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Nov. 17 Letters to the Editor


Come to Hollywood

On Nov. 4, the casino referendum was defeated. I think the reason being is that if another casino were to be erected in southern Maine, Hollywood Slots at Bangor would suffer due to the migration of patrons to the new facility, therefore, taking business back to southern Maine.

Southern Mainers, instead of going to Connecticut, why not come to Bangor?

We have many fine restaurants, gift shops, a cinema, countless malls, etc.

For years, northern and eastern Maine’s business life has been somewhat stagnant. Hollywood Slots has provided us with a considerable tax base with which to cultivate and stimulate economic growth and boost employment opportunities for the residents in this area. Hollywood Slots is a slot arcade, not a full-blown casino.

As for gambling addicts, if you’re an alcoholic, you’re not going to the local pub. The same goes for betting parlors.

For the segment of society that disapproves of gambling, that is your right and your choice. However, others who enjoy it responsibly should have the right to go and bet a few bucks and enjoy themselves.

As for the “bad element” that the naysayers speak of, it would matter whether a betting parlor were here or not. There is good and bad in all segments of society.

Casinos don’t cause bad elements in society — people do!

Brent Sutherland


• • •

Youth vote ‘beautiful’

I am an educator who has practiced his profession in all areas of public education and presently as a college professor. For 63 of my 68 years I have been getting up and going to school as a student and educator. I would doubt that anybody would believe that I don’t enjoy what I do. After all, I have been and am involved in the greatest profession there is namely, the education of our youth.

I have always had tremendous faith in students even though there have been times when I was disappointed, as I am sure also that I perhaps disappointed them. But, I must say that there has never been a time in all of those 63 years when I have been more proud of our youth. I refer to the tremendous outpouring of young people to the polls in the recent national election. I don’t think that anyone can doubt that they made a significant difference in this election and their steadfastness, excitement, and commitment contributed greatly to Barack Obama’s historic win on Nov. 4.

I am absolutely thrilled and proud that this significant section of the electorate in Maine and across the country has “risen up” and followed through to victory in electing a person who just happens to be an African-American, president of the United States of America. Elections in this country may never be the same again. For too long, many young people have been apathetic about politics but with this great historical accomplishment I am hopeful that the young will continue to be a force that finally realizes that they can make a difference in what happens in their community, state, nation, and the world. It was a beautiful thing to behold and I am so pleased and grateful that it happened in my lifetime.

William A. Prescott, Jr.


• • •

Delay balanced budget

Gov. Baldacci’s recent comments about cutting state spending in order to balance the budget in the midst of a recession are very troubling. Wasn’t it John Maynard Keynes who advised against such practices, stating that it was the role of government to run a deficit in order to stave off recession?

In a shrinking economy it doesn’t make sense to further reduce spending as a tool to strengthen that economy. Maintaining a balanced budget now will not heal the wound; it will only make the wound deeper. For example, the governor has saddled the University of Maine System with a $12.5 million budget cut. Given that UMS pumps eight dollars into Maine’s economy for every dollar of state appropriation, the $12.5 million in savings will cost Maine approximately $100 million.

Unfortunately, now is the time of sacrifice. Balancing the budget will have to wait.

Stephen Allan


• • •

Obama is one of us

Does Sarah Smiley (“Elections distressing to military families,” BDN, Nov. 10) really understand Obama’s election? It’s about people ready for change, electing someone they feel is going to accomplish this, will turn this country around and reclaim what is ours.

Obama won this election by a landslide, electoral college and popular vote. No single race elected him; it was all the people, united, who feel he can make a difference. Military and nonmilitary voted, and he was endorsed by one of the strong-est military leaders in our country for what he stood for and believed in, not because he was “one of them.”

Countries and people all over the world rejoiced in his election, feeling America has finally stood up and become strong and united again for the first time in years. Obama understands the lifestyles of many, the hopes and dreams, no matter what race or color, of those struggling to make ends meet, send children to school, put food on the table, and heat their homes.

We should all look at Obama and say, “Yes, he is one of us.”

Shame on Sarah Smiley if she is angry that a child has a “pep in his step,” beaming, assuming his thoughts because he is African-American. Mourn the loss of your leader if you must, don’t take away the excitement of millions.

Linda Ambrose


• • •

RSU-7 a ‘stab in dark’

Education Commissioner Susan Gendron didn’t get it when voters rejected the proposed plan for RSU-7. I believe it was because the plan was terrible, not lack of foresight to move forward in a more efficient way.

The commissioner should look at this failed state-approved plan and consider the agenda one would expect to see in a plan of this magnitude. The plan does little to answer questions anyone would need to know to make an informed decision. Who’s in charge? Where will the startup funding come from? Are qualified people identified to implement and coordinate learning programs, communications, purchasing equipment such as computers, bus and building maintenance, and so on? Is one school board going to represent each of the involved towns? Will it be one town, one vote, when it comes to maintaining properties and school locations?

To incorporate and form an RSU that covers a geographic area this large with 27 different towns, we need to know upfront that we all have a voice, and that the change will benefit our community.

The plan we voted on was a stab in the dark at improving the current program. People of northern Maine I meet are always committed to quality education that makes the most economic sense. But we must be heard and the plan will pass when it’s right.

David Robinson


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