Another tax increase

Every day the average American is subject to taxes and fees nearly everywhere we look. One of the fees I was dismayed to learn the federal government might soon allow to increase is the Passenger Facility Charge. The PFC is only one of several taxes and fees that people must pay when they fly. All of those dollars and cents add up quickly, and if you’re trying to take an entire family on vacation or send a group of employees to visit a branch office, the costs add up very quickly.

This last year I paid these taxes multiple times personally when my wife and I traveled to visit our son and daughter-in-law serving in the U.S. Navy on the West Coast, as well as when we visited my wife’s family in the United Kingdom. If a family of four wanted to take a once-in-a lifetime trip to Disney that included numerous connections, there could be as much as $100 in PFC fees alone added on their tickets if the proposed increase goes through.

I’m tired of the government picking our pockets, and fighting intrusive taxes is one of the reasons I continue to serve in Augusta. The PFC may be an issue the federal government is currently dealing with, but I’m still happy to speak out and speak up for average Mainers. My hope is that Congress listens to the average American who is forced to pay all these taxes, not the big corporate lobbyists, and does not increase the PFC.

Rep. Rich Cebra


Trump unfit for office

When President Donald Trump made the comment recently ” I’m the only one that matters,” I knew it was time for him to go. Reasons have been piling up, but his most recent statement left nothing to the imagination that he thinks everyone else, including his “loyal supporters,” mean little or nothing to him. His failure to support even those of his own party, his failure to believe in global warming (funny, he and Scott Pruitt, head of the Environmental Protection Agency, are the holdouts), his constant attempts to change the direction of the current ongoing investigations on involvements with the Russians, and in general his disrespect for the American people and the standing (or now thanks to him, the lack of standing) this country has on the world community stage, have shown that he is both incapable as well as unfit for the office he holds.

A recent poll showed that some 59 percent of those Americans polled think the United States is in its lowest point in our history that they can remember. I have to wonder why.

The unforgivable thing is those of the Republican Party in Congress seemed to be willing to let him degrade this country to the point that it will take decades for it to recover, if ever.

The time to dump Trump has come!

Richard Barclay


Appreciate firefighters

In our present culture in which criticism is frequently the method in which a conversation is started, I thought it to be very important that I take a few minutes to write a letter of appreciation to the Bradley Volunteer Fire Department.

Recently, the department suspended a large forest fire located in the very rural area of Bradley. This fire required over 48 hours of continual monitoring with repeated checks taking place as much as a week later. Many of these volunteers were forced to use personal vacation days from their 9-to-5 job to protect property. In addition, many of these volunteers used their personal equipment and ATVs to reach the area. The entire department worked as a tireless team to ensure the safety of our residents.

I would also like to thank our mutual aid partners, Maine Forestry Service and the fire departments of Milford, Holden and Eddington. I have such admiration for the fact that while each firefighter may not be a volunteer, they each are called on to leave in the middle of the night or to leave a family event to respond to emergency calls. They do not ask the weather condition, they do not ask the travel conditions, they only ask where do we need to be?

I encourage each Bradley resident to reflect on just exactly how lucky we are to have the committed department we do. They operate on a very limited budget and are compensated very little, if anything, for their dedication.

Melissa L. Doane