LETTERS: How to control municipal spending

To the editor:

We have entered the 20th year of the 21st century with a flood of information at our fingertips. We can now watch local government at work with video streaming, pay our taxes online and ask questions with email.

The current open meeting limits voter participation to 3 – 4 hours on a Saturday. A secret ballot would allow town registered voters the ability to vote absentee 30 days prior. The elderly and disabled would find it easier to vote. People could vote early due to a conflicting obligation or if they’re on vacation on that Saturday.

In the past, the normal attendance at our town meeting has been between 120 – 150 registered voters. This is usually after calling neighbors to meet the required quorum of 4 percent. The recent secret ballot governor’s race in China had 2,065 at voters. The petition I’m circulating requires at least 10 percent of that number or 207 registered voters turned in by March 10 when the town office would verify the names. Finally, at the March 16 selectboard meeting, it will be submitted for placement on the June 9 primary ballot.

How do we control municipal spending? Individually…… in the voting booth.

Neil Farrington
South China

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: LD594 easy pathway for retirement savings

To the editor:

Saving for retirement is one of the most important things you can do for your future.

As a college student about to enter the workforce, it is hard for me to even think of what all retirement involves. There is one thing I know for certain, retirement is expensive. More expensive than one can imagine. I’ve always been told by my grandparents, “Start saving for retirement early, you’ll be happy you did.” When talking with my grandparents about retirement, they said the easiest way to save is by having a plan. It becomes second nature you don’t even think about as time goes on.

When researching different plan options, I found proposed legislation LD594, A Retirement Savings Program for Maine. LD594 provides an easy pathway to start saving for retirement out of my regular paycheck, regardless if my employer offers a program or not. This program would give employees the option to put a percentage of their paycheck into a retirement savings account. This program would be portable, meaning I can take it from job to job with me.

It makes sense that people are more likely to save when they can do so through their employer. Imagine what putting away just $20 a paycheck will amount to in 10 years, let alone 40+ years.

I’m hoping Maine will pass LD 594. I don’t think a lot of people my age realize how expensive retirement is. This bill will help Mainers of all ages get on the right track.

Harrison Quidort
Portland

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Humidity linked to spreading of flu

To the editor:

Cases of the flu are at an all-time high, and two schools in Maine have closed for cleaning and disinfecting. Is this all that needs to be done so that the children can go back to a “healthy” school? While it is good practice to teach children proper handwashing, to use sanitizer, and cough into your sleeve, there is one crucial health piece that schools should be doing to help protect students and their teachers.

Did you know that if a room is at the right humidity, which is 30 to 60 percent, that respiratory viruses and others aren’t easily spread? It’s true. However, if the humidity level of the school is too low, then the virus can run rampant. A Minnesota company, DriSteem, has been helping schools and other buildings across America stop this at its core and has even conducted a study with the Mayo Clinic, which showed with proper moisture in the air, viruses do not spread as easily.

Michelle Thompson
VEW Media

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Take control of your future

To the editor:

It is a stark reality that on average, working households in Maine have just $2,500 in retirement account savings. As the current AARP Volunteer State President, a Portland Maine resident, and a former small business owner, I am very interested in changing this situation.

Our great State of Maine has over 175,000 small businesses who could help provide a mechanism for its employees to begin to save for their own retirement. In our 2020 legislative session, a simple solution to address this growing and critical savings program will be considered. AARP strongly supports LD 594, the Maine Retirement Savings Program, sponsored by Senator Eloise Vitelli (D-Arrowsic).

Under this new law, employers would be able to offer their employees a way to save for retirement through payroll deduction. Employees would be automatically enrolled in this program unless they opted out of it. However, a survey we just released showed that 98 percent of voters in Maine who are working believe it’s important to save for retirement at work. And 84 percent of workers without access to a workplace savings program would take advantage of one if it were available. Over time, even a small contribution can make a big difference.

If you are one of the thousands of Mainers concerned about saving for retirement, please urge your legislators to support LD 594. It’s time for Maine lawmakers to give employees the opportunity to increase their savings and take control of their future.

Pat Pinto
AARP Maine Volunteer State President

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Times have changed

To the editor:

Former Maine Governor Paul LePage gave a speech at Colby College last month. Their Diamond Auditorium was filled from the entrance to the speakers platform with students lined up holding signs expressing opinions on how to improve human conditions. Perhaps I was the only senior citizen there.

Mr. LePage traced his French-Canadian origins in Maine. He came from a large family and was on his own at age 11 when a business family, in Lewiston, took him in. He later took courses at Husson College, in Bangor. Upon graduation he was excused the balance of his tuition for the many ways he benefited the school through clubs and extracurricular activities.

During my lifetime, there have been many changes. Millionaires have become billionaires. An Indian chief once said, “White man is good at making things, but poor at distributing them.”

In the workforce women holding jobs now outnumber men. Competition has replaced cooperation, and children suffer most from the discord and neglect.

Regarding sexual orientation, men differ from women. Diversity advances a species. Darwin called this natural selection. Same sex stems from the dysfunctional family with delinquent fathers, single mothers, and both parents at jobs. Just consider the vices that can infiltrate a home at electronic speeds.

Drugs are more readily available, both legal and illegal. The network of interstate highways has made criminal activity profitable. Also, there is the violence due to the availability of hand guns and assault rifles. A lack of human values is a factor.

A house divided and vacant will not endure. As there are rules for driving, so there are rules of a higher order. These make for a successful lifestyle regardless of rank.

Abraham Lincoln was born into poverty. He learned to read and write from a Bible with help from his stepmother. As a young man, he studied law from borrowed law books to pass the bar exam in Illinois. He served twice in the legislature there. Twice he was elected president of the United States. From reporters, much of his home spun humor and wit has been recorded. “No one is poor who had a godly mother.” He stood six foot four inches tall. When asked he was known to say, “A man stands tallest on his knees.”

