Letters to the editor — The Courier-Gazette

Oct 09, 2014

Honest people

Recently I have been disheartened by folks borrowing money and not making any attempt to pay back the loan; renters not paying anything for three months, not even the light bill. But more recently, my faith in good, honest people has been restored.

Two weeks ago, while shopping at WalMart in Thomaston, I hurriedly left with my purchases and my granddaughter, but without my wallet. I didn’t discover the missing wallet for several hours. I called WalMart and was told no one had turned it in. So, I proceeded to cancel my credit cards and make a list of all the cards I would have to replace – driver’s license, military ID, credit cards, insurance card and more. I stopped at WalMart the next morning on my way to the DMV to get a temporary license and, believe it or not, someone turned in my wallet, with everything still intact – including the cash.

Whoever you are out there, please know how grateful I am for your honesty.

Pam Hooydonk

Spruce Head

Why bother to vote?

 

Dad taught me practical stuff like this: easily break a single thread. Now twist lots of threads together, until it’s too strong to snap. Then … find facts about the Brooklyn Bridge! I learned each huge cable was really 5,434 thin wires twisted together — 3515 miles per cable! (It was fun! My clever Dad had conned me into research! Nowadays I can quickly find out about candidates on non-partisan votesmart.org. I love their Political Galaxy!)

My creative father explained democracy works the same as a bridge cable — millions of weak wires working together. He convinced me U.S.A. means “US All,” so if I decide not to vote, I weaken our “Patriotic People Power.”

Do politicians really care what we think? Our caring is measured by voting. We hire them, and we fire them. Vote every election, and we’ll applaud astonishing improvements!

2014 should be a huge turnout. The issues are so important to millions. But fewer Americans vote in non-presidential years. We can correct that! Shenna Bellows is running for U.S. senator against Susan Collins. Shenna says, “If everyone who voted for Barack Obama comes out to vote for me, we win!"

Raise the minimum wage, so workers won’t need food stamps. Senator Collins? No!

Give women equal pay for equal work. Collins? No!

Overturn Citizens United (that’s “Rich Citizens United Buy Our Politicians with Secret Money.”). Collins? No!

Democratize Maine elections: Require 50 percent-plus to win, through a system like ranked voting. Gov LePage got 38 percent last time. 62 percent of us wanted somebody else!

Appoint Supreme Court Justices. The Senate “consents” or vetoes the president’s recommendation. Justices are appointed for life, so new ones will decide our legal future for decades! Do we want justices who believe corporations are people? Me neither

Hear Shenna Bellows vs. Susan Collins in late October. Three great debates— guaranteed! You may be surprised. And you’ll have time to rethink the power of holding onto a Democratic Senate this year.

Judy Knowlton

Cushing

Supports Sutton

Paula Sutton of Warren is the only choice for Maine State Senate for me. Rather than dream up all these amazing programs that the state can't afford to pay for (and that other candidates always seem to promise), she will work hard to make sure our government works within its existing means to not increase taxes.

She will encourage people and government to find ways not to pass our debt along to the next generation. Even though Maine has a balanced budget requirement, she knows that in past years this has not been done and legislators have used a variety of gimmicks to give the illusion of balancing the budget. Paula believes that government should pay its bills on time to hospitals, nursing homes and other providers should not have to wait for payment.

She believes in the inherent power and ability of all people who can be educated and helped to develop their own unique skills and talents. She believes in the American Dream that with hard work, discipline and respect of self and others virtually anything is possible, and so do I. I believe Paula Sutton for Maine State Senate and so should you.

Howard Brown

Camden

No thanks, Sen. Mazurek

When I received Sen. [Edward] Mazurek's 2014 legislative report on Sept. 22, I wondered where it had been since May until I read it and saw it had been assembled hastily to make using his mailing list to support Dave Miramant's campaign "plausibly deniable."

I'm confused by his approach to supporting and strengthening local economies by expanding government interference and injecting dependency on government-funded facilities paid for by borrowing, which our children must pay back. He praises the success of small farmers and admires the demand for their products, yet proposes that the state get involved mainly in performing studies of the need for food hubs. The truly successful small farmers don't understand why the government would be getting involved.

