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Nov. 15 Letters to the Editor


Rally against racism

The MDI community was shocked and saddened by recent racial incidents — the hanging of effigies. We hastily arranged a rally of solidarity against racism and will hold another this Sunday, Nov. 16, with outreach to schools hoping to turn this sad moment into a teaching opportunity.

We see our inclusive community on MDI as the fulfillment of Dr. King’s dream, that white and black boys and girls play together as sisters and brothers. We cherish our diversity of races, religions and nationalities, and the harmony and peace among those of diverse origins.

We feel strongly that there is no place in our community for racism or its vile expression in hateful incidents like the hanging of those effigies.

We seek to not respond with hate and aggression. Our position — as we learned it from Dr. King — is that we do not turn our backs on injustice; we stand up to intolerance and exhibit solidarity in the face of racism and oppression, while holding to our principles of nonviolence.

We stood together Sunday — and will again next Sunday — to express our opposition to the criminal acts, our outrage that our community and our children were exposed to this despicable form of racism, to seek apprehension of the culprits, to give voice to our hope that this never happens again, and perhaps most importantly to act in solidarity to affirm our faith and our joy in our inclusive community.

Please join us Sunday at noon on the Village Green in Bar Harbor.

Dan Lourie

Bar Harbor

• • •

Optimism encouraging

I was pleased to read the Nov. 6 comments by Dana Connors, president of the Maine State Chamber of Commerce, in which he highlighted two businesses that have recently come to our state: Boston Financial and Patriarch Partners.

Boston Financial will operate at the former MBNA headquarters in Rockland and Patriarch Partners at the bankrupt Red Shield in Old Town. While there were issues with Red Shield, and might continue to be issues, we recognize that there is a need to put the laid-off workers back to work, and are hopeful that Patriarch Partners will choose to focus on the possibilities for clean alternative energy production.

What impressed me most about Mr. Connors’ Op-Ed was the tone more than the details. There was a distinct lack of complaining about high taxes, whining about a poor business climate and despair about the loss of jobs. Rather, Connors notes that Maine’s business climate “is getting stronger,” and cites that strength as a major factor in Boston Financial’s decision to expand into Maine. He lauds the creation of the Pine Tree Zone program, and notes that Maine is aggressively attempting to attract new business.

Nowhere in Connors’ Op-Ed can a reader detect even a hint of pessimism or criticism of our business climate. Rather, he lauds the Pine Tree Zone program, and states that it has put Maine on a level playing field with the rest of the country.

How refreshing to hear someone who is not only a businessman, but also the representative of businesses throughout the state, express optimism and hope about our business climate.

Lynne Williams

state chair, Maine Green Independent Party

Bar Harbor

• • •

Spirit alive and well

A few days ago I watched the Machias Memorial High School soccer team win the Eastern Maine Class D Championship. I witnessed leadership, sportsmanship, talent and determination from that team and Coach Sinford, as well as from the spectators who had the field surrounded by their cars at 9 a.m.

On Monday, I watched some of those same team members, as well as the entire student bodies of the Rose M. Gaffney Elementary School and Machias Memorial High School, honor the veterans of our area, many of whom attended and graduated from the same school. Once again I saw leadership from our Principals Mr. Reynolds and Mr. Look, and talent from our band and chorus that brought the veterans and others at the ceremony to their feet on several occasions. I witnessed respect from our students for the veterans, whom they had obviously worked hard to honor with their music and poetry.

These events reminded me once again why Superintendent Porter and the Machias School Committee, of which I am a member, have worked so long and so hard to save our schools. I wish that some of our elected and appointed officials had heard about it. It’s called hometown pride and keeping our schools the heart of our small community.

Betty E. Beal


• • •

Veterans Day thoughts

Patriotism lived on Veterans Day. I saw it in the eyes of our great servicemen and women who lined the streets of Bangor and Brewer and walked or rode in the parade. Tears of thanks and sadness abounded.

Two years ago I was critical of the lack of coverage of the area Veterans Day events by the BDN. Boy, did you make up for that this year!

The day started with a well-run and well-sponsored veterans pancake breakfast at the Brewer Auditorium paid for by the Galen Cole Foundation and run by and paid for by the Bangor Rotary Breakfast Club.

The parade that followed was a huge success and our newest veterans, the Global War on Terror Veterans, were invited and joined the parade. I met veterans of other wars who had never walked in the Bangor-Brewer parades. Veterans of all services walked for their beloved brothers and families and for those who could not be present.

Those extending their day at the Cole Museum heard area school girls and boys read their winning, original and heartwarming stories they had written after interviewing Cole Museum veterans. The Bangor City Orchestra followed with patriotic music that warmed all our hearts.

This marvelous day for the veterans ended with the unveiling of a new Korean War memorial at the Cole Museum by Gen. Libby, monument compliments of the Cole Foundation.

Few other towns and cities show such respect for their veterans. Thanks to businesses, organizations, regular concerned citizens and a special thanks to Galen Cole and his Foundation.

Charlie Knowlen


• • •

Food stamps for basics

In reference to a letter by Cynthia Wind and a follow-up letter by Derrick Underwood concerning the food stamp program not allowing feminine hygiene products, neither mentioned other things allowed and not allowed.

Not allowed are any paper products (toilet tissue, etc.), any medicines (cough syrup, etc.), and no health products (toothpaste, etc).

Allowed is candy, gum, soda pop, ice cream, cookies, cakes, etc.

Whoever sets up this program needs to make some major changes. This is supposed to be for folks to purchase good, healthy food, not sweet treats.

Judy Hammond


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