November 3, 2012

More Letters to the Editor: Vote 'yes' on Question 4 to keep buses, vans rolling

The Maine Transit Association, a professional association providing leadership, resources, support and technical assistance to transit agencies throughout Maine, urges voters to support Question 4.

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A Portland Metro bus pulls out into traffic on Congress Street. Question 4, the transportation bond, “includes $2 million to help replace Maine’s aging fleet of transit vans and buses,” says a member of a transit group.

2011 File Photo/John Ewing

In addition to money to fix our roads and bridges, the transportation bond includes $2 million to help replace Maine's aging fleet of transit vans and buses. That $2 million investment will also bring an additional $9 million federal match -- giving us a total of $11 million to invest.

Almost a third of the publicly operated buses are in either critical or scrap condition and need replacing.

Many people around the state rely on these buses for their transportation daily. Without them, getting to work, to the store, to school, to church or to visit with friends and family is not possible.

Please vote "yes" on Question 4 on Nov. 6.

Connie Garber

legislative chair, Maine Transit Association

transportation director, York County Community Action Corp.



Granting gays civil licenses to wed won't affect churches


Imagine you have neighbors, and their names are Denise and Sam. They have been together for 12 years and have raised two wonderful kids. They attended school sporting events, took pictures at their kids' proms and have family over to celebrate birthdays and holidays. Additionally, they both have jobs, pay taxes and, most of all, they love each other deeply.

Now substitute the name "Sherry" for the name "Sam" and you are describing my family. We have the same loving, committed relationship but are unable to marry because some people don't believe we deserve the right.

For those who believe as they do because of religious reasons, I'd like to ask you to take the religious aspect out of marriage for a minute. Marriage is a license given by the state. Having a marriage blessed by a religious institution is technically what you're opposed to.

What I want you to know is churches will not be required to give their blessing to same-sex couples. Marriage is a legal union, not a religious one. It's an important distinction.

What I and other couples we know are looking for is the dignity and public recognition of our long-term committed relationships. This is not about religion or special rights. This is about love and family. I ask you to vote "yes" on Question 1.

Denise LaFrance

South Portland


Summers, GOP go negative for lack of a cogent defense


Charlie Summers called Angus King's ad negative when he said Charlie made the Republican pledge to not raise taxes for the rich. While Charlie could not deny it, he took the Republican defense: Make the truth teller look like they are doing something wrong.

Charlie is like all Republicans: Never tell the truth about what you are going to do, just twist the truth and make your opponent look bad.

While Charlie and his party talk jobs, I bet you won't hear one word of the Sensata Technologies plant in Freeport, Ill., outsourcing its work to China, while the company made $504.6 million in net revenue in its second quarter.

This plant made automobile sensors, and the average wage of those American non-union workers was $17 an hour. Now the company can increase its hourly profit by $16 a worker, as Chinese workers will get only 99 cents an hour.

For too long, Republicans have made it profitable for companies to leave America. Maybe when Charlie and his party realize that $16 multiplied by 170 workers equals $2,720 an hour that won't be spent here in America, people like Charlie who want to hold office in our government could explain how it helps anyone -- much less small business -- to destroy unions to drive down wages, pay women less than men, try to eliminate the minimum wage and take away people's health care.

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