February 26, 2020
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Friday, June 5, 2015: LePage veto threat, clean elections, almond waste

LePage veto threat

Whether the state’s budget should be supported by an income tax or only by more regressive and fluctuating revenue sources, such as the sales tax, is an issue on which reasonable people can differ, as is the question whether a constitutional ban on the state income tax might put the state into an undesirable strait jacket.

Given that, Gov. Paul LePage’s vow to veto all Democratic sponsored legislation until his proposed constitutional amendment is adopted by the Legislature is a childish, ill-considered threat. Shame on him.

Richard Tomeo

South Thomaston

Voter’s choice

Holden will hold its annual town meeting at 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 10. The principle reason for this meeting will be for residents to vote on a number of warrant articles, which include adopting the town’s budget for the next fiscal year.

In addition to this, the wording of article 12 essentially allows the town council to transfer money from various funds — such as the reserve fund, trust fund and capital improvement fund — and use them for local matching funds and “other municipal purposes.” Actions of this nature have put Holden into a financial bind, as the town’s indebtedness is over $1.3 million and its reserve funds are at levels that are cause for concern.

I urge Holden taxpayers to attend this meeting and take part in the discussions pertaining to the budget and proposed articles. By not attending, the council will continue its practice of spending the town’s tax dollars in a questionable fashion and making decisions that impact residents through increased taxes.

Richard Barclay


Elections referendum

Super PACs. Mega donors. Secrets and lies. It’s really time to stop the big money cycle and make sure candidates of modest means who strive to represent us are not held back. We’ll have the chance to level the playing field on Nov. 3 by passing the Maine Accountable Elections Referendum.

But we can’t wait until then to get to work. It’s easy to imagine the rich and regal will put up a fight, and they’ve got the means to do so. In fact, an imagination isn’t really necessary. Just check out the headlines or nightly news.

On Saturday, June 13, at the Unitarian-Universalist Church at 120 Park St., in Bangor, we’ll be holding our first door-to-door canvass to identify and energize people who want to see the election game played fairly. Join us from 9:30 a.m. to noon to be part of this important effort to make our elections “of, by and for the people.” For more information, visit accountableelections.org or call 745-3157.

Suzanne Kelly


Almond wasteland

Thank you to the BDN for the May 26 article on almond production and to Chris Roberts of The Juice Cellar for doing something helpful. Water use for almond groves is a serious problem but may pale next to the greater disaster of vast almond monoculture that has destroyed all other living organisms for miles. It is like a huge oil spill in a formerly productive ecosystem, except oil spills are finite and the almond monoculture is continuous.

Almonds used to be pollinated by locally maintained hives or native bees, which are much more efficient than imported European honeybees. But bees, like everything else, must have habitat sustained throughout their breeding cycles. This habitat is eliminated in a giant monoculture that also is bad for the honeybees, which are forced to feed on a single plant that is not healthy for them, and exposes them to pesticides and fungicides.

The almond business has laid waste to hundreds of formerly fertile California acres. It is a major environmental disaster.

Thank you, Chris, for being aware and choosing to make a difference.

Carole Whelan


LePage meltdown

The BDN ended its May 31 editorial with the question of “whether the governor has become an embarrassing carnival barker.” As one of the 61 percent, a resident of Maine these last 13 years and a Portland school district teacher, I would suggest he has been an embarrassment from Day One.

I do appreciate the BDN’s need to editorialize responsibly. I have no such obligation.

LePage is the court fool who has managed to grasp the reins of power and make a mockery of what once was a more cordial political environment. He has managed to insult anyone who does not play by his rules and continually threatens to take his ball home. What I don’t understand is why members of the press or of the Legislature are so unwilling to truly stand up to him and call him what he is: the emperor with no clothes. I applaud the BDN for its tact.

Joseph E. Charnley


Library vote

I am writing in support of Stephanie Lash and Emily Lusher in their candidacy for the Rockport Library Committee. Both are long-term residents of Rockport and have many years of professional and public service experience.

Stephanie has served on the Rockport Library Committee for the past year, filling a vacated seat, and is running for a full three-year term. Emily serves on the Rockport Zoning Board of Appeals, as well as many other volunteer organizations.

Both are in favor of keeping the Rockport Library at its current location and support making sensible and affordable improvements to its building and site. On Tuesday, June 9, vote to put Stephanie Lash and Emily Lusher on the Rockport Library Committee.

James Ruddy


Settlement Act misused

We call on our Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King and Rep. Bruce Poliquin to initiate an investigation into the way Maine officials have interpreted and misused the Maine Indian Claims Settlement Act of 1980.

Several years ago, a working group under the auspices of the Maine Indian Tribal State Commission suggested important changes to the Settlement Act and Implementing Agreement that would have improved relations between the Wabanaki Nations and the state. Composed of equal numbers of representatives from the Legislature and Wabanaki communities, the unanimous recommendations presented were largely ignored by the state.

After careful study of the numerous issues that need to be resolved, including the treatment of sovereign entities merely as municipalities of Maine, it is clear that Congress needs to take a more active role.

Harrison and Marilyn Roper



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