Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Maybe it's because I grew up and lived most of my life in the Midwest, but the conversation around the increase in the meals and lodging tax and the "sunsetting" of this law in two years is maddening.
Mathieu Roy of Montreal works on a sand castle during a family vacation in Old Orchard Beach in 2012. A reader questions the two-year expiration date on a recent increase in Maine’s meals and lodging tax, saying that the total of such levies has never been a factor in her family’s vacation planning.
2012 File Photo/Tim Greenway
While there are beautiful places throughout New England, comparing Maine to the rest of New England and worrying about Maine being "the end of the trail" that people won't travel to because of a modest meals and lodging tax increase, as Dick Grotton of the Maine Restaurant Association stated, is ludicrous ("State budget: 5 things you need to know," June 30).
While I've heard the adage "you can't eat the views," the views in Maine, particularly along the coast, do feed the soul. The only words I could find when I first glimpsed Penobscot Bay were "Oh, my God."
We are a strictly middle-class family, yet we've never compared meals and lodging taxes in making decisions about vacation destinations. Since even a very modest, short vacation can cost hundreds of dollars, does the extra 50 cents on a $50 meal really matter? If a family can afford a vacation or a meal out, the additional cost is inconsequential.
Why wouldn't we want tourists to chip in a few bucks more to help pay for the infrastructure that makes their vacation to the gem of Maine possible?
The state has pressing needs in an ever-more-competitive world. This increase is necessary and smart, and the law should not "sunset."
Mary Ann Larson
Transgender kids' parents force their agenda on others
If a child thinks he is an adult and identifies as one, what should we do? Should we give him all the rights of an adult, and accept him as one?
Such behavior would be patently absurd. No less so if the child identifies as the opposite sex. Nevertheless, some young transsexuals have been in the news lately, with their families trying to get them accepted as the opposite sex.
These parents, although I am sure acting in good faith, are psychologically abusing their child. I can hear the teeth-gnashing and cries of bigotry already.
Hold on for a moment. Transsexualism is part of gender identity disorder. However, instead of getting their child the help that he needs, these parents are encouraging him to continue.
Obviously, people have become more concerned with advancing the politically correct agenda than getting their young, confused child help. Meanwhile, the rest of us have to deal with the results of this agenda, with the invasion of politics into (until now) separate-sex bathrooms. When will it stop?
I am sorry for Nicole Maines and Coy Mathis if they feel exiled for having to use the staff bathroom at school. But I feel more sorry for all the females who will be forced to share a restroom with a biological male. Their feelings don't matter if they are against the progressive agenda.
With this said, I fully expect to be labeled backward and a bigot. I do not care, but I will leave the teeth-gnashers with one thought: I would give you more credibility if your peaceful tolerance extended to those who don't agree with you, like me.
Elsa Tiemann, 17
State senator not the saint depicted in Nemitz column
The Bill Nemitz column June 30 ("Sen. Katz bravely reprises 'class acts' ") revealed a slobbering love affair with liberal politicians, namely Sen. Roger Katz and Katz's memories of other liberal Republican politicians. Katz proves the Democrats do not have a lock on liberalism; hence, we have the evolution of the RINO -- Republicans in Name Only.
Before we are wooed by Sen. Katz, pause for a moment. Nemitz reflected fondly upon the Republicans Katz reminisces about: the founders of the Family Planning Association of Maine and those who joined with Democrats in establishing Maine's income tax. Then he lavished praise on Katz's bashing of Gov. LePage.
The Family Planning Association of Maine is just like Planned Parenthood, whose founder was Margaret Sanger, a eugenicist. These groups use euphemisms to disguise abortion.
The income tax and liberals: a marriage made in the Legislature. While citizens struggle to balance their budget in tough economic times, politicians just raise taxes, taking more of your money instead of cutting back on their spending habits.
Katz bashes the governor's blunt manner with a smile. Hypocrite.
Back on Oct. 13, 2012, at the Augusta Walk for Hope for cancer survivors, Katz, while a supporter of the walk, handed out political campaign stickers. Could he not stop campaigning for a moment?
Supporting the walk was a small price for him to pay to hype his campaign. The fundraiser was not meant to hype the political fortunes of any politician. I have lost two family members to cancer. For the senator to dilute the purpose of the event with political campaigning was disgusting.
I will take a blunt-talking governor any day over any polished politician who will use a charity event for political advantage.
Regulators must wake up to wind projects' drawbacks
While Maine's Department of Environmental Protection deliberates the Bowers Mountain wind project, there is now the writing on the wall from Europe, and according to Barack Obama, our energy policy "should follow the lead of Germany and Spain."
Spain's wind turbine manufacturers are rapidly laying off workers. According to the wind turbine association AEE: "Investors in wind turbines no longer believe the outlook is attractive."
At the heart of the problem are the subsidies needed to cover the gap between the cost of producing electricity and the price charged to consumers.
Sound familiar? It's no wonder that Iberdrola, the Spanish manufacturer of wind turbines, is trying to sell them by the boatload to Maine! Following Spain's lead now amounts to buying the future scrap metal of their failed industry.
According to the Energy Tribune, a global news source for the industry, Germany's renewable energy programs also "have imploded." Germany is now facing up to the hard realities of wind power: maintenance costs, the need for hydrocarbon backup and wind's intermittent and unreliable generation.
As stated in Heartland Institute science director Jay Lehr's June 17 Wall Street Journal commentary predicting wind developers' lack of funds for dismantling their turbines: "The result (of wind power proliferation) will be a scene from a science fiction movie -- as though giant aliens descended on our planet only to freeze in place."
We can only hope that the DEP (and the Board of Environmental Protection) have the long-term vision required to protect Maine's future.
Celebration of Gettysburg glorifies massive atrocity
Maybe you could explain to me why thousands of people gather together to celebrate the anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg ("Gettysburg: 'A most unexpected battle,'" June 30).
Eight thousand Americans were killed at that battle in two days, leaving how many thousands of children without fathers; how many grieving parents and wives; and forever changing the lives of thousands more soldiers who lost limbs and sanity. Mourning, forgetting, praying for forgiveness for such an atrocity, I can understand. But re-enacting? I don't get it.
War is a tragedy and a massive moral failure of somebody. And, in my opinion, those who celebrate it glorify what they should be mourning.
Donald F. Fontaine