Thursday, Jan. 12, 2012: Kevin Raye, your one vote and early childhood education

Posted Jan. 11, 2012, at 11:38 a.m.

Raye and disclosure

In the piece titled “Raye to go after Michaud’s seat,” (BDN, Jan. 6) Kevin Raye says he didn’t lobby for AdvaMed, but rather “was hired to educate the public about a proposed tax. It was fully disclosed at the time. I don’t know why Ben Grant is going back and talking about this now. This is exactly the kind of thing Maine people are tired of.”

I beg to differ with Mr. Raye, but this Maine person wants to hear all about this because if, as he says it was all disclosed at the time, I missed it. I want to know his connection with AdvaMed, what he was hired to do and how he did it. I want to know what he was paid and how long he was under their employ. These, just for starters, please.

And another heads up for Mr. Raye — this Mainer will never get tired of full disclosure, truth and questioning of ethics, even if these make him uncomfortable.

Mr. Raye goes on to claim, “Poll after poll shows that Mainers feel the country is headed in the wrong direction.” I would ask him to clarify. What were Mainers asked in these polls? Who asked them? Where are these poll results kept? Whose point of view was being advanced?

If he thinks that he speaks for all Mainers, or even all Washington County residents, he is sorely mistaken. I for one, take exception to this claim.

Tonya Troiani

Meddybemps

Angry voter

I am so angry with our Legislature and our governor. We keep hearing about how our state is almost broke. To solve these problems the Legislature and Gov. LePage want to cut aid to homeless, those without heat, those on some kind of assistance from the state and the schools. Gov. LePage proposes a cut of $221 million to the Department of Health and Human Services according to the Jan. 5 Bangor Daily News.

On the same day, the Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting reports that the state pays $235 million to legislators’ “private interests.” What’s wrong with this picture? Where are they getting $235 million for legislators but poor and hungry and cold people get cut $221 million?

Also, on that same day, I read that Gov. LePage has started raising funds for his re-election campaign. He has not declared himself a candidate, but he is raising money “just in case.”

The most maddening part of this whole situation is that the “little people” really have no recourse except their one vote.

Debbie Alexander

Blue Hill

Don’t cut early education

We agree with the Bangor business leaders who in a recent OpEd argued for high-quality early education as an effective way to strengthen our economy. As experienced law enforcement leaders, we would add that focusing attention on help for young children is one of the best ways to steer them toward adult success and away from crime and trouble.

Our years in this field have taught us that getting kids on the right path in life is important for future positive outcome for both children and our communities. Research has shown that kids who participate in high-quality early learning programs are better prepared as they enter kindergarten, better students, more likely to graduate on time, more likely to go on to postsecondary education, more likely to be employed as adults and less likely to be involved in crime.

The Chicago Parent-Child Center study shows that that at-risk children from the same neighborhoods not participating in the program were 70 percent more likely to be arrested for a violent crime by the time they reached age 18.

Other early intervention programs can help strengthen at-risk families and keep children out of abusive situations. Voluntary home visiting programs can help reduce cases of child abuse and neglect, by offering guidance to new parents and pregnant moms.

We respectfully ask legislators to preserve funding for early intervention programs, including Head Start and voluntary home visiting. The safety of our communities demands that we continue to look after our state’s youngest residents.

Michael Gahagan

Caribou chief of police

President, Maine Chiefs of Police Association

Glenn Ross

Penobscot County sheriff

President, Maine Sheriff’s Association

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