Letters to the Editor, Oct. 13

Oct 13, 2016

Running red lights

While Maine prohibits the use of red light cameras and speed cameras for enforcement, cameras used for surveillance are, to the best of my knowledge, permitted.

Yet again, a driver drove through the solid red light at the intersection of Broadway and Limerock streets in Rockland. It's a well-timed light with little delay for drivers, but that isn't stopping the practice and it is frequent enough at that intersection to warrant action. The intersection of Broadway and North Main Street is also a popular red light run-through.

Surveillance cameras should not be necessary, and, given the number of people who object to Big Brother government, one would think there would be adherence to existing laws to prevent the institution of more laws. But that doesn't seem to be the case. The problems with running red lights and breaking speed limits are on the increase.

For drivers, there are two choices: obey the rules of the road or expect more government intervention.

Maggie Trout

Rockland

For Goldberg

I’m a builder and a businessman. When it comes to elections, I take a practical approach to voting for a candidate. I choose the person who can best represent me and my values in Augusta or Washington, D.C. My concerns are family, community, business, and the environment. Not separately, but all together, as they are interdependent.

That is why I am asking my neighbors in House District 95 (Warren, Hope, Appleton, and part of Union) to join me in voting for Ellie Goldberg. Ellie understands that we all benefit from giving our children a good education, that we must find a way to deliver reasonable health care to our neighbors, that a decent environment is not only important for our health, it is critical to many of our businesses and way of life.

She knows how to listen, learn and balance different points of view. Ellie has run a couple of businesses and a major nonprofit. She is respected statewide for founding and running one of Maine’s most influential organizations, the Maine Children’s Alliance. Now that Ellie is retired, it is our opportunity to put her to work for us. Please join me in voting for Ellie Goldberg Nov. 8, we shall all be the beneficiaries!

Richard Lee

Warren

Goldberg is 'best possible person' for District 95

While the Maine Legislature moves at sluggish speed toward very little, there is hope at the local level in District 95 (Warren, Hope, Appleton and half of Union) for fresh thinking and leadership -- and that is Ellie Goldberg!

Ellie is a mature intellect, abundant in common sense. She brings years of legislative experience and knowhow to the job as founder of the Maine Children’s Alliance, which she ran for 17 years. In that capacity, she advocated on behalf of Maine’s children at both the state and federal levels -- and succeeded in establishing programs and funding for the state’s most vulnerable population.

Ellie easily grasps the inter-connectedness between rising property taxes, the reduction of state funding of education, and revenue-sharing. She understands the serious challenges of climate change statewide.

She understands the word “compromise,” and knows without it, nothing in Augusta can be accomplished. She is a Clean Elections candidate.

She is high energy, down-to-earth, and smart: just the very type we desperately need in Augusta!

Please consider joining us in sending the best possible person to the Legislature to represent our District 95.

Pen and Bev Williamson

Warren

Good, better, best

It is good to display the flag and to work for things that help and support our veterans and those men and women on active duty.

It is better to support them by paying your taxes and working for good government and volunteering in your community.

It is best to work for peace and justice for all.

Michael E Mayo

Thomaston

Beebe-Center 'knowledgeable, responsible'

I am writing to support Pinny Beebe-Center’s run for the State Representative for the city of Rockland. I am a psychiatric NP who has worked with Pinny on health care needs in our community and on the present epidemic of addiction, accountable for numerous overdoses.

I met Pinny through our work at the Knox County Community Health Coalition. We were both on the Steering Committee for improving access to quality, affordable health care. We also worked together on the Mental Health and Addiction Recovery Advisory Group. She has been a key person in educating, involving and creating access to treatment for opiate addiction. We now have far more treatment options available then when I first moved here nine years ago. Recovery has a strong foothold in this community. Pinny’s voice and leadership have promoted this effort. Pinny will continue to educate, support and legislate bills focusing on education, prevention, treatment and recovery for addiction.

I am a volunteer at the Knox County Clinic, which provides health care to the uninsured. Pinny has been actively involved in the effort to provide a safety net for all members of the community. The ability to help in a crisis and create a sustainable way to support this is one of her core themes. She has worked creating fair budgets that don’t increase property taxes, assuring home-buying is possible for young people, the middle class and seniors.

It has been a rewarding and valuable experience for me to have worked with Pinny Beebe-Center. I hope to continue to work with her on other relevant health care issues. She is present at community meetings; listening, sharing her ideas and creating solutions for the people of this area. She is committed to being a responsible, knowledgeable participant in representing Rockland in Augusta.

