April 4, 2013

Letters to the editor: Sequester cuts further isolate seniors

(Continued from page 1)

Ruth M. Jones, Matt Jackson
click image to enlarge

A Meals on Wheels client in Charleston, W.Va., visits with the man who delivered her meal, in 2008. A volunteer with the program in Brunswick says sequester-related funding cutbacks will affect the frequency of meal deliveries and well-being checks.

2008 File Photo/The Associated Press

The Board of Environmental Protection, activists against BPA and many newspapers have waged a war against this chemical by using children and pregnant women.

As a Mainer, I strongly believe that the safety of our children is top priority. Regulating the safe use of chemicals has its merits when scientific evidence is used to guide regulatory decisions.

With no evidence that BPA is unsafe, I cannot stand by and justify placing another burden on the business owners of Maine.

In fact, studies, such as a study by University of California structural biologist Michael Baker, are often misused to show the effects of BPA, generate headlines and fuel the outraged national advocacy to ban BPA.

However, Baker later stated that there is no evidence, none at all, that BPA causes any problems in humans.

Product labeling is an expensive and ever-changing process that creates uncertainty in the business community.

I urge members of the Legislature to stand with the business owners of Maine and not fall into the misleading use of studies focused on crafting politically driven policy measures.

Contact your legislator today and tell him or her to not support Sen. Seth Goodall's bill to identify BPA and other chemicals in food labeling.

Keith Herrick


Revenue-sharing cutbacks will hurt Maine's retirees

I've been retired since 2009, a widow on a fixed income who owns a home and lives alone. I'm writing as a concerned citizen about Gov. Paul LePage's proposal to suspend revenue sharing in the next budget.

I feel that instead of cutting off aid to localities, we should be working on ways to raise revenue at the state level to protect and strengthen the programs that are vital to Maine people and its economy.

Cutting state aid will probably result in higher property taxes to make up the difference. Because I only received one cost-of-living increase since my retirement, my income will not be able to keep up with ever-higher real estate taxes -- let alone the constant increases in the cost for basic living necessities like food, utilities, prescriptions, gas and clothing.

So, I feel we should look to other sources to raise revenue, such as suspending unfair tax breaks to large corporations, like Walmart; increasing sales taxes on tourists by raising the lodging tax by 1 percent on hotels, motels and bed and breakfasts; and raising luxury sales taxes by 1 percent.

These are just a few steps that would help preserve revenue sharing and avoid any increases in our property taxes.

Jacqueline Edwards



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