May 29, 2020
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Feb. 13-14 Letters to the Editor

First things first

Unity-based nonprofit Future MSAD3 is a mix of parents, grandparents, retired teachers, professionals and community members with an amazing array of strengths and backgrounds. Our reason for being has been to enhance an already unbelievable school facility – the new Mount View in Thorndike. An outstanding example of our group’s success is the fruition of the enhancements to the Clifford Performing Arts Center.

Our group has committed our energies to enhancements to the athletic and recreational facilities. The necessary groundwork involving septic, water and electricity simply had to be addressed before work could proceed on the athletic fields. The First Things First campaign is our attempt to raise the necessary $124,000 to complete this groundwork. We are proud to announce that 278 contributors have donated more than $66,000, which means that we need to raise an additional $57,000.

As a mother of four Mount View graduates, a grandmother of eight, a retired district teacher, a district native and a former athlete, I fully appreciate what it takes to feed a child’s spirit. Athletics will keep our children active and help them learn to be productive and active. As a member of a team, our athletes learn how to support one another, which in turn will encourage them to become positive contributors to our community.

Barbara Higgins

Unity

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Unelected power

Regarding a recent letter to the editor which referenced the 545 elected federal officials is incorrect. He left out the vice president, and claimed (wrongly) that the nine Supreme Court justices are elected.

Apparently he was not paying attention last summer, when President Obama nominated and the Senate confirmed Sonia Sotomayor as an associate justice.

I would love to have the opportunity to vote against five Supreme Court justices. These five recently abandoned their criticism of judicial activism long enough to reverse Supreme Court precedents and 100 years of law on the subject of campaign financing. They decided that corporations are entitled to freedom of speech and thus unlimited election campaign advertising, as though corporations were individual human beings. They opened the door to greatly increasing the amount of money spent on election campaigns.

Regrettably, this decision can only be overturned by the retirement or death of one of these five justices, or by a constitutional amendment.

Our elected officials already spend too much of their time raising campaign contributions and are influenced far too much by lobbyists who represent those contributors. The corporations that benefit from the existing system of health insurance have succeeded in preventing debate on single-payer health insurance and blocking a public option health insurance plan.

With increased “freedom of speech,” these corporations will spend whatever it takes to ensure that the United States remains the only major developed country in the world without universal access to affordable health care.

John Maddaus

Orono

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Expenses explained

I write in response to a letter to the editor by Bruce Leavitt in the Feb. 6-7 edition of the Bangor Daily News. As part of my recent half-year financial report to the Millinocket Town Council, I noted a number of items that were significantly above or below the 50 percent benchmark as of Dec. 31. Among those items were legal fees. I reported that this budget line was already 115 percent expended, due mostly to fees encountered to date from a lawsuit filed by town retirees regarding a change in their health insurance coverage. Under the change, the town reduced its contribution to this cost.

Mr. Leavitt indicates I “blamed” this over-expenditure on the retirees, who in fact filed the suit. Legal fees expended on this matter from July 1 to Dec. 31 are $9,047 of the total $13,803 expended, or 66 percent of the total amount of legal fees paid to date. Without these expenses, legal fees would stand at $4,800, or 40 percent of the total budget of $12,000. Mr. Leavitt also fails to disclose he is one of the plaintiffs in this lawsuit.

He then references another case that has nothing to do with the retirees’ suit. The costs of that matter are now being covered 100 percent by the town’s insurance carrier and a “payout,” if any, will be paid by them, not the town.

The town will continue to defend its actions in the retiree matter and more legal fees will be incurred because of it. I will continue to inform the council and public of those costs.

Eugene J. Conlogue

Millinocket town manager

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Wiscasset jam is real

I had to chuckle at Steve Cartwright’s letter regarding the proposed Wiscasset bypass.

It sounded like Mr. Cartwright sticks around Waldoboro most days from May to October if he thinks that the traffic tie up is just occurring on a few weekends or two weeks in the summer. It’s all summer, and it’s insane.

There are many people pretty disgusted with the Wiscasset problem here in the Rockland area. Mention it at a social gathering and it quickly becomes quite a hot topic with everyone, frustrated at sitting for 30 minutes or more, day in, day out.

I’ve gone through there on a Tuesday morning or a Thursday afternoon, or a Sunday early evening and sat for 45 minutes.

As far as his concern about the natural environment suffering with an overpass, think of all the automobiles and trucks idling and creeping for several miles, filling the air with pollution from hundreds of vehicles.

Steve Cartwright did say one thing that had validity. Having a pedestrian overpass or underground tunnel for people to walk is a viable solution and one that I could support.

The bottom line is something has to be done.

Jane Newcomb

Owls Head

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Supports Ken Fredette

I am writing this letter in support of Ken Fredette who is running for House District 25 including my home town of Corinna.

As a wounded Iraq War veteran, I know that Ken Fredette is serving his country as a JAG officer in the Maine Air National Guard at the 101st Air Refueling Wing in Bangor proudly. Ken continues to volunteer in our communities as a coach, on our local credit union board and as a member of the Masons. Ken is a person of character, integrity and intelligence and that’s why I’ll be voting for Ken Fredette on Primary Day.

Brad Buckland

Corinna


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