Friday, May 11, 2012: Dennis Dechaine, income taxes and the east-west highway

Posted May 10, 2012, at 2:32 p.m.

Cleaner Maine

Coal-fired power plants are one of the biggest emitters of carbon dioxide in the county. Right now, these polluters are free to dump unlimited amounts of CO2 into our air. This unregulated air pollution contributes to smog pollution, triggering asthma attacks and permanently damaging the developing lungs of infants and small children. As the tailpipe state of the nation, Maine suffers from some of the poorest air quality and the highest childhood asthma rates in the county. Unbelievable.

That’s why I am thrilled that the Environmental Protection Agency recently released its long-awaited standard to limit carbon pollution from new power plants, the New Source Performance Standard. This is critical to protecting the health of our kids and families. The rule will require any new power plant to emit no more than 1,000 pounds of carbon dioxide per megawatt of electricity produced.

Coupled with forthcoming carbon standards for existing power plants and the steps being taken to cut other dangerous power plant pollutants — soot, smog, mercury and other toxic pollutants — these carbon pollution standards will help protect our health, reduce waste and encourage innovation.

So, with these new standards, we get cleaner Maine communities, cleaner air, healthier children and more jobs. Who can oppose that? I urge Maine Sens. Snowe and Collins to support these important public health standards and not to support attempts in Congress to delay or prevent them.

Gail White

Orono

DNA findings

In the case the state of Maine built against Dennis Dechaine, they claim their investigation and collection of evidence were done with pristine care — well, all except for one piece, and in my humble opinion it is the most crucial of all.

The state claims they used dirty nail clippers when collecting the fingernails from Sarah Cherry. I’m amazed that the only thing that they’ll admit they might have messed up on was the clippers used to remove nails that contain the blood of two people, Sarah and that of an unknown male.

It was decided back in 1994 that Dechaine had been excluded as a donor. Eighteen years ago this was discovered, yet he is still sitting behind bars unable to obtain a retrial. When he was excluded as a donor, the state was left holding the bag and then the dirty nail clipper theory was born. They then tested every person who might have come in contact with Sarah or her fingernails; all have been excluded. Along with this evidence, there is a laundry list of other pertinent evidence which also supports granting this man a retrial.

Prior to the start of his original trial in 1989, Dennis had petitioned for DNA testing, but Judge Bradford denied his request. I pray on May 23 when the hearing based on DNA findings begins that Judge Bradford will finally send this case to a retrial and help restore my faith in the system.

Sheila Ford

Bangor

I-395-Route 9 statements

I am an Eddington resident of at least 25 years. One of the reasons I moved to Eddington was the rural nature, not to mention the school system. Lately, there has been a lot of talk about the I-395 extension proposal. I did not go to the meeting because it is sad to see grown adults whine so much.

Ms. Borrks says that the extension would “hinder development” on Route 9. One can only hope so. Another says that cars will be going 50 mph at that intersection and it’s unsafe. I have a suggestion for those who share that concern: A good way to avoid an accident in that area would be to not pull out in front of a car going 50 mph.

I believe the decision on this issue should be made in the same way the Supreme Court decides its cases: with “the greater good” standard. That project will help the eastern part of the state and help unite the two Maines we all hear about. Don’t let a few influential people decide for the rest of the state.

Gregory Boober Sr.

Eddington

Intelligent taxes

Our governor wants to reduce and eliminate the state income tax, our most efficient tax. Why?

It would be difficult to invent a more efficient tax. Individual tax amounts are easily computed as a fraction of the federal income tax. The state can assign this fractional rate based on each resident’s ability to pay; it need not punish the unemployed or the underpaid. The state can depend on the federal government to ensure everyone files their federal tax form and the state has only to ensure that each Maine resident files a state form.

We shouldn’t be forced to pay wasteful and inefficient taxes. These taxes’ origins can usually be traced to a legislature’s hasty need for additional revenue and their disregard for collection costs. These creative and immediate solutions to perceived problems are sometimes called nuisance taxes.

Is there a persuasive reason why we must have so many different taxes? Each one wastefully requires its own designated state employees. Why couldn’t we eliminate these many taxes and instead collect the lost revenue through the state income tax? The shrinkage of state bureaucracy would produce savings and the greatest savings of all would come from elimination of the sales tax which employs so many state bureaucrats and burdens so many businesses.

We must have government and accordingly, we must have taxes; why can’t we have an intelligent government supported by intelligent taxes?

Richard Sabine

Lewiston

Hollow middle

We in the “hollow middle” are learning about the lack of transparency in the state’s dealings for a east-west corridor. Winners for the corridor would be Cianbro and the Canada-based gas companies. Losers? Mainers.

Gas will travel to New Brunswick seaports. Tourists from southern New Brunswick and southern Quebec province will travel through to Montreal or the Maritimes, not our coastal or forest destinations. What products of Maine need transport across our middle? Canada-owned Maine logs are processed north of Maine. Canadian potatoes feed Canadians.

Generations of homesteads, farms, wildlife, clean water and air in a quiet environment will be replaced by large truck tandems and pipelines. New jobs? Pollution cleaning, tax-funded low-income housing for displaced families ripped off by eminent domain and dead animal removal, perhaps.

Jane Fairchild

Orneville Township

http://bangordailynews.com/2012/05/10/opinion/friday-may-11-2012-dennis-dechaine-income-taxes-and-the-east-west-highway/ printed on April 24, 2014