Enough is enough. It’s about time we gave this bridge a break. When people want to end their life, they come to the Penobscot Narrows Bridge. It’s about time they put up some safety rails and fences to stop people from jumping off this bridge. They put up those fences in Augusta, why not here on this bridge?
Let’s stop this by installing some high fences so that it will be impossible for anyone to climb over. It will be a lot better to see those fences than to see the Coast Guard pulling a body out from under this nice bridge.
Time to go
While the University of Maine men’s basketball team admittedly has a history of being not very good, this season has brought about new lows. With only three wins in America East this season, Maine has dropped to 337 out of 351 Division I programs in a well-respected college basketball power ranking list at www.kenpom.com. It’s time for there to be accountability for their overall lack of competitiveness, and that accountability starts at the top. On behalf of Fill The Steins Nation, it’s time for University of Maine Coach Ted Woodward to resign.
Woodward is now in his tenth season as coach. In that time, the team’s overall record is 116-174 (40 percent winning percentage) and 65-95 (40.62 percent) in America East. Maine has had one winning season (2009-10) during Woodward’s tenure and has seen the win total decline in each of the last four seasons.The level of patience shown for Woodward by the athletic department is admirable. However alumni, supporters and fans eventually deserve to see sustained competitiveness.
Maine will never be a basketball school; hockey will always come first. That doesn’t mean we should accept a men’s basketball team that is uncompetitive more often than not. Both John Giannini and Rudy Keeling took Maine to the conference tournament final as Maine’s head coach. There’s no reason to think the right coach can’t do that again, particularly in the traditionally weak America East. After a decade of mediocrity-at-best, Woodward has proven to not be that coach.
Where is substance
Free tuition for the sophomore year at University of Maine System campuses: such an appealing idea. But how would this be paid for? And just how many students do not get through the second year of university studies not because of financial constraint but because they flunk out, having been granted a high school diploma and having been admitted to their state university without having mastered eighth-grade level study skills, arithmetic skills and English composition skills? Where is the substance in this proposal?
Must both campaigns for governor consist of little more than tossing bones to the respective party bases? Is there no candidate, no party apparatus than can present voters with a proposal for governance consisting of credible data collection, critical and collaborative analysis, identification of high priority problems and, only then, proposals for solutions? Would we voters just switch the channel past such a mundane pitch? Have elections after all become just a spectator sport? Where is the substance in these campaigns?
Do the right thing
As a staff representative for the United Steelworkers International Union, I represent many of the laid-off employees at Great Northern Paper’s plant at East Millinocket. Our union is doing all it can to help the workers while, at the same time, supporting the company’s efforts to restructure. This includes urging our Legislature to pass a simple bill, LD 1792, which would have a significant, positive impact for GNP and its employees.
LD 1792 would allow GNP to sell power a few times each year when electricity is in high demand and when production machinery is down for maintenance. It’s called “load shedding.” The law forbidding load shedding at GNP made sense in 2002 when the mill and the hydropower dams on the Penobscot were owned by the same company. Ownership has changed since then, and it makes sense to allow GNP to shed power like other Maine mills.
Make no mistake about it, this is a jobs bill. It gives GNP a chance to restart and remain viable for years to come. Updating this law levels the playing field for GNP in a very competitive industry, and it won’t cost taxpayers or ratepayers a thing.
On behalf of the union and its hundreds of members who are anxious to get back on the job at GNP, I urge lawmakers to support LD 1792. We should once again stand together as a state and do the right thing for the Katahdin region.