May 13 Letters to the Editor

Posted May 12, 2010, at 7:06 p.m.

Squatters evicted

I just read the article about the white supremacists in Bucksport. They need to learn the history of America when they say they want to return the country to the original white race.

If they want to return the country to the original race, America would be given back to the Native Americans, and we whites all would be heading back to Europe.

Jayne Alley

Kenduskeag

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Rowe for Maine

I encourage my fellow residents to vote for Steve Rowe. Steve’s integrity, his love for Maine and his strong work ethic are qualities that will serve us well in Augusta. Steve is one of those rare individuals who would emulate Abraham Lincoln by traveling 10 miles out of his way to return a few cents to someone who is entitled to the money. Steve will work tirelessly for the people of Maine, particularly on economic issues and job creation.

As attorney general, Steve took on the tobacco companies, generating millions of dollars to help defray the health costs associated with smoking and providing anti-smoking education to children. Steve Rowe successfully took on the Bush administration to make it comply with the Clean Air Act. This tenacity will enable Steve Rowe to succeed in moving Maine in the right direction.

Brett D. Baber

Veazie

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Support START

In April, President Obama and Russian President Medvedev signed a new Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty, or START. The original START, which dramatically reduced the number of deployed nuclear weapons, has expired. The START will further reduce the danger of nuclear war. The new treaty must now be ratified by the U.S. Senate.

The treaty clearly benefits our national security and is supported by leaders of both parties. Ratification sends a strong message that the U.S. is serious about elimination of nuclear arms. I call on Sens. Snowe and Collins to support ratification of the new START.

Eloise Kleban

member,

Orono Peace Group

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Not a help

As town manager of Winterport, I felt obligated to respond to the letter written by Kim Lenfestey concerning LD 1121, “An Act to Protect Elderly Residents from Losing their Homes Due to Taxes or Foreclosure,” to clear up some inaccuracies.

First, I would urge any senior citizen to read the law as it was enacted, which can be found on the Maine Legislate website, in order to understand the requirements necessary to qualify for this voluntary program. Each municipality would have to adopt an ordinance in order to participate in this program, and depending upon the type of government your town has, it then would have to be voted on at a town meeting.

The state has no stake in this program. In other words, there is no transfer of a half-percent of the state real estate transfer tax into a deferral fund to help offset lost revenue to any town that adopts this program. This, of course, would mean that the rest of the residents in your town would have to pick up the tab for that deferred property tax revenue during the years eligible seniors participated in the program.

Property tax relief needs to be addressed for all residents. Augusta’s continued cutbacks in revenue to municipalities and schools is the driving factor behind soaring local costs and feel-good legislation such as LD 1121 does nothing to help with the real problem, which is overspending.

Phillip G. Pitula

town manager

Winterport

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Teaching drinking

As a graduate student at the University of Maine, I have learned that 48 million people worldwide struggle with alcohol dependency, and 25 million people struggle with a dependency on other drugs. Of these, 85 percent never seek treatment. Focusing on Maine alone, we are No. 8 as far as alcohol dependency. At the University of Maine, 83.4 percent of the student population admitted to binge drinking in the past two weeks.

Why are we not doing enough to prevent this from happening? Our society is focused on abstinence-only approaches. We teach our young children to “just say no,” and even abstain ourselves so that young children do not see alcohol at home. They get to college having no experience with alcohol, and they overdo it.

Some colleges use the harm reduction approach of teaching first year students how to appropriately drink. In my opinion, it is not increasing the likelihood of drinking problems on campus, but decreasing the likelihood of someone getting hurt because they do not know how to handle alcohol. It may even reduce the reported 70,000 alcohol-related injuries and 1,700 alcohol related deaths that happen each year on college campuses alone.

Marisa Plourde

Brewer

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