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Thursday, Nov. 15, 2012: Unemployment, plagiarism and certificate of need


Finding workers

A topic referred to frequently in the Senate debate was employment, but I never heard an adequate response. As someone who has been recently unemployed, I have some insight into this problem. There are a few reasons companies can’t find workers other than a lack of qualified people. Here are a few.

Job titles: Advertising positions with titles rather than skills needed may be the easy way to advertise, but it causes problems. For one, this is Maine, a rural state. Many people have learned their skills because the work had to be done, and they did it, never realizing there was a title associated with it.

Applications: Some forms make it difficult to describe one’s skills, as when an answer has to be chosen from a list that has no accurate answer in it. Human resources managers must scrutinize their search parameters to make sure the company is getting an accurate picture on each applicant.

Employment parameters: Many employment notices leave prospective employees with few clues as to what the company is looking for or the hours and compensation. Does it require tools, travel? Where is it? Companies need to let workers know the particulars.

There are difficulties: But we do have talented people in Maine, and I think it is likely that people can be found who, with maybe only a little help from these companies, could do a great job for them.

Vincent H Ghelli

Bar Harbor


As a former staff reporter for a daily newspaper, I would have expected to be fired from my job if I lifted a story someone else had written and put my own byline on it. This can’t happen by accident. It’s deliberate, and there’s a word for it: plagiarism.

School Administrative District 40 superintendent Susan Pratt is claiming her word-for-word copying of a another superintendent’s strategic plan — she even copied the cover letter — was just an oversight. Pratt objected to anyone making a fuss about her apparent plagiarism.

The school board considered her actions, but despite obvious evidence that she was putting forth work she falsely claimed as her own, the board did nothing.

The “somebody else” turns out to be a superintendent in southern Maine, Andrew Dolloff, the son of former SAD 40 Medomak Valley High School Principal Ronald Dolloff. Andrew Dolloff was, shall we say, less than delighted by Pratt’s copying his work and claiming it as her own.

Pratt, to my knowledge, has not apologized for her transgressions, nor has she acknowledged that she has done anything wrong. Perhaps her lawyer told her not to admit to anything. What have we come to when the head of our school system can cheat with impunity? This is a terrible role model for students.

The Medomak Valley student handbook says, “Plagiarism is representing the works or writings of another as one’s own. Reference to the work of others in some assignments is acceptable, but sources must be cited. Students may receive a zero for plagiarized work.”

It seems to me superintendent Pratt just scored zero.

Steve Cartwright


Certificate of need

I am writing with respect to the pending certificate of need, or CON, application for Parkview Adventist Medical Center to join Central Maine Healthcare. I am troubled that one hospital can file an opposing certificate of need, oppose another’s certificate of need, and participate as a “party” at the other’s hearing in an effort to eliminate its competition. That is un-American and anti-competitive.

I am not saying that what the Department of Health and Human Services is doing is negative but that Mid-Coast Hospital’s hijacking of the certificate of need system absolutely is.

The standard is whether Parkview’s joining the CMHC system will improve the quality of patient care and the cost of that care.

Without addressing that standard directly, Mid-Coast has posed its opposition to this certificate of need as allowing a distant hospital to take over the locals. It failed to disclose at the recent hearing that it has been in discussions with Maine Health, a health conglomerate, that is even farther from Brunswick than CMHC. It failed to make clear that it seeks to shut down Parkview and eliminate its competition as opposed to work cooperatively with Parkview to together serve the community

better by sharing efforts, not shutting them down.

It failed to disclose the multiple efforts at communication that Parkview has made, instead telling the public that Parkview wasn’t talking.

It is bad enough that its position is not in fact relevant to the certificate of need standard that DHHS must apply; it is worse that it is deceptive. Parkview should be allowed to join the CMHC system as it has requested to do.

Rebecca Webber


Made in China

Our country is being sold out for the profit of a few.

First, our business leaders closed factories in the U.S. as they outsourced manufacturing to China to increase profits. Second, Chinese leaders used the money we shipped to their country to buy U.S. government debt and improve their military capability.

Now I read in The Wall Street Journal that U.S. business leaders are courting the Chinese to invest in our businesses.

So, in order to increase profits and the personal wealth of a few, our business leaders have provided the means to China to be the the single largest holder of U.S. government debt, develop a military to challenge the U.S. in the Pacific and now own U.S. businesses.

This is not only the worst example of egregious greed, it is a serious threat to our national security. I call on our federal elected officials to take immediate action to stop this Chinese threat.

Michael Drake


Campaign thanks

Over the past several elections I have increased my participation, placing signs, calling, letter-writing. This year I also drove a candidate to visit voters.

Every man or woman who runs for office must learn campaign laws, issues, public relations and myriad other things. Each candidate risks voters’ disrespect and dismissal just to understand a job that most of us want someone else to do while we wait to criticize.

State candidates give up family time, preparing for winter, gardens, vacations and sometimes friends. Some represent parties such as the Greens who, from the start, are unlikely to win, but value ideas.

To every candidate from whatever party, whether you won or not, whether I would have voted for you or not, my sincere thanks for participating in the stressful, demanding job of running for office.

John Bednarik


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