Letters – Press Herald http://www.pressherald.com Tue, 21 Nov 2017 05:59:41 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.3 Letter to the editor: Portland arborist stepped up for ‘Forest City’ http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/20/letter-to-the-editor-portland-arborist-tarling-stepped-up-for-forest-city/ http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/20/letter-to-the-editor-portland-arborist-tarling-stepped-up-for-forest-city/#respond Mon, 20 Nov 2017 09:00:00 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=1290192 Our wonderful city recently suffered an unusually vicious rain and wind storm that took down many of its graceful and mature trees. Fortunately, however, we are blessed as a community to have a Parks, Recreation and Facilities Department, and in particular, the Forestry Division, led by our city arborist, Jeff Tarling, who responded to the emergency with care, efficiency and good judgment. Jeff and his team made urgent and critical decisions to protect the safety of our citizens and preserve the integrity of our beautiful “Forest City.”

Kudos to Jeff and his hardworking forestry staff, who log long hours of difficult and often dangerous work as they continue to respond to our neighbors’ calls for their service.

Phyllis Givertz

Portland

]]>
http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/20/letter-to-the-editor-portland-arborist-tarling-stepped-up-for-forest-city/feed/ 0 Sun, 19 Nov 2017 18:40:48 +0000
Letter to the editor: Affordable medication being taken off market http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/20/letter-to-the-editor-affordable-medication-being-taken-off-market/ http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/20/letter-to-the-editor-affordable-medication-being-taken-off-market/#respond Mon, 20 Nov 2017 09:00:00 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=1290193 Have you been told lately by your physician or pharmacist that either atenolol or hydrochlorothiazide will not be available soon and that you should plan to change to something else for your hypertension? Did your health care professional give you a reason for the availability problem?

Both of these drugs have a fine track record, and they share one other characteristic: They are very inexpensive. Is there any chance that the pending unavailability of these drugs is linked to money? Might the new medication be much more costly? Why doesn’t your health care professional know what the problem is?

Is Big Pharma, which claims to care about your health, mostly interested in their bottom line? And don’t forget that even if you have prescription drug coverage, any increase in cost gets put on to you, either in premiums or taxes.

Doug Moreshead

retired pharmacist

Cumberland

]]>
http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/20/letter-to-the-editor-affordable-medication-being-taken-off-market/feed/ 0 Sun, 19 Nov 2017 18:39:02 +0000
Letter to the editor: Political parties AWOL on casino issue http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/20/letter-to-the-editor-political-parties-awol-on-casino-issue/ http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/20/letter-to-the-editor-political-parties-awol-on-casino-issue/#respond Mon, 20 Nov 2017 09:00:00 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=1290189 Question 1 on the Nov. 7 ballot was a ripoff. It was a cushy business deal hatched by an international gambling promoter, a business deal shamelessly masquerading as a boon to the people of Maine. Fortunately, voters saw through Shawn Scott’s phony promises.

Fortunately, a few politicians spoke out against his proposal, including Gov. LePage, York state Rep. Lydia Blume and York’s Board of Selectmen. So, too, did Maine newspaper editorial boards. Fortunately (if late in the game) the state’s Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices fined Scott’s organization.

Unfortunately, neither the Maine Republican Party nor the Maine Democratic Party took a stand against Question 1. Both weighed in on other initiatives this year, but not on Question 1. Why not? It was clearly a bad deal, put forward by a shady self-promoter and trumpeted through a misleading ad campaign.

Silence in response to an obviously crooked initiative makes one question the value of Maine’s Democratic and Republican organizations. Beyond their partisan agendas, aren’t they supposed to be concerned about good government?

No initiative designed to benefit one individual and his cronies should ever go before the voters. We need to change the rules. “Never again” should be the mantra. Step up, Maine political leaders! Do the right thing! Take action, so the self-dealing Shawn Scotts of this world cannot game Maine’s voting system.

David Chase

York

]]>
http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/20/letter-to-the-editor-political-parties-awol-on-casino-issue/feed/ 0 http://multifiles.pressherald.com/uploads/sites/4/2017/09/shutterstock_291663701-2.jpgMon, 20 Nov 2017 14:53:33 +0000
Letter to the editor: Maine’s Republicans take wrong side on tax plan http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/20/letter-to-the-editor-maines-republicans-take-wrong-side-on-tax-plan/ http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/20/letter-to-the-editor-maines-republicans-take-wrong-side-on-tax-plan/#respond Mon, 20 Nov 2017 09:00:00 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=1290190 The recent excellent Maine Voices column by Stephen Ward (Nov. 7) made the case that the two Republicans in our congressional delegation favor the big banks over Maine citizens. Both are presently involved in an even bigger venture to funnel more income to super-rich corporations and millionaires.

Whatever blend of the House and Senate tax bill emerges, it is clear that it will violate the Republican mantra against deficit spending and will be a boon to the people earning millions. It embraces the discredited theory of trickle-down economics. We have searched in vain for the hard evidence that giving more money to corporations already awash in capital will result in money in our pockets. Arguments citing benefits for yacht salesmen not accepted.

Sen. Susan Collins recently took the side of Mainers when she opposed the Republican health care bill. We applaud her for that. She now needs to think about the hardworking people of Maine and refuse to vote for a tax plan that increases the deficit and rewards millionaires. It is not at all clear that there will be any benefits for middle-class Americans, despite Republican ads on TV.

After looking at the tax proposals, Angus King wrote on Facebook: “We’ve finally gotten a look at the tax reform proposal put forward by the Trump administration and congressional leadership – and I have to say, it looks disastrous.” It’s time for Susan Collins to listen to her colleague.

Tom Mikulka

Elders for Future Generations

Cape Elizabeth

]]>
http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/20/letter-to-the-editor-maines-republicans-take-wrong-side-on-tax-plan/feed/ 0 Sun, 19 Nov 2017 18:41:36 +0000
Letter to the editor: Effort to aid middle class wouldn’t end estate tax http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/20/letter-to-the-editor-effort-to-aid-middle-class-wouldnt-end-estate-tax/ http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/20/letter-to-the-editor-effort-to-aid-middle-class-wouldnt-end-estate-tax/#respond Mon, 20 Nov 2017 09:00:00 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=1290191 Our representatives, and all of us, need to resist the congressional Republicans’ tax “reform” initiatives. Once again, we see an effort to put more money in the hands of the very few and take it from those who have less. This is dishonest, but more importantly has never been a good way to stimulate the economy.

Any legislation that truly meant to help the middle class would not include an end to the estate tax. The only reason this has some support among the people of the U.S. is that most don’t know that this tax will never affect them. The politicians who rail against the “death tax” never mention the $5.5 million-per-person exemption. How many of President Trump’s beloved unemployed coal workers have $5.5 million to bestow on their relatives?

A family that has a serious medical issue (car accident, premature child), or a family that finds itself in the throes of a divorce; thousands of these unfortunate families will find their costs significantly increased so that just one family can inherit $100 million, without being taxed.

Any legislation that truly meant to help the working person would not raise the lowest tax rate 20 percent. And, with a simplified rate structure more people at this lowest level will get a small raise, and discover that their tax rate has more than doubled as a result, and they actually lose money by getting a raise.

And which of the tax “reforms” disappear over time? Not the ones that help the rich but those that might help the working middle class. Does Trump know how many millions this bill gives his family, and how bad it is for almost all of his voters?

Ted Arnold

Portland

]]>
http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/20/letter-to-the-editor-effort-to-aid-middle-class-wouldnt-end-estate-tax/feed/ 0 Sun, 19 Nov 2017 18:39:49 +0000
Letter to the editor: Apple cider, apple treats and fall leaves a wonder http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/19/letter-to-the-editor-apple-cider-apple-treats-and-fall-leaves-a-wonder/ http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/19/letter-to-the-editor-apple-cider-apple-treats-and-fall-leaves-a-wonder/#respond Sun, 19 Nov 2017 09:00:00 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=1289262 Just the mention of the words “cider doughnuts” invokes visions of “that festival season when nature is all aglow”: red and gold leaves on a bright autumn day, colorful marsh grasses and apple trees heavy with the lovely red fruit we look forward to as summer fades each year.

New England is mecca for lovers of all things apple, and those sweet-tart confections bathed in sugar or left “bare,” are one of the best treats ever created. Mouths water all over New England come late September, in anticipation of the tasty round delights. Grocery stores begin to display them in their bakeries. Orchards and produce stands draw locals and tourists alike with promises of homemade cider doughnuts. Church fairs and village autumn-fests are magnets for seekers of that seductive first bite.

Now, to be honest, there are some cider doughnuts that don’t quite measure up. Some are too soft. Others are too dry. Many are packaged in such a way that they lose that slight crunchiness the best ones have along the inner and outer crusts of the doughnut. Connoisseurs will insist that a cider doughnut is not really a cider doughnut unless it is fresh out of the fryer, still slightly warm if possible, having just a bit of a crisp edge rimming the cakey interior.

Autumn is, indeed, a magical time of year in throughout the northeastern United States. Folks in other parts of the country will attempt to tout this season as just as colorful, just as breathtaking, as ours. We know differently, however. The truth is that there is just no display of red, gold yellow and orange that can measure up to autumn in our part of the country.

Add the wondrous display of flocks of Canada geese against a clear, blue sky and the amazing taste of a fresh cider doughnut and, well … You know what I mean.

The Rev. Charlotte Hendee

Wells

]]>
http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/19/letter-to-the-editor-apple-cider-apple-treats-and-fall-leaves-a-wonder/feed/ 0 Sun, 19 Nov 2017 18:37:35 +0000
Letter to the editor: Amazon pharma plan is to target vulnerable states http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/19/letter-to-the-editor-amazon-pharma-plan-is-to-target-vulnerable-states/ http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/19/letter-to-the-editor-amazon-pharma-plan-is-to-target-vulnerable-states/#respond Sun, 19 Nov 2017 09:00:00 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=1289263 After reading Kevin Miller’s front-page article in the Oct. 28 Portland Press Herald, detailing the online retail giant’s submission of applications to the Maine Board of Pharmacy for wholesale licenses to sell “professional only” medical products, I couldn’t help but ask myself: Why Maine? Why 12 other states (Nevada, Arizona, North Dakota, Louisiana, Alabama, New Jersey, Michigan, Connecticut, Idaho, New Hampshire, Oregon and Tennessee) that have already given licenses to Amazon?

