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Dec. 16 Letters to the Editor

Obama’s shoes

Ever since President Barack Obama took the oath of office he’s done nothing but complain about and blame the previous administration for the state of this country. Now, when his own party is turning against him over extending the Bush-era tax breaks, he brings in Bill Clinton to smooth things over.

When is Obama planning to put on his big boy shoes and realize he is the president now? The famous sign that sat on Harry Truman’s desk in the Oval Office read, “The Buck Stops Here!” Truman knew he was the president and he knew what that meant. Obama has yet to figure this out. He better figure it out quick, 2012 is coming up fast!

Michael B. Marshall



Arena compromise

Compromise and common sense are sadly missing regarding the new arena complex for Bangor. The opposing options are either to build an arena at a huge cost or to simply repair the existing outdated complex. Many Bangor citizens have expressed disappointment that city councilors are considering an increase in the property tax to pay for the arena project.

A recently discovered mistake involving the omission of required parking spaces within the $80 million proposal was discussed during the Dec. 6 public comment forum at the civic center. This oversight negates the projected costs. No legitimate estimate to the property tax increase can be determined until Cianbro reports back on the expense to provide 1,000 additional parking spaces.

The City Council also is considering the diversion of tax dollars to supplement the proposed monthly bond payment.

A common sense approach would be to utilize only the revenue stream provided from Hollywood Slots to finance this project. Yes, the current arena proposal would need to be downsized, but this allows everyone to be a winner. There would be no increase in property taxes, Hollywood Slots would reap revenue benefits with the added appeal of a new complex, the downtown business area and waterfront will continue to improve its cosmetic appeal without being shortchanged and Bangor will see an increase in tax revenue from Hollywood Slots’ improved financial status. Not a bad compromise.

Pauline Civiello



Pochocki’s impact

Maine lost a real treasure with the death of children’s book writer Ethel Pochocki. True, she was a transplant. But in her writing and life she celebrated her adopted state in a way precious few people have been able to do.

What set Ethel apart as a writer was her ability to take what most people would overlook and turn it into something special. “Rosebud and Red Flannel” celebrated a love story between a fancy, delicate women’s nightgown and a stoutly loyal man’s union suit. Although a children’s picture book, it had a strong anti-snobbery message for parents.

She was the epitome of gracious kindness. I was hugely pregnant when I read “ Penny For A Hundred” and was moved to tears. I sent a fan letter assuming I’d never hear from her. Within days I received an autographed copy of the book with a wonderful personal letter. This was the start of a cherished friendship carried on by letters, phone and time together at book signings. Each Christmas I put an angel ornament she gave me on the family Christmas tree.

It’s hard to believe that we won’t again see this beautiful woman with her sparkling eyes and warm, slightly impish smile. But those of us who love and are inspired by her will keep her alive in our hearts. And we’ll never see clothes hung on a line, gazebos and potato fields in bloom in quite the same way.

Julia Emily Hathaway



LePage’s priorities

It is shocking to me that Gov. Paul LePage wants to create jobs by building private prisons. Private prisons cut all amenities in order to make profits. A state prison must follow rules for medical care, food, recreation, etc.

The brutality of prison life is ever-present. It is, in fact, a horror show. It is a pity Mr. LePage does not encourage organic farming, green building, winter greenhouses, wood crafts, local beer and wine making, local food processing, home insulation teams, etc.

I guess he wants to add to the highest prison population in the world instead of trying to improve life on this planet.

Jane Sanford



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