Dec. 23 Letters to the Editor

Posted Dec. 22, 2010, at 6:48 p.m.

Move on

In recent editions of most newspapers, we read about the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” I wonder why people act as if this has been around since the creation of a military force. The signing of the bill was in 1993 by President Bill Clinton as a compromise measure.

I think that if somebody, heterosexual or otherwise, wants to fight for my country and defend the lives of my family and friends in the military — let him or her! Who are we to say that a dedicated, willing and proud American cannot fight for the country he or she loves because they are anything but heterosexual?

Just let the topic go. There are more important things to worry about.

Try worrying about your own life rather than the lives of those you probably don’t even know.

Adriana Hopkins

Orono

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Thanks, Rep. Michaud

I would like to thank Rep. Mike Michaud, for standing up to the GOP and voting against the bill to extend the Bush tax cuts that continue to contribute to our economic crisis.

In addition to cutting income taxes for the rich, the bill threatens Social Security by lowering the payroll tax, which funds Social Security.

Republicans have been coming after Social Security for years, and this cut is the biggest threat to the program in decades.

I urge Rep. Michaud to continue to have the courage to fight against the GOP, which works harder to undermine President Barack Obama than it does for the people it purports to represent.

Jacquelyn A. Estrella

Dexter

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Propane price structure

The way fuel dealers structure their prices for propane in Maine is unfair to those of us trying to make our homes energy efficient. Case in point: In 2007, I installed a new energy-efficient roof system and new high-energy doors and windows to reduce heat loss. After scraping up $11,000 to complete this project, and reducing the amount of propane needed to heat my home, I find that because I use less I am charged a higher price.

Unless this system is restructured — maybe a set price for heating, one for cooking, one for grilling and one for vehicles instead of usage alone driving the price — there is no reason to try for energy efficiency in Maine.

I can do without a gas grill, a propane-fueled vehicle and propane stove for cooking. I cannot go without heat. Come on, fuel dealers; change the way you do business to help your customers. Remember, Maine has a lot of wood.

Edward Murphy

Hampden

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‘Right to work’ facts

The initiative for introducing “right to work” legislation in Maine is filled with unfounded rhetoric. It is not a union vs. nonunion thing. No one in Maine is forced to join a union.

Workers in some places have recognized a union to represent them during contract negotiations and for dispute resolution. In this instance, the recognized representative has the right to collect an agency fee from all members of that bargaining unit in order to cover the costs for those services. It is mandatory that unions in this instance represent nonmembers when they file a grievance. This is only fair.

Members pay higher dues that may be spent on a number of things according to the wishes of those members. The fees received from nonmembers are not spent on these additional items; rather, they are the purchasing costs for union property or political activism. Those items are paid for by members and they have input to the decisions that utilizes their dues money.

Right to work states on average have an 18.9 percent higher infant mortality rate then Maine. They have a 49.7 percent higher rate of workplace fatalities. They have more uninsured residents and two and one-half times as many children who are uninsured. Even new business creation lags 3.6 percent per 1,000 workers behind Maine.

Right to work is no step forward.

Timothy Bickford

Fairfield

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