LETTERS

Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013: Eastport, Mike Michaud and Portland marijuana

Posted Nov. 19, 2013, at 1:05 p.m.

Shame on Eastport

On Nov. 13, the city council of Eastport gave four acres of shorefront property away to Maine Coast Heritage Trust. It’s a nonprofit organization that also purchased Treat Island for $750,000. Thus putting the tax burden on the taxpayers of Eastport. As the third largest taxpayer in Eastport I am disappointed in our council. Shame on it for selling the people out. The city should have sold the lot to them.

Basil Pottle

Eastport

Impressed with Portland

As Election Day has passed, I would like to say I am generally pleased as well as impressed with the city of Portland. Even though Question 1 on the Portland ballot does not apply to me because of my age, I am still excited because hopefully this will pave the way for marijuana legalization in the state of Maine by the time I am 21. I myself am an avid user of marijuana but in no way have supported previous attempts for legalization until now.

With the legalization of marijuana comes a tax; this is not the case with the ordinance in Portland, at least for now. The reason I do not support tax on marijuana is simple: It’s a harmless plant. Placing a tax on it would give, whether it be town or state, government the most control over the plant.

Marijuana has a number of benefits that people should be able to enjoy without a price. Some of these include an immune system boost, a safer alternative to alcohol that is not addictive, a potential cancer treatment, a promoter of neuron growth and halting the progression of some diseases. The substance has even been proven to act as an antidepressant.

I question why anyone would want to place a tax, especially one that will be ridiculously disproportionate, on a plant that is so beneficial, and that should be made available to anyone who wants to indulge in the benefits from it.

Alex Ingram

Orono

Rate increase

The BDN ran the article, ” Bangor Hydro seeks a rate increase” on Nov. 14. One of the most important facts that was not mentioned or reported was the fact that the parent owner of Bangor Hydro is a Canadian company Emera, who happens to own 49 percent of Boston-based First Wind. Bangor Hydro is claiming that the need to increase the rates on Maine’s citizens is based on the “renewable” energy requirements set forth by the Maine Legislature.

Yet, the same company that owns Bangor Hydro is the same company putting up the industrial turbines such as Bull Hill, Mars Hill, Rollins and Stetson. A basic tenet of free-market capitalism and economics is the following: As the supply of any product, good or services increases, with a static demand curve, the corresponding price for those products will decrease in relative proportion. What Emera has managed to do is amazing. It has increased the supply of electricity produced in Maine through a subsidiary company, First Wind, and is seeking to increase the price born by Maine citizens.

The dirty truth is that Maine citizens are paying for transmission upgrades for the industrial wind turbines for electricity that does not stay in Maine but is sold to Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island through power purchase agreements. Hence, the basic laws of economics are true: The supply of electricity did not go up in Maine, but the cost of transmitting it to Massachusetts has gone up and, hence, the price increase.

Darren Lord

Winterport

Worth a study

The cost of college tuition has tripled since the 1980s. As time goes on, more and more jobs require education beyond high school. College education is becoming more and more important in the world we live in today, but college education is harder to come by due to the cost of college and the job market.

Recently, New Jersey Senate President Stephen Sweeney and Assemblywoman Celeste Riley proposed a new program in New Jersey that reduces or eliminates tuition in exchange for later payments based on the students’ future income. These students would go to school for free in exchange for agreeing to give the state a percentage of their future salaries for a few decades after graduation. This is an interesting new idea as an option to pay for college.

I believe that giving students more options of ways to pay for college will increase the number of Americans who receive higher education, along with not leaving them in debt. This new plan will also encourage both students and college administrators to reach to achieve success, due to both being rewarded with more money due to the salary of the student after college.

This program is a work in progress and would not be perfected for a few years. There are a lot of questions and kinks that would need to be worked out, but it is definitely worth a study.

Corbin Cass

Orono

Focus on issues

I am a first-year student at the University of Maine and am currently enrolled in an American government class. While I understand that I am far from entirely understanding political campaign strategy, I believe that Rep. Mike Michaud’s decision to come out about being gay was not a planned campaign move. This being said, I do, however, think that this move can work to his advantage in the upcoming election.

It was a matter of time before Michaud’s sexual orientation came out, so the real question is why it happened when it did. Was it coincidence? It is to my understanding that the truth was forced to come out by numerous outside parties trying to crush his early lead in the polls. Therefore, I believe that this was not a planned move in his political strategy.

However, I do believe that he can use this to his advantage. There’s a large support group based on this reason.

Personally I believe that rather than focusing on Michaud’s coming out we should instead focus on the issues that Maine will face in the next few years and who will be the best leader for Maine. People need to put the issue of gay-straight out of their minds and focus on what really matters here, both at a local and national level.

Megan Higgins

Surry

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