With all due respect to Professor of Law Emeritus Orlando Delogu and his opinion regarding Gov. LePage’s proposals for tax reforms (June 8), he is quite correct regarding just one item: Maine folks are not stupid.

And Maine folks earning more than the average due to years of hard work, prudent investing rather than spending, and in most cases simply getting up every day and going to work are not going to sit by and watch the state tax away their hard-earned income and savings.

Gov. LePage’s administration recognized that without reform, higher-income Mainers will continue to vote with their feet and move to states, such as Florida, that have more favorable tax policies.

To place even more of a burden on the already overtaxed, as Delogu suggested, will simply accelerate the departure of Mainers fed up with being cash cows, depriving the state of the very citizens it needs the most.

I suggest Delogu remain behind to tally when the last above-average-income Mainer has left, and then he can turn out the lights.

Robert H. Smith


After reading the letters supporting the governor’s “Open for Business” sign entering Maine just below the “Welcome to Maine” sign on the turnpike, I suggest both signs be replaced as follows:

“Welcome to Maine: Trying to look like the Jersey shore” and “Open for Exploitation.”

Duane Pierson


I’m a great believer in karma. Surely if Gov. LePage simply returned the worker mural he unilaterally converted to his own use, the “Open for Business” sign he unilaterally tacked to the Welcome to Maine sign would be returned to him.

However, when the “Open for Business” sign is returned, a caveat should be added — “workers not welcome.” Only in Maine can kids work until the wee hours on a school night, be paid less than minimum wage with impunity, lose the power to bargain with their employer and then when they retire have their financial rug pulled out from under them, all in the name of unfettered capitalism.

When Lepage finishes with Maine, we’ll have to take down the other sign, the one that says “The way life should be,” and replace it with a sign that says, “Maine: It used to be a great place to live.”

Donna Brown


There is a sad and predictable irony in the saga of the “Open for Business” sign.

Gov. LePage attached it to our Welcome to Maine sign on Interstate 95. That it suddenly disappeared is indicative of either a thoughtless prank or a thoughtful act of civil disobedience.

Now that the sign has been removed (by a taxpayer?), it has been announced that private funds have already been raised to replace it. The group that will pay for the replacement is the Maine Aggregate Association.

This group is composed of businesses (and their enormous, mountain-eating machinery) that will decapitate and eviscerate the hills and mountains of Maine, selling the resulting “aggregate” for the building of road beds and site work.

This will, of course, employ a few people, consume huge amounts of fuel, enrich a few people and leave the land reduced in size and surface.

All the vegetation and all wildlife will be decimated for many years to come. Toxic sludge, silt or tailings will likely pollute neighboring streams and destroy micro-environments, and earth-rumbling noise and vibration will echo throughout the area.

The effort to create an atmosphere of “open for business” in Maine must incorporate the protection and preservation of Maine lands and waterways.

Mining and manufacturing that create or discharge hazardous materials are damaging and expensive to correct. Societally and environmentally, we are now at a tipping point. We cannot continue “business as usual.”

I urge Gov. LePage to take pro-active and courageous steps to lead Maine in a positive direction. He must summon, support and nurture creative solutions to our present problems, not simply dig in with his old boys’ network perpetuating a destructive path of selling our assets in the name of “creating jobs.”

Sally Sulloway


I am writing to respectfully disagree with a letter to the editor submitted by Kerin Resch of Warren defending Gov. LePage from the “many attacks on his good hard work.”

Resch urges us to “give some credit to whom it’s due, the wise voters of the great state of Maine” who had enough sense to select LePage as our leader.

I include myself with the majority of voters, lacking the wisdom of our peers, who cast ballots for other candidates for office, any of whom, in my humble opinion, would now be doing an infinitely better job of governing than LePage.

Then there is the claim that the governor’s list of accomplishments for his five months in office “is long and impressive.”

I would call attention to Gov. LePage’s latest “accomplishment,” his veto of L.D. 1222, a health insurance bill in the people’s interest which passed in the House and Senate without debate, an extremely rare and welcome occurrence in these days of partisan politics. His reason for the veto was that the bill limits the rights of businesses.

Now back along party lines, the House has upheld the governor’s veto in favor of a new bill eliminating the objectionable components.

Yet Resch is still confident that LePage is “determined to make Maine a better place to live for all Mainers, not just the business community.”

Resch sees LePage as a man who is “gritty and outspoken.” It would follow that he believes the governor’s infamous remarks, “kiss my butt” and “little beards” among others, were not really offensive and demeaning, but merely taken out of context.

I can agree with Resch on one point: Gov. LePage was indeed elected to office, but not by a majority of the voting public, whether we are considered wise or otherwise.

Sam Kamin


Grocery prices rising as grain diverted to ethanol 

If you have been grocery shopping in recent weeks, you surely have noticed the significant increase in the price of groceries.

To help you understand a major factor contributing to the increased prices, you should know that the federal government has insisted that gasoline must contain at least 10 percent ethanol.

To ensure its availability, the government is subsidizing its production by more than $1 per gallon. As a result, some 40 percent of the U.S. corn crop previously grown for human and animal food has been diverted to producing vegetation for the production of ethanol.

Rather than concede that ethanol was a bad bureaucratic decision with an output that can damage small engines if the ethanol ratio to gasoline is too high, and its production results in little if any improvement in pollution, it continues to be marketed.

Meanwhile meat, cereals and other products that require corn production have significantly decreased in availability, causing a huge increase in costs.

The solution is to terminate the folly of ethanol and thus restore the corn output for human and animal consumption.

John Barritt

Cape Elizabeth