July 6, 2013

Letters to the editor: Give extra school aid back to taxpayers

(Continued from page 1)

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A reader says that $29 million in unexpected state education funding should go toward tax relief.

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Here in Maine, warmer winters could cause a decline in populations of moose, lynx and our state bird, the black-capped chickadee. The increase in extreme weather and storms has caused increased flooding, property damage and road washouts, interfering with travel of fish and other aquatic animals up and downstream.

Storms and flooding have caused poor road stream crossings and culverts to wash out, creating safety issues for drivers and barriers for wildlife. Maintaining key habitat connections for wildlife as the climate changes is critical for their survival.

Looking at two key Maine species, brook trout and Atlantic salmon, we know they need cool-water refuges to survive the summers. As temperatures increase, it will be more difficult to find these cool sections of stream.

Investment in climate change adaptation strategies will also boost our state economy. In 2011 alone, state residents and visitors spent $1.4 billion in wildlife recreation. Climate change and its impacts are a large and complex issue. Working together, we can mitigate the effects of climate change and move forward with a plan that benefits both people and wildlife.

Ted Koffman

executive director, Maine Audubon

Falmouth

Speaker challenged to fulfill tax increases' sunset clause

The state of Maine has entered the game of politics versus serving the people of Maine.

The new House speaker, wanting to gain a political victory over the governor, used the state budget. Speaker Mark Eves gathered the newsprint making sure that the governor, "who speaks his mind," was the issue, deflecting the fact Eves has no idea how to solve the state's budget woes.

While Eves may have scored his victory and may have even ensured a new governor, he forgot his true purpose as a leader in Maine: "to serve the people."

At a time when families are making decisions between groceries and mortgage, the Legislature "temporarily" increases the sales and meals taxes.

A total of $365 million out of the pockets of the people into the coffers of Maine. "We can't shut down the government ..." or "... I did not want to raise taxes, but it's the best we could do."

A temporary tax to end in June 2015? All the politicians and all the people of Maine, add that date into your calendars. Call it "tax reversal day."

Speaker Eves, I give you a challenge. If in two years these "temporary" taxes don't go away, will you give up your elected position and return to the private sector?

Brian Ferland

Acton

Even his critics can't deny truth of LePage's remarks

I wonder if the letters you published about the comments made by the governor about Sen. Troy Jackson were written because of the choice of words used or because the letter writers know the sentiment is true.

People elected to the Legislature like Jackson have been harmful to Maine for a long time now. When is this state going to learn?

Mark Reilly

Portland

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