Letters, June 18

Jun 18, 2020

CMP project not a win for Maine

Regarding the letter from Robert Clark (TRJ, June 4, "Clean Energy Connect a win"), the New England Clean Energy Connect is not a win for Mainers.

Bringing "thousands of jobs to Maine" is quite an overstatement. Even CMP estimates 1,600 jobs, and many of those jobs require specialized skills that most Maine workers do not possess. Moreover, a recent contract with Cianbro is actually a joint relationship with three additional out-of-state companies from Mississippi, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. Does Mr. Clark believe that these companies will hire Maine workers?

Moreover, the workers will bring in COVID-19 along with their money and that is not a good trade. The actual calculation for ratepayer benefit is approximately 50 cents per month, according to opposition group Say No to NECEC, so I am not sure where the "tens of millions a year" factored in. CMP and their Spanish parent company will line their pockets with the "tens of millions." I wonder how such a project could make sense, particularly with no environmental impact statement to calculate the actual environmental costs.

There is already an existing route for the HQ power (that is not clean, according to decades-long scientific research), so why not use that? Instead of fragmenting the largest contiguous tract of forested land east of the Mississippi, why don’t we leave it intact? A working forest will make Mr. Clark’s air much cleaner to breathe. As far as the NECEC, please count me out, for obvious and scientifically supported reasons. This is not a win for Maine, it’s only a win for CMP, its Spanish parent, Iberdrola, and Hydro Quebec.

Richard Aishton


Stay safe; vote by mail

By now, many of us know someone or of someone who has had the COVID 19 virus and has beaten it or succumbed to it. Many continue to fall ill and medical personnel continue issuing requests for social distancing and wearing masks for personal safety and the safety of others. This pandemic may be continuing through the summer and beyond.

Those of us who know survivors and their struggles to regain their health, or have health issues ourselves, understand that a decision to go out to vote in the primary election is a concern. There is a solution. In Maine, we can vote using an absentee ballot and avoid the voting lines while exercising our patriotic right and duty to vote.

There are two ways to get an absentee ballot. The best and easiest way is to contact your town hall and ask the clerk to mail you an absentee ballot. When you get it, it will have a ballot and an envelope. You mark the ballot, seal it in the envelope, and drop it off at town hall.

The other way to get a ballot is online at Maine Absentee Ballot Request and they will send you the ballot to take to your town hall. This year’s election is crucial to our democracy. But let’s not let the virus keep us from voting. Maine is exceptional. Anyone can vote absentee. It’s our duty, let’s do it.

Veronica Magnan

Stockon Springs

Curry cares about Waldo County

I am supporting Chip Curry for the state Senate from District 11 in Waldo County. Chip has a proven track record of working for Mainers and for Maine schoolchildren specifically, through his work on the Maine Legislative Taskforce for Quality Afterschool Programming and the Governor’s Children’s Cabinet. He looks out for Mainers and chairs the Maine Community Foundation’s Waldo County Fund, which provides grants to programs that have the greatest potential for positive impact on the quality of life in Waldo County.

I have been impressed over the last few months seeing Chip’s involvement in finding and getting the resources our friends and neighbors need to navigate through these trying times. He has been a champion of the Waldo County Woodshed, Waldo County Community Action Partners and Aging Well in Waldo County, and has been instrumental in guiding people to these valuable resources.

Chip will work hard for our community because it’s his community, too, and has been for 25 years. Vote Curry for state senate from District 11!

Seth A. Thayer Jr.


Restore democracy

Russia’s interference in the 2016 election has resulted in more than they had hoped for. Chaos in the White House and our citizens more divided than at any time since our Civil War. Our country was once looked to as the leader of the free world; no longer. The Trump Administration has withdrawn from longstanding world treaties, denigrated international organizations like the U.N. and has reverted to nationalism. Trump’s tariffs have made things worse.

