July 19, 2013

Letters to the editor: Driver safety riding on fading lines

If you have a reporter looking for a story, please find out what Maine is using to paint our roads. The white lines have faded into the pavement, shoulder lines have all but disappeared, and the yellow lines are peeling off in chunks.

20120619_Tolls
click image to enlarge

Drivers hand change to a toll collector as they exit the Maine Turnpike at the Falmouth Spur in 2012. On the turnpike as well as on Interstate 295 and local streets, the lines that guide motorists are disappearing, a reader says.

2012 File Photo/Gordon Chibroski

Whenever an accident occurs, it is reported if speed or alcohol was involved or if a seat belt was used. The seat belt has nothing to do with the performance of the vehicle. Our lives, however, are literally riding on these lines. Where are they?

If this paint is environmentally friendly, it is not driver friendly. Start at Cash Corner in South Portland and follow Main Street up to the spur. There are supposed to be two lanes in front of Dunkin' Donuts. Also, the crosswalks are barely visible. Follow onto Interstate 295 up past the Washington Avenue exit.

I would like to know what this paint or tape is costing us, and what its life expectancy is. It starts lifting within days of being put down, and the reflective properties are no longer there.

We have one of the highest gas taxes in the nation, and many of our roads are in deplorable shape. On a rainy, windswept night on our major roads, 295 and the Maine Turnpike, we are driving blind. There are no lines.

A few weeks ago, an accident was caused by a driver hitting a tree. I would like to know if there were lines to guide the driver and what the weather conditions where.

"The way life should be" is to have our roads as well as the traffic islands in good condition and well-marked. Highway safety begins on the roads. Since Maine seems to be on a banning kick, this driver thinks that we should ban whatever is marking our roads.

Roberta Lilley

South Portland

Vet: Recruiter bill ruckus bid to discredit Democrats

I've received many messages from fellow veterans upset by the governor's accusation that Democrats oppose military recruiting in our public schools.

Although this is his typical bombast, I particularly resent his stereotypical portrayal because I am a dedicated Democrat who served in combat in Vietnam as a Marine.

The governor's accusation is based upon hearsay deriving out of an email between a National Guard official and a member of the Maine House of Representatives.

Command Sgt. Maj. Richard L. Hannibal complained in an email given to state Rep. Corey S. Wilson, R-Augusta, that high schools in liberal southern Maine gave "minimal" support to his recruiters compared to schools in other regions of the state.

Command Sgt. Maj. Hannibal specifically identified seven schools. Five of the seven are in districts represented by archconservative legislators who voted for Wilson's bill, L.D. 1503, designed to address the recruiter issue.

Of legislators in the two remaining "liberal" districts, North Berwick and Gorham, House Speaker Mark Eves, D-North Berwick, voted for the bill.

As for Rep. Wilson, a Marine veteran, it has been my personal experience that he supports the military and veterans when it suits him. I spoke in opposition at a public hearing on a bill Wilson co-sponsored with state Sen. Roger Katz, R-Augusta, that would have attached an unspecified municipal fee (faux tax) on nonprofit organizations such as veterans halls.

The Democrats are correct that L.D. 1503 is redundant, unnecessary and inflammatory.

The federal government guarantees that military recruiters receive equal access in our public schools. This controversy is simply another attempt to stereotype and discredit the Maine Democratic Party as anti-military and disloyal.

John M. Flagler

Alfred

Support for gun rights, call for border security don't mix

There is a faction of our populace who feels that the border must be secured before real immigration reform is passed.

Since there is a border to our north that they do not speak of, immigration is not their problem, but Mexican immigration is. I think by definition, this is bigotry.

Many of this same group feel that essentially any person should have complete unfettered access to firearms, as "guaranteed" by the Second Amendment. However, they believe that to vote, a person should be required to have a photo ID.

This is functional insanity. Restrictions on voting but none on weapons? Not in my America, thank you very much.

Jim Kavanagh

South Portland

Runoff will usher in leader who can serve all Mainers

Our gubernatorial election system is broken and needs fixing. No one as narrow-minded, arrogant and foul-mouthed as our present governor should ever be able to attain this high office by receiving less than 40 percent of the votes, as he did. The power that goes with this office should only be entrusted to a candidate who has the support of at least more than 50 percent of the electorate.

We are well-served by a governor who is respected, open-minded and dedicated to serving all the people of Maine.

Conversely, we are ill-served by a governor who cares little about the respect or the opinions of others and is in office primarily to promote his own private agenda.

It is time to change our election rules to require the attainment of more than 50 percent of the vote to be elected.

In situations where there are three or more candidates running and none receives more than 50 percent of the votes, there should be a runoff vote between the top two candidates to establish the winner.

No more LePages.

Robert L. Kelly

Boothbay Harbor

Only when cost of oil rises do we see immediate impact

Re: "Price of oil skyrockets $11 per barrel in two weeks" (Briefcase, July 11):

How come the morning we read about the price of a barrel of oil increasing, we consumers see immediate results at the pump? Yet, when the price drops, it can take weeks to drop at the pump.

Last Thursday morning on my way to the Jetport, a gas station on the Standish-Gorham line posted regular $3.55. An hour later, on my way home, it was $3.61! I ask again ... how come?

Judy Watson Ingram

Parsonsfield

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