Nov. 7-8 Letters to the Editor

Posted Nov. 06, 2009, at 6:24 p.m.

Gasoline life

There’s no cost of living increase in Social Security this year, but gasoline has gone up almost 30 cents a gallon this month. Isn’t that a cost of living?

James E. Frye

Bangor

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Reckless spending

Seeing the spending numbers being thrown around and at so-called politically generated crises nowadays I shudder to think what the young folks coming along will be confronted with being saddled with this debt. Heavy debt, particularly in the form of unfunded liability like special dedicated trust funds raided to cover rampant general spending; it’s an economic ticking time bomb.

Bond issues piling up with interest contribute to the accumulating burden. Taxpayers holding the bag need to insist this stops. Maine and some other states are poster children for financial recklessness. The federal government leads by example, borrowing money and raiding Social Security for years and leaving IOUs in place of the misappropriated funds. The chickens coming home to roost later will find worthless paper IOUs instead of hard assets to pay off creditors holding our debt.

On top of this borrowing (at interest) and trust raiding we are printing money to cover the wild spending. Bailouts and health care expansion add trillions almost overnight.

Millions used to sound big to most people, then it was billions, now we blithely toss around trillions. Most people can’t conceive of a trillion with all of the zeros.

Orin Lowe

Holden

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Rockland, Camden unite

Emmet Meara penned a lovely tribute to Rockland in his Oct. 31 column. All of us in the midcoast — Rockland residents or not — are both proud of and pleased for what has become one of America’s coolest small towns.

However, as executive directors of both the Camden-Rockport-Lincolnville and the Penobscot Bay Regional Chambers of Commerce we were disappointed with Mr. Meara’s use of the old saw that for Rockland to prosper Camden must decline (or vice versa). This is simply not true.

The much-overstated divisions of the past are cliches whose time has run out. We work together to support each other. As a relevant example, in the past six months various coastal towns of Knox County have been crowned as one of America’s coolest small towns, as the prettiest harbor in Maine, and one of America’s prettiest towns: accolades we use to jointly promote our communities. As those of us who live in the region know, coolness or beauty doesn’t stop at the DOT Urban Compact line.

Things have changed rapidly and for the better along Penobscot Bay. We work together closely on bringing business attractions and economic development, and in honoring each other’s successes on a national level.

Each community in the midcoast is unique and the qualities of one only serve to bolster the image of all. The local economy is too important to be held subordinate to high school sports rivalries.

Dan Bookham

Camden-Rockport-Lincolnville Chamber of Commerce

Shari Closter

Penobscot Bay Regional Chamber of Commerce

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Bible backs lobster ban

Hey, how about that good old Leviticus 11:10-11? You know, the one that says, “And all that have not fins and scales in the seas … They shall be even an abomination unto you; ye shall not eat of their flesh, but ye shall have their carcasses in abomination.”

I’ve never liked seafood. Therefore, I propose a referendum to ban the eating of lobster in Maine. And I’ve got the Bible to back me up.

I know what the reaction will be. I’m using one obscure Bible verse to push my agenda, and lobster is essential to Maine’s economy. The way I see it, though, the Yes on 1 folks used a specific (albeit unspecific) Bible verse to score a victory on Tuesday. They’ve opened the doors for the rest of us to impose our hate of something on all of society, as long as you’ve got the Bible on your side. So line up; my referendum comes first.

Way to cast the first stone, Maine.

Stephanie Schreiber

Bangor

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Casinos clash with Maine

Does “Las Vegas, the way life should be,” sound familiar? How about “Maine, the way life should be”? Despite this loved and revered motto, The Associated Press reports that Stephen Barber, retired president of Barber Foods in Portland, and Matt Hancock of Casco have registered the Black Bear Entertainment political action committee with the Secretary of State’s Office to build another casino, this one in the Portland area.

Maine has marketed itself as a family-friendly state. How is a 21-and-older establishment family-friendly? The casinos have consistently advertised the jobs and tax dollars that they will bring to Maine. Who will see these tax dollars and what will these $8- to $9-an-hour jobs be worth? Can you support a family on paychecks of that size?

Wouldn’t it be better to support new and existing small businesses which together would likely create better jobs and more tax dollars, but more importantly would fit the family-friendly demographic Maine promotes?

In five or 10 years do you want our state motto to be, “What happens in Maine stays in Maine,” or do you still want to see that time-honored sign as we cross the Maine border?

Timothy O’Brien

Corinth

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Appalled at call

As I write this, the polls do not open for another 12 hours. In this election, while being disgusted by rabid attacks on the positions of people of goodwill who have a different view of the issues, I still thought it was a mostly normal process. Along with a lot of live, real phone calls from individuals on a couple of the ballot issues, and a nice recording from Angus King, the election process was unfolding according to norm. But that was until a few hours ago when I answered a call coming from Stockton, Calif. (In our B&B business, it is not unusual to have calls from out of state.)

Imagine my surprise to hear a recorded message from a candidate for City Council extolling why I should vote for him. I am not sure why a Bangor council candidate would go to this expense, but it sure raises some questions in my mind as to what the candidate has in store for us, assuming a victory. This kind of campaigning appalls me, and, I hope, appalls all voters who reject the infusion of large sums of money into a purely local race.

James E. Davitt

Bangor

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