Support Jim Kalloch
Having just moved back to my hometown of Rockland last December, I am pleased to cast my first vote in the special election on March 10 and to cast it for Jim Kalloch. I am voting for Jim because we need legislators who combine his experience in the private sector with a commitment to business development in Maine.
Jim recognizes that ambitious public sector spending is dependent on a robust private sector-driven economy, not on increasing taxes and fees, the favored approach for several decades before the advent of the LePage administration. As one of the most highly taxed states in the nation, Jim knows Maine will continue to see its prosperity and population stagnate if we keep traveling down that road.
I am also supporting Jim because he understands how important a strong education system is to Maine’s future. His school board service reinforces that commitment.
Finally, my decision to vote for Jim is inspired by his personal story. Jim grew up in a large working-class family and overcame a lot of lessons from the “school of hard knocks” in his early years to build a distinguished 30-year career serving his country in both the Marine Corps and Navy before returning home to pursue a successful small business career. Now Jim steps forward again offering to serve his community. I hope the voters of District 93 take him up on that offer on March 10.
Where were the plows?
I hope everyone involved in the pileup on I-95 on Feb. 25 is OK. Of all the vehicles involved, there was one important vehicle missing from all the pictures. A snowplow. I travel I-95 daily for work and it seems that the snowplows are nowhere to be seen until the morning commute is over or several accidents have occurred on certain stretches of road. Why aren’t the plows out to make the roads safer for morning commuters?
The snow that morning started overnight, so there was no reason for the roads to be in the condition they were in. This seems to be the case on all roads maintained by Maine Department of Transportation. Very rarely do you see a plow before 7 a.m. Are the workers on overtime before that and it’s a budgetary reason? If that’s the case, think of all the people affected by that decision. Injured people not being able to work. Cars totaled that were the only means of transportation for some families. There are plenty of other ways for the state to save money other than putting peoples lives at risk.
You don’t see this on scenario the Maine Turnpike which is maintained by their own crews and not MDOT. Maybe it’s time to let the Turnpike Authority take over maintenance on the entire stretch of I-95. The road from Augusta to Kittery is much cleaner and safer to travel in bad weather.
Hot tar fix fails
Choose any adjective in Webster’s, and I guarantee it doesn’t come close to describing the condition of the roads in Bangor. Hot tar thrown down in a hole with prayers that the drivers running over the concoction will make it stick inside the crevice isn’t going to fix the problem this summer. The only guarantee is that there is going to be that much more tar on the side of my vehicle that I will desperately attempt to remove.
Bangore, not Bangor
I was bemused by the recent NBC Nightly News report on the thorny issue of the preferred pronunciation of your fine town’s name.
After hearing a national radio broadcaster utter the dreaded “Bang-er” today, I realized that the only way to get most folks to say the name the way you’d like it said — “Bang-ore” — would be to obey the rules of English and add an “e.” You’d then have “Bangore” and much of your problem solved.
Otherwise, I’m afraid you’ll be forever stuck with “Bang-er” and corrections that will never end, like poor Hyacinth Bucket — “That’s Bouquet!” — in the BBC sitcom “Keeping Up Appearances.”
James Heckel (“That’s HecKELL”)
Sparta, New Jersey
50 shades of inappropriate
I am a high school teacher in a small high school in Down East Maine. On Monday, my students and I were talking about what they had done over the weekend. To my surprise many of the 14-year-old girls had attended (without parents or guardians) the movie “Fifty Shades of Grey.” I am so disappointed that personnel at the theater allowed them to go in.
The movies are rated for a reason. I have not seen the movie and do not intend to see it but I have read enough about it to know that it is not appropriate for 14-year-old girls.
Money and politics
I helped collect signatures for the Clean Elections petition at my polling place on Nov. 4, so I was elated at the announcement last week that the secretary of state has validated nearly 80,000 of the signatures Maine Citizens for Clean Elections presented to him in January, clearing the way for the initiative to be placed on the 2015 ballot.
This good news, which ought to be of interest to Mainers and to those in other states intent on crafting laws similar to Maine’s first-in-the-nation Clean Elections Act, will already have set off alarms among the corporate donors and other special interests that each election cycle attempt to control the political process nationally. You can bet that discussions are already underway in locales far removed from our state to determine the most effective ad strategy to use to frighten Maine citizens into voting against a law that attempts to give voters greater sway in determining state election results while weakening the capacity of outside money to dictate outcomes.
On March 7, I’ll be heading to Thomas College in Waterville to attend the Clean Elections Summit, where I intend to learn how I can persuade Mainers that a vote for the Clean Elections initiative is a vote for a more powerful voice in determining who represents them and a lowered volume for the megaphone wielded by out-of-state money to shape election results. If you want to get involved in this effort, you can register for the summit at mainecleanelections.org.