Back in the early ’90s, then-Speaker of the House John Martin reportedly told a delegation of business leaders that they could leave the state if they did not like the business climate he and his fellow Democrats had created in Maine.

Maine’s present dismal business climate indicates that many took Martin’s suggestion.

What a refreshing change it is to see Gov.-elect Paul LePage invite previously scorned business leaders to now use their talents to help pull Maine out of the financial mess left behind by decades of Democratic control.

I hope LePage also extends an invitation to all citizens of Maine to not only offer suggestions, but also voice their frustrations with the various state agencies that have too long abused their powers and our finances.

Now, I’m sure many labor and environmental activists will complain that they should be present during such meetings. But while the Democrats ruled Maine, these activists had their time with sympathetic lawmakers and helped create this unfriendly business and social climate we now have.

They have had their time. Now it’s our turn.

Ted Sirois

Saco

Gov.-elect Paul LePage reached out to business leaders for help in making regulations more business-friendly and at the same time excluded consumer groups, among others.

Who do the business, manufacturing and political leaders think buys their products?

Real change in government would be to listen to the consumer; not after the fact, but, before enacting lopsided legislation.

Let us not, please, blindly assume that what is good for business is good for the consumer.

In the end, the consumer picks up the tab, as usual.

Sarah Strouss

Boothbay

If we need marijuana dealers, the prisons are full of them

“Medical pot growers forming trade group,” read the article, making me wonder: Would they come under commodities on the stock exchange?

So when do we see them on the Big Board? What do they do if their stock goes out of date? You can bet they’ll get someone to dispose of it for them, leading to the headline, “Inventory destroyed by fire.”

Medical means strict control as far as I know. Why do we need all these “dealers”? We already have them on the streets now!

Since we are going to do this, why don’t we hire all these people we have been arresting and make them dealers? After all they have a clientel and connections and they know how to grow and process it already.

As I recall the police just pulled up and burned tons upstate.

They should have taken the people who planted it plus all the people in jail who are there for planting and selling maryjane and put them on the payroll!

They could have sold all that stuff they burned and made a lot of money for the state. That way we could save money on the prisons and the former prisoners could become productive members of society.

the way, are they going to pay the tobacco tax like they do for cigars, cigarettes, etc.? Seems only fair to me.

Richard A. Aspinall, Sr.

Scarborough

World War II veteran, 92, searched twice at airport

One pressing issue before the nation today is airport security.

I am a 92-year-old World War II and Korean War veteran, legally blind and hearing disabled. I use a cane.

Twice in the last six weeks, I, apparently, fit the profile of a potential terrorist. On two separate flights while going through security, I was asked to step aside and stand with my arms over my head before a type of X-ray machine. I was then patted down and my hands were examined for possible explosive residue.

My cane was taken so it could be examined. On my last trip, they even examined the contents of my wallet. I have little potential for mischief. In fact, it is a challenge for me just to replace my hearing-aid batteries and to tie my shoes.

If this happened only once, I might have thought, “Well, this is just a random check.” But twice within a few weeks? What is the profile that I fit? I found it demeaning. It raises the question: “Doesn’t the nation trust the war veterans who stood in harm’s way?”

Shortly after Dec. 7, 1941, when Pearl Harbor was attacked, I enlisted in the U.S. Navy and was sent to the Mediterranean. On D-Day, during the invasion of Sicily, our ship was hit by German dive bombers. After repairs, we made landings at Salerno, Anzio, Isle of Elbe and France.

Could an amputee war veteran or a Medal of Honor winner also meet the terrorist profile? It’s a sad day when a nation distrusts those who stood in harm’s way and who never thought of harming this nation.

It is my firm belief that, if we had not built military bases in Saudi Arabia, thus angering Osama bin Laden, we would not be suspecting those who served this nation honorably, or invading the lives of all airline customers who just want to calmly reach their destination. There must be a better way to protect our country.

Coleman P. Gorham

Lt. Cmdr., USN Ret.

Portland

Illegal alien boasts of status while legal ones get deported

It seems every day I read something about the situation of Selvin Arevelo, among others, who has decided to declare his illegal status. In my e-mail to staff writer Trevor Maxwell on Nov. 12, I pondered the fact that Arevelo had been in this country illegally for nine years.

During that time, he had not even tried to apply for a green card and legal status, Why should he be allowed to stay here, blatantly breaking the law, when Dean and Laura Frank of Wells were denied renewal of their visas and deported in July of this year.

They were here legally and were running a thriving business. Where is the equality and justice in that? I don’t remember too many activists rallying to promote their plight.

Even my phone calls to the offices of Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins were not returned. How can this be?

Alexandria Turek

Scarborough