Is it just a coincidence that Amazon has targeted these states in particular? All 13 of them, except Connecticut, which is home to a number of pharmaceutical and insurance companies, have Republican governors. These 13 states, targeted by Amazon, were repeatedly listed in varied sources on the internet as having huge opioid abuse problems.

According to opensecrets.org, the pharmaceutical industry (aka Big Pharma), which includes drug manufacturers and dealers of medical products, consistently ranks at or near the top of the list of donors when it comes to federal campaign contributions, and further, Republican candidates tend to receive substantially more funding than Democrats from Big Pharma. Coincidence or correlation?

Amazon says they need the licenses to sell wholesale medical devices, but I can’t help but wonder if is this a way for them to insert their big foot into the door of our state, and others, plagued with opioid addiction to help increase the distribution of drugs such as OxyContin, thus sending more business to Big Pharma and more money to political (especially Republican) campaigns.

Linda Posson

Rockport

]]>
http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/19/letter-to-the-editor-amazon-pharma-plan-is-to-target-vulnerable-states/feed/ 0 Sun, 19 Nov 2017 18:37:48 +0000
Letter to the editor: Retirement doesn’t mean giving up for all Americans http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/19/letter-to-the-editor-retirement-doesnt-mean-giving-up-for-all-americans/ http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/19/letter-to-the-editor-retirement-doesnt-mean-giving-up-for-all-americans/#respond Sun, 19 Nov 2017 09:00:00 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=1289264 In Cynthia Dill’s Nov. 5 commentary, she writes: “Retirement is surrender – an early retreat to an artificial life when many still have creative energy and accumulated wisdom to solve problems.”

She clearly does not understand that that – giving back – is precisely what we are doing. We have not “surrendered”: We have chosen to move past over 50 years of full-time “employment” to full-time re-employment, doing many of the same things we did before, sometimes working harder, to make a difference, to use our creative energy and talents and wisdom to solve problems!

Of the many women and men I have talked with and interviewed about their “retirement” years, I have been exhilarated, often awed, at what they – we – are doing now, in this, our last trimester.

I invite her to sit with us, a group of women and men, in what some call their “re-finement” years, to really learn about what we are doing, to understand how we are making an important difference in a world that is in a tail-spin.

Many of us adhere to Hunter S. Thompson’s idea that we are going to go out “thoroughly used up” and “totally worn out.” I hope that Cynthia Dill understands that this is, in no way, surrender! Quite the opposite, actually.

Luisa Deprez

Portland

]]>
http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/19/letter-to-the-editor-retirement-doesnt-mean-giving-up-for-all-americans/feed/ 0 Sun, 19 Nov 2017 18:37:26 +0000
Letter to the editor: The right to an abortion should be protected, too http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/19/letter-to-the-editor-the-right-to-an-abortion-should-be-protected-too/ http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/19/letter-to-the-editor-the-right-to-an-abortion-should-be-protected-too/#respond Sun, 19 Nov 2017 09:00:00 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=1289266 I was pleased to read a letter Oct. 14 from Jones Gallagher, which ended with the following: “We must not allow the government to intrude into the lives of those it is charged to protect or to seek to restrict our freedoms.”

I was about to applaud the letter writer for his forceful statement in defense of the right to an abortion when I realized that he was writing about guns!

Is there hypocrisy and a double standard here?

Kenneth Spirer

Portland

]]>
http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/19/letter-to-the-editor-the-right-to-an-abortion-should-be-protected-too/feed/ 0 Sun, 19 Nov 2017 18:37:15 +0000
Letter to the editor: Birding adds joy to exploring Maine http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/19/letter-to-the-editor-birding-adds-joy-to-exploring-maine/ http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/19/letter-to-the-editor-birding-adds-joy-to-exploring-maine/#respond Sun, 19 Nov 2017 09:00:00 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=1289260 Deirdre Fleming’s Nov. 5 story about deer hunters who enjoy birding was right on the mark. My wife, Linda, and I started birding 12 years ago, and I wish we’d started much sooner. Birding adds so much to our trips, and we now often travel just to see birds.

Last year, sitting in my deer stand, I had five barred owls fly down and surround me. That was very exciting, particularly when they got excited and started hooting like monkeys. And it isn’t just birds that we deer hunters enjoy.

The first section of my new book, “A Lifetime of Hunting and Fishing,” published in August by North Country Press, is titled “Walking My Woodlot.” I take the reader through my woodlot, telling stories of wonderful things that have happened there while I was hunting.

For example: Once I was sitting on the ground, with my back up against a tree, and an ermine started sprinting back and forth in front of me. It got to within about 10 yards, turned my way and ran right up my leg, stopping on my chest. At that point it decided I wasn’t a tree and it jumped off. Amazing!

You don’t have to be an expert to enjoy birding in Maine. And it sure does add a wonderful element to spending time in our great outdoors.

George Smith

Mount Vernon

]]>
http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/19/letter-to-the-editor-birding-adds-joy-to-exploring-maine/feed/ 0 http://multifiles.pressherald.com/uploads/sites/4/2017/05/1191993_141072-NightHeron.jpgBlack-crowned Night-Heron-5-4-17 at Great Pond in Biddeford Pool. Birding in Biddeford, Maine - May 4, 2017 Jack MacDonald, BiddefordSun, 19 Nov 2017 18:34:41 +0000
Letter to the editor: Trump’s tax plan will bring back jobs from overseas http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/19/letter-to-the-editor-trumps-tax-plan-will-bring-back-jobs-from-overseas/ http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/19/letter-to-the-editor-trumps-tax-plan-will-bring-back-jobs-from-overseas/#respond Sun, 19 Nov 2017 09:00:00 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=1289261 Politicians like Bernie Sanders like to talk about jobs going overseas, but they often don’t tell you why it happens. One of the main reasons America has lost jobs to other countries is that we have the highest corporate income tax rate – 35 percent – in the industrialized world. If a company can operate in another nation and get taxed far less, of course it will consider moving there. It’s common sense.

President Trump’s plan would cut America’s corporate rate to 20 percent, below the industrialized world’s average of 22.5 percent.

The president’s plan would also allow trillions of dollars sitting overseas to come home at a one-time low tax rate. The massive amount of money that would come back to America could be used for countless important things, such as badly needed infrastructure, shoring up Medicare or reducing the budget deficit.

While many politicians complain, our president takes action. Make no mistake about it: This is a pro-American tax plan that Congress must pass.

Larry Mayes

Lewiston

]]>
http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/19/letter-to-the-editor-trumps-tax-plan-will-bring-back-jobs-from-overseas/feed/ 0 Sun, 19 Nov 2017 18:37:57 +0000
Letter to the editor: Pro-ERA column leaves men out of the picture http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/18/letter-to-the-editor-era-column-leaves-men-out-of-the-picture/ http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/18/letter-to-the-editor-era-column-leaves-men-out-of-the-picture/#respond Sat, 18 Nov 2017 09:00:00 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=1289466 Hyperbole much? In Monday’s Maine Voices column, Nancy Murdock says that “women have been held hostage” and that an Equal Rights Amendment “will help women, families, children and men. We all benefit when our working women are paid fairly … and when there is a strong defense against sex being used as a weapon.”

But this is why the column isn’t balanced. Men are tacked on the end almost as a grudging afterthought. The only “equate” is equating “equal” with “retaliation.” We’re already doing a test run called affirmative action. If she isn’t deflecting our objection to something, she outright gets even because she doesn’t like how we said something. Otherwise, we’re not wooing her enough in our presentation under their coy and extrapolated “right to choose” everything.

Thinking they have made evidence for women’s equality, the opposite has occurred. Whereas at one time, men could “see through the hedges and stretch the envelope” to “move the ball down the field” (resolve issues), women saw it as keeping them as housewives. Nowadays, the she replacements can only mimic and administrate, meanwhile keeping intact the biggest deferment to ever come down the pike, affirmative action. So, fail on count one.

Although seemingly true in the veneer, there is a fallacy to “equal pay.” I never got equal pay for equal work; it depends on what you bring to the table at hiring. The notion of affirmative action was to employ people with deficiencies and get a tax credit for doing so, hence making allowances for the candidate with less-than-ample backgrounds: the handicapped, veterans, senior citizens, women, etc. But the enactment doesn’t say employers can’t pay them accordingly.

And thirdly, does the author really want to bring up using “sex as a weapon”?

The ongoing experiment shows that women have only gone from “the fairer sex” to the gilded cows.

William Capistran

Kennebunkport

]]>
http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/18/letter-to-the-editor-era-column-leaves-men-out-of-the-picture/feed/ 0 http://multifiles.pressherald.com/uploads/sites/4/2017/01/1141494_144594-20170121_March_9.jpgCaitlin Mushial of Portland raises a sign as participants in Women's Walk Portland progress to Congress Square Park. The peaceful march stretched over a mile through the city and attracted a larger crowd than anticipated.Fri, 17 Nov 2017 21:25:22 +0000
Letter to the editor: What will be cut later to pay for Republican tax plan now? http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/18/letter-to-the-editor-what-will-be-cut-later-to-pay-for-republican-tax-plan-now/ http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/18/letter-to-the-editor-what-will-be-cut-later-to-pay-for-republican-tax-plan-now/#respond Sat, 18 Nov 2017 09:00:00 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=1289467 The Republican tax cut that just passed the House is projected to increase the deficit by $1.5 trillion over 10 years. There is debate on the claim that the economy will grow enough to make up for this shortfall, as the sponsors of this bill claim it will.

I would like everyone to ask our U.S. representatives and senators to tell us, their constituents, what spending they would vote to cut in order to make up for the budget shortfalls if these predictions do not come to pass. Will they vote to cut Social Security and Medicare or veterans benefits, or close more military bases or facilities, like the Naval Shipyard in Kittery? Or, will they simply pass the burden along to our children?