A seemingly endless series of murders of black Americans by law enforcement officers has led to demonstrations throughout the world. Here at home huge crowds are demanding equal justice in cities large and small, east and west, north and south. Trump’s reaction was to order armed troops to fire tear gas at peaceful legally assembled demonstrators to enable him to have his picture taken holding a Bible. Too bad he never took the time to read it, he might have devised a more rational strategy.

There is a remedy, in November if enough of us cast our ballots to rid the nation of this scourge we can elect a president who will restore our country's dignity and begin the job of restoring our democracy.

Ron Jarvella


Erasing 'them'

I just finished reading your column (TRJ, June 11, "Long Journey Home"), and I couldn't waste a minute telling you that every idea, every point, every word was perfect. Thank you for it and I hope it will open some minds.

Rick Davis


Systemic racism and COVID-19

A few days ago my son-in-law, who lives in Massachusetts, pointed out to me the COVID-19 infection rates by race in Maine. These statistics are freely available to all and updated daily on the Maine CDC website. On May 24 the Bangor Daily News published a story stating that black Mainers’ risk of being infected with COVID-19 was 10 times the risk of whites. On June 8 the Maine Beacon informed us that the rate difference had increased to 20 times. I can find no other news stories about these shocking statistics. Where is the outrage?

Today, on June 14, black Mainers' rate of Covid-19 infection is an astonishing 22 times the rate of white Mainers. This means that, per 100,000 population, 2,943 black Mainers get COVID-19, versus 133 whites. No other state approaches this level of discrepancy. How can this be?

Blacks who contract COVID-19 are three times more likely to need hospital admission because of disease severity, and eventually two or more times likely to die from the disease. There is no biological or genetic reason why blacks would be more susceptible than whites to COVID-19 infection. Race is a social, not a biological, construct. COVID-19 disease is dependent on societal vulnerabilities and weaknesses. It is a result of the many decisions our society and state, white-dominated as it is, have made over the years — and stopping it demands that we all stand together and make new decisions.

I call on Maine newspapers to dedicate more resources to raising awareness in Maine of our inherent and inherited systemic racism, and I ask them to look for solutions from within the black community to better understand what it is we need to thrive as a community and state.

This is not about political opinions; this is about life and death. The solution belongs to all of us. That we are the second-whitest state in the nation is no excuse to ignore our black fellow citizens.

Dr. Tim Hughes


Gideon slings insults; Collins shows up for Mainers

In times of such great uncertainty, Mainers deserve legislators who are willing to fight for them in Washington, which is exactly what Sen. Susan Collins has done throughout this pandemic. During this crisis, Sen. Collins has proven her dedication to showing up for the people of Maine, both in Washington and at home, every single day. Thanks to her willingness to do whatever it takes to get things done, she successfully worked across party lines to author the Paycheck Protection Program, which provided a gleaming beacon of hope for Maine’s small businesses and their employees.

But while Sen. Collins was building a lifeline for Maine’s workers, Gideon was busy hurling baseless insults and playing nasty political games, rather than doing her job as speaker in the Maine House of Representatives. In a time of such hardship, all that Gideon has done is spend millions on TV ads, exposing how desperately out of touch she is with the state she wants to represent, considering that she has now kept the Maine Legislature in recess for nearly three months.

Mainers need someone willing to work across the aisle to get things done, not a partisan puppet who prioritizes politics above all else. Sen. Collins is an independent thinker who works across party lines every day to do what is right, not what is politically convenient. She keeps her promises, shows up for her state and delivers proven results for Maine.

I have known Sen. Collins and her family for many years. I consider her one of the most honest, hardworking and decent people that I have had the privilege to know. I am proud of her bipartisan outlook and know that she is one of the most outstanding senators in the country. She is extremely effective in her job and always votes for what is best for Maine and the country — not what is best for the party.  We need more of that in Washington. It really bothers me that millions of dollars of out-of-state money are being spent on ads spreading lies about her. I hope you will join me in voting for Sen. Susan Collins in November.

Jim Robbins Sr.


Endorsing Pattavina

I have known Dr. Charlie Pattavina for almost 10 years and I am delighted to endorse his candidacy for Maine Senate. Like so many young adults, I left Maine to pursue a career. Charlie’s obvious love for Maine and emphasis on “the way life should be” drew me back home.

