December 24, 2012

Letters to the Editor: Many fishermen support closed areas

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click image to enlarge

A fresh catch of groundfish awaits auction at the Portland Fish Pier in 2011. The Gulf of Maine and small-boat fishermen need the protections offered by closing some areas to fishing, a reader says.

2011 File Photo / Gordon Chibroski

G.J. Fitzgerald

Bar Harbor 

Maybe Santa can persuade LePage to restore murals 

Dear Santa,

Please help our illustrious governor to see the folly of his having the labor murals hidden away from the public. Please help him remember that the murals depicted people working, creating better working conditions so that people could work in businesses without undue suffering or work loss.

These people actually supported the right to work -- the right to work safely and fairly, with, of all things, businesses, so that breadwinners could actually go to work and not die an early death from poor working conditions, which could place the welfare of surviving families somewhere between the street and the state.

The murals are about the history of labor. It isn't any different history if they are shown in the Department of Labor or a history museum, except that they are particularly about labor.

What is business without labor? What is labor without safe, prospering business? What is business without a good name? By taking the murals down, Gov. LePage inadvertently made everyone aware of them and their important themes.

So I would like to see them restored to where they were, where they never bothered anyone or any business before and where they would cease being a national embarrassment to our state (and might even become a tourist attraction or destination).

It may be LePage's right to have them removed just as it was Scrooge's right to say, "Bah, humbug." But only when Scrooge realized his mistake did it truly make Christmas real.

So please, Santa, forgive our governor his little insane prank and have him give the people's murals back to the Department of Labor and Maine.

Paula Callahan


Argument for higher taxes amounts to endorsing theft 

Mort Mather of Wells argues that those with higher incomes should be subject to higher rates of income tax ("Any reason not to hike taxes on the rich?" Dec. 18).

Such an increase, he argues, would not be unfair since even with it they could surely get by.

I personally find the argument a little offensive. If some neighbor of mine had more money than he needed, and I had less than I needed, would I be justified in stealing it from him? Would I be justified in lobbying my representatives to pass laws that would transfer some of that money to me? Would such lobbying not be a form of theft (albeit a little more indirect)?

I have to wonder why we are discussing lowering ourselves to the level of Willy Sutton, who when asked why he robbed banks replied: "Because that's where the money is."

William Vaughan Jr.

Chebeague Island 

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