LETTERS

Thursday, Oct. 1, 2015: Strimling for mayor, climate change threat, competing marijuana referendums

Posted Sept. 30, 2015, at 10:02 a.m.

Strimling for mayor

I don’t know a lot about politics, but I do know things in Portland need to change. City Hall seems to be falling apart, the school department can’t keep any administration, drug activity and crime are on the rise, panhandlers are on every corner and there is a house for sale on almost every street.

People are migrating out of Portland. I’m fortunate to live in the house I grew up in and raise my family, but with the constant tax increases and fees I’m afraid one day I won’t be able to afford to live here.

For these reasons, I will vote in November for Democrat Ethan Strimling for mayor. I believe he has what it takes to bring people together and make significant changes. Please join me, so we can make Portland a great place to live, work and raise a family.

Andrea Garland

Portland

Tax carbon emissions

Climate change has been called a “threat multiplier.” It can take an existing conflict and make it worse or even cause a stable situation to go downhill fast. The U.S. Department of Defense ranks climate change highly as a national security threat because it could lead to instability in many countries across the world. But it is not receiving a commensurate amount of resources and attention.

I’m concerned about the plight of overwhelming numbers of refugees streaming into Europe from countries such as Syria. I’ve been reading how a severe drought in Syria from 2006-2011 contributed to instability in that region. Syria was considered to be a stable regime that would not be caught up in the Arab Spring, even though under the rule of a brutal dictator. But after experiencing the worst drought in their history, hundreds of thousands of farmers, herders and agriculturally dependent families moved from the countryside to the cities. At about this time the Arab Spring was beginning in Tunisia and spreading to other countries.

When people can’t access resources to meet their basic needs, violence in communities increases. Did climate change play a role in making a bad situation worse in Syria?

Pope Francis says the poor will experience the effects of climate change the most and calls on us to “drastically reduce carbon dioxide and other highly polluting emissions.” He calls carbon trading “speculation, which would not help reduce the emission of polluting gases.”

Citizens’ Climate Lobby calls for a “predictable, steadily rising fee on carbon that returns the revenue to the people … protecting the poor from rising costs associated with the fee.” Let’s make this good idea a bipartisan effort.

Dorothy Lippincott

Hampden

Two marijuana referendums

The contrast between the two marijuana legalization referendums was made painfully apparent at the recent Common Ground Country Fair.

Legalize Maine, the grassroots organization sponsoring the referendum that supports small farmers, showed their understanding of the rural culture of Maine by doing the right thing. They signed up for a table at the fair and settled in to talk to folks about the referendum, get their support and signatures.

The Marijuana Policy Project, an astroturf corporate referendum, behaved in the way you would expect an out-of-touch organization to behave. They did not pay for a table, set themselves up in the middle of walkways, blocked foot traffic and were disruptive and obnoxious. After being told they were not allowed to collect signatures in that manner, they moved to the side of the road, where they impeded traffic and made a nuisance of themselves.

Anyone who is approached by a signature gatherer should first make sure they are signing what the signature gatherer tells them they’re signing. Second, they should think about which group they want running the recreational marijuana program in Maine: homegrown activists who have been at this for quite a while or fly-by-night corporate tax and regulate bullies?

Betsy Garrold

Knox

Who controls LePage?

Former President George W. Bush couldn’t run a push scooter, let alone a country. We all know how his tenure turned out paired with former Vice President Dick Cheney. We have the flagged-draped coffins as proof.

Gov. Paul LePage ran Marden’s. The only connection between the salvage business and politics is that they both deal in damaged goods.

Cheney pulled the Bush’s strings. Who is pulling LePage’s?

Jim Barrows

Brownville

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