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Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2013: Concerts, wind project and education

What would Jesus do?

The Aug. 3 BDN column by Renee Ordway seemed to be at odds with the New Testament.

In the Gospel according to Matthew 7, for instance, we are told not to judge others. In Luke 19:10, we are enjoined to hate the sin but not the person.

Yet Ordway was harshly critical of Judy Garvey and Jim Bergin for reminding us of this. The crime for which Jeffrey Cookson was convicted was extremely evil. I do not believe, however, that Detective Brian Strout, or Ordway, knows better than Jesus whether someone can seek and find redemption.

Karen Saum



Concert disappointment

My daughter, granddaughter and I attended our first Waterfront Concerts event recently. To say we were disappointed is an understatement.

We had what we thought were great reserved seats. Once seated or even standing, we discovered the angle of the seats did not offer a good view of the actual stage area. As the concert progressed, the people in front of us left due to the view.

We soon found ourselves subject to watching four people groping each other and smoking pot, which we could definitely smell. At this point, we decided that my 9-year-old granddaughter did not need to be exposed to the performance going on two rows in front of us, let alone that the only way to see the performers was on the screens. At that point, we left and decided that this would be our last Waterfront concert.

Linda Webster

Old Town

Preventing lung disease

The American Lung Association of the Northeast applauds the Board of Environmental Protection for supporting the Passadumkeag Mountain wind project. As an organization with a goal to improve lung health and prevent lung disease, we recognize that the continued transition to clean renewable energy is key to fulfilling our important mission.

Reducing toxic air pollution, which projects like the Passadumkeag Mountain wind project will do, is not only good energy policy, it is good health policy. For far too long, our region has depended on coal and other dirty sources of energy for our power.

We are grateful that the board acted in a way that promotes lung health and paves the way for more renewable energy projects taking place in Maine in the future. For the thousands of Mainers struggling with lung disease, this decision is a step in the right direction.

Jeff Seyler, president & CEO, American Lung Association of the Northeast



Educating our children

For the United States to survive and prosper, we must educate each child to the limit of his or her ability. Better teachers and textbooks are only part of the answer to creating a better future through children.

The ultimate answer to the future success of our country lies in having an instructional aide in every elementary classroom. Under the teacher’s direction, the aide would curb discipline problems and become a mentor with whom children could identify. When needed, an aide would sit next to a child and directly supervise his or her learning.

A National Teachers’ Aide Corps would be:

— paid at the federal level because the entire country would benefit;

— hired by the town for local control; and

—kept or fired by the individual teacher if the aide and teacher don’t work well together.

Such aides would need only a high school diploma or a GED. For our country to be a world leader in the world of the future, to keep our children from being undereducated and dropping out of school early, to keep them away from drugs, gangs and jail, we need a National Teachers’ Aide Corps. The NTAC would also provide many jobs, which our country sorely needs.

Paul Shanley

Old Town


Slap in the face

I would like to address the Victim Services Restitution Program. A couple years ago, my wife was dying in the hospital, so we were unable to live at home. Some locals broke into our home and, from the amount of items taken, must have made more than one visit.

While trying to sell one of the many guns they stole from me, someone discharged one of them and was shot in the hand, enabling the police to identify the burglars.

Only one of these people was arrested, and before he went to trial, I asked the district attorney’s office for restitution for my out-of-pocket expenses of $1,200, which was not covered by insurance.

Fast forward to the alleged burglar’s day in court. The judge ordered only $960 of my restitution request, and on Feb. 19, I received a check from the Victim Services Restitution Program in the amount of $11.05. In June, I received another check in the amount of $12.

I am 71-years-old, and, although I am no mathematician, I calculate I will be well over 100 years old before I receive the court ordered restitution, if I live that long.

In the meantime, the burglars have purchased, registered and insured several cars and trucks. This, to me, is a slap in the face.

Fred Bryant


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