Letters to the editor, The Courier-Gazette
Farmer for Carter
I am a long time Knox County dairy farmer supporting Republican Robert "Bob" Carter for election to the Maine House Representatives for the towns of Cushing, Friendship, Union and Warren. As one of many private sector contributors to the Maine Conservative Political Action Committee. I am writing to respond to recent letters in The Courier-Gazette by Democrats outraged at receiving flyers concerning independent House District 49 candidate Jeffery Evangelos, a self proclaimed fiscal conservative. The flyers are not smears and lies, but simply point out, by documented facts, of his past words and actions that he is, in fact, a far left liberal and is not being straight up with the voters of House District 49. It appears that Mr. Evangelos who has been a long time Democrat activist has suddenly become an unenrolled political independent in order to secure more conservative voters in this 2012 campaign compared to his 2004 failed attempt at this office as a Democrat. It seems strange that local Democrats who have no candidate in this race are supporting and defending a so-called independent fiscal conservative. Every session of the Maine Legislature has many bills and issues dealing with agriculture, food, and farmland use and as a Union dairy farmer I don`t want an organic tax and spend liberal in the Legislature imposing an agenda of more rules, regulations and taxes on my farming practices. I urge real farmers and real fishermen in this district to vote for Republican Bob Carter in this election year. .
Sign of the times
This being an election year, signs are again being placed along the roadsides naming a particular candidate or advising how one should vote on questions, which will appear on the ballot in November. There is one sign which may be confusing to the passerby, especially if only the larger font words are all that are able to be read.
The sign reads, “Vote Yes on 1,” followed by “Marriage Matters” and then in smaller print “to all families." No matter on which side of the question of gay marriage you stand, every voter needs to realize that a yes vote supports the legalization of gay marriage and a no vote does not.
Confusion could result if a person driving by is only able to read the words “Vote Yes” and “Marriage Matters”. They might think that voting yes supports traditional marriage. Even the words that follow, ”to all families” may be misleading. Many folks understand the makeup of a family to be a father, mother and any children they have together. Some couples may choose to adopt. In either case, a balance exists in the traditional family, with the presence of a father and mother in the home. Whether the child is a girl or boy, they have a role model in their immediate family. In a gay family, there are two adult persons of the same gender. The environment in which a child grows up, is not the same.
Please be sure of what you are supporting or not supporting, when you cast your vote on Nov. 6.
Not a structural problem
Union treasurer’s position should remain elected. I have been hesitant to mention the problems between Union’s elected treasurer and other officer personnel because most of the people involved are my friends and neighbors and I wouldn’t want them to think I was taking sides. Since the town is being asked in November to make structural changes in our government in order to solve this problem, I must speak up. With these problems discussed at too many selectmen meetings, I have heard the passion in the voices and seen the pain in the faces of the people involved in nearly unbearable clarity not to understand that this is not a structural problem, but is a personality conflict issue. The frustration of everyone involved is to be expected, but making a major structural change to local government and eliminating a proven check and balance methodology will not solve this problem of personalities. Many of us have worked with or for people we neither respected nor liked, but changing the system is usually not an option. Based on past votes on this subject, it seems unlikely that Union voters will give up direct control of the treasurer’s position in order to solve a personality conflict issue. So when the voters reject this proposal again in November, there is a real structural problem that needs to be fixed.
In past years, the town-funded the elected treasurer’s position as one budget item and the treasurer’s deputy/assistant was funded out of the officer personnel budget line. Three members of the town office staff who had other duties, also served as the treasurer’s deputy/assistants. Recently when all three of the office staff resigned from serving as the treasurer’s deputy/assistants at exactly the same moment, it left the elected treasurer with no funding to replace them. After the November vote, Union’s selectmen and budget committee should review the elected treasurer’s position, the need for a deputy treasurer and recommend funding changes to fully fund the treasurer’s department from one budget line. With a properly funded elected treasurer’s position, we should expect a contested treasurer’s election each year. Competition keeps everyone on their toes and will be good for Union.
