I read with amusement Monday morning (“Turnpike to hand out almanacs as parting gifts,” Sept. 1) how the Maine Turnpike Authority was planning to give away copies of the Farmers’ Almanac at the York Toll Plaza as tourists headed home that day.

Although a nice gesture, my first thought was that I didn’t like the idea of my toll money being used in such a frivolous manner.

Then, when I saw that the retail cost of the almanac is nearly $7, I got to thinking. Since the toll we pay at York is $3, the MTA lost money on every almanac it handed out.

Why not simply open the tollbooth (charge no toll) to southbound traffic on Labor Day as a thank you to tourists?

Most tourists would appreciate this gesture far more than receiving an almanac or other trinket, and it would save the MTA money that can (and should) be used to maintain the turnpike.

Douglas Thacker

South Deerfield, Massachusetts

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