Borrowing $7 million for more studies and perhaps some financing another lobster processing facility or two won't help Maine's fishermen. What will help is lowering the cost of energy and removing regulations that drive up the investment cost and operating cost of a facility. The cost of labor, energy and regulation compliance all explain why lobster processing in Maine struggles and often fails to compete with Canadian processing.

I'm stunned to hear this last budget called "responsible" or "bi-partisan" or that any Democrat would have the duplicity to claim credit for funding our nursing homes. The gaping holes in that thoroughly partisan budget are a disgrace and it is precisely because the state is consuming so much of what Maine workers earn that there's nothing left for the localities.

It's past time for the state to be put on a fiscal diet and some of that revenue to be left in (not "shared with") the counties and towns where education and other services are delivered. Finally, a highlighted "strengthening" of anti-poverty programs is just absurd. Calling these programs that make work unattractive and unprofitable "anti-poverty" shows they are structured to fail. It's admirable that legislation was passed to "prevent" TANF spent on junk food, but it's enforcement that will actually implement the prevention of the Democrats' refusal to pass the reforms that would enable DHHS to detect, stop and punish fraud, waste and abuse, making his words nothing but lip service.

Thank you for your service, Sen. Mazurek, but I won't be taking your advice about a successor.

Joseph Bodnar

Rockland

Supports Miramant

I am writing to voice my strong support for Dave Miramant for State Senate. Dave is running in State Senate District 12, Knox County, at the request of retiring State Sen. Ed Mazurek.

Dave’s platform will benefit not only the individual but also the state of Maine. His views on the economy include raising the minimum wage to help many families make ends meet. According to the Economic Policy Institute, increasing the minimum wage will result in an economic net gain that benefits workers and business, thanks to the fact that so many workers will have more money to spend. More money in our pockets to spend on goods and services boosts the economy, helping Maine people as well as the state.

Dave’s plan for Medicare expansion will also benefit the people of Knox County, as well as the state of Maine. FamiliesUSA.org, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to achieve “high-quality, comprehensive, and affordable health care for all Americans,” writes that Medicaid expansion benefits the states economically. “Federal funds that become available stimulate the economy, create new jobs and improve the financial health of hospitals.”

Please join me in voting for Dave Miramant for State Senate District 12 this Nov. 4. Dave will work to help the people of Maine and improve the health of our state.

Lisa Fay Shields

North Haven

Questions Sutton on education

While reading the platforms of candidates for the Maine Senate I was shocked by the information on Paula Sutton's website explaining her position on education. Ms. Sutton concludes by directing us to the Guidelines from the Heartland Institute Education series.

The Heartland institute is a conservative think tank in Chicago that is funded by the tobacco lobby, has defended the tobacco industry and even has a web page titled "The Smokers Lounge" that debunks the detrimental effects of smoking and secondhand smoke. Ms. Sutton has chosen the Heartland Institute's agenda as the guide book for her educational philosophy.

Ms. Sutton claims she has "always been independent in my thinking," and yet she allows the tobacco industry to shape her educational policy. If Ms. Sutton's ideas on education are influenced by such toxic out-of-state organizations as the Heartland Institute, should we trust her with the well-being of our children and the future of our schools?

Chris Allen

Rockland

Invest in Maine’s future

The first time I met Dave Miramant was eight years ago, when he was serving as a state representative for the towns of Camden and Rockport. As an impressionable youth, Dave made quite an impression on me. I was immediately struck by his gentle manner, hard-working attitude, and absolute determination to bring improvements to Knox County.

Today, as a college graduate and a registered voter, I will not hesitate to cast my ballot for Dave Miramant. Dave is the only candidate running for State Senate who will work with whomever he needs to to help bring jobs to Knox County. Maine is behind the rest of the country in terms of job growth since the 2008 recession. We need to bring sustainable new industry to this state and Dave is the only candidate with a real plan to do so. Dave supports investments in clean energy that will not only bring new jobs to this state, but will also reduce the strain on the state’s irreplaceable natural resources and reduce energy costs for the next generation.