A needed voice
I’m voting for Deb Sanderson for re-election as state representative for District 52. You should too and here’s why: She’s bright and recognizes that this state needs to grow, to attract new business and create good jobs. She’s energetic and does her own research and is not content to just follow the party line when legislation doesn’t benefit all the citizens of Maine. She’s concerned about ensuring that those who really need help receive it and recognizes that the help given comes from someone else’s pocket and thus, should be spent wisely. She keeps her constituents informed through newsletters and is always available to discuss citizen concerns on issues or problems dealing with the state bureaucracy. She’s a working mom who recognizes that her concerns for her children’s future are the same as those of all of us. Solid values and solid performance; that’s the kind of voice we need to keep in Augusta.
A vote for Evangelos
As a resident of Waldoboro my entire life and a practicing attorney in the local area since my discharge as a captain in the U. S. Air Force in April 1969, I have noticed those citizens who have served the local area admirably. Jeffrey Evangelos is one of those individuals.
I urge the voters in Cushing, Friendship, Union and Warren to vote on Nov. 6 for Jeff, who is running for House District 49 as an independent.
I have known Jeff since 1978 as a friend and in a professional capacity when he was town manager of Warren and business manager of School Administrative District 40, as well as being his landlord for more than 20 years when he operated his business Central Asian Artifacts.
While he was town manager, he played a role in the following:
1. The fire station and town garage were built without raising a penny from Warren taxpayers.
2. In 1971, Jeff arranged for the town to purchase a gravel pit from Lane Construction, which saved the town a large sum, since it contained thousands of dollars of sand and gravel and now serves as the town’s transfer station. The purchase price of the 20-acre parcel was only $6,000, an extremely small price to pay in view of the thousands of dollars it saved the town.
3. During Jeff’s term of office, he made arrangements for the construction of a footbridge for access to the Georges River.
4. Jeff’s budgets were always carefully managed and balanced, with annual savings/surpluses being returned to the taxpayers, helping to keep taxes low.
While serving as business manager of SAD 40 from 1980-1995, Jeff, a fiscal conservative, was able to save the district and taxpayers, hundreds of thousands of dollars while improving the educational system and facilities of the district, as well as improving the morale of the district’s employees. For example, prior to Jeff’s serving as business manager, the district never solicited bids for such things as heating oil, building insurance and school supplies. Below are some of his accomplishments as business manager of SAD 40:
a. During his first year as business manager, he put the district insurance out to bid and, as I recollect, he saved the district approximately $50,000 and continued to do the same year after year.
b. Subsequently he commenced putting the heating oil for the district schools out to bid and saved the district hundreds of thousands of dollars.
c. Jeff eliminated electric heating at the high school which saved the district thousands of dollars.
d. He had insulation installed at several of the school buildings in the district which saved tens of thousands of dollars.
e. Prior to Jeff’s tenure, each school, and even individual teachers, ordered their own supplies. Jeff eliminated this and required each school to submit their proposed needs, which were usually reduced upon review, and then the total supplies list was put out to bid. This again saved the district tens of thousands of dollars.
In addition to all these savings for the district and the taxpayers, Jeff accomplished other fine things for the district. He fought for fair wages and health insurance for non-teaching personnel, such as bus drivers, secretaries, teacher’s aids, school lunch workers and custodians, which improved the lives of hundreds of people as well as morale.
Jeff led the charge in improving the physical plants of the district schools. He was extremely active in convincing the department of education that the district’s schools were obsolete and should be given priority in funding for new schools. When Jeff made his public plea to the department of education on behalf of the district, a large contingent of citizens from Warren attended the hearing to support him and the new school in Warren was funded.
As a result of Jeff’s tireless efforts, five school projects were undertaken and overseen by him, including new schools in Friendship, Warren and Washington. His efforts and accomplishments have provided a great service to the citizens of the area.
Jeff is a fiscal conservative who will study the issues thoroughly and then once he reaches his decision, will be prepared to defend it. He will not act hastily and will act in the best interests of the taxpayers in House District 49.
Jeff, who signed and agrees with the 2012 Maine Code of Fair Campaign Practices, is a man of honesty, integrity and intelligence. Apparently not all of the candidates running for an elective office agree with the Code of Fair Campaign Practices.