Elizabeth Drury

Rockport

[Ed. note: Pinny Beebe-Center represents District 93 in the Maine House, which also includes Owls Head.]

Excited to vote for Emery

I am excited to be able to vote for David Emery for the Maine State Senate District 12. With Dave's extensive background in government, both state and federal, he will be ready on day one to start working on issues facing our state.

We need a senator with a level head who can help the parties to work together. Dave is that person. I know he will work for all, regardless of party affiliation.

Please join me in voting Nov. 8 for David Emery, state senator for Knox County.

Christine Savage

Union

For Emery

I was very pleased when I found out that David Emery was running for State Senator in district 12. In case any readers are unfamiliar with David Emery, I would like to offer my personal impression of him.

I have known David Emery for many years. Our families have been friends for a long time. I have been mostly an Independent through my adult life and try to support Independents. I am making an exception in this case and this is why: David Emery is a solid, experienced and principled individual. I have great admiration for him and feel that his personal manner, demeanor and values are worthy of being emulated by all those in politics.

In my opinion, David’s strongest personal characteristics are his ability to listen well and consider carefully and respectfully all opinions and angles to an issue. I have never known David to express anything but a desire to serve, solve problems and promote the good for others. He is also very skilled in finding common ground in an increasingly divisive and contentious political climate. His former political work as a U.S. representative was exemplary.

David is very proud of his roots in Rockland and is looking forward to giving his all in serving this community and district, which I know he will do extraordinarily well.

Annabelle Márquez

Rockport

Miramant unafraid of tough issues

I am writing to add my support to our current state senator’s bid for re-election. Sen. Dave Miramant has worked tirelessly for his constituents in Knox County to represent us in a way that helps all Knox County residents. Miramant was first a state representative and then our senator, and he has made significant contributions to our state government.

He’s not afraid to take on tough issues, whether they involve the governor’s recent outburst or working to reduce the tax burden faced by small businesses, working-class and middle-class residents of Knox County. He will continue to protect our state’s marine resources and improve education. Miramant will work to help improve school district ratings so that Mainers can be competitive with students from other states.

Miramant listens to his constituents. I have emailed him on several occasions and received personal emails from him in return. He has encouraged me to keep in touch with him at any time. He addressed the issues I raised to my satisfaction. This is what I want in a state senator — accountability and interest in serving the people of his district to solve problems and address complicated issues.

Miramant will continue to develop a thriving economy for all Mainers; to improve an education system that is currently not competitive with other states; to improve the environment for future generations by investing in alternative energies and energy efficiency; and continue his efforts to obtain property tax relief for Mainers.

He deserves another term in the Senate, and my family will be voting for him on Election Day. It’s encouraging to have a state senator who listens to his constituents and whose only interest is in protecting our interests. Miramant deserves your vote.

Ronna Lambiasi DeLoe

Thomaston

In support of Miramant

I want to talk to you about Dave Miramant in his capacity as a pilot and how it relates to his position as state senator. I had the pleasure of flying for a few years with Dave as his second in command. Dave was a vastly more experienced pilot than I was, so I was eager to learn from him. Dave very easily and completely communicated the information I needed to become a better pilot. If I started to make a mistake, Dave had the necessary correction ready, always in a level, professional manner. I see him communicating with his fellow legislators, of both parties, in the same level, professional manner.

His attention and preparation to everything necessary to complete a flight successfully was exceptional. He took the time to learn and understand the needs of his passengers, as well as how the plane operated. His preparation was as if people's lives depended upon him -- and they did. Dave brings this same level of dedication and preparation to his work in the state Senate.

He and I don't agree on every issue, but I truly believe he listens to and considers my opinion, and he always explains his position thoroughly.

Please join me in voting for Sen. Dave Miramant for state senator.

John Newcomb

St. George

Questions for Republicans

While I respect the instinct of many conservative Mainers to support the Republican ticket in this presidential election, I would hope that those so predisposed would ask themselves of couple of important questions.

First, do you have a daughter? And, too, how does your family feel about the recent revelations about Mr. Trump's view of women? Is his a view of women that you share?

Second, are you really comfortable associating yourself with such a person, to say nothing of electing him to the most important public office in the known universe?

