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Saturday/Sunday, Oct. 22-23, 2011: Wind power, Question 2 and voter registration

Guerette and Szal

We are thrilled that Phyllis Guerette and Christine Szal are running for the Bangor School Committee.

We are very proud of our public schools because their academic reputation is outstanding. Phyllis Guerette and Christine Szal have the experience and knowledge base to bring the academic achievement of our public school children to an even higher level during these fiscally challenging times. While the students’ academic progress is our first priority, the stellar reputation of our public schools is critical to Bangor’s future economic development.

Please join us and vote for Phyllis Guerette and Christine Szal for the Bangor School Committee.

Arthur Brountas

Maria Brountas


No oil, lots of wind

LURC did the right thing by approving the most recent wind project in Hancock County.

Maine needs this project, the jobs it will create, the expenditures at local businesses, the additional tax revenues, the chance to get one step closer to being less dependent on oil and the local power this wind project will generate.

Just the other day I heard an interesting fact: 80 percent of Maine’s energy comes from oil and none of Maine’s oil comes from Maine. When 100 percent of Maine’s wind comes from our very own natural resource, it is something that deserves our attention and support.

Kirk Wood

West Gardiner

Preserve jobs, land

As executive director of the Maine Harness Horsemen’s Association, an organization with over 750 breeders, owners, trainers, drivers and grooms of the more than 2,500 standardbred horses in Maine, I urge you to vote yes on Question 2 which will allow two fully integrated racinos, one in Biddeford and one in Washington County.

Harness racing has a long history in Maine, preserves open farmland and contribute millions in the economy, supporting Mainers who are directly and indirectly involved in the industry.

Vendors related to racing, such as grain dealers and hay suppliers, contribute and depend on our industry to survive. Failure to pass this on Election Day will jeopardize over 2,000 jobs, and some will be forced to move to Delaware, New York or Pennsylvania where they have racinos. Harness racing pays subsidies to improve all 26 agricultural fairs in Maine, both those with racing and those without.

We are thrilled Ocean Properties is teaming up with Scarborough Downs to build a first-class resort destination and racino in Biddeford. The Biddeford Downs project will bring hundreds of good paying jobs. The Passamaquoddy Tribe proposes to build a beautiful new racino in Calais that will be close to the new $1 million border crossing. This facility will boost that part of Maine’s economy.

Along with generating revenue for harness racing and the fairs, these projects will provide millions to the general fund, scholarships for Maine’s universities and community colleges, and public safety. The Nov. 8 vote is about preserving and creating jobs. Please vote yes.

Wendy Ireland


‘No’ arguments are weak

I’m writing in support of Question 2 on the ballot Nov. 8. Opponents of racinos in Washington County and Biddeford seem to hang their hats on three main arguments.

First: “Maine doesn’t have the population to support all these gambling facilities.” Well, last time I checked, we are still a society based on capitalism. These projects are proposed by investors who are ready to put millions in our economy and provide hundreds of jobs, without one cent in government assistance. We should let the free market work.

Second: “Gambling is wrong.” When Question 2 is passed, no one is going to force anyone into these establishments. Gambling has been in Maine for decades. Just stand in line at any convenience store and see the multitude of scratch tickets, Powerball and Megabucks, not to mention the infinite gambling that’s available online.

Third: “Washington County citizens deserve better than a gambling facility.” That’s like telling a starving person they deserve better than a hot dog, so we’ll give them nothing to eat.

The racinos are proposed by people we know. In Washington County, the project comes from original Mainers, the Passamaquoddy Tribe. In Biddeford, the developers are Ocean Properties, led by a Bangor native who employs hundreds of people in Maine and Scarborough Downs, a fixture in Maine for 50 years.

The bottom line: We have two ventures ready to pump millions into our economy. What are we waiting for? Please vote yes on 2.

Ken Lantz


Not too much to ask

I have a comment on the upcoming vote to change voter registration laws to allow for same day registration.

A few weeks back I had a sinus headache and stopped at the drugstore to purchase some Advil Cold and Sinus tablets. I was not able to make the purchase because I did not have my driver’s licence with me. Apparently, in order to combat the manufacture of methamphetamine, lawmakers decided to make folks show a driver’s license and keep a record of who buys certain cold medicines.

However, if I were to show up at my town office to vote (if the law changes) on Election Day there is a real chance the clerk would not ask me for an ID. I could tell her I just moved here and wave a receipt from the nearby hotel and she could let me vote.

Voting is a privilege and an honor. We all need to feel confident that every vote cast is a valid vote. The recent change that closed the voting registration to two days prior to an election is a great idea. Why would you not want a two-day waiting period to ensure the accuracy of each registration?

If I need a driver’s license to purchase cold medicine surely it cannot be unreasonable to ask that our town clerks have at least a few days before the election and after registration ends to thoroughly research voter registrations.

I urge all legal Maine voters to vote no on Question 1.

Paula Sutton


Building boom

For the past few years, I have been doing, personally, exactly what the BDN’s Oct. 18 Editorial (“Bonding Building in Maine”) recommended the state should do: I have been buying distressed houses, retrofitting them to be super energy efficient, and then selling them.

I have been able to sell them, usually within three months, at below market value, and still made some money. Plus, I have employed lots of local contractors. There seem to be buyers out there for a house with no worries!

I generally am concerned about voting for the state to borrow more, but I think this is a sure bet: if I can do it, so can the state!

Patti Dowse


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