Stick Trump with the wall bill

I don’t agree with other people paying for the wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. President Donald Trump wants it, he pays for it. Trump started off saying Mexico would pay for it, then U.S. taxpayers, then the military. The taxpayers fund the military, so it’s really still the taxpayers who are paying.

The $1.3 trillion spending bill Congress wrote, that’s our money. The $1.6 billion it set aside to start the wall is our money. The men and women in uniform already do enough to help by risking their lives to protect lives. They shouldn’t have to pay for something our president wants.

I’m glad he isn’t making another country pay for it so he isn’t increasing our chances of war. We are friendly with Mexico, but that could change in seconds. All I say is Trump and the government should pay for it.

Devon Lagasse


Boothbay garden expansion unnecessary

Bad news for lovers of Maine’s coast and for any Mainer, inland or coastal, urban or rural, who believes that bigger is not necessarily better: The $30 million expansion of Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens in Boothbay will apparently go forward. This gem is fine just as it is, and facilities for visitors are entirely adequate.

The expansion will enlarge the visitors’ center and gift shop, add gardens, trails and a six-story conservatory. Ill-advised and grandiose. The botanical gardens is a garden, not a mall.

Environmental damage is likely to result. The rationale? Growing number of visitors for the December Gardens Aglow lights display. Hardly a justification for an outlay of $30 million.

One of my favorite things about Maine is that the itch for bigger and bigger is less apparent here than in the rest of the country. We get by without more and more. So far, no carnival rides or concession stands have been proposed for the gardens.

Peg Cruikshank


A better use of tax dollars

A March 31 BDN editorial praised citizen activists for opposing a corporate tax break to Bath Iron Works’ parent company, General Dynamics. The editorial notes the opposition’s passionate persistence resulted in a 25 percent reduction in the tax break and incorporation of accountability measures to the legislation.

But the editorial missed a critical point. The $45 million legislators voted to give General Dynamics ignores the fact that the war ships built at BIW are already paid for by our federal tax dollars. And opponents learned in one of the Taxation Committee’s work sessions that some General Dynamics’ contracts could include reimbursement for any state taxes that it pays.

We all want good, high-paying jobs in Maine. The fact that so many current jobs are hitched to the vagaries of warmaking leaves us all vulnerable. Legislators would be wise to support diversification planning at BIW and identification of Maine’s role in building the alternative energy and transportation infrastructure that will address the urgent issues of climate change, the true 21st century global security threat.

Mary Beth Sullivan


Fund Down East prison

I urge the Legislature to vote to keep the prison in Machiasport open and funded for the foreseeable future.

The people housed in that facility work real jobs, and they are ready to become decent and employed citizens when they are released.

That area of Maine desperately needs the jobs of the staff and others to remain fiscally solvent. They also benefit from the work of the inmates.

Gov. Paul LePage either didn’t check his facts or didn’t care when he claimed it was costing the state too much. Actually, Downeast Correctional Facility has the second-lowest per prisoner cost for housing prisoners. The governor wants everyone to get a job, and then yanks the support from these workers and from that area. To close the facility in the manner he used was cruel, high handed and unnecessary.

Sandra Lane Johnson


Poliquin helps Old Town

For the nearly 34 years I have lived in Old Town, I have seen the city struggle to rejuvenate the downtown and itself as a whole. Thanks to Rep. Bruce Poliquin, the task just became easier.

Not too long ago, the city of Old Town learned that crucial land near the Old Town airport was under a federal government deed restriction. An FDR-era bill prevented any party from developing the land.

Poliquin introduced a bill to fix the problem. He worked hard to make sure his bill passed the House, Senate and was signed into law by President Donald Trump. Thanks to Poliquin’s bill and hard work, Old Town will be able to attract more small businesses and good-paying jobs. These jobs will support my neighbors and help our community grow.

Thank you to Poliquin for working hard for constituents like me.

Barbara Falls

Old Town

Keep Maine schools safe

Working with towns and cities around the state, Maine can initiate a step in protecting our school children. Through the collaborative effort of county sheriffs, state and local police, and Maine schools, we can develop a plan to make our schools less likely to be targeted for the heinous attacks we have seen in the past few years.

Our county departments could arrange three to five visits a week for all schools to have a law enforcement officer patrol the area, coordinating these school visits with proper authority and passwords. This program would take minimal time away from regular patrols. A police car prominently parked at schools at random times would be a discouragement to potential criminals trying to plan an attack.

Law enforcement needs our encouragement to continue to collaborate with all departments to ensure the safety of our people — especially to make a safe school environment.

Sherman Hutchins


Hancock County GOP


Tie governor wage to minimum wage

Our governor feels that the salary for the head of our state government deserves should be $150,000. Would it be unreasonable to ask that the next governor join the rest of us working in this economy?

Could the governor’s salary be indexed to the minimum wage, say at five times the wage? That way the governor gets an automatic raise along with the rest of us. A $10 per hour minimum per year times five gets the governor $100,000. It seems to me to be fair to everyone.

Karl Hill