Tuesday, March 5, 2013: Bangor Auditorium, just sentences and the skills gap

Posted March 04, 2013, at 10:51 a.m.

Dead spots not true

A recent BDN article reflecting on the Bangor Auditorium was wonderful. It was, as all will attest, a truly great place to play basketball.

But I want to dispel a myth that the writer perpetuated about the dead spots for dribblers. There were no such spots.

I was fortunate to play at the auditorium more than most people did because Bangor High School played all home games there in my high school days. In addition, we practiced there every day — twice on a lot of Saturdays and vacation days — and I did a lot of dribbling.

It was a soft floor, for sure, but the ball bounced back true if you pushed it true to the floor. I never knew where the idea came from, but it just isn’t true.

Ben Graffam

Bangor

Tanks for nothing

I am writing in opposition to the proposed liquid propane gas tank project in Searsport. While I am not a resident of Searsport, the size and nature of this project is such that I believe all of us in Waldo County and on or near the bay have a dog in this fight.

Too many times, engineers and corporate entities have assured the public that they have the welfare and safety of surrounding communities covered, only to be proven wrong by accident, time or mismanagement.

Energy companies are particularly noteworthy in this regard. Consider the Exxon tanker spill in Alaska, the BP platform disaster, the Feyzin LPG explosion in France in 1966 and the liquid natural gas explosion in Cleveland in 1944.

Basically, I believe the tank and the ships serving the tank pose a safety risk that is unacceptable.

Think what a challenge it would be for New York City, with all its resources, to deal with an accident involving a propane tank taller than the Statue of Liberty. Searsport hasn’t a chance.

Look how DCP Midstream has handled this application process.

Are these folks we can trust and who we want the region to deal with for years? Will they keep the town informed? Will they change their business plan once they are in? Will they actually hire local workers? Will they clean up after themselves when they are done?

Jim Owen

Belfast

State of Maine justice

I’m responding to the Feb. 8 BDN article, “Orland man gets one year in jail for sex attack on 63-year-old woman.”

Mary Kellett, the prosecutor, said the state is pleased with the verdict and the sentence in the trial of William Kepner, who was convicted of two Class C crimes, felonies with each punishable by up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine. No mention was made of a fine or probation.

He was sentenced to four years in prison, with all but one year suspended, which is commonplace and quite cost-effective. When credited with time served, five days, he has less than a year to do.

So, he is a serious felon, now serving misdemeanor time. In addition, Kellett has cleared one more name from the docket — expedient, but at what price?

Meanwhile there is a victim out there, less cozy than she once was. She will endure sleepless nights with nightmares to boot.

So the question should be: Is this victim as pleased with the outcome as Kellett? If not, then she has been victimized yet again.

Therefore, the larger issues would be: Does this reflect what “justice dispensed” has become in Maine? How many others have been and will continue to be, victimized yet again?

Robert Fritsch

Dexter

Incorrect name

I have noticed that when BDN sports writers report the news about athletics at MDI High School, they refer to it as MDI of Bar Harbor.

This nomenclature is incorrect. The high school is a consolidation of the four towns on the island so should be referred to as MDI High School of Mount Desert Island.

George Peckham

Mount Desert

Nagging skills gap

The overarching goal of the Competitive Skills Scholarship Program is to effectively provide training and support for folks who are not currently in the labor market. This goal is similar to the Workforce Investment Act which is made available to all 50 states.

Both of these programs address the skill needs of workers who are not currently in the workforce. There is no question that these individuals need support to acquire advanced

skills and training, about 3,500 Mainers receive this type of assistance annually.

However to comprehensively address the skills gap, both the unemployed and the employed need intervention. Maine is only helping a small percentage of Mainers who are outside of the labor market.

Although this group does indeed need the assistance, they are not the only ones. Simply put, the employed of today without skills intervention are the unemployed of tomorrow.

Maine’s approach to addressing the skills gap is reactive, not proactive. In addition to the important work already being done to bring Mainers into the labor market, the state must do what other states have already done and provide or redirect needed state resources to assist the current workforce with retraining opportunities as identified by industry.

Forty-six states are making this investment. If Maine does not, we will be left behind. We must do what the majority of the other states in the country are doing — working directly with employers in crafting real solutions to the nagging skills gap.

Mike Bourret

Executive Director, Coastal Counties Workforce Inc.

Brunswick

CORRECTION:

A previous version of this document contained a letter by Phil Tobin titled “For the record” about the first tournament played at the Bangor Auditorium. The letter contained an inaccuracy. The auditorium opened in October of 1955, and the first tournament was played in 1956.

http://bangordailynews.com/2013/03/04/opinion/letters/tuesday-march-5-2013-bangor-auditorium-just-sentences-and-the-skills-gap/ printed on July 31, 2014