Entries Filed in 'Letters to the Editor'
Dear ‘E/W Highway’ International Investors/Shareholders,
The Natives Are Restless! Mainers are coming to know you understand this proposed project as a ‘Transportation, Utility, & Communication Corridor.’ Worldwide interest covets investing in corridors, for they can host many revenue-generating entities, including Transportation: road and rail; Utility (Electricity/Pipelines): high-tension wires, underground cables, and windmills; fresh water, natural gas, and petroleum products; Communication: cables, fiber optics, and cell-towers.
Once rights-of-way are secured, lease contracts are negotiated within these corridor’s entities, each in dollars-per-foot relative to supply and demand. 220 miles across Maine totals 1,161,600 feet, so a $25/ft. petroleum pipeline generates nearly $30 million/year. This doesn’t include profits on the products themselves. Moreover, within the global marketplace, fresh water can be more valuable than oil.
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Letter: Brunswick rep treated unfairly by party leader by Jason White in the Forcaster, Jun 25, 2012 11:20 am
The temporary protection order against Rep. Alex Cornell du Houx, D-Brunswick, by his former fiance was dismissed and withdrawn from the court on May 14. Then the Maine Democratic Party chairman, Ben Grant, denounced Alex.
Grant never called Alex or bothered to talk to his Democratic town committee. He never asked how Alex’s campaign was going. Not only is this a huge insult to Alex’s integrity, it’s a slap in the face to the Brunswick committee. Grant stated that the party had to find another candidate. Alex’s town committee stated that they had already been working on these contingency plans with Alex.
I had the privilege to be Alex’s company commander at one stage in his service career. He is dedicated, determined and passionate about public service, be it his service to his country, community and state. Does Grant understand what it means to military personal when someone has their back and when someone doesn’t? Shouldn’t the same credo apply in civilian life?
For Grant to send out a release insisting Alex withdraw on the day this lawmaker, as an Iraq war veteran representing Maine, left on a State Department trip showed Grant has no idea of the important work Alex is doing for Maine and his country.
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by Robert Sezak
Taxpayer dollars, secrecy and private interests are all we know about the east-west highway proposal.
Taxpayer money amounting to $300,000 will be diverted from roads and bridges needing upgrade and repair to a private company whose spokesman only talks in vague terms.
How wide will it be? 2,000 feet? How long? 220 miles? From where to where? O Canada, for sure.
It’s a huge land grab; 2,000 feet by 220 miles is more than 53,000 acres. The highway would bisect the great North Woods and despoil the diminishing deer population. This much land at stake begs for the eminent domain statute to kick in, spawning tremendous lawsuits and court battles, expending a fortune in taxpayer money.
Why not invest in the Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway and the Eastern Maine Railway, which runs from Quebec through Jackman, Brownsville, Danforth and Vanceboro back into New Brunswick as a cargo and passenger carry railroad and use its right-of-way for utility development? There is also Stud Mill Road, connecting Baileyville to Milford.
Much can be made from existing roads and rights-of-way.
Tags: Maine's quality of life
We are currently facing a global epidemic, which is wreaking havoc on the planet and her inhabitants, indiscriminately. The collective human consciousness is decidedly uncluttered by thoughts of the before, during and after repercussions of our blind consumption, yet the evidence abounds, in waterways, on beaches, in our parks and streets, in trees, in the stumps where trees once stood.
Americans dispose of approximately 100 billion plastic shopping bags each year, the manufacturing of which requires some 12 million barrels of non-renewable petroleum oil, costing over $500 million and creating 300,000 tons of landfill waste.
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I am sure you have been hearing this story a lot but only today as I called in to refill my seizure control medicine prescription and a refill on my 11 year old’s allergy medicine which helps control her asthma did I find out that my family no longer has MaineCare.
My pharmacists said she has had to tell at least 20 different people today that they too didn’t have coverage anymore. She added, “good luck getting through to them, I heard they had over 300 calls yesterday.”
Without giving notice – beside political posturing did LePage give us fair notice? He just set tens of thousands of Maine residents adrift without a life vest, not a oar or even pointing which direct to go for survival.
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In this time of budget crises we are hearing increasing calls to tax the rich. Working people paying the cost of our wars with both their lives and their taxes are outraged that corporations like General Electric, with huge profits, pay nothing toward the many government services which allow them to make so much money.
