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.

click image to enlarge

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.

Sanford

 

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.

This may come as a shock to Charlie and his financial wizards in the Republican Party: People who don't have money don't spend money.

Oh, glad to see Mitt Romney is concerned about women's rights in the Middle East. Too bad he doesn't care about American women's rights.

Tom Walton

Biddeford

 

U.S. Senate hopeful displays consistent stance on abortion

 

Richard Mourdock is a man of Christian faith, and there is a logic in Mr. Mourdock's thinking, as one who believes in the sanctity of life at conception ("'God intended' rape pregnancies, Indiana U.S. Senate candidate says," Oct. 24).

The Romneyan attitude, also adopted in the past by George H.W. Bush and others, that there are exceptions that allow abortion -- i.e., "rape, incest and the life of the mother" -- excludes the birthrights of these embryos for reasons that have nothing to do with belief in the soul and the soul's right of expression as a human being.

I myself am an agnostic, so I personally sympathize with the woman and her right to determine whether or not she carries her pregnancy.

On the other hand, I can see the moral depravity and duplicity of the position that you can oppose abortion in one case and be for it when unstated hereditary and caste rules are applied to the viability of potential people, who through no fault of their own were products of pregnancies that did not conform to the dictates of society or that subordinated the life of the mother.

It's another example of the hypocrisy that exists in our American discourse on morality.

Steve Small

Portland

 

Saco's seats in Legislature aren't Democratic property

 

In 2010, Scott Brown reminded the folks in Massachusetts that the U.S. Senate seat he was running for did not belong to the Kennedys, but to the people. That one phrase was a turning point in getting him elected as a Republican in a heavily Democratic state.

Now it's Saco's turn. Although the voter rolls show that registered Democrats heavily outweigh registered Republicans, I urge you all to consider the person who will fill our open seats in the state House and Senate.

Two of the candidates have been in Augusta for years. This year, they are termed out but now want to switch their seats. The other candidate is youthful, inexperienced and shows a tendency toward overreaction.

The Maine Economic Research Institute recently gave positive marks to the Republican-led 125th Legislature for what it called "proactive and pro-economic changes." The economic direction in Maine has turned around and now moves in a positive direction.

When you pull that curtain on Election Day, please remember the value of electing pro-job candidates. Cast your votes for Demi Kouzounas or Roland Wyman and Tim Sevigny. These are Saco's seats, not Democratic seats, and it's OK to vote Republican.

Dave Foster

Saco

 

Insults, intolerance greet young critics of Question 1

 

Recently our youth group, ages 7 to 17, felt called to take a stand for marriage, as traditionally defined by all previous generations. We decided that for the next four weekends we would hold signs along Payne Road in Scarborough, asking Mainers for their support.

We consulted the police and followed their safety recommendations. As we stood along the sidewalk, a tremendous number of people enthusiastically showed their support. But many of the opposition were extremely hostile.

On one occasion, a middle-aged man with children in the back seat of his SUV deliberately drove up onto the sidewalk. He was dangerously near the children as he continued accelerating, plowing over 15 of our marriage signs and covering a span of more than 100 feet. The little ones were very scared.

He pulled off only to avoid hitting a telephone pole, and we saw him laughing as he sped away. The police chased after him and when confronted, the man claimed that he was "distracted." Thankfully, a nearby store captured the entire crime on video.

On another occasion, a car drove by and the passenger leaned out the window, exposing his private parts. I was embarrassed by this lack of decency.

We children endured people calling us names, throwing things at us and hundreds upon hundreds of people sticking up their middle fingers and screaming X-rated profanities. And they call us hateful people?

In the name of "tolerance," I have been insulted, disrespected and bullied, simply because of my beliefs: that marriage is between a man and a woman and that children need both a mother and a father. In spite of all this, I am determined to continue exercising my First Amendment rights and standing up for the true meaning of marriage.

Katelyn Daniels, 14

Buxton

 

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