July 12 Letters to the Editor

Posted July 11, 2010, at 10:48 p.m.

Not the same

I was one of many unhappy people when the Coffee Pot closed. We only got to Bangor every month or so, but I had to get a Coffee Pot.

It finally got to me; I had to have a Coffee Pot. This past week I bought three and used to get four for the price.

The sandwich was good but what was lacking was the atmosphere of the place, the smell of the onions so strong your eyes watered. Just not the same. Most of all missing was Skip behind the counter.

Eugene Cramer

Lee

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Football fanatic

Maine high school football may have four classifications beginning in 2011. Some more populous states with nationally recognized high school football programs have their own high school magazines covering teams throughout the state.

Maine high school sports may not be as high pressured and “big time” as in other states but is there no interest in publishing a Maine high school magazine, to include Maine colleges playing football, annually or semiannually, with photos, reports, stats and other interesting and relevant Maine football information?

A quarterly magazine is another possibility.

Richard Mackin Jr.

Millinocket

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Lower swipe costs

As executive director of the Maine Merchants Association, I am encouraged by the recent progress of the Wall Street reform bill and hope that business owners — including our members — can count on our Sens. Snowe and Collins to support the passage of this bill, which includes an important provision to rein in excessive swipe fees.

Big banks and credit card companies such as Visa and MasterCard charge businesses for all credit and debit card payments. These companies take advantage of their market power to charge excessive fees that have simply gotten out of control, rising by more than 300 percent in just under a decade. If our members tried that with their prices, they wouldn’t survive.

The swipe fee provisions included in the Wall Street reform bill provide a fair and reasonable way to correct this — keeping hard-earned dollars out of the pockets of the Wall Street giants, and giving Main Street business owners the opportunity to use those dollars to grow business and benefit our economy.

This is the kind of reform that Wall Street needs. I’m pleased the swipe fee provision has persevered and look forward to seeing the bill signed into law.

Curtis Picard

executive director

Maine Merchants

Association

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Cut off and angry

I lost my job back in December. The company I worked for closed its doors due to not making any money, so I went on unemployment for the first time in five years.

I have always taken pride in the fact that I was a hard worker. It showed every week when I looked at my pay stub and all the taxes that were taken out of me. A little over seven months later I just found out that my benefits have expired, and I will not be getting any emergency unemployment compensation extension benefits, but the people that have been on EUC for two years or so are still getting theirs.

That angers me to no end. It’s almost as if I’m being penalized for losing my job. The federal government can bail out the banks and auto industry but God forbid they help the taxpayers. I’m not just speaking for me but also for the millions of people who need these benefits.

We’re not asking for a handout like the banks and auto industry, we are just asking for a fair chance at survival.

I’m sick and tired of this government pretending it cares about people. All elected officials care about is getting votes and maintaining the status quo.

Shawn Ingalls

East Machias

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Municipal services

Please explain how one municipal planning board (Topsham) could spend more than a year filled with public hearings, site visits, informational meetings, etc., and then vote to deny a building permit for a 75-foot tower while another planning board (Harrington) issued a permit for a 350-foot tower one week after application with no public hearing even after receiving a request by certified mail from an abutter for said hearing.

Hint: The tower was built on land owned by a Harrington selectman.

Explanations, advice and opinions, professional or otherwise, are welcome.

Paul Ferriero

Harrington

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Free the fireworks

John Adams wrote, “The 2nd of July [later marked on July 4] will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and il-luminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this day forevermore.”

All through my childhood and many of my adult years, firework displays were the capstone ending the day of celebration. So much of that has been lost. The ever-growing paranoia of safety has criminalized what used to be commonplace.

The regulations have made it prohibitive for small towns to put on displays. Individuals who can afford it replace the towns and do so in peril of fines or arrest. Should such an anniversary end in fearful illumination?

I submit we would be better served by requiring a safety course in handling fireworks coupled with local jurisdictions having the right to permit individual displays.

Am I alone on this?

David Anderson

Stockholm

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Father of the bride

A letter in the July 10 BDN criticizing Dr. Steele for laying out the cash he had to satisfy the desires of his family about the marriage of one of them is misplaced on all cited grounds.

He didn’t cater to “big business.” He didn’t genuflect to “materialism and its evil.” He didn’t support “fossil fuel dependency.” He supported his family’s wedding plans, and the joyous love celebrating the way they chose to do it.

As a successful breadwinner, a man knows his family knows he can do what they want. Most well-grounded families (as his appears to be in spades) adjust their wants so as not to injure that source of their sustenance and pleasures.

Why would a generous and able man deny them that? It would be wounding to him and his family.

Anyway, charity begins at home. Keep that well, and maybe there can be a “sustainable American lifestyle.”

John Lyman

Steuben

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