April 10, 2011

Letters to the editor, April 10, 2011
Quimby park gift controversial

(Continued from page 1)

CHESUNCOOK LAKE
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Environmental philanthropist Roxanne Quimby has proposed donating 70,000 acres of forest to serve as the beginning of a new national park in the Maine woods.

The Associated Press

1) As a Maine state employee or teacher, you will neither pay for nor receive credit toward Social Security benefits. You will instead pay into a state pension fund at 230 percent of the Social Security tax rate.

2) Only one in five public employees in Maine ever collects a full Maine pension. In the unlikely event that you actually do collect your pension, you will be penalized with the loss of up to 55 percent of whatever Social Security benefits you paid for while working for any other employer. If you do not collect the pension, the state will pocket its share of the money that was contributed toward that pension.

3) The recent bill extending the Bush-era tax cuts reduced the federal taxes of most Mainers. However, because you are outside the Social Security system, your annual federal tax bills were increased by between $400 and $800 per family.

4) Have a nice day.

L. Paul Gilden
Blue Hill 

Public unions should not prosper at state's expense 

Our form of government is of the people, by the people and for the people. It is not of the unions, for the unions and by the unions.

Many of those protesting over the proposed state budgets in Maine, Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana and elsewhere claim the governors are breaking promises of times past.

Promises, I might point out, that were made by politicians of times past, by politicians who did not provide funds for the benefits allegedly promised.

It should also be pointed out that a claim of a collective bargaining right for public service employees does not trump either a state constitution or the U.S. Constitution. Public service employees work for the people and the people voted out those politicians who made promises to the public service unions that the people couldn't afford.

It's unfortunate that public service employees were misled by the irresponsible politicians of yesterday.

Today is a new day. New politicians were elected who promised fiscal discipline. They need to have the opportunity to do the job without protesters yelling -- and in some cases physically threatening them -- as was the case recently in Wisconsin.

Many years ago I was a union member and for many years I continued to be a union supporter. But with the union bosses being unwilling to accept the will of the people, my support is waning and I suspect others feel the same.

To the protesters in Maine, your party lost. Let Gov. LePage do the job he was elected to do. If he fails, let the people be the judge in the next election. Thank you.

David Alexander
Augusta 

Mainers are doing their part in Japanese relief 

A recent article about Maine natives Marine Lt. Col Damien Marsh and Cheverus graduate Lt. Joseph McConnell delivering relief supplies only serves to exemplify just how wide and how deep Maine's connection to Japan's tragedy really runs. ("Marines fly supplies in Japan relief effort," March 27).

Among the many others with family, friends or acquaintances involved or affected is another Cheverus graduate doing his part. Navy Cmdr. Chris Monroe of Gray and Whitefield is commanding officer of the BIW-built USS Curtis Wilbur DDG 54.

The Wilbur is on a dual mission, splitting its time between search, rescue and recovery off the devastated Northeast coast, and acting as plane guard for carrier operations. A plane guard stands ready for rapid response should Lt. Col Marsh or any of his fellow relief choppers experience flight difficulties.

Just the other day a gentleman and former BIW employee was in my wife's office. He was part of the BIW crew that constructed the Wilbur and he was responsible for the onboard decontamination systems. He wanted us to let Chris know the decontamination systems really do work, just in case they are needed.

James Monroe
Gray

 

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