Letters, Sept. 4
Representative Jim Gillway is an outstanding public servant. The folks of your community are fortunate to have such a dedicated and knowledgeable person as their voice in Augusta. It has been an honor to serve with him and learn from him over the past four years.
As a town manager and as a former police chief, Jim has deep insight into how state policies affect local communities. Time and time again Jim has used his knowledge to help guide discussions and improve policy. His experience also means that he knows how to lead by building consensus. Jim is well-respected on both sides of the aisle and has made a real difference for his local community and for all of Maine during his time at the State House.
I look forward to serving with him again in the upcoming Legislature and encourage you to vote for him in November.
Rep. Ken Fredette
House Republican Leader
Mike, Emily and Erin
We have to vote to protect the planet, don’t we? Mother Earth is making it more and more evident that we’d better change our ways if we want a world our grandchildren can live in. Most of us know that the wild storms, and floods, and tornadoes, and hurricanes that now beset our habitat are clear evidence of the climate change caused by global warming and that human beings are the global warmers. We can still reverse some of the damage, but we have to get busy now. One thing we must do is vote in the earth’s favor.
Fortunately, many Mainers are working hard to educate citizens about how environmental awareness and politics interact. Such websites as 350.org, Natural Resources Defence Council, and Maine League of Conservation Voters offer clear explanations of the challenges, the bills that come before legislators, and the voting records of both national and state representatives and senators.
For instance, Mike Michaud earned a score of 93 percent for 2013 and a 95-percent lifetime score. The League of Conservation Voters has endorsed his candidacy, and he’ll surely get my vote. The Maine League provides scorecards for current members of the Maine legislature: Emily Cain, 92 percent, and Belfast’s own Erin Herbig, 100 percent. Their opponents scored mostly in the teens; I won’t vote for them.
Rescuing this planet will require everybody’s help. Besides recycling and insulating, and turning our thermostats down, we can vote for candidates who vote for Mother Nature; she needs help.
Fulford will help expand Medicaid
I have been working as a family physician for most of the last 30 years in eastern Maine, and have seen first-hand the destructive effect our health system has had on Maine families. I can’t even count the number of patients who sought care too late because of lack of insurance, and have paid the ultimate price for it.
Like many of my colleagues, I now care for families who, through Obamacare, have health insurance for the first time, and are getting the preventive services and early treatment they need.
That is why I’m for Jonathan Fulford for State Senate in Waldo County. The LePage administration, backed by Senator Mike Thibodeau, has refused to accept federal money to expand Medicaid. As a result, more than 20,000 Mainers have been excluded from the care they need. Jonathan Fulford will work to ensure affordable health care is available to all Mainers.
Peter S. Millard
Returning blast of wind
The Frankfort Wind Ordinance Committee was formed in response to a wind energy project being planned for the top of Mt. Waldo. After months of open committee meetings and town hearings, residents voted in the Frankfort Wind Ordinance in 2011. This process tore at the very fabric of the community, pitting neighbor against neighbor, and resident against non-resident property owners.
Now, three years later — despite the town winning a lawsuit confirming the veracity of the town ordinance — Eolian Wind Energy is back toting an incentive goody bag, and campaigning to persuade residents to overturn the town wind ordinance.
Mt. Waldo is the centerpiece of Frankfort, if not all of Waldo County. Some folks can view it from their decks, and it can be seen while traveling toward town from most any bearing on a compass. If you have taken that vista for granted, you will notice 500-foot-high industrial wind turbines that would dwarf the cell towers already on the summit.
At 1,060 feet, Mt. Waldo is a distinctive geographical feature. Its unique granite geology makes gauging the effects of noise and light flicker on the adjacent community guesswork at best. It’s not a monotonous mountain range far from civilization, but rises up smack dab in the middle of a small town, and in a flyway for migrating bats and birds, including falcons, hawks, owls and bald eagles
Throughout the ordinance deliberation, it was determined that the State Wind Energy Ordinance didn’t address the specific nature of the proposed location, nor sufficiently protect the residents’ health, property values and quality of life. The updated state ordinance still doesn’t.
Another key debate was the private property rights of the non-resident landowners leasing land to the wind energy company. Fact is, the mountain and hillsides and lowlands are owned by a multitude of private land and homeowners who want a say in whether industrial wind turbines are allowed to loom over their property and impact their lives. The Frankfort ordinance provides that.
Statistics and studies will once again be toted out to convince residents that an industrial wind turbine facility would not compromise property values. My experience trying to sell our home during the heat of the wind ordinance debate doesn’t reflect that. The first question from every interested buyer was whether the turbines would be going in. We had to answer that we didn’t know. The house didn’t sell until after the Frankfort Wind Ordinance was adopted.
I may no longer live in Frankfort, but as a committee member I witnessed firsthand how Eolian intimidates ordinance committee members and manipulates small towns strapped for money. Using innocuous terms like “windmills” and “wind fFarms” can’t disguise the reality that wind energy is a ruthless business guided by money and greed, as much as any aspirations to save the planet.
I have faith that this returning blast of wind, replete with consultants and lawyers, won’t hoodwink the Frankfort residents. I also hope that this small Maine town isn’t torn irreparably in half as a result.
Note of thanks
My thanks to the staff and residents of Alder, Tall Pines, for their professional and personal care of Brian Stone during his illness. Their medical attention, kindness, and consideration toward their patient, his family, and friends is deeply appreciated.
Thanks to Brian's friends who came to his side, sometimes daily, always with flowers, to amuse, comfort, and lend their hearts and hands to ease his struggle.
Thanks to Riposta Funeral Home for their gentle handling and efficient management of the necessary paperwork.
And thanks to two remarkable Belfast mariners who made Brian's final voyage so memorable — compassionate and thoughtful service to Brian's family and friends — in bringing Brian to his final rest.
Avery Booth Stone
A dangerous time
The killing of Michael Brown on Aug. 9 has led to a firestorm of national political outrage and local street violence that should be a grim warning to all Americans about the inherent instability of our factious democracy.
Now that several autopsies have suggested that Brown was killed illegally by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, Americans need to pay close attention to the tidbits of truth and innuendo that follow in the news media. In listening to the news on Aug. 18, I immediately caught on to misleading or even false statements of "fact," a common problem in the "news."
If Brown was indeed first shot at close range while inside the police cruiser, there should be traces of both gunpowder on Brown's skin and clothing as well as a ghosted "shadow" of same within the cruiser, plus there may be bits of Brown's DNA in that cruiser or on Wilson from splattered blood, hair or skin. There might also be Brown's fingerprints on or near the driver side door. Furthermore, the angle of each bullet entry and exit would would reveal the relative positions Brown and Wilson were in when Brown was shot.
The same would be true with shots outside the cruiser. Any blood from those gunshots would splatter plus tend to flow downward because of gravity. That same gravity would alter the position of internal organs during the shooting, thereby aiding determination of Brown's actual body position when hit by individual bullets. It would also determine what happened to blood splatters on clothing and the street. Contusions and bruising are also important forensic evidence.
The real question at this time is what damage was done to all of that crucial forensic evidence by local police and medical staff once the shooting was over, and, of course, by any others.
If it turns out that important forensic evidence was destroyed by police or investigators, then peace in the streets of Ferguson and possibly elsewhere may be a long time in coming. As the evidence now stands, it appears that Wilson negligently killed Brown. A competent forensic investigation is the only way to disprove that appearance.
Unfortunately, it already looks like evidence may have been tampered with or destroyed altogether, thereby tainting any forensic results, and certainly police credibility at a dangerous time.
Maine State Prison