Up in smoke

I was dismayed to read about my tax dollars being wasted in a pot bust.

Destroying a viable agricultural industry in Washington County just seems so counterproductive. Washington County needs something to bring some money in. What is wrong with growing a little pot?

You know, we could have harvested it and sold it for medical marijuana use and the state could have been making a little money, instead of just letting potential revenues go up in smoke.

Miff Lauriat

Southwest Harbor

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Festival worth a fee

I must disagree with the BDN’s Sept 26-27 editorial, “Keep the Festival Free.” I always attend and usually every day of the weekend. It is always a marvelous experience and has done wonders for Bangor. It is miracle that they have managed to make ends meet until now given the very poor contributions to the bucket brigade: I do not consider an average of $1 a person to be a serious donation.

As a past board member of local prominent artistic nonprofit, I know that no matter how much the organization cuts costs, it must receive funds from tickets and from corporate and individual donors. The festival organizers have done fantastic work to have produced seven years of free concerts.

A modest admission charge would not significantly reduce attendance.

Advance tickets for Rockland’s North Atlantic Blues Festival cost $25 for one day or $45 for the weekend. It is a terrific experience (and packed with people), but it is not one bit superior to that of the folk festival. Certainly they also get donations from corporations and individuals.

We need to charge a modest amount to ensure the festival will continue.

Five dollars each and $10 for all three days would be sufficient. Children in arms or in strollers and people in wheelchairs could be exempt. Or, to make sure even the very poorest person could attend, they could keep Friday or Sunday free. Limiting entry points is possible.

Gloria Vollmers

Old Town

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TABOR falsehoods

Voters, be alert to deceptions and false information regarding Question 4 on our November ballot.

Our taxes are used primarily to fund education. Complete disclosure of school budgets is accomplished by sending a copy of each town’s budget to its residents who vote on their budget. There are no secrets in school budgets. Our 2010 school budgets have already been slashed by $20 million by the state. State laws provide for vigilant watch over how tax money is spent.

Question 4, seeking passage of TABOR II, is a false promise. Passing TABOR II will freeze educational and municipal budgets as well as crucial services to seniors.

The only state that ever passed a TABOR-like law (Colorado) is scrambling to restore what has been lost since passage.

Vote No on Question 4 in November in order to protect our tax money from out-of-staters who want to mess with our Maine way of life.

Stan Blake

Hampden

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Time for a change

A few years ago HMOs were a common topic for everyone from late night talk show comedians to Sunday morning news programs. Little good was said about them. Twenty years ago health insurance companies had a 5 percent profit margin. Now they have a 20 percent profit margin. This increase comes from denied claims, refusal to insure specific pre-existing conditions, increased rates and increased deductibles.

There is a growing group of experts on Nazi and communist health care systems. These experts frequently appear at town meetings, making it on national news, flaunting their expertise, saying how much they resemble that of the suggested new government-backed plan. The U.S. is one of the few industrialized countries of the free world that does not have a government backed health care system.

I agree that cost should be a concern. A new advertisement suggests a fast pass-through of a $1 trillion plan with $230 billion increase in taxes.

This same group did not seem to mind spending $100 billion a year on a war in Iraq, for the past seven years, to improve the livelihoods of people we really don’t like. What is wrong with spending that same amount of money on people here at home?

This is not a fast pass through. Hillary Clinton began the process back in the 1990s. People really began to take notice when employers began to pass on the cost of insurance to employees several years ago. It is time for a change.

Jim Flavin

New Sweden

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Bush would have won

Herbert Hoffman’s OpEd

“‘Caving’ creates opening for third party candidates,” (BDN, Sept. 28) is interesting, but appears to rewrite history in one area.

At 75, my memory has dimmed somewhat, but Hoffman’s statement that a full recount as documented by a group of journalists revealed that Gore would have won Florida and thus the presidency, is false. In fact, the recount, sponsored by various news agencies, showed that Bush would have won if all Florida counties had been officially recounted.

Of course, the truth is not always as interesting as the fodder used by the Bush-haters.

Duane Huff

Guilford

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Hideous LNG

It is shocking to me that Gov. Baldacci is still pushing for LNG in Passamaquoddy Bay. He should be opposing it for the same reason Premier Shawn Graham of New Brunswick is opposing it — it will ruin the environment, tourism, fishing and the homeland of all the people who live there.

I hope BDN readers saw the picture in the Sept 25 issue of the LNG terminal now open in Saint John, New Brunswick. It is hideous. If only Baldacci, Collins and Snowe would push to develop rail as well as all alternative energy so we would not need LNG.

Jane Sanford

Belfast

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Headline here

$10 would do it

I am one of the thousands of people in Maine who loves the American Folk Festival and who wants to make sure it continues its phenomenal run each August in Bangor. After reading that the festival has debt in the amount of $130,000 (“Folk festival debt mounting,” BDN, Sept. 23), I realized that if 13,000 of us each sent a $10 (tax-deductible) donation to the folk festival office, we could erase that debt completely.

I invite readers who share my concern and who want to help in this way to join me in mailing a check for $10 (or more) to the American Folk Festival, 40 Harlow St., Bangor, ME 04401 (or contribute online at americanfolkfestival.com) as soon as possible.

Hopefully this will keep the music and dancing and blueberry shortcake coming for many years.

Barb Blazej

Dixmont