They seem willing to let the future generations bear this burden, judging by their willingness to eliminate the tax deduction for student loan debt. Will we also pass to our children infrastructure that has been neglected for another 10 years because we lack the funds to invest in it?

I think it only fair that our elected officials tell Mainers right up front how they propose to make up for this shortfall before the full Congress finalizes this gigantic windfall for those who need it least.

Please think of the long-term result of this cut. Even if this does mean about $1,000 a year in the average family’s pocket, is that worth the possibility that you may have to work years longer before you can afford to retire, or accept drastically reduced medical coverage when you finally do? Are you comfortable passing this debt off on our children and grandchildren?

Ask them: What will you cut?

Jim Atkinson

Scarborough

]]>
http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/18/letter-to-the-editor-what-will-be-cut-later-to-pay-for-republican-tax-plan-now/feed/ 0 Fri, 17 Nov 2017 21:28:02 +0000
Letter to the editor: Rich clear winners of tax plan, everyone else loses http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/18/letter-to-the-editor-rich-clear-winners-of-tax-plan-everyone-else-loses/ http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/18/letter-to-the-editor-rich-clear-winners-of-tax-plan-everyone-else-loses/#respond Sat, 18 Nov 2017 09:00:00 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=1289468 The Grand Old Party is trying its hand at tax reform, a trick not seen since President Ronald Reagan forged an alliance with House Speaker Tip O’Neill in 1986. Unfortunately, the current Republican tax plan forgoes the bipartisan spirit of ’86 in favor of one-party control and arcane Senate rules that allow them to avoid a filibuster.

As with all reform, there are clear winners and losers. The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy stated in a report that “nearly a third (of the cuts) would go to the richest 1 percent in 2018, and by 2027 that fraction would rise to nearly half.” That Republicans would peddle a tax cut that benefits the wealthy and corporations, while raising the deficit that they spent years railing against, is outrageous.

Tax reform should be designed to help the people who need it most: poor working families. A study by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities found that children who grew up in low-income households that received an additional $3,000 of annual income through working-family tax credits earned 17 percent more as adults when compared with children whose families did not receive the extra income. This outcome benefits the entire society and puts an end to the cycle of poverty that traps many families.

This is why the Maine congressional delegation should stand up to the Republican tax bill. It will only perpetuate income inequality and, in the long run, hurt the people who need the most help.

Olin Jenner

Portland

]]>
http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/18/letter-to-the-editor-rich-clear-winners-of-tax-plan-everyone-else-loses/feed/ 0 Fri, 17 Nov 2017 21:27:15 +0000
Letter to the editor: Author of column on presidential misconduct needs lessons in history, responsibility http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/18/letter-to-the-editor-parker-needs-lessons-in-history-and-responsibility/ http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/18/letter-to-the-editor-parker-needs-lessons-in-history-and-responsibility/#respond Sat, 18 Nov 2017 09:00:00 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=1289469 Kathleen Parker’s Nov. 7 column is poorly written, poorly researched and inaccurate. She says Bill Clinton’s sexual misbehavior while he was in office left a legacy of “simmering rage” that, after being pent up for 25 years, has resulted in “eruptions of sexual harassment claims.”

She further states that Clinton’s was the first “two-fer” presidency, “… with a first lady who championed women’s rights” as well. Parker also declares that President “Clinton was the first, as far as we know, to have a sexual relationship with an intern.”

None of those things are true. I refer Parker to first ladies Eleanor Roosevelt and Nancy Reagan as examples of “two-fers,” and to Lucy Mercer Rutherfurd, Kay Summersby and Mimi Alford, a 19-year-old intern during the Kennedy administration, as examples of women in “sexual relationships” with a POTUS.

Bill Clinton is absolutely responsible for his own behavior, and certainly not responsible for others’ behavior, including presidents past, present or future.

Louise Davis

Portland

]]>
http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/18/letter-to-the-editor-parker-needs-lessons-in-history-and-responsibility/feed/ 0 Fri, 17 Nov 2017 21:26:22 +0000
Letter to the editor: Small businesses need Congress to extend ACA tax suspension http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/17/letter-to-the-editor-small-businesses-need-congress-to-extend-aca-tax-suspension/ http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/17/letter-to-the-editor-small-businesses-need-congress-to-extend-aca-tax-suspension/#respond Fri, 17 Nov 2017 09:00:00 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=1288822 One of the biggest challenges to my box company is the rising cost of health care. I am concerned about the health insurance tax, which was passed alongside Obamacare. This tax directly increases the cost of my premiums, making it harder for me to provide quality health care for my employees, at a reasonable price for them and for the company.

The health insurance tax raises the cost of every health care premium a small-business owner purchases by $500. So, for a company like mine, with 50 employees in our health care program, that’s $25,000. I can pass zero percent of that on to my customers, which means I am forced to just absorb it.

Money that could be spent hiring more people, upgrading equipment or rewarding my hardworking employees will be headed to Washington, D.C. Who do you think would use that money more effectively, Volk Packaging or the United States Congress?

The insurance tax was suspended for the current year by nearly 400 members of Congress, who realized just how badly this tax unfairly targets small-business owners. We need Sen. Susan Collins to help make sure the insurance tax is suspended again for 2018. Frankly, it would be better to just get rid of it, but a suspension is better than nothing.

On behalf of small-business owners across Maine, we hope she makes another one-year delay of the health insurance tax a priority. Neither my family business nor her family business can afford it.

Derek Volk

president, Volk Packaging Corp.

Scarborough

]]>
http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/17/letter-to-the-editor-small-businesses-need-congress-to-extend-aca-tax-suspension/feed/ 0 Thu, 16 Nov 2017 20:11:51 +0000
Letter to the editor: Who owns land between high- and low-tide marks? Answer is simple http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/17/letter-to-the-editor-who-owns-land-between-high-and-low-tide-marks-answer-is-simple/ http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/17/letter-to-the-editor-who-owns-land-between-high-and-low-tide-marks-answer-is-simple/#respond Fri, 17 Nov 2017 09:00:00 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=1288823 Re: “Who owns Maine seaweed? Question goes to Maine Supreme Court” (Nov. 15):

I couldn’t believe my ears when I heard Wednesday that the debate on who owns the land between the high- and low-tide marks is still going on!

The solution seems so simple: Go to town hall and check the property lines listed on the property tax records for those properties abutting the ocean. If the property owner is paying property taxes for the land up to the high-tide mark only, then the “exposed land” at low tide is public. If the property owner is paying taxes for the land up to the low tide mark, then the “exposed land” is private.

Oh, by the way, if the courts decide that the owners of properties abutting the ocean do indeed own the land to the low-tide mark, this could be a nice financial windfall for the treasury of coastal towns. My guess is that those owners have been paying property taxes only on the land that doesn’t get covered by high tide. Now the town will be able to collect back taxes for all the years they’ve underpaid.

Problem solved!

Steven C. Pomelow

Gorham

]]>
http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/17/letter-to-the-editor-who-owns-land-between-high-and-low-tide-marks-answer-is-simple/feed/ 0 Thu, 16 Nov 2017 20:12:49 +0000
Letter to the editor: Urge Sen. Collins to help close domestic-violence gun loophole http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/17/letter-to-the-editor-urge-sen-collins-to-help-close-domestic-violence-gun-loophole/ http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/17/letter-to-the-editor-urge-sen-collins-to-help-close-domestic-violence-gun-loophole/#respond Fri, 17 Nov 2017 09:00:00 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=1288824 Sen. Susan Collins has a huge opportunity to demonstrate bipartisan leadership in Congress. I urge her to do so by co-sponsoring S. 1539 – the Protecting Domestic Violence and Stalking Victims Act of 2017 (also known as “closing the ‘boyfriend loophole,’ ” to ensure that the ban on gun ownership by domestic abusers applies to people who’ve never lived together, been married or had a child together). Sen. Collins knows she has the people of Maine behind her on this bill, and now is the time to show real leadership on the issue of gun violence prevention.

The two most recent mass-casualties massacres, in Las Vegas, Nevada, and Sutherland Springs, Texas, have one thing in common: Both were committed by men with histories of domestic violence.

Headlines like these make the news. What doesn’t make the news is the research showing that at least 52 percent of the American women killed with guns are killed by intimate partners or family members. Women in the U.S. are 16 times more likely to be killed with guns than are women in other developed countries, and when a gun is present in a domestic violence situation, the woman is five times more likely to be killed. These statistics are sobering.

Gun violence against women in America is inextricably linked to domestic violence, and we can and must do more to keep guns out of the hands of those intent on doing harm.

Congress’ silence and inaction on the growing problem of gun violence in our country are maddening, and Americans are tiring of it quickly. I urge all readers to take a moment and call Sen. Collins today, and ask her to do her part to keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers and sponsor the bill to close the “boyfriend loophole.”

Kathleen McFadden

volunteer lead, Maine Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America

Kittery

]]>
http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/17/letter-to-the-editor-urge-sen-collins-to-help-close-domestic-violence-gun-loophole/feed/ 0 http://multifiles.pressherald.com/uploads/sites/4/2017/08/20130112_Guns_060.jpgPhoto By Carl D. Walsh/Staff Photographer: A detail photo of two of gun owner Thom Watson's firearms, a Weatherby 300 WSN head on, with a Ruger 44 Magnum in profile outside the Phippsburg Sportsmen's Club on Saturday, January 12, 2013.Thu, 16 Nov 2017 20:13:53 +0000
Letter to the editor: Residents not giving up on ending zoning abuses in Portland http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/17/letter-to-the-editor-residents-not-giving-up-on-ending-zoning-abuses-in-portland/ http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/17/letter-to-the-editor-residents-not-giving-up-on-ending-zoning-abuses-in-portland/#respond Fri, 17 Nov 2017 09:00:00 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=1288825 Portland’s Question 2, to expand community participation in zoning changes, failed last week. Opposition leaders can celebrate, but not too exuberantly. With a campaign budget of nearly $100,000, they spread fears of doom, claiming such nonsense as Portland’s waterfront would lose “950 jobs” if Question 2 passed. These falsehoods flowed freely because supporters remained on the sidelines.