I am proud to support Dave Miramant for State Senate. He has the experience, the attitude and the humility to be an excellent senator. No one will work harder for Knox County. Vote for Dave Miramant on Nov. 4 and invest in Maine’s future.

Jacob Stern

St. George

Sutton for Senate

I first met Paula Sutton when she began volunteering in the Knox County Republican headquarters a few years ago. I was immediately struck by her interpersonal and organizational skills, as well as by her strong commitment to common-sense conservative values. Thus, I was pleased when she decided to run for the District 12 Senate seat in Knox County.

Paula has been involved in operating small businesses most of her adult life. This experience has taught her what it takes to create conditions where small business, the job-creating backbone of Maine’s economy, can flourish. As Paula has observed, “Our businesses need less regulation and taxation so they can be successful and create more better paying jobs,” thereby improving the health of the Maine economy for everyone.

Paula Sutton has other important priorities:

Reducing Maine’s crushing public debt… “We can’t just keep kicking the debt down the road where it will trip up our children and grandchildren.”

Cutting waste in government… “I will work to encourage cost-aware, responsible stewardship in every department of state government.”

Affordable and responsive government, accomplished by emphasizing resource-based decision making and local control… “I will work to empower all our citizens and their communities.”

Caring for our most vulnerable citizens… “I will work to create a more accessible, effective and sustainable social safety net.”

I urge all of you who share these priorities to vote for Paula Sutton on Nov. 4.

John Bird

Spruce Head

Endorses Evangelos

I endorse Jeff Evangelos for Maine House District 91. I have known him personally and professionally for over 24 years. In that time, he has always acted in the best interest of Maine citizens.

Whether in his work in municipal government, in education as MSAD 40’s business manager, as a small-business owner, and in state government; he understands how decisions impact communities and the average Maine citizen.

His ability to employ this expertise in Augusta makes him an ideal choice to be our next representative.

John Blamey

Waldoboro

Voting for Miramant

I have known Dave Miramant since 2010. I’d only been back in Maine a few years (am a native) and was happy to meet someone who was interested in living and promoting solid Maine values. His smart approach to politics (inclusivity and intelligence along with the ability to listen) is just right for me.

When I look at the way some politicians are more interested in getting elected than they are in serving the people who would elect them, I am more certain than ever that Dave Miramant is the person who would put people first and conduct his activities on behalf of our people in such a way as to keep them first. His listening skills are top notch too, ready and willing to hear all views. I know he will consider everyone, not just a few special interests.

Perhaps best of all is that Miramant is a calm presence, although passionate about the future of Maine and its people. It is a welcome change from what we see currently in Augusta. Dave has no personal agenda, but is really interested in our way of life here in Maine. Anyone who might get the chance to sit and talk with him for a few minutes would breathe easier at the idea of this kind of person in our government. I will be casting my vote for him for State Senate District 12 (Knox County) on Nov. 4. I hope you will, too.

Carol Bachofner

Rockland

Miramant listens

I encourage all Knox County residents to vote for Dave Miramant for State Senate. I have worked with Dave for over nine years at the Knox County Airport. I have watched Dave run his business, flown aircraft with him, and worked together with him on ideas to bring business to the state. Whether he is flying a plane or working as a state representative, Dave uses the same thorough preparation in his approach to getting the job done. When an aircraft taxation issue threatened to drive businesses and jobs away from Maine, Dave jumped in and figured out how to make the changes that would help. He worked with the governor's office and the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association to change the law and helped all the parties reach an agreement.

Dave and I do not agree on every issue, but one of the things I respect most about Dave is his willingness to listen to opposing views. He may or may not change his view in the end, but he always respectfully listens with an open mind, and truly works to understand the rationale of the opposing view.

In the world of aviation, experience counts, as it does in representing us at the State Senate. When Dave wanted to fly jets for Delta, he didn't wake up one morning and start flying 747s. He built his experience and trained his way to the top. He used that same model when he applied his experience at the town level in Camden to making a difference in Augusta as our state representative, where he worked with both parties to get good bills passed.

In the Senate, experience counts. Dave brings that necessary experience, along with a proven ability to work well with others to get things done.

