I am running to represent the folks of Clifton, Eddington, Holden, Veazie and part of Brewer in the Maine House of Representatives. As my campaign has picked up momentum and I’ve met with and spoken with many people around the area, it has become clear that creating jobs and right-sizing government is a major priority of Mainers. With the right people in Augusta we can create jobs in Maine, we can lower taxes and we can ensure that young people don’t have to leave the state to find careers.
The communities that I am seeking to represent in Augusta are dear to me; this area is where I grew up, attended college, own my business and continue to live. We have a vibrant community, and we can make it thrive for generations to come.
I would appreciate your support in November so that I can get to Augusta to work for you. Let’s work together for Maine’s future.
Five members of the Maine Troop Greeters visited and toured Togus VA hospital on July 29. They visited about 30 residents in the Community Living Center to encourage them and give them shirts signed by the troops met by the Greeters in Bangor. Many received a Maine Troop Greeter challenge coin.
Veterans and their families must wonder what to expect when they are going to be placed in a VA facility with all the bad VA news across the country. They wonder what the veterans home will be like and how they will be treated.
Our Greeters were surprised to find the center very pleasant, well lighted, clean and home-like. Some of our Maine nursing homes should take notice.
The residents seemed comfortable, showing attitudes that could only come from being treated well. The management and staff were marvelous, indicating how much they really cared for their residents.
The residents of building 207 are very lucky veterans.
Of course the facility is old and can use our support for money for further upgrades.
If you require an appendectomy, do you naturally consult an auto mechanic? If you have a superb conservatory-trained strings instructor, for whom English is a second language, who misses three points on the Praxis, you don’t renew him?
Waldo Caballero, the conservatory-trained strings teacher in Orono High School, is an exemplary teacher and musician. Isn’t that what parents and students want in the schools? As a former colleague of Caballero’s, I have listened to him turn random efforts from students into amazing renditions of film themes, overtures, Gershwin, Irving Berlin and innumerable other scores.
Waldo’s depth and feeling for music, and what it brings to individuals and community, is unparalleled. To assume three points on the Praxis makes the musician and educator is to overlook the reason we implore our schools to teach music. Music grows children, expands our embrace of literature, backs our entertainment, serves as another language. An instructor such as Waldo is not “plug and play.” You don’t find teachers of his caliber in every school. His students respect him and value his instruction. Their music performance testifies to it.
I would respectfully request the RSU 26 superintendent and school committee to review the larger scope of music education and what one individual brings to their charge. Caballero is worth far more than three points.
I support independent Eliot Cutler for governor. Of the nearly 41 years that I have lived in Maine, nearly half were spent in the greater Bangor area. It is where my children received a great education that has prepared them for their subsequent careers and where so many of my friends still live. Most significantly, however, Bangor is where I learned the importance of community. I had never experienced a place where so many people worked so selflessly in so many different areas to make a true difference in their community. Bangor is an inspirational place to live. Cutler grew up in Bangor, where his parents had a huge impact on their hometown. Those Bangor roots define Cutler to this day.
Cutler is smart and pragmatic. He has experience in the processes of government and in operating large commercial ventures. Of the three gubernatorial candidates, he is the only one untainted by partisan differences and the only one with a concrete and detailed vision for how to improve things in Maine. Like so many from Bangor, he truly wants to give back. He clearly has the skills to do it.
There has been a lot of reporting lately regarding the recent influx of young farmers in Maine and their relationship to the rich history of other back-to-the-landers who have come before them. In some ways I was part of this, having moved to Maine escaping the rat race, working on organic farms, seeking land of my own.
It’s misleading to report on these things and to glorify these people without acknowledging the incredible financial barriers to having access to land. Some of these young people reported on have inherited significantly large sums of money, granting them the economic freedom to explore farming. It’s also important to mention the hundreds of others who desperately seek land but will never find it. They’ve discovered an interesting thing; in order to be a farmer, you have to be rich. Wanting it is not enough.
When we talk about the overall importance of our communities’ health, we must also have a conversation about the severe and persistent economic crisis young people have been asked to shoulder. While some young people enjoy the privilege of inheritance, the rest of us have been asked to somehow make sense out of an ever-changing global economy, income inequality and an emerging climate crisis, all while negotiating a very real and urgent call to live more creatively, intentionally and sustainably.
This economic piece, this relentless struggle to keep our heads above water in a sea of a devastatingly empty consumer-driven economy, needs to be spoken of.
Nicholas P. Cullen