Russell Vesecky
Waterville

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Protect previous natural resource

To the editor:

In light of a Letter to the Editor dated October 31, 2019, I would like to add to the comments about run-off at the Town Landing Road and other concerns.

As a resident of South China who has cleaned litter along this road for 20 years, I would agree we have a problem with this road as a public access point to the lake. During the season, large boats and vehicles can be seen trying to manage entry from this road. The only way to turn around is on someone’s private property, and the only place to park is along the buffer on the side of the road. The regular wear and tear to the road is evident, and because of the isolated aspect of this entry point, there is no surveilling boats for milfoil or other invasive species. The shallow waters also make large boat access problematic and create disturbance to the bottom of the lake.

It is certainly worth further discussion in order to protect this precious natural resource, China Lake.

Katy McCormac
South China

LETTERS: Thank you for good thoughts

To the editor:

Re: Letter of Rev. Jim Ferrone:

Thank you for your thoughts on a very timely topic [The Town Line, Letters to the Editor, December 5, 2019]. It’s true that the universities are only teaching one way to think. Thank you for a good job and well done. Also, keep the good thoughts coming. I, too, miss that America.

Sheldon Goodine
South China

LETTERS: Do the teenagers of today know what it is meant to be of service?

To the editor:

A recent post on DailyOM.com triggered thoughts I have been thinking about all day. When my son was a teenager, he and his buddy would be out looking for odd jobs for money. Whether it be during the summer or winter they were asking for work. Allowances weren’t just given without chores being done or errands completed. As we move into the present, there are people here in our town, towns within the State and nation-wide where much of our teenage population aren’t serving/servicing their communities.

The elderly and people with disabilities could and would benefit from a helping hand. We aren’t asking for free service, we are willing to pay. The problem, as I see it, is that we don’t know where to look. Boy Scouts, 4H clubs or students from high school do not appear to be making the effort. There aren’t many students willing to do odd jobs or shovel walk-ways or ramps covered in snow.

Do the teenagers of today know what it is meant to be of service? Where do we find them? What do you think about the town offices offer to keep a list of the students or adults who are willing and able to work, with their phone numbers?

Sandy Yates Mathieson
Palermo

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: I miss that America

To the editor:

I was a child of the ‘60s. Not a product, just a child. I graduated from high school, college and seminary all in the ‘60s. I protested what I needed to protest and I learned that free speech was a good thing. I was most thankful for the Civil Rights movement. I still like much of the music. I lived in a Black Italian neighborhood in a Jewish town and my best friends were Jews and Blacks. My Jewish friend passed away last year but my Black friend is still a friend after 60 years.

I learned responsibility, the value of hard work and common sense. My education was highly important because it taught me to think for myself. My professors challenged me to learn for my own satisfaction and not parrot back to them. They said “research it, question it, check the possibilities, be your own person, look at all sides of the issue” etc. They, unlike many today, taught me “how to think” rather than, “what to think.” As I observe the news today, it seems that colleges seem to be more interested in only one way of thinking rather than creating well informed and caring citizens.

Young people are not taught respect for the ideas of others. We have become a one, and only one, opinion allowed, nation. Believe in something other than what the culture calls for and you are labeled as bigots, haters, Nazi’s, Fascists, etc. Many young people have no idea of what these names mean because they are not taught actual history. Nazis and Fascists allowed only one way of thinking. Is this America’s destiny? Americas have, since our beginning, held differing opinions and beliefs.

And, like everyone in the world, we were born with God’s gift of free will. And if you don’t believe in God, you still have free will. Do we realize how very fortunate we are?

Today, the culture forbids free will. The irony here is that in the ‘60s we believed that we had had a right to our own opinions. The university has become the most close minded institution in America. Disagreement is not allowed. Those who want to teach free speech are not welcomed. And many young people are easily offended and need to hide in a “safe zones” so they won’t have to fall apart and think that there may be another belief out there. We need to speak to each other face to face and to be open minded about the dialog. Instead we get riots when those who have different opinions are not allowed to be heard because they do not hold our current, one way and one way only belief system.

I remember when reporters actually looked for truth, no matter where it was to be found. Now, many of them only opine and fear to be different.

I remember when Hollywood and the sports world were supposed to entertain and not be political. I remember when colleges wanted us to think for ourselves. I remember the three R’s but, more important were the three C’s; courtesy, class and character.

I miss that America.

Rev. Jim Ferrone
South China

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: It’s not hunting; it’s just killing

To the editor:

Thank you to Roland Hallee for his recent article “The unfair resources of today’s ‘great game hunter.’” In it he points out tools available to today’s deer hunters such as deer urine scent, GPS devices, artificial callers, computers, and high-powered rifle scopes. Deer hunting is perhaps the most traditional hunting engaged in, in Maine. It still largely requires hunting skills.

Moose, bear and coyote hunting, on the other hand cannot be called hunting. Moose are killed during Maine’s moose hunt while they simply stand there in clearcuts looking at the “hunters.” The only skill moose “hunters” need to possess is the ability to drive a vehicle on woods roads and look for the moose that stand along the roadsides.

Bears are fed and trained to come into feeding stations where they are ambushed by “hunters.” They are also chased by packs of radio-collared dogs until they climb a tree or can run no more. The “hunters” track them via radio signals while driving their trucks and then shoot them while they are either treed or are surrounded by the dogs.

Coyotes are also run down by dogs and are also fed at feeding stations and are shot both day and night when they come in to eat.

There is virtually no such thing as “fair chase” when it comes to killing wildlife. This is neither sport nor hunting. It is just killing.

John Glowa
China