Jan. 23 Letters to the Editor

Posted Jan. 22, 2009, at 5:58 p.m.

Manure in a bag

Brewer voters will go the polls Tuesday, Jan. 27 to decide whether or not to consolidate our schools with SAD 63, CSD 8, Dedham and Orrington. Unfortunately, if this ill-conceived plan is adopted, it will cost Brewer taxpayers $1.5 million. Our governor billed this plan as a “cost-saving” measure, but those of us who have studied the plan know it is nothing more than “cost-shifting.” And as a bonus, we also lose local control over our schools!

The plan is much like trying to fit 30 pounds of manure into a five-pound bag. It won’t work and the more effort you put into it the worse it stinks. Please join me in voting against the proposed RSU so we can return to fiscal sanity.

Manley G. DeBeck, Jr.

Brewer City Councilor

Don’t ban ‘hams’

Two bills are being introduced in Augusta that bear scrutiny: LD 6, sponsored by Sen. Bill Diamond, and LD 40, sponsored by Rep. George Hogan.

Both deal with banning the use of electronic devices while driving.

Exemptions include fire, police, EMS and other emergency first responders using such devices in the course of their duties.

A section of drivers who are being included in those that are not allowed to use their equipment are FCC-licensed amateur radio operators. For years, “hams” have been providing necessary communications through established links throughout the state, both non-emergency and emergency in nature.

If one were to investigate how many ham operators were involved in motor vehicle crashes while operating their equipment as opposed to cell phone users texting or talking, you would find a huge difference. We hams, also under license agreement with the federal government, provide emergency supplemental communications in times of need, working with local EMA offices and other served agencies.

These laws as written would be a huge detriment to hams and those that benefit from our services. Please review these bills closely and make necessary revisions before a long-standing service is brushed aside in a “blanket” bill.

And by the way, Gov. John Baldacci is an FCC-licensed ham, KB1NXP.

Richard Small

Ellsworth

• • •

Vote for Kelly

I write in support of former City Councilor Gail M. Kelly, a two-term mayor and one-term deputy mayor, who will appear on the election ballot here in Brewer on Tuesday, Jan. 27.

Gail has served six years on the council and has been associated with many serious issues along the way. She was instrumental in helping the city take control of the old water department.

She was the mayor during the Oct. 28, 2006, high wind and rain storm that tore off the roof of a motel on Wilson Street. She assisted city officials with the immediate placement of about 60 motel residents in dire straits. Gail has also been very much involved in helping Brewer receive the millions of dollars in several development projects here in Brewer.

Gail has been a dedicated public servant and deserves another term on the council. Vote for Gail Kelly. You won’t be disappointed.

Larry T. Doughty

Brewer

• • •

Kelly takes a stand

I read with interest Deborah Deane’s opinions and comments regarding the city of Brewer. I have to say I am quite surprised as I have never heard anyone make these types of comments regarding the city before. Each year, the city supports a food drive and the Brewer Winterfest with all proceeds going to the Keep Kids Warm program at Penquis.

During my six years on the Brewer City Council, I was honored and proud to represent a city that was known, and continues to be known, for its care and compassion for all of its citizens. I am running because I believe in Brewer, the team of dedicated employees who toil there daily, and all of the great accomplishments the city has achieved through the guidance of the city council and the office of the city manager.

I would be honored to represent the city again and be part of the family that cares for and nurtures its citizens.

Please take the time to go to the polls and vote on Jan. 27. This day is important not just to fill the vacant city council seat but to cast your vote in opposition or support of joining a school union that the state has forced on the citizens of Brewer and Maine.

Gail Kelly

Brewer

• • •

No to consolidation

Awake, Maine Highlanders! The Regional Educational Consortium (MHREC) is based on seriously flawed legislation that deserves a resounding “no” vote on Jan. 27. During the study phase of implementing this legislation, enough Mainers of lively conscience stood up in resistance to it. Sixty thousand of us presented Augusta with a petition to repeal that law. But the “powers that be” are countering with a once-and-for-all vote this month so that the law is ratified, implemented and in place before any repeal made later this year could be effective.

Established American law forbids this overuse of force saying: “All legislation derives its power from the consent of the governed.” As the law is written, we have one opportunity to refuse it: our vote on Jan. 27, 2009. Saying no buys us the precious time we need to slow down and take a closer look at the good plans and ideas our fellow citizens have been sharing in their discussions. Saying no will give time for the petitions for repeal of this law to pass later this year, saving us from the terrible consequences of this badly designed law. Saying no will give our towns and friends the time we need to counter the criminal fines and penalties levied against all those with the guts to say no. Yes, it’s built into this law. Say no and pay continuously. Such good people as I live with and talk to every day here in the Maine Highlands don’t deserve such clumsy, overbearing legislation from their elected office holders.

Rachelle Hamlin

Shirley

• • •

Marriage and unions

It’s obvious that every time we get into fuzzy areas of church-state separation, we wind up in trouble. We might avoid this, in the case of the current hot-button issue, if we were to separate the institution we now call “marriage” into its two distinct parts, parts that are at present only vaguely distinguished.

Civil unions, for which all citizens would be eligible, should consist of all the “state” legal aspects of what we now call “marriage.”

Marriages should be left to the religious, pagan or whatever rules, customs, ceremonies and benefits that those entities themselves choose to attach to it.

People with a strong religious sense of what “marriage” is or isn’t could rest secure in the fact that, for them, that is indeed what marriage is or isn’t, but that the definition of “marriage” stops at the borders of their belief and does not interfere with the civil rights of others outside those borders.

How this would interact with the marriage-recognition laws of other states remains to be seen, but with Maine as the trend-setter that it sometimes is, that might not be a problem in the long run.

Dick Atlee

Southwest Harbor

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