Thursday, May 1, 2014: UMaine basketball, back to the land, Eliot Cutler, Mike Michaud, pets and taxes

Posted April 30, 2014, at 11:15 a.m.

Budget shortfall

University of Maine officials were quick to point out that the $113,800 cost of buying out the contract of the dismissed men’s basketball coach came from privately raised funds in President Paul Ferguson’s discretionary account. At a time when the university is trying to find ways to cover a budget shortfall, that explanation seems weak indeed.

It wasn’t long ago when $109,722 was taken from that same account to buy out the unexpired contract of the women’s basketball coach. If that fund is truly discretionary, then we have nearly a quarter of a million dollars that might have been used to support the institution’s central teaching mission, or perhaps for scholarships for deserving minority students in the general student body so that we might begin to match the diversity of some of its athletic teams.

It is time for our fine university to stop offering coaches long-term initial contracts and treat them as they do most faculty members by insisting they prove their worth before granting tenure of any kind.

Earl Smith

Belgrade Lakes

Cutler for governor

I have been a Democrat all my life. This year I’m voting for independent Eliot Cutler. Mike Michaud is a good man and a good congressman.

Leadership is what we need, and Michaud has never run a business. How can he run the biggest business in Maine, the state? And Gov. Paul LePage has tried his best but his leadership has gotten us nowhere.

Cutler has proven ability to manage the job of governor.

Albert Lachance

Madawaska

Mean judgments

Renee Ordway’s April 26 BDN column about two dogs left at the Waterville Area Humane

Society was a very good example of how mean this country has become. Her column was mean and judgmental, that’s all.

How about forgiveness and understanding, and leave off the mean judgments? The instructions for how to handle pets when you cannot any longer were good. However, the shelter could also have a direct-line intercom to an animal control officer and an official at the shelter.

Let’s not dwell on the weaknesses of the human flesh and concentrate on how to help and forgive. Ordway should go to church. She did not help.

Mark Montross

Greenville

Michaud’s vision

Mike Michaud is the only gubernatorial candidate who has outlined a clear vision for growing Maine’s economy. His “Maine Made” plan will help to build an economy that works for everyone. His plan will strengthen small businesses, help entrepreneurs connect with new markets beyond our borders and create new jobs.

Under Gov. Paul LePage, Maine is at the bottom in private-sector job growth. LePage’s response is to ignore small businesses, gambling instead on a plan to attract big companies by suspending their taxes, gutting labor laws and subsidizing their energy costs.

Michaud understands the importance of investing in our infrastructure and making those investments predictable, which is why he will create a 10-year public infrastructure strategy.

Michaud’s plan will focus on growing small businesses by creating a Maine Domestic Trade Center to connect Maine small businesses with new markets to help them grow. Michaud understands how important tourism is to Maine’s entrepreneurs, and he will bring an innovative new approach to how we market the Maine brand to visitors after they have returned home.

Michaud’s plan emphasizes growing Maine’s workforce, investing in education and career opportunities that will keep young people in Maine. This will ensure that small businesses have a talented and educated workforce to hire as they look to expand and grow.

As a small business owner, I believe Michaud’s plan is the type of innovative and forward-thinking vision we need from Maine’s next governor. Other candidates talk about what they would like to do. Michaud talks about how we can actually do it.

Colleen P. Crowley

Bowdoinham

Fear of back-to-the-land

The BDN’s features on the back-to-the-land movement have been well done.

Thus far, there has been no mention of the response to the movement during numerous town meetings all over rural Maine at the time. It is worth remembering the fear that caused so many towns to oppose a movement that has turned out to be a great benefit for Maine.

One town after another placed articles on the town warrant in the 1970s to legally abandon unused roads in an effort to keep these folks out. We should remember this when the next change comes along.

Victor Morrel

Sangerville

Hats off to this old land

Maine was the perfect storm for the back-to-the-land movement. Mainers are sturdy, confident

people who espouse the “live and let live” philosophy like few others. Anyone who was willing to work hard and appreciate the rigors and joys of country life was welcome. Only strong, secure people can allow themselves to be changed, to be affected. Hats off to this old land and to the succession of people who have lived upon it.

Angela DeRosa

Wellington

Support Cutler

I supported Eliot Cutler the last time he came within two points of winning in 2010.

I just met with him again in Millinocket. I am really glad I had a chance to hear him speak. It was a complete reminder of why he is the best candidate. He isn’t owned by the party politics that have hurt Maine for decades. I have read part of his book and I like his ideas and thoughts. But most of all, I keep coming back to this: He doesn’t have to worry about the party politics. He can do what is right for Maine people, and that is the person who will have my vote in November.

Larry MacArthur

Millinocket

 

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