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Friday, August 16, 2013: Salmon, small business growth and the dangers of pornography

Opposed to porn

I am opposed to all forms of pornography, whether it’s strip clubs, topless bars, magazine subscriptions, cable television or on the Internet.

I believe this type of behavior leads to disrespect of young girls and women. We, as a society, need to speak out on the dangers of this kind of behavior. Men, in particular, must have the moral courage to speak out on the dangers of pornography. Do not worry what others say; those men have no character and look like fools.

Joe Riitano Sr.


More is less

Voters in the eight RSU 19 towns will head to the polls on Aug. 20 to consider approving the current fiscal year’s budget. The first attempt was defeated in a close vote in June.

There have been some important changes from the earlier version of the budget for this second try, including a reduction in local allocation for every town in the RSU from the first attempt. Eight towns will be asked to raise almost $191,000 less than what was proposed in June. Two towns will pay less than last year. In the other six towns, the increase ranges from 0.2 percent to 3.66 percent.

Here are some other key facts.

For 2014, voters will be asked to approve $22.6 million to support 2,241students or $10,170 per pupil, a decrease of $150 per student from the prior year. That budget amount would mean voters would approve spending $674,429, or 3 percent more than the state’s Essential Programs and Services model, but less than the larger, almost 8 percent, increase from last year.

A revenue stabilization loan and shifting teacher retirement costs to the district has added more than $700,000 in costs. Neither was part of the 2013 budget. Without these expenses, the operating budget would have been more than $1.3 million less than last year. Comparisons of average expenditures per student reveal that RSU 19 operates at almost $1,300 per student less than the state average over the eight schools.

Gregory Potter, RSU 19 superintendent


Creating jobs

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, has once again demonstrated that she understands how jobs are created in our economy.

The manufacturing sector has an important role to play by creating jobs up and down the supply chain. Starting and growing a manufacturing business can be extremely challenging because manufacturing is capital intensive. For small businesses, this can be a harsh reality.

Collins has authored legislation that would ease this burden by allowing companies that purchase equipment or upgrade their facilities to more rapidly deduct the cost of their investment.

The Small Business Tax Certainty and Growth Act achieves this partly by making permanent the maximum allowable deduction under Section 179 of the tax code, a provision that has changed three times in the past six years and is scheduled to change again next year.

The bill would also allow more small businesses to use the simpler cash method of accounting, saving both costs and confusion. And, of particular concern to companies that are just starting out, Collins’ bill would double the tax deduction for start-up expenses, from $5,000 to $10,000.

The Manufacturers Association of Maine thanks Collins for introducing this legislation, which would give manufacturers and other small business owners the certainty and tax relief they need to grow their businesses, create well-paying jobs and move our economy forward.

Lisa G. Martin, Manufacturers Association of Maine executive director


Derek Volk, Volk Packaging vice president


Bear facts

Maine’s bear hunting practices violate the principles of fair chase. Trapping, baiting and the use of dogs are all inhumane and cruel hunting practices. It is hard to understand how a state like Maine can allow such terrible abuses to be inflicted on our black bears. In fact Maine is the only state to exercise all three.

Trappers have reported bears chewing their own limbs off in order to escape. Dogs can be killed or maimed from fighting with such large animals. Baiting habituates bears to human food sources, increasing the chances that they could seek out such food sources and thus come into conflict with humans.

The Mainers for Fair Bear Hunting coalition has just launched a campaign to end these cruel bear hunting practices. The campaign will be collecting signatures to ensure fair bear hunting for Maine’s future on the November 2014 ballot.

Jacqueline O’Donnell


Agree with Heath

I am happy that someone has written about “transgenderism” as being accepted as normal or that gay marriage is OK with God. I agree with Michael Heath, former executive director of the Christian Civic League, and all the values that he and others like him aren’t afraid to talk about.

When I was young, it wasn’t abnormal to walk in public with your Bible in your hand. It wasn’t abnormal to pray and sing to God in public. But now it seems you can’t even say his name — unless it’s used in vain. What is this world coming to?

It is true that the morals and even manners that we should be teaching our children are not being taught. I think it is because of the breakdown of the home.

The Bible has all the answers to all questions. And, it’s a shame, no, a sin, that we all don’t follow the words that Jesus teaches.

“Mainers need to get their heart right with God, along with true Christian leaders,” Heath says. And he is right, worse is on its way. We must get right with God.

Lisa Thomas


Salmon correction

I suspect that the article on the failure of salmon to return to their former haunts is only partially correct, and it has little to do with climate change.

When salmon spawned in many of our rivers, those rivers were full of smelt and alewives. The smelt provided forage for incoming salmon, and the alewife hatchlings provided forage for young salmon on their way out to sea.

In one year in the 1880s Thomaston shipped out 48 tons of smelt on the railroad, bound for Boston and New York. That was not an unusually large amount compared to the smelt catch in other similar streams.

With the destruction of the forage base and with offshore seiners killing returning salmon, it’s a wonder that there are any salmon left at all.

Want to recover our anadromous fisheries? Stop the offshore slaughter of their adults along with their forage base, and bring back the smelt, tomcod and cunner that provided forage for returning salmon once they were in their natal rivers.

William Leavenworth


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