July 7 Letters to the Editor

Posted July 06, 2009, at 7:44 p.m.

Hollywood Slots payoff

Here is an answer to the BDN’s June 30 headline regarding Hollywood Slots, “Is the gamble paying off?” I do not think so.

The BDN reports the figure of $158,255,431 as total revenue, and $79,471,920 as total taxes and fees staying in Maine. Does that mean the $78,784,511 or 49.8 percent left Maine? Is the entertainment value worth more than $78 million?

Willard Nickel

Rockland

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Transgender victims

This letter is in reference to the recent decision by the Maine Human Rights Commission’s ruling about the young “transgender.”

According to this ruling, the young boy was being discriminated against by being given the use of his own bathroom rather than being allowed to enter the girls bathroom at school.

What moral standard does this state hold itself to anymore? What about the young girls who use those bathrooms every day? Their civil right to be given a private place away from the male anatomy has been taken from them by Maine.

These children (unless their parents have the means to send their children to a private school or move to another district) are forced to use these bathrooms where now a child with a male anatomy may enter and use that girls bathroom because he “identifies himself as a girl.”

What makes an individual able to claim gender? As I always understood it growing up — and I know I’m not alone in this — your anatomy dictates your sex. If you have an internal conflict with the way you were born, there are procedures for that.

What is to stop a pervert from saying he-she “identifies” with the opposite sex, and entering freely into any bathroom he-she wants? Imagine a young girl in a locker room being exposed to a grown man who says he’s a woman “on the inside.”

Unfortunately, it is easy to see that common sense is no longer commonplace in Augusta.

Tom Toth

Ellsworth

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Cap-and-trade doom

Is Rep. Michaud a speed-reader? The chances that he read and understood the whole of the 1,390 page cap-and-trade bill he just voted for are zero to none. In fairness, none of the other congress mammals read it all the way through either.

I’m sure he read that fraction that is supposed to bring benefits to Maine and we will be hearing all about those benefits in the days to come.

Don’t expect to hear anything about the cost.

The conservative Heritage Foundation and the liberal Brookings Institution agree that it is going to produce a serious reduction in the nation’s gross domestic product, a loss of jobs and an increase in our trade deficit.

The Heritage Foundation has provided some helpful estimates about the cost to Maine’s 2nd District. It expects a $316 million decline to the district’s economy in 2012; a personal income loss of $428 million and the loss of 3,848 jobs. More losses are projected in the years to come.

I’m in no position to guarantee these statistics. No one is. But there certainly will be a cost and if you listen to a politician babble on about all the alleged benefits without a hint of a price tag, then you are being played for a sucker. But I think you already know that.

If this bill produces the disastrous consequences predicted by the two think tanks we will know it. Then we can expect a series of hasty amendments but no apologies.

John Frary

Farmington

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Israeli settlements

President Obama has wisely insisted that Israel make good on its commitments and freeze settlement activity in the West Bank.

Stopping settlements is important to achieving peace for Israel. Israel has committed to a settlement freeze in the past. Making good on its promise is what Israel’s government must do now to signal that it is serious about peace.

Moreover, settlements in the West Bank are detrimental to Israel. They constitute a burden to Israel’s security services. They create points of friction between Israelis and Palestinians. They drain Israel’s financial resources. They create a false impression that Israelis are not interested in a two-state solution.

Thousands of Israelis active with the Peace Now movement are pressing their government to implement a settlement freeze. I proudly stand with them and with President Obama.

Bill Fowlie

Harmony

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Passing the buck

This letter is in response to Sterling Pingree’s letter to the editor in the July 3 edition of the BDN titled, “No fan of excise tax.”

I’m only guessing here, but I bet Mr. Pingree is no fan of property taxes either. Unfortunately, his assumption that the referendum to cut excise taxes is going to give local tax relief is dead wrong.

He will see an increase in his property taxes because the money to plow town roads, educate kids and run county government has to come from somewhere. So if he would rather pay more property taxes than excise, then I say go ahead and vote for it.

Please don’t pat your state government on the back for giving you this big tax relief because all they did was pass the buck.

Jacki Robbins

Monroe

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Eastport tidal energy

Of all the environmental sins we can commit, the greatest is shortsightedness. This point was brought home forcefully at the FERC hearing for the proposed Tidewalker Associates Tidal Energy Project for Half-Moon Cove in Eastport.

After hearing an eloquent presentation from Normand Laberge, his wife and partner Leslie Bowman, and their daughter Zel about their vision for energy self-sufficiency based on tidal power in Eastport, and what that might mean to the current and future residents of the area, Dana Murch, the Dams & Hydro Supervisor of the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, spoke for the state.

He made three points: 1) it can’t succeed because it’s never been done before; 2) the Maine DEP will never approve any project which subjects an area to even a small change in water level, and 3) it will cost too much.

In her spirited response to Mr. Murch, Leslie Bowman pointed out that such entirely negative pronouncements would certainly discourage any efforts to attract investors. She also pointed out that climate change is likely to submerge all of our coastline and have a far greater impact than this dam.

Tidewalker Associates is calling on the entire community to stand together to make an energy-independent future for the next generation. The economic cost of the project is small compared to the cost in human despair and environmental degradation that will result from a failure to build a different energy future for our planet and its people.

Lois Grossman

Eastport

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