Tuesday, September 24, 2013: Physics, parking and persecution

Posted Sept. 23, 2013, at 10:06 a.m.

STEM fields

I’m writing in response to the University of Southern Maine’s recent announcement of a plan to terminate the physics major. Physics is a fundamental subject, necessary for any school that intends to call itself a university. Physics courses are required for many vital fields, such as chemistry, biology, pre-med and any field of engineering. A smaller department with reduced funding will result in lower-quality education for students in all of these disciplines.

I believe the university should put the needs of its students and quality of its education above its desire to balance the budget. The university’s decision is a step backward for our state and should be reversed in order preserve one of the few opportunities Maine offers for education in STEM fields in which the state is horribly lacking.

Our state has many bright young minds, and this decision sends the message to students pursuing a career in STEM fields that there is no place for them here. Those prospective physicists who don’t wish to attend college far north in Orono will be forced to attend schools out of state, where they will most likely remain.

Patrick Wallace

Gorham

Sad headlines

A few Maine headlines made me sad recently.

The loss of a park — city green space — in Portland, the butchery of lobsters in Port Clyde and the death of a 5-foot-wide tree in Orono.

Why shouldn’t a park be treated like the treasure it is? Green space is as valuable as gold when so surrounded by concrete. Once the park is gone, it’s gone.

The lobsters don’t feel? Are you telling me they’re not terrified to be ripped to shreds while still alive? Don’t we have any respect for another life form, especially one so important to us? Of course the lobsters know what’s happening, and they feel it, whether we can tell it or not. Ever heard lobsters hitting the pot when they boil? They feel it all right.

And the tree in Orono? Don’t trees have rights? Shouldn’t the fate of something so large and beautiful have at least been up for discussion prior to destruction? It was starting to rot? Brother, have we heard that line before.

So much for one day’s news.

Catherine Tanzer

Camden

Disrespectful employees

I have had occasion to visit United Cerebral Palsy at its Evergreen Woods facility in Bangor and find the behavior of some of the employees to be very disrespectful toward people with disabilities. I have a disability plate on my car because I have a medical condition and cannot walk without a cane. Yet, I can seldom find a place to park at the facility.

On more than one occasion, the white Ford pickup truck driven by the agency’s maintenance department has been parked in a disability parking spot. This vehicle has a disability plate. How can an agency that is supposed to support people with disabilities allow its maintenance men to take parking spaces that are designated for people with legitimate disabilities? And the disrespect is evident not only at its own office but also in the community, as I have seen the maintenance crew get out of the truck and walk into Sam’s Club.

I have a disability — and my doctor had to fill out paperwork for me to get my plate — which has to be renewed periodically. How does it happen that able-bodied men are allowed to use a plate and take up parking spots intended for those who really need them? The management of UCP should be ashamed for allowing this.

Lauren Jameson

Brewer

Growth and opportunity

In her Sept. 18 column, Christine Hastedt of Maine Equal Justice Partners, a lobbying group for the welfare industrial complex, complained about the welfare reforms implemented by Gov. Paul LePage and Republicans over the past few years.

Liberals have been waging a war on poverty in Maine for decades. And I have news for them: They lost. Resoundingly. It’s time for a new approach. Welfare reform worked wonders at the national level, even as Maine, under Democratic rule, was one of just seven states to resist it.

Now, with some fresh leadership, Maine is making serious progress transitioning people from welfare to work. While our Temporary Assistance for Needy Families cash welfare enrollment dropped 40 percent since LePage’s election, Maine’s poverty level actually dropped as well, even as it stayed the same nationally. There are 13,000 more Mainers working in the private sector since LePage’s election.

Mainers are sick and tired of working hard only to see able-bodied young adults pile their shopping carts full of junk food and pay for it with food stamps and then pull out a pocket full of cash to pay for cigarettes. Dependence hurts the economy by discouraging work, leading to greater government spending and higher taxes. Yes, it’s a vicious downward spiral of dependency that liberals inflicted on Maine, but, thankfully, with a change of direction, we’re pulling out of it and creating growth and opportunity for all Maine people.

Michael Willette

Presque Isle

Religious persecution

The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt has been persecuting Coptic Christians. Radical Christian-hating Muslims are raping women and girls, violently assaulting Christian men, women and children on the streets, in their homes and in their churches. These brutal thugs are burning down Christian homes, businesses and churches.

The United States government, in our name and using our tax dollars, is giving Egypt nearly $2 billion annually in U.S. aid. America is directly responsible for the rape, murder and religious persecution in Egypt.

Our senators and representatives must immediately demand that the Muslim Brotherhood stop these attacks and protect the Coptic Christians and other religious minorities from persecution. If this does not happen immediately, our Congress must suspend all financial assistance to Egypt.

Contact your representatives and senators to insist that they act immediately to end the holocaust or suspend U.S. aid, period.

Do you want to continue to be responsible for this persecution in your name? Do you want this holocaust to continue? There is no middle ground. We work to stop the persecution, or we continue to support the rape of women and girls, the brutal violence against minority religious citizens. We are responsible for ending or continuing this holocaust.

God bless and guide us all.

Peter Alexander

Etna

http://bangordailynews.com/2013/09/23/opinion/tuesday-september-24-2013-physics-parking-and-persecution/ printed on September 2, 2014