Tuesday, July 2, 2013: LePage, Katz and cyclists

Posted July 01, 2013, at 10:06 a.m.

Irreverent governor

Regarding the BDN June 28 headline, “Has LePage become irrelevant?,”I think the word you were “looking for” was irreverent. It’s painfully clear to me that he is characterized by both of those words and is an embarrassment to his own party as well as the great state of Maine.

Diane Herring

Hermon

 

End discrimination

The Supreme Court’s decision to give equality to same-sex married couples is a step in the right direction. But it doesn’t end discrimination against unmarried people.

Marriage offers special rights and benefits, such as hospital visitation, inheritance, tax, survivor benefits and property rights to spouses. That leaves out unmarried partners, single people with a special person in their lives, someone wanting a child or grandparent to receive something instead of the other half of a couple (like survivor benefits), or some other person with a loving relationship whose friend is denied the same benefits that married couples are offered.

Maybe I don’t have a spouse but want one special relative to visit me in the hospital. Sorry, spouses only. Or have someone other than my spouse receive survivor benefits. Not allowed. Marriage gives spouses special rights that others can’t have.

I hope those who fought so hard for and supported the rights of same-sex couples for marriage equality will also work for equal rights for unmarried people.

Larry Dansinger

Monroe

 

Bike safety

At 73 years young, I have walked, cycled, hiked and driven for many, many years, and I’m still doing all but hiking. I have seen bad walkers, hikers, cyclists and drivers. A new law will certainly change that for the worse. Paraphrasing Elizabeth Barrett Browning, “How do I see thee new cyclist safety law? Let me count the ways.”

One, I get to determine where it is “safest” to ride. As in walking, that is facing traffic. That solves the “right hook” problem, and I don’t have to rely on a non-required mirror to see overtaking traffic. My wife disagrees and will ride on the right. Who knows where a 6-year-old will decide. Chaos.

Two, a collision between a motor vehicle and a cyclist while passing is “prima facie” evidence that the motor vehicle is in violation of the law. Now where do I park, let alone drive? If I clip a parked car’s side mirror while cycling past, that car’s owner is at fault. Chaos.

Three, I can never make a right turn while driving. Even when I am sitting at a red light with my right turn signal flashing, the cyclist on my left, their defined safe lane, might make a right turn as well as the cyclist on my right and the cyclist on the sidewalk — their defined safe lanes. Chaos.

Four, this law applies to skateboarders and herded animals. Enough said.

Jim Miller

Pittsfield

 

Katz comments

I’d like to thank Sen. Roger Katz, R-Augusta, for his thoughtful words regarding the political climate in Augusta. My husband, John C. Schneck, is a freshman Democratic legislator representing District 16 in Bangor. He, too, has related that healthy, respectful debates do occur between Democrats and Republicans to address the challenges and opportunities that face the state of Maine. He, too, has been dismayed by Gov. Paul LePage’s behavior, which has obstructed the legislative process.

Differing views allow individuals to consider many aspects of a problem and/or situation so that creative solutions can emerge. Katz’s comments make me hopeful that all Maine senators and legislators will denounce LePage’s tyrannical tactics so that Maine can move forward to advocate for the welfare of all citizens.

Mary Tedesco-Schneck

Bangor

 

Offensive remarks

Why do we keep allowing our governor to make extremely crude, offensive remarks on behalf of the state? Just think how confused and outraged we would be if President Barack Obama or Mitt Romney had used the same language on the campaign last year. How we would feel if Sen. Susan Collins or former Sen. Olympia Snowe used such awful language. Why do we let the governor get away with this? When do we stop lowering the bar for him? I’m sure many citizens are quietly supporting his rhetoric. But think hard about what he said with his recent disgusting comments. This man is unfit to be our governor.

David Puff

Arrowsic

 

Tax reversal day

Instead of resorting to negative rhetoric about the governor, House Speaker Mark Eves, D-North Berwick, should have been trying to solve the state’s budget woes.

He forgot his true purpose as a leader in Maine is to serve the people.

At a time when families are making decisions between groceries and mortgage, the Legislature, “temporarily” increases the sales and meals tax. Millions of dollars out of the pockets of the people, into the coffers of Maine. With quotes like, “We can’t shut down the government” or “did not want to raise taxes, but it’s the best we could do.”

A temporary tax to end in June 2015? All the politicians and all the people of Maine, add that date into your calendars. Call it “tax reversal day.”

I give Eves a challenge: If in two years these “temporary” taxes don’t go away, will he give up his elected position and return to the private sector?

Brian Ferland

Acton

 

Augusta brawl

Thank you to Sen. Roger Katz, R-Augusta for his June 27 BDN OpEd piece. As a long-time moderator of small town annual meetings, I have often thought about what would happen if residents were allowed, by the moderator, to hurl personal, LePage-type insults toward other residents. I have no question that the town meeting would quickly descend into a brawl.

Jake Morrel

Sangerville

 

One vote

When towns that make up RSU 50 went to the polls on June 25 to vote on the proposed school budget, most of its citizens knew that their vote might make no difference in the outcome. And that is exactly what happened. The towns of Sherman, Patten and Stacyville all voted down the school budget, and it still passed. The infamous RSU law that allows one vote count for each person voting isn’t fair. The school board is weighted to prevent towns of less valuation from gaining an unfair advantage. If a superintendent has some towns with higher valuations, and increasing property taxes, while others enjoy reduced or no increase, the communities become pitted against each other.

Those towns with no increase will be all for increases for the sake of our children’s education. The community with the higher valuation is more conservative. Now what happens is the total votes of the towns involved is counted and the majority of those voting wins. So communities lose the power to control where and for what purpose their tax revenue is spent on. RSUs were designed to force the closure of rural schools and disrupt our way of life. Rarely a day goes by that I don’t hear something negative about our schools. The RSU law is unfair and getting out of one gives new meaning to red tape.

David Robinson

Sherman

http://bangordailynews.com/2013/07/01/opinion/letters/tuesday-july-2-2013-lepage-katz-and-cyclists/ printed on September 16, 2014