During the month of December, musicians across America are gathering to commemorate the lives of those who were slain a year ago at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. Here in our state, adult and youth performers will come together to present “Maine Music for Newtown” on Monday, Dec. 16, at 7 p.m. in the University of Maine’s Hauck Auditorium.
In keeping with Newtown’s own spirit of hope and healing, the concert will not be a mournful one. Instead, artists will offer a mix of vocal and instrumental jazz, pop, classical, bluegrass and other musical genres, acknowledging the tragedy but also celebrating the transformation that must emerge from it.
Admission to the concert is free, but all are encouraged to honor the Newtown victims by making a contribution to the lives of children currently struggling in our region and around the world. Hats, gloves and other necessities will be collected at the concert for delivery to Shaw House, whose programs serve our area’s homeless and at-risk youth, ages 10-23. Those interested in supporting children worldwide whose lives have been disrupted by natural disaster, poverty and disease are invited to make monetary contributions to the U.S. Fund for UNICEF.
Nelson Mandela once said, “May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.” As we remember those who died at Newtown, let us choose to share the hope and healing that music can bring.
Orono Schools Coalition for the Arts
America’s sporting community has invested millions of dollars over the years to restore wildlife
refuges and nature and hunting preserves. In 2011 alone, more than 12 million hunters spent more than $16 billion on big game hunting. Hunters and anglers have gladly paid special taxes on gear and licenses to support restoration, seeing it as an investment in our shared outdoor heritage.
But as climate change continues to alter and destroy many big game habitats across the country, those investments are being put at risk. A new report from the National Wildlife Federation, “Nowhere to Run: Big Game Wildlife in a Warming World,” concludes that warming temperatures are threatening key big game species like moose and whitetail deer.
Right now, coal and oil fired power plants in the United States are allowed to dump unlimited
amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. As a result power plants are responsible for 40 percent of the United States carbon emissions annually. That’s just wrong. We already have common sense emission limits for mercury, soot and lead. Why not carbon dioxide, the main driver of climate change?
Our elected officials can help save America’s big game by supporting Environmental Protection
Agency limits on carbon pollution, providing wildlife agencies with the support they need to create
climate-smart conservation strategies and managing big game populations with a changing climate in mind. I urge Maine Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King to support the EPA’s carbon emission standards.
Witnessing the truth
In her Dec. 6 BDN letter, Carol Tiffin James claims to know the motive of those who pray for and counsel women going into Portland’s Planned Parenthood. She quotes the Bible, and without even knowing them, imputed their motive as wanting to be seen by others. She must have forgotten another Bible verse: “Judge not lest you be judged.”
Having been there and done that, I know nothing could be further from the truth. No one gets cursed at, spit upon and hauled into court to be seen. That’s also what happened to Jesus and his apostles. It’s called witnessing to the truth.
Who would know more about abortion and would be best at counseling against it, then those who suffered its physical, mental and spiritual horrors and after-effects? Thousands of women throughout our country do so with the Silent No More Awareness Campaign.
In front of abortion chambers, Catholic bishops, priests and laity pray the “Hail Mary” whose words include “pray for us sinners” — which means all of us.
Just as the crucifixes display the tortured killing of Jesus, so the photo posters of aborted babies witness to their painful death.
In 1991 there were over 2,176 surgical abortion clinics in America. Today there are 615. Many have closed for good. You can watch the number click down at AbortionDocs.org
Ron J. Stauble Sr.
Think tar sands
Gov. Paul LePage recently stepped into the realm of the criminally negligent when he proclaimed that the opening of the Northwest Passage to shipping, due to polar ice cap melting and climate change, could be an economic boon for Maine. It would mean, he offered, that Maine could be at the front of the line when goods and oil are shipped to and from Europe and China. Think tar sands and fracked natural gas.
Esteemed by the ideologically blind and the uninformed, our governor mocks the existence of climate change but is quite willing to cynically “benefit” from it. Maine, along with the Arctic Circle, is “open for international business.”
I also see where the American Legislative Exchange Council/LePage administration — it is hard to tell the difference between the master and the puppet — supports a “tax free haven” for Down East to make deep-water Eastport friendlier to corporate interests. For ALEC/LePage, civic responsibilities are simply an annoyance and get in the way of profiteering.
Our tea party governor would have us believe that the cry of the Boston Tea Party — “no taxation without representation” — really means no taxation for the rich and no representation for the poor.
He is not just misguided, and he is not the common man telling it like it is. His are the words and deeds, cloaked in the language of deceit, created by the interests of money. That he and his ilk are not restrained by the rest of us speaks to the self destructive path that we are on.