LETTERS

Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2013: Responses to Susan Dench, school district negativity and wind power facts

Posted Nov. 05, 2013, at 12:51 p.m.

Daughter thanks

After a bout with pneumonia, our mother was brought to Stillwater Health Care Center in Bangor. Due to several ongoing, long-term health problems, she was extremely weakened by the pneumonia and needed several weeks of rehabilitation. We, her daughters, want to publicly acknowledge what exceptional care she received from the many people who are employed at this health care facility. Everyone from the physical and occupational therapy staff, nurses, CNAs, food service and housekeeping had a hand in making her stay there pleasant and successful.

Our family got to know her caregivers as people and can certainly attest to the fact that they have the patient’s welfare as the primary focus at all times. When she first arrived, they were extremely patient with us as they answered our many questions and also listened to what we had to say about our mom’s current situation, medications and overall future health. Thank you from three grateful daughters.

Darla King

Hampden

A parent’s perspective

The negativity concerning our local school unit continues to bother me. In my opinion, the most alarming comments are simply not factual and in some cases downright mean and disrespectful. The notion that further consolidation means choosing red over purple or Warriors over Cougars is simply ridiculous. The attitude of “us versus them” is exactly what most people would agree is wrong in Washington, D.C., but for some reason it is OK and will work here?

Someone once told me that change is the only constant in life and that attitude is everything. Although at that time I didn’t understand the value of the message, I believe that every day since then has proven it true.

I simply do not agree with the accusations that consolidation has not saved money or that further RSU 50 consolidation is not a viable option worth consideration. I also believe that the school board has done the best job it could with what information it had at the time decisions needed to be made. The role of a Monday morning quarterback is easy, second guessing these decisions. Accusing the board or any staff member of not having the students’ best interest in mind is simply wrong in my opinion.

Throughout our communities, it is a constant challenge to fill these types of voluntary positions, and, sadly, this topic is one example of why. It is frustrating that those who continually feel the need to find fault are not always willing to be part of the remedy. If we hold ourselves to the same standards and expectations that we accuse our educators of not upholding, then I believe the focus will change.

Richard Schmidt

Patten

Wind attack

Marc Brown’s Oct. 29 OpEd relies heavily on debunked fossil fuel industry propaganda for his attacks on wind.

Brown cites a small section of a 2009 report by the New England grid operator, without revealing that the report concluded deploying large amounts of wind energy would significantly reduce electricity prices. Brown compounds that error by reporting the report’s large range of potential transmission costs, while in reality the minor grid upgrades currently being implemented fall at the very low end of that range.

The fossil fuel-funded report that Brown cites has been debunked for not understanding that wind energy is reliably integrated with the same tools grid operators use to accommodate fluctuations in electricity demand and abrupt failures at conventional power plants. In fact, changes in wind output occur gradually and predictably, making them far less expensive to accommodate than the instantaneous failures of conventional power plants.

Michael Goggin

Senior Electric Industry Analyst

American Wind Energy Association

Washington, D.C.

Kind and respectful

I’m sure most women a century ago could hardly dream of founding and leading their own organizations, as Susan Dench — who wrote an Oct. 30 column entitled ” How feminism undermined itself, gave way to the hook-up culture” — does in 2013. Countless women fought to engage in the political process as Dench’s organization seeks to help women do today. Her reality is in no small part a result of the feminist movement.

So although American culture is far from perfect, I won’t shed a tear over hook-up culture. I’m able to vote, serve on a jury, work in a job of my choosing, earn the same pay as a man for equal work, and have children if and when I deem myself capable of doing so. I’m not sorry if these rights come at the expense of some confusion for Dench’s friend on his date night. I’m more interested in understanding and addressing issues like the alarming number of domestic violence homicides in Maine. Men are more than capable of treating women (and each other) with respect. It’s our collective failure as a society — not women’s fault alone — if men don’t.

There is another option besides excusing and enabling poor behavior by blaming it on men’s pesky “base instincts.” We can proactively model for and instill in children and adults alike that being strong is being kind and respectful.

Carrie Hanlon

Portland

Dench kudos

I am a longtime subscriber to the BDN and want to pass along my appreciation for including Susan Dench as a regular contributor to your paper. I appreciate her well-reasoned and thoughtful comments and insights on issues of the day. Progressive opinions are well-represented in your editorial section. Thank you for supporting diversity by including Dench and her conservative perspective. Her views resonate with me and, I suspect, a good portion of your readership.

Bruce Stevens

Milford

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