Letters to the editor, The Courier-Gazette
Karma never forgets
My 17-year-old nephew Timmy Morse lost his life in a car accident on Buttermilk Lane in December 2004. After the accident his family nailed a white cross with his name on it to a tree and flowers were were nailed to a tree in his memory. The following spring, a solar light was put there. Then in the spring of 2010, someone tore the cross from the tree and took it, the flowers were thrown into the woods. Later his family put another cross there; that was also stolen with his solar light. A couple months ago, I put a cross there with his name on it. Around the first of September, that was stolen. Not more than a quarter-mile from this spot there is another cross and flowers for another child and it has never been touched.
Not only have these things been stolen from this spot, they have gone to the cemetery where Timmy is buried and stolen off his grave. From spring 2010 to September 2012, three wooden crosses, flowers, solar light, large ceramic fish, Timmy's fishing lures, solar light from the cemetery and many more things have been taken.
These thieves are walking across the ground where Timmy took his last breath and taken things that were placed there in his memory. These thieves are walking across Timmy where he is buried and stealing things that were placed there in his memory. How cruel!
This person must be so full of anger and hate, and you've got to be cold-hearted.
So my thought is you can't hurt Timmy — Timmy is gone. So it makes me wonder is it to hurt the Morse, Sprague, Curtis families? One thing you will never steal from us are the wonderful memories we have of Timmy.
One way or another, you'll get what you deserve. Karma never forgets!
Donna (Curtis) Godfrey, Timmy's aunt
Be active citizens
Thanks Mr. Pease for offering some more insights into the Tea Party philosophy. I may be obtuse, but unfortunately, your response raises even more unsettling questions.
First of all, I do wish to apologize to you and any other Tea Party members who misunderstood my comment about right-wing conservative bombasts. I do see that I worded that in a confusing way, and I meant to identify the extremist, conservative radio talk show hosts such as Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and Ann Coulter. Their brand of "commentary" is largely responsible for the widening rift in our society, not the Tea Party.
Again, I'd like to ask what "truth" in education means to the Tea Party? When I read that the "emphasis is more on teachers," it's very unclear as to whether the teachers are the problem or the solution. I don't agree with the assertion that charter schools, home schooling and vouchers for school choice are effective ways to improve education. Of course, those options are appropriate for some, but for the majority of working Mainers, public school is the only choice we can afford. I must say, the suggestions offered seem to be elitist and available mostly to the wealthy. I also am alarmed about the suggestion that the town of Union withdraw from School Administrative District 40. If that were to happen, then I presume we'll be totally responsible for all of our school costs, rather than sharing them with the state as we do now? I don't see how that would make economic sense, and I think it must be a short-sighted reaction to a system you don't support. I'll say again that we all can become part of the solution if we're willing to assume civic responsibilities as our Founding Fathers intended. It's possible to join the school board and become part of the team which directs school policy. I did it, so can you.
I'm afraid that my position about government was misunderstood. While I haven't traced the various sources quoted as saying "governments (towns) are notoriously bad at running businesses..." I agree with that wholeheartedly. Of course governments are bad at business. My point was that government is our "tool" for encouraging business through tax incentives, and for regulating business when appropriate. It is a mistake to think that government creates jobs or business or wealth. Government uses our wealth to stimulate or regulate business. We need to be actively involved with our representatives, as our Founding Fathers intended, rather than sniping from the sidelines. It's possible to join the town budget committee and have a direct influence on local government expenditures. I did it for 12 years, so can anybody!
I cannot agree with David Limbaugh that "we need to let the private sector breathe and recover on it's own." Apparently he didn't notice that the under-regulated mega-bank industry is directly responsible for our present recession. We should all be furious that our taxes were used to save those failing banks, and as yet, they have not fully repaid their debt to us. If they were too big to fail, they were too big. Conversely, the General Motors stimulus was quite successful. They were failing due to market circumstances largely beyond their control and the debt has been fully repaid. As a local reminder of "letting the private sector breathe," we once had Union Chemical Co. in South Hope whose mishandling of toxins fouled our air and Quiggle Brook until the government declared it a Superfund site and we taxpayers paid to clean it all up. There are endless cases in which the private sector was free to pollute, profit and abandon work sites, leaving spoiled land and decimated communities. Mr. Limbaugh and any supporters of his notion should learn some American History, particularly the irresponsible textile and meat packing industries of the 1800s with their child labor and abhorrent environmental records. They did breathe free, but nobody else did.
