Deeper learning in Maine schools can transform our classrooms and our economy

By Steven M. Pound on Dec. 16, 2014, at 12:52 p.m.
The first step for improving Maine’s economy is to become a lot more creative and demanding in the education we are providing our Maine students. That’s the key message I took from a recent report, “Ensuring Maine’s Global Competitiveness,” from the national business leader group, ReadyNation. The report provides fascinating …
Rep. Lawrence Lockman, R-Amherst.

Voters rejected Cromnibus politics, but it’s business as usual in Washington

By Lawrence E. Lockman on Dec. 16, 2014, at 12:43 p.m.
I am writing to express my deep disappointment with the way this lame-duck Congress is conducting the people’s business and the role our senators, Susan Collins and Angus King, have played in this sorry soap opera. Now more than ever, Maine needs legislators in Washington who will not be a …

Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014: Advocacy in uniform, torture and toxic chemicals

on Dec. 16, 2014, at 12:20 p.m.
King wrong on torture I just read Sen. Angus King’s outrageous comment in the Bangor Daily News where he compared the CIA “torture” methods to those used by the Japanese in World War II. If he is saying the Japanese used waterboarding, then he should have said so. But, if …
Freshman members of the incoming U.S. 114th Congress Mia Love (R-UT) (center L) and Barbara Comstock (R-VA) (center R) huddle together in freezing temperatures after participating in a class photo on the steps of the U.S. Capitol in Washington November 18, 2014.

Feminism sees the right

By Kathleen Parker, The Washington Post on Dec. 16, 2014, at 7:32 a.m.
It is probably too soon to declare a feminist reformation, but a few signs here and there give one hope. Hold it, sirs, don’t stop reading yet. I realize that seeing the F-word in the first paragraph is like discovering that your bride is wearing pantyhose, but bear with me. …

Holiday assistance

on Dec. 15, 2014, at 4:25 p.m.
Very little time left to give to area Christmas assistance programs. Little time for big needs!

Truck rules should be based on science, not special interest favors to industry

By Daphne Izer on Dec. 15, 2014, at 12:32 p.m.
In a Dec. 11 BDN OpEd, Brian Parke, president and CEO of the Maine Motor Transport Association, challenged safety advocates who argued against the anti-safety language Republican Sen. Susan Collins added to the omnibus spending bill to “show our work.” I will happily show my work to Parke. There is …

Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014: Minimum wage, bears, torture and a conflict of interest

on Dec. 15, 2014, at 12:18 p.m.
Raise minimum wage On Dec. 9, the BDN promoted a survey, “Maine has ideas to help it prosper,” which listed 20 items; increasing minimum wage was not one. With its factual history of job growth, including 2014 when 13 states and many cities increased their minimum wage, it belongs on …

A time of year defined by giving — which comes back tenfold

By Ron Russell on Dec. 15, 2014, at 11:44 a.m.
One of my favorite things about the holiday season is that the idea of giving is all around us. Yes, the world still churns along with its overwhelming troubles and tribulations, but among it all, giving to each other causes us real pause. Riding to work I hear a series …
The Verso Paper mill in Bucksport on Dec. 4.

There’s no question about it. Verso owes its workers severance pay sooner, not later

By The BDN Editorial Board on Dec. 15, 2014, at 10:31 a.m.
When Republican Gov. Paul LePage and Democratic Attorney General Janet Mills are on the same side of a high-profile issue, the issue must be especially clear-cut. As it turns out, when it comes to the timing of severance payments for laid-off workers from Verso Paper Corp.’s closing Bucksport mill, it …
Students board a bus on the first day of school in Bates County, Missouri, on Aug. 14, 2013.

