Local Letters to the Editor

Knights of Columbus supportNational Veterans Family Center
To the Editor;
    The Maine State Council of the Knights of Columbus is pleased to announce that they

will help make the dream of SSG Travis Mills come true. On July 20-21 Knights from throughout the state of Maine will convene on the National Veterans Family Center in Belgrade to begin a weekend of projects to make the center ready for disabled veterans in August.
    Saturday July 20 will be a day of projects to include handicap ramps and following an overnight stay at the facility Knights will awake to a sunrise mass onsite and complete remaining projects on Sunday, July 21. Participants will leave with a commemorative T-shirt and the satisfaction of knowing that they have made a difference and provided a place for healing to our young heroes and their families.
    On April 10, 2012, U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Travis Mills of the 82nd Airborne, on his third tour of duty in Afghanistan, fell victim to an IED explosion. Four days later, on his 25th birthday, he awoke in a hospital to discover the blast had torn through his frame taking with it portions of both legs and both arms. He is only the fourth quadruple amputee, from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, to survive his injuries.
    Thanks to his amazing strength, courage, an incredible will to live, the heroic actions of the men in his unit, the prayers of thousands, and the love of his wife Kelsey and 1-year-old daughter, Chloe, Travis is well on the road to recovery and consistently astounds friends and family alike with his progress and amazing spirit.
    Travis’ dream is to provide a camp in Maine as a recreation center for disabled veterans and their families at no cost to the veterans. Here they will unite with the land, the water, nature, and each other; be united, enriched and inspired; and learn they can still enjoy the activities that revitalize the courage and the confidence to keep moving forward.
    Information on the event is available at www.maineknights.org or by contacting me at (207) 951-2874. More information on the National Veterans Family Center is available at http://www.veteransfamilycamp.com/ or http://www.mainebreadoflife.net/ or by contacting Deacon Dean Lachance at (207) 626-3434.
Duane Belanger
Fort Kent

Charleston meeting on corridor moratorium
To the Editor;
    The meeting was brief, lasting about 30 minutes. A questioner asked if anyone present was undecided and no one raised their hand. One individual asked why more facts were not published about the E-W Corridor and what was to be done over the six months life of the moratorium.
    It was noted that information about the Corridor is limited to what has been publicly disclosed and for that reason there are still many unanswered questions. It was also noted that a permanent ordinance would be one option pursued during the next six months if Charleston residents wanted that to happen. The vote was taken by written ballot and was 86 for and 20 against the moratorium. The moratorium took effect immediately upon passage and will expire in six months, unless extended.
Bob Lodato

E/W Corridor ABC’s
    To the Editor;
A) Referring to the proposed E/W Corridor as merely a “Highway” enables international corporations to place a Trojan Horse across Maine.
B) Those who allow this reference to perpetuate commit a great disservice by not promoting public awareness of the full nature of the long-term plans for this proposed project.
C) Unlike any such project before, this one seeks to secure the maximum rights-of-way from the onset.
A) The international right-of-way industry calls these state-of-the-art mega-projects “Corridor Farms.”
B) The one proposed for Maine is a “CUT (Communication, Utility and Transportation) Corridor,” seeking to secure simultaneous rights-of-way to include a minimum of multiple revenue-generating entities.
C) The proposed E/W Corridor intentionally incorporates the right to include Communication: cables, fiber optics, and cell towers; Utility (electricity): high-tension wires, underground cables, and windmills, (pipelines): fresh water, natural gas, and petroleum products; and Transportation: rail and road.
A) With the rise in terrorism, are these multiple entities extremely vulnerable by placing all our eggs in one basket?
B) The outright leases of these multiple right-of-ways, plus profits on their related products/commodities/services, make this proposed E/W Corridor a Cash Cow.
C) Now, what’s in it for Mainers and our Pine Tree State?
    Since investors know a Trojan Horse on a Corridor Farm is a Cash Cow, when will the conversation stop regurgitating the developer’s “Highway” narrative and focus on the true nature and potential of this proposed E/W Corridor. Most importantly, what’s the value of its impact upon Maine’s resources and identity?
Parkinson Pino

Jill of All Trades
To the Editor;
    We note the recent retirement of Jill of all trades, Wanda Conlogue, from the General Store and More in Brownville Junction. In the six and a half years she worked for Steve and Emilie Johnson, she not only cooked, but waitressed, cashiered, clerked and did virtually everything else with a competent and comical style.
    Before entering into the employ of the Johnsons and the General Store and More, Wanda overcame a battle with leukemia that put her in a Portland hospital for months. While at the General Store, she weathered the deaths of two brothers and a sister. Wanda was one tough cookie and will be sorely missed and loved by all.
Bill Sawtell

