Saturday, May 26, 2012: Favoritism in school sports, gun ownership and RSU withdrawal

Posted May 25, 2012, at 4:23 p.m.

Editor’s note: A letter titled “RSU Choice” that ran in Friday’s paper was resubmitted by the author. It did not appear in the online edition of Letters to the Editor.

What does a coach really mean to me?

A coach should be someone who mentors, reassures, teaches, critiques, positively influences etc. But what happens when those actions never come to light? What happens when it is obvious that favoritism occurs?

Does that coach know what they have done to that “so-to-speak athletes” self worth? I don’t think so. When you are in sports from K thru 12, it should be character building, play well with others, not, oh you are going to become that one-in-10-million Tiger Woods or Michael Jordan.

I am not the only parent out there that doesn’t have a child who is the coach’s good friend’s daughter, or the bosses son.

In these days of bullying among kids, is there really a difference? Do they understand that the child who is slighted keeps their grades up because this sport is their favorite? They don’t know the countless days and nights of crying that their favoritism creates.

Grammar school and high school sports should be a great learning and bonding experience, not that the child doesn’t wear the right shoes or doesn’t have the coolest parent.

Not all coaches are this way. You know who you are.

Jody Yeo

Eastbrook

Hurtful article

This Memorial Day, as we reflect on the honorable men and women who defended our democracy by paying the ultimate price, ask: “Would you be willing to do the same for them?”

My son is an officer in the Navy; previously he was a Marine. My daughter serves in the National Guard. My son deployed to Iraq, and my daughter’s unit was scheduled to deploy, but her orders were changed at the last moment. Both continue to serve and protect our nation, regardless of the dangers to their safety. The year my son spent in Iraq was the longest year of my life. The year my daughter prepared herself for combat was extremely hard, too.

A recent BDN article tarnished the image of combat veterans with innuendo using allegations. This sensationalized article was obviously used to draw readers to the BDN website and sell papers.

It is a huge disservice to combat veterans, and the nation, when someone spreads distasteful rumors about them based on allegations. The BDN article implied that society should be afraid of combat veterans. That is unforgivable.

Veterans shouldn’t have to defend their combat records because of the integrity in the news. The BDN article hurt service personnel who protect everyone’s constitutional rights. The right to freedom of the press shouldn’t be used to abuse the service of combat veterans.

The article reported on allegations made in a request for a protection order against Rep. Alex Cornell du Houx, which was later withdrawn. The police never interviewed Cornell du Houx. The investigation is closed.

All veterans deserve respect.

Ramona Cornell du Houx

Solon

Dudman years

Mr. Dudman is to be admired for retaining his mental acuity into his ninth decade. His suggestions for aging gracefully (BDN, May 21), however, fall far short of connecting with the vast majority of those of us dealing with the advancing years. Hiring help such as a driver, caretaker and housekeeper for dinner parties is so far out of reach as to amount to a fantasy like winning the lottery. (Dinner parties?)

Though he may have been on President Nixon’s “hit list” back in the Watergate era, these days Mr. Dudman appears to have more in common with one-percenter Mitt Romney than he does Bernstein and Woodward.

Clyde Tarr

Bangor

False statement

David Trahan misstated my position on guns in his letter published Wednesday, May 23.

Trahan charges that I called all Maine gun owners “vigilantes.” False: My statements have consistently supported the Second Amendment right to bear arms. What I oppose is interest groups highjacking government to further their own agendas. Our priorities should be jobs, the economy and access to health care, not widening access to assault rifles designed to rapidly kill people.

At a time of vast budget distress, the Legislature didn’t need to waste time liberalizing laws allowing Mainers to take the law into their own hands during an “emergency” or carry guns into workplaces or public buildings such as the State House. Victims of domestic violence should not have to fear their abuser is armed. Unfortunately, these laws passed only because of NRA lobbying.

That Matt Dunlap backs the NRA instead of reasonable gun restrictions is indeed one of the differences between he and I. Dunlap and the NRA don’t get it: There’s a difference between a vigilante and a sportsman. More importantly, in Washington, I won’t be in the pocket of interest groups whose agenda is contrary to that of working families.

Finally, rational sportsmen don’t fear my support of a north woods park study. They realize that property is already off limits without permission, and encompasses less than 1 percent of Maine’s forest. I’m confident Trahan’s organization endorses the right of every Maine property owner to use their land how they wish.

Cynthia Dill

Cape Elizabeth

RSU Choice

Many questions surround Regional School Unit 26 withdrawal efforts. The state requires Glenburn and Veazie to create educational plans that answer 11 questions on issues such as placement for special education students. These plans must be approved by the RSU and the Commissioner of Education within 90 days of initiation. Then 50 percent of the municipal

population who voted in the last gubernatorial race must vote on the question; the majority determines the outcome. Until any plan is enacted, students remain under the jurisdiction of RSU 26.

An RSU cannot “dissolve.” If Glenburn and Veazie withdraw, Orono will still be part of RSU 26, and the RSU retains budgetary control. As the RSU board negotiates with the withdrawal committee from Glenburn, the RSU represents the interests of Veazie and Orono students, and as the RSU negotiates with Veazie’s team, the board members are serving the interests of Glenburn and Orono children. The superintendent has no interest in supporting any withdrawal community and represents the interests of all RSU students. Each RSU is required to have a high school within it. Should citizens of Orono want to initiate a withdrawal of Orono from RSU 26, it is unclear what would happen to Orono High School, or if this is even possible.

Municipalities that are part of an RSU cannot choose to give up choice. This decision needed to occur before becoming part of an RSU. Once part of the RSU, choice remains for the communities that have it.

Lisa Buck

Chair, RSU 26

Orono

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