LETTERS

Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2012: Teachers, libraries and the right to choose

Posted Feb. 21, 2012, at 3:39 p.m.

Flag and Service

At the risk of sounding patriotic, may I be allowed to comment on the lowering of the flag in New Jersey for a celebrity with the following:

Watching Gen. MacArthur during the raising of the flag over the then-liberated Philippines as he and everybody else snapped to attention and saluted made me proud that another victory to free the world was had. Never forget our men and women who served and died serving under our flag.

To this old veteran, lowering the flag was to honor all our men and women who died serving our country, military and political. Yes, I know we don’t like most politicians, but they have and are serving our country.

Death is something we all regret and respect, but to put celebrities who never served on the same level as those who did is wrong.

Frank D. Slason

Somerville

Stop anti-teacher movement

It is time to dispel the inaccurate information that is being printed as fact in our newspapers.

This letter is directed at those elected legislators and power brokers who believe that taxpayer money is being used to influence the political process. Comments about union dues being paid with tax dollars couldn’t be further from the truth.

Once a worker is paid his or her wages, it is his or hers; workers earned it to do with as they wish. We pay union dues because we wish to. We would not come to your home and tell you how to spend your paycheck, which by the way, in the case of legislators, is also paid for with public funds.

Furthermore, we don’t want to know what you have deducted from your personal paycheck; we feel that is your business.

The following is a quote from an active teacher: “Instead of trying to use us as shark bait, how about finding out the truth, and take a look at the thousands of dedicated teachers who are putting in 11- and 12-hour days and part of our weekends, taking time from our own families, in order to give all the children the best education that we can!”

The anti-teacher movement that is being promoted in Maine has to stop. If it is allowed to continue the best and brightest young people will surely find a more rewarding and fulfilling career than teaching, and, incidentally, higher salaries plus benefits.

Henry Carbone

MEA-R legislative chairman

Library history

The Journal of Library History says King Ashurbanipal (ruled 669-627 BC) of Assyria’s library at Nineveh on the Tigris opposite what is now Mosul, Iraq is considered the earliest known library.

Plutarch (46-120 AD) said Julius Caesar accidentally burned the famous Library of Alexandria, Egypt while purposely burning his own ships in 48 BC.

Constantine’s (46-120 AD) mom St. Helena built a chapel at the possible site of the strange bush from Exodus 3:2 in Sinai, Egypt. It is now called St. Catherine’s Monastery after the beautiful scholar from Alexandria the Golden Legend says was tortured and beheaded by Maxentius (250 -312 AD) after marrying Jesus in the desert. Emelibrary.org says St. Catherine’s Library is the oldest continuously operating library in the world.

Loc.gov says the Library of Congress in Washington, DC. is the largest library in the world after having been burned by the British in 1814 then having bought 6,487 of Thomas Jefferson’s books in 1815.

Literacy Volunteers of Augusta say the first public library building in Maine, built in 1880 in Hallowell is often mistaken as a church.

The Abel J. Morneault Library may not be the biggest, oldest or richest but it does have the DVD “Jimmy Franck’s Van Buren Memories,” bringing alive Van Buren’s past with haunting photos, interesting research and a World War II Pacific Theater Veteran’s endangered species memories.

You’ll forget your potato chips!

Keith C. Taft

Van Buren

Searsport deserves better

My husband and I are residents and small-business owners in Searsport. We have been here for ten years and love it. This is a town that has a lot to offer.

We have two great parks, a world class museum, large and small eateries and our own grocery store. I wish we still had our own drug store. Two of the most historic properties in town have just re-opened as B&Bs, each with their own restaurant. The tourism dollars that come into town support all of our many small businesses. That money also bolsters our bigger business neighbors.

Tourism is Maine’s top economic engine and the midcoast, including Searsport, is part of that. Much of the growth in the last decade in tourism in the midcoast has been accomplished through the hard work and dedication of many local people. We keep our properties in good shape, pay our taxes on time and work on many boards and committees to keep Searsport a clean, pleasant place to live and work.

The negative impact of DCP’s proposal to place a 22.7 million gallon propane tank in a huge facility that also includes several smaller tanks, walls-berms and other buildings so very close to Route 1 constitutes a serious risk to the businesses that presently exist in Searsport and the revenue they bring. We need a closer look at the real impact this proposed project will have on us. That is why approving the moratorium is so important. We owe our town nothing less.

McCormack Economy

Searsport

Women and choice

Women were given the right to vote in 1920. Women have still not been given the right to make choices. Bishops, presidential candidates and members of Congress, all men, do not trust women to be responsible enough or intelligent enough to decide what is best for our own health care needs.

My own health insurance plan allows me to receive services from an acupuncturist, something I would not choose to do. I appreciate, however, the fact that someone else on the same plan might make that choice. Just because an option such as contraception or acupuncture exists in an insurance plan does not force anyone to choose it.

Thank you, President Obama and Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Sebelius, for acknowledging that women are capable of making choices about our health care. If only we had been given the right to choose at the same time as the right to vote…

Kathy W. Walker

Hampden

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