Cheers and jeers from around the news:

• First off, a somber entry about William Young, the 77-year-old man from Auburn who died from exposure near Moosehead Lake, after leaving his home last week on a humanitarian mission.

Young was suffering from dementia, which affected his understanding of reality, his judgment and the passage of time. He apparently trekked to Moosehead to search for another dementia sufferer, an elderly woman from South Portland, who was lost and later rescued from that same area recently.

By all accounts, Young was a gentle, giving soul. His passing is tragic. While Young’s story should shed light on the problems with dementia among our elderly, and the need to protect them, his object lesson is likely small comfort to the family who misses him dearly.

Our thoughts and prayers are with them.

• Jeers to legislated inequality, because corporations are people too, you know.LD 1028 is a bill being heard in the Legislature this week that, in short, “allows a municipality to adopt an ordinance that denies corporations constitutional rights.” It’s sponsored by Rep. Alan Casavant, D-Biddeford.

It is a dark day when the Legislature gets into discussions of who may or may not have constitutional rights. When lawmakers tread into restricting constitutional rights for those with whom they disagree, we depart the path of democracy and start down the cold road of totalitarianism.

The thinking behind this bill is dim anti-corporate sentiment that prefers to see large entities as mindless, soulless vehicles of profit, instead of what they are: assemblages of real, live, breathing, blood-pumping people who are employed in one particular, united endeavor.

If we strip the rights of a corporation, do we strip them from the people who work or manage it? Better still, why are we having this discussion at all? This is one case where the Legislature must have better things to do, and should find something, quick.

• Cheers to higher truck weights. U.S. Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins are trying to get legislation passed to allow trucks weighing 100,000 pounds to use I-95 north of Augusta. The current limit is 80,000 pounds. It’s a sensible idea, for many reasons.

These larger trucks should not be forced onto smaller side roads, for reasons of safety, infrastructure maintenance and efficiency of fuel and travel. The area of Maine affected by this rule is also vast; allowing interstate access would diminish travel time and costs for truckers.

It could be considered economic stimulus. It should be done.

• Cheers to Elizabeth Strout, the Bates College graduate and new Pulitzer Prize winner, and to the fine granite quarry workers of Deer Isle, who contributed some 8 tons of granite to build the new Yankee Stadium in New York.

It seems the new “House that Ruth Built” is actually the “House that Red Sox Nation Helped Build.” Sounds like the makings of a fine curse, doesn’t it?


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