LETTERS

Monday, Sept. 18, 2011: 9/11, skilled work force

Posted Sept. 18, 2011, at 6:30 p.m.

Problems in perspective

The 9/11 ceremony in New York was well-done and touched the hearts of millions of Americans. Personally, it also brought back memories of working in Manhattan, seeing the city’s lights from the top of the World Trade Center and experiencing the ethnic richness of this unique city.

In honoring the sacrifice of the fallen, no one cared what their race, religion or anything else might have been. They were all Americans. That was clear in the faces of the families remembering their loved ones.

In times of tragedy, all the pettiness of our lives goes away. So, the next time you are wound up about something, remember this day and ask yourself, “So, what’s your problem?”

Michael Drake

Monson

Back to skills, please

In a recent statement, Gov. LePage mentioned that thousands of job were available in Maine; however, a qualified work force was lacking. When laws and statutes were passed a few years ago subscribing to a common core of learning along with the No Child Left Behind law, many schools abandoned their curricula which included vocational and business courses. If retained, it was only the bare minimum.

Vocational and technical colleges also went the same route by becoming community colleges and abandoned many of the trade courses. Is it any wonder that Maine is not keeping up with necessary skills needed for the work force the governor is addressing?

Schools, both secondary and community colleges, are preparing all students to achieve the same goal, a four-year degree. What we are doing is frustrating many students who fall through the cracks and dropping out as the course work they want is not available. We also require all to take the SAT; is it any wonder why these scores are also down?

If Maine wants to be creative, many a little retrograde might be in store. Bring back shop, business, home economics, etc. That way, maybe we can reach all students, both those who want the four-year degree as well as those who want to join the work force with employable skills.

Lloyd Soucie

Fort Kent

Family Ties

This letter is written to correct some of the statements made in the BDN’s Aug. 26 article, “Legion hopes to save ship named after E. Millinocket hero.”

Ensign Stephen W. Groves, a native of East Millinocket, does have relatives living in East Millinocket. He has a nephew and a niece, namely Phillip R. Groves and Mariam G. Landry, wife of Rudy Landry. Both are the children of Jack Groves (deceased), who was the custodian at Schenck High School for many years.

Also, Richard Groves was not the son of Ensign Groves; Richard is his younger brother residing in Newington, Conn. with his wife Betty and children. Richard coached at Schenck High School and was also the athletic director for several years.

Wakine G. Tanous

East Millinocket

‘Penny poll’ results

At the Orono Festival on Sept. 10, the Orono Peace Group and the Peace and Justice Center of Eastern Maine jointly sponsored a “penny poll.” We had 10 jars representing 10 spending priorities for our federal tax dollars. Each person taking the poll was handed 10 pennies to distribute among the jars any way he or she chose. That way people could “vote” for the best ways to spend our taxes.

Here are the results of the poll:

Education – 260 pennies

Health Care – 234 pennies

Environment – 180 pennies

Veterans’ Benefits – 143 pennies

Housing – 112 pennies

Transportation – 898 pennies

Food – 86 pennies

Defense – 67 pennies

Government – 56 pennies

Interest on Debt – 31 pennies

Eloise Kleban

Orono Peace Group

Ethanol has a future

The BDN’s editorial board is entitled to its own opinions but not its own facts. The latest diatribe against ethanol (“Drunk on Ethanol”) uses scare tactics and misinformation to purposely mislead readers about the validity of E15 (15 percent ethanol, 85 percent gasoline).

Exhaustive data by the Department of Energy has proven that engine performance and durability do not suffer from ethanol blends such as E15. According to the EPA, a 15 percent blend of ethanol has no measurable impact on vehicle drivability or durability and is safe for nearly 75 percent of cars on the road today.

Every year, American drivers send $300 billion out of the U.S. economy for foreign oil. American ethanol is made here — in the United States. Automobile manufacturers can make engines and parts that run on ethanol, and eventually the small- and marine-engine manufacturers will do the same.

Meanwhile, the entire state of Minnesota — a land full of small and marine engines, with snowmobiles, snowblowers, boat engines and lawn mowers — mandates the highest legal blend of ethanol, and somehow, the operators of all those small engines manage to get by.

Opening up the fuel market to higher level blends of ethanol would allow ethanol to compete and beat oil without government support. And studies show that moving to E15 will create jobs that can’t be outsourced, reduce harmful emissions in the air and help free us from our addiction to foreign oil.

Paul Wehrle

Wiscasset

One united, now divided

Today we watched with tear-filled eyes the dedication of the national park and memorial to the 40 courageous heroes who willingly sacrificed their lives for the good of our nation in Shanksville, Pa. 10 years ago. Their bravery and selfless action must never be forgotten.

Though the memories of what happened in New York, Washington and Shanksville on that tragic day are painful, feelings of deep gratitude fill my heart for the way Americans pulled together and worked together for the good of our country, united behind our then President George W. Bush for quite some time after the events of 9/11. During that time, we were truly “one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

How sad I feel to have to admit that now we have become a nation deeply divided in our values, principles and politics. How embarrassing and shameful that New York City’s Mayor Bloomberg has decreed that no religious leaders would speak at the memorial in that great city! How terrible that no prayer will be uttered at that gathering!

While remembering all of the many heroic actions of 9/11, let us not forget the God who gave us this country in the first place and who has so richly blessed us for more than two centuries. He is the one we must look to for help and guidance in dealing with whatever may lie ahead of us as a nation.

Rosalie Welch-Johnson

Hampden

Dog’s best friend

Notice to dog-nappers stealing people’s pets: You come anywhere near my fur-person with intent to harm and I will hunt you relentlessly, with perseverance, to the ends of the earth if necessary, and with malice in my heart.

Catherine Chase

Ashland

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