Eyes are open
As a concerned Glenburn taxpayer, parent and member of “Friends of Glenburn School,” I would like to address Superintendent Doug Smith’s comment that the effort to pursue Glenburn’s withdrawal from RSU 26 is “emotionally driven.” The residents of Glenburn are fiscally responsible, intelligent people who recognize that it is not advantageous for us to continue our involvement in the RSU. This is in light of the fact that the Maine Legislature has repealed all penalties for not belonging to an RSU.
Recent budget discussions over the past several weeks have focused on reductions in state and federal subsidies and cost increases directly attributable to the RSU. As a result, Glenburn, Orono and Veazie were asked to see where they could trim their budgets — in Glenburn, this resulted in significant proposed cuts to faculty and services for our children. More state subsidy is good news for the RSU, however, it looks likely that it won’t be used to address most of these cuts in Glenburn. While Mr. Smith may see this as an emotionally charged topic, the fact is that we have lost oversight into fiscal matters relative to our school and we realize that it is detrimental to our educational system.
I would argue that the group of people who are representing this effort have worked hard to gather the facts. Our eyes are indeed open and we are embracing the challenge of facilitating change for the greater good of our school, our children and our community.
Ban the bag
We are facing a global epidemic which is wreaking havoc on the planet and its inhabitants indiscriminately. The collective human consciousness is decidedly uncluttered by thoughts of the before, during and after repercussions of our blind consumption, yet the evidence abounds in waterways, on beaches, in our parks and streets, in trees and in the stumps where trees once stood.
Americans dispose of approximately 100 billion plastic shopping bags each year, the manufacturing of which requires some 12 million barrels of nonrenewable petroleum oil, costing over $500 million and creating 300,000 tons of landfill waste.
They are a blight on society, leaching toxins into our environment and killing an estimated 100,000 marine animals each year. Every square mile of ocean contains approximately 46,000 pieces of floating plastic, which act as sponges for toxic chemicals, are ingested by unsuspecting sea life and introduced into the food chain.
Paper is hardly a better solution. An estimated 14 million trees are felled each year to make the 10 billion paper bags consumed by the American public, destroying wildlife habitat and drastically compromising soil, air and water quality.
For being so elusive, the solution is simple: reusable bags. We’ve convinced ourselves that we need only to throw something away in order for it to be gone, but there is no “away.” Restrictions and bans on disposable bags have been effectively implemented in 25 percent of the world’s countries. You can make it happen here by signing and sharing the full petition at www.change.org/petitions/maine-ban-the-bag.
I’ve been reading about lexicology and how meanings of words can change over time. A living room was once a lounge or parlor, but now those words are associated with alcohol and tattoos.
Last week’s news told me how outdated my vocabulary is. There were once several suitable words to call an elected official, who, without a second thought, voted to plunge our country into unnecessary wars that left thousands of crying orphans, widows and amputees in its wake. In today’s lexicon, this official is called a “moderate.” Both wars continue to bankrupt the nation, so the term “fiscal conservative” is also used.
Another example of a modern definition adjustment is the term for a person who has sworn to defend the Constitution but, instead, defends the giant corporation that spies on Americans and violates that Constitution. That person, whose self-defense is, “What could they do? The president told them to!” is now called a “sensible centrist.”
So, listen to the politicians and their media-repeated talking points and you can avoid the steep learning curve I had.
Military Families Speak Out
Rush’s radio connections
A letter writer suggested recently in the BDN that it might be a better idea to boycott the companies who keep employing these rabble-rouser hatemongers such as Rush Limbaugh as opposed to, or in addition to, withdrawing the advertisements in protest.
Interesting idea. The writer may have not been aware that the employer of Limbaugh is Clear Channel, which in turn owns Premier Radio Networks, both of which are owned by Bain Capital alongside other companies. That’s the company that Mitt Romney ran as CEO and from which he made his millions, and from which he is now a retired partner but continues to earns millions.
Clear Channel owns 850 radio stations across the nation and Premier Radio Networks syndicates the shows of Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity, all archconservatives. So, the next time we hear that old saw “the media is owned by liberals,” I think not. Isn’t it curious that those who are often guilty of the very activity they project onto others are also the most vocal? Ah, the webs we humans weave in the grasp for power.
Oppose Milbridge grant
At present time in Milbridge we have many, many very unhappy residents. We have the Milbridge High School building and the Alumni Hall Building that Mr. Lewis Pinkham, our town manager, and his selectmen want to destroy.
Both these buildings are in excellent shape and are in use right now. They want to build a new building that is only 5,000 square feet on our building’s site. Our two buildings are over 7,000 square feet. I and over 150 residents want to preserve these buildings, as they are the character of our town.
A town meeting was held and we were denied a chance to speak by the guy with the gavel. The vote was 110-93 in their favor. A rough count of total attendance was 300. What happened to the other voters?
We cannot afford the new building, at a cost of over $500,000. We want our surplus left alone. We don’t want the $200,000 grant in which the library is included. We want the library to be on its own. We can’t afford to pay their expenses any more. This is proven by our unpaid tax list.
Join with me and many other fellow residents in writing a letter to the Department of Economic and Community Development, 59 Statehouse Station, Augusta 04333, and tell them you are against the grant and why.