September 28, 2013

Letters to the editor: Portland rules make it harder to recycle

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A Portland Public Services worker dumps a container of recyclable material into his truck during trash and recycling pickup in 2008. Requiring residents to put all recyclables in the bins will lead people to throw away items that don’t fit in the bins, a reader says.

2008 File Photo/John Ewing

Genie Nakell

Portland

Gov. LePage's liberal critics ignore his accomplishments

Some liberal letter writers and columnists are waging a vigorous campaign of misleading statements against Gov. LePage. They complain that he does not follow their politically correct rules; he speaks plainly and they do not like what he says.

The liberals want to continue their policies of job-killing regulations, increasing the size of a reform-choking bureaucracy, raising the cost of government, growing taxes and expanding failed or harmful welfare schemes with no end in sight. 

Liberals wanted to pass the largest tax increase in Maine history during the last legislative session. Gov. LePage implemented the largest tax cut in Maine history. 

Liberals want to increase regulations on Maine's small-business owners and job creators. Gov. LePage instituted red tape reforms and responsiveness in state government to make Maine "open for business."

Gov. LePage insisted on paying off the overdue debt to hospitals.

Liberals want to bring back the Baldacci era when Maine's unemployment rate was higher than the national average. Maine's unemployment rate has been lower than the national average since Gov. LePage took office.

Liberals want to continue expanding the size and cost of state government without holding those who take huge sums of taxpayer money accountable.

Maine needs Gov. LePage to keep working to improve financial, regulatory and political conditions for everyone.

David W. Knudsen

Gray

USDA inspection proposal presents risk to food safety

The pilot inspection program that the U.S. Department of Agriculture plans to roll out in meat and poultry plants nationwide has repeatedly failed to stop production of contaminated meat.

The program allows meat producers to increase the speed of processing lines and replace USDA safety inspectors with their own employees.

But plants operating under this program have experienced some of the worst health and safety violations, including failure to remove fecal matter and partly digested food, according to the USDA's inspector general. These contaminants may contain complex strains of deadly E. coli and listeria.

Traditionally, the USDA has catered more to the interests and profitability of the meat industry than to the health and safety concerns of American consumers. Consumer interests come into play only when large numbers of us get sick. Having the USDA protect consumers is like asking the fox to guard the chicken house.

The Obama administration must reallocate responsibility for consumer safety to the Food and Drug Administration.

In the meantime, each of us must assume responsibility for our own safety by switching to the rich variety of plant-based meats offered in local supermarkets.

Patrick Wayne

Portland

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