In December 1879, William A. Goodwin and the Olmsted brothers drew up plans for Deering Oaks park, and by the early 1900s it was known as the “people’s garden.”

State Street bisected the park and separated the rose circle from the rest of the park. In 1904, State Street was widened to accommodate increasing horse-drawn as well as horseless travel.

Today, State Street is a two-lane, blacktopped thoroughfare with a posted speed of 25 mph that is rarely observed and, to my knowledge, rarely enforced.

Aside from the parking across State Street at The Castle, there is no place for people to disembark a bus or courtesy van. This means visitors must cross State Street to access the “circle.”

There is a painted crosswalk at that point across State Street with a pedestrian crosswalk sign at the point of the crosswalk. This arrangement does not allow drivers sufficient notice.

We at Seventy-Five State Street, an independent and assisted living facility for seniors, would like to bring residents to the rose circle but believe it is unsafe due to the current situation. We travel with a van for people with handicaps. This means that the driver would let the passengers off into traffic or across the street from the circle.

There may be several ways to remedy the situation. One might be putting a permanent sign in the middle of the road reading, “State Law. Stop for Pedestrians in Crosswalk.” Another might be reducing the speed limit and giving more warning for the crosswalk.

Our final proposal would be a pedestrian-initiated signal with flashing lights for crossing the street as can be found in South Portland, on Cottage Road at Millcreek.

There may be other ways to solve this situation, and we think the city’s Department of Public Services should look at all possibilities.

Let’s make access to the rose circle safe for all residents of Portland.

Brian Steppacher
Activities assistant
Seventy-Five State Street
Portland

 

Electing Libby Mitchell will not cure what ails us

 

Libby Mitchell is a tax-and-spend career politician and a very bad option for governor.

As a tax-and-spend politician, she will be endorsed by every organization that feeds at the taxpayer trough (teachers union, Maine State Employees Association, etc.) because they want to keep the government money flowing. This should be a big red flag to all taxpayers!

Her record supports Maine’s unsustainable growth of government. The state’s ratio of government employees per private-sector job is already 2.5 times the national average, growth of government payrolls and public assistance programs continuously exceeds private-sector growth, and the state now has one of the most expensive, overstaffed school systems in the country (also one of the poorest performing).

These trends are unsustainable and have left Maine with one of the highest tax burdens in the country.

Mitchell is an advocate of Maine’s Dirigo health plan, which is a disaster that has wasted millions of taxpayer dollars, driven out insurance providers and driven up cost.

Her past leadership has provided Maine with increases in unemployment, taxes, debt and a declining educational system.

Now she promises to fix it all.

Any politician who tells you that the government can just keep spending on things that don’t work and paying people to not work is either foolish or surely thinks the voters are just a bunch of simpletons.

Maine needs private businesses and high-wage jobs, but they avoid states with high taxes, high operating and insurance costs and unstable finances.

Everyone from the business owner to the public assistance recipient has a stake in seeing that Maine does not reach the point of defaulting on its debt.

If Mitchell becomes governor, then government spending, taxes and debt will increase, and Maine will be brought even closer to default.

Dennis T. Caron
Cumberland

Paul LePage described as conservative in best sense

 

On July 1, you published a letter from Sam Kamin of Cumberland regarding the upcoming gubernatorial race in Maine. Kamin has made some inaccurate assumptions, and I feel compelled to respond.

Mainly, Kamin appeared to have a lack of knowledge regarding gubernatorial candidate Paul LePage. It is true that LePage, as Kamin stated, is a conservative. In today’s economy, “conservative” is not a bad word. However, LePage’s candidacy was not made possible by the endorsement and efforts of the tea party movement, as indicated by Mr. Kamin.

Paul LePage was elected mayor of the city of Waterville, and re-elected twice. When LePage was elected, the tea party had not yet been formulated. Although tea party backers may have chosen LePage as the best candidate and he may agree with some of their principles, LePage has not committed himself to a firm allegiance to the tea party. As Mr. Kamin stated, Paul LePage is a Republican.

Mr. Kamin further states that if LePage is elected, LePage is committed to bringing the tea party’s self-absorbed agenda to the Blaine House with no prospect for compromise.

LePage now compromises daily while he works with a Democratic-controlled city council. A Republican is not elected in a city with approximately 11,000 voters, of which only 1,800 or so are Republican, without a little compromising now and then.

Mr. Kamin then states that liberal Democrat Libby Mitchell would be the best candidate for governor. The people of Maine are ready for a change from increasing welfare recipients and payments. There is a need to reduce the amount of government red tape and regulations. Mitchell does not offer such reductions.

In fact, Mitchell’s own candidacy is financed by the taxpayers of Maine. She has accepted taxpayer money to finance her campaign. LePage has not accepted any taxpayer money to run his campaign and depends on contributions from his supporters.

Now is the time for a positive change. Paul LePage offers real hope for Maine’s future. If it is to be, it is up to us.

Donald M. Breault Jr.
Old Orchard Beach