December 5, 2010

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

(Continued from page 1)

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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

Wrong! This has happened here in Maine for years. All without a casino. Can this be so? The gambling venues that exist are vast. I have witnessed people going hungry buying pull tab tickets at American Legions, Elks, VFWs, bingo halls, etc.

These same places sponsor casino nights, coin boards, bingo games and the highly addictive poker machines and raffles of all types. Most of these are under the guise of nonprofit, charitable and church (therefore, nontaxable) legal gambling.

The Maine State Lottery is legal gambling at its worst. If 20 times $20 is $400 lost on scratch tickets, is this not a detriment to one's family? Or $400 lost at an OTB on a horse?

Illegal poker parlors, bookies for all sports betting, Internet gambling with credit cards and busloads of Maine people going to Foxwoods, Mohegan Sun, Atlantic City, Las Vegas and more, all of this is tax-free and benefits Maine not at all.

Common sense says only the people already benefiting from gambling would be opposed to a casino. Make gambling legal, tax it and let Maine benefit from it. If you can convince me that losing my home by betting on a horse is worse than a slot machine, I may relent.

Edwin Morris III


In last Sunday's Telegram you had another anti-casino editorial cartoon ("Steve Meyers' View," Nov. 28). Unless I am mistaken the election is over and the people of Maine have approved this casino.

I got weary of your negative attacks on the casino during the election and see no reason for you to keep running them. Why don't you wait and see how well it works for the Oxford area and the state and then you can run a report on how it pans out? Until then, please knock off the attacks.

Bruce Raeburn


Preserving wild places leaves room to exercise

Obesity rates in Maine have risen in the past years, and as a health professional I am confronted with it every day. One way to curb obesity rates is to spend more time outside, experiencing our shared public lands.

When people spend time hiking in wild places, they not only get the chance to experience nature, but they also take steps toward losing weight.

Right now, Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins have the opportunity to vote for dozens of conservation measures -- including 21 wilderness and wildland protection bills -- that will preserve our land and waters, and enable us to enjoy the places we love for generations to come.

By voting to support these bills, they will be voting for Mainers and our nation's health.

Nathan Murray-James


Too many politicians fret only about gaining power

Staff writer Tom Bell's article on the front page of the Sunday Telegram ("Portland's clout has suddenly run out," Nov. 21) points directly to what is wrong with politicians today.

In the article, state Sen. Joseph Brannigan, D-Portland, is quoted as saying "Power is what is important, and we don't have it." Regardless of whether it's Washington, D.C., or Augusta, Maine, politicians are more interested in who's in power than working in a bipartisan fashion.

You would think that after the trouncing the Democrats took in Washington and in Augusta, Sen. Brannigan would have a little more humility. The message from the electorate was pretty clear: "Enough already!" We're tired of the bickering, we're tired of the loggerheads, and we're tired of one party using its "power" to advance its own agenda.

And the message to the Republicans is clear, too; compromise, do the work we all need you to do, but do it with honor and integrity, or you also will soon find that the true power belongs to We the People!

Mark Faunce


Future of naval air station should include greenspace

Your many fine reports on matters local, state, national are appreciated.

The essential detail on Brunswick Naval Air Station matters should include Brunswick Parks and Gardens proposals to build a sort of natural wonder where our tourists might marvel along with us. Thanks.

Joan Crothers



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