Union rights eroded

Last Tuesday, Republicans passed a bill in the Maine House of Representatives that would eliminate the right of workers at the former DeCoster egg farms to unionize. According to Republican Rep. Dale Crafts, no other farm workers in Maine or the U.S., other than in one county in California, have the right to unionize.

Perhaps I’m naive, but when in America did any group of workers lose the right, if they so choose, to organize?

Tony OBerst


The truth about Obama

Where’s truth in media about the Obama administration’s failed promises? Similar to the movie “The Two Faces of Eve,” the two faces of Obama have to do with his far-left partisanship while falsely presenting himself as a moderate. His skillful campaign-mode rhetoric is appealing but his administration’s actions limit liberty.

For instance, Obama’s false promises are as follows:

Obamacare would lower health costs; since Obamacare was dictated into law by the then-Democratic Party majority in Congress, according to the CBO the rate of health care cost increases are growing faster since before Obamacare was passed.

Obama promised investments in green energy would lower consumers’ overall energy costs; price for a gallon of gas in Maine was approaching $4.

Obama promised that by spending nearly $800 billion of the taxpayer-funded treasury bailing out investment banks and General Motors, giving control to the UAW, would keep unemployment beneath 8 percent; since Obama was inaugurated, national unemployment has averaged at about 8.3 percent.

With U.S. investments in the Arab Spring, Obama promised greater democracy and peace within the Middle East; 16 Americans are currently being held hostage by the Egyptian government.

Also, Gitmo recently received a taxpayer-funded, multimillion-dollar soccer field for its radical detainees; Obama promised to close Gitmo.

Under Obama, the Democratic political party is the party of central government tyranny. Don’t tread on me. Come this fall, don’t allow Democrats to continue to tread on all of us.

Dale Ferriere


Yellowstone ideals

It was 140 years ago — March 1, 1872 — that President Ulysses S. Grant signed an act creating Yellowstone National Park. Creating and safeguarding national parks and preserves are acts of humility, maturity and patriotism.

Those of us who truly respect and love creation should be the very best and most devoted supporters of our national parks, all preserved lands and all native wildlife across the land.

Our country needs many more such parks, including a Maine Woods National Park, for the very survival of our natural heritage, as havens for beleaguered wildlife and for the physical and spiritual health of human beings. And as most folks know by now, national parks are significant job and income generators for those states that are wise and generous enough to host them.

So, happy birthday, Yellowstone!

May you forever be there and flourish and provide a true haven for all of the region’s wildlife: wolves, bison, grizzlies, wolverines, elk, eagles, coyotes and all other native creatures.

And may love and respect for such special places and all native wildlife grow and grow until the ideals that created Yellowstone are fully realized around the country and across the world.

Robert Goldman

South Portland

Searsport not for sale

Contentious issues are nothing new to Searsport. Just in the past 10 years we’ve seen disputes over a proposed LNG facility, what to do with Sears Island, and whether or not to adopt zoning. All issues had proponents on both sides and were often divisive, but they were eventually settled by the people of Searsport.

Now we are faced with another contentious and divisive issue: whether or not to support a moratorium that will give the town an extra two months of breathing space in order to see if we have adequate protections in place.

But this time, there is a very important difference. The elephant in the room is a huge multibillion-dollar oil company from Denver which is attempting to influence a local election by paying people to solicit votes and lobby against the moratorium and by using smear tactics and dirty tricks.

With the recent Citizens United decision by the U.S. Supreme Court equating corporations with people and the consequent advent of Super PACs, there is a very real possibility of corporations and hugely wealthy individuals being able to buy elections to an even greater extent than in the past.

This is Searsport, Maine, not Washington D.C., and yet a corporation with very deep pockets is a major player here, attempting to usurp local control.

On March 10 the residents of Searsport can send a clear message that we cannot be taken in by Big Oil’s propaganda, and our votes are not for sale. Vote yes on the moratorium.

Anne Crimaudo


Good government

Last week, Sen. Susan Collins led the pellet heating industry to an important milestone. In a hearing with Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shawn Donovan, Sen. Collins pointed out the extraordinary technological advances in pellet central heating and bulk pellet transportation and the importance of the fuel source to the oil-dependent Northeast. She implored Secretary Donovan to consider listing pellet boiler systems as “conventional primary heat sources” for FHA purposes.

Secretary Donovan said he appreciated Sen. Collins’ alert on the rapidly growing technology and its importance to the Northeast and announced that HUD regulations had been modified to include pellet boiler systems as “conventional primary heat sources” when they meet the same requirements as other central heating systems.

Sen. Collins’ efforts on behalf of the people of Maine and an emerging New England industry exemplify what can be good about government. That the senator was quickly able to convince a substantial Washington bureaucracy that it needed to modify its regulations in light of technological change speaks well for both the senator’s abilities to persuade and the secretary’s willingness to hear.

I very much appreciate this work.

Harry “Dutch” Dresser

President, Maine Pellet Fuels Association

More reason, less dogma

In response to the recent OpEd column by Carroll Conley of the Christian Civic League opposing same-sex marriage, I wish to take issue with his fear that gay marriage will adversely affect society by forcing people and business to accept homosexuals.

“What about a florist that objects on religious grounds?” he asks.

Well, what about that florist? I’m sure at this very moment even the most Christian florists are currently serving women who use contraception, as well as divorced people, girls who have had abortions, atheists, members of different religions, people who take the Lord’s name in vain and adulterers.

And would it be OK to stone to death that same florist if he chose to be open on Sunday? The Bible clearly says I should.

My point is, the road forward should consist of reasonable conversation, not unbending dogma.

Mark McCall