Aug. 17 Letters to the Editor

Posted Aug. 16, 2009, at 6:39 p.m.

‘Excellent character’

As a state representative, I felt compelled to assure the good residents of District 14 that Rep. Richard Blanchard is a person of excellent character and represents the people of his district well. I know him to be sincere and to always have the best interest of his constituents at heart.

Lately, he may have encountered rough going but this can happen to anyone, especially when one is in the public arena. I know that he and his family are going through some difficult times and should be given support. I believe this to be a case where the punishment is in the crime.

Bernard L.A. Ayotte

Caswell

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Tainted portrayal

For many years I felt it would be great to see lobsterman get their five minutes of fame. I was wrong. Well, actually the five minutes we have and-or will continue to receive is wrong.

To be accused of a criminal act you do not have to be a lobsterman.

However, it is great that the media have been poised to report (sparsely) detailed depictions of escapades tourists have whispered about and looked over their back at for years.

I never did well in statistics, but in any demographic you will find your 1 percent to 3 percent of bad apples.

This letter is not about frustrations with numbers, labels by the media, or anything close. It is a call to those in any Maine industry to be aware before legislation can become popular, your business must first “look” bad.

As for my journey in the fishery, it is infant compared to many. But in 15 years providing a living for my family, I know of 10,000 headlines in my community that will never be printed, every single one a depiction of what I consider lobstermen.

Maybe when Augusta waves that magic wand and tries and cut our livelihood a little more this time the majority of the lobster fishermen can count on the media, as the state Department of Marine Resources has for the last 10 years.

Joe McDonald

Jonesport

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TABOR a ‘meat ax’

TABOR again?

In keeping with the principle of representative democracy, legislative bodies at the national, state and local levels were created and given the power to tax. The TABOR initiative seeks to limit the authority of the Legislature and local governments by imposing a cap on tax increases and mandating their approval directly by the voters.

No one wants to increase taxes — certainly not elected officials who then have to justify their actions to the voters. The Legislature and local governments hold extensive hearings and invite public input before tax increases are approved.

If people are unhappy with the taxes approved by elected officials, they should elect someone else to represent them.

TABOR, in particular, is a bad idea. Maine voters rejected it in 2004 and 2006. The current economic downturn has caused the Legislature and local governments to cut many millions of dollars from education, aid to the elderly, road repairs and other worthy causes. At least the legislative groups have carefully considered their priorities. TABOR would represent a meat-ax approach to taxes.

Robert Stanley

Old Town

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TABOR never

What is the truth about TABOR II? What are we, the ordinary, hardworking John and Jane who pay our bills on time, care about the future of our grandchildren, who retire on a modest pension, to think about it? Do not draw the faulty conclusion that because TABOR is coming around again it is worthy of a yes vote. It is the same bad idea we wisely voted down in 2007.

As Sgt. Joe Friday of “Dragnet” says: “Just the facts, ma’am, just the facts.”

Fact: passage of Tabor II will cause more job losses, cuts in education and crucial community services. This is exactly what our economic recovery does not need. Investing in our precious Maine quality of life is not “bloated excess.”

We Mainers pride ourselves on our independent, fact-driven thinking.

Tabor II would create a smaller pot of available money that would negatively affect each and every one of us. Tabor II will not “control spending.” Don’t be bewitched by these false phrases.

Our future depends on being informed voters. Google TABOR in California or Colorado and see a sad picture of the devastation caused by passage of a similar measure. We Mainers are smarter than that and deserve better.

Investing in our unique Maine quality of life is an investment in today and tomorrow.

Vote smart: “TABOR now” must be “TABOR never.”

Melinda Blake

Hampden

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Facts on health care

Here are five facts. I am very distressed about the lies and distortions and fear being promoted.

One: I am on Medicare. I have my own chosen doctors and choose my own care. It is a government sponsored health care program.

Two: I have done a living will. I have made my individual, freely chosen, choices about what type of care I want at the end of my life when I may be unable to talk. The House bill was proposed by a Republican to give doctors reimbursement for going through the living will options with their patients. This is not a death panel.

Three: My husband is a retired federal employee. Each year we are given choices of various coverage options from different insurance companies. This is probably similar to the “exchange” being discussed. Our policy is with Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield.

Four: My insurance and Medicare costs are higher by at least $1,000 a year due to uninsured people’s unpaid claims being passed on to me. I think the uninsured need to participate and pay what they can so that there is a wider group to share the nation’s medical costs.

Five: Single-payer health care would be the least expensive option, but that does not seem to be on the table.

I want what I have for all Americans. With reform, choices will increase and costs decrease.

Pam Person

Orland

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