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Monday, Feb. 4, 2013: LePage, teachers and gun control

Make LePage pay

I may be only one vote, but I can’t be the only one.

In my opinion, it’s time that “we the people” of Maine make our governor accountable for his actions.

He ordered to have the labor mural removed, and he needs to be the one who owes the state of Maine the $6,000 for the costs to the state for the restoration of the mural.

Beverly Jenkins


Ill-prepared teachers

The National Council on Teacher Quality can be found on the Internet at There you can read about the council’s mission and notice the prominent support it has by about 60 foundations, including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. This is not a group to be diminished from our thoughts if you care about improving public education.

In the Jan. 25 story, “ National group gives Maine D+ for teacher training” on the front page of the BDN, Lois Kilby-Chesley, president of the Maine Education Association said the NCTQ “is another one these out-of-state groups who are trying to grade Maine’s education and Maine schools. I think we have to take what they say with a grain of salt.”

Really? If we in Maine keep such a provincial attitude, how will Maine’s public schools — so far behind now — keep up with global demands on our kids?

Public school teacher pay is abysmal. Threats on their careers come daily in the form of everything from wrongful accusations as abusers to massacres.

Why would a young person contemplate the career, especially with the financial payback from going to college very difficult to overcome? Those with the most talent move into administration or guidance so they can earn a decent living.

Let’s really rise to the challenge and work on these problems; it’s for the good of the kids.

Peter J. Lucas


Poor teachers?

Whenever I see an article critical of teachers, I have found that teachers and teacher union representatives will often be quoted saying that teachers aren’t paid enough.

On Jan. 25, the BDN ran the story, “ National group gives Maine D+ for teacher training.” In it, the president of the Maine Education Association, Lois Kilby-Chesley, is quoted saying that talented teachers can’t be attracted to the profession because of the $30,000 per year starting salary, which she implies is low.

First, I suspect that there aren’t many systems that start that low, but even if they do, that $30,000 is for a contract of 180 days only. In order to compare this with other professions, we have to convert it to a full year. When we do that, we see that the starting rate of pay is $41,667.

This is more than people with doctorates or law degrees may get starting at government jobs.

Certainly, lawyers who have trained for three years beyond the bachelor’s level and those with doctorate degrees should be paid at a rate higher than somebody who just has a bachelor’s.

In addition, when you compare the rigorous challenging courses that those with higher degrees must take, the current educational pay scale is already much higher than it should be.

We are already paying our “ill-prepared” teachers above what they should be getting, but they want taxpayers to cough up more, implying that our kids might be better educated if teachers made more money.

Don Saastamoinen


BDN the best

Thank you to the Bangor Daily News for its wonderful local and statewide reporting. The paper provides a much better service to its readers than the Portland Press Herald.

Reporters stick to facts and report news from all over the state, even in Portland. The Herald seems interested in stirring the pot to generate website hits.

I wish the BDN had direct delivery in my area, but I guess online will have to do. The BDN is without a doubt the state’s best newspaper.

Brendan Joyce


Gun control ‘agenda’

A recent BDN OpEd mentioned “instruments of human misery.” Really? I thought surely it was referring to frivolous legislation, more bureaucratic regulations or even the Internal Revenue Service.

Nope, none of the above. Turned out to be yet another article on gun control.

You’d think with 20,000 gun laws on the books in the U.S., enough would be enough.

Of course that doesn’t fit the agenda.

Walter Simmons


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