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Friday, March 2, 2018: Keep guns out of schools, no longer an NRA member, child care regulations burdensome

No longer NRA member

What does the Vladimir Putin, the NRA, the libertarian Koch brothers and the fossil fuel industry have in common? All have spent millions upon millions to get Republicans elected on all levels of government in exchange for their support of the fossil fuel industry and prevent Congress from imposing sanctions of Russia for meddling in our elections. Because I am an American, Democrat, and against air and water pollution, I will not be renewing my membership in the NRA.

Patrick Eisenhart
Augusta

Nuisance calls

It is pathetic and simply an indication of the poor government handling of the many scam and unwanted credit card calls from your own telephone exchange that plague consumers each and every day. Consumer complaints to the Maine Public Utilities Commission and the Federal Communications Commission are useless as they have no intention of helping alleviate these nuisance calls created by their faulty actions.

What is infuriating as a consumer is the time wasted running to answer the calls only to find it is yet another credit card scam. Sure we have now unregulated telephone, but at what cost to our piece of mind and consumer privacy? When these scam calls use originating caller ID from your own exchange, not only is it a lie but fraud of the personal privacy that we once had.

No matter how many times you notify the “do not call” list it makes no difference to the scam artists who now peruse the calling numbers with computers to harass and waste our personal time. Once an incoming call was of some importance, but now it is harassment at its worst given the endorsement of government at both the federal and state levels through their refusal to do anything about it.

I personally am fed up with it and believe that “we the people” must demand corrective action by holding government’s feet to the fire. Either fix it or bring regulation back whereby the telephone companies can be made to provide free screening.

George Fogg
North Yarmouth

Child care regulations burdensome

There seems to be a push for inflexible, costly regulations on small local child care providers that do not result in increased health and safety of children. These restrictive changes under the guise of quality and accreditation are causing child care providers to close or to increase costs to parents.

Because of this out-of-balance approach, small family child care providers are closing at alarming rates. Maine has already lost 600 family providers in the last decade. The ones who are staying are increasing costs of care because of regulations, such as requiring large amounts of mulch under swings and climbing structures.

Every parent deserves to decide if their child should be in a family child care, a center or public tax-funded entity. If we allow the unnecessary laws and rules to close all of the conveniently located neighborhood child care options, all that will be left is public or other institutions where children’s care is standardized for conformity instead of fostering individuality and parent choice.

Accreditation, expensive equipment and micromanagement of the day-to-day operations of a child care provider does not insure safety of children. Hard-working business owners with the passion to keep children safe and who have the legal liability and responsibility of the safety of children in their care keep children safe while their parents are at work.

Bringing regulation back into balance will allow the remaining providers in our local communities to continue meeting the needs of young families and keep them working in Maine.

Lori Bozeman
Brunswick

Support cooperatives

Maine has more than 600 manufactured housing parks home to more than 10,000 people, many of them young families, seniors and the disabled. These communities can be threatened when sold to investors or developers. Lot rents often go up substantially or, worse, residents are forced to move or relocate their homes so the buyer can redevelop the property. In some communities, a lack of investment can lead to deteriorating buildings and infrastructure, while in other communities development pressures can push residents out.

Fortunately, I live in a manufactured home park, Pemaquid Villas, that is a resident-owned community. There are only eight parks in Maine that are resident owned.

When our park came up for sale a few years ago, we organized our residents, with the help of Cooperative Development Institute, and we were able to purchase the park and convert it into a cooperative. That means we own it and we govern it. We decide on lot rents and infrastructure improvements. No one can sell the park from underneath us. That provides security in knowing I will have affordable housing now and in the future.

In Maine, we need more parks to convert to resident ownership, and that’s why I’m encouraging all legislators to support LD 1338, An Act To Create and Sustain Jobs through Development of Cooperatives and Employee-owned Businesses. The bill provides straightforward tax incentives for both the seller and the lender to convert resident-owned communities or employee-owned businesses. Ownership helps to build a better Maine. It makes all the difference.

Norma Sprague
Pemaquid

Keep guns out of schools

Take guns out of our schools. Nikolas Cruz, the shooter in Florida, was an expert marksman because he was trained by the U.S. Army Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps to be a sharpshooter. He had also been part of a four-person JROTC marksmanship team at the school, which had received $10,000 in funding from the NRA.

We don’t need teachers armed with guns. We don’t need the JROTC war machine in our schools. We don’t need the NRA funding guns in our schools. Take violence and war out of our schools.

Natasha Mayers
Whitefield

NRA spending

Matthew Gagnon in his recent column, “The lazy myth of the bought and paid for politician,” grossly understated the amount of money the NRA spent on politicians.

While the NRA may have given $4.1 million to individual congressional politicians since 1998, the NRA spent $144.3 million in independent expenditures. This is money used to advocate for or against the election of a specific candidate. The NRA also spent $45.9 million on federal lobbying. Added together, that’s more than $200 million.

Let’s not forget, while the NRA masquerades as a gun rights organization, it is actuality a gun manufacturers lobbying group.

Jim Alciere
East Machias


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