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Letters to the Editor for April 14, 2011


LePage follow-up

I still want to know which two communities in Maine are about to go bankrupt, as Gov. LePage reported. Has he rescued them from the perils of financial ruin? If so, let’s give his administration kudos. If not, why not? How is LePage helping these communities stay afloat? Or were his remarks a lie?

And by the way, I was a division director at Vocational Rehabilitation in the Department of Labor when the mural and conference rooms were named. I know because I named one the “Able ME” room. The name meant every Mainer could be able given the opportunity for education, training and work. This name represented the very critical work that Vocational Rehabilitation provides to assist Mainers with disabilities to get and keep jobs that pay a living wage.

I am outraged that the LePage administration would behave so demeaning toward our state’s people by removing the mural and renaming these conference rooms. May they awaken one day to find themselves in the hardships that many Mainers live through every day.

Let us lift each other to better times because we are Mainers. Let’s show LePage and his people that we the people of Maine don’t care for his bullish behavior.

Penny Plourde


Green-light Biddeford racino

I am a lifelong harness racing fan. Hollywood Slots has helped invigorate Maine harness racing, an industry that puts millions of dollars into the economy through services such as feed, training, veterinary and of course gambling revenue. Please contact your legislators to support the Biddeford Downs project without another state wide referendum. We do not need to keep voting over and over on the same issue.

Biddeford Downs was approved by a large margin. Voters have already approved a “racino” in Southern Maine. With the expertise of the owners of Scarborough Downs and Tom Walsh of Ocean Properties, this is the right project at the right time for Maine. This is not just another casino, it is a complete entertainment complex that will support over 500 jobs that average $35,000 per year.

New York, Delaware and Pennsylvania have all approved racinos at harness tracks and have seen a resurgence in growth of the harness racing industry and revenue to their respective states.

We have two reputable Maine companies with their checkbooks open willing to start a $200 million project that will employ 800 construction workers. If Maine is really “Open for business,” let’s get people back to work now.

Rick Skoglund


Biddeford racino needed

I want to impress upon people the importance of LD 1203 for the future of harness racing in Maine.

I have been in the harness racing industry all of my life. I’m a third generation participant in the sport. My wife and I run a stable out of the barns at Hollywood Slots Hotel and Raceway. This is how we support our family.

While the racing in Bangor has helped bolster our purses, a racino in southern Maine is needed for our sport to survive and flourish again. The Bangor racino is not fully integrated. Patrons across Main Street have no contact with the raceway and increased patron visibility is a must to draw the crowds back to our historical and proud sport. A new racino in Biddeford will be fully integrated so harness racing can be successfully showcased in all its glory.

Maine voters fully supported a racino in southern Maine, but because of a time limit, Biddeford lost out on the boost to its struggling economy. The racing in Biddeford would provide 500 full time jobs and 800 construction jobs.

The will of the people was made clear in 2003, and in the referendum for the Oxford casino. The people want more jobs; they want to help preserve the history and tradition of harness racing in Maine; they want revenue to help lower taxes and support worthy state programs.

I cannot stress enough the importance of this legislation on my family’s future, and the future of many families.

Steve Vafiades


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