I have known Jeff Evangelos personally and professionally for 34 years and I strongly recommend that the voters of State House District 49 cast their votes for Jeffrey Evangelos on Nov. 6
Samuel G. Cohen, Esq.
Understands our rights
I met Deb Sanderson when she came to an event at Washington Manor. She has knowledge of residential care and has been an advocate for needed health care service. Since then, I have gotten to know Deb and how she tirelessly works for the citizens of her district and of the state of Maine. If there is an issue she is not familiar with, she does the research to be able to make an informed decision. I value that in a representative. We count on our representation in Augusta to make informed decisions for the best interest of all the citizens of Maine. She cares about our constitutional rights. That impresses me since I witness what is happening in Washington, D.C. It is more important than ever that we have representation that understands our rights and will fight for them. I wholeheartedly endorse Deb Sanderson for representative of our district.
Break the stalemate
This fall Maine voters have the opportunity to send a truly independent voice to Washington. Angus King proved an able leader while he was governor of Maine and, if elected senator, he will take his voice to Washington for the good of Maine and the rest of the country.
With tourism adding $10 billion a year to Maine's economy Angus knows that protecting the environment isn't just the right thing to do, it's also good business. Angus' commitment to the integrity of Maine's environment goes back to the '70s when he championed Maine's unique anti-billboard law as well as the returnable bottle bill. In the '80s Angus helped develop the Land for Maine's Future program. While governor he helped create some of the strongest dioxin and mercury limits in the nation. To counter climate change, Angus supports carbon reduction legislation and increased fuel efficiency standards.
By contrast, Charlie Summers, the Republican candidate for Senate, stated in a recent debate that he doesn't accept the scientific consensus that humans are responsible for climate change, or even that climate change is happening. Summers rejects so-called alternative forms of energy in favor of more nuclear power and more domestic oil drilling. How do oil wells off the coast of Maine sound to you?
Protect the environment and business in Maine with a vote for Angus King. Let's break the stalemate in Congress and send an independent to Washington this fall.
Lynn Hower Allen
Spirit of togetherness
As an independent voter in Senate District 22, I am excited to have a candidate who has an established record of public service and the ability to think independently. That is why I support Ed Mazurek for state senator for Senate District 22.
I find it disturbing to witness Gov. Paul Lepage disparaging different populations in Maine and blaming them for the all the problems facing Maine. It is equally disturbing that the Republican political establishment supports the divisiveness that Charlie Webster and the Maine Heritage Foundation generate by slamming the reputations of various groups of Maine people. It is hard to sit by and see the majority party do so little about such negative politics. How does all this negativity create jobs?
We need a Senate candidate who will step up to the plate and bring everyone together to solve Maine’s problems. Coach Mazurek has a very long history of bringing together, as a team, many young people with different abilities and talents. He is a good man, and he understands that only when people work together can we succeed. Ed Mazurek knows both the problems and potential of Midcoast Maine. As an educator, city councilor, and state representative for Rockland and Owls Head for the last eight years, he understands the plight of the lobster industry, the employment roller coaster, the changing technology in industry, and the need for an educated and skilled labor force. He knows that real jobs enable workers to provide for themselves and their families, not merely provide profits for out of state corporations.
I am asking all voters in Senate District 22 to vote for Coach Ed Mazurek. We can change the culture in Augusta from divisiveness and negativity to a positive atmosphere and spirit of togetherness and success. Coach Mazurek can lead the way.
Among the trees
I spent a couple of my early enlisted years during World War II aboard minesweepers. Our main job was to clear paths along the coast for the ships in the convoys that followed. Radio protocol for the military was absolute silence except for possible encounter with the enemy. Back then, war regulations had forced many a seasoned merchant mariner to conform to the required radio protocols. The independence of these seafarers caused many of them to chafe bitterly and they often openly violated protocol. They were categorized as “quasi-military” and had to be tolerated. Today there is smooth properly coordinated cooperation between the military and the merchant services.
