Recently, I was annoyed by a really loud bass in the early evening, and I figured the noise was a party house. I figured I’d go find it and shut the noise down, so I started to walk toward the sound. Along the way, I ran into a neighbor who wanted to do the same thing.
Twenty minutes later, we were still walking. Finally, we flagged down a police officer, who told us the noise was from a waterfront concert in Bangor. We live in Orono.
The officer also told us there had been complaints from Old Town, too. Maybe that concert was a “growing pain” for Bangor, and I don’t blame them, but for the rest of us, it was just a pain.
Hold that memory
When it comes time to elect a new governor, I hope the people of Maine remember the 34 representatives and nine senators who stuck to him like glue when the budget process was taking place in Augusta.
They turned their backs on the very committee that worked so hard to construct a bipartisan budget that both political parties could support. The lawmakers felt it was more important to stick with the intransigent governor than to go with the hard-working committee, rather than put Maine communities first.
I say to my fellow Maine voters: Have a good memory come election time.
Reps. Mike Michaud, D-2nd District, and Chellie Pingree, D-1st District, both voted “no” on July 24 for giving the Pentagon $598 billion in fiscal year 2014. They should be congratulated for representing their constituents rather than weapons manufacturers that are already filthy rich on tax dollars from Pentagon contracts.
If the budget proposed by President Barack Obama passes, the Pentagon will again be receiving about 57 percent of the discretionary federal budget in 2014, according to the website nationalpriorities.org. This is all while Head Start programs are cut, Meals on Wheels loses funding, millions are unemployed, and veterans’ needs go unattended.
It is now up to Sens. Angus King, I-Maine, and Susan Collins, R-Maine. Contact them today and urge them to do the right thing: Bring our war dollars home to fund human needs. Urge them to represent their constituents, not their campaign contributors.
The Congressional switchboard number is 202-224-3121.
Since former University President Stephen Weber gave no example of University of Maine System bloat in his July 18 OpEd, I’m not sure what he meant. He did offer what are simplistic ideas that ignore deeper issues.
If 21 percent of jobs require bachelor’s degrees like he says, then 79 percent of jobs don’t. Already, there is a brain drain out of Maine because there aren’t enough jobs for graduates.
I believe there is a fundamental flaw in thinking that everyone should get a bachelor’s degree.
In the future, I think there will be more jobs for people with associate’s degrees than bachelor’s degrees, and for that reason I think the state needs to put its focus on getting more two-year graduates.
For both the university system and the community college system, the programs with the highest graduation rates are in health care and engineering — what some may call the toughest programs in the colleges — but also the ones with well-paying jobs at the end. I think the easiest way to improve graduation rates is to have more programs that result in well-paying jobs.
Lastly, if the state truly wants to improve college graduation rates, then start investing in pre-K through grade 12 education. Gov. Paul LePage has cut spending for Head Start. When those kids reach college age, we can bet on fewer of them going to college. We don’t often make the connection between early childhood education and college, but if the state wants to leverage education spending then put it there.
Ronald E. Turner
I applaud Bangor Councilman Ben Sprague for his thoughtful, intelligent and approachable suggestions regarding the Bangor Waterfront Concerts noise concerns.
Has he thought of running for governor?
The cost of gas
Now that the oil companies have their way and the price of crude is well over $100 a barrel, shouldn’t it be time to stop the multi-million dollar subsidies? These people are raking in obscene amounts of money for doing nothing.
John L. Clark
No bus stop
I am writing about the value and necessity of continuing the Odlin Road bus route. Many people make use of this bus to attend medical appointments, work and support services.
If the bus route is eliminated, it would be a detriment to Bangor’s most fragile population. Since this is a new program, started in April, it has not had a long enough period to evaluate if it is worth continuing or not.
I realize that Bangor has financial problems. One solution: Businesses on Odlin Road could help defray that costs, as the Discovery House has offered.