July 7, 2013

Letters to the editor: Meals, lodging tax hike boon to state

Maybe it's because I grew up and lived most of my life in the Midwest, but the conversation around the increase in the meals and lodging tax and the "sunsetting" of this law in two years is maddening.

click image to enlarge

Mathieu Roy of Montreal works on a sand castle during a family vacation in Old Orchard Beach in 2012. A reader questions the two-year expiration date on a recent increase in Maine’s meals and lodging tax, saying that the total of such levies has never been a factor in her family’s vacation planning.

2012 File Photo/Tim Greenway

While there are beautiful places throughout New England, comparing Maine to the rest of New England and worrying about Maine being "the end of the trail" that people won't travel to because of a modest meals and lodging tax increase, as Dick Grotton of the Maine Restaurant Association stated, is ludicrous ("State budget: 5 things you need to know," June 30).

While I've heard the adage "you can't eat the views," the views in Maine, particularly along the coast, do feed the soul. The only words I could find when I first glimpsed Penobscot Bay were "Oh, my God."

We are a strictly middle-class family, yet we've never compared meals and lodging taxes in making decisions about vacation destinations. Since even a very modest, short vacation can cost hundreds of dollars, does the extra 50 cents on a $50 meal really matter? If a family can afford a vacation or a meal out, the additional cost is inconsequential.

Why wouldn't we want tourists to chip in a few bucks more to help pay for the infrastructure that makes their vacation to the gem of Maine possible?

The state has pressing needs in an ever-more-competitive world. This increase is necessary and smart, and the law should not "sunset."

Mary Ann Larson

New Gloucester

Transgender kids' parents force their agenda on others

If a child thinks he is an adult and identifies as one, what should we do? Should we give him all the rights of an adult, and accept him as one?

Such behavior would be patently absurd. No less so if the child identifies as the opposite sex. Nevertheless, some young transsexuals have been in the news lately, with their families trying to get them accepted as the opposite sex.

These parents, although I am sure acting in good faith, are psychologically abusing their child. I can hear the teeth-gnashing and cries of bigotry already.

Hold on for a moment. Transsexualism is part of gender identity disorder. However, instead of getting their child the help that he needs, these parents are encouraging him to continue.

Obviously, people have become more concerned with advancing the politically correct agenda than getting their young, confused child help. Meanwhile, the rest of us have to deal with the results of this agenda, with the invasion of politics into (until now) separate-sex bathrooms. When will it stop?

I am sorry for Nicole Maines and Coy Mathis if they feel exiled for having to use the staff bathroom at school. But I feel more sorry for all the females who will be forced to share a restroom with a biological male. Their feelings don't matter if they are against the progressive agenda.

With this said, I fully expect to be labeled backward and a bigot. I do not care, but I will leave the teeth-gnashers with one thought: I would give you more credibility if your peaceful tolerance extended to those who don't agree with you, like me.

Elsa Tiemann, 17

Ellsworth

State senator not the saint depicted in Nemitz column

The Bill Nemitz column June 30 ("Sen. Katz bravely reprises 'class acts' ") revealed a slobbering love affair with liberal politicians, namely Sen. Roger Katz and Katz's memories of other liberal Republican politicians. Katz proves the Democrats do not have a lock on liberalism; hence, we have the evolution of the RINO -- Republicans in Name Only.

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