Despite the lopsided barrage, 47 percent of voters approved Question 2, driving home a growing sentiment that the current system is broken. Too often, Planning Board and City Council members only give lip service to community concerns before approving ZIGATs: Zoning Initiatives Giving Away The Store.

As an acronym, ZIGATs are the inverse of NIMBYism – made-to-order zoning that can be worth millions of dollars to a savvy developer, while nearby neighborhoods risk decline of property values and quality of life.

The people who put Question 2 on the ballot sought to reinforce zoning as a shared trust and responsibility for both rich and poor. They have started us in the right direction. Let’s hope the next referendum effort fixes the modest flaws of Question 2 and builds a political campaign with half the cash and twice the enthusiasm of opponents who favor developers calling the shots.

Portland residents want a more participatory democracy, with emphasis on fairness and transparency. And we’ll achieve it.

Cornelia Walworth

Portland

]]>
http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/17/letter-to-the-editor-residents-not-giving-up-on-ending-zoning-abuses-in-portland/feed/ 0 Thu, 16 Nov 2017 20:11:07 +0000
Letter to the editor: Staying at Salvation Army rehab center really isn’t all that free http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/17/letter-to-the-editor-staying-at-salvation-army-rehab-center-really-isnt-all-that-free/ http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/17/letter-to-the-editor-staying-at-salvation-army-rehab-center-really-isnt-all-that-free/#respond Fri, 17 Nov 2017 09:00:00 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=1288826 In your article Monday on the new dining hall at the Salvation Army’s adult rehabilitation center, you stated that they provide “free shelter, food (and) clothing” to men recovering from addiction. But one requirement of a stay is that each man must work roughly 40, essentially unpaid hours a week at the group’s recycling facility or for other Salvation Army programs. Seventy men times 40 hours a week times 52 weeks a year times $10 (minimum wage) = $1,456,000 a year in unpaid labor.

The Salvation Army avoids taxes and customary workplace oversight by calling this “work therapy,” but essentially it’s just work. Not to belittle the good deeds done by the Salvation Army, but it’s not exactly free.

Robert Eisenhauer

Portland

]]>
http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/17/letter-to-the-editor-staying-at-salvation-army-rehab-center-really-isnt-all-that-free/feed/ 0 Thu, 16 Nov 2017 20:13:29 +0000
Letter to the editor: In the long term, state can’t afford Medicaid expansion http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/16/letter-to-the-editor-in-the-long-term-state-cant-afford-medicaid-expansion/ http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/16/letter-to-the-editor-in-the-long-term-state-cant-afford-medicaid-expansion/#respond Thu, 16 Nov 2017 09:00:00 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=1288195 Advocates insist that Medicaid expansion will have beneficial economic and budget consequences for Maine, and a lot of voters bought the argument. But Moody’s credit research service has issued a report that says the expansion is likely to have a very different effect on the state’s budget. That’s because the Medicaid free lunch won’t last forever.

Here’s the question: Even with a lot of help from the feds, how is Maine supposed to pay for free health care for 25 percent of its population, including the large expansion group, which has a lot of healthy, working-age individuals with incomes above the poverty line, and still have enough money to pay for all the other things voters say are important? Gov. LePage is right to insist that the Legislature answer the question, even if the Press Herald’s editorial page wants to ignore it (Our View, Nov. 9).

David Farmer at Mainers for Health Care points to studies that show that expansion has been positive for state budgets. Of course it has. If you pour enough federal dollars into the states, and pretend that there is no effect on the federal budget or local taxpayers, the short-term results will look good. This is largely because the expansion states only began paying their share of the cost this year, and won’t pay their full 10 percent share until 2020.

After that, what are now net benefits will likely become significant net expenses. This is what the warning by Moody’s is about.

Gov. LePage also is correct that the enactment of good intentions, without adequate consideration of where the money comes from, is irresponsible. This is one of the risks of making public policy with referendums.

Martin Jones

Freeport

]]>
http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/16/letter-to-the-editor-in-the-long-term-state-cant-afford-medicaid-expansion/feed/ 0 http://multifiles.pressherald.com/uploads/sites/4/2017/11/Medicaid-vote..jpgPORTLAND, ME - NOVEMBER 7: Election day in Portland Tuesday, November 7, 2017. (Staff photo by Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer) Jennie Pirkl, campaign manager for Mainers for Health Care, at the microphone, is joined by other supporters of state ballot Question 2, the expansion of Medicaid in Maine, as they celebrate their apparent victory at the polls on Election Day at Bayside Bowl in Portland.Wed, 15 Nov 2017 23:27:38 +0000
Letter to the editor: Myanmar leader silent amid atrocities, should be stripped of Nobel http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/16/letter-to-the-editor-myanmar-leader-silent-amid-atrocities-should-be-stripped-of-nobel/ http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/16/letter-to-the-editor-myanmar-leader-silent-amid-atrocities-should-be-stripped-of-nobel/#respond Thu, 16 Nov 2017 09:00:00 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=1288196 The recent eviction/ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya Muslims of Myanmar is all the more disgraceful and shameless because of the silence of Aung San Suu Kyi, the leader of that country, which is majority Buddhist.

She was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991 for speaking out against a repressive regime and placed under house arrest, and yet she has found no strength or will to speak out for the Rohingya.

As far as this writer is concerned, Suu Kyi should be immediately stripped of the Nobel Prize for her less-than-noble efforts to curtail the atrocities that are happening.

Jake Hawkins

Arundel

]]>
http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/16/letter-to-the-editor-myanmar-leader-silent-amid-atrocities-should-be-stripped-of-nobel/feed/ 0 Thu, 16 Nov 2017 14:32:59 +0000
Letter to the editor: As Russia investigation closes in on Trump, expect flurry of distractions http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/16/letter-to-the-editor-as-russia-investigation-closes-in-on-trump-expect-flurry-of-distractions/ http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/16/letter-to-the-editor-as-russia-investigation-closes-in-on-trump-expect-flurry-of-distractions/#respond Thu, 16 Nov 2017 09:00:00 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=1288197 Special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation is getting close enough to the president and his family to prompt knees to quiver in the White House. Might this be a good time for Mr. Trump to resolve the threats to his administration by firing Mueller and issuing a flurry of pardons?

It would be helpful if public focus could be shifted elsewhere. Hmmm … how about a discussion of guns in the aftermath of slaughter in a Texas church? Nope. The president has already let that one go with a quick “This isn’t a guns situation” and a pro forma “thoughts and prayers.”

Maybe some saber rattling at North Korea. A whiff of possible nuclear war. Now we’re getting somewhere! Combine that with another Muslim ban, an attack on a Gold Star family, a call to the Justice Department to lock up Hillary Clinton, and we’re looking at a winner!

Line up the talk show goons and the Fox News toadies. Let the distraction begin!

Members of Congress would not react to Mueller’s dismissal by withdrawing the president’s power to fire the special counsel, would they?

Would they?

William Coogan

Westbrook

]]>
http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/16/letter-to-the-editor-as-russia-investigation-closes-in-on-trump-expect-flurry-of-distractions/feed/ 0 Thu, 16 Nov 2017 14:32:04 +0000
Letter to the editor: ‘Drug free’ signs on school buildings are ineffective, should be removed http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/16/letter-to-the-editor-drug-free-signs-on-school-buildings-are-ineffective-should-be-removed/ http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/16/letter-to-the-editor-drug-free-signs-on-school-buildings-are-ineffective-should-be-removed/#respond Thu, 16 Nov 2017 09:00:00 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=1288193 Can we please agree, as a community, that we should remove the unsightly and ineffective signs from the fronts of our school buildings proclaiming “This is a Drug Free Safe Zone” or other such nonsense? Seriously, does anyone think these deter said activity? Or do they simply send a message to our kids that they can’t be trusted to think for themselves and must be reminded every morning as they walk into school not to do bad things?

Case in point: Portland High School, built in 1863 and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1984, greets its students with two garish signs, rudely stuck upon the elegant facade of the building, announcing “This is a Tobacco Free School Zone.” If those signs were removed tomorrow (and I hope a custodian might read this and do just that), would kids suddenly light up on the front steps?

If we must require such signs for enforcement purposes, let’s at least put them on the trash cans, where they would be far more in context. I realize in these turbulent times that this may seem a trivial issue, but progress is usually incremental.

Jaime Parker

Portland

]]>
http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/16/letter-to-the-editor-drug-free-signs-on-school-buildings-are-ineffective-should-be-removed/feed/ 0 Thu, 16 Nov 2017 14:32:41 +0000
Letter to the editor: Collins’ vote to repeal arbitration rule helped local credit unions http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/16/letter-to-the-editor-collins-vote-to-repeal-arbitration-rule-helped-local-credit-unions/ http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/16/letter-to-the-editor-collins-vote-to-repeal-arbitration-rule-helped-local-credit-unions/#respond Thu, 16 Nov 2017 09:00:00 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=1288194 For years, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has acknowledged that credit unions are not the reason behind many of their regulations. Large Wall Street banks are. Unfortunately, while the bureau has authority to protect credit unions from regulations aimed at those big banks, it has not. The costs of complying with these regulations, despite their not being the intended target, have been significant for Maine credit unions.

Recently, Sen. Susan Collins cast a vote that did what the bureau would not: It helped credit unions and other community financial institutions. That vote involved repealing an arbitration rule that the bureau issued, a rule that would have encouraged frivolous lawsuits and taken resources from the members (Maine individuals, families and small businesses) who own our credit union.

I was glad I had the opportunity to join other credit union leaders last month in meeting with Sen. Collins to discuss how community financial institutions, like ours, would have been harmed by the overly broad arbitration rule.

Sen. Collins recognized that it was consumers who would, ultimately, pay the price of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s proposal. I appreciate her support and thank her for her vote to overturn this misguided rule. Her vote enables us to better focus on what really matters – our members.

