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Wednesday, May 21, 2014: Waterfront Concerts noise, Benghazi clarity, education funding

Ugly noise

Most people would not want their homes and workplaces flooded with ugly noise all day, or even for 10 minutes, but they think it’s OK to do that to other people with Bangor Waterfront Concerts. Respect? That sort doesn’t know the meaning of the word.

Sue Arleigh

Old Town

Detrimental to security

In response to John Porter’s Benghazigate letter, I want to tell a far different tale about Benghazi.

First, there is the Central Intelligence Agency’s extreme, secretive involvement in this story.

General David Petraeus, who served as director of the CIA during the time of this tragedy on Sept. 11, 2012, was having an affair with his biographer, Paula Broadwell, and she, during a lecture given at the University of Denver on Oct. 6, 2012, revealed that the Benghazi annex was a “black site.” The CIA has been attempting to keep this secret because President Barack Obama had, on Jan. 1, 2009, issued an executive order, #13491, demanding that all CIA secret prisons, black sites, such as Benghazi be closed.

General Petraeus was the last of 12 people to review and alter the infamous “talking points” given to Susan Rice after the attack. His motive for censoring them was to keep secret that illegal black site, not an embassy, at Benghazi.

The Republicans have turned this tragedy into an absurd farce. They spent 19 months in 13 congressional hearings attempting to gain political advantage over the Democrats, bring down Hillary Clinton and win the White House. But they should assume some responsibility for this tragedy for cutting U.S. ambassador’s security funding by $128 million in fiscal year 2011 and $331 million in fiscal year 2012. Clinton had told the Republicans that cuts to her department would be “detrimental to America’s national security.”

Eliot J. Chandler



Sign season?

I was driving home yesterday on my short commute. Along a three-mile stretch in Hermon I counted 24 “Poliquin for Congress” signs. I know I am getting old, but I don’t think I need to be reminded he is running for Congress with every breath I take while driving.

I know he is desperate after losing his Senate bid two years ago, but this is a bit of overkill with the signs. Must the landscape be littered with these eyesores so early in the election? Give me a break.

Rick Woodbury


School funding, quality

Is it really a surprise that school districts with higher property tax bases have better-quality public schools? Unequal access to quality education is perpetuated with the funding formula used for schools. Property taxes can continue as the funding mechanism, but those funds should be pooled statewide. Then funds could be distributed based on school student counts. If school funding is a barrier to school excellence, this is a relatively easy fix. It’s time to re-think “the way we’ve always done it.”

Everyone benefits from quality education for children. They are the future business owners, workers, professionals, caregivers and politicians. Paying property taxes is an investment in the community. There are lots of ways schools could be funded differently statewide, but any other method would be seen as a tax increase.

Of course, money isn’t the only difference among schools, as there is huge variability in community and parental resources, teacher salaries and school leadership, which impact student outcomes. Ideally, every child comes to school with adequate sleep, food and clothing — as well as eagerness to learn. Many Mainers are working to achieve this vision. But the way schools are funded remains a factor that could be changed statewide in one legislative session and would help so many kids — and all Mainers, eventually.

Lisa Suarez



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