May 11 Letters to the Editor

Posted May 10, 2010, at 6:46 p.m.

AG not appointed

In the May 6 front page candidate profile of gubernatorial candidate and former Maine Attorney General Steve Rowe, I noticed an error that needs correction.

In the article, Colby professor of government L. Sandy Maisel is quoted as saying that “Maine is among the minority of states where attorneys general are appointed rather than elected by voters.” I hope for the sake of Dr. Maisel’s reputation that he was misquoted.

Maine’s constitutional officers, including the office of attorney general, are elected by a vote of the full Legislature. The process of appointment is not involved.

James N. Dearman

Orono

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Photo a small picture

I was saddened to see a reprint of the picture of Jayne Blackington when she was out in the woods in November and reported to have been drinking alcohol (“Homeless woman found dead,” BDN, May 1). I doubt this is the legacy she wants to be remembered by.

This picture paints a bleak picture of homelessness. It also paints a bleak picture of an individual. Many assumptions could be made on how she died and therefore blame and negative connotations come to mind. There are many stereotypes of homelessness and unfortunately pictures like this and especially posted after her death tend to add to those stereotypes.

The article did not post anything positive about her. What were her dreams and aspirations? What did she enjoy? Would you want this published if she were your mother, sister or daughter?

There are many reasons behind homelessness: lack of affordable housing, poverty, job loss and serious mental health and chemical dependency issues. While it is true some people who are homeless drink, many do not drink.

From reading the articles, Jayne obviously was a woman who needed help and was struggling. The articles that have portrayed Jayne do not tell her full story and only painted a small picture that was her life. I hope that people who knew her can have some positive memories about what she was like as a person.

Meridith Bolster

Bangor

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We, the Tea Party

It appears there is one tea partier trying to rewrite history or perhaps is just totally confused.

While I agree that “tea partiers” love their freedom, country, constitution and their God, the fact is it was some of them who carried the signs with swastikas, pictures of the president with a Hitler mustache and called the people who supported the recent health care bill socialist and Nazis, not the other way around.

The implication that those who disagree with the tea partiers must not share that same love is totally ridiculous.

The Tea Party adherent also mentions “God-given rights.” I don’t believe there are any “God-given rights” as the term appears to be used, only rights gained through our Constitution written by common man.

Our Founding Fathers were very specific in keeping religion out of government. If one observes, they will find no mention of God in our Constitution. Instead they will find that it is “we the people.”

This person also falls back to the worn-out rhetoric about the “rush” on getting bill(s) through Congress before or without being read. Doesn’t the person realize that time can, and always has been, gained through parliamentary procedures? Perhaps it’ll come to them, one of these days, that at the time it was the opposition’s propaganda that was being used to delay or raise opposition to the health care bill not a “rush through” as portrayed.

Hal Halliday

Belfast

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Limousines in Levant

A young member of our community got off the bus last week with a story to share. She explained how her entire grade was picked up from school in two limousines that would take the kids to McDonald’s and back to a classmate’s house.

She paused, realizing she had made a mistake in saying the entire grade had piled into the big, shiny cars; after all, she was standing there sharing her story while others probably were munching their McNuggets. A few kids clearly weren’t invited.

The elementary school has a policy of not handing out invitations for the obvious reason of keeping the uninviteds’ feelings from being hurt, yet it’s OK for most of the kids to make a grand departure from the parking lot, in transportation used by celebrities?

With headlines about bullying in the news, it’s hard not to wonder, is this the beginning of such control? If so, who should take responsibility? The parents, for allowing their children to play favorites before they can even tie their own shoes? The school administration for going through the motions of their jobs, rather than putting in effort to curb such heartache?

Also, as all grades witness their peers being treated like royalty, how many of them now expect their next party to kick off this way? And how do you top that? A helicopter for senior prom?

Hopefully, this specific event is just bad decision-making and doesn’t plant the seed for future power-struggles.

Erinne Potter

Levant

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Corporate welfare

The Boston Tea Party was not a protest against taxes, but against the Tea Act of 1773, which removed the tax on tea from the British East India Co. This was an example of the British government writing a rule that favored the largest multinational corporation of its day, destroying the livelihoods of small traders and merchants in the colonies who still had to pay the tax and were no longer competitive.

Writing rules that favor these multinational corporations at the expense of local businesses is still the name of the game. It’s called “free trade,” and is a gift from the government to its masters, corporate America.

If the Tea Party were a true heir to the Boston “Indians,” its members would work to influence its government to change trade policies to favor fair trade. This would allow the U.S. to rebuild its manufacturing base and recreate an economy, like the one that followed WW II (the most productive in our history), that works for eve-ryone, not just the richest 1 percent of the population.

Until they do, they are on the side of the king and the East India Co. — the elites of the world — not the side of “We the People,” as they profess to be.

Bonnie Preston

Blue Hill

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