July 14 Letters to the Editor

Posted July 14, 2009, at 10:22 p.m.

Slots revenue stays

In a letter to the editor on July 7 regarding Hollywood Slots, Mr. Nickel asked if the $78 million of slot revenue left after taxes leaves the state of Maine. The answer is no. Almost all of it stays in Maine paying for salaries and wages, health care benefits, property taxes, utilities, purchases of goods and services, marketing, charitable contributions and sponsorships, capital improvements and the list goes on.

Comparatively little leaves the state to pay for corporate overhead, debt service and federal income taxes.

Jon Johnson

general manager

Hollywood Slots Hotel & Raceway

Bangor

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Christians’ mission

Like Howard Segal, I was impressed with the mission work of the All Souls group in Honduras. As a Christian, however, I could not agree with his comparison of All Souls’ works with the works of the group of Christians who are trying to preserve marriage in Maine.

Mr. Segal does not understand that the true Christian mission is not to impress our fellow man, to be politically correct or to be in line with the whims of the current culture. The Christian’s call is to attempt to follow God’s will in accordance to his expressed word in the Bible, not to please man.

I would also venture to guess that the groups that Segal dismisses as unconcerned about world poverty, etc., have done more to combat these issues than he can imagine. His statement about these groups being “consumed with rage against the civil rights of their fellow gay Mainers” is untrue. Thankfully, gay people in this state already have equal civil rights. What is at issue is whether marriage is between a man and a woman.

Peggy Soneson

Orrington

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Plaque not racist slur

May I offer a lexicological response to recent letter writers affronted by Castine’s plaque?

All concerned parties, and anyone else interested in history, should hustle to the bookstore or library and read David Hackett Fischer’s excellent biography “Champlain’s Dream” (2008). Champlain called the eastern Indians “Les Sauvages,” but in the usage of his day it meant “native forest-dwellers,” Fischer’s account of the Frenchman’s use of the word. Throughout the book he discusses Champlain’s admiration of and respect for the Indians, whom, for the most part, he treated as friends, equals and fellow citizens, even hoping they would intermarry with the French to build a stronger community and brighter future for both.

Why are we always trying to rewrite history for modern comfort? Let the plaque use the French word in quotation marks, “Les Sauvages,” and perhaps add a footnote below enlightening the observer that rather than a racist slur, Champlain simply meant “people of the woods.” I, too, admire our Indian nations, but they do their cause no good by rising to every perceived offense. Let the 17th century words remain, and explain them to 21st century readers rather than alter historic meanings.

JoAnne Fuerst

Northeast Harbor

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Logo snit sad politics

The recent tirade by leaders of the Maine Democratic Party over the logo of a potential opponent was, to say the least, pretty sad politics. I know a lot of Democrats whom I consider good friends, and I don’t believe they would approve of this sick behavior. In the first place, who in their right mind would intentionally copy something that remotely represents the Obama campaign?

I have been around a long time and have seen a lot of lows in politics but it seems there is no bottom to political trash. With our country now in a deep recession, it would seem the Democratic Party would be concerned about such important things as unemployment, health care, etc. Perhaps they could even consider getting better leadership.

Ezra Smith

Winthrop

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Right to love

At the memorial concert for Charlie Howard on July 7 a very real feeling of love filled the UU church sanctuary. It was not homosexual love or heterosexual love, it was simply love for and from all the men and women who were there. The singers and listeners were expressing their love for one another and for the young victim, Charlie, whom most of them never knew. Surely a loving God cannot disapprove of His people reaching out to fellow beings with love, however it may be expressed. Probably there is no “perfect” love between us imperfect creatures, but let’s support the right to love each other in whatever way we’re able by refusing to repeal the pending marriage rights law.

Emily Bean

Bangor

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Single-payer potential

I’m writing in support of a single-payer health care system, as expressed in bills S703 and HR 676, now in Congress.

What I want to see in our society is people being supported in fulfilling their highest potential as human beings. What else are we here for but to strive to live up to the best in ourselves and to support others in doing the same? Guaranteeing to all who suffer from injury or illness that they will have access to adequate health care — without fear of bankruptcy will enrich all of our lives.

The single-payer system these two bills would establish will provide that guarantee.

Eugene Ripley

Troy

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Health care reform

We are bombarded with statements that claim health insurance from the government would be cheaper than our current insurance system. Yes, we certainly need to make changes to our health care system, but please remember that the U.S. government is not a “fiduciary,” something required of all insurance carriers and self-funded health plans.

Insurance carriers are required by law (and regulated by state insurance departments) to be certain that they meet solvency standards, and have sufficient money available to not only pay for current claim activity, but also to have large amounts of capital in reserve to guarantee payment of claims that have not yet been submitted for reimbursement (about $1 for every $4 of claims paid).

The U.S. government has no such requirement. Even though it can deficit spend and theoretically simply print more money, our government already lacks the ability to provide health care to our citizens, as evidenced by the Medicare funding deficits, Medicaid chronically late payment to providers and the lack of funding to provide medical services to veterans.

I believe that we need not only take individual responsibility for the choices we make about how we care for ourselves and become better consumers of health care services, but most importantly as a nation we actually need to reduce the cost of health care services.

Maureen Hedges

Winterport

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