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Monday, March 25, 2019: Amazon pipe dream, no to NECEC, pre-K paves the way

Amazon pipe dream

Maine should go after Amazon to build their new headquarters here. Why? Because a massive, modern building would look so much better than a 145-mile transmission line that would supposedly create temporary jobs and destroy acres of forest. Amazon would create permanent jobs for those who need it right here in Maine. It would undoubtedly keep more of our best and brightest in the state — and potentially get thousands more to move here. I’m sure it’s just a pipe dream, but this is something that Maine could benefit from more than a transmission line.

Jon Coburn

Monson

Pre-K paves the way

I am writing to support with enthusiasm Gov. Mills’ work toward making preschool available to all children in Maine. As a teacher of English and communication, I have had the opportunity to work with a broad spectrum of students from middle school through college. Based on years of observation and experience in various settings, I realize the vital role of early exposure to a rich learning environment.

The early lessons of cooperation, following simple instructions and developing positive social skills all pave the way for kids to become active listeners and learners. Indeed, this is primarily the work of families, and in most cases it is well-done. However, the drop-out rates in our high schools and universities is of grave concern to all of us, as well as the recidivism within our prison system.

Obviously there is no one simple answer to address these costly situations, which result in the loss of a well-formed workforce, but the cost of funding preschool education is well-spent as one possible deterrent to the far more costly programs of supporting adults unable to be employed due to lack of skills and training.

Early identification and intervention is essential for children who may struggle — for any number of reasons — with the traditional, and increasingly demanding curriculum of kindergarten and first grade. Preschool effectively paves the way for “ readiness to learn.”

Preschool programs also allow a parent to enter or re-enter the workforce with assurance that their children are in a safe and enriching environment. This benefits not only the child, but the family and community as well.

Jamie C. Gaudion

Dover-Foxcroft

No to NECEC

Last December, I got a call with an invitation to join CMP’s phone chat on its New England Clean Energy Connect proposal.

Throughout the call, CMP extolled the powerline as a panacea for everyone in New England, who could live on so-called clean energy at cheaper rates. Listeners were led into thinking there were no downsides. So I did a little homework.

Massachusetts is asking for this power because they’re on a mandated timeline to achieve their energy goals. Massachusetts is offering to pay Hydro-Quebec higher rates than they’re currently getting, and Maine happens to be the doormat connecting the two.

Nothing stops Hydro-Quebec from using fossil fuel-fired power plants to supply electricity to its current customers to make up for what it would send to Massachusetts. If Hydro-Quebec needs to build new dam capacity, that would require flooding forestland — a counterproductive measure when trees are our best defense against climate change.

The corridor would also cut through 50 miles of the heart of Maine’s forested lands with added access roads, disturbing our iconic forests and their inhabitants. We’d be losers to fall for CMP’s $258 million “incentives” package.

Cloe Chunn

Registered Maine Guide

Waldo



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