One such “tolerated” group were the small patrol boats whose owners were or had been fishermen especially off the New England coast. These fellows were granted some larger fuel allowances, had to paint their craft a dull gray and patrol the waters too shallow for military craft. Up here in Maine it meant patrolling betwixt and between the islands. Not infrequently we would pick up reports of German subs doing some manner of business between some islands. The captains of our little ships would tremble at the prospects of having to chase down such inter island traffic. Not that we feared the enemy so much as having to negotiate the waters which the charts told us were replete with all manner of natural hazards. Trepidations were heightened the more by our inability to do any follow-up communications with the original fisherman/spotter. Understandably, they were unfamiliar with the formalities of our military radio jargon. Often, to our request for a line of bearing, the response was a crisp — “ovah theah” which often caused us to wonder if we were speaking to fellow Americans.
Needless to say it was several patrols before we came to realize that we were dealing with that unique, colorful American known as a “Mainah.” Little did I realize then that decades later I would immerse myself in retirement amongst their numbers and become totally enamored with it all. Unfortunately, for many a “flatlander” the accent and brevity of expression does not belie the innate ingenuity, intelligence and talent of our native “Mainah." Coming from the academic scene of my professional world I have developed a healthy respect for the basic intelligence here abouts. I also revel at the color and succinctness in the native expressions.
To my view, such a “Mainah’s” expression, not to mention frustration is expressed in a colorful six-word piece of political poetry that rhymes beautifully, though sharply. Its on a sign on the north side of Route 17, not visible to the west bound driver but glaringly obvious from across the road to anyone going eastward. One needs to go out westward on Route 17 to Route 131, make a 180-degree turn and travel just about 200 yards eastward with a sharp eye out to the left beyond the north shoulder of Route 17. It’s on a 4-inch-by-6-inch foot piece of plywood, painted white, with hastily painted black letters. Its nailed to a tree just outside the tree line. Editorial neutrality dictates that the presidential candidate referred to not be named herein.
In our plethora of autumn colors, the 25 miles on Route 17 from Route 90 makes the trip the more pleasant for the curious of mind. Its classical “Mainah."
A better choice
I will not be voting for Republican Chris Rector for the Maine Senate. I strongly recommend all voters opposed to the Gov. LePage’s agenda and excesses also not to do so.
Sen. Rector has passed himself off as a moderate but the record of the past two years all too often shows the opposite. Many Democrats and unenrolled voters supported Rector in the past based on the illusion he is a moderate and a nice guy. Although he may be a nice guy he is certainly not a moderate.
Sen. Rector has supported the LePage agenda 92 percent of the time and he is neither a moderate nor a senator who can oppose the LePage agenda and his scorched earth policies. Reviews of Chris Rector’s votes clearly establish this assertion.
1. Rector voted to gut the Informed Growth Act, which required developers of retail stores larger than 75,000-square-feet to perform studies showing how they would impact surrounding communities (LD 322).
2. Rector voted against the bill that would have raised the minimum wage from $7.50 to $7.75 (LD 447).
3. Rector voted to allow money to have a greater influence in our elections by doubling the amount people can donate to candidates for governor from $750 to $1,500 (LD 856).
4. Rector voted to eliminate the right of workers to form a union at the notorious DeCoster Egg Farm (LD1207).
5. Rector voted to allow health insurance companies more freedom to charge customers what the market will bear, raising the cost of health insurance for those in who are elderly or live in rural areas (LD 1333).
There is a much better choice — Democrat Ed Mazurek. While he was in the House of Representatives he voted against those same bills that Rector voted for.
When you go to the polls this November, don't vote for the LePage/Rector agenda. Please vote for Ed Mazurek for the Knox County seat in the Maine Senate.
Pingree for Congress
This is an election year and its time that we mention the name of U.S. House of Representatives' Chellie Pingree. A lady from a small island home and former owner of a small business and a mother of two girls and a son, then one day came along and she said to herself, and I quote, "I think I will run and be a candidate for Congress" and the voters gave her the chance to go to Washington and now she is asking the voters of the First District to send her back to Congress while she works hard for the fishermen on the Maine coast. Also she tries to be help to the farmers and if she receives a letter from someone that lives in the First District, you will receive an answer from her office. It all boils down to the old saying " A small town girl makes good."