Roger Sirois

president and CEO, Atlantic Federal Credit Union

Brunswick

]]>
http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/16/letter-to-the-editor-collins-vote-to-repeal-arbitration-rule-helped-local-credit-unions/feed/ 0 Thu, 16 Nov 2017 14:32:25 +0000
Letter to the editor: Unseat lawmakers who won’t implement voter-passed initiatives http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/15/letter-to-the-editor-unseat-lawmakers-who-wont-implement-voter-passed-initiatives/ http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/15/letter-to-the-editor-unseat-lawmakers-who-wont-implement-voter-passed-initiatives/#respond Wed, 15 Nov 2017 09:00:00 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=1287680 There has been a spate of legislators and the governor thwarting the will of voters who passed initiatives and successful referendums. The latest is Medicaid expansion, voted in by a margin of 18 percentage points, which is substantial. The governor has said he’ll refuse to implement it unless the Legislature fully funds the state share of 10 percent.

A previous one was ranked-choice voting, which many legislators and the governor hated. The Legislature refused to even consider amending the Maine Constitution to call for electing the governor by a plurality vote instead of a majority vote, despite it being a relatively easy fix. Instead, they’ve put it off until 2021, effectively killing it.

And, sad to say, even some Democrats were in on this, prominently including my own state senator, Bill Diamond. From now on, I’m calling him a DINO (Democrat In Name Only). I have talked to him on the phone, and told him that if he voted this way, he’d never get my vote again. And he won’t; we’re done.

So, that means we must make such “servants of the people” become politically extinct. For me, this is a one-issue deal. For everyone who doesn’t work with a successful initiative to tweak it and make it better if necessary, but rather just shoots it down, vote those people out of office without exception.

The same goes for candidates for office who will not vow to institute successful initiatives. Such people include those who will effectively extend LePage’s “reign of terror” to a third term, such as Mary Mayhew, an announced candidate for governor.

Erik Bartlett

Casco

]]>
http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/15/letter-to-the-editor-unseat-lawmakers-who-wont-implement-voter-passed-initiatives/feed/ 0 Thu, 16 Nov 2017 14:33:23 +0000
Letter to the editor: Diplomacy to prevent wars usually needs muscle to back it up http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/15/letter-to-the-editor-diplomacy-to-prevent-wars-usually-needs-muscle-to-back-it-up/ http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/15/letter-to-the-editor-diplomacy-to-prevent-wars-usually-needs-muscle-to-back-it-up/#respond Wed, 15 Nov 2017 09:00:00 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=1287681 In her Nov. 11 letter to the editor, reader Natasha Mayers of Whitefield reminds us that the Kellogg-Briand Pact, enacted in 1929, remains in effect today.

The pact, authored by U.S. Secretary of State Frank Kellogg and French Foreign Minister Aristide Briand, attempted to outlaw war and was founded on the hope that diplomacy could solve all disputes. It is worth noting that the pact, signed by a large number of countries including Germany, provided for no sanctions in the event of violation. One supposes that this was for a reason: The imposition of sanctions might lead to war.

Sadly, as with so many other world views emanating from Pollyanna, the Kellogg-Briand Pact not only fell short of the mark, but adherence to its principles set the stage for World War II. As Winston Churchill wrote in “The Gathering Storm,” the first of his six-volume memoir of the war, Germany was systematically violating the terms of the Treaty of Versailles even before it put its own signature to the pact, a practice that continued unabated afterward.

Further, as Churchill noted, it was the fear of war that prevented both Britain and France from stepping in to enforce the treaty’s terms, allowing Hitler to gain greater strength as well as build his confidence that he could continue to do as he pleased without outside interference. World War II was far worse than it might have been had action been taken sooner.

It was only after Germany attacked Poland that Britain and France declared war, and then only reluctantly, as they were signatories with Poland on a mutual defense treaty. Their primary concern was that failure to act would make their word worthless to the rest of the world.

Perhaps Teddy Roosevelt said it best: “Speak softly and carry a big stick.”

Michael A. Smith

Wells

]]>
http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/15/letter-to-the-editor-diplomacy-to-prevent-wars-usually-needs-muscle-to-back-it-up/feed/ 0 Thu, 16 Nov 2017 14:33:41 +0000
Letter to the editor: Sen. Collins’ support of arbitration in bank misconduct complaints hurts consumers http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/15/letter-to-the-editor-sen-collins-support-of-arbitration-in-bank-misconduct-complaints-hurts-consumers/ http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/15/letter-to-the-editor-sen-collins-support-of-arbitration-in-bank-misconduct-complaints-hurts-consumers/#respond Wed, 15 Nov 2017 09:00:00 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=1287682 As a doctor, I admire the medical field’s aim to use evidence as our guide in action and humbly exercise caution – as in “first, do no harm.”

I also admire Sen. Susan Collins, who regularly uses an evidence-based approach in policymaking. She opposes legislation that would take away Mainers’ health insurance, proposes ways to lower prescription drug prices and supports efforts to address climate change.

However, Sen. Collins used sophistry and recklessness in voting to strip Americans of our constitutional right to go to court when harmed by financial companies.

Big banks and credit card companies get away with misconduct by using the fine print of contracts to force consumer claims into arbitration. The senator “believes arbitration has served consumers well,” The Wall Street Journal reported Aug. 6.

In reality, arbitration is rigged against consumers. It is secretive, with no right of appeal, no requirement that decisions be based on the law and with arbitrators reliant on the company for business. Data from the independent Consumer Financial Protection Bureau show that in an average year, a mere 16 people nationwide receive compensation from financial companies through arbitration.

The senator claims her vote was to help credit unions and small banks. Data show that almost none of those institutions have forced-arbitration clauses. She claims it was to prevent a spike in the cost of credit. Evidence contradicts this assertion. The removal of these clauses from mortgages and Bank of America, Capital One and Chase credit card contracts did not result in cost increases.

The forced-arbitration bill is now law. Wronged consumers will be denied the option of going to court against their lender.

Sen. Collins might soon vote on a rule from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that would rein in the demonstrably vicious payday loan debt trap. The rule is supported by the facts, which hopefully will result in the senator’s supporting it.

Laura Anderson, M.D.

Portland

]]>
http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/15/letter-to-the-editor-sen-collins-support-of-arbitration-in-bank-misconduct-complaints-hurts-consumers/feed/ 0 http://multifiles.pressherald.com/uploads/sites/4/2017/08/1244210_880470_collins-e1504713039514.jpgU.S. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, told MSNBC on Tuesday that she wasn't sure Donald Trump would be the Republican Party nominee in 2020.Thu, 16 Nov 2017 14:34:03 +0000
Letter to the editor: Column published too close to City Council election influenced result http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/15/letter-to-the-editor-column-published-too-close-to-city-council-election-influenced-result/ http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/15/letter-to-the-editor-column-published-too-close-to-city-council-election-influenced-result/#respond Wed, 15 Nov 2017 09:00:00 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=1287683 Kudos to the Press Herald for establishing a cutoff date after which campaign-related letters and op-ed pieces will not be accepted. This avoids last-minute surprises that are too late for a candidate or committee to respond to.

I only wish you followed the same policy for your own editorial contributions. The last-minute column by Bill Nemitz (“Extra! Extra! Press Herald is not endorsing Bree LaCasse,” Nov. 5) carried just the kind of last-minute surprise that your policy, had you followed it for your own writers, should not have allowed.

I respect, and usually appreciate, Bill Nemitz’s writing, and am not here challenging the column itself. But in publishing that piece just two days before Election Day, you really disrupted the election process and put one candidate at a strong disadvantage.

Arthur Fink

Peaks Island

]]>
http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/15/letter-to-the-editor-column-published-too-close-to-city-council-election-influenced-result/feed/ 0 Thu, 16 Nov 2017 14:34:24 +0000
Letter to the editor: City council election was lost, but hopefully, candidacy made an impact http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/14/letter-to-the-editor-city-council-election-lost-but-hopefully-candidacy-made-an-impact/ http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/14/letter-to-the-editor-city-council-election-lost-but-hopefully-candidacy-made-an-impact/#respond Tue, 14 Nov 2017 09:00:00 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=1287191 On Nov. 7, at-large City Councilor Jill Duson won re-election to the Portland City Council. We congratulate her on her win, and thank her for running an honest campaign.

When I announced my candidacy in February, I vowed to myself and my supporters that this would be about much more than getting me elected. Instead, I wanted this campaign to be a vehicle for highlighting the critical issues Portland faces and for furthering new ideas. And if that was the goal, we were successful beyond our wildest dreams.

In June, I moderated a talk with an expert on gentrification, and over 100 people attended.

We helped create Portland’s first interactive city budget website, to make city government more accessible to the average person.

We organized a “Participatory Budgeting” event, the first of its kind in our city. Thirty people attended and learned about a more democratic way to decide how the city’s money is spent.

We were the first City Council campaign ever to refuse contributions from out-of-state political action committees, companies and real estate developers. We introduced the idea of a municipal Clean Election program to get big money out of local politics.

We ran an all-volunteer campaign that garnered 30 percent of the vote, with a budget less than half that of our competitors, proving that you don’t need to take big money to reach voters.

Our campaign is over, but the work is not. After we heard the results on election night, it was obvious that the positive energy and activism we fostered must continue. We have some very exciting plans, and you will be hearing about those soon. We’re just getting started.

Thank you to my family and friends, to my supporters and volunteers, and to you, Portland, for giving me the opportunity to speak with you. It was an incredible honor.

Joey Brunelle

Portland

]]>
http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/14/letter-to-the-editor-city-council-election-lost-but-hopefully-candidacy-made-an-impact/feed/ 0 Thu, 16 Nov 2017 14:35:39 +0000
Letter to the editor: Sexual harassment can’t be blamed on Bill Clinton or any one person http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/14/letter-to-the-editor-sexual-harassment-cant-be-blamed-on-bill-clinton-or-any-one-person/ http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/14/letter-to-the-editor-sexual-harassment-cant-be-blamed-on-bill-clinton-or-any-one-person/#respond Tue, 14 Nov 2017 09:00:00 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=1287192 I’m writing in response to Kathleen Parker’s Nov. 7 column blaming Bill Clinton for the current frenzy over sexual harassment.

Really, all this on one man’s mistake? What about John F. Kennedy? Yes, I know Parker said that Clinton wasn’t the first president to be unfaithful to his wife, but come on. So what if Hillary stood by him? Who is Parker to judge another? Many a spouse has done the same.

Sexual harassment is not new. It has been around since time began. No one can blame it on any one person. What is new is that people are speaking up and out.

