May 26, 2018
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Readers debate Bangor arena, plight of EMMC nurses

The Bangor City Council’s proposal to build a new arena and civic center, as well as the push by some residents to put the question out to a referendum vote, was the subject of ClickBack, as was working conditions for nurses.

Should Bangor residents get to vote on the arena project?

The real question that needs to be asked is, “Do the residents of Bangor want to have a state-of-the-art facility that is indoors and that would provide space for special events such as high school basketball, concerts, shows and other sporting and non-sporting events? If that answer is yes, which it always has been, then the current facility needs to go, and anyone who has ever been inside the Bangor Auditorium knows that.

This issue was voted on and approved by the voters of Bangor via referendum. The vote allowed Hollywood Slots to come to Bangor and a portion of its proceeds to fund the new arena. The arena committee has done its job — it is the Council’s turn to approve this project and move forward.

People who spend money at Hollywood Slots will be paying for the arena. I made a generous contribution recently and had a great time doing it. The vast majority of the project, if not all of it, will be paid for by Hollywood Slots.

If this project is delayed or canceled, it will be due to unnecessary fear brought on by blatant misinformation. It is now the City Council’s obligation to assure the public that this is a tax-neutral, highly beneficial project for the city’s future. It also needs to remind the residents of Bangor that voters already gave their approval when they voted in the slots, as the language clearly stated that the city’s proceeds would be earmarked for the arena project.

If Bangor has $60-$75 million to spend, it should be spent on something that will bring new, permanent business and jobs to central Maine. An entertainment complex for stick and ball (or stick and puck) sports and popular music does not fit that goal — using the funds as a down payment on extending passenger rail service from Brunswick to Bangor would.

In any case, the taxpayers of Bangor (and of the state, if state funds are to be involved) should get to vote on this project.

Bangor’s been frittering around for decades about building a new arena. Build it and move on!

Are nurses underpaid and overworked?

The field they got into is hard work — it always has been — but I do not think they are underpaid. I have worked much harder jobs that required more training and earned much less.

Unions need to go. They are destroying this country. They have served their purpose, and there are laws in place to protect us. If they want more money, they should get another job.

There are other professions that require long hours, mandatory overtime, etc., where people’s well-being is on the line (i.e., law enforcement officers, firefighters, EMTs), and they are prohibited by law from striking when they don’t like the fact that they feel they’re understaffed.

This is just more union strong-arming: “Give us what we want, or we’ll hurt our clientele but blame it on you.” In their original form, unions were a good thing, in that they protected workers who were being badly mistreated. Now, unions are no better than organized crime syndicates.

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