April 5, 2013

Letters to the editor: LePage ignores public schools' successes

(Continued from page 1)

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Gov. LePage’s recent education reform conference in Augusta “was really a pro-charter propaganda show,” a reader says.

2013 Kennebec Journal File Photo/Andy Molloy

Any place I have been in this world and I say I am from Maine, the next thing they mention is Maine lobster.

In three to five years, when we realize that our $6 million spent on promotion has worked no better than our current promotion council, what will our next plan be?

When there is a glut of lobster on the market, our prices will not go up. We need to limit that flow of product to get better prices.

In this economy, when other protein foods (chicken and beef) are going for $4 to $6 a pound, that is what the consumer is willing to pay. How many of you are buying ribeye steaks versus hamburger? No amount of promotion will change that.

One thing 32 years of lobstering and fishing have taught me is that no two years are the same.

Paul Fischer

Cape Elizabeth

New lobster promotion fee won't help dealers, either

As a small lobster dealer in a family business in Scarborough, the new surcharges proposed to fund the Maine lobster marketing scheme may cause me to give up my dealer license. The fees are too much for small dealers to absorb.

The authors of L.D. 486 believed that it is fair to charge dealers and lobstermen for marketing Maine lobster, but since dealers number in the hundreds and lobstermen in the thousands, the price per capita of this scheme weighs far more heavily on individual dealers.

Not all dealers are large processors. Many of us are very small, family-owned businesses that are not able to pay thousands of dollars in extra surcharges yearly.

I agree with Nelson King ("Letters to the editor: New fee will add to lobstermen's woes," March 21) that the industry is being forced into an advertising scheme from which neither dealers nor lobstermen will benefit.

Most dealers do not believe that this marketing plan will work at all, regardless of the source of funding.

The lobster market is doing exactly what any market would do in the face of record catches and a recession. It would be far less costly to adjust the supply side of the equation than to try to pry more dollars from the pockets of already tapped-out consumers.

I also take issue with the characterization of the meetings held around the state as showing industry support for the surcharges ("Maine lobster industry supports new fee," March 6).

The question posed to the attendees of at least one meeting – in Scarborough – was whether or not they would support any marketing of Maine lobster, even if it were not the proposed plan.

It would be disingenuous to label a "yes" response to this question as broad industry support for surcharges. In Scarborough, the vote was "no."

Susan Bayley Clough

Bayley's Lobster Pound


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