Those with power and money have always been able to hold it over those without. The few who have attempted to fight those who have beleaguered them in the past have usually given up because of lack of funds and fear. Those with a great deal of power and money get people to lie for them in court and intimidate the plaintiff, and definitely have the funds to wait out those who take him or her to court. I know, as I have been there. I had written proof and still lost.

Our current president is one of the biggest examples of harassment (and most likely more) of all time. I am waiting for his number to be called.

It is encouraging to see women and men speaking up. The ones doing so are predominantly in the movie and entertainment industry or other high-profile, high-income trades. I only hope that people in every walk of life will be influenced to step forward, too.

Linda Major

Westbrook

]]>
http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/14/letter-to-the-editor-sexual-harassment-cant-be-blamed-on-bill-clinton-or-any-one-person/feed/ 0 http://multifiles.pressherald.com/uploads/sites/4/2016/09/Bill.Hillary.1994.jpgPresident Bill Clinton and first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton wait to address a group of young Democratic supporters known as the Saxophone Club in Washington, June 22, 1994. The group cheered, whistled and stomped as a wound-up president delivered his stump speech and verbally thrashed Republicans who try to block health care reform legislation. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)Thu, 16 Nov 2017 14:35:03 +0000
Letter to the editor: Deaths tied to climate change will keep rising unless action is taken http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/14/letter-to-the-editor-deaths-tied-to-climate-change-will-keep-rising-unless-action-taken/ http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/14/letter-to-the-editor-deaths-tied-to-climate-change-will-keep-rising-unless-action-taken/#respond Tue, 14 Nov 2017 09:00:00 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=1287193 On Nov. 3, the Trump administration released a comprehensive scientific report that concluded that human activity is the primary contributor to climate change, saying there is “no convincing alternative explanation.”

This is quite comical, considering this directly contradicts the stance taken by President Trump and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt, who have rejected climate science and even taken steps to censor scientists at the EPA.

While Trump and his polluter cronies might think it feasible to deny the dangers of climate change, to the families impacted by the slew of hurricanes this year, as well as the wildfires that spread throughout the western U.S., this is not something we can afford to ignore.

Dismantling existing climate change protections means more sick kids, more expensive hospital visits and thousands more premature deaths – deaths, mind you, that could have been prevented. Not only that, it can and will lead to countless more dangerous extreme weather events.

How high are we willing to let this death toll become before we address it with serious action? Instead of repealing the protections we already have in place, we should be focused on putting forth more science-based solutions. Solutions that will be good for everyone, not just the dirty-energy insiders who profit off the continued destruction of our planet.

Jessica Shvakhman

Portland

]]>
http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/14/letter-to-the-editor-deaths-tied-to-climate-change-will-keep-rising-unless-action-taken/feed/ 0 http://multifiles.pressherald.com/uploads/sites/4/2017/09/shutterstock_291663701.jpgThu, 16 Nov 2017 14:34:44 +0000
Letter to the editor: To clarify, artist Zoo Cain is eccentric, but also a serious, helpful person http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/14/letter-to-the-editor-to-clarify-artist-zoo-cain-is-eccentric-but-also-a-serious-helpful-person/ http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/14/letter-to-the-editor-to-clarify-artist-zoo-cain-is-eccentric-but-also-a-serious-helpful-person/#respond Tue, 14 Nov 2017 09:00:00 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=1287194 After reading Eric Russell’s compelling front-page article Nov. 7 about “Brothers,” a documentary that local filmmaker Reggie Groff is making with Mike Norton about Mike, who has Duchenne muscular dystrophy, and his relationship with his brother, J.T., who recently died by suicide after suffering for years with bouts of severe schizophrenia and depression, I’m very eager to see the finished product, and urge everyone to go to the crowd-funding website IndieGoGo to help make it happen.

I would like to comment, though, on Mr. Russell’s reference to Reggie Groff’s having recently made a film about “the eccentric Portland artist Zoo Cain.”

Anyone who knows Zoo, or has seen Groff’s film “Peace, Love, and Zoo,” would readily agree that there is indeed a delightfully eccentric side to Zoo, but they would know as well that he is also a very serious and practical person who has helped countless people over the years in many meaningful and life-altering ways.

Many thanks to Reggie Groff for the profound work he is doing, and to Eric Russell for helping to bring it to light.

Cliff Gallant

Portland

]]>
http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/14/letter-to-the-editor-to-clarify-artist-zoo-cain-is-eccentric-but-also-a-serious-helpful-person/feed/ 0 Thu, 16 Nov 2017 14:36:00 +0000
Letter to the editor: After more mass gun violence in U.S., why is nothing being done? http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/14/letter-to-the-editor-after-more-mass-gun-violence-in-u-s-why-is-nothing-being-done/ http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/14/letter-to-the-editor-after-more-mass-gun-violence-in-u-s-why-is-nothing-being-done/#respond Tue, 14 Nov 2017 09:00:00 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=1287195 In light of mass shooting/gun violence incident number umpteen, the only “why” we should be asking is this: Why do we continue to do absolutely nothing? Why do we do nothing?

We do nothing.

Lisa Stathoplos

Wells

]]>
http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/14/letter-to-the-editor-after-more-mass-gun-violence-in-u-s-why-is-nothing-being-done/feed/ 0 Thu, 16 Nov 2017 14:35:19 +0000
Letter to the editor: Columnist’s criticism of Portland candidate LaCasse was too harsh http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/13/letter-to-the-editor-columnists-criticism-of-portland-candidate-lacasse-was-too-harsh/ http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/13/letter-to-the-editor-columnists-criticism-of-portland-candidate-lacasse-was-too-harsh/#respond Mon, 13 Nov 2017 09:00:00 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=1286397 I was really dismayed to read Bill Nemitz’s Nov. 5 column, related to Bree LaCasse. I am a big fan of his writing style and generally agree with his opinions. This piece really seemed over the top in his criticism of Bree, complete with making assumptions about her motives.

I received the flier that was so criticized just a few days prior to Nemitz’s column. By that time, the Portland Press Herald had already endorsed incumbent Jill Duson for the at-large City Council seat (Our View, Oct. 28). It seemed clear to me that the quotes on the flier from individuals were from letters to the editor, and that the Press Herald’s quote was from your endorsement editorial, which I had read previously. It never entered my mind that Bree was trying to imply something else.

The criticism related to Bree’s supposed connection to Progressive Portland, Steven Biel and an email list seems very tentative at best.

I met Bree when she knocked on our door last month and we spent some time talking about issues. I was encouraged that a bright, capable young woman, who had significant experience, was stepping forward to serve the city. I hadn’t felt that hopeful for some time.

The danger is that episodes like this, that deep level of criticism, based to some degree on assumptions about motives, will discourage civic-minded young people from serving. We all lose if that happens.

Mary Ann Larson

Portland

]]>
http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/13/letter-to-the-editor-columnists-criticism-of-portland-candidate-lacasse-was-too-harsh/feed/ 0 Thu, 16 Nov 2017 14:36:39 +0000
Letter to the editor: Helping local sufferers can assuage rage over carnage http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/13/letter-to-the-editor-helping-local-sufferers-can-assuage-rage-over-carnage/ http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/13/letter-to-the-editor-helping-local-sufferers-can-assuage-rage-over-carnage/#respond Mon, 13 Nov 2017 09:00:00 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=1286398 As the facts come out after the horrific Nov. 5 shooting, the murders that were committed by a convicted batterer, I find myself angrier and angrier.

Above the hurt, I blame and rage. There are many places to point fingers, to claim, “If only.” It feels useless to call politicians, post to the echo chamber of Facebook, sign yet another petition that will go nowhere. I feel helpless.

But last night, as I sat in Family Crisis Services’ shelter, listening to giggling children and sounds of dinner being prepared in the kitchen, I was grounded by the concrete act I could take – a stance, a voice and financial support for my local domestic violence advocacy center.

Even as a board member, it took being in that space and speaking with staff for me to finally make the connection between this mass murder and the work Family Crisis Services does every day to prevent such horrors.

Family Crisis Services not only provides shelter to victims of domestic violence. The organization also offers batterers intervention programming; provides court advocacy, education and support in schools; works with incarcerated women who are victims of domestic violence; leads support groups and an elder program, and staffs a 24-hour hotline (1-800-537-6066 or 874-1973).

So what can we do today, when we set aside our rage, our sadness, our disbelief – when we rise above the haze, the numbness that sets in with yet another mass shooting? I know what I will do. I will support what we have in our community. I will support what’s good, what has not yet been taken away by state and federal budget cuts, what is not controlled by those most distant from it or separated by political views or positions on gun control.

Please join me in doing something today. Donate to Family Crisis Services, or your local domestic violence advocacy center.

Susy Hawes

board member, Family Crisis Services

South Portland

]]>
http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/13/letter-to-the-editor-helping-local-sufferers-can-assuage-rage-over-carnage/feed/ 0 Thu, 16 Nov 2017 15:49:37 +0000
Letter to the editor: School bond will deprive needy of aid http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/13/letter-to-the-editor-school-bond-will-deprive-needy-of-aid/ http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/13/letter-to-the-editor-school-bond-will-deprive-needy-of-aid/#respond Mon, 13 Nov 2017 09:00:00 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=1286399 I am glad that my fellow progressives care about public schools and don’t, instead, send their kids to Waynflete or some other private school, but being smart and pragmatic about funding is vitally important to the progressive agenda.

We should care about cost and efficiency when it enables us to expand on equity-based objectives. Seeking to save Portland many millions of dollars, by getting the state to fund the school renovations, was smart and progressive.

The money the city would have saved could have been used to address other progressive goals, such as creating more drug treatment to deal with our very dire opioid addiction crisis and expanding General Assistance rent and food assistance. (Gov. LePage cut state funding to General Assistance when Portland refused to make asylum-seekers and other noncitizens ineligible.)

It could also have been used to expand rent and mortgage assistance to not-so-poor residents to offset the effects of gentrification. Borrowing $64.3 million will cost the city around $100 million, once borrowing costs are factored in. It could lead to cuts in programs that poor and low-income Portlanders rely on or to increases to our property taxes, which risks causing our neighbors living on fixed or low incomes to not be able to afford their homes anymore.

