Garbage fee bad idea
Bangor’s “pay as you throw” (PAYT) garbage plan that is slowing being presented to us seems to me a bad idea. I am a proponent of recycling and reducing garbage. I believe that the city can pay for my garbage with my current property taxes!
The problem is, our recycling rates in Bangor are abysmal. Yes, recycling rates will improve if PAYT is enacted; look at Brewer. However, more can be done with our current system. Education on what to recycle is very limited. Look at the bangormaine.gov website and you will see there are recycling limitations on plastic (only #2), mixed paper and batteries. I have yet to see any sort of outreach to promote recycling in this city.
Why not limit each household to one garbage can at the curb and pay for the second can or bag with a tag? This step alone will raise recycling rates and revenues.
I have witnessed my garbage man (not recycling) take my corrugated cardboard and throw it with the garbage. Garbage is illegally dumped with increasing regularity in my neighborhood, and this will surely increase with an imposed collection fee. People don’t live or vacation here wanting to see our trash along the roadside.
I don’t hear or read about anyone promoting composting in Bangor. According to the EPA, on average 26 percent of landfill trash can be composted. Will we really have to put this to another referendum vote for the city? Those are expensive too.
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Career ed works
I was impressed that the BDN endorses career and technical education in a recent editorial (“Push Skills Education,” March 11). Career and technical education (CTE) serves nearly 8,000 students in Maine high schools. Twenty-seven regional schools across the state prepare students to continue their education beyond high school or to advance directly to work.
Students not only learn by doing but also can earn college credit or valuable technical certifications or licenses recognized by business and industry. CTE has kept pace with the interests of their students and industry. Since students seek relevant rigorous educational options, CTE began to offer certifications such as the A+ Computer Diagnostics (recognized worldwide) or the Registered Medical Assistant.
These and many more credentials available through CTE had previously been earned at the college level. CTE students now can earn 6-12 college credits at Maine’s community colleges and other universities while still in high school.
As the editorial suggested, these students need other opportunities to prepare them for the world in which they will be working. Decades ago, there might have been a place for those who “rely more on skills than critical thinking” in a vocational program. Today, our students are learning to work in teams, solve complex problems and use critical thinking skills that will give them job security and provide profits for our ever-changing businesses.
A recent Harvard Graduate School of Education paper, Pathways to Prosperity, aligns with your editorial position nicely. Creating powerful options for students in high school is in everyone’s best interest. Thank you for your editorial.
Northern Penobscot Tech Region III
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Planned Parenthood vital
Planned Parenthood, a.k.a. Family Planning in Maine, in my opinion, is absolutely worthy of my tax dollars. There has been recent controversy over Planned Parenthood supposedly aiding child prostitution, and now Mrs. Welch-Johnson (BDN Letters, March 28) argues they are “obliged” to provide abortions. Planned Parenthood has been a vital part of helping me with decisions I’ve made concerning my sexual and reproductive health, and I am grateful I’ve had them as a resource while growing and developing as a woman.
Planned Parenthood’s goal is not to see how many abortions they can perform. Their goal is to avoid abortion by providing women with education, tools and low-cost reproductive health care so women do not get pregnant and do not seek abortions.
I have been going to Family Planning since I was 16 years old. I am currently 25 years old and have no children. I am grateful for their services so that I can remain childless while I work and go to school full-time, shaping my future so that when I do have children I will be able to support them financially and emotionally.
Would I have an abortion if I had an unplanned pregnancy? I don’t know, but I am thankful I have the right to choose, and I am thankful that Planned Parenthood will be available to help me with that decision.
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Overdue thank-you letter
It has taken me 20 years to write a this letter of gratitude. Your citizens had welcomed strangers at your airport as we came back from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. I have cried every March 29 since 1991, and I swore every year that I would write, no matter how much I bawled.
This year, I did.
We had flown in on our way to Fort Benning, Ga. I knew my sons would not be there to greet me. I was going through a divorce before we deployed. I was waiting in the plane when a stewardess had to about wrestle me from my seat, saying, “You really ought to go out.”
“Why?” I said.
And she said, “It’s America, and it’s home.”
Needless to say, that corridor of Bangor-area citizens made me more proud than anything I have ever experienced or ever could!
I say thank-you, from an aged and a humbled former artilleryman.
With the conditions in the Katahdin area, isn’t it time for the two school administrations to combine? Both communities are struggling for numbers in enrollment. Stearns High School is a class A school facility with a class C, D enrollment. Schenck is in the same situation but with a dilapidated high school. East Millinocket has a great junior high.
I was born in Millinocket, went to school in Millinocket, lived in Medway and graduated from Mattanawcook Academy in Lincoln. I love the area and root for the Wolverines, Minutemen and Lynx. I don’t care about the mascots, but I would like to see all of them succeed. I think combining Stearns and Schenck would only make them stronger, academically and in sports, and I will cheer for you no matter what color your jersey is.