March 17, 2018
Letters Latest News | Poll Questions | School Walkouts | Down East Prison | LL Bean

Wednesday, March 7, 2018: Let students walk out, no corporate welfare, protect students from violence

Let students walk out

In response to School Administrative District 13 Superintendent Virginia Rebar’s decision to punish students participating in the March 14 National School Walkout, she is missing a teachable moment for her students to discuss gun safety issues and citizen participation in government. Instead, she chose punishment, which closes the flow of ideas and may polarize her school and community. I hope Rebar rethinks this decision.

Susan Manocchio


Gun violence protest

This is in response to a March 2 article in the Bangor Daily News, in which it was stated that students and staff in SAD 13 who walk out of school for 17 minutes at 10 a.m. March 14 would be subject to discipline. This walkout is intended to honor the 17 students and staff in Parkland, Florida, who were killed in the mass shooting on Feb. 14.

The so-called adults in this country, who should be doing all we can to protect our children, have done nothing to stop these school shootings, which have occurred several times since Columbine in 1999. This time it is the kids who are trying to do something. All they can do is protest and try to get the adults to act.

Instead of disciplining the kids for their justifiable protest, schools should be using this as a learning opportunity. Before March 14, the students should develop plans for what they intend to do during the 17 minutes of the walkout. Will they read the names of those who were killed, will they play appropriate music, will they have banners and posters, what are they trying to say.

Disciplining them for a justified protest only tells the students that adults know best and it will continue to be business as usual, with nothing being done to try to stop the violence. Also, one of the benefits we have in this country is the right of peaceable protest without the risk of being disciplined. Our kids deserve no less.

Marshall Smith

Blue Hill

No corporate welfare

As far back as 2014, The Diplomat magazine stated that Zumwalt destroyers were outdated technology:

“The hard fact confronting mariners is that shore-based defenses — tactical aircraft, anti-ship and anti-air missiles — now outrange the U.S. Navy fleet, while even lesser navies boast an array of submarines and patrol craft able to make trouble for outsiders. …The [Zumwalt] … is in effect a ‘flotilla’ vessel … the U.S. Navy’s priciest, sexiest warships are now auxiliaries rather than capital ships.”

Not only is General Dynamics, owner of Bath Iron Works, pressuring the Maine Legislature to take taxpayer money from health care and clean elections, and direct it to its coffers, we are paying for technology that is essentially irrelevant. On top of this, General Dynamics’ contracts already fund construction of these ships with taxpayer money. General Dynamics is rolling in so much dough, it just offered $6.8 billion in cash to buy an IT company.

What we need in Maine are good-paying jobs. Bath Iron Works is the place for these jobs in sectors that solve crucial problems faced by our communities: aging water systems that need new pipes, sustainable energy systems and public transit vehicles. We need to say to General Dynamics, “show us your willingness to diversify and increase jobs, and work with the unions to improve benefits rather than contributing to the twister sucking money from the bottom to fund huge salaries at the top. Then Mainers will come to the table.”

Don’t let this theft continue. Contact your state elected officials and say Mainers will not be taken to the cleaners.

Ginny Schneider


Protect students from violence

It’s all over the media: Gun violence within schools and what to do about it. Despite hearing children beg for change, many believe this is not the time for a change. For those of you who believe now is not the time, I challenge people to take a new viewpoint.

Look at it as if you are a high school student who wakes up every morning hoping to return home that evening.

Look at it as if you are a teacher who thought you would be educating young minds, not potentially sacrificing your life.

Look at is as if you are a parent who sends your children to school every day, wondering as you say “I love you” if this might be the last time.

We’re scared. I’m that high school student. My teachers are those teachers. My parents are those parents.

If you look at it through our eyes, do you still believe now is not the time? If not now, when?

We need adults to vote in November for candidates who will change laws to protect us. We need to feel safe in school, we’re looking for adults who will help us to feel this way.

After looking at this from the views of people who are impacted most, do people still believe now is not the time?

Kerrigan Stevens

New Gloucester

Pooler for governor

My husband watches the news and reads the Bangor Daily News faithfully every day. He pays close attention to both Maine news and national news. Does he know his stuff? You bet he does. He relates his opinions to me daily, and I am impressed with his knowledge and ideas.

From economic improvement to drug control, the war on drugs to punishment for crimes, he has ideas that will really work. He has an idea on how to lower taxes, too. This lifetime Mainer has ideas on how to improve all aspects of Maine life.

Who is this man? He is Douglas Pooler from Dexter. He has my vote for governor.

Sheila Pooler


Ammo makers political contributions

While there has been a lot of publicity about gun manufacturers’ contributions to political candidates, office holders and the NRA, I have not heard any information about contributions from ammunition manufacturers.

At least 69 American and foreign ammunition manufacturers are listed on the internet. Attempts to reduce or eliminate access to assault rifles will affect their profits, as these rifles consume much more ammunition than regular rifles.

Has any research been done on the role of ammunition manufacturers on campaign contributions and efforts individually or through the NRA to control legislation on guns or the size of magazines?

Alma Otto



Have feedback? Want to know more? Send us ideas for follow-up stories.

You may also like