Over the next few weeks, leading up to the election, it will be interesting to see how many of those who have been supporting the Trump ticket will distance themselves from his campaign. This is especially true for candidates currently running for the Maine Legislature: for my part, I would never vote for a candidate for our Maine House or Senate who didn't clearly and explicitly disavow Trump and what he stands for. The denigration of women, his own avowed and long history of sexual assault, and his extremely creepy comments about his own daughter, to say nothing of his blatant racism and xenophobic nationalism.

It seems to me that we Americans are at something of a crisis in how we manage our public affairs, both nationally, and right here in Maine. Given that our governor also appears to be an unrepentant racist, not to mention a bully and someone who badly needs some psychological counseling, it is inconceivable to me why Maine Republicans, from Mike Thibodeau to Bruce Poliquin to Susan Collins, continue to support him. I just don't think you can have it both ways: either you publicly deplore the behavior of LePage (and Trump), or you can fairly be accused of supporting their outrageous behavior, thereby effectively making yourself an enabler.

Of course, this is the story of the modern Republican party; they'll apparently do whatever it takes to stay in office, pushing their right-wing agenda for their corporate handlers. Only in the most outrageous and extreme situations (like those recently created by Trump himself), will Republicans consider stepping away from even such a radioactive candidate. Makes one wonder where there allegiances really lie, doesn't it?

In the spirit of full disclosure, I cannot say that I am an unqualified supporter of Hillary Clinton. That said, given the current alternative presidential candidate, I will certainly vote for Ms. Clinton for president (albeit with a clothespin on my nose!), as the only even remotely qualified candidate running for that office.

And speaking of local elections, who else is there really worthy of your vote than Chris Johnson, David Miramant, Emily Trask-Eaton, and Mike Devin -- in other words, the peoples people!

Seth Hall

Waldoboro

Gun safety and public safety

A gun in the hands of a criminal is a public safety and public health issue. When someone uses a gun to rob a convenience store, shoot a spouse or partner, rob your home or shoot a rival gang member, it’s a danger to everyone around. Shouldn’t we do everything we can to keep guns out of the hands of these criminals?

As Ed Tolan, chief of police of Falmouth and the president of the Maine Chiefs of Police Association, said, “It’s indisputable that background checks work.” He cited hard data that “federal background checks conducted on gun sales at licensed firearms dealers ... stopped more than 5,500 gun sales to dangerous people in Maine” since 1998.

Unfortunately, these background checks currently only happen if you purchase a gun at a licensed gun shop. Under current Maine law, background checks are not yet required if the sale takes place at most gun shows, through a classified ad or online. Referendum 3 fixes these loopholes by requiring a background check on all gun sales with reasonable exceptions for family members, hunting, self-defense, lawful competitions and shooting range activities.

Let’s put public safety first and make it much harder for criminals to get a gun. Please vote yes Nov. 8 for referendum 3. It might just save the life of a friend or family member.

Roy Hitchings

Camden

Sheriffs oppose Question 3

The undersigned sheriffs in the state of Maine announce our formal opposition to Question 3, a ballot initiative expanding firearm background checks that will appear on the ballot this fall.

We strongly believe the people of Maine should know that the chief law enforcement officers from 12 of the 16 counties who are elected to protect your families and homes do not support the Question 3 ballot initiative. This measure will do nothing to stop evil people from getting their hands on guns. In fact, all relevant data indicates that criminals acquire firearms through theft and the black market. This initiative will not stop the reoccurring pattern.

We live in one of the safest states in the country and strongly believe no provisions in this legislation would reduce gun violence or crime in Maine. In fact, Question 3 is unenforceable, confusing, poorly written and threatens to make law-abiding gun owners into criminals for simply loaning a firearm to a friend. By and large, the people who commit crimes with firearms are not concerned with good citizenship, compliance with existing law and are repeat offenders. It’s the law-abiding citizens who comply with gun laws that are the most affected by arbitrary gun laws and will be most affected by Question 3.

As anyone who has gone through the process to legally obtain a firearm in Maine knows, there is no dearth of existing laws that regulate the sale, purchase and transfer of firearms. As members of the law enforcement community, we support public policy that targets criminals and lends to the full prosecution of those individuals under the law. We will continue to develop and promote worthwhile crime-fighting proposals and effective firearm laws at all levels of government. We cannot, however, support Question 3.

