Peter Buzzini, chairman of the SAD 22 ad hoc Hampden Academy Reuse Committee twice (July 30, Aug. 6) has been quoted in the Bangor Daily News as saying, “We have to be sensitive to other communities’ needs and desires,” so we don’t appear to be favoring Hampden.
We agree, but we don’t believe the best way to treat all three towns fairly is to add tax burdens by operating two high schools in Hampden, one in a beautiful new building and the other in a costly, high-maintenance facility (or are the directors planning to build a second new high school?).
We think the SAD 22 directors need to be especially sensitive to the 75 percent of our taxpayers spread across all three towns who have no children in the school system. These folks have supported budgets that run well over the Department of Education’s recommendation for essential programs and services. These residents have supported enhancements to the new high school that will cost local taxpayers $6.2 million.
Apparently the thanks they get is for the directors to ask for more tax dollars to add “some great educational opportunities” in old buildings when innovative education and “magnetic” programs in math, science and performing arts can all be accomplished in one new, state-of-the-art facility.
Cutler on education
Why would I, a registered Democrat, be supporting Eliot Cutler for governor? I was appalled at the choice of Libby Mitchell, who touted her efforts in Maine education. She has a very rosy view of Maine education and wants to take credit for it.
I have a very different view. My experience in teaching and tutoring at the local elementary and high school levels is that this system leaves students shortchanged and unprepared for high school, much less college.
Rather than argue about studies and surveys, what do parents think? What do students in high school think about teacher preparation? Did “highest honors” prepare you? And what do those students who left Maine for colleges elsewhere think?
Eliot Cutler also has a different view. From his website, cutler2010.com: “Maine’s public education system is failing our kids.” That got my attention. He goes on to point out specific suggestions such as charter schools, and rewarding excellence and creativity from our teachers based on student performance.
Eliot Cutler believes Maine employers need a pool of skilled and educated talent that our schools should provide.
Education is a long-term issue. It takes courage to make the investments, knowing that there is no quick payback. However, it is the key to economic prosperity and stability for this state. Eliot Cutler understands this and he has my vote.
What’s a voter to do?
What is a voter going to do in this gubernatorial race? The two major party candidates offer no substance.
Libby Mitchell is the Democratic establishment and State House fixture. She was in command of the ship as it sank. Democrats like myself are walking away in droves out of disenchantment and a loathing of the mediocrity she represents.
And the other side of the aisle? Paul LePage is a Tea Party hero who is no representation of the Maine Republicans with a tradition of working across party lines. Reasonable Republicans in Maine, who did not support the eccentric Maine Republican Party platform, are similarly leaving LePage for his lack of understanding our most basic governing needs and his disconnect from the viewpoints of Mainers.
Luckily, voters who are tired of having to choose the lesser of two evils have one good option: Eliot Cutler. Eliot is the independent candidate breaking the cycle of subpar.
A short time reviewing material on cutler2010.com convinced me I had found the right candidate for Maine. He has a broader range of experience than the party candidates combined, including business, law, and public service.
He cares about people like me, a recent high school graduate who wants a future in Maine. I believe that his vision offers opportunities for growth and jobs to help keep young people like myself here in Maine.
So what is a voter going to do this November? They are going to join me and vote for Eliot Cutler.
Aid worker tragedy
After reading about Dr. Tom Little and his cohorts, who were helping Afghans with medical aid, being murdered, I cannot feel anything but sadness and sympathy for his family and the families of his fellow workers. To give so much of themselves to so many who had so little makes them remarkable, wonderful people.
As for the so-called people who murdered them, they don’t deserve to be called members of the human race. If they think Allah is going to welcome them into the kingdom of heaven, they’d better think again. I suspect they’re going to another place when they die and leave this earth.
And the sooner the better.
Naive governor, legislature
I commend journalist Naomi Schalit and the BDN for the front-page piece, “Some who created wind-power fast track now questioning the goals they set.” The depth and scope of Part 1 will help us to think more critically about wind power.
I’m skeptical of the exaggerated benefits of wind power and the state’s expedited permit process. Reading the piece has confirmed my suspicions.
Wearing blinders, a naive governor and legislature have rushed to judgment on the benefits of harnessing Maine’s wind energy. Predictably, and with good reason, a ground swell of Mainers has demonstrated more wisdom than state leaders by questioning wide scale wind power development in Maine’s western mountains.
Some level of wind power should play a role in our state’s energy needs. However, contrary to statements from the governor and legislature, wind power will not appreciably reduce our dependence on fossil fuels or reduce our carbon footprint.
Years from now we’ll look back on the network of wind turbines scarring the western Maine mountains and ask, “What on God’s green earth were we thinking? What was gained by carving up Maine’s extraordinary mountains with miles of transmission lines, a thousand turbines, numerous maintenance buildings and substations, and miles of steep erosion-prone gravel roads?”
The answer will lead to the eventual dismantling of many wind turbines for the same reason we’re removing many hydro-electric dams today. In the rush to promote “jobs” and inexpensive clean energy, politicians and energy developers inflate benefits while ignoring or downplaying the environmental costs.