July 8 Letters to the Editor

Posted July 07, 2010, at 5:27 p.m.

Money, education

Eliot Cutler stated in his guest column in the July 1 paper that Libby Mitchell and the other independent candidates for governor recently attended a MEA endorsement interview. As a veteran Maine teacher, I participated along with other statewide representatives in the process.

Our committee represented MEA membership categories including teachers, bus drivers, classroom assistants, secretaries and others.

We asked each candidate eight questions we believed would help us make our decision. We were looking for the candidate for governor who best represented educators, students and parents.

In his column, it was apparent that Mr. Cutler felt that issues like taxes, salaries, benefits and working conditions don’t affect educators or students. He groused about our questions regarding, for example, shifting public money from public schools to private charter schools.

Does Mr. Cutler truly believe this doesn’t affect education?

I have dedicated my career to serving Maine’s students. Personally, I didn’t vote to endorse Mr. Cutler due to his lack of understanding that all educational decisions must be in the best interest of “my kids” in my classroom.

At the endorsement meeting, Mr. Cutler stated to the MEA committee in attendance that he didn’t expect our endorsement. He was correct. After listening respectfully to all four candidates the MEA endorsed Libby Mitchell.

I hope that others who believe that education is our pathway to the future will join the MEA in supporting Libby Mitchell.

Lois Kilby-Chesley

Durham

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November payback

The Senate Republicans go on vacation without funding unemployment benefits. This demonstrates, again, just how important the working class Americans are.

Our turn is in November.

Sam Gath

Burnham

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Obesity’s champs

I found it ironic that the Bangor Daily News gave prominent space to the negative economic consequences of obesity on July 5 — including many articles in recent months — and ran in the same issue the results of a Fourth of July hot dog eating contest, in which 54 hot dogs were consumed by the “champion” in 10 minutes.

One small step in the fight against obesity would be to stop promoting, and giving publicity to, competitive eaters as if they were “champions” to be emulated, especially by our youth.

Is the Major League Eating organization really “the fast food equivalent of the NFL” as stated in the BDN? I certainly hope not.

James McCleave

Old Town

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Libby’s true intent

Here is a good reason not to vote for Libby Mitchell: The July 2 BDN story, “Baldacci signs off on hiring freeze,” quotes Mitchell saying, “I hope that Congress does come through, because the impact of these cuts will be unthinkable!”

Mitchell does not understand the phrase “federal debt.” Someone should tell her that federal money is not free. The working people of Maine are the ones paying for the federal money to fund Medicaid and bond packages that some people voted for.

So, from what I can see, a vote for Mitchell means more of the same vicious cycle of spending and debt. I, for one, do not wish to vote for more of the same. Thanks for showing your true intent.

Essek Smith

Hampden

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Clifton ordinance

A petition to amend the land use ordinance as it applies to wind turbine facilities, signed by a large number of Clifton voters, has been submitted to the town.

This group feels that the wind turbine facility ordinance as it is written does not adequately address and protect the interests of the residents of Clifton.

The points of concern are:

  • Strengthening the decommissioning fund for the facility.
  • Increasing setback distances.
  • Limiting the number of turbines town-wide.
  • Including a property value assurance guarantee.
  • Inclusion of a code of ethics section.

These voters feel that they have been badly served by boards that are supposed to protect the interests of the town and people of Clifton.

They have instead been presented with an ordinance that, despite the assurances of the boards that this is the strictest ordinance in the state, it is not, and seems very developer-oriented.

The petitioners request that this amendment be placed on the November general election ballot, for town-wide all-day secret ballot voting.

Thomas and Phyllis Wolf

Clifton

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