There was a good chance we could have, instead, gotten the state to fund the renovations, returning some of the income tax revenues Portlanders pay to the state. Income taxes are more progressive than property and sales taxes, which means we lost the opportunity to use a fairer, more progressive funding scheme for the school renovations.

Lisa Morris

Portland

]]>
http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/13/letter-to-the-editor-school-bond-will-deprive-needy-of-aid/feed/ 0 http://multifiles.pressherald.com/uploads/sites/4/2017/11/1286399_651943__201508012_medcu_5a.jpgPortland paramedics use naloxone to reverse a 2015 heroin overdose. Expanding addiction treatment is one of several progressive goals that could have been pursued with money saved by getting the state to fund school fixes, a reader says.Thu, 16 Nov 2017 14:37:54 +0000
Letter to the editor: Support is best ‘honor’ for Alzheimer’s caregivers http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/13/letter-to-the-editor-support-is-best-honor-for-alzheimers-caregivers/ http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/13/letter-to-the-editor-support-is-best-honor-for-alzheimers-caregivers/#respond Mon, 13 Nov 2017 09:00:00 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=1286401 This is National Family Caregivers Month, honoring the more than 15 million Americans who care for people with Alzheimer’s disease.

I am a member of a caregiver support group facilitated by the Alzheimer’s Association. Everyone is stressed and far less concerned about honor than encouragement and comfort.

Congress is considering legislation to facilitate development of a national strategy to address our needs, including education, long-term support and financial stability.

The Recognize, Assist, Include, Support and Engage (RAISE) Family Caregivers Act passed unanimously in the Senate. I thank Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King for their support for this and other Alzheimer’s-related legislation. Rep. Chellie Pingree has been a staunch supporter of the Alzheimer’s community, and we encourage her to take a leadership role in the House.

Caron Chess

Peaks Island

]]>
http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/13/letter-to-the-editor-support-is-best-honor-for-alzheimers-caregivers/feed/ 0 Thu, 16 Nov 2017 14:37:17 +0000
Letter to the editor: All Americans need sick days to be guaranteed http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/12/letter-to-the-editor-all-americans-need-sick-days-to-be-guaranteed/ http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/12/letter-to-the-editor-all-americans-need-sick-days-to-be-guaranteed/#respond Sun, 12 Nov 2017 09:00:00 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=1285782 As an emergency department attending physician here in Maine, not a shift goes by without me seeing a hardworking person affected by their lack of paid sick days. Regardless of the specific scenario, the one consistent element is the delay in seeking help or treatment because of the need to prioritize keeping their job over any personal needs. A few examples:

Delayed treatment for a young daughter with asthma who became sick in the early morning but could not be seen until 18 hours later, after Mom finished the second of two jobs she worked that day. The child’s wheezing had worsened dramatically due to the delay. Neither of the mother’s jobs allowed her to leave without a perceived threat of losing that job.

A man in his early 40s with diabetes continued to work “through a bad cold” long hours, six days a week, for almost three weeks until he literally collapsed at work. Employees called 911. He arrived severely short of breath with pneumonia.

I’m writing in support of the earned paid sick days that will be formally reviewed Tuesday by the Health and Human Services Committee of the Portland City Council. Similar legislation has been passed in eight states and 30 cities with profound success. I’m hoping that your readers who reside in Portland will speak with their local councilperson in support of their fellow citizens.

Carl Ramsay, M.D.

Portland

]]>
http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/12/letter-to-the-editor-all-americans-need-sick-days-to-be-guaranteed/feed/ 0 Thu, 16 Nov 2017 14:38:41 +0000
Letter to the editor: Remember to be thankful for our power http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/12/letter-to-the-editor-remember-to-be-thankful-for-our-power/ http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/12/letter-to-the-editor-remember-to-be-thankful-for-our-power/#respond Sun, 12 Nov 2017 09:00:00 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=1285777 On Nov. 5, at 7:38 p.m., our lights flickered back on, after almost six days of darkness. A flood of miracles followed: Light streamed cheerfully from as many rooms as we wanted; the fridge groaned into wakefulness and started chilling our food to the perfect temperature for safe eating; cool clear drinking water came streaming out of the faucet, in quantities so generous I could just let it pour over the soapy dishes and down the drain; the toilet cistern filled itself in anticipation of anything slightly non-hygienic that might be nice to have disappear.

We did little dances of delight. And, then, a second wave of miracles followed: Our internet figured its way back to us, somehow, through whatever mysterious systems it follows, and the TV booted up and offered my husband his beloved Sunday night football, suddenly animating the living room with grunts, whistles and brilliant colors.

How could we feel anything but deep appreciation and gratitude? Deep gratitude for those crews from Florida, and other states, who came in their hundreds to help us in our darkness. They figured out how to even approach the three crazy tangles of trees and wires on our road and worked high, in the trees, with their flashlights, late into the night. They came to our aid, solving one problem at a time, so that we might go back to the miracle life we take for granted.

I think about Americans in Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands, who still don’t have power or water after so many weeks, and I wish these wonderful line crews could just keep going and help them too. I’m so aware of how privileged I am.

Sue Allen

Newcastle

]]>
http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/12/letter-to-the-editor-remember-to-be-thankful-for-our-power/feed/ 0 http://multifiles.pressherald.com/uploads/sites/4/2017/10/570757-20171031_power_01.jpgCAPE ELIZABETH, ME - OCTOBER 31: Lineman Mike Ross cuts a large tree branch down from a power line on Mitchell Road on Tuesday morning. (Staff photo by Brianna Soukup/Staff Photographer)Thu, 16 Nov 2017 16:27:43 +0000
Letter to the editor: It would be cheaper long term to just bury the lines http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/12/letter-to-the-editor-it-would-be-cheaper-long-term-to-just-bury-the-lines/ http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/12/letter-to-the-editor-it-would-be-cheaper-long-term-to-just-bury-the-lines/#respond Sun, 12 Nov 2017 09:00:00 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=1285778 Your Nov. 5 Maine Sunday Telegram article “CMP: 1998 ‘lessons’ improved storm response” (Page B4) was far too easy on Central Maine Power’s management approach to preventing widespread outages; much more than tree-trimming is needed.

The only way to avoid the physical risks and colossal expense of downed wires is to move key segments of CMP’s aerial plant underground. This publicly-regulated utility should be required to develop a capital plan to do so over a reasonable period of time.

Naturally, CMP will try to make the case that the effort would be too expensive, but that case needs to be investigated. The cost of bringing hundreds of trucks and thousands of workers from out of state during every recovery effort must be staggering. These avoidable costs must be at least partially baked-in to CMP’s rates already (or there would be storm surcharge after every event).

Frankly, CMP’s costs are a fraction of the overall cost of a widespread outage. Lost productivity, wages, and expenditure on temporary power – all of these should be factored in, along with the risk to life during every outage. The Brunswick section of the grid alone seems to lose power more often than Baghdad. It’s long past time to do something about it.

Ralph Dean

Freeport

]]>
http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/12/letter-to-the-editor-it-would-be-cheaper-long-term-to-just-bury-the-lines/feed/ 0 Thu, 16 Nov 2017 14:36:22 +0000
Letter to the editor: View from the border doesn’t flatter U.S. http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/12/letter-to-the-editor-the-view-from-the-border-doesnt-flatter-the-south/ http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/12/letter-to-the-editor-the-view-from-the-border-doesnt-flatter-the-south/#respond Sun, 12 Nov 2017 09:00:00 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=1285779 Gordon Downie died Oct. 17. He was a music superstar in Canada, just a few miles beyond my afternoon view of Kennebago Lake and West Kennebago Mountain. He was a national icon as the lead singer of the band Tragically Hip. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was moved to tears as he spoke in the Canadian Parliament about his friend’s passing. CBC Radio offered a two-hour special Oct. 18 on his life, music and art.

At my back is the rest of Maine and my country. We don’t do two-hour specials on departed musicians. We don’t cry, here, in public life. It’s considered a sign of weakness – a flaw that has sidetracked the presidential aspirations of great Americans.

We’re tough. We have a war on crime (incarcerating more of our people than any other nation in the world); a war on drugs (treating heroin and opiate addiction as a crime); a war on terrorism (killing thousands upon thousands of innocent citizens, in countries half a world away from us in thousands upon thousands of bombing sorties over 17 years – and counting); and other wars.

We are not crafting a health care system; we are unraveling it for those most in need of it. We are not tackling the rebuilding of our crumbling national infrastructure. We are reducing national support for public schools in favor of some unclear direction captured in the words “choice,” “vouchers” and “charter schools.”

The U.S. Navy is paying $4 billion per ship, while seeking to build a Navy with 80 more ships than the 275 we now have. And we are redesigning our tax laws to give more breaks to corporations, whose stocks are soaring in the midst of a historic American stock market surge.

I know this sounds like a typical liberal’s rant. It’s not. I’m crying here. I just don’t understand what’s going on. It’s so very embarrassing. So tragically hip.

Nate Bowditch

Westport Island

]]>
http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/12/letter-to-the-editor-the-view-from-the-border-doesnt-flatter-the-south/feed/ 0 Thu, 16 Nov 2017 14:38:56 +0000
Letter to the editor: Vote early, vote often, vote each time they will let you http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/12/letter-to-the-editor-vote-early-vote-often-vote-each-time-they-will-let-you/ http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/12/letter-to-the-editor-vote-early-vote-often-vote-each-time-they-will-let-you/#respond Sun, 12 Nov 2017 09:00:00 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=1285781 It’s easy to get discouraged with the seeming impossibility of getting anywhere politically. People vote, presidents win with minorities. People vote, our representatives don’t always do what we want. People vote, referendums pass, politicians undo them. Some would say, why vote? I say, vote more.

Vote every single time, for every single thing on the ballot. The system isn’t perfect, nothing is. But it is still responsive. If politicians try to make it less responsive, we need to vote more. We need to vote like our democracy depends on it, because it does.

