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Saturday, November 9, 2013: Bangor historical museum, Mike Michaud, Head Start

Letter confusion

We were confused by the letter to the editor by Sen. Doug Thomas, R-Ripley, in the Nov. 2 BDN: “ Beware of Ordinances.” In the generic sense, rights-based ordinances give local people more rights by elevating their rights above those of corporations. These are not zoning ordinances; they are local civil rights laws.

And rights-based ordinances can protect community members and the things in the community that they value, such as the local environment. Otherwise, corporations may irreparably damage and change the community and its environs. In addition, they are much less expensive to litigate than a regulatory ordinance because the bottom line is about community rights, not permit details.

Just to be clear, rights-based ordinances give local people the power they need to protect their communities from inappropriate development (industrial wind farms, cell towers, energy corridors) by corporations that are increasingly transnational corporations who do not live in the community and who send their profits out of state and abroad.

Don and Paula Moore


Historic society

We are sorry to hear about the temporary closing of the Bangor Museum & History Center but, more importantly, of the resignation of director Jennifer Pictou and curator Dana Lippett. We know how hard both have worked to make this museum a vital part of our community. Board vice president Melissa Gerety’s comment that the closing is a “non-story,” along with the resignation of two vital employees, is concerning.

Board leadership and support is vital in any organization. The community and school programs that Pictou and Lippett developed and ran will certainly be in jeopardy now. How much can be done with schools when the museum is closed for the greater part of the school year?

It appears the board of directors has to step up to the plate. The answer isn’t for people in the community to make more donations. They’ve received donations and grants for wonderful exhibits in the past but can’t keep valuable and experienced key staff members to run their programs. The curator alone had 15 years experience with the museum. We’ll be finding a more worthwhile group to send our donations to in the future.

We wish Pictou and Lippett the best of luck and thank them for their dedication and hard work at the historical society.

Adele and Ron St. Pierre


Good start for your head

I’m responding to Oct. 28 BDN editorial, “Maine’s toddlers: Does anyone care about the proposed cuts?” The editorial talks about the pros and cons of early childhood education, specifically the Head Start program. It’s no secret that money spent at the beginning of education is the best possible investment, and the state of Maine could be the model for the rest of the United States. There have been millions if not billions spent on studies, and the results are clear. It is time to reallocate some of those millions to the classroom.

If someone told you that if you spent one dollar now and very soon it would be worth four dollars, would you do it? Now, more than ever, because of the current economic conditions and electronic devices, the Head Start program and pre-kindergarten are more important than ever. One major reason to go to school earlier is to greatly enhance brain development. The brain is the fastest growing thing in the body for the first eight years of life. The brain is like plastic, waiting to be molded. The human brain is forming about 700 new connections per minute between its cells during the early years of life. It is really important to have the best brain formation possible early because there is so much learning left to do. The better the brain formation, the better the quality of life. Think of head start as a good start for your head.

Carl Bragg


Best of luck

I imagine growing up gay in northern Maine is incredible training ground for strength, character building and deep resilience. If you are not a gay man, please stop for a moment and take this in: Homo, pedophile, pervert.

Endurance of homophobia becomes an asset when one survives through both societal and internalized hatred to come out on a scale of this magnitude.

Regardless of how you vote, it is this endurance that all Maine people might try to understand as we comprehend U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud’s brave disclosure that heterosexual candidates never have to even think about.

Congratulations, Michaud, you have already won. Best of luck, and thank you for your inspiring courage. May it lift all Mainers up toward deep truth.

Sage Hayes



Enjoying Maine

Regarding the concession contract for Acadia National Park, my husband and I have been sailing to Acadia for the last 15 years. We tie up the boat and hike the trails. We enjoy taking the free buses on rainy days. It is so nice to go to the Jordon Pond House Restaurant, sit and enjoy a lovely lunch or dinner in that gorgeous, window-filled environment. Another beautiful benefit is talking to the delightful servers, many of them far from their home.

Don’t screw up a good thing.

Carol Latta


Blue news

Two days in a row? Seriously? With everything else going on in the world and even in this area, the BDN had to put Rep. Mike Michaud’s announcement that he was gay as the headline? What does it matter? It has nothing to do with his ability to do his job.

Is tomorrow’s headline going to be, “Mike Michaud announces his favorite color is blue”? That has just about as much to do with him as a gubernatorial candidate as the BDN’s headlines the last two days.

How about something that actually concerns the people of Maine? Like how he plans to reduce taxes or bring businesses to the state? The BDN should grow up; it’s 2013. I, for one, hope he has some good ideas on how to get this state on track, and I bet I am not the only one.

Judy Arbia-Colgan


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