LETTERS

Saturday/Sunday, Feb. 4-5, 2012: Wind power, MaineCare and UM basketball

Posted Feb. 03, 2012, at 1:04 p.m.

Wind is business

During tough economic times, it would normally be prudent to welcome with open arms a business that is looking to invest in the Maine economy. If there is one business that has been investing heavily in the Maine economy in the last four years, it is the wind industry.

Here in Oakfield, we’re excited to welcome First Wind’s planned Oakfield project to our town. It will mean jobs, more tax revenues for the community and more business in town. We’ve worked for more than four years to build real public support for a wind project.

But I recently learned that the staff of the Maine Public Utilities Commission recommended against a proposed business venture between First Wind and Emera. I am concerned that rejecting this deal could jeopardize investment in Maine and small communities would stand to lose.

The PUC has an important job, but at the same time it needs to recognize that its actions could have negative impacts on local communities across the state. I urge the PUC to find a middle ground and keep the needs of towns such as Oakfield in mind. We must not turn away from long term energy independence and real investment in small Maine communities.

David Gordon

President

Katahdin Forest Products Company

Oakfield

Health care over tax breaks

Gov. LePage’s proposal to cut 65,000 low income children, the elderly and disabled from MaineCare cuts while giving tax breaks to those earning more than $200,000 is an unfair way to fill the shortfall in the budget.

The people who are most vulnerable should not be made to suffer more while the wealthiest in our state continue to enjoy tax breaks. People will still get sick and need care, but they will be forced to turn to much more expensive emergency and crisis care that will have to be paid somehow.

According to the Maine Center for Economic Policy, if we simply restored Maine’s 2010 tax rate for people earning more than $200,000 per year and the top 1 percent who earn more than $354,746 a year (6,700 households), this would generate about $72 million a year. MCEP also points out that based on 2009 figures, the top 1 percent had an effective state and local tax rate approximately 12 percent lower then the average for all Maine people.

Shouldn’t they pay their fair share so that their state and local tax rate isn’t lower

than that of the average Maine family? Shouldn’t those with incomes of more than $200,000 per year be asked help to make sure low-income children, the elderly and the disabled have the health care that could mean life or death?

Ilze Petersons

Orono

Go, UMaine women

I would like to express my congratulations to UMaine women’s basketball head coach Richard Barron.

After six long years of decline and loss of fan interest, it is good to believe that UMaine is starting its long climb back to respectability. The last few games have shown a renewed spark and the will to battle all the time.

As a longtime fan, I look forward to seeing them once again in the Big Dance in March.

Good luck the rest of this season and the seasons to come.

Terry Lyon

Medway

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