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June 21 Letters to the Editor

Building brains

Thank you for the June 10 editorial on early childhood development, “Mission: Early Education.”

When people ask “What do you do?” I say that I build brains for a living! Most brain development happens between birth and age 3. For 24 years I’ve shared the lives of children and their families through my profession as a family child care provider. Every day, through caring and attentive interactions with young children, I shape the foundation — the growing brains — of Maine’s future business leaders, dentists, teachers, electricians and moms and dads.

I was invited to a high school graduation of a young man who started in our program as a toddler. As I sat there, next to his parents, I felt out of place. Then he got up to give his speech as class valedictorian.

He thanked his parents and he started talking about his early learning years. He reminisced about treasure hunts. He talked about his love of books. Then he thanked me. He said it was in our program that he developed a love for learning.

I fully believe that every adult has a part to play for the children of our community. We must all work together. As we consider who in November we will elect as governor and to the legislature, each of us should ask all the candidates their plan to make high-quality early learning and care a priority in this state. Today’s children won’t just be shaping their own future, they’ll be shaping Maine’s future.

Penni Theriault



Meg will be missed

I read my Bangor Daily News with coffee cup in hand as the first significant act of my day. Because I read the sections of the paper in reverse order I always check to see that my favorite columnists are in their accustomed places and then return to the page-by-page sequence.

On Fridays, I check to see if Meg Adams’ picture appears on Page 1 of the State section, and, reassured, I do the reverse page-by-page bit; hence, I missed your warning on the front page that Meg’s last column would appear today.

Few BDN features the paper has offered in evidence of a progressive and up-to-date style have, in my opinion, been more than modest improvements — some no better than news on the Internet. However, from its first day, Meg’s column has been solid evidence that there is still a place for writers who have the ability to warm the heart and tell us interesting stories of people and places we would not have otherwise experienced. Her absence from the BDN will diminish its influence with many of us.

I doubt Meg will be able to suppress that talent of hers as she pursues her nursing career at Johns Hopkins University. I hope the BDN will find a way to let her tell us about her progress there. She will be missed here.

Robert C. Dick



Lubec school considerations

Recently, there was an informational meeting at Lubec School where the school board explained its reasoning for closing Lubec High School. Some of the board’s points included: According to the board’s formula, 51 percent of our high school kids may drop out if bused to other schools. It was noted only two kids had dropped out in the last two years.

If the costs the board has no control over, such as tuition, transportation, etc., go up (and they will), the gap, by the board’s own admission, will have to be made up by cutting from the elementary school.

The board decided not to hire an attorney to fight the state cuts because they cost $200 an hour and didn’t even check to see if they had a case (unbelievable).

Two people were fired with the passing of the AOS and another four teachers and four other employees will be fired if the high school is closed. That’s 10 jobs lost.

Your property taxes will go up even if the school is closed. In fairness, I must say taxes will go up more if we keep the school open, but we have a chance to fight it.

A 50 percent dropout rate is not worth the savings. There is an alternative if residents will stand up and vote to save our high school.

Vern McKimmey



LePage is not Woodcock

I have known Paul LePage for more than five years. As a political consultant, I met with Paul in his home on several occasions in early 2009 to discuss his beliefs on the issues.

A recent BDN story reported, “LePage opposes gay marriage, is anti-abortion and supports the teaching of creationism in schools.”

Paul will veto a gay marriage bill if the legislature passes it because the people have spoken with their votes, but he is for civil contracts, and has stated in a recorded interview that he wonders if the government should be in the marriage business at all.

Paul told me he had never given abortion much thought, but when he did look into it, he was repulsed by partial birth abortion. Who isn’t? He is opposed to spending taxpayers’ money on abortion.

Paul is a Catholic, and the Catholic Church believes in a modified form of creationism that does not exclude Darwinian evolution. Paul has clearly stated curriculum decisions should be made by parents and school boards.

I did not vote for Chandler Woodcock in the 2006 primary — although I did like his fiscal platform — because he wanted to outlaw abortion, was opposed to civil unions for gays and was a school teacher who stated flatly that creationism should be taught in the public schools.

Paul LePage is more libertarian than Chandler Woodcock was, so I will happily vote for him in November.

Robert Shaffer



Bureaucracy on display

If anyone is still trumpeting the ability of government to solve our problems, look at the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Instead of using all tools and resources to fix the leaking pipe, our bloated bureaucracy instead makes towns fill out permits and applications before they can start doing what they can locally to protect themselves.

Our government holds hearings to point fingers and assess blame instead of solving the problem first. I agree completely that BP should be held accountable and must provide full and complete restoration to the gulf and assist all those affected by this mess, however the current crop of politicians in Washington seem to have the cart before the horse.

If anyone has a doubt about the effectiveness of government’s role in our lives look no further than the gulf. Are these are the same people we want running health care, banking, and energy? I think not.

Jim Allmon


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