LETTERS

Monday, September 30, 2013: Kindness, the east-west corridor and veterans

Posted Sept. 30, 2013, at 8:34 a.m.

Thanks, appreciation

As members of Rick Whitmore’s family, we would like to take this opportunity to extend our sincere appreciation to the many people who expended their efforts and energy a couple weeks ago in “whittling” Whitmore’s wood pile down to a usable fuel for the winter.

This kindness and consideration are elements in life that money cannot buy. Thank you to all of you from the bottom of our hearts for these noble deeds.

Betty Jean “B.J.” Maybury

Maurice “Bud” Pierce

Brewer

Change is good

Your “change is good” ad campaign leading up to the redesigned BDN was clever, but incomplete. You did not mention that each page of the “new” BDN would be nearly 10 percent smaller than it used to be. What gave it away? The comics. Fitting already cramped comic strips on an 11.5-inch page instead of a 12.25-inch page made Garfield thin and Mark Trail nearly skeletal.

When the state tax on newspapers goes into effect in October, may I suggest that the BDN lower the newsstand and subscription prices so that consumers pay the same as they are paying now. After all, we are getting almost 10 percent less of the BDN.

Michael Sirota

Searsmont

Monson No. 1

On Sept. 4, 2012, the town of Monson passed a “Moratorium Ordinance Regarding Private Corridors To Include Paved Highways, Pipelines and High Tension Transmission Lines.” During the pursuing year, the planning board worked on amendments to the land use ordinance with the help of a consultant.

On August 19, the town of Monson held a public hearing with a town meeting immediately following to vote on amendments to the land use ordinance and to enact a “Natural Resource Extraction Ordinance.”

These amendments and new ordinance are to protect the inhabitants’ welfare, health and safety.

This amended Land Use Ordinance and Natural Resource Extraction Ordinance is the first in the state to pass language limiting the passage of the “east/west corridor.” If such an entity wants to construct this type of corridor through Monson, they will have to petition the town of Monson selectmen for a change of use in the land use ordinance, and hence the decision would be up to the voters of Monson.

Cynthia Turner

Monson Planning Board chairperson

Monson

Revenue and taxes

Gov. Paul LePage’s proposal to eliminate state income taxes in Maine’s poorest county is a great idea and of course a welcome one to Washington County residents. Nobody enjoys paying taxes, of course.

Since the good governor does not live in the Sunrise County, he clearly has no ulterior motives for his proposal.

However, the drop in state revenue this plan suggests means that taxpayers in the rest of the state will see an increase in taxes, somewhere. As mariners used to say, “Aye, there’s the rub.”

The fact is that while there are many people in Washington County who live below, at, or near the poverty line, there are some who have incomes far above it. They would surely appreciate not paying state income tax, but in truth they do not need that assistance, not really. Others in the state who may not have the good fortune of living Down East are certainly more worthy of such a break.

Therefore, nice as LePage’s plan is, it might be more equitable if there were a level at which the income tax break does not apply — say, anyone making two times or three times the poverty level would still owe income tax. It would certainly be an arbitrary number — but aren’t all tax rates? Any revenue the state collects in this manner might be applied to ease the burden of the poor in other areas of Maine. It would be a much more complex system, but it would also be fairer.

This is all assuming that the governor’s proposal is not intended to reward some wealthy contributors who will profit for a year or two. But that is a different issue.

Steve Colhoun

Addison

Good and bad

The BDN has touted for weeks that “Change is Good!” But, “Paper late is bad.”

Perry Amsden

Brewer

Freedom, not free

We honor our military, whether serving overseas or at home. When you attend a function of a service organization such as the American Legion, VFW, etc., you are helping us to help our military from the time they enter the service until they die.

We greet them at the airport; we send packages to those fighting the war; we offer help in many ways to the homeless veterans; and we do not forget them when they are living in a veteran’s home or in their own home. We need your help to help them, so consider attending a dinner or some other function at your local Legion or VFW or other service organization.

Kathy Robinson

New Sweden

Deficit problem

What is wrong with the Democrats with their “Affordable Care Act” and other non-American ideas? Americanism is capitalism, not to be confused with greed or communism. Where do they get the idea that a full-time employee would be anything less than 40 hours a week? It is only good business and good for the bottom line to not pay benefits to all employees. When employees work more than 40 hours, they are subject to overtime pay. It is much better to have part-time employees, no benefits and still get them to work extra, up to 40 hours and not be forced to pay extra.

Why should the government help those with no health insurance join larger groups to get access to better rates? After all, many of these companies now have a 20-percent profit margin. If some of these rates go down, that might affect their profit.

Social Security, another entitlement program, we are told is going to run out of money. Why should the government care about the retired population, especially when less than one-third of the U.S. workforce are offered a retirement program through their employer?

We need to spend our money wiser, like the billions to our friends in Egypt or the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Could that be part of our deficit problem?

Jim Flavin

New Sweden

 

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