It’s time to stop bullying — before another child dies

By Susan Dickson-Smith on Dec. 15, 2014, at 10:08 a.m.
Ronin Shimizu was 12 years old. He committed suicide earlier this month. He was the victim of relentless bullying at school. He was the only boy on the cheerleading squad at his school in Folsom, California. Classmates taunted him and called him gay. His parents complained to school officials about …
Delegates take notes during a plenary session of the U.N. Climate Change Conference COP 20 in Lima December 13, 2014. U.N. talks on slowing climate change were threatened with collapse on Saturday after China clashed with the United States and led emerging nations to reject a compromise outline of an agreement.

Climate change: The impossible deal

By Gwynne Dyer on Dec. 15, 2014, at 8:46 a.m.
For “shall,” substitute “may.” For example, change “countries signing this climate change treaty SHALL state how much they are going to cut their greenhouse emissions” to “countries signing this climate change treaty may state how much they are going to cut their emissions if they feel like it, but if …

Holiday score

on Dec. 14, 2014, at 11:03 a.m.
Happy spending!

My country tortures. Now what?

By Robert Klose on Dec. 14, 2014, at 10:35 a.m.
There are those who would turn the issue of torture into a debate about its efficacy. This is like believing one can debate the pluses and minuses of life at Auschwitz. The very thought is appalling. But here we are, and the debate in question centers not around whether torture …
Shawn Yardley

To confront Maine’s poverty, let’s start with what we can agree on about welfare

By Shawn Yardley on Dec. 14, 2014, at 10:26 a.m.
Terms such as “welfare,” “entitlement,” “welfare fraud,” “deserving poor,” and “able-bodied” have filled headlines, political messaging and social media for many years but never as prominently as they do today. Our safety net has been blamed for budget deficits, economic malaise, national security issues, poor educational outcomes and high crime …
Senate Intelligence Committee chair Sen. Dianne Feinstein (right), D-California, talks to reporters after coming out of the Senate in Washington in this December 2014 file photo.

A travesty of a report

By Charles Krauthamnner, Washington Post on Dec. 14, 2014, at 9:44 a.m.
The report by Democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee regarding CIA interrogation essentially accuses the agency under George W. Bush of war criminality. Committee Chair Dianne Feinstein appears to offer some extenuation when she reminds us in the report’s preamble of the shock and “pervasive fear” felt after 9/11. It’s …

Is self-sacrifice instinct or moral choice?

on Dec. 14, 2014, at 1:42 a.m.
I’ve always been amazed by accounts of selfless sacrifice – of those who give their lives so that others might carry on. Inherent in this is a question that perplexes and fascinates: how much are these acts rooted in instinct versus a predetermined outcome that people carry inside them based …

Monday, Dec. 15, 2014: Concrete mixer truck, CIA torture, energy solutions

on Dec. 13, 2014, at 11:55 a.m.
It’s concrete, not cement I cringe when one of those do-it-yourself shows use the wrong terminology, but I expect more from a respected newspaper. On the front page of the Dec. 12 Bangor Daily News was a picture of a ferry with an overturned vehicle on it. The caption under …
Final preparations are underway at Bath Iron Works to launch the future USS Zumwalt into the Kennebec River.

To prosper, Maine must attract workers, young people

By The BDN Editorial Board on Dec. 13, 2014, at 11:20 a.m.
Maine prides itself on its rugged individualism. The state, however, is much more dependent on payments from the federal government than most others, which could spell trouble as the state works to improve its economy. The crux of the problem, as numerous other economic reports and indicators have pointed to, …

Toy safety

on Dec. 13, 2014, at 8:09 a.m.
News Item: A new report from the World Against Toys Causing Harm, or W.A.T.C.H., reveals significant hazards abound. According to W.A.T.C.H.: “Some toys that are in compliance with current industry or regulatory standards have proven to be hazardous, proving the inadequacy of existing standards.” W.A.T.C.H., which recently revealed this season’s …

Prosecutor’s power: Ferguson, NYC, Obama

on Dec. 13, 2014, at 7 a.m.
Recent events have taught many of us a key fact about the criminal justice system that we may not have understood. The most important element of the system is not the police, the judge or the jury. It is the prosecutor. The prosecutor decides on sending cases to trial, the …
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