Letters, 7/19

Jul 18, 2012

Questioning the tank

If an LPG tank is built in Searsport, tankers with exclusion security zones ranging in miles will be using Penobscot Bay, which means others will not.

Once priority to use the bay is given to highly hazardous LPG/LNG tankers, a second gas storage tank on Sears Island becomes a natural.

Andrew Hoglund


Come to the Celtic Celebration

The Sixth Annual Maine Celtic Celebration kicks off this Friday night in Belfast, offering two full days of music, games, food, education and athletic events, all helping to highlight the Celtic heritage of Midcoast Maine. From the opening night dinner on Friday until the last note of the jam session on the main stage Sunday afternoon, an army of volunteers, musicians and vendors will be hard at work making the celebration the premier Celtic music event that Maine has to offer.

The celebration is planned and staffed entirely by volunteers, and funded in large part by donations from the local business community, the citizenry and the city of Belfast. We have always had a free-admission policy, and have asked folks to donate to our “bucket brigade” to help us reach our goal of $40,000 each year. This year marks a slight change; instead of our volunteers with their buckets, we will be collecting donations at the main entry points of the celebration. Admission is still free for all, but we hope folks will continue to contribute generously to help us keep this event growing each year.

We hope you’ll come out and join us, participate in some of our games or musical instrument workshops, enjoy some great food and experience another of the many great events that make Belfast so special.

Complete information on the celebration can be found at www.mainecelticcelebration.com or by calling 338-2692.

Bob MacGregor, President

Maine Celtic Celebration

Praise for an event and its organizer

As someone living outside of Belfast, I would like to report my participation in a highly memorable event that took place in your city on Saturday at the Shrine Club.

A world-renowned celebrity in the peace movement, Medea Benjamin, was in town to talk about her new book, "Drone Warfare: Killing by Remote Control." Jennifer Hill, an event planner in your town, volunteered to turn a simple book-signing that might have lasted an hour into a sing-along of Woody Guthrie songs (it was his 100th birthday), displays of the artwork of Gary Hinte, Kenny Cole, Jude Spacks, and Squidge Davis, an auction of Robert Shetterley’s prints of his painting of Medea, a short dramatic presentation about drones under the direction of Larraine Brown, and an array of catered appetizers and wines, followed later by a potluck dinner.

About 100 people attended and were clearly engaged and enjoying themselves in spite of the sobering topic of the evening.

Jennifer Hill is a credit to your business community, as I have not worked with anyone with her level of enthusiasm, imagination, resourcefulness and dedication in creating the most memorable event possible.

Martha Goodale


More questions than answers

By withholding the federal Communities for Maine's Future grant, Gov. LePage is creating economic hardships for the towns and cities that have relied on this grant to complete necessary projects -- for example, renovations to schools and a myriad of other plans throughout the state. Who do city and town councilors and planners go to for money that will be crucial to complete these projects? Some of them have already started the building process and bidding. Will they be held legally liable because the freezing of the grant denies them the funds to pay bills already incurred? Will they be forced to borrow money from banks that have been unreliable and ruinous in their lending practices? if these cities and towns fall behind in their bank payments because of the fragile economy, will taxpayers have to meet the expenses? With so many households barely able to pay their own bills, how will they be able to afford higher property taxes?

Tax collections for most municipalities have been more difficult because of the recession, job losses, foreclosures and people abandoning their homes and businesses. Does the governor, who has been a wrecking ball for our state, along with his American Legislative Exchange Council advisers and secret PAC contributors, want to see our cities and towns go bankrupt because of his action under the guise of saving money? Will bankruptcy help to move the dreaded privatization of our governments along and give big corporations a chance to financially devour us?

Is the governor choosing certain areas for grant cuts because they're not as politically supportive towards him and his policies?

Over 19 cities and small towns across the United States, from San Bernardino and Monmouth, Calif., to Scranton, Penn., have claimed or are in bankruptcies. Although the reasons are varied and complicated in each of their cases, this is not the kind of hardship taxpayers, city and town legislators deserve in our state.

It seems that Gov. LePage places the onus of raising taxes on local governments while he courts his constituents as the one who 'saved them" from a tax increase.

I hope voters will remember all the misery this governor has caused us during his term -- from cuts in MaineCare, placing our most vulnerable citizens and their families in physical and mental jeopardy, to attacks on our hardworking government employees, as well as his crude and unjust remarks that make national and world headlines and are an embarrassment to the people of Maine.

How many times does Mr. LePage have to tell us about his early childhood hardships? We all have hardships -- now he's about to make ours worse!

Phyllis Coelho


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