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Friday, Oct. 21, 2011: Casinos, the 61 percent and Frank Higgins

Help Washington County

The Passamaquoddy Tribe in Indian Township wants to build a racino in Washington County. To do this, they need the help from the rest of the state. They are asking us to support Question 2 on Nov. 8, that would allow a racino to be built in Biddeford and Washington County with part of the profits from these facilities going to support specific state and local programs.

There is no question there is a need for economic development that will create jobs and provide a revenue base for Washington County. Maine is also in need of additional revenues as we slowly try to recover from the worst recession since the Great Depression.

Calais has supported the tribe’s effort to establish gaming in Washington County for nearly 20 years. In November 2007, Calais residents and Washington County voted in favor of a harness racing track with slot machines and high-stakes bingo to be located in Calais. Last November, during the general election with a heavy voter turnout, voters spoke by approving the Oxford County casino referendum.

You no longer have to wonder if the people want legalized gambling in the state. That has already been determined. Washington County needs jobs and the voters can help. Vote for jobs. Vote Yes on Question 2.

Diane Barnes

Calais City Manager

Gagnon missed point

BDN columnist Matthew Gagnon devoted a recent column (“ Maine’s minority governors,” Oct. 7) to casting aspersions on the “We are the 61 percent who did not vote for Paul LePage” campaign. He calls us, among other things, “smug,” “self-righteous” and “sore losers.”

Like LePage himself, Gagnon has missed the point. The 61 percent campaign, which is a project of Maine’s Majority, both of which I direct, is not about crying over election results. It is about the belief that in a democracy, elected officials must serve the needs of the people.

Since taking office, LePage has pursued an agenda hostile to the concerns of most Mainers. He gave tax breaks to the wealthy even as he asked working families to tighten their belts. He allowed corporations and their lobbyists to write laws governing health care, environmental protection and voting rights. He gave cushy jobs to family members.

Past governors of Maine were indeed elected by less than 50 percent of the popular vote. But unlike LePage, they knew they had a duty to represent all Mainers. LePage does not have a mandate from the people. Until he begins to act accordingly, the other 61 percent will continue to make our voices heard.

Chris Korzen


Elation to shock

As the family of Katherine Poor, who was murdered by Frank Higgins in 1999, we are very disappointed with the Oct. 8 BDN article “Police arrest Maine State Prison inmate” and want to set the record straight.

Our elation that he is possibly going to serve a longer prison term was replaced by shock by the end of the article. Once again, the news media is making it sound like the victim’s fault. The statement printed (that Katherine “came after him with a knife”) was taken from one of many Higgins made during the lengthy police interview which included many different versions of what happened that night.

Higgins never made that statement again, not even to his lawyers. Nowhere in the court records is there any evidence that indicated she was anything other than an innocent victim of a brutal act of domestic violence. Why the BDN felt it necessary to print what they did is beyond us and for those who are not familiar with the facts from 12 years ago, our beloved Kathy did not attack him with a knife or any other weapon. She was tortured, murdered and then sexually assaulted by a cruel, evil person who has proven again that he is right where he belongs.

Ann Kenny


O’Connor for Belfast

What a great place to live. It has been an exciting time in Belfast this year, with new businesses, waterfront developments, the achievements of our students, schools and many more despite difficult economic times.

As I think about our many assets in our small city, my thoughts are drawn to our most important resource, the people of Belfast. Some call us eclectic, diverse, hardworking and more. Together we are a community that reaches out to each other.

The countless events initiated, organized and staffed by volunteers throughout the year are evidence of who we are. Whether it is a public supper or a festival on the waterfront, a sports event or school activity we can be proud of this spirit in Belfast.

In the election this fall I am running for the office of mayor. Like other communities, there are many challenges and issues that will be facing our little city. As mayor, I will help lead the effort to meet these challenges as they arise, listen to the concerns of our residents, support our businesses, take an active role in promotion and economic development, work to bring more jobs to the area and be a strong advocate for sound financial planning, as I represent all the residents of Belfast.

I ask for your support and vote on Nov. 8.

Jim O’Connor


Cursing the fan

It never ceases to amaze me how the BDN editorial board can look reality in the face and deny it. It may have given the Americans at the Alamo the courage to go on, but in this economic disaster, it’s more like a delusional suicide note.

The Oct. 15-16 editorial again distorts the circumstances of a situation. While it’s true that Obama’s job’s bill is languishing in Congress, it is because Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nevada, first refused to bring it to the floor of the Senate for a vote and when forced to do so lost that vote because two Democratic senators joined the Republicans in saying no to another foolish stimulus bill.

“The president’s strategy, which undoubtedly would crate jobs soon, is based on proven Keynesian economics…” Really? The last few times Keynesian economics have been forced on us it has resulted in over 9 percent unemployment and another couple trillion dollars in debt. Now he proposes another $447 billion dollars be borrowed from China to dig the hole of indebtedness even deeper.

The reason companies will not hire is because of the crushing load of new regulations, threat of higher taxes, explosion of Obamacare expenses and selective punitive attacks by the Department of Justice. The Obama administration and the editorial board of this paper, having stuck their finger into a rotating fan, screamed in pain and cursed the fan, are intent on sticking their finger right back into it.

Jerry Bono


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