We'll only have ourselves to blame
To the Editor:
I am a summer resident of your beautiful town and I would like to commend the small band of patriots who have been working tirelessly for the past three years to prevent the citizens of Rumford and the surrounded towns from cutting their own throats.
I refer to the ongoing struggle to oppose the demolition of your beautiful mountain tops, and the imposition thereon on hundreds of mammouth (420 to 502 feet tall) wind turbines. This is not a Rumford or a Roxbury problem.
The 7,000 voters in these two towns do not have the authority to ruin either their own property tax base or the tourist economy upon which the entire state depends. Town elections are not suicide pacts.
A person who technically "owns" these mountains, which have been part of Maine's patrimony for millennia, (and, mind you, pays next to nothing in property taxes) has no more right to "rent" his land to these turbine companies than a resident of Kennebunkport has to fill the beach in front of his house with cement and rent out spaces for parking.
I certainly don't want my electricity bill to increase three fold or my property taxes to rise because the hydroelectric plant in Rumford will not be able to compete with federally subsidized wind power.
There is an old saying to which many Mainers will subscribe -- seeing is believing.
Rather than allow the proponents of wind power to divide and conquer by bribing a couple of dozen greedy, unenlightened land owners and bamboozling a half-dozen greedy unenlightened selectmen in each small town, permit the state to erect four giant turbines (larger, my friends, than the Statue of Liberty) right next to the Maine Turnpike: one in York, one in Kennebunk, one in Portland and one in Augusta.
This should give the citizens of most of the state the opportunity to view these behemoths up close and personal. If, in a statewide election, after serious, rational consideration, the citizens think wind power is such a good idea, then let the entire state do its part to wreck the economy.
Let these thousands of turbines that have been planned only for your mountain tops be shared equally between the four areas of vacationland -- the seashore, the lake region, the western mountains and the interior forest. That way, when the tourist economy crashes and golden good flies somewhere else; when our electricity bills fly heavenward and our property taxes go through the roof; when the thousands of rusting, inoperative hulks are everywhere in an eyesore of gigantic proportions, and we are the laughing stock of the rest of New England, we will, all of us, have only ourselves to blame.
Dr. Gaetano Agostinelli,