June 30, 2013

Letters to the editor: Sequester hurts Meals on Wheels

(Continued from page 1)

click image to enlarge

Volunteer Tom O’Connor pulls prepared holiday meals from the oven, where they were heated before being delivered to Meals on Wheels recipients in southern Maine in 2011. A minister who helped bring the program to Maine says he fears for its future.

2011 File Photo/John Ewing

We're lesbians from all corners of life who ride motorcycles and are proud of our independence and liberty. We show up in ones, twos and threes at gay pride parades across America to create a spectrum of diversity that's heavy in horsepower and strong in heart. And it about broke mine when the parade officials in my beloved town of Portland, Maine, put registration money above gay pride.

Kathy Wilder

Dyke on a Bike

Norridgewock

In the right frame of mind, 'young lady' a compliment

I am writing in response to the Maine Observer column June 23 ("Comments sting, even if they're not meant to"), written by Cheryl Klein, a licensed pastoral counselor in Windham. "Pastoral" in my dictionary denotes "calm, serene and peaceful." I didn't read anything in her guest column that denoted that.

I'm sorry to read that she has a knee problem that handicaps her.

I am 10 years older than Cheryl Klein and also have ongoing health problems for the past few years. My hair went gray decades ago, and I've received many compliments about it.

My health problems consist of loss of most of my vision in one eye and voice dystonia, both of which I get injections for several times a year.

This year I also had to get hearing aids. In spite of my health issues, I'm thankful for what I do have, as many friends have worse health issues.

If someone refers to me as "young lady," I take it as a compliment and hope I portray a "young at heart" spirit. I'm also thankful for the kind, helpful, pleasant people in the world.

Sylvia Armstrong Murphy

Tenants Harbor

P.S. Kudos to Bill Nemitz and Colin Woodard for their great reporting.

Column pinpoints errors in education chief's thinking

"Putting learners first?" by Lee Roberts (June 23) could not have been very pleasant for Education Commissioner Steve Bowen to read.

What Roberts said was that Bowen's "improvement" plan was basically bankrupt, to say the least, and I agree.

Bowen essentially wants to run our education system in Maine like a business. Well, most businesses fail in this nation, Commissioner -- of course, you already knew that.

Well done, Lee Roberts. Well done.

David Bartholomew

Falmouth

Story misconstrues mission of real estate organization

It was with disappointment and disbelief that we read the June 16 article ("The Lobbyist in the Henhouse") on changes at the Maine Department of Environmental Protection under Commissioner Pattie Aho. In our experience, Ms. Aho has always been professional, ethical and diligent.

Furthermore, the article misrepresented the legislative mission of the Maine Real Estate & Development Association. MEREDA's mission is to promote responsible ownership and development of real estate through advocacy and education.

Representing more than 260 commercial real estate owners, developers and related service providers, MEREDA consistently advocates for a fair, predictable and efficient process in obtaining approvals to develop and own real estate.

For example, MEREDA secured passage of a law to prohibit municipalities from enacting ordinances that would be applied to projects retroactively, after developers had relied upon and complied with the existing ordinances during the permitting phase.

Applying ordinance changes retroactively would change the rules of the process, costing developers time and money and ultimately deterring economic development across Maine.

This year we supported the enactment of Public Law 2013, Chapter 183, to allow a business with a state site location of development permit to make minor modifications to its project without having to undergo a full review to amend its state permit.

These minor projects will still need to obtain all other applicable federal, state and local permits, and, when the modifications reach a certain size, they will be required to be reviewed for an amended state site law permit.

The new law, which had bipartisan support, does not relax environmental standards, but creates a more business-friendly and economically efficient approach while continuing to uphold Maine's environmental standards.

To help support and stimulate Maine's economy, MEREDA intends to continue to promote responsible real estate ownership and development, including environmental laws and regulations. We are proud of MEREDA's legislative accomplishments in pursuit of our mission.

Drew Sigfridson

MEREDA president

Portland

Gary Vogel

MEREDA Legislative Committee chair

Yarmouth

 

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