Race and justice

George Zimmerman was charged, tried and acquitted in a court of law. Because the president believes the “stand your ground” or similar laws passed by many states are wrong, he should bring a case against the states and not victimize Zimmerman. I am convinced he is not a racist and that he did not shoot Trayvon Martin because Martin was black.

Zimmerman shot Martin because he was overpowered by someone who, after punching him in the nose and breaking it, wrestled him to the ground and began banging his head on the sidewalk. How many blows to the head could one take before the next one causes death or permanent injury?

The fact that Martin was 17 years old or black did not necessarily weigh in on the decision to fire the gun. Anyone in that situation would have done the same.

Could it have been avoided? Yes.

Perhaps if Zimmerman did not have a gun, he would not have ventured out to be a community watcher, or if Martin knew that Zimmerman had a gun he would have avoided the encounter. The president understands when members of any ethnic group are identified as a threat due to repeated acts of violence they are responsible for the image they give the group. This century’s wave of terrorism by Muslim men is another example. Even Jesse Jackson has commented that while walking in Washington, when he hears footsteps behind him, he is relieved to see it is a white person.

Ted Raia


Least business friendly

David Farmer uses some convincing statistics in a July 10 column to make the case for raising Maine’s minimum wage, but he fails to tell the complete story.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, increasing Maine’s minimum wage to $9 an hour would make its wage the second highest in the country after Washington state’s $9.19 per hour and nearly double the $5.15-per-hour wages of Georgia and Wyoming. Put into perspective, the state that continues to hold Forbes magazine’s ranking as the least business-friendly state in the nation would have the second highest minimum wage.

Consider the impact of a $1.50-per-hour increase on a small manufacturing business running two shifts per day with 10 employees each earning minimum wage. The business would be forced to increase labor expenditures by $60 per employee each week. That’s $1,200 total each week and $62,400 per year.

In many Maine businesses, such an increase would foster serious hardship. Employers could determine the increase in wages makes it impossible to provide health insurance to their workers or requires they shrink their workforce.

Though an increase in Maine’s minimum wage is often the first fortress for those trying to improve Maine’s economic outlook, it’s the simple and often counter-productive approach in my opinion. The reality of the matter is that fostering growth and increased productivity in Maine’s businesses is the only long-term solution to improving prospects for Maine’s workforce.

Ryan C. Warner


GMO labels

This letter is to encourage and remind Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, that she represents Maine people and not corporate America. Give us GMO labeling. I am not happy at all that Collins voted against the Sanders Amendment. I want a promise that the senator will not support any federal legislation that would stomp on rights to label GMOs. I want to know so I can choose.

Kathie Jamison Cote

Bar Harbor

Business noise

On July 22, I attended the Bangor city council meeting to address the noise from Waterfront Concerts. I live on Forest Avenue near Stillwater. Since the stage was repositioned, the music, both bass and vocals, has been extremely loud. This is all concerts, not only heavy metal. The concerts are also becoming much more frequent.

The business community was very positive about the increase in dollars brought in from the concerts. I just have to wonder how many of those dollars go into the city treasury.

Downtown businesses have the chamber of commerce for representation, but I thought the city council represented the citizens. Apparently I was wrong.

Several older people spoke about deterioration in quality of life due to the noise. It seems these concerts make Bangor an up-and-coming place to do business but a lousy place to live.

Carol Clift