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Letters to the Editor March 19, 2011


Bad return on investment

What would you make of the thinking of someone who noticed the brakes of his car were failing, but rather than spend his money on repairing the brakes, he decided to save the money so he could repair his car after it crashed?

What would you make of the logic of someone who passed by a proven investment where he could multiply his money seven-fold to spend his money instead cleaning up a mess caused by his unwillingness in the past to put money into the proven investment?

Well, here we are taking $18 million now, more later, from the Fund For Healthy Maine, which can move many lives in a healthy direction while putting strong brakes on health care spending. Surely, hospitals would agree that the Fund For a Healthy Maine should be preserved for prevention and public health.

Call your legislators now. Tell them to vote no on LD 2067. Ask them instead to protect the Fund For a Healthy Maine and leverage this money seven times for the sake of better lives for all of us.

Thomas J. Gaffney

Chairman, Bucksport Bay Healthy Communities Coalition

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Respect teachers

Teacher Carolyn Russell, injured, was forced by Randall Hofland to leave her fifth-grade class.

She tried to hold the door shut, she waited to let children from the hall in her room, she offered herself as hostage, and she dislocated her hip in defense of her class.

This is the person the state of Maine gives little pay to, cuts retirement, breaks promises to and just drags through the mud.

What’s up with that?

The teaching profession should be held in high esteem. There always will be lazy, poor teachers. That’s what principals and school boards should address, and parents as well.

The actions of Ms. Russell and other faculty should give everyone a new respect for our educators.

Mary E. McGlinn


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Eddington windfall

A wind ordinance has been created by the Eddington Planning Board that is not favorable to commercial wind development in Eddington. A no vote on the ordinance at the town meeting on March 22 would send the planning board back to the drawing board to write a new ordinance.

A small wind farm with six to eight turbines atop Black Cap Mountain could bring Eddington economic stability for the next 20 years.

The lease payments made to the landowner, Katahdin Scout Reservation-Boy Scouts of America, would be returned to the communities of Penobscot, Hancock, Washington and Aroostook counties through scouting.

Peter Lyford



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Us and them

When Larry Lockman talks about “distortions and disinformation” he’s clearly on his home turf (“Maine can head off mob action of union supporters,” BDN OpEd, March 10). How else could he describe a 38 percent plurality vote for LePage as a “mandate”? He also describes himself as an expert on education because he has seen a movie. Wow. If he watches “Toy Story” he may consider himself an astronaut.

He does truthfully expose the dark side of Republican politics when he nakedly refers to our public servants as “them.” The policemen who risk their lives to protect and serve us, firemen who answer the call day or night and place themselves in danger for others, and school teachers who, despite the vituperative and frankly ignorant attacks by Mr. Lockman, are far more caring about the growth and welfare of all Mainers than the special interests represented by the powers that be in Republican circles.

He thinks the working people of Maine, our friends, family and neighbors, are “outsiders” unworthy of the right to public protest. I don’t recall his disgust at the tea party protests, but then, they were supported by right wing groups from outside Maine, and in some cases, outside America.

I could call him a Koch Brothers stooge (“us”), because I once saw a Three Stooges movie. But I’m not like Mr. Lockman. I don’t consider other Mainers “them.”

James Kocot


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Headlight bullies

The current frenzy promoting motorists to keep their white headlights on in broad daylight is total nonsense and not well thought out. Headlights were originally developed to make it possible to drive after dark, and that’s all they should be used for.

Through the years, the auto industry has made headlights far more powerful than is necessary, making them more blinding, intrusive and distracting. Low beam has become blinding high beam, and high beam has become a super blinding, ultra-high beam.

Broad daylight use of today’s blinding white headlights to control people amounts to bullying with weaponry. Some of the biggest offenders own modern pickup trucks with dual sets of high-mounted lights. They enjoy riding rear bumpers so they can fill the car they are following with dazzling light, to distract and confuse people. This behavior is arrogant and rude.

What we really need is a law making it illegal to use white headlights during daylight hours. Other, low amperage white, yellow or green lighting would be more appropriate, if it was thought to be needed.

How does throwing blinding light in someone’s face promote or improve driving safely?

Ray Perkins


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Frankfort bullied

A few years ago, the citizens of SAD 56 were forced under threat of fines imposed by the state to belong to an RSU. The residents of Frankfort voted against it, but that didn’t matter because the total votes of Searsport and Stockton Springs outweighed those of Frankfort.  Frankfort citizens could see the writing on the wall. Even though RSUs were set up to share and reduce administrative costs, eventually, schools might close. Sadly, that has come true.

The board of RSU 20 has made a financial decision to close the Frankfort Elementary School. This is done not only in spite of but because there is no debt attached to the school.  Other buildings with fewer students have debt and are therefore kept open. I find this strange when most financial experts encourage you to eliminate debt first when trying to balance a budget.

Sadly, I have heard very little about the academics provided by the school. The NECAP results for this school are some of the highest in the region. I attribute this not only to the individual instruction by teachers in a small school setting but the involvement of parents and local citizens. The cooperative effort by all involved provides an environment that promotes learning and help to develop children socially.

The importance of elementary education is underscored in plans to close local elementary schools. Bigger is not always better and increased time on buses has not been shown to be healthy for young children.

Sharon Fields


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