I read the Boston Herald for its sports page, not its politics, but I couldn't help but notice they had claimed that Romney had routed Obama in the debate. Routed? In the debate I'd watched, Romney had flip-flopped on almost every issue and I had kept waiting for Obama to turn to him and ask, "who are you and what have you done with Mitt?" But he didn't, so after an hour of this Romney performance, I switched channels to watch The Soup.
Before I switched Mitt had been saying he was all about jobs and that Obama was responsible for the 8.1 percent jobless rate. No surprise there, from the get-go the Republicans opposed any legislation that would boost the economy. The idea being that a poor economy would seal Obama's fate in the election. Unfortunately, for them, the jobless rate dipped to 7.8 percent after the debate.
This was met with disbelief and outrage by the far right and they had accused Obama and the labor department of fixing the numbers. The Democrats response had been that he controlled the numbers why did he let the jobless rate read 8.1 percent.
As an independent builder, small business owner, and former school board member (chairman at Mid-Coast School of Technolgy for 13 years) I strongly endorse Chris Rector for re-election to the Maine State Senate. There are two main reasons for this: Sen. Rector's support for small business and his creative and steady support for education. While a member of the Midcoast Builders Alliance, I worked with Chris to help develop uniform building codes and independent contractor definition. The work that Chris has done for contractors has established clarity in the building field. Clarity is good for employers, employees, and independent contractors. The outcome of Chris' efforts helps to assure clarity in the building trades where question arise.
In the area of education, Chris is one of the initiators of the Many Flags/One Campus concept that continues to move forward in the Midcoast. Chris has long-focused on the integration of vocational training through the career and technical education programs at Mid-Coast School of Technology with the academic programs in the sending high schools. Chris Rector has long taken a leadership role in driving education solutions. He deserves to be re-elected to the State Senate on Nov. 6.
Owner of Murray Builders
Elect Ed Mazurek
I recently received a legislative update from Chris Rector touting a number of purported legislative accomplishments and in particular reforming Maine’s health insurance laws.
This might be an accomplishment if you are naive enough to believe the following:
That expelling 27,000 needy people from insurance coverage is an accomplishment. (this cost will be transferred to all of us through the cost of emergency treatment);
That giving health insurance companies the unfettered right to raise premiums up to 10 percent per year without a hearing or any government oversight is an accomplishment;
That allowing insurance lobbyists to write the legislation is an accomplishment;
That requiring all policy holders to pay a $4 per month tax for each person covered under their policy for a reinsurance pool for older and sicker people is an accomplishment;
That permitting insurance companies to charge premiums based on where a person lives is an accomplishment. (Rural participants are already paying increased premiums as a result).
It is strongly suggested the LePage/Rector accomplishments are doing great harm to the social fabric of Maine and we need new and different voices in the Senate.
This is why I am recommending we elect Ed Mazurek as our next Knox County senator.
Ann M. Bex
Seen him in action
Recently I had a problem that needed to be solved at the state level with the help of Sen. Chris Johnson. I was very impressed with how promptly he and his staff responded to my situation, and how quickly he understood the complicated details of the problem. I was also very appreciative of his time, his effective efforts, and his support. After helping me to work with state officials on a resolution, the very next morning he began the process of remedying the ambiguity in the regulation to prevent future problems such as mine.
Chris Johnson is a hard-working, intelligent man who means it when he says he's there to work for his constituents. I know; I have seen him in action.
Let him continue
Rep. Ed Mazurek has represented District 47 (Rockland and part of Owls Head) for the last eight years, and has done so quite successfully. As a member of the Marine Resources Committee, and later as co-chair of the Transportation Committee, Rep. Mazurek not only thought of the needs of the people in his district, but of the state as a whole. He has sponsored bills to reduce taxes paid on fuel used by fisherman and parts purchased by windjammers; to start a pilot program to help schools serve local produce and seafood to students; to allow military personnel permanently stationed in Maine to qualify for the Homestead Tax Exemption; and other important legislation pertaining to our roadways and other modes of transportation. He also served on committees concerned with the groundfishing industry, the working waterfront, and rail.
His experience on the Rockland City Council, the Penquis Community Action Program Advisory Board and his service in the House gives him the breadth of experience we need in the Senate.
Please help send Ed Mazurek to the Maine Senate so he can continue to his work representing the people of Knox County.