Fathers and tradition
The “Happy Fathers Day” editorial (BDN June 20-21, 2009) seemed a bit strained, if not smarmy. References to the time when Dad took pride in his role as a provider and complement to Mom’s nurturance (“If it ever existed”) were not without a sense of mockery.
It must be difficult to honor the father of today when your editorials have undertaken to deny anything essential about the union of man and woman in marriage and family. Such is the conundrum of evolving morality, as the worship of equality extends to ideas, thought and behavior rendering us bereft of tradition.
Why must Gov. Baldacci and the state of Maine continue to persecute smokers? The new bill signed June 15 serves to ban smoking at all outdoor restaurants and bars in Maine. I can understand the restaurant aspect since I don’t like smoke in my face while I eat either, but a bar is a different animal.
Many bars built outdoor areas after smoking was banned inside so they could still cater to smoking customers. Drinks are served inside and smoke- free, no one has to go into the smoking areas unless they choose to do so.
Making people chug their drinks or leave them inside so they can go out onto the sidewalk to smoke only encourages more problems when they return to find their drink missing.
Readers can tell me smoking is bad for me until they are blue in the face; the fact is it’s legal and I enjoy it. This bill is yet another intrusion upon my life by a governmental body that is not thinking things through, and it will have adverse effects on local business in an already poor economy.
Brian J. Clement
Candy tax not sweet
I just finished reading the letter “Not so sweet tax” and I agree 100 percent. My mother owns The Chocolate Drop Candy Shoppe in Belfast and I manage the store and this new tax could not have come at a worse time for us. I don’t know what the people in Augusta are thinking sometimes but it sure is not about the small business owners.
Reading the article the June 19 BDN article, “PETA wishes Obama hadn’t swatted that fly” prompted me to think of an incident that occurred in Berlin at the end of World War II. The city was a virtual Armageddon. The Russian army closed in from the east, pouring artillery and tank fire into the city. Yet, some Berlin residents were more concerned about the animals in the Berlin zoo than they were about their own fellow citizens.
There always have been people with strange priorities.
Richard W. Sykes
The Department of Transportation has announced that paving projects will not take place in “mostly rural” areas this year and next year. They will, however, spend about $30 million in the Portland area, which is the biggest pig at the trough. This will be done while the state continues to ignore the western and northern three-quarters of Maine, and they wonder why young people don’t want to stay here.
The DOT commissioner must think planning is telling your friends what to do on vacation! The federal stimulus funds were squandered on 30 miles of Interstate 295 and did not create any jobs. The same people worked the southbound part of the same “golden” highway last year, and very little was left for more needy projects.
Meanwhile overweight trucks (by federal standards) continue to ruin the rural roads of the state; Route 2 from Bangor to Newport is a prime example.
The Legislature, which is so rigidly partisan that it accomplishes nothing, has decided in its wisdom that nothing needs to be done anyway. Go figure!
No fan of tax reform
Once again our tax-happy governor and liberal Democrats in Augusta have ignored the wishes of the people and passed a massive tax increase, this time under the guise of tax reform. Last year, the people vetoed a tax package that included a tax on health insurance to fund the failed Dirigo plan. So this year we get a 2.24 percent tax on health insurance to fund Dirigo.
Two years ago people made it clear that they did not want any expansion of the sales tax. So this year we get a tripling of the items covered by the sales tax and a 21 percent increase in the meals tax. In return for this massive tax increase we get a token reduction in the state income tax rate of 2 percent which isn’t even a true reduction because we also lose the deductions for property taxes and mortgage interest.
Supporters of the tax reform plan (including the BDN) claim this will save us money. That is a bunch of hogwash! I get a reduction of 2 cents on the dollar in my income tax but get to pay 5 cents on the dollar on three times as many items. I also lose two major deductions on my income tax so will have a higher taxable income that will more then offset the minor rate reduction.
Only in Augusta does “reform” equal “increase.” I will support the Republican people’s veto attempt of this tax package.
Animal rights groups in Maine continue their attempt at furthering their cause by quoting old theories as fact regarding coyotes. Here are some real facts.
Fact: Recent controlled and comprehensive studies have shown that female age is the determining factor in coyote reproduction and pup survival. They do not multiply as the result of mortality.
Fact: Predation control is used effectively throughout the U.S. Ask any livestock producer what happens when coyotes preying on their herds are removed.
Fact: coyotes and wolf co-exist. This thinking has also been used on the coyote-fox relationship. Anyone in Maine can tell you these two coexist. Injecting a larger predator into the mix will simply mean declining moose populations to match our northern deer herd.
Fact: The state of Maine has no predation control policy.
Fact: Maine deer hunters and sportsmen need to remind our politicians who they work for, or animal rights groups will continue to set state policy.
Kurt J. Lane