Republican’s labor view
I’m a Republican, a Maine business owner and employ a happy and productive little work force. I agree with the governor. Organized labor has swung the pendulum from a legitimate fight to correct the extreme injustices once suffered by many workers to an insufferable attitude toward management and a cavalier and dismissive regard for their own responsibilities as wage earners. I support Right to Work legislation.
Removing that magnificent mural, a work of art depicting hard-earned and undeniably deserved gains of the labor movement and their many contributions to the world we now live in, however, was the wrong thing to have done. It sends all the wrong messages, including the message it was intended to send.
I’m grateful the governor is business-oriented and am looking forward to fewer restrictions and greater opportunities, but I’m certainly not afraid to acknowledge the historic accomplishments of the labor movement and was not threatened by that mural. It belonged right where it was, at the Department of Labor reminding us of labor in all its guises and of management’s misuse of power when, in fact, it was being misused.
To have removed the mural because its focus was organized labor and not management is as petty as the governor removing his own portrait from the State House because it speaks too strongly of governors and not enough of the people.
This is a golden opportunity for him to gain some real ground. Apologize, acknowledge the foolishness of this move and put the mural back where it belongs.
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Council support tells story
Bangor’s city council is a diverse and often sharply divided lot.
It includes Republicans and Democrats. It has strident advocates for business. Passionate environmentalists. Friends of organized labor. It includes professionals, and working-class people. Men and women. Senior citizens and twenty-somethings.
Yet, every one of these councilors — each with vastly different ideas about how to make Bangor a better place to live — endorses the construction of a new arena.
They know a new arena would create 400 much-needed jobs in our region. They know that it would pump $26 million a year into our local economy. And they are sure that the project will not affect local property taxes and will be paid for with taxes and fees paid by Hollywood Slots.
Most of all, they know that the choice is between building this new arena and knocking down the old one. The auditorium is, quite simply, beyond repair.
There are as many reasons to support a new arena as there are points of view on our council. And all those reasons add up to a yes vote from me on May 4.
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Many thanks to Roxanne Quimby for her vision and generosity of offering to give 70,000 acres for the proposed Maine Woods National Park.
Let us not lose sight that the proposed acreage for the national park is 3.2 million acres, leaving 3.1 million acres left to be protected after Roxanne’s contribution. This area is part of the 10 million acre heart of Maine’s Great North Woods. The Maine Woods National Park deserves the entire 3.2 million acres, so let us allow Roxanne Quimby and Percival Baxter to be an inspiration to all of us to do what we can to promote and support the creation of this park.
Percival Baxter gave his gift of land to the people of Maine. Let us all work together to do our part to give a national park to all species, human and wild. In a state that boasts 21 million acres, we can afford to protect 3.2 million.
Lee Ann Szelog
Poor job firing Cindy
The new athletic director at The University of Maine, Steve Abbott, showed no class in the way he performed his first act as AD. The manner in which he informed the press that he (the Harvard grad) fired one of the University of Maine’s greatest athletes, showed no understanding of how the university operates.
The worst part of his firing Cindy Blodgett (I believe without cause) was his statement that he would have no trouble paying off her contract for next year. He could get the $109,772 from a private source. Being a “Harvard man” and not a “Maine man,” I suppose money is easy to access. Private money, that is.
The part that bothers me most, as a 1942 UMaine grad and former UMaine athlete and coach, is the crass way Abbott administered the firing of one of the state’s and University of Maine’s greatest and most respected athletes. He showed no respect and should be admonished for his ineptitude.
Nat Crowley, Sr.
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Wasteful wind power
I would like to thank Professor Mark Anderson for his common-sense comments on America’s questionable and probably foolhardy gamble on wind power (“Dangers of rushing into the next clean energy fad,” BDN OpEd, March 29). Our elected officials should heed his words and work quickly to rescue Maine from its misguided wind policy before more of our state’s unique value is sacrificed for so little return.
Prof. Anderson is spot-on with his comparison of wind power to ethanol. Wind power is Maine’s ethanol program. It’s our bridge to nowhere. It’s the conduit through which federal taxpayers’ money flows into Maine to feed a few large construction concerns and a handful of other discrete interests. It seems to be the opinion of Maine’s wind promoters that wasting federal money isn’t really wasteful when it’s wasted in Maine.
Wind power is apparently very exciting for those who accept their public policy and spending without plausible explanations, accountability or facts. Many of us who used to think ourselves more fortunate to live in the hills and mountains of rural Maine have our eyes — and minds — wide open, and what we’re seeing and learning is not the least bit exciting.
Perhaps it’s because most Mainers will never have to live under these taxpayer-funded white elephants that so many of them never ask the simplest of questions about this illusory energy source. If they did, the knowledge gained would be transformative. A public educated with the truths of wind power could prove lethal to Maine’s current wind policy.