Letters, June 26

Jun 26, 2014

Help support animal shelter

We are the 2nd graders at the Nickerson School. The Town Line Animal Shelter in Swanville needs your help! They have two horses and an assortment of 44 kittens and cats to take care of, but are desperately in need of supplies. Ken and Corrine Fitzjurls would greatly appreciate donations of: kitty litter, paper towels, bleach, canned and/or dry food (Purina), and financial support.

Please consider our plea! You might save an animal's life.

Mrs. Rhonda Bishop Wood's 2nd grade class: Connor, Randy, Gideon, Jayden, Jazmyn, Cameron, Sylis, Damian, Kiyo, and Kristin

Rep. Jones fought for fairness in taxation during first term

It has been a pleasure to serve alongside Rep. Brian Jones of Freedom through his first term in the Maine House of Representatives. During this time, he has proven himself an advocate for working Maine families, particularly through his dedication to making the tax code fairer for everyone.

Rep. Jones knows the burden rising property taxes places on hardworking Mainers and understands the impact that state policies have on our cities and towns. He fought to keep the state’s funding promise to local communities by protecting municipal revenue sharing, preventing the loss of millions of dollars to towns across Maine.

Without this measure, local governments would have faced deep cuts to local school budgets, road repair and maintenance, public safety and other important services. At the same time, property taxpayers would have had to shoulder increases that are hardest on those least able to afford them.

Rep. Jones worked to directly address rising property taxes by bolstering the Property Tax Fairness Credit. The improved tax credit gives much needed relief to property taxpayers, particularly older Mainers whose income is often fixed.

He also worked in support of legislation to prevent corporations from evading taxes by exploiting offshore tax havens. The bill would have stopped multinational corporations from using accounting tricks to avoid paying their fair share while our small businesses play by the rules and honest Mainers struggle to make ends meet.

In Rep. Jones’ words, “it all comes down to fairness.” Mainers deserve legislators who will stand up for them, their small businesses and our communities. Mainers can count on Rep. Brian Jones to do just that.

Seth Berry

House Majority Leader

Fulford would work to increase state funding for education as state senator

I am grateful that Jonathan Fulford is running for State Senate as a representative from Waldo County. If he is elected, he will work to make sure our schools get the revenue they need so that our students can get a quality education. Two years ago I retired from my work as a public school teacher, and frankly, I am alarmed at the crisis facing the funding of our public schools.

Governor LePage, with Senator Mike Thibodeau as his right-hand man, pushed through tax cuts benefiting the wealthy, cutting funding for schools and shifting the burden onto local tax payers.

Over the past seven years our property tax rate has increased over ten percent while the state funding for RSU 20 has been slashed by more than 2 million dollars. Funding for schools now accounts for 61.9 percent of the already strained municipal budget. Jonathan Fulford would work to restore funding to the schools at the 55 percent level required by law.

It has been painful for me to see drastic school budget cuts made necessary by this irresponsible governance while at the same time see tax payers suffer financial pressure through increased property taxes.

We need to adequately fund our schools. I am confident that Jonathan Fulford will work to restore fairness to the tax base so that we can build strong communities by serving the needs of our children.

David Smith

Belfast

No business like show business

I love Broadway Musicals!

But I never expected to be sitting in the Belfast Waldo County Shrine Club tapping my feet and mouthing the lyrics to Cabaret, Fiddler on the Roof, Man of La Mancha, Oklahoma , Guys and Dolls and of course, The Wizard of OZ.

Last weekend the Belfast Maskers Community Theater performed their Summertime Song and Dance show, “Tavern on the Green”.

The singing and dancing talent of the 20 plus actors (ages 9 – 70 years) was amazing, exceptional and inspiring. There is a Broadway career for many of them.

Thank you Belfast Maskers for the extraordinary talent and Eat More Cheese for the delicious gourmet cheeses and wine.

Long live the Belfast Maskers! Let’s all support our community theater as we all know, there is "No business like show business."

Sandra Ruch

Northport

Belfast has a leash law

In order for all dog owners and their dogs to feel safe, we strongly encourage everyone to obey Belfast's leash laws. There seems to be an increasing number of dog owners in Belfast who are allowing their dogs to be off leash, which is creating very uncomfortable and at times dangerous encounters for many of us. Belfast has a wonderful dog park in which dogs can rump and play freely, which we ask dog owners to use. However, we also ask that we all work together to keep our streets safe for everyone by keeping all dogs on leash while in our Belfast neighborhoods.

Carolyn Otto

Belfast

 

Road work questions

The following is an open letter to Mr. David Bernhardt, Commissioner of Maine Dept. of Transportation, Mr. Michael Burns, Midcoast Regional Manager for Maintenance of Maine Dept. of Transportation and The Honorable Chellie Pingree, Representative from Maine U.S. House of Representatives.

Dear Sir or Madam:

My name is Jim Schlagheck. I reside on Route 1 (Belfast Road) in Camden, Maine. I am writing to request information about the paving work that was recently done along Route 1 in Belfast-Lincolnville area.

My neighbors and I have noticed that bald patches where the new asphalt has already worn away dot the length of the highway. These worn-away areas are often located along parts of the road which do not have particularly heavy traffic. What's more, the paving work is only several months old.

The work is so recent, in fact, that neither weather conditions nor heavy traffic can be held accountable for the poor state of the asphalt. Instead, it appears that the extensive :wear and tear" we see is the result of shoddy paving work and a new layer of asphalt that was and is much too thin.

As a taxpayer paying for this work (and soon-to-come repairs!), I would appreciate your answers to the following questions:

1. What city, county, or state government body - and which specific public service officer in charge - were responsible for selecting the contractor who did this work and overseeing that contractor's performance? Whoever that officer is, he or she should step down.

2. What is the name, please, of the private company to which this work was actually awarded: Most taxpayers will want to know that company's name so we can avoid using that group in private projects, and,

3. How much money did taxpayers actually pay out in total to have the Camden-Lincolnville stretch of Belfast Road recently "upgraded"?

Thank you for providing this information and sharing it with our newspapers so the public at large can read your feedback. When we make road repairs, let's take pride in the work, hire the right people, not skimp on asphalt, and do a quality job that lasts for more than several months.

Sincerely yours,

Jim Schlagheck

Camden

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