Greenville a wonderful place
To the Editor;
    Years ago when I was applying to the drama department at Carnegie Mellon University, I auditioned with a monologue from a Thornton Wilder play called “Our Town.” The play was set in small-town America, the likes of which even then, I’d assumed had disappeared from the American landscape. I was wrong. “Our Town” still exists and I was there for four eye-opening days over this past Memorial Day weekend. The town is called Greenville, population about 1600 which swells in the summer when tourists arrive to fish and hike. Greenville is located in central Maine where the temperature in winter can plummet to thirty below on the mountainside at night.
    My reason for being there had to do with the 50th anniversary of the crash of a USAF B-52 on Elephant Mountain in late January of 1963. The people of Greenville have commemorated this tragic event for the past twenty years observing memorial services at the site both in January when the crash had occurred, and on every Memorial Day since. I was accompanying one of the two survivors of that crash who had been to the site several times before, but this particular trip held special significance for him.
    The crew had been on a terrain avoidance training mission practicing to avoid Russian radar when, due to turbulence and metal fatigue caused by low-altitude flying, the plane’s vertical stabilizer tore from the tail section. Captain Gerald Adler, the plane’s navigator and father of two, ejected, clinging to his ejection seat which bent when he landed in waist high snow on the mountain. His parachute never opened. He is, so far as I’ve been able to determine, the only person to have survived ejecting from a B-52 without parachute deployment.
    Unable to get to his survival kit which was wedged in the bent seat, he used his still folded parachute to shield himself from the icy wind and freezing temperature as he sat on that mountain praying for rescue. An interminable twenty hours later his prayers were answered in the form of a red-handlebar mustachioed angel, Senior Master Sergeant, medic Eugene (Slab) Slabinsky who dropped from a hovering helicopter and carried him to safety. Captain Adler had suffered a skull fracture and several broken ribs and ultimately lost his lower left leg from frostbite. He remained in the hospital for fourteen months recovering from his injuries. The residents of Greenville call him a hero. He calls himself “a lucky survivor.”
    On May 27th, 50 years after the crash, in a memorable moment for those of us watching, Jerry Adler and “Slab” Slabinsky, rescuer and rescued embraced as they were reunited. Also on hand were several of the original searchers, more than a dozen family members of the deceased, active and retired military, residents from nearby towns and members of the Moosehead Riders Snowmobile Club of Greenville.
    Although many of the present members of the club had not been involved in the search by snowmobile and snowshoe for survivors, they have kept alive the memory of the catastrophe which cost the lives of seven of the B-52 crew, and touched the lives of nearly everyone in Greenville. On this stormy very cold day in May, after a moving service in the clubhouse, we made our way, by foot and by Jeep, up Elephant Mountain to a monument at the site of the crash where debris from the plane is scattered.
    I saw no mansions in Greenville; neither did I see any homeless. What I did see was a young soldier take off her parka in the pouring rain to cover Capt. Adler and protect him from the elements during the ceremony on the mountain. I saw lots of flag waving but no flag desecration during the Memorial Day parade. I saw and heard a wonderfully dissonant marching band composed of the town’s children. I heard and saw strangers, too many to count, come up to Capt. Adler thanking him for his service and conveying how honored they were to meet him. I did not see any protestors. What he and I experienced was incredible kindness and generosity, expressions of love and appreciation for the freedoms we enjoy in this country, and great respect for those who have served and are serving today.
    The residents of Greenville don’t lock their doors. There is relatively no crime to speak of. You might run into a moose that resents your presence when you’re driving up the mountain but that and the snow is probably the greatest hazard you will face. Don’t get me wrong. Greenville isn’t Utopia. Life there can be hard. The bad economy has taken jobs and Mother Nature is often unforgiving. And you probably would be hard-pressed to find a store that carries ball-gowns should you ever require one. But these are hardy folk and they are there for each other and for the country. Many families have one or more sons and/or daughters serving in the military, willing to do their part in defending the rest of us.
    I don’t know if there are many more Greenvilles in Maine or anywhere else in our country today, but it is my sincere hope that there are.
Nancy Tesler
Massapequa, N.Y.
    Editor’s note: This article was written and sent to Pete Pratt of the Moosehead Riders Snowmobile Club after she was in Greenville for the 50th Memorial Program.

Perception and truth: The curve of knowledge
To the Editor;
    The tales of irony that have proceeded out of the not-so-hallowed halls of the Augusta legislature are enough to bring even the most stalwart of Mainers to tears. The only semblance of bi-partisan agreement in Augusta is that Justin Alfond will go down in the annals of Maine history as the most inept and incompetent Senate President that has ever tripped through the corridors of the Maine State legislative chambers. The complete and unabashed abdication of common sense by the Alfond Democrats is shocking even for the subterranean standards normally accommodated by the liberal left.
    The Republican Party brought forward a bill, which would have required minors to inform their parents if they intend to get an abortion. Democrats killed the bill, contending that a minor is capable of making such decisions in life on their own without parental input. In the very same legislative day, the Democrats passed a bill that will require minors to have parental consent before purchasing an energy drink … Did I mention irony, sad irony? But this shows the perception and value that those in Augusta place on life. Yes, to our legislators, a beverage product has more value than the question of life.
    The Curve of Knowledge has three layers for the purpose of this article. There is the top layer of fact and proven science. The next layer is public perception, which is affected to varying degrees by the first. The final layer is the Puppets of Perception: politicians who are completely governed by perception.
    The science on the abortion issue, day by day, is steadily and continually proving that life begins at conception. Slowly, public perception is turning to align itself with proven science. Many of the public polls are beginning to prove that out, even as polls are usually slow to pick up the change in public feeling.
    Politicians will always stay behind the Curve of Knowledge because they base their decisions on public perception rather than fact and proven science. Therefore it is easy to see why these puppets can still remain in the dark ages of the 1960s and ‘70s, believing nothing is sacred and parental control is dysfunctional. This explains the ludicrous distinction between a beverage and human life. Liberals are floundering because they have no mooring. Public perception is changing and they are not sure where it is going. They refuse to acknowledge fact and proven science because it now, with new advances, refutes their agenda. So, they are left with only the ragged hope that public perception will swing back their way. Old propaganda is dusted off and tired mantras are once again invoked.
    This is why our Founding Fathers so wisely advocated for a small limited government. The historical and contemporary evidence is staggering. Government is inherently incompetent. That is why its influence must be limited.
Andy Torbett

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