We need to vote to make sure our voices and the voices of our children are heard at all. If you don’t like the options on the ballot, vote for the best thing there, and then start voting in primaries. If you don’t like the leadership of political parties, join them and start voting in their elections. If the politicians aren’t addressing issues that you care about, find others who care about that issue and start organizing to get it on the ballot so we can vote for it.

The more overwhelmingly referendums pass, the less politicians can make excuses to mess with them. The more politicians we elect who respect the referendum process, the more referendums will be respected. The more politicians we elect who share our values, the less we have to go to the trouble of passing things by referendum in the first place. The more politicians we elect who support reforms to make our system more democratic, the more democratic it will become. Vote, vote, vote until your vote matters as much as it should.

April Thibodeau

Westport Island

]]>
http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/12/letter-to-the-editor-vote-early-vote-often-vote-each-time-they-will-let-you/feed/ 0 Thu, 16 Nov 2017 14:38:13 +0000
Letter to the editor: Give Peace Academy a chance http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/11/letter-to-the-editor-give-peace-academy-a-chance/ http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/11/letter-to-the-editor-give-peace-academy-a-chance/#respond Sat, 11 Nov 2017 09:00:00 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=1286037 “Peace! Peace! … There is no peace.” (Jeremiah 6:14)

On the brink of nuclear extinction, and we do not have a clue as to the forces that are at work. The fact of our human existence is that there are two entities: love/peace vs. fear/hate and war. The world has succumbed to fear and war as a way of settling our differences.

I am a 99-year-old veteran of World War II and the Korean War. For decades I have pleaded with Congress for a Peace Department and a Peace Academy.

Instead, key government positions have been filled by Gens. H.R. McMaster, John Kelly and Jim Mattis; we have been given the Pentagon and a military-industrial complex, as well as military academies at West Point and Annapolis, the Air Force Academy, the Coast Guard Academy and ROTC units, but we have no Peace Academy. Why not?

Take note of our present relationships with Germany and Japan. Let’s re-study these relationships. We have gone from bitter enemies to loyal friends. How this came about can be part of the Peace Academy curriculum. Can we replicate the same change with Iran, China, North Korea and Russia?

Millions of our fallen comrades cannot be allowed to have died in vain. We need to voice their hopes for peace, best expressed in John McCrae’s poem “In Flanders Fields”:

“In Flanders fields the poppies blow

Between the crosses, row on row,

That mark our place …

We are the dead; short days ago

We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,

Loved and were loved, and now we lie

In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe!

To you from failing hands we throw

The torch; be yours to hold it high!

If ye break faith with us who die

We shall not sleep, though poppies grow

In Flanders fields.”

Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King and Rep. Chellie Pingree, I beseech you: Be ashamed to serve until you have given us a Peace Academy and a Peace Department.

Coleman P. Gorham

retired Navy lieutenant commander

Portland

]]>
http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/11/letter-to-the-editor-give-peace-academy-a-chance/feed/ 0 Fri, 10 Nov 2017 20:18:31 +0000
Letter to the editor: Heads of state be advised: Post-WWI treaty bans war http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/11/letter-to-the-editor-heads-of-state-be-advised-post-wwi-treaty-bans-war/ http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/11/letter-to-the-editor-heads-of-state-be-advised-post-wwi-treaty-bans-war/#respond Sat, 11 Nov 2017 09:00:00 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=1286038 Veterans Day, celebrated Nov. 11, was originally called “Armistice Day,” to mark the armistice signed between the Allies of World War I and Germany at Compiègne, France, for the cessation of hostilities on the Western Front of World War I.

The holiday began in 1918, celebrating the end of World War I and the idea of ending all war. A 10-year campaign launched that year, by people in the United States and around the world, resulted in the ratification of the Kellogg-Briand Pact, which legally banned all war making. That treaty, outlawing war, is still on the books.

The Kellogg-Briand Pact reads: “The High Contracting Parties solemnly declare in the names of their respective peoples that they condemn recourse to war for the solution of international controversies, and renounce it, as an instrument of national policy in their relations with one another.

“The High Contracting Parties agree that the settlement or solution of all disputes or conflicts of whatever nature or of whatever origin they may be, which may arise among them, shall never be sought except by pacific means.”

Natasha Mayers

Whitefield

]]>
http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/11/letter-to-the-editor-heads-of-state-be-advised-post-wwi-treaty-bans-war/feed/ 0 Fri, 10 Nov 2017 20:20:06 +0000
Letter to the editor: There’s no praying away danger that firearms pose http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/11/letter-to-the-editor-theres-no-praying-away-danger-that-firearms-pose/ http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/11/letter-to-the-editor-theres-no-praying-away-danger-that-firearms-pose/#respond Sat, 11 Nov 2017 09:00:00 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=1286039 I am thinking about starting a group called “Church Lives Matter.” I am wondering if that would get the attention of President Trump and the rest of the Republican Party and finally put to rest their knee-jerk response to mass shootings with “Today is not the day to talk about gun legislation” and “We send our thoughts and prayers,” as if somehow thoughts and prayers can stop bullets from assault rifles aimed at babies and children.

If that group is successful, I think I’ll start “Concert Lives Matter” and “School Lives Matter” and “University Lives Matter” and “Workplace Lives Matter” and “Wal-Mart Lives Matter.”

Today is the day to start talking about gun legislation, President Trump. As in the name of the old Sunday school song “Jesus Loves the Little Children,” we know that all lives matter – black, white, tan and red – and that we all deserve a world free of the terror of assault rifles.

The time is now, President Trump, not tomorrow.

Irv Williams

South Portland

]]>
http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/11/letter-to-the-editor-theres-no-praying-away-danger-that-firearms-pose/feed/ 0 Fri, 10 Nov 2017 20:21:01 +0000
Letter to the editor: Portland blessed with Maine Medical Center http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/11/letter-to-the-editor-portland-blessed-with-maine-medical-center/ http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/11/letter-to-the-editor-portland-blessed-with-maine-medical-center/#respond Sat, 11 Nov 2017 09:00:00 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=1286040 I want to publicly thank the staff at Maine Medical Center. I was taken there Oct. 28 after suffering a brain aneurysm.

I have never been treated with as much respect, dignity and kindness as I was during the course of my two-week stay there.

All of the staff in the Special Care Unit went above and beyond the call of duty, and they are the reason I am alive today. Maine is lucky to have such a incredible hospital.

Eternally grateful,

Carter Logan

Cornish

]]>
http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/11/letter-to-the-editor-portland-blessed-with-maine-medical-center/feed/ 0 Sun, 12 Nov 2017 14:04:22 +0000
Letter to the editor: Gambling lobby raised stakes and lost their shirts http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/11/letter-to-the-editor-gambling-lobby-raised-stakes-and-lost-their-shirts/ http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/11/letter-to-the-editor-gambling-lobby-raised-stakes-and-lost-their-shirts/#respond Sat, 11 Nov 2017 09:00:00 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=1286041 So, post-election, did the backers of statewide Question 1 have more signs set out around the state than they ended up getting votes for?

There is a lot of irony in putting in that much effort and getting so little in return.

Jonathan Nareff

Portland

]]>
http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/11/letter-to-the-editor-gambling-lobby-raised-stakes-and-lost-their-shirts/feed/ 0 Fri, 10 Nov 2017 20:22:36 +0000
Letter to the editor: A quiet, but everlasting salute to Naval officer Coles http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/11/letter-to-the-editor-a-quiet-but-everlasting-salute-to-naval-officer-coles/ http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/11/letter-to-the-editor-a-quiet-but-everlasting-salute-to-naval-officer-coles/#respond Sat, 11 Nov 2017 09:00:00 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=1286042 Maine lost a hero Nov. 4. Robert Coles of Machias, retired Navy chief petty officer, passed away.

He was known to many, having appeared at many schools in uniform to recount his participation in Pearl Harbor. He was very proud to have been able to represent the great state of Maine at the 75th anniversary celebration in Hawaii. He was given a hero’s sendoff, with motorcade from his home to the Hancock County-Bar Harbor Airport, and treated like a movie star, which he deserved.

Bob was an original: straightforward, patriotic and unselfish. It was an honor to get to know him.

I hope your readers will pause and remember a Down East boy who served his country. A quiet salute would be in order.

Thomas Marfiak

Davidsonville, Md.

]]>
http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/11/letter-to-the-editor-a-quiet-but-everlasting-salute-to-naval-officer-coles/feed/ 0 Fri, 10 Nov 2017 20:24:10 +0000
Letter to the editor: Merger plan a threat to balanced news and well-informed public http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/10/letter-to-the-editor-merger-plan-a-threat-to-balanced-news-and-well-informed-public/ http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/10/letter-to-the-editor-merger-plan-a-threat-to-balanced-news-and-well-informed-public/#respond Fri, 10 Nov 2017 09:00:00 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=1285379 The Federal Communications Commission is considering whether to allow media moguls Sinclair Broadcasting and Tribune Media to merge, giving them unprecedented access to 72 percent of American households in flagrant violation of the longstanding cap of 39 percent.

The FCC should not approve this merger! It is unconscionable to allow a merger that would result in extraordinary access to nearly three-quarters of the American television news-consuming public by a single provider – and requiring a historic rule change to do it.

This rule is in place for the best of reasons: to ensure integrity in the balance of news reporting and the airing of ideas and viewpoints that are available to the American people.

There is no defensible reason to degrade the ability of Americans to engage in the civil exchange of information, views and ideas, and it is a direct attack on a free press and free speech.

There has already been evidence in Maine on WGME-TV (Channel 13) and WPFO-TV (Channel 23), both owned by Sinclair, of their intent to force local stations to air their right-wing views and biased reporting without allowing adequate counter-representation.

Viewers should have equal opportunity to hear and air competing points of view. Limiting the choice and denying access by granting disproportionate licensing to a single source are the actions of a fascist government.

Jane Card

Kennebunkport

]]>
http://www.pressherald.com/2017/11/10/letter-to-the-editor-merger-plan-a-threat-to-balanced-news-and-well-informed-public/feed/ 0 http://multifiles.pressherald.com/uploads/sites/4/2017/11/Screen-Shot-2017-11-09-at-9.52.11-PM.pngFri, 10 Nov 2017 17:02:06 +0000