Wednesday, June 6, 2012: Prescription drug abuse, tax fairness and LePage

Posted June 05, 2012, at 4:56 p.m.

Lake taxes

My wife and I own a cottage on Lake Wassookeag and our son and his family have recently purchased a summer home on the lake. My point is this: to a lot of us the lake is, and has been, an important part of our lives and we feel that anything that might affect it adversely should not be allowed to happen. From what I heard in the Dexter Town Council chambers last week, I would say that there should be no changes made to the zoning regulations around this lake for any reason. It appears to me that the lake is the only viable water supply for Dexter. Stormwater abatement on Abbott Hill is not possible, razing the old high/middle school is too expensive, another road down the hill is not possible, and the list goes on.

I would urge the town planning board, code enforcement officer and any others involved with approving/disapproving zoning changes to think long and hard about what they may be doing in the name of economic development. The best way to make use of Lake Wassookeag as an engine of economic growth is to keep it clean and unspoiled and allow nothing to be done that might create problems in the future. Like many nonresident property owners around the lake, who pay generous taxes but make few demands on taxpayer services, we hope our collective voices will be heard. I hope all who make the ultimate decision on this proposed development will be guided to make the best ruling possible.

Lawrence Jacobs

Corinna

Drug abuse

I believe we do have a problem with prescription drug abuse here in Maine. I also believe that Gov. LePage is overemphasizing it to promote his personal agenda against the people who abuse the drugs, not the problem itself.

Drug abuse is a problem in itself, but even more than that, I believe it is a symptom of a greater ill. Being curious and wanting to educate myself about social problems, I did a little research, and Maine does indeed have one of the highest rates of prescription (i.e. opiates) drug abuse, but not in overall substance abuse. So, I wondered, why is Maine so high in prescription drug abuse? The answer: because we are a very rural state, and the illegal stuff doesn’t get here. Otherwise, if you do a little research, Maine has about the same rate as other New England states, Rhode Island being the highest, with little or no treatment for it. So now the folks with chronic pain, who already go through the third degree, are going to be told to stop taking them unless they go through more treatments that cost money and have questionable degrees of effectiveness. Oh wait, but LePage wants to cut programs that help people get off drugs.

What a waste of time, energy and resources. I thought elected officials were supposed to represent the people, not abuse their power to promote their own agenda of hate and discrimination.

Arin Quintel

Berwick

Candidate in District 34

Dan Levesque is running as the Democratic candidate for District 34 for the State Senate. Having known Dan for the better part of 28 years, I’ll tell you that he will be a strong candidate for District 34. Dan does not lack in is his hard work ethic and his ability to take charge of a situation and get things done. This was evident as I worked for Dan and the family-owned J. Paul Levesque and Son’s lumber mill beginning in 1985. The operations were maintained at a high level under his leadership. As general manager he played a large part in the profitable years for the family-owned business. Dan was also a very influential part of the Route 11 and 212 corridor improvements in the mid-1990′s, serving as the vice chairman.

I worked with Dan as a member of the Portage Hills Country Club board of directors for the past 10 years. Dan has demonstrated his leadership skills and involvement on various committees that served the golf course well. Dan has a strong business background going back to his 35 years with the sawmill business and as past owner of an office supply and Internet business. He would be a strong advocate for all the businesses in northern Maine. He will promote job growth in this area, as he did in helping bring an industrial park, cogeneration plant and spec building to the Ashland area.

Vote for Dan Levesque, Democratic candidate for District 34, for the Maine State Senate.

Michael Cote

Ashland

Taxing lessons

I like the idea of taxes. It’s all of us paying to do the things each of us can’t do by themselves: good paved roads and sidewalks, the interstate highway system, my town plowing the roads in the winter.

I also like helping folks when they can’t help themselves. A small change, job loss, illness, divorce can turn a life upside down very fast. Sure, most of us can “pull ourselves up by our bootstraps,” but some of us don’t even have shoes, never mind boots. I wish sometimes I had a little more say over where the money goes. Perhaps we could have a check-off on our tax forms to say that I don’t want to pay for any more wars, but I do want to pay to protect and feed kids and old people. I don’t think that I should be paying for the chaos that was 2008- present on Wall Street and elsewhere. I do think that our air, water, land and fauna should be protected, our meat and other food inspected. I am happy to pay for enough workers to make sure that bridges are safe and drugs are pure.

The first lesson folks seem to learn when they are financially well off is how to game the system so that the “little people” pay the most and they the least. I think the idea of taxes is based on fairness, but it would be hard to make that case looking at what we’ve got today.

Karen Tolstrup

Old Town

Celebration in Washington County

I read (BDN May 31) that Washington County will be celebrating June 9 at Machias the first naval battle of the Revolutionary War, the taking of the British schooner Margaretta by a group of Machias patriots June 12, 1775, in the Machias Harbor.

The records show that the first naval encounter of the war took place May 14, 1775, almost a month after Lexington and Concord, on the waters of Buzzard’s Bay south of the town of Fairhaven, Mass., then a part of Dartmouth, by a force of Fairhaven men commanded by Captains Nathaniel Pope and Daniel Egery in the sloop Success. They captured two British sloops and their crews.

Dee C. Brown Jr.

Bangor

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