LETTERS

Thursday, Aug. 14, 2014: Waldo Caballero praise, debate importance, highway speeds

Posted Aug. 13, 2014, at 12:43 p.m.

Kudos, Caballero

Congratulations to Waldo Caballero, Orono orchestra teacher, for passing the Praxis exam. Kudos to Joanne Harriman, superintendent for RSU 26, for supporting and encouraging Caballero to accomplish this goal. It takes courage and tenacity to lead, and Harriman guided Caballero and the community through a contentious time.

The outcome is a win-win for everyone: The leadership of RSU 26 supports high standards for its students and teachers, and Caballero will continue to contribute to the district and the community. Thank you to the RSU 26 Board of Directors for supporting Harriman in her work to make RSU 26 the best district it can be.

Lisa Buck

Orono

Well-informed decision

In the 2010 election, there were 18 debates or forums that took place before Oct. 8, the date of the first scheduled debate in 2014. Is it really important to see and hear these candidates as we consider who will be our next governor?

Debates serve many purposes beyond conveying the positions of candidates. We have many sources of information on the positions of the candidates. But a debate provides many layers of information that we cannot get otherwise.

Debates enable us to observe the cognitive agility of the candidates. Can they assess a problem or prompt, formulate a convincing argument and articulate it in terms that are understood by a diverse audience? Are they critical thinkers who can weigh opposing points of view?

Debates also enable us to observe interpersonal skills of the candidates. Are the candidates respectful to others with whom they disagree? Does their demeanor inspire respect and trust? These skills are vitally important and significantly affect the potential effectiveness of our next governor.

Finally, the act of engaging in debates early and often communicates to the people of Maine that the candidates have confidence in their policies and viewpoints and are willing to go out of their way to offer Maine’s residents every opportunity to make a well-informed decision using multiple sources of information.

Barbara Moody

Glenburn

 

Maine culture

The bear referendum is not about bears. It is about Maine’s culture.

Maine’s culture lies in traditions, taught by past generations as to the proper way to live, in respect to one’s self, each other and the environment.

It is natural for people from away, with different cultures, to believe that their cultures are better and should replace the old ways of Maine people. When modern colonizers come with money, they can buy the land, dictate government policies and impose their new culture. Just as Europeans replaced 20,000 years of native culture here, so too do these new colonizers remake Maine culture.

Maine already suffers from an eroded culture. When a people whose traditions tell them to make a living as farmers, fishermen, loggers, hunters, trappers, or to make valuable things such as shoes or ships, are unable to live that life, they lose their direction, hope and self-worth. Anger, hopelessness, alcoholism, drug use and family abuse are all part of this downward spiral of a culture.

For those who pursue the bears of Maine, tradition is again threatened. Maine’s cultural house wobbles uncontrollably. The foundation cannot hold. Hound hunting and trapping bears are but a small slice of Maine culture. This part of the foundation threatens collapse, for individuals, communities and a state that participates in this tradition, should that piece of culture be lost.

There is no biological bear management reason to lose this piece of Maine culture. It is simply about colonizers imposing their way of life upon us.

Douglas Lawrence

Wilton

 

Warp speed

Call me old-fashioned or just a stick-in-the-mud, but I’m opposed to the recent speed limit

raising on I-95. I can’t believe that faster is safer. How can it be?

I think this was a senseless change. The truth is that all drivers are pressured by

their fellow drivers to go over 70 mph. The pressure is real. If you’ve driven on I-95 recently, you

know. I resent being put in a position where I don’t feel safe driving from Bangor to Portland and back. I think there are indeed others like me, but we’re afraid to speak up because it is “uncool” to drive the actual speed limit — or even lower.

I don’t have excellent control of my car over 70 mph. Nor would I want to meet a moose at

that speed. My little car begins to shake like the Enterprise at warp when I approach 75 mph, and it’s an uncomfortable feeling. But like water flowing through a pipe, drivers are pressured, and it’s practically a law of physics that you need to go the same speed as the rest of the traffic. Now they’re all going between 75 or 80 mph (unless a cop is sighted).

Bring the speed limits back down, for our new teen drivers, and for all of us who don’t feel

comfortable going over 70 mph. Raising the limit didn’t stop speeding at all. Everyone’s acting like 80 mph is the most natural thing in the world, and it isn’t safe.

Sally C. Jones

Bangor

Best choice

I recently read a BDN article about Planned Parenthood’s endorsement of Democratic Rep. Mike Michaud for governor.

As someone who supports a woman’s right to safe and legal abortion, I’m glad to see that Planned Parenthood is getting involved in this election, and I’ll be supporting Michaud. He promises to veto any attempt to weaken Maine’s Reproductive Privacy Act, which reinforces the Supreme Court Roe v. Wade decision. He also supports access to health care services for women, including birth control, maternity and newborn care, cancer screenings and breast exams. These are critical services, especially for low-income women in Maine.

On the flip side, Gov. Paul LePage wants to take those services away. He also has spoken at anti-abortion rallies. It’s sad that our governor feels that politicians have the right to make personal medical decisions for Maine women.

I have trusted Planned Parenthood for quite some time, and I have every reason to believe that they made the best choice when they endorsed Michaud.

Paige Barker

Waterville

 

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