April 28 Letters to the Editor

Posted April 27, 2010, at 6:10 p.m.

Plaza face-lift

Penobscot Plaza rehab: It looks great and I think you should make sure it will accommodate Amtrak when passenger service returns to the city.

Brian Hanscom

Orrington

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Remember life jackets

Nice picture of the two boys on spring break fishing in Pushaw Lake (Wednesday, April 21)

Would be nicer if they had life jackets on.

Lee Swift

Hancock

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Praise for Sen. Collins

Sen. Susan Collins “stepped up to the plate” in the proposed Forest City port expansion.

Appreciation to the senator and her staff for their diligence and professional conduct on behalf of her constituents.

Virginia L. McLaughlin

Houlton

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Truth vs. caring

In response to Mr. Pinette’s April 21 letter “Proud Catholic” your pride and sympathy won’t feed or shelter the poor and homeless. You speak of the “truth” being more important than caring for our less fortunate. I’m glad you are not in that category, but many are.

What a sad world when the church is not the one place people can always depend on regardless of personal beliefs.

Tricia Soucy

Hampden

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Financial regulation

Creating and saving jobs in Maine requires reforming America’s financial regulatory system now, not kicking it down the road till the next crisis. A recent poll commissioned by Pew’s Financial Project found that a strong majority of voters want Congress and the president to enact real reform now — and that was before the re-cent revelations about Goldman Sachs. In the two years since the financial unraveling began, more than 6,000,000 Americans have lost their jobs — including more than 26,000 in Maine.

Everybody knows somebody, be it friend or relative, who has been affected.

Congress is considering legislation that can make our financial system more fair, more stable and more competitive. As a longtime financial professional, it is apparent that three provisions are vital:

1. An updated version of Glass-Steagall to separate the publicly guaranteed banking functions from the venture capital side, which was responsible for cratering the economy.

2. Banks’ use of leverage must be drastically reduced.

3. Derivatives and other financial constructs must be traded openly on a regulated exchange.

If these are done, then the fourth, limiting size to minimize the risk of too-big-to-fail, becomes less necessary.

For once, political partisanship and “gotcha” moments should be placed in the back seat and members of Congress and the Senate should put America first.

Ben Wootten

Blue Hill

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Yes, we did

Day after day for the last 15 months since President Obama’s inaugural, positive change has been occurring. Here are some facts:

• Positive job growth is beginning after the deepest recession since the Depression.

• U.S. Index of Leading Economic Indicators in February 2010 was one of the highest in the last 30 years pointing to economic expansion.

• On April 12, 2010, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed above 11,000 for the first time in 19 months.

• An end date has been set for the US troops in Iraq.

• After 50 years, health care reform legislation passed; benefits start this year — resulting in 1 trillion dollar debt reduction by 2029.

• The college student loan program is increased.

• Restoring fiscal sanity with “pay-go” law and the deficit reduction commission.

• Taxpayers profit by billions of dollars being repaid by the banks.

• Veterans are getting the help they need.

• U.S. is again a principled world leader.

• Rebuilding our U.S. economy for the new clean energy economy.

• Working hard to make Wall Street brokers, banks and regulators accountable.

• Becoming energy independent.

• Reducing the number of nuclear weapons for the first time in 40 years.

• Bringing world leaders together to reduce nuclear material and the threat of nuclear terrorism.

Yes we can do more and yes we will. I am grateful to the president and the Democratic Congress for their leadership.

Philip Person

Orland

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Health care reform?

With all the recent news on health care being reformed, I feel that I have to add fuel to the flames. I’m 23 and have not been insured for the last few years after I graduated from college. Trying to attain a plan for myself has not been fruitful. I looked into private insurance and just myself — a healthy, nonsmoking, 20-something guy I would have to pay more than $600 a month for insurance. My employer has upped its premiums and I am looking at paying between $70 to $100 a week for insurance. I barely work 30 hours a week and cannot find a job that pays more than minimum wage in this state. How am I supposed to afford $500 or more a month?

Being educated and well-informed I still don’t see how Mr. Obama’s plan is going to change anything. We’re still buying insurance from corrupt and for-profit companies. I don’t see the harm in and do not mind paying a flat 15 percent federal sales tax to support a government plan similar to what is in Canada or the UK, and eliminate certain other forms of taxation. But as a college professor once said to our class — What is the point of doing something? To make money.

I don’t see our ways changing. You can fine me all you want. It still doesn’t mean I’m going to buy into your “plan.”

Jon Coburn

Monson

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Gozce’s screwy advice

Tom Gozce’s April 24-25 column was the final straw! I have got to cancel my subscription. I can handle discourse on politics, human suffering, terrorism and the potential for nuclear disaster (which may actually all be the same topic), but when Tom says you can’t have too many screwdrivers, he is inciting anarchy in my house.

We have 59 screwdrivers — yes, I have counted them — and a rule that we don’t bring a new one into the house unless one goes out of the house. Thanks to Tom, however, a certain man now thinks he has carte blanche to bring home as many screwdrivers as he wants. And we all know where that leads — today, screwdrivers; tomorrow, weed-whackers and power tools!

Kim McGowan

Old Town

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