December 5, 2010

Letters to the editor, Dec. 5, 2010
Gas tax hike would really hurt

I assume that state Rep. Ann Peoples, D-Westbrook, does not know anyone who is upset with the price of gasoline in her district ("On the roads again: Find new ways to pay for maintenance, group urges," Nov. 28).

click image to enlarge

Portlanders fill up in May 2008, when the price of gas topped $4 a gallon for a brief time. A reader says Mainers are paying enough.

2008 Telegram file

She states that Maine drivers absorbed the latest round of gasoline price increases without anybody yelling or screaming, so they could easily handle a hike in the gas tax.

She must live in a pretty affluent neighborhood due to the fact that none of them is complaining about the ever-increasing cost of gasoline.

I find it hard to believe that none of her constituents has ever complained to her about the high taxes we are paying per gallon.

What would she have Mainers do? Start yelling and screaming to the public, gas companies, to our legislative body and to our governor?

We Mainers have passed every bond issue in the last 10 years that I am aware of to fund millions of our tax dollars for the maintenance and repair of our roads. Now she feels that we should increase our gas tax from near 50 cents a gallon to -- what? Is there no end to the taxation of every hard-working Mainer?

Perhaps she is right in her assumption that Mainers are not yelling and screaming about these increases. Could it be possible that they feel they are banging their heads against the wall because the establishment is not listening?

My question to Rep. Peoples is this: If we yell and scream about the huge increases in the rising cost of fuel, will they stop?

Paul St. Jean


Accounts of Oxford casino not giving accurate outlook

The Nov. 18 report by staff writer Tom Bell, "Board oversight of Oxford casino to cost a bundle," perpetuated a false belief that the Oxford casino would not be able to provide enough revenue to cover the costs associated with the regulation of the casino.

The story as written inferred the resort would have a regulatory revenue shortfall each and every year of an estimated $600,000. As you would expect, many readers were outraged at the indicated shortfall.

However, the story was reported incorrectly, and based upon the state of Maine's own estimates the resort should provide about $2.1 million per year for administrative costs. At the end of the first three years it will have generated an estimated $1.5 million surplus for oversight regulation.

Although Mr. Bell printed a retraction after he conferred with Gaming Control Board Director Bob Welch, he did not correct the core message that the casino would indeed cover all administrative costs with a healthy surplus for the General Fund.

Maine citizens deserve an accurate representation of the facts, and the fact is once operational the resort will generate millions of tax dollars without costing Maine citizens a dime, fully covering all expenses.

Black Bear Entertainment is anxious and excited to bring jobs to Maine, while generating desperately needed educational funding to every municipal school system in Maine. We have already received about 3,000 job inquiries. We are hoping for a smooth regulatory process and are moving ahead in preparation for groundbreaking in 2011.

Peter Martin

Government relations adviser Black Bear Entertainment


Once again this paper has proven how uninformed, inept and naive your editors are. I reference the Nov. 8 editorial, "One, two, many casinos need better regulation."

Where has the writer of this trash been living? I am confident they are not from Maine! Please allow me equal time to educate this newspaper about the history of (gambling in Maine). If a person spends the entire week's pay, if rent is not paid, if a divorce occurs, if children are abused, if crime runs rampant and homes are lost, a casino is at fault, right?

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