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Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2012: GOP’s fear of women, thanking Charlie Webster

Deer Isle-Stonington making grade

It is unfortunate that Kevin Miller’s background information for his story in the Feb. 14 Bangor Daily News is nearly two years old. Although Deer Isle-Stonington High School was named a “persistently low-achieving school” in March 2010, significant positive results have been documented from improvement efforts initiated over the past five years.

The dropout rate is now in the lowest third of Maine high schools, decreasing from 10.7 percent in 2008-09 to 1.74 percent in 2010-11. The number of students reading, writing and doing math at the high school level increased by 22 percent, 26 percent and 19 percent respectively since the spring of 2010.

DISHS has implemented a student support system anchored by a Student Assistance Team which analyzes student data each month to identify students who are in danger of failing. Our Student Assistance Team and use of student data for school improvement is one reason DISHS was invited by the New England Secondary School Consortium to be one of just three Maine high schools to present at next month’s “High School Redesign in Action” conference in Massachusetts.

As a school, we recognize that we must continue working to ensure that all of our students graduate ready for any postsecondary option they choose to pursue, and finding the best daily bell schedule is just one piece of that puzzle. However, it is also important to acknowledge the many positive changes that our school has made in the past five years that are improving the educational opportunities we provide our students.

Todd West


Deer Isle-Stonington High School

Fear of women?

For the last year or two I have watched, with horror, the Republican attempt to minimize women. The attacks on abortion, which has been the law of the land for 40 years, was the beginning. And now, they’re trying to curtail the use of contraception. Don’t they think that women can think and decide what’s best for themselves?

Not all women want to be kept barefoot, pregnant and in the kitchen. I can’t help but wonder if the male Republican establishment is afraid that women might some day actually take over the major ruling positions in this country (as they have in some others).

What’s next? Take away our right to vote? Demand we wear burkas? Walk three paces behind our husbands? Isn’t that what we oppose in other “less enlightened” countries?

Carol P. Gater


Thank you Charlie!

I want to thank GOP State Committee Chairman Charlie Webster for encouraging and organizing Maine Republicans to caucus and report early enough to be included in the national tallies. These caucuses were well advertised and attended; for the first time in my 35-plus years of being involved with the Republican Party, these caucuses got national attention. We also had two presidential candidates who ventured north to see us!

The caucus delegates who did not meet until later will still be full participants in the upcoming state convention in Augusta on May 5-6.

Sherman Hutchins


Thank God for LePage

I confess to having only lived in Maine for six years, but when I first moved here I don’t recall hearing the high-pitched whine from the Republican minority in state government like that currently coming from the left. In fact, I think I can recall actual teamwork across the aisle. But that all changed when the Democratic machine that has devolved prosperity into despair over the last 40 years was finally pushed aside by the voters yearning for reform.

Thank God for Gov. Paul LePage. He has single-handedly pushed both sides off dead center and forced them to defend their philosophies in public. The Department of Health and Human Services and Maine Turnpike Authority scandals have been uncovered and the Medicare disaster and its consequences have been finally spotlighted.

Gov. LePage and his administration are motivators who have shaken up the “good old boy” mentality in Augusta by forcing the Legislature to actually deal with problems decisively instead of foisting them off on future administrations. There is actually good news here: The governor is actually doing his job and all of us should be thankful.

Jerry Bono


LP is priciest fuel

I am far from a math wiz. But my last LP gas bill made me take notice of something I was told a while ago, especially in light of the debate about the proposed LP importation facility in Searsport. When I contracted for this season’s heating oil delivery, it wasn’t the lowest price on the local market. Yet I paid a premium in case the price should fall below a certain number (which it had). All of these prices were more than some that were advertised by other dealers.

The point of this letter is to say that no matter how much heating oil costs, LP gas always costs more.

We can live quite well without the added dangers of New Jersey in Searsport.

Ed Barrood


Don’t deny marriage

The recent op-ed by Carroll Conley of the Christian Civic League, in which he argues against same-sex marriage, appears to be recycled from earlier arguments his predecessor Mike Heath made against adding sexual orientation to Maine’s human rights law, which we did in 2005. The same old far-fetched claims and tortured logic are advanced to support prejudice and discrimination by cloaking them in religion.

Conley’s argument comes down to this: If you oppose my organization’s effort to hold other people down then you are victimizing us. Our prejudices — er, I mean our religious beliefs — should limit the lives of others and deprive them of the responsibilities and joys of marriage.

In reality, if gay people get married that takes away nothing from anyone else, whereas if they are not permitted to it takes a lot away from them. Please notice that since the Maine Human Rights law was amended to say that you cannot fire someone or refuse to rent to them because of your anti-gay prejudice, the sky has not fallen. And it won’t fall when gay people marry — otherwise we would have seen that in the several states and foreign countries that allow same-sex marriage.

Mr. Conley and his fellow believers have the undisputed free speech right to express anti-gay opinions. They just can’t dictate the rights of others.

Peter Rees


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