Finally, I hope that we can all hear something more about "Agenda 21" as was mentioned, cryptically, in your last letter.
I appreciate your invitation to attend Tea Party meetings. I'll repeat my feelings that we all need to be informed and active as citizens, collectively, as our Founding Fathers intended, not as members of a sect with a specific agenda.
I listened in awe to Republican Vice-Presidential candidate Paul Ryan comment about the already well-paid National Football League officials' "predicament" (making more than $150,000, but needing a raise none-the-less). Who cares? Men want it, so they get it. The NFL is one of the biggest, most powerful and profit-making businesses in the United States, so why do taxpayers subsidize them? Football should not be a priority; it is merely entertainment to avoid other important social issues/priorities. If you got a raise recently, raise your hand.
Players in all male-dominated sports make more than any other U.S. workers; women in professional sports are not supported by the same money machine, so they pay their own way for the most part (because they really do like playing the game). There are no big salaries because women are still treated as second-class citizens. There are priorities.
I was waiting for Ryan to comment on the fact that women still make 70 percent of the salary men make for the same position, same education. I never heard a word about it. Why? Priorities. Because, proving it really is "a man's world" after all, Ryan and his Republican cohorts recently voted down "The Equality Bill." It's is still the same old male-made society I grew up in; if it's not sexual, they don't want it. Men are still searching for their "Looking For Lolita" moment. Well, Mr. Ryan, mothers, grandmothers, sisters, daughters, aunts, great-granddaughters, great-great-granddaughters, etc., are waiting. Instead of trying to break the back of Obamacare (33 times and counting/a waste of time and taxpayer money), a women's right to choose and other health care issues, the Republican party is veering further off onto "Sexist Street."
Ah, yes, but there are priorities. Why should the already-rich care about minimum wage, benefits and other perks their workers deserve. Because they don't have to, and most don't. Romney/Ryan must be defeated at the polls, otherwise Romney will buy our country and fire all of us! Then "Sexist Street" will turn into "Big Business Boulevard", leaving the 47 percent of us victims in the dusty grimy greedy gutters.
Bring American spirit back
United States foreign policy has always been a vital part of world peace and stability. Past presidents, their appointees, the House and Senate and others have played a most important role in the defense of smaller countries, as well as aid to victims of natural or man-made disaster. Many nations of the world looked up to America for her great power, influence and the fact that we were a free society that offered hope for all people. As I see it, this may no longer be the case!
Under the Barack Obama administration, we have lost favor with many countries and forsaken some of our close allies, such as Israel. Our enemies must see this as a weakness and will one day openly challenge us. The recent terrorist attack in Libya resulted in the death and mutilation of our ambassador by what appears to be an internal sellout.
This White House administration has no meaningful foreign policy and this is one of many reasons to vote for a new presidential team, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan. As President, Mitt Romney will bring forth the American spirit to our allies and convince our enemies that we are still the number one power and peace keeper of the world. I urge all voters to go to the polls on Nov. 6 and cast your vote for Mitt Romney, President of the United States. God Bless America.
Vote for Dickerson
On Nov. 6, those of us who live in Rockland, will be able to continue having a responsible and responsive voice in Augusta. We are fortunate that, although Ed Mazurek will be moving on to the Senate, Elizabeth Dickerson is stepping up to the plate and will be swinging the bat for all of us. Elizabeth Dickerson is someone who gets to work on problems when constituents have issues. She listens. She quickly determines what needs to happen in order to get the job done. She is proactive. She sees opportunities for the people she serves. When Efficiency Maine introduced a low-interest home energy loan program, Dickerson wrote legislation that enabled residents to take advantage of the loans and improve their home energy efficiency.
Lizzie realizes that the state cannot balance its budget on the backs of property taxpayers, while giving top earners tax breaks. She knows that Augusta must pay more attention to the conditions of state roads that run through Rockland. She understands that our region is supported by small business, and local fisheries, and will actively advocate for our local fishing and business economy. Lizzie is a teacher. She knows that our students need support, in order to compete for 21st century jobs; she knows our schools must provide this support if our students are to succeed.