We need an experienced leader representing us in the State Senate. Experience counts, just like every vote. Please join me this Nov. 4 to vote for the candidate with the best experience and ability to lead, Dave Miramant for State Senate District 12.

John Newcomb

St. George

In support of Michaud

With all the misleading statements in the current political campaign, Iwould like to highlight some facts which should be of concern to all Waldoboro residents.

Since Paul LePage has been governor of Maine, revenue sharing from Augusta to the town of Waldoboro has decreased nearly $130,000. During that same period, state aid to educate Waldoboro's children under the GPA has decreased $300,000. As a member of the Board of Selectmen, I can attest to how difficult it has been to make ends meet in the town budget.

While I am pleased that we have avoided any significant increase in property taxes, I am very concerned at the deep cuts in our road maintenance account. We used to plan on repaving town roads every 10 years. That is a luxury we can no longer afford. In some instances, that has now been pushed out to 20 years. It's downright scary.

All this is taking place in the context of tax cuts to the wealthiest Mainers. Millionaires today are paying lower effective tax rates than average Mainers.

This needs to change. We need to turn out LePage and elect Mike Michaud and we need to re-elect our senator, Chris Johnson, who has consistently opposed the governor's proposed cuts to revenue sharing, General Purpose Aid and tax give-aways to the rich.

Ted Wooster

Waldoboro

Backs Kruger

I am writing to urge voters of District 92 to re-elect Chuck Kruger to the Maine State House of Representatives. The revised district now includes Cushing, Thomaston, South Thomaston, Matinicus and St. George.

Kruger has represented his constituents fairly and even-handedly. He is smart, empathetic and sensible, and has a proven record of bipartisanship. He is fiscally conservative, willing to compromise and constantly works to end the partisan bickering that gets in the way of good lawmaking.

As a member of the Marine Resources Committee and as chairman of the Government Oversight Committee, he has worked to protect our fisheries resources and our fishermen, and to curb unnecessary government spending. At the same time, he tries to improve our educational system without increasing the burden on property taxpayers.

As co-chairman of the Moderate Caucus, he and others work hard to find common ground between the parties on budget issues and other important concerns to Maine residents.

Kruger has done a wonderful job for the Midcoast. Let’s re-elect him so he can continue to do good work.

Nancy Griffin,

Thomaston

Winchenbach is 'strong and effective'

I met Ellen Winchenbach while serving with her on the Waldoboro town budget committee several years ago. What I observed was a sincere desire to serve our community with a positive and common-sense approach to issues. That is why i chose to volunteer to help with her 2012 campaign. I never, in my 60-plus years on the planet, had done that before. Over the past two years, she has worked very hard for the people she represents.

Ellen has pushed tirelessly for those in Augusta to do the right thing when it comes to jobs, education for our children, marine issues and the environment, as well as important and vital services for those in need and the less fortunate.

Ellen is unafraid to speak out on important issues for the pepole in our district. She has listened to those she serves and pushed for legislation that truly helps our local community. In her first term of service, Ellen was assigned to two key committees: Marine Resources and Labor, Commerce, Research and Economic Development. The committees are where the real work is done in Augusta. To have a local voice and seat at these tables is vital. Legislation that she sponsored was passed in bipartisan fashion. Ellen has built solid relationships in Augusta and has the ability to reach out and engage people to help make positive things happen for our region.

I believe that Ellen is a strong voice for all the people in our district and urge you to vote for her on Nov. 4.

Bruce Metrick

Waldoboro

Sutton a voice for small business

Paula Sutton is the clear choice for Maine State Senate on Nov. 4. She understands what it is like to run a small business and that the foundation of our economy is small business. I know she will advocate to protect and promote the little guy, because she knows that government and other social benefits are ultimately financed from the taxes and contributions from private business and citizens.

She understands that we need to work to make Maine a more business-friendly environment and that to encourage business and job growth we need to work to reduce our energy costs, simplify regulations and lower our tax burdens. My family and I run a seafood business in Warren and we are looking forward to having our voice heard in Augusta.

Josh Brow

Warren

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