Remember the Great War
As we approach Memorial Day, it is the first chance for many of us to fire up the barbecue and celebrate the end of a winter that seems to have been with us far too long. I’d like to invite everyone to take this opportunity to pause and consider one of America’s less remembered conflicts: World War I.
For many, the sacrifices the men and women made in the trenches of Europe and on the home front have faded from memory. While none of us have relatives still with us who served during World War I, we must not forget the service of those who fought for our freedom all those years ago.
I ask each and every person to spend a few moments in the coming days to learn something about this piece of forgotten history. Maybe your town has a statue or memorial that could be cleaned. Maybe you have a grandparent whose stories you could share with the local school. Or maybe you could plant an oak tree in your neighborhood to stand as a living monument to those who served.
While those who fought and died for America in World War I are no longer with us, they need not be forgotten. For more information about the Great War, how you can remember those who served or how you can donate to the World War I memorial, visit the World War I Centennial Commission’s website at worldwar1centennial.org.
MSAD 6 superintendent put students first
As a student who attends Bonny Eagle High School, I can attest to the great work Superintendent Frank Sherburne did for Maine School Administrative District 6. He put the students and their education first all the time. I saw this time and time again. I knew the superintendent for three years through serving on the school board and subcommittees as a student representative.
He started the weekend backpack program to feed children in need, brought Chinese language education to Buxton Center Elementary School and under his leadership graduation rates and grades have increased while the dropout and failure rate declined.
To address the claims of nepotism, while policy has been violated, the superintendent had received approval from MSAD 6 board chairwoman and vice chairperson. The superintendent is not responsible for his son’s actions. His son is a grown adult, and he must be responsible for himself.
The behavior of parents and community members who go to school board meetings and hurl egregious slurs and profane language at the superintendent and school board members is disturbing. Adults are supposed to be role models for the children. Show them how to voice their opinions professionally in an open democratic society. Adults also need to show children how to hold in their emotions when they feel so strongly about something. Be respectful, courteous and dignified in your expressions of your opinions.
Support ranked-choice voting
I am writing to support ranked-choice voting, which will appear on this November’s ballot. Under the current system, the winning candidate often is elected by less than half of the voters. In some states, it is required that if no candidate receives more than 50 percent of the vote, then a runoff election is required for the two candidates receiving the highest number of votes.
Using ranked-choice voting, the time and expense of a second election is avoided with the same outcome. This system gives the power of the vote to the majority and avoids wasted votes.
If no candidate receives a majority of the vote, then the candidate receiving the least number of votes is eliminated. With those voters first choice eliminated, their votes go to the candidate they ranked as their second choice. If this does not produce a candidate with a majority of the vote, then the process is repeated until one of the candidates has a majority.
Robert D. Witherill
O’Neill for state Senate
I am writing in support of Moira O’Neill’s candidacy to be the Democratic nominee for state senator in District 7 in Hancock County. If a voter is seeking a candidate who is sterling in his or her sincerity, loyalty and commitment in service to the people, a voter has it in O’Neill and is indeed fortunate.
O’Neill is all of the above, as well as intelligent and extremely well informed on health issues that this great state faces: drug problems, malnourishment and health risks associated with the elderly, to name just a few. O’Neill, who has a Ph.D. in nursing, spent years providing health care to the ill and taught nursing at the college level to the next generation, is uniquely qualified as a great addition to our Legislature.
Please vote for O’Neill in the June primary. Her input to the Legislature will prove invaluable and as a result all the residents of Maine will benefit.
Food for those in need
For years, I’ve left a bag of groceries for the U.S. Postal Service food drive. This year, I hung the bag on the side of the mailbox post because it wouldn’t fit inside. I ran a few errands and came back to find the bag was gone. Thinking the carrier had picked it up, I checked inside the mailbox and found no mail and no usual thank you notice. A few minutes later, the mail carrier came by and left my mail. I hope whoever took the food needed it more than the food pantry.
National monument will add vibrancy
I recently returned from a monthlong road trip along northern, southwestern and midwestern routes of the United States. I avoided interstate highways in favor of state routes and backroads. I traveled through, visited and camped in a number of state parks, national forests, monuments and parks.
What struck me was he vibrancy of the communities in proximity to the national monuments and parks. Without exception, they were thriving communities set amid some of the most stunning and beautiful American landscapes. The wilderness in northern Maine could be part of this national heritage, and the nearby communities that need an economic boost would benefit greatly from the designation of a national monument.