Letters, June 8, 2017

Jun 08, 2017

Legion thanks

I would like to thank American Legion Post 157 for the hard work and dedication that went into the preparing for Memorial Day events at all four of the parades that we march in. In addition, I would like to thank Kari Cross, the former recreation director for the town of Searsport, for coordinating the parade at the last minute; Russ Cattrell, for organizing the Scouts; Ellis Braga for playing the drum and Dominic Frances Metzger for playing the trumpet on a last-minute notice; and Cassie Donald for doing a fantastic job singing the National Anthem a cappella.

In addition, I would like to thank Jill Bagley for hosting us for coffee and goodies between the Stockton and Prospect parades and the four lovely ladies in Prospect for supplying us with sandwiches, goodies and even a "Happy 80th birthday" cake for Barbara Tilley, who along with Linda Gamble, organize their parade. These two ladies, and two more, Jen Mchugh and Sue Depeters, have been serving the American Legion lunch for 25 years.

It was also very nice of the gentlemen from the Bucksport American Legion to march with us all day and feed us hot dogs afterward. Last, but not least, my thanks to my husband Norman Otis for his support throughout the day and for helping wherever there is a need.

Judy L. Otis

Commander

American Legion Post 157

A certainty

One thing about your columnist Tom Seymour as certain as death and taxes. He never fails to set my teeth on edge.

Mike Silverton

Belfast

A wonderful candidate

I would like to voice my support for Betsy Bradley for the position of select person in Stockton Springs. She is a wonderful candidate who has been a tireless community volunteer for our Stockton Springs youth. She is the coordinator for the local YMCA swim team. She has two boys in scouting, recreational sports and other organizations and has been an active supporter of them all.

Betsy is a mover in the Stockton Springs Sailing Center, its one-week sailing school and its opportunity for all children in Stockton Springs to learn to sail. And she is involved with the planning for the Maine Ocean Magnet School.

She is kind, considerate and smart. She will be a wonderful addition to the Select Board since she will bring forward thinking and optimism to the town council. This will be in direct opposite to the present holder of this position who seems to be in opposition to everything and everyone except her personal agenda.

Betsy will be a breath of fresh air and opportunity for the town and I strongly recommend that you vote for her and join the rest of the town in looking toward a better future for our town and our children.

Veronica Magnan

Stockton Springs

Keep Cosmano

As a state representative, I've made hundreds of new friends across my seven towns — including fellow public servants. On June 13, voters in one of my towns, Stockton Springs, will vote for town selectmen. On that ballot will be one of the hardest-working town officials I know, Lesley Cosmano.

Here's what I've seen from Lesley: a constant concern for her residents, unending effort to always help, recognizing needs and fighting for them — from providing food for the local food pantry, to notebooks and crayons for our school children. She's helped to raise a steeple and flagpole, and provide a meal and conversation to the elderly .

She's spoken twice before the Legislature in Augusta addressing ways to lower taxes in coastal towns, and voiced her concerns personally to both myself and and Waldo County Sen. Mike Thibodeau. Not a month goes by when I haven't heard from Ms. Cosmano on a potential project, an ongoing town issue or budget concern or legislative issue that affects Stockton Springs, focusing on lowering the town tax burden by finding efficiencies and bringing in new businesses and development.

Like myself, she turns over all of her public servant pay to help individuals, town committees, and various local organizations.

She is dedicated and cares about her town and its people and is a good example of what an elected official should be. I hope the good folks in Stockton Springs keep her on as selectman so she can continue her work for her town.

Rep. Karl Ward (R-Dedham)

Maine House District 131

Democracy?

This letter is in response to the June 1 article in The Republican Journal, “Vocal crowd questions board’s school option exploration,” which I found rather disturbing. The article stated that “Denise Dakin exited as a police officer moved toward her,” after she asked the question, “Who pays?”

I am very curious as to whether escorting Ms. Dakin from the meeting violated Ms. Dakin’s First Amendment Rights to free speech. I have always thought that we live in a democratic society, especially living in New England. New England small towns have long been a stronghold of direct democracy, allowing their citizens to have a direct voice in matters of laws, taxes, welfare, and education with each citizen having the right to speak at a town meeting.

