Eggs and economy
Once again, the annual Pine Tree Camp Ride-In is set to take place this weekend in Newport. For 35 years, snowmobilers from across the state have supported this most worthy cause, with their arrival in Newport each year with their donations.
I have seen the coverage of this event yearly on the local news broadcasts and have read about it each year in the Bangor Daily News. I realize this event’s worth to the organization it supports, as well as the area economy, a distressed economy that we read and hear about daily. Unemployment rates are up, and people are struggling to keep or heat their homes and put food on the table.
Perhaps this year, in light of the difficulties that many are facing, the hundreds of eggs that are wasted with the Celebrity Egg Ride portion of this event could be put to better use by donating those eggs to area food cupboards and homeless shelters. The celebrities could still do their part by riding and raising funds, but let’s not have such waste this year when so many people are hungry.
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Time to consolidate
LD 188, a bill proposal before the Legislature, would provide an additional year for school units and towns to create consolidated school districts, or RSUs, without financial penalty from the Department of Education. This additional year provides the opportunity for school units to continue working towards consolidation while allowing more time to ensure that school consolidation plans are financially beneficial to all communities involved. LD 188 does not affect school units that have already approved consolidation plans or school units that were not required to consolidate.
In votes in Penobscot and Piscataquis counties recently, five RSU plans were defeated. The regional planning committees and school units have demonstrated good faith efforts to meet the requirements of the school consolidation law. In many cases these communities have faced the complex financial challenges of equitably developing cost sharing formulas, contracts and potential salary increases. The committee members and school units have dedicated countless hours attempting to create plans that would satisfy the consolidation law as well as bringing their communities the cost savings that the consolidation law expected. These efforts should be acknowledged and they should be provided the additional time to develop consolidation plans that will meet the needs of their communities, schools and most importantly students.
Support LD 188 and provide the additional year so they can experience the potential benefits of school consolidation.
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I would like to respond to a recent terribly misinformed letter writer regarding the use of ethanol as a fuel additive in small engines.
First of all, this is not a new idea. Ethanol has been added to gasoline almost since gasoline was invented to raise the octane level.
Before lead was added to gasoline it was common practice to mix 30 percent alcohol with 70 percent gasoline. The model T Ford had a dial on the dashboard so that the operator could tune the carburetors to run on straight ethanol or gasoline or any mixture. This made the Model T one of the first flex-fuel vehicles.
This counters the claim that ethanol is bad for older vehicles. Monster trucks and a lot of race cars also run on ethanol. If the letter writer had properly done his research he would have found out that Brazil has been using pure ethanol since the early 1980s and that Ford and GM already manufacture cars to run on it.
I have many friends who work as snowmobile mechanics and who talk to others in the industry and none have seen or heard of a single snowmobile engine failing as a result of ethanol. This sounds like the same hysteria we heard when they took the lead out of gas.
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Don’t use God
As for marriage being a 5,000-year-old tradition we need to respect, I say this: People 5,000 years ago believed and did some of the most ridiculous and cruel things you can imagine. I don’t think it’s a good idea to keep these “traditions” alive.
It’s about time that people start taking credit for their own prejudices instead of deferring them to their God. I think we as humans should be far past the notion of a God running our lives. He doesn’t make the wind blow, the run rise or cure cancer. And he certainly doesn’t care if two guys kiss.