Let's continue to have excellent representation for all of us in Rockland. Vote Elizabeth Dickerson for state representative.
I am increasingly concerned about the degeneration of our Democratic system in the last few decades. Something polarizing, extremist and destructive seems to be taking over our political discourse leaving the uninvolved average citizen at the mercy of those with big power, big wealth and even fundamentalist fanaticism. Ordinary citizens who attempt to beneﬁt all of us as an interrelated caring community are increasingly met with groups heavily funded by wealthy individuals hellbent on maintaining their own wealth, power and control.
It is for this reason that I am speaking out on a local level to strongly encourage all of us who care about our beautiful state of Maine to make every effort to vote, to speak out for those candidates who are struggling against these increasingly malignant forces to maintain a healthy voice for all of us.
One example is the proposed propane tank in Searsport that has no value whatsoever for the local citizens. Indeed, it could easily create environmental disruption or disaster to the coastline of Maine. Its only value is for the rich owners who are poised to make millions at the expense of the local residents of Searsport.
Chuck Kruger, our current state representative, is a good example of a highly dedicated, intelligent, passionate politician who works diligently, day after day, year after year, on behalf of all of us, not just the wealthy few. He is well-informed, fair and cares deeply about the healthy balance and well being of Maine. But he is experiencing an increasingly uphill battle against the powerful few whose focus is not you and your family.
In the name of the preservation of American democracy for “all of the people," I encourage all reasonable Mainers to get informed about what is really happening in our state that directly affects you, your children and your grandchildren before it is too late.
And vote. Please vote.
Polly Armstrong, Ph.D.
It must stand free
The Union Board of Selectmen will hold a public hearing on Oct. 16 on whether to change the treasurer's position from an elected position to an appointed position with a one-year term. The Union Tea Party recommends the treasurer's position remain a voter elected position, not appointed. There must be a firewall between the expenditure of voters' monies and the board's request for money. The treasurer's position should not be under the control of the town manager or the board of selectmen. It must stand free. The state's treasurer position is an elected position and it should also remain so.
Doris Vertz and Jean Grimord
Good luck and good health
A great lady is leaving the U.S. Senate by the name of Sen. Olympia Snowe, who has worked years in the best interest of the citizens of Maine and Washington, D.C. in Congress.
No different which party you belong to, she hid her interest to pass bills for the state of Maine for progress for the best interest of the people. She will be greatly missed by us all and I'm stating the way I feel. Sen. Snowe was another Margaret Chase Smith of Washington, D.C. in our Capitol. Good luck and good health in the days ahead Senator.
Return him to Augusta
Knox County has been very fortunate to have great state Senators for the past 20 years. Linda Brawn, Christine Savage and now Chris Rector. We need to return him to Augusta. He can work with all the Legislature, no matter which side of the aisle they sit on. Please join me in re-electing Chris Rector.
Price of business
Having just paid about $4.79 per gallon for liquid propane, routinely paying $4 per gallon for gas in Midcoast Maine, dreading the first K-1 delivery of the season as well as the electric rates that never go down, I imagine that other Maine residents are similarly impacted by this reality.
According to industry data, in October 2008 we were paying, on average, $2.91 per gallon for gasoline. I paid $4.069 this morning.
This now makes a routine round-trip to Augusta a $19.40 fuel expenditure. That sure eats into the cost of doing business.
I realize that Mr.Obama is not running a gas station here, but his administration's fiscal policies are irresponsibly devaluing our currency at such a staggering rate (how would you price things if you were the Saudi's and you became aware that the US Federal reserve is "making it all up"?) that it should be no surprise that the results are that petroleum prices are climbing.
In addition, putting arbitrary and punitive restrictions on domestic oil and gas production while wasting mind boggling amounts of taxpayer dollars on extremely ill-advised "green energy" schemes such as Solyndra, does not establish credibility. Far from it.
We cannot afford another four years of fiscal mismanagement, crony capitalism, and class-warfare rhetoric. Enough. We get it. No thank you, go home to Hawaii and build a library.
I'd very much like a president who really has a proven record of accomplishment and ethical behavior and a vice president who knows that "jobs" is not a "three-letter word".