Restore Rainy Day Fund first

Gov. Baldacci’s recent proposal to restore $79 million to the state budget raises a few questions and concerns.

Although I understand the immediate desire to relieve the health and human services and education budget cuts, it seems short-sighted to allocate the entire $79 million without restoring the Rainy Day Fund first.

It’s understandable that the Rainy Day Fund has been depleted during these difficult economic times. However, a serious commitment must be made to replenish it now, while federal dollars are still flowing into the state. Otherwise, it will be more difficult to restore it in the future, when federal dollars are declining.

The governor has indicated he would like to replenish the fund. But without specifying a significant amount, one might ask the question, “Is this just lip service?”

Seems to me that the state needs to take a long-term approach to budgeting and not just try to spend every nickel in its coffers within a two-year budget period, and then look for more money in the following two years.

This short-term approach can only lead to increased pressure to raise taxes or fees.

If a large portion of the $79 million is not set aside to replenish the Rainy Day Fund, future cuts in health and human services and education could be even more painful.

Bob Kelley

West Gardiner

 

 

Concert reviewer’s comment sounded discordant note

 

I have to object to the mean-spiritedness of Christopher Hyde’s recent review of the Portland Symphony’s “Rach and Romance” concert at Merrill Auditorium on Feb. 16.

As a member of the PSO’s violin section for the past 26 years, I have had many occasions to perform on stage with great artists from all over the planet.

It has been a privilege and a blessing to participate with others at this high level for the better part of my adult life. In that time, there have been numerous reviews delivered by Hyde with which I’ve had issues, but not until I read this review have I been moved to object.

At the concert, we experienced that rarest of rare moments, when we know we are in the presence of a singular gift. We were treated to a spectacular and thrilling performance of the Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 2. Ms. Yuja Wang possesses technique and heart. Her performance was powerful and clean.

The spontaneous response of the audience at the conclusion of the work was amazing! A sound, as a single shout from hundreds of onlookers, filled the auditorium. An artist communicated, and the audience responded. She accepted that outpouring with grace and offered a beautifully played movement of light and joy by Scarlatti. She played it as an encore, an exquisite dessert to the sumptuous main event.

To which Mr. Hyde responded, “The only piece out of place was an unwelcome encore that spoiled the romantic mood .”

Shame on you, Mr. Hyde. You missed the point.

Clorinda Noyes

Portland

 

 

John Richardson would be top dog for Blaine House

 

I am a retired legal assistant and I now devote my time to fostering rescued dogs through Lucky Pup Rescue of Kennebunkport. What a wonderful surprise it was when Democratic candidate for governor John Richardson and his wife, Stephanie, came to Sanford to attend a charity fundraiser for Lucky Pup.

I have known John and his family for a number of years, both personally and as a paralegal. John and I worked for the same law firm at which time I served as one of his assistants. I came to know John during that time as a hard-working advocate for his clients and for the people who worked with him. He believed very strongly in giving credit for work done and fought for fair compensation for his team.

His work with municipal groups such as Maine State Police, Maine Municipal Association and Maine Association of Police was exemplary, and his sense of duty to his clients was second to no attorney I have worked with, before or since.

I have followed his career since then, and I believe his experiences in Augusta have given him the tools to save jobs and create new ones and to steer the state’s economy in the right direction.

I also believe that his strong connection with people who support his vision for renewed industry and new businesses, big and small, in Maine qualify him more than other candidates to lead us as governor.

We would like to thank John and Stephanie Richardson for their appearance at our Valentine’s Day charity dance in Sanford, for their heartfelt support of our dog rescue efforts, and especially for their interest in one of our beautiful pups, Sophie.

What a wonderful goal he has given us to have one of our pups live in the Blaine House. We want to thank John and Stephanie for their love of dogs and we wish John success in his bid for governor of the great state of Maine.

Ada R. Coppola

Volunteer for Lucky Pup Rescue

North Waterboro

 

 

Today’s the day to honor courageous abortion providers

 

Every year on March 10, supporters of reproductive human rights celebrate the National Day of Appreciation for Abortion Providers.

This date marks the anniversary of the 1993 murder of Dr. David Gunn, the first provider of abortion care murdered by a so-called pro-life activist. Sadly, seven other providers have been murdered since then. The most recent murder was that of Dr. George Tiller on May 31, 2009. He was shot and killed on a Sunday morning while serving as an usher at his church in Wichita, Kan.

About half of U.S. women have experienced an unintended pregnancy, and at current rates, more than one-third (35 percent) will have had an abortion by age 45. These are women from all religious backgrounds, including fundamentalist Christians.

Maine is a pro-choice state because we trust Maine women. We trust Maine women who are perfectly capable of making their own moral and responsible choices in the face of circumstances that they know best.

We trust Maine women, and don’t need radical right-to-lifers working to foist their personal religious values upon the majority of Mainers who do not share them. We applaud abortion providers who are there to support women and provide them with safe and compassionate medical care.

On March 10, I celebrate providers of abortion care who risk their lives to make reproductive human rights a reality. Abortion providers are moral giants in our community.

Nancy A. Foss

Abortion Access Project

Portland