Androscoggin County Sheriff Eric Samson, Aroostook County Sheriff Darrell O. Crandall, Hancock County Sheriff Scott Kane, Knox County Sheriff Donna Dennison, Franklin County Sheriff Scott Nichols, Oxford County Sheriff Wayne J. Gallant, Penobscot County Sheriff Troy Morton, Piscataquis County Sheriff John J. Goggin, Somerset County Sheriff Dale Lancaster, Waldo County Sheriff Jeffrey C. Trafton, Washington County Sheriff Barry Curtis, and York County Sheriff William King

Time for Christians to stand up and be counted

In less than a month, American voters will go to the polls and select their choice of who will become the 45th president of the United States of America, the most powerful office in the world.

Our founders recognized early on that the perfect foundation for a good government could only come through the blessings of God.

But once again, it is quite obvious that we have allowed our government, our courts, our churches and ourselves to succumb to a cancerous deterioration of our founding Christian principles.

We see it every day through the TV lens, the constant continual moral decay that will eventually bring us to a course that knows no redemption.

America, our complacency is destroying us.

Why aren’t professing Christians speaking up?

Isn’t it time for the body of Christ to awaken from its apathy and act responsibly?

If we fail to express our opinions, others will be more than happy to make decisions for us.

Let us never forget that we are a government, “Of the people, by the people and for the people.”

It says in II Timothy 4:3, “For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.”

Less than 60 percent of eligible Christians actually vote or are even registered to vote.

Christians, we need to get involved!

Gene V. Graves

Rockport

Grateful for road work professionalism

Over the last six months we have experienced a great deal of road construction, especially with the work on Old County Road in Rockland and Route 1 in Thomaston. There have been days when it seemed like the old adage, "You can't get there from here," is true. Yet through all this work, I have been very impressed with the companies hired to do these jobs.

Both Crooker and Lane Construction Cos. have done great work and have been very good about letting us know what is happening and when it is best to go out of our way to bypass the major construction. There is still much more to be done in Thomaston, but it is apparent that quality work will be done. It is very inconvenient at times, but for a job that is akin to painting a boat while sailing, or overhauling a plane while it is flying, they have been doing and have done a remarkable job. Thank you.

The Rev. Peter Jenks

Thomaston

AIO says thanks for Best Charity nod

The board members and volunteers of Area Interfaith Outreach (food pantry, emergency assistance and weekend backpack program) offer heartfelt thanks to the Midcoast community for voting us first place, best charitable organization in the 13th Annual Knox County Best of the Best -- The People's Choice Awards. It’s reassuring that people know who we are and value the work we do in their name for our Knox County neighbors who are struggling through hard times. With no paid staff and no regular income, AIO relies on the goodwill and generosity of the community.

AIO was created 26 years ago when Midcoast congregations (now 12 of them) realized they could more effectively help people in need if they worked together. Other churches, businesses, civic groups, and many, many individuals have joined the effort. In the past three years the need has grown substantially, as decisions in Augusta to cut back many pieces of the community’s safety net have increased the numbers coming to us for food, heat, shelter or other life emergencies. We have to work hard to keep up.

Last year, in response to shocking statistics about the percentage of Knox County children living with food insecurity, AIO started a Weekend Backpack Program. These children get federally funded free breakfast, lunch and snacks on school days, but many have insufficient food on weekends. By January 2016, we were sending food home every Friday with 200 children in 12 schools all over the county. This year the number is rising. We’ve added two more schools, and hope to expand to others.

There is much need, much to be done. AIO’s motto is “neighbors helping neighbors.” Thank you, neighbors, for honoring AIO with your regard and with your continued encouragement and support. You can reach us with questions or to volunteer at info@aiofoodpantry.org.

Sherry Cobb

Area Interfaith Outreach

President, board of directors

Rockland

Museum thanks sponsor of the month

The Coastal Children’s Museum would like to give a big “Thank You!” to Fisher Engineering for being their Sponsor of the Month for the month of October for the second year in a row. Located in Rockland, Fisher Engineering has been producing snowplows, as well as hopper- and tailgate-mounted ice control spreaders, for more than 65 years. Because of this generous donation, the museum is able to put together an action-packed calendar, and plan many events that it otherwise would not have been able to offer. Being a nonprofit organization, the Coastal Children’s Museum relies a lot on community support and donations like the one made by Fisher Engineering.

If you or your business would like to become a Sponsor of the Month for the Coastal Children’s Museum, contact Elise Huff at programs@coastalchildrensmuseum.org, or call 596-0300. Located at 75 Mechanic Street in Rockland, the Coastal Children’s Museum is open Wednesdays through Saturdays 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sundays 1 to 4 p.m. all year long. For more information, visit CoastalChildrensMuseum.org.

Elise Huff

Program & Outreach Coordinator

Coastal Children's Museum

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