LETTERS

Monday, June 27, 2011: Women’s museum support, education in China, US

Posted June 26, 2011, at 8:17 p.m.

Support women’s museum

It’s time to support the proposed National Women’s History Museum Act and honor the women who have contributed so much to this country.

This act would provide the National Women’s History Museum with a permanent home in Washington, D.C. The legislation offers members of Congress the opportunity to recognize women’s successes, build on their accomplishments and empower future generations.

On March 30, Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney of New York and Sen. Susan Collins of Maine reintroduced The National Women’s History Museum Act (HR 1269 and S. 680) with bipartisan support. HR 1269 had 22 original co-sponsors and S. 680 had 19.

Last session, the House passed HR 1700 on a voice vote in October 2009 and the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee passed HR 1700 and S. 2129 unanimously on April 21, 2010, but the bill stalled in the Senate when Sens. Jim DeMint and Tom Coburn placed holds on it. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid ran out of time in getting the bill to the floor.

The museum would not cost taxpayers a dime because the purchase of the land and the construction, outfitting and maintenance would be conducted by the NWHM Institute (www.nwhm.org). This museum would be dedicated to preserving, interpreting and celebrating the diverse historic contributions of women and integrating this rich heritage fully into our nation’s history. Let your legislators hear of your support.

Bets Brown

Public Policy Chair

American Association of University Women of Maine

China, U.S. education

The U.S. ranked 14th in reading, 17th in science, and 25th in math on 2009 international tests (Program for International Student Assessment results were average in reading and science and below average in math; 34 members were tested.)

This was not mentioned in the BDN’s June 11-12 story about Stearns High School. U.S. education needs improvement and so does China’s.

n the interest of school consolidation, why not enroll all Maine’s high school students in Maine’s top five schools? How many would want to and could afford to attend an Ivy League school? How many would be invited to join the “skulls and bones” or some other college secret society?

Richard Mackin Jr.

Millinocket

Cuts would hurt health

I am concerned about the proposed elimination of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Research Centers in the 2012 budget. This will terminate the ERCs nationwide.

To understand the significant impact of these cuts, one must be aware of the function of these ERCs. NIOSH supports 17 university-based ERCs whose mission is to reduce work-related injuries and illnesses in the U.S. by conducting prevention research and by educating high-quality professionals who daily implement programs to improve occupational health and safety.
Examples of such professionals include industrial hygienists, occupational medicine physicians, occupational health nurses, ergonomists, among others. ERC trainees are committed to reducing the daily toll on workers.

The elimination of the ERCs as proposed in President Obama’s budget would limit the ability of businesses, in both urban and rural areas, to help workers avoid exposures that cause injury or illness, possibly seek cost-effective treatment and ensure compliance with health and safety regulations, resulting in increased and avoidable health care costs and business losses.

Elimination of the ERCs would decrease the number of occupational health and safety professionals, possibly close down centers that train physicians and nurses in occupational medicine and health and negatively impact workplace safety and the competitiveness of businesses.

I would therefore encourage everyone to recognize the important contributions of the ERCs to the health and productivity of our nation’s businesses and work force and to support their funding in the fiscal year budget. More information about ERCs can be found at niosh-erc.org.

Abhijay P. Karandikar, MD, MPH

Caribou

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