did the law enforcement officers allow this, not immediately disarming these people? There is only one reason I can see: these people were white.

As a white guy from rural Maine, I am nonetheless incredulous at this behavior. Anyone slinking around the chaos of a riot with a loaded firearm is a danger to life and limb. Imagine the same video scene, rather a black man involved, carrying his assault rifle, attempting to sidle by the armored vehicles. I’d expect the next 70 sounds people would hear to be from several weapons discharging in his direction.

Still, people will hear the official White House monotone drone that they do not see any systemic racism in law enforcement.

I suggest actually looking.

Ken Burke

New Portland

Sick of the campaign ads

Is it just me? Is anyone else sick and tired of watching the never-ending political ads on TV between Susan Collins and Sara Gideon? If we took everything Collins and Gideon said negatively about each other seriously we couldn’t, with a clear conscience, vote for either of them. We would have to vote for our favorite write-in candidate.

Why can’t these two candidates simply tout their own qualifications and options and save the bashings of each other (and their family members) for face-to-face debates?

Brian Ashe


A laughable argument

The people’s veto to block using ranked-choice voting in Maine for presidential elections was recently ruled, by a lower court, to be put on this November’s ballot even though the Secretary of State, Matt Dunlap ruled that the signature collectors did not have enough valid signatures. “Just under 1,000 signatures had been rejected because they were collected by circulators who were not registered to vote when they were collecting signatures, which is required under the Maine Constitution,” according to a recent Portland Press Herald story.

This rejection is correct. From a logical point of view, say you went hunting or fishing without a license and were caught by a Maine Game Warden. You’d say, “Wait, while I run up to the town office to get my license.” Ha! The warden would laugh at you and give you a ticket.

I hope the state Supreme Court in their wisdom sees the logic of this and reverses the lower court ruling. Full disclosure: It was a cold day in January a few years ago that I collected signatures outside our transfer station in favor of ranked-choice voting.

Bob O’Connor