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Wednesday, September 11, 2013: Inmate stabbing, chemical weapons and student privacy


Fetus question

I just read about Roscoe Sargent in the article, “ Bangor murderer gets another year for stabbing fellow inmate,” and the last paragraph was very disturbing. The family of the victim, Heather Fliegelman Sargent, who was eight months pregnant when Sargent killed her, lobbied unsuccessfully “to enact a law making it a crime to harm a fetus in the commission of a crime.” My question is, what is wrong with the Maine Legislature that it did not pass this law?

Gail Maunder


Chemical weapons?

President Barack Obama wants to attack Syria because of suspected “chemical weapons” allegedly used by President Bashar al-Assad on his own people. Chemical weapons have been used constantly in war by the United States military, on our own troops: white phosphorous, depleted uranium in Bosnia and Iraq, Agent Orange and napalm in Vietnam, and the chemicals given as medication to our troops on a regular basis. The pot is calling the kettle black.

Commander “Obombya” draws a red line in the sand and claims the high ground. Anyone buying it? This is like bait and trap bear season in Maine.

War is not the answer. Don’t bite the bait.

Patrick Quinn


Red line drawn

I sincerely hope we do not intervene in Syria. Since the administration, after a year, has done little or nothing about the deaths of Americans in Benghazi, I fail to see the urgency with Syria.

President Barack Obama’s conflicting statements on who drew the “red line” make it difficult to want to trust the man.

Bruce Porter


Palin sense

Ever since she appeared on the national scene in 2008, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has repeatedly made statements that amused and shocked many of us. But last week she said something that makes a lot of sense.

Speaking of the Syrian dilemma, she said, “Let Allah sort it out.”

Nathaniel Bond


Core values

I am responding to the article, “ Educators, state officials debate impact of LePage’s executive order on student privacy.”

We are beginning to get more details. What kind of pressure is being applied and by whom?

Gov. Paul LePage’s education commissioner addresses data collection and distribution and local control but does not mention several key concerns people have who have been following Common Core.

Quality of Core standards and the cost of implementing the whole system is still open for discussion.

There was no fiscal impact study done on the cost. This leaves local school districts holding the bag for any costs.

Eleven states were rated as having superior standards to Core, and eight were rated as equal in quality.

Core proponents ask, “So what is your alternative to Common Core?”

We say pick any of the 11 state standards that were rated superior. These are proven standards, unlike Common Core, which have never been tried anywhere. They are free to use, and changes can be made if our state decides to, unlike Common Core, which are copyrighted and come with many other strings attached and the costs. Massachusetts had superior standards that propelled them to the top in the U.S.

Indiana had superior math standards that were praised for years as the best in the country. What is wrong with this picture?

The citizens of Maine deserve to get the whole truth.

Patrick Murray


Coin belt

I was cleaning my car the other day and removed some coins from the front seats. It reminded me of the time I came home from work and tried to unfasten my seat belt. I could not get it to open and release me. I tried and tried and finally honked my horn, and my husband came out of the house. He started to get his pocket knife to cut the belt, but I got it a little loose so I could crawl out of the car window. The cause of all this was two pennies that had gotten into the buckle of the seat belt, and when I pushed the other end of the belt into it, the belt jammed.

If after an accident I had to open my seat belt quickly it would have been impossible to get out. So now I check to see if there are any coins loose in the seats before or after I drive. It is a small thing, but it could help prevent for others what happened to me.

Louisa Wadleigh


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