Portland seniors on a fixed income need to prepare.

While retired seniors without cost-of-living-allowance (COLA) increases for two years have been cutting to the bone to survive, a new balloon is being raised in Washington to say that we must take a hit on entitlements to save our very young.

Was it our decision to spend every penny of our Social Security tax as well as Medicare the moment it arrived in Washington? Do you notice any cuts in our city and schools as well as in Augusta and Washington? Gov. LePage has told the cities to expect another round of cuts, yet we will spend $42,000 on three park benches and pass on a $20,000 increase to our new city manager while boosting our interim chief of police another $10,000 while in a search mode for a replacement.

We now have two artificial football fields because our two high schools couldn’t share one! Let’s not even discuss the civic center, where the minute the doors open for tickets all the best seats have gone to promoters so they can scalp us. We also cannot forget that we also wanted to spend $65,000 plus, plus, plus for a new mayor! It is no wonder our elected officials get the wrong signals.

This is a bad economy and I can’t see why, after I pay my city tax and school tax and state tax and sales tax and federal tax and phone tax and cable tax and fuel tax, I then have to figure out how to pay my 25 percent increase in gasoline as well as the 25 percent increase in heating cost, while the cost for most goods and services has risen in the last two years.

The city’s response will be to raise our property taxes again!

While we continue our march toward becoming a third-world country, let’s hope our elected officials in Washington will join us in the same Social Security and health care programs that they mandate for us, and rid themselves of their elitist federal pension and health care benefits.

Art Sears


To all those individuals who are now complaining about how Congress is thinking about using Social Security and Medicare to balance the budget, I say: The only way this problem will be solved is that those individuals have only one alternative and this is to vote “strictly” Democrat.

That is the only political party that will protect Social Security and Medicare. Don’t like the Democratic Party? Too bad. Again, if you wish to absolutely protect Social Security and Medicare you must vote Democratic.

However, we here in Maine are so lucky that we have two very good senators in Republicans Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins. I believe they understand what is occurring with Social Security and Medicare.

So we must always vote for both of them. They are the only exception. You say you are a Republican? That is OK if you believe that you don’t care for Social Security and Medicare!

J. Robert Chasser


After a great hue and cry and unbelievable brinksmanship, Congress — following an at best “tepid” solution to health care — now befouls our good credit in the name of party loyalty and special interests.

When will the people and our nation be truly served? Perhaps 200 years ago Congress did carry out its sacred duties well, but its workings now are so contorted and strangled by dogma, bombast, posturing and collective incompetence that it would appear, by sad results provided, that a serious change is needed to get the focus on the people and nation only, under the tenet of “greatest good.”

This takes patriotic, not party, leadership (now clearly non-existent) with no outside special-influence interests allowed. We, the people, deserve better than that which we have received.

R.T. Laguerre


Give same-sex couples benefits, but not ‘marriage’

Regarding the Maine Voices column on Aug. 31 (“Marriage a civil right that should be accessible to people of the same sex”). I have to agree with M.D. Harmon and take exception to Brett Gabor’s criticism of him.

Gabor uses an argument from the mixed-race marriage case, “Loving v. Virginia,” to bolster his opinion, but conveniently disregards the meaning of that decision to his advantage.

Gabor wrote, “Marriage is one of the ‘basic civil rights of man,’ fundamental to our very existence and survival.” I have to agree: Existence and survival are key. Marriage is how we procreate; I may be wrong, but I have never heard of man impregnating another man, or woman impregnating another woman.

Yet, this is the purpose of marriage. Adoption does not meet the criteria of that decision, just as artificial insemination does not.

What I would suggest to solve this dilemma is what we have in the Armed Forces. They have a rank called warrant officer. It is above enlisted and below commissioned; however, it has all the privileges, legal and otherwise, associated with an officer. The warrant officer has a warrant for his rank as opposed to a commission.

In my opinion, we should have a “warrant” plan for homosexual couples. It would provide them with what they want under the law, but it is not marriage, because, by definition, marriage is the union of two opposites. I have never seen two light bulbs touch each other and work.

Christopher D. Chamberlin


Sen. Snowe gracious to aid immigrant with no influence

I would just like to take a chance to acknowledge our great Sen. Olympia Snowe.

A friend of mine is navigating the immigration process without benefit of a personal attorney. Each time the process has been stalled, he has contacted Snowe’s office for assistance.

Each time, they have helped him learn the status of the application. Once Sen. Snowe even met with him personally and called the embassy directly from her office.

Sen. Snowe stands to gain nothing from my friend, who is just one recent immigrant to this country. He is a widowed father (having lost his wife in a refugee camp) and holds a janitorial position.

He has little money and no political power or family connections. However, she took the time to meet with him and help him.

Having grown up in another country myself (Canada), I am proud to call myself American.

No country has harder-working or more honorable politicians than this great country.

Heather Maines