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Saturday, Sept. 14, 2013: Steve Abbott, population crisis and Syria

Abbott thanks

Congratulations and words of sincere appreciation to Steve Abbott, Sen. Susan Collins and possibly also University of Maine administrators at the highest levels. Abbott’s departure as the University of Maine’s athletic director and his return to the senatorial office staff of Collins in “one fell swoop” will significantly improve both the administration of athletics at UMaine and the staff effort of Collins in Washington and around the state of Maine.

Chuck Roundy



On the one hand, economist Charles Colgan tells us, “Without 60,000 new arrivals in the next 20 years, Maine is doomed.”

On the other hand, sociologist Amy Blackstone is getting national coverage for advocating a childless lifestyle.

Are we doomed? Maine’s aging population is a problem. Is it unsolvable? After World War II, Canada tackled the problem by giving a “baby bonus” for every child born. In 1988 Quebec awarded parents up to $8,000 per child. Other countries also have baby bonus programs. Should the state of Maine consider such a means to mitigate our aging problem and avoid doomsday?

John Chandler


Syria lies

I’ve been waiting a long time for Secretary of State John Kerry to say something truthful about Syria — or about anything for that matter — and he has finally done so, albeit inadvertently. Kerry said a U.S. air strike against Syria would be “unbelievably small.” Unbelievable, indeed.

The Obama administration got U.N. authorization to bomb eastern Libya in order to protect civilians, and ended up bombing all over Libya in a clear act of regime change, replacing Libyan dictator Moammar Gaddafi with brand new thugs, at the cost of thousands of civilian deaths and the wrecking of the Libyan economy. And Kerry’s been telling us for years that things are going just peachy in Afghanistan. Right.

Enough of the lies. In saying the bombing of Syria would be “unbelievably small,” Kerry has shown once again that to get his war he’s willing to say anything, even the truth.

Lawrence Reichard


Financial ruin?

People in Maine pay high income and sales taxes compared with New Hampshire and Vermont. If this does not change, I will move to one of those states in a few years when I will be eligible to retire. I know many people who have moved out of state for this reason. This will surely bring the average age of the state’s population down, which is what financial planners are concerned with. Of course, there will be a new problem: fewer people to pay taxes.

Jon Greenberg


No strike

The use of chemical weapons in Syria requires the response of the United Nations. There are 189 nations who have signed the Chemical Weapons Convention. The U.S. should set up a meeting of these countries. They are required to respond to this violation.

The U.S. should also ask the International Criminal Court to find out who used chemical weapons and bring them to justice.

Today Syria has shown it is willing to sign the Chemical Weapons Convention and give up its chemical weapons to the U.N. This proposal should be reviewed and a timeline developed.

A military response to the use of chemical weapons should be a last resort and used only if all means of diplomacy, sanctions, the U.N. and the International Criminal Court have failed. This option could kill more people and is not guaranteed to stop the future use of chemical weapons.

I call on our Reps. Chellie Pingree and Mike Michaud and Sens. Angus King and Susan Collins to not authorize a military strike at this time.

Kathryn Bourgoin



Getting results

The one bright spot I spot I see in population growth is the Amish and Mennonite families that have moved to this area. I understand there are 22 families living in Bridgewater. Easton, Fort Fairfield and Island Falls also have communities that I am aware of. They buy old farms, raise their families, crops and animals, and they built new barns, schools and a church in Bridgewater. They mostly all seem to have a trade; they are good carpenters, welders, farmers and mechanics.

I do not know of any involvement the local or state government has had in encouraging more of this in-migration. How about studying and encouraging this operation? Maine indeed needs more new population. I would like to know that someone in state and local government is addressing this problem from all angles and getting results.

Bob Tweedie


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