LETTERS

Wednesday, May 29, 2013: Toxic chemicals, cigarettes and property taxes

Posted May 28, 2013, at 12:52 p.m.

Pass LD 1181

Protecting pregnant mothers and our children from harmful chemicals seems like an issue everyone can agree on. The Legislature is presently considering a bill — LD 1181, An Act to

F urther Strengthen the Protection of Pregnant Women and Children from Toxic Chemicals. This bill would move us closer to getting bisphenol A and other toxic chemicals out of our food supply. It would require the largest food manufacturers to report their use of Maine’s priority chemicals, including BPA, in their packaging.

The Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association, which represents more than 7,000 households and 420 certified organic food producers, encourages people to contact their legislators in support of LD 1181.

In the past, Maine has seen large manufacturers respond to market restrictions and public pressure by abandoning their use of harmful chemicals like BPA. This has been evident with reusable plastic containers, as well as infant formula and baby food packaging.

The same is possible with canned food. Large companies such as Campbell’s Soup Company or Del Monte Foods can demand BPA-free cans or jar lids at an affordable price. Then, smaller food producers, including Maine’s food businesses, could also access BPA-free packaging at an affordable cost.

Maine parents have a right to know what is in the food they serve their children. And Maine’s small food producers will benefit from the market influence of billion-dollar food manufacturers. Passing LD 1181 is a win-win for Maine families and businesses.

Chris Hamilton

Whitefield

 

Cell phone curse

My compliments to Linda Harvey for her May 25 BDN letter titled “Compassionate society?” The letter referred to people who drove by her 92-year-old mother who had fallen on the sidewalk.

The people who failed to stop to help her mother were probably texting or talking on a cell phone. The curse of our society.

Richard W. Sykes

Rockland

 

Butt out

I was astonished at Gov. Paul LePage’s inference that cigarette smokers are “responsible.” Responsible for what? Littering our Earth with cigarette butts? I pick up the garbage in my neighborhood, and most of it is cigarette butts.

I’ve named these irresponsible smokers “mindless flickers.” Last I heard, littering is a crime. I challenge all cigarette smokers to dispose of their butts responsibly.

While I’m on the subject of litter, please do not celebrate anything by releasing balloons into the air. They end up in the ocean and are misconstrued as food by ocean dwellers because they can look like jellyfish. Seals, birds, turtles and other sea life have washed ashore, strangled to death from balloons, plastics and other man-made stuff that can’t be digested.

Jackie Freitas

Friendship

Taxing situation

Property tax increases are coming to some of Maine’s residents who are the least able to pay more, and most of whom have no control over these increases.

Here are some numbers from Addison: According to a BDN story, residents voted at a town meeting to build a new fire station. The total cost will be more than $700,000 if one considers the amount of interest that will be paid on the loan. This will also result in an increase of about 2.5 percent to property taxes, according to a brochure from the fire department.

SAD37′s 2013-14 budget increase for the town of Addison proposed an additional $168,000, an increase of almost 10 percent, according to superintendent Ron Ramsey who spoke at an Addison town meeting earlier this month.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Addison’s population in the 2010 census was 1,266; the number of families below the poverty level was 12.5 percent; the median earnings for workers was $19,191.

Can these residents afford an increase to their property taxes? And what if the homestead exemption and the tax rebate program are eliminated? How many households who are already struggling to pay their heating bills could afford these increases?

Lynne Horst

Addison

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