This has shaken my belief in our local democracy, the belief that people should be able to ask questions and voice their opinions and not be shut down without recourse. This form of behavior toward Ms. Dakin may show a shift toward an oligarchy rather than a democracy.

It is also my understanding that that the town of Stockton Springs had already voted less than two years ago to have our children stay in Searsport to further their education. So why bring financial questions regarding tax rates and the possibility of leaving RSU 20 so early? Under 20 M.R.S. § 1466(10), Restrictions on withdrawal petitions of the Maine Revised Statute, a municipality within a regional school unit may not petition for withdrawal within two years of the date of a municipal vote on the same issue.

Debra Crosby

Stockton Springs

Respect constituents

Once again, elements within the Legislature are trying to thwart the will of the people by attempting to repeal the entirety of ranked-choice voting, in spite of the fact that Maine voters overwhelmingly approved this question on Nov. 8, 2016.

The Maine Supreme Court has issued its opinion that ranked-choice voting for all state offices would conflict with Maine's constitutional plurality provision, although it could be used for federal elections. They suggested that either a state constitutional amendment to change the plurality provision or a repeal of the portion of the law that is in conflict would rectify this situation.

Unfortunately, a constitutional amendment has practically no chance of passing the Legislature at this time. That leaves the option of retaining the portion of the law that is not affected by the court's ruling, specifically as it pertains to federal elections.

However, a bill has already been introduced in Augusta that seeks instead to repeal the entire ranked-choice voting law, ignoring the wishes of Maine voters. Please contact your members of the Legislature and urge them to respect the will of their constituents and resist any attempt to repeal ranked-choice voting for federal elections.

Anne Crimaudo

Searsport

People have spoken

Recent memory recalls rallying political voices loudly stating,"Take back the government (from special interests) and place it back into the hands of the people." Well, the people of Maine have spoken clearly with a majority vote in a legal, upright electoral process that ranked-choice voting is the will of the people's majority in the state of Maine.

Over 400 voters from my home town of Searsmont, myself included, voted yea. Waldo County spoke clearly with 11,000 "yes" votes. Overall, nearly 400,000 Mainers stood up and clearly said, “Yes, we want ranked-choice voting" by marking their official ballot in the "yes" box.

This was a peaceful, clear, legally sanctioned determination of the will of the people of Maine. The vote is clear. The issue is clear. The will of the people is clear. So what's the problem?

This is simple. Legislators, do the work necessary to make the people’s will the law of the land. Isn’t that democracy? Isn’t that your job as elected representatives, to do service for the will of the people? Otherwise, the people serve the politicians. Wasn't that the structure of monarchies — where the people serve the king and his aristocrats?

You might not like the will of the people, but that’s not your call. If the wording isn’t correct, fix it.

If the Constitution needs tweaking, tweak it. Please, don’t use legal technicalities to suppress the the people’s will. Otherwise, what’s a vote for?

Ward Jarman

Searsmont

Our planet

I am not disappointed in Donald Trump for abandoning the Paris Climate Accord. That would require me to think there was a chance of a good decision. Hoping clear thinking will come from someone who is operating out of fear and greed is a mistake. Those feelings cannot be satisfied, and they won’t yield easily to facts or reality.

The fate of this good earth is, and always will be, in our hands. Our courage, our resolve, our love for all people and all life; that is what is going to make the difference. Look at your hands, are they any less powerful today than yesterday? Is your heart any less strong in its love today? Are your eyes still focused on the prize? The prize of knowing that our children and grandchildren will live better lives than we have. Not that they will have more stuff, but they will have no fear of a collapsing ecosystem, no fear of war and violence, no bitter divisions nurtured for generations, no hunger, no one suffering without medical care, where everyone is treated with respect regardless of race, wealth, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or place of origin.

There is enough. There are enough resources to meet all human need. We can all have good lives without damaging the environment. It is very possible and easier than what the deniers suggest.

The path forward is through each of us thinking. First we get to think about what we care deeply about.

Then we decide. We decide what we are committed to.

Then we act. We take bold action. We do not wait for it to feel easy or safe. We do not need to be comfortable. We act upon our best thinking.

If this leads you to do things you never imagined you would do, congratulations. This is how we are powerful. This is our planet. This is our life. This is our future.

Shoulder to shoulder, we can make this happen.

Jonathan Fulford

Monroe

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