Regarding Bill Nemitz’s casino column (“Future of ‘resort’ based on ‘best guess,”‘ July 25): As a board member of the Oxford Casino, I can’t comment on the Department of Environmental Protection issue, as that is between the state and the court, but I would like to say that comment about Bob Bahre was totally uncalled for.
I’ve known Bob for 36 years, shortly after I arrived in Maine in the ’70s and throughout the years, including the casino project that Bob and a number of others are invested in.
Bill Nemitz obviously doesn’t know much about Bob if he thinks Bob got into this project to make money. A return on an investment is never a bad thing, but the main reason Bob got behind this project was the jobs it would create in one of the toughest times in memory in western Maine.
We’ve created hundreds of jobs in construction and services and now 400 year-round full-time jobs with benefits. A lot of Maine families have a good job and health care they didn’t have eight weeks ago.
Bob Bahre has created hundreds of jobs over the past 50 years in numerous companies he has started, invested in and supported.
You won’t read about the substantial charitable and social donations Bob has made and continues to make in the community, because he doesn’t talk about them and doesn’t like others to.
Bill Nemitz should take a ride up Route 26 to Oxford. Stop at businesses and ask what they think of Bob Bahre. Bob has done well, helped a lot of other people do well and made a great and positive difference in countless lives over the years.
It’s easy for Bill Nemitz to slam people he really doesn’t know, but I guess that’s just the nature of people like him.
Airport cab drivers deserve opportunity to earn a living
Everyone deserves to earn what they work for. Airport cab drivers cannot lose their jobs.
Airport cab drivers are hardworking people who deserve our thanks but no disruption.
If anyone knows the recent history of Portland airport cab drivers, it used to be open to all drivers: Simply pay the airport permit fee and stay at the airport to pick up your fare. But when the economy went down, most of the airport cab drivers left the airport and withdrew their permits because the waiting period for one fare become four to five hours.
There were 50 cab drivers who put their time and effort to stay at the airport and serve Portland people when they need taxis at the airport, while others chose the hassle of working downtown to make more of a living.
Those 50 cab drivers were paying airport permit fees even in the toughest time. They stayed at the airport even though they might not be making money, but they were happy for the service they were providing.
All cab drivers got their fair chance before the airport management decided to limit the numbers of airport cab permits. It is unfortunate not to look after drivers who paid the price of being patient, staying at the airport during harsh winters and summers.
It is not clear the motive of the management, but whatsoever, it is good management practice to look at other venues before concluding who will lose a job. If one is losing a job, it is better to be the one who can afford to lose a job.
Senators’ efforts, allies boost Kayatta’s prospects
As a former senior staffer for four Democratic members of Maine’s congressional delegation and sergeant at arms of the U.S. Senate with nearly 30 years of combined service, I remain a keenly interested observer of the legislative branch of our federal government.
A recent editorial (Our View, “U.S. Senate should vote on judicial nomination,” July 18) raised important issues over the decision of the Senate Republican Caucus to block votes on all federal judicial nominations until after the fall elections, including the nomination of William Kayatta to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 1st Circuit.
While the editorial raises valid objections to this unfortunate and highly partisan strategy, the editorial badly misses on its criticism of Maine’s two Republican senators.
From all appearances — public and private — Sen. Olympia Snowe and Sen. Susan Collins have enthusiastically supported Kayatta and have worked hard to overcome the decision by their own caucus to block his nomination.
Although they face a very difficult task in overcoming the harsh realities of Washington politics, both senators have demonstrated conviction and perseverance in their efforts to bring this nomination to a vote before the fall elections.
For all those interested in ensuring that only the best-qualified individuals are approved to serve in our federal judiciary, Sen. Snowe and Sen. Collins are deserving of praise rather than poorly informed criticism.
Since 2001, I have tracked judicial nominations for the Judging the Environment project of the group Defenders of Wildlife.
Unbroken precedent and recent events bolster the letter from U.S. Sens. Olympia J. Snowe and Susan Collins saying they are “very hopeful” they will “gather the votes needed to confirm” judicial nominee William Kayatta this year (“Election-year politics mar nomination,” July 20).
Election-year politics have never blocked consensus nominees like Kayatta, whom the Judiciary Committee approved in an April 19 voice vote to fill Maine’s only seat on the six-judge 1st Circuit Court of Appeals.
Likely allies include Oklahoma’s very conservative home-state Republican senators. They strongly support Robert Bacharach, another stalled consensus nominee who was also approved in a committee voice vote. Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., called the blockade “stupid,” and said that Bacharach would make a great 10th Circuit nominee for a Republican president.
Other expected supporters include those who joined Maine’s senators to provide the 60 votes that Arizona Republican Sens. Jon Kyl and John McCain needed June 11 to end a filibuster of their home-state judge, Andrew Hurwitz.
staff attorney, Defenders of Wildlife