When a real estate investor buys land for $1,000 an acre and sells it five years later for $30,000 an acre, he has not created that wealth. That wealth was created by the community: the workers, business people, and governments that developed the city surrounding the investor’s land. The community creates the services, and the demand,that increases the value of this land. The investor may have done nothing but sign a promissory note to pay for that land, yet we have accepted a system where all of the increased value goes to the person who signed the note. We then tax that income, at the most, at approximately one third. We leave two thirds of this huge increase in private hands while the rest of us work and scrape to pay for the services that will multiply his next investment.
It doesn’t have to be this way.
President Kennedy used to quote Luke 12:48, “From those to whom much is given, much is required,” and he lived that simple concept of justice. Just 50 years ago, under President Kennedy, we recognized this principle and taxed the wealthy at a 70 percent tax rate. From those to whom much is given, much is required. Today, we tax the wealthy at approximately 35 percent, or one-half of the previous rate, and wonder why we face budget shortfalls at every level of government.
Donald Trump’s salary is reportedly $42,000,000 per year, primarily from real estate investments. Yet we—the community—create the conditions that increase the value of his investments every year. Increasing his tax contribution from 35 percent ($13,000,000) to 70 percent ($26,000,000) per year would not only make a significant
contribution to our budget problems, it would be fair. We resist implementing this simple and obvious solution to our budget crises only because we have been trained to believe that $42,000,000 he makes each year is entirely his money. It is not.
No one becomes wealthy without a lot of help from a lot of people, and Trump is no exception. It is time to demand that Trump and other wealthy individuals and large corporations pay their fair share of the costs it takes to fund our country and our states. Tax justice is a simple step we can take to address the financial crises we are facing
and stop the ever-increasing concentration of power and money in our country.
Leeper is a Madison attorney actively supporting the protests against
Governor Walker’s attack on public employees and collective
bargaining. Leeper has served as a District Attorney in Wisconsin and
has taught human rights, peace and conflict, negotiations, and rule of
law courses in Ukraine, Spain, Zimbabwe, and the United States.
David D. Leeper
Attorney, Mediator, and Conflict Consultant
866 Terry Place, Madison, WI 53711
608-238-7177 firstname.lastname@example.org Fax 608-238-3312
By Perry B. Newman a South Portland resident and president of Atlantica Group, an international business consulting firm based in Portland, with clients in North America, Israel and Europe. He is also chairman of the Maine District Export Council.
By now the world knows that Maine Gov. Paul LePage ordered the removal of a mural from the walls of the Maine Department of Labor in Augusta. The mural depicted Mainers across the generations in the struggle for workers’ rights.
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There seems to be an epidemic of illogical thinking among Maine’s top government officials.
It ranges from taxing the purchase of garden vegetable seeds (versus no sales tax on “food” in general, including soda pop and candy) to thinking that with BPA, the “worst case is some women may have little beards” (versus the clear scientific consensus that the endocrine hormone disruption by BPA can severely affect fetuses, etc, etc, etc.). Perhaps Gov. Paul La Page is not familiar with Dr. Louis Guillette’s research on hormone disrupting chemicals, causing small penises in alligators in Florida!
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Tomorrow Mainers will elect a new governor. Because of what’s at stake, it is critical that you vote.
Paul LePage is an ultra-conservative, tea party zealot. Not only is he committed to barring any attempt for marriage equality in our state but he also wants to repeal existing protections for LGBT Mainers.
We are very fortunate to have two pro-marriage candidates for governor from which to choose: Democrat Libby Mitchell and Independent Eliot Cutler.
A majority of Mainers will vote for these two pro-marriage candidates tomorrow and yet, sadly, we may be saddled with an anti-equality governor for four years. An average of recent polling puts LePage at 39.3%, Cutler at 26.5% and Mitchell at 23.3%.
It has been our strategy from the beginning of this campaign to defeat Paul LePage, and to support the pro-marriage candidate who is within striking distance of that goal.
Tomorrow, please vote for the pro-marriage candidate who you believe has the best chance of beating LePage. Not voting is not an option.
Vote tomorrow like your rights depend on it – because in all honesty, they do.
Betsy Smith, Executive Director
The Maine Small Business Coalition (MSBC) is proud to endorse Libby Mitchell for governor. She has a strong plan to help businesses on Main Street. Mitchell’s plans for tax credits, infrastructure upgrades, and her commitment to universal healthcare are the types of ideas that Maine small businesses need to help grow and create jobs.
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Tags: 2010 election