State budget

The Supplemental Budget, conceived in secrecy by Gov. LePage and a small cadre of Republican Party loyalists, was approved by the Republican-controlled Legislature, which includes our own Sen. Mike Thibodeau. This budget does nothing to improve the state of Maine, increase jobs, or reduce “welfare.” In fact, it will have the opposite effects.

Folks who live primarily “on welfare” are so poor that their benefits mostly remain intact. Instead, the target of the Republicans’ miserliness is for the most part working Mainers who are not fortunate enough to have health insurance provided by their employers. The Republicans are taking the health coverage away from another 14,000 working Mainers in addition to the thousands that they dropped from coverage in the earlier budget. These are the people who work at our big-box stores who keep people “part-time” to avoid paying benefits, our small businesses who cannot afford insurance for their employees, and people forced to work multiple part-time jobs to make ends meet because of a lack of better jobs.

In another example of conservative mean-spiritedness and lack of economic responsibility, funds for family planning will also be cut. Of course, the folks who are most likely to use family planning services are those who don’t have adequate health coverage. It stands to reason that less family planning will mean more unwanted pregnancies, which in turn will mean either more abortions or more children born to parents who can’t afford them or whose lives are not stable enough to raise them. Add to that the cuts to Head Start, and we have a perfect storm brewing that we taxpayers will pay for further down the road.

Not to mention the most shameful aspect of this budget — the reduction in prescription drug benefits for the elderly and disabled.

So how could the Legislature have plugged the alleged $80 million budget gap? Remember those tax breaks the Republicans gave to people who inherit estates worth over $1 million? That would be a good place to start.

Linda Buckmaster

Belfast

 

Voter registration

If you signed a petition (probably last fall) outside of Tozier’s that was supposed to be about whether you think there should be a recognized third party (as in primaries, etc.), you may want to call or go to the Town Office before you try to vote. When I checked the other day they had me listed as “unenrolled” and therefore not able to vote in the primaries because I lack a party. There are several hundred voters in town who now have that classification because they signed the petition. There were some things on the office card that I don’t remember checking off. You might ask to look at your card.

Bob Ramsdell

Searsport

 

MaineCare

If state budget cuts remove 24,000 people from the MaineCare system, how many hundreds or thousands of those will die premature deaths?

And who is responsible for those deaths?

Larry Dansinger

Monroe

 

Garden Club says thanks

The Belfast Garden Club would like to publicly thank all of the local residents and nurseries who so generously donated beautiful plants to our annual Green Thumb Plant Sale at the Belfast Boathouse May 19. The sale was a great success once again! Proceeds will allow us to continue the work of the club, including maintenance of many public gardens around town and the funding of scholarships for local students pursuing horticultural degrees.

We encourage your patronage of the following donor nurseries and urge you to thank them for their generous support of the Garden Club and our work in the Belfast community.

* Bahner Farm – 153 Augusta Rd., Belmont 342-2592

* Carol’s Collectibles – 411 Nickerson Rd., Swanville 857-225-2848

* EBS – 30 Belmont Ave., Belfast 338-4080

* Evergreen Valley Farm – 649 Woodmans Mill Rd., Searsmont 589-4673

* Fernwood Nursery & Gardens – 58 North Ridge Rd., Montville 589-4726

* Hidden Gardens – 96 Seekins Rd., Searsport 548-2864

* Holmes Florist and Greenhouse – 35 Swan Lake Rd., Belfast 338-2050

* Hosta Gallery (Ron Dow) – 194 Back Belmont Rd, Belmont 338-1546

* Ledgewood Gardens and Greenhouses – 563 Johnson Mill Rd., Orrington 825-4707

* Plants Unlimited – 629 Commercial St., Rockport 594-7754

* Roots & Shoots – 40 Peavey Town Rd., Montville 589-4655

Corliss Davis and Peg Frees

2012 Green Thumb Plant Sale co-chairs


Tank hearing

The Corps of Engineers is refusing a public hearing on the proposed propane gas storage tank and depot in our neighborhood. They say there has been sufficient public airing of the problems in connection with this business endeavor. There is a minority of citizens in Searsport/Stockton Springs who have raised the probability of an accident. These people have researched the science and history of gas explosions. Local fire department officials have not been convincing when they offer their preparedness plans. As a propane gas user and one of those “environmental” activists, I believe there should be a public hearing on this issue alone. Let the people who have studied the matter be heard.

There is also a political problem. When I joined a small band of citizens in Thomaston to voice my opposition to allowing Walmart to build in our town, all my friends in other municipalities wanted me to know that it was not right for one town to make a decision on a regional establishment. If true of Walmart, imagine the interest and concern of citizens in Waldo, Knox and Hancock counties when they consider the probability of a conflagration. Probability studies are easily dismissed by responsible/knowledgeable government and industry engineers and administrators. But, shouldn’t Fukushima be kept in our minds as we reason about this project?

Carmen Lavertu

Thomaston


Candidate Poulton

Randy Poulton of Winterport wrote an article in the Journal recently about his observations, without prejudice, while attending the Republican Convention in Augusta. He was joined, of course, by his charming and lovely wife, Debra, to whom he owes most of his success in life, (as does every other man who has been married for a generation).

He observed that the GOP regulars were vacant and disorganized, which is true, except for the Ron Paul people, who came prepared and prevailed because of their organizational skills.

I was pleased to hear of his decision to become a candidate. I served with Randy Poulton on the Winterport Charter Commission, and he is quite the character, not ashamed to voice his opinion with strength and virility. We would be fortunate to have such an overt and forceful voice in Augusta.

If, as a voter, you are looking for someone who is extremely interested in the workings of government, interested in reducing the enormous tax burden we share, and disgusted with the dysfunctional way government operates, then consider Randy Poulton as a viable candidate.

He is a friend of mine. I have observed that he is loud, tall and has great courage. His voice will definitely be noticed. Give him your vote. He is on our side.

Patrick Quinn

Winterport