Dec. 23 Letters to the Editor

Posted Dec. 22, 2009, at 6:01 p.m.

Drivers, safety and kids

I am mad enough this morning to write this letter. When a school bus driver, substitute or not, drops a 5-year-old kindergarten child off at a house without a parent present there is definitely something wrong.

I am a bus driver and we just don’t do that. If the adult is not at the driveway, in the window waving, or otherwise visible, we keep the child on the bus and call our supervisor. According to the article, this has happened several times, twice in the same day.

The district is obviously not training its drivers properly, and this particular substitute driver lacks common sense. We school bus drivers take pride in our safe care of your children and their safety is our No. 1 concern.

Terry Leavitt

Orrington

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Thanks for thank-yous

I work in the trash collection industry where we have many titles: garbage men or women, refuse technicians, waste disposal personnel, etc. But whatever you call us, we’re the people you see around your town on the trucks collecting your trash, freezing when it’s 20 below, sweating in 90 degrees as we breath diesel exhaust all day.

We’re exposed to the rain, snow, sleet, heat, cold, wind, even the occasional rogue dog chasing us back to our trucks as we spend the day wrestling often excessively heavy bags and barrels.

The reason I write is to thank the rare few who take the time to say thank you or leave us a Christmas card or thank-you note, those who buy us a hot cup of coffee or quick hot meal when it’s 10 below, or toss us a bottle of water or use of your garden hose when it’s 90 degrees out.

To those who take the five minutes to show a little bit of kindness and appreciation I want to say thank you and Merry Christmas on behalf of myself and my co-workers. You make the job a little brighter. And by the way, the chocolate chip cookies we got in Holden were delicious.

Peter Holman

Corinth

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Truth in advertising

We all know by reading the BDN’s news items and letters and op-ed pieces that the large majority of doctors in Maine and other health care providers support health care reform.

We know that, contrary to the advertisement in a recent edition of the paper, the doctor-patient relationship has been undermined by for-profit insurance companies and not by the federal government.

Can you tell your readers who are the “Physicians United for Patients” who bought this full-page color ad? Is this a national organization? Who paid for the page and in how many papers was it run?

I think it would be a good idea that, as we send holiday greetings to our doctors, we urge them to call Sens. Snowe and Collins, asking them to vote yes on the health care bill. There is a great deal of reform left in this bill. It is right for Maine.

Carmen Lavertu

Thomaston

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No more zealots

Regarding the story “Bishop vows zeal on social issues” (BDN, Dec. 17): Once again our religious leaders find themselves compelled to speak out by signing onto a declaration written by a former Republican strategist who spent time in prison for his role in the Watergate scandal called the Manhattan Declaration, a movement that lays exclusive claim to the sanctity of human life, marriage as the exclusive union of one man and one woman, and religious liberty and freedom of conscience.

My preference as a citizen would be that my religious leaders, rather than becoming zealots, spend their energies on: paying property taxes; addressing the issues of sexual abuse against children in the church; assisting the poor and infirmed; being spiritual leaders, not judges; greeting our military men and women in the airport; fighting to preserve our ecology; volunteering time to animal welfare; spending time with the elderly; brushing up on the separation of church and state; and protecting equal rights

Jean Schinck

Bucksport

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Help the good people

The votes by Sens. Collins and Snowe against the health care bill in the Senate were votes against the good people of Maine. As Sen. Snowe put it so aptly last week, “I consulted with my providers ….”

Sen. Snowe was elected to care for and further the interests of the people of Maine, not the insurance providers! The good people of Maine are lobstermen, beauticians, volunteer firefighters, cooks, road builders, teachers, policemen, bankers, retirees, doctors, nurses, lawyers, ministers, rabbis, building custodians, and the person who sorts your mail.

We voters elected them to representative us in Washington, not to follow a party line, not to work against our interests.

As a woman with one vote, I shall remember their lack of care when they ask for my vote next time.

All of the increased medical care expense can be paid for easily by taking the tax structure back to where was was during President Reagan’s administration. So simple, so lovely. So few people in Maine will have to pay increased taxes.

In one move, we can gain increased, well-funded medical care for all citizens and decrease resentment toward our bankers by changing the tax structure back to where it was just a few years ago.

There is justice in having the people who caused many of the good people of Maine to lose their homes pay for their medical care.

Anita de Laguna Haviland

Deer Isle

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High cost of football

In recent weeks, the Bangor Daily News has published two articles about football at the University of Maine.

The first reported that the football program would not face cuts despite its costs and the fact that two universities in its conference have dropped the sport because, in these hard economic times, they could not defend its continuance.

The second argued that football has benefited those relatively few students who have received scholarships associated with playing the game.

What has been missing is a discussion of how keeping football affects the future of the University of Maine and the state. Football’s $2 million net cost is considerable at any time but particularly when the academic budget faces large cuts, resulting in harm to many students. There will be fewer faculty members to teach courses and some programs of study will not be available at all.

Students will find it harder to find classes to take, and this will make it more difficult for them to graduate in four years, thus increasing their costs and student loan burden. Maine’s development depends on having a well-educated work force.

Particularly in this time of economic hardship, expensive college athletics are a luxury.

Ten days after Northeastern University announced it would cut football, Hofstra University did the same, announcing that money would be reallocated to faculty, academic programs and scholarships. If a cut to football is not under consideration right now in Orono, perhaps the Bangor Daily News could ask why.

Amy Fried

Bangor

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