As a physician, he provides expert care to his patients. He takes the time to listen and develop plans for success. He has always been an advocate for the most vulnerable among us.

As a boss, he was a pleasure to work for. He always took care of his people and made sure everyone of our staff was recognized for their importance.

As a leader, his experience as a department head, and his leadership of medical groups at the state and national level have given him the tools that position him well to represent the people of Waldo County.

I hope that you and your readers will consider him on July 14.

Mark N. Flanagan


America on fire

At 7:30 a.m. on Channel 5 WABI they play the national anthem every morning. As I watch the accompanying film and listen to the words I am overwhelmed with great sorrow. The country I love, the country I and my family have served, is going up in flames.

The actions of an infinitesimally small minority of bad cops or the also small number of crazies who initiate a mass shooting always bring a knee-jerk reaction against the majority. The latest is a move to defund the police. There are millions of good cops in our country who work hard to protect us from the criminal element.

The violent protests following the murder of Mr. Floyd solve nothing. Many of the properties destroyed belong to blacks. Most of the criminal actions taken by the rioters were captured on cameras, yet I would bet that very few, if any, of these crimes will be prosecuted. If the Black Lives Matter movement really cares about black lives, why have they not protested the recent events in Chicago that resulted in the highest murder rate since 1961? These murders were not committed by the police, but by a public with little or no regard for law and order.

Should we as a nation respond to the actions of bad cops? Of course. But we should also seek equal justice against the criminal element who choose to take advantage of the country's present situation. The same goes for those who, under the guise of racism, destroy national monuments. Their goal is to rewrite the history of this country.

If we allow this insanity to continue, we will find ourselves living in a Western version of North Korea. History clearly shows the way Stalin, Hitler, Mussolini and every despot rose to power. Create civil unrest. Divide and conquer.

As I wrote this piece I became aware of goings-on in Seattle, Washington. In the city of over 70,000 people, six blocks of the Capital Hill area have been taken over by a group of terrorists. This area includes one of the many police stations. The people are armed with semi-automatic weapons; they have barricaded themselves into what they call CHAZ or Capital Hill Autonomous Zone. This is akin to the absurdity of the Occupy issues of a few years ago.  What does this have to do with the Floyd murder?

If you want this insanity to continue, vote Democratic.

Leo Mazerall Jr.

Stockton Springs

Civil discourse

I recently became aware of an organization that calls itself the "National Institute for Civil Discourse" and they are promoting “How to Apply the Golden Rule in Political Discussions.” I found it to be a well-written proclamation and believe it would help in any difficult conversation, actually all communications. Please take a moment and read with an open-mind:

"How To Apply the Golden Rule in Political Discussions" (https://goldenrule2020.org)

I Will

Always show respect for the other person

Listen patiently — especially when there is disagreement

Use precise and truthful language that communicates my views without exaggerating

Try to understand the experience out of which the other person arrived at his/her views

Look for areas of mutual agreement

Pray (well wishes) for the other person and our political leaders

I Won’t

Use inflammatory words (actions), or derogatory names

Make broad generalizations about individuals or groups

Assault the character of others or falsely impugn their motives

Question another person’s faith or patriotism

Demonize (villainize) or describe as enemies, those who hold political beliefs different from my own.

That’s it. Thank you for taking the time to process and ponder. Agree or not, that is for you to decide.

Just realize that your words, actions and deeds have an effect. Use wisely.

And don’t be bamboozled or hoodwinked. Not even "Holy Anger" can justify abandoning this commandment.

Love and peace from thy neighbor,

Kenneth Ihnken


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Comments (1)
Posted by: Ralph Stanley | Jun 19, 2020 18:22

So fill in the form letter for Curry. Add how impressed you are. List all the things provided in the form letter and off we go. Curry is a Fish are Okay "economic fairness" wannabee as he puts it. Say anything and do whatever you need to do to squirm your way into political office.

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