I am writing in response to “Our classrooms are shrinking” in the Sept. 12-13 issue.
The report shows a steady decline in students in our schools. I believe that what was reported concerning the number of reductions of students is probably pretty accurate. Now, let us ponder the question as to why the classrooms are shrinking.
Is most everyone moving out of state? Could be and rightly so. (Taxes, etc.) Are people not enrolling their children in public schools? Why is this happening in what I think is the most beautiful state in the union with the most caring people I have ever known?
My thoughts are that maybe the high incidence of abortions might have something to do with this issue. As reported, since 2001 there has been a steady decline in public school enrollment. As you reported there has not been any significant change in the enrollment of private schools from 1995 until 2008. According to the CDC, since 1973 through 2005 there have been 103,632 reported abortions in our state. Also, they report there have been an additional 117 fetal deaths. They report that Maine has experienced 598,430 live births during the period.
If we do the math, 103,632 abortions divided by 598,430 live births equals 17 percent of possible students and residents who cannot share in the education experience. I wonder what might be at the root of the problem?
Raymond F. Gresser
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Making the quota
Memo to Police Chief Ron Gastia: Oh, how we yearn for the days when our police chief was more concerned about things besides parking tickets.
As a property owner in this city, it’s beyond belief that I have to contribute part of my taxes to send officers to the criminal justice academy and then have them filling your silly quotas by writing parking tickets. They are, shall we say, overqualified for that task. We have headlines in the paper that violent crime is up, and we couldn’t agree more with the recent murder headlines, robbery, breaking and entering, etc. etc., and you decide to have these officers, who even though they aren’t highly paid I’m sure, waste my tax money doubling as glorified meter maids.
One final thought to the Bangor City Council: The next time Mr. Gastia comes calling for a couple of patrol officer positions, as I’m sure he will, maybe he should just hire a couple more meter maids instead. Or if the recently terminated officer isn’t qualified to be a police officer, in your opinion, maybe you could just reassign him.
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Vote no on 1
We received a letter from our bishop that said, “I am saddened and regret the fact that so many misunderstand the meaning of marriage.” I believe that many Catholics do understand the meaning of marriage for all and are also saddened and regret that their church leadership wants to be their conscience. The letter referred to “our brothers and sisters who identify themselves as homosexual.” That is a Galileo moment for the bishop, denying science. God identified them as homosexual. The cry that gay marriage will destroy traditional marriage is a mystery to me. You will sit a long time in divorce court waiting to hear a heterosexual couple say that their marriage fell apart because that lesbian couple across the street got married. We all know what destroys a marriage.
As Catholics, we have been admonished and intimidated by rhetoric from the pulpit and letters from the bishop with quotes from the pope, but we hold the card that trumps them all — the primacy of our conscience — taught by Thomas Aquinas and upheld by several popes. This long held doctrine of the church rarely makes its way out of theology 101 classrooms to the pulpit. I suggest that some Catholics may want to remember it when they go to the polls on Nov. 3 to Vote no on 1.
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State jobless rate
The jobless rate on page 9 of the business section, BDN (Sept. 19,) quotes Maine’s jobless rate as increased to 8.6 percent. This is high but needs clarification. I believe records will show that during World War II unemployment ran 4.0 percent to 4.6 percent. During the good times of the ’70s and ’80s, unemployment ran 4.0 percent to 4.6 percent. With plain words, during all high employment opportunities (4.0 percent to 4.5 percent,) there are many people not working but claiming unemployment, so our clarified true unemployment is 4.0 percent to 4.6 percent. The remaining 4.0 percent is for the people not working by choice, but claiming unemployment.
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Of the many bills working their way through Congress, one we should all be concerned about is the push by the American Trial Lawyers Association to encourage more lawsuits. S.540, sponsored by Sen. Edward Kennedy at the behest of the trial lawyers, seeks to encourage more litigation by allowing lawsuits to be brought against the makers of life-saving medical devices in state courts in all 50 states.
The bill would completely undercut the FDA’s science-based process for approving medical devices. Not only that, but increased litigation will drive up the cost of health care even more and discourage American medical device manufacturers from working to develop new advances that can help people live longer, healthier lives. That, in turn, will hurt people who need these devices and jeopardize American jobs at a time when our economy can least afford it.
Anyone who has a pacemaker or other medical device knows how important these advances are to helping people live normal healthy lives. Let’s hope our congressional delegation will say no to the trial lawyers and their misguided proposal.
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Pity the postal worker
In regard to the case in Dexter in which a postal worker pepper-sprayed a dog and inadvertently sprayed a child, my sympathies are with the postal worker.
I’ve spent some time in Coronado, Calif., where there is a well-understood and accepted rule that no mail will be delivered to a house or apartment when there is a dog in the yard, even if it is tied up. Consequently, everyone keeps their dog inside until after the mail has arrived.
Have some pity for our mailman.
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