I supported the Biddeford Downs proposal earlier this year in the Legislature, and I’ll support Question 2 on Nov. 8.

The project will provide good-paying jobs with benefits, at a time when private investment is sorely needed in our state.

A new hotel, conference center, harness racetrack and slots facility in Biddeford will require hundreds of construction workers, engineers and architects to build. After it’s done, a large staff of full time and part-time workers will be needed to run the complex.

The creation of jobs is a solid reason to support Question 2. But there is another important piece to this referendum that helped inform my decision: the credibility of the developers.

Ocean Properties Ltd. has teamed up with Scarborough Downs. Their proposal essentially moves and modernizes the Downs to compete on the same level as the harness racing industry in dozens of other states.

Ocean Properties is owned by Bangor native Tom Walsh. He built his company up in the Bangor area in the 1960s, and now Ocean Properties owns hotels across the U.S. and Canada. The company employs more than 1,200 Mainers at its properties in our state, including The Samoset in Rockland.

Scarborough Downs has been the hub of a traditional Maine industry for more than 60 years. It is led by Sharon Terry, who is highly respected in Maine’s business community.

I believe that the Walsh and Terry families, working together, will produce an entertainment complex that is successful and appropriate for Maine. They are prepared to put hundreds of Mainers to work, and I support that effort.

State Sen. Bill Diamond

Windham

It’s hard to vote against jobs. But, if “racinos” are looked at only through the economic lens, we have no choice. But this isn’t a vote for racinos. Consider the social-injustice lens.

It’s called “racino” not “casino”, because it somewhat disguises the gambling. And gambling returns is what will pay the worker’s wages, and these gambling returns — in the tens of millions — are other people’s lost wages.

People who feel that life is out of their control — luck, government, illness, other events out of one’s control — are more willing to take a chance. Why not? They’re already down; what’s to lose?

What about those gamblers called “whales” — those with big money? Their losses are a small portion of their overall wealth and drain them less than those of someone living from paycheck to paycheck and deeply worried about losing their job. But people on the lower end of the economic scale proportionally buy more lottery tickets visit casinos/racinos. The gambling industry’s profits come more from those who least can afford it. Occasionally, someone hits it big, but not very often.

I’m not blaming the victim.The economy is at a low point for all and having an income is a powerful incentive. But consider that the money paying somebody’s wagesin a casino is somebody else’s losses.

It’s not what it’s called, but this amounts to a tax on the poor. Look at the social injustice of the gambling industry’s inequitably “taxing” the poor and taking advantage of their plight.

Yes, gambling is fun, exciting and you might win. But most don’t and my father didn’t. He was a professional gambler but also a compulsive gambler. I survived and am OK these days, but his experiences clearly inform what I’m saying here.

Mark Schwartz

South Portland

Coleman for Old Orchard Beach Town Council

I have known Mike Coleman for a few years now and have always been impressed with his way of thinking. Not only is he a very intelligent person, but he completely understands current issues.

I feel he would be a great addition to the OOB Town Council. His education in accounting and economics will be an asset in these difficult times. He is an excellent communicator and will work effectively with all members of the council. He listens to all sides of an argument before making an unbiased, informed decision.

Please join me in supporting Mike Coleman for the Old Orchard Beach Town Council.

Glynis Kerrick

Old Orchard Beach

Letter slamming prison scholars was missing facts

I want to reply to James Stovall’s letter to the editor (Oct. 30) regarding Doris Buffett’s support of scholarships for Maine State prison inmates. Apparently Mr Stovall didn’t do a Google search before he assumed that Ms. Buffett is only providing scholarships to inmates. If Mr. Stovall had bothered to check he would have found out about some of the other programs The Sunshine Lady Foundation supports including scholarships for victims of domestic violence. I’ve known Doris Buffett for 6 years and I’m proud to be able to help her in the many ways she quietly and profoundly helps individuals and families with a hand up.

Nancie Burton

Thomaston

Burke and Ganley shared vision for Portland

On the occasion of Dan Burke’s passing, here is another important partnership in his life that must be celebrated. It is the very special relationship Dan had with Portland City Manager Bob Ganley.

Because of the bond these two men forged, choppy political waters were navigated to get a quality baseball facility built and operational. Because of this, the Sea Dogs were able to find the home for which Dan had long dreamed.

In my position as Executive Director of the Portland Exposition Building for the years many of us worked on getting the Sea Dogs to Portland and Hadlock Field built, I was most fortunate to witness firsthand how well these two men worked together. It was the quintessential public-private partnership based on mutual respect, trust, determination and a powerful shared vision. Each man had a feeling this was a time of destiny to bring to Portland the type of affordable entertainment unique to minor league baseball, while at the same time building community cohesion and pride.

Add to this mix Charlie Eshbach who was the perfect go-to baseball man to get things done, empowered by having the genuine respect, admiration and trust of both men.

Bob’s untimely death is still felt deeply by those of us that worked with him. Dan’s passing now also stirs emotions. So we feel pride in knowing that when the history of how this great franchise came to Portland is written, one chapter will be filled with wonderful anecdotes of how Dan Burke and Bob Ganley came together to create something that would keep on giving to the people of Maine. Thank you, gentlemen!

Frank P. LaTorre,

former executive director of the Portland Exposition Building