August 26, 2013

Letters to the editor: Extra funds critical to Portland schools

(Continued from page 1)

Samantha Levy

Grassroots Organizing Intern

Planned Parenthood Northern New England Falmouth

Timing couldn't be better for transportation bond

We are a third-generation earth-moving construction company based in Gorham. With our industry in the fifth year of an economic downturn, there just isn't much work to bid on and we're cutting prices to the bone to keep people working. To my mind, there are four advantages to passing the proposed $150 million transportation bond now:

We can lock in low interest rates now, and not take the risk of rates rising as the Federal Reserve starts easing back on quantitative easing as the economy slowly recovers.

When the economy finally recovers for the construction industry, pricing for work will increase compared to where it is now, which will affect MDOT budgets down the road. This happened in the mid-1990's after the last big dip in construction.

The projects done by MDOT last anywhere from a decade to a century or more. Prudent investments made now at low borrowing and low construction costs will be appreciated by generations to come.

It will help save and create a lot of Maine jobs, especially in one of the hardest-hit sectors of our economy. The unemployment rate in construction has been near double the overall rate for several years now. At our company, our workforce is down by over a third from 2008, and we have had to cut people and salaries top to bottom to stem the bleeding.

Passing the transportation bond is truly a win for the state, construction companies and Mainers who want to do productive work and earn a good living from it.

Philip Grondin

Treasurer, R.J. Grondin & Sons Gorham

City's East End Beach anything but swimmable

Recently, Portlanders were invited by Friends of Casco Bay to participate in Swimmable Water Weekend. Unfortunately, Portland's own East End Beach is anything but swimmable.

Recently, I went to the beach for a picnic with family members. The beach was overtaken by running dogs, with families squeezed into a small area near the beach entrance.

A small dog defecated in the family area, and several dog owners stood by but no one cleaned up after the dog. Then a large dog backed into the water where children where playing and defecated into the water. Again, no one cleaned up, and we left.

The next day we talked to a ranger and learned that this is a frequent occurrence.

The beach provides a rich organic environment for pathogens and worms in dog feces, some of which can enter the body through bare feet.

I urge the city of Portland to enforce its own regulations and prohibit dogs from the beach during the swimming season.

Nini McManamy


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