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Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2012: Propane in Searsport, early education

By aboyle

Liberty at stake in Frankfort

In reference to Mr. Orlando E. Delogu’s recent opinion piece about the Frankfort wind ordinance: This is not the first time we have seen this man’s biased, personal views backed up by reference to his position at the University of Maine. As a taxpayer and Maine resident, I am disgusted.

As for the Frankfort ordinance, Mr. Delogu’s opinions aside, there are really only two legal questions: First, does the ordinance comply with the constitutions and statutes of the United States and the state of Maine? And second, was it legally enacted at a proper town meeting? Nothing else really matters.

I have read the pending lawsuit, and it is full of personal accusations, and quite a lot of whining. It is obvious to any who read it that the suit is really just about bullying a small town into voting to rescind an ordinance that wealthy special interests don’t like.

The real question here is: Are the people of Maine going to stand up for their rights to self government at town meeting, or are they going to cave to wealthy special interests from away? Are the residents of Frankfort (and every other Maine town) in charge of their own destiny, or do they have to bow down to people from away, and to UMaine professors who seem more interested in protecting special interests than in what is right for the people of Maine?

The bet is liberty. Do we stand, or do we fold?

David P. Corrigan

Concord Township

Invest early

At the Bangor Region Chamber of Commerce we take the issue of education seriously. Our Building Bridges program brings employers and educators together so that teachers can better understand what will be expected of students in the real world.

That good work will be wasted, however, if our students are not ready to learn the skills they need to thrive in the 21st century. Key to that readiness is early childhood education, and that’s why I join with other business leaders in our state to support investment in our youngest children.

The research is clear. The first five years of life are critical to a child’s development, and this research is backed by strong empirical evidence showing that investments made in these early years pay big dividends later on.

According to an America’s Edge report, for every dollar spent on early education there is a total return to the local economy of $1.78. Conversely, for every dollar cut we lose a total of $1.78.

Lawmakers in Augusta and Washington are weighing many important and competing needs at a time when public resources are scarce. They face some difficult decisions.

But if they take the time to read the America’s Edge report, they’ll find that investing in early childhood education is an easy call.

John Porter

President and CEO

Bangor Region Chamber of Commerce

Tank offers economic hope

I am writing this letter to support the effort to put a propane facility in Searsport.

I have lived in Searsport all my life and my family goes back for generations. I have very strong ties to this community, its heritage, the ocean and our port. I have been a volunteer firefighter for 15 years. I know about the dangers that come with a town that has an opportunity and turns its back on it.

Right now, we have an opportunity to welcome DCP Midstream to the community. I attended a town hall meeting last week and watched as a few people from Searsport, most who had moved here to retire, and many people from outside of Searsport were negative about the project.

This is a sad time for our community. We have an opportunity to bring jobs and economic revenue and there is a chance we will turn our backs on it. On March 10 we will vote on a moratorium that will stop the project, kill the jobs and put opportunity aside.

Many of the retirees seem only to care about themselves and their interests. What about the citizens in North Searsport? We live here too, we all need less of a tax burden. This project offers us some hope. It will be in an area that already has tanks. We heard that it could hurt tourism — very few if any people here are making a year-round living on tourism. I ask you to vote no on the moratorium.

A.J. Koch


Our shared responsibility

Do we share a moral responsibility to help those with developmental disabilities? It was not that long ago that the dominant treatment to helping individuals was to institutionalize them. Helping those with development disabilities now involves new approaches personalized to meet each individual’s needs.

Today there are better ways to enable individuals with developmental disabilities to have more control of their lives and receive the treatment they deserve. People with developmental disabilities often face challenges they may not be able

to meet on their own. Organizations providing services must individualize the care they give. Some individuals require 24-hour supervision and care to ensure their safety and well-being, while others need various supportive services.

The treatments provided by organizations dedicated to assisting people with developmental disabilities are by no means extravagant. It is basic, pragmatic, cost-efficient and transparent, specifically tailored to the needs of each individual. The tremendous support for Special Olympics shows how our society has changed.

Nevertheless, for the eighth time in the last nine years, proposed state budget cuts are again targeting these crucial services. We need to re-evaluate this trend. People with developmental disabilities in our communities should not be a continued target of budgetary reductions. Caring services for those with developmental disabilities is our shared responsibility.

Anthony Zambrano

Executive Director

Downeast Horizons

Choose all schools

BDN columnist and Republican strategist Matthew Gagnon doesn’t like the prospect of his kid going to the elementary school with the ”crumbling building” while the kids on the other side of the road get to go to the school with the “much newer building” and “better technology.”

His solution? School choice. Let the families decide. (I wonder which families will choose the crumbling building? Not his, that’s for sure.)

My solution? Fix up the crumbling building so that none of our kids have to go to a crumbling school. How to pay for it? Tax dollars. But oh, that’s not the Republican way. (See the BDN’s Page 1 article, “Creating Jobs: What can a governor do?”: “LePage … went on to pitch a tax cut to go on top of another tax cut that already passed last year.”) So it looks like “school choice” will be this year’s Republican “big idea” of how to more fully divide our society between winners and losers.

Sol Goldman


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