Why we don’t trust you
It is no wonder most people in the US don’t trust the media (print or otherwise) to give us honest news. The headline, “ FBI chief: No evidence of ‘spying’” which appeared in the May 8 print edition of the Bangor Daily News is a perfect example of “fake news.”
The headline implies that FBI Director Christopher Wray, through an exhaustive search and in consultation with other members of the FBI, has found no evidence whatsoever that the FBI spied, surveilled, wiretapped, or attempted to infiltrate the Trump campaign or White House.
Yet, in the sixth paragraph, the story quotes Director Wray as saying, “I don’t think I personally have any evidence of that sort.”
Not having personal information or evidence is a long way from concluding that the FBI director has found no evidence whatsoever of spying (or any of the other applicable terms) having taken place. He might not have any personal information simply because he hasn’t chosen to intrude upon an ongoing investigation set in motion by his superior, Attorney General William Barr.
To do so could easily be construed as obstruction of justice.
The boost of early education
The column “Commitment to early childhood education will boost Maine” highlighted issues that educators like me know all too well. Many Head Start teachers, who are required to have a bachelor’s degree, carry the burden of a large student loan debt. Some of these teachers take a second job while working 40 hours a week in the classroom to help them pay back these loans. Or they decide to move into higher-paying teaching positions in the public school system.
Children must rebuild relationships every time there is a staffing change in the classroom. Many of these children need the stability provided by consistent teaching staff. An ideal classroom for these children would provide the same teacher every day of their early years so that they can learn, grow, and be ready for school in the public school system. Healthy attachment relationships between children and their teachers are critical in promoting brain development and adjustment skills.
Children who attend quality early childhood programs are better prepared for the transition to kindergarten, meeting or exceeding the skills needed to be successful in kindergarten and beyond. I worry that without these skilled educators building the foundation for success in school, our educational system could be at risk.
Head Start Teacher
Rockweed harvest still valuable
In March, the Maine Supreme Court issued a decision that shocked those who make their living from marine resources. The court ruled that rockweed in the intertidal, unlike clams and worms, was not held in trust by the state but owned by the landowner.
Seaweed harvesters and aquaculture folk have supported a bill, LD 1323, that would essentially overturn the court’s decision. But the situation is not so dire that the state needs to overturn decades of law to help rockweed harvesters. The court did not say that rockweed could not be harvested, but only that harvesters needed the landowners’ permission to cut the seaweed growing on the rocks of their privately-owned intertidal land.
Maine rockweed harvest in 2018 was valued at approximately $1 million. Why can’t the harvesters gain the landowner’s permission by paying for the privilege of harvesting this valuable resource? Many landowners on Maine bodies of water would welcome some help in paying their high property taxes. Agriculture farmers buy, rent or lease land; why not seaweed harvesters and aquaculture farmers?
Gratitude for Waldo County
In announcing my judicial retirement, I first wish to thank the citizens of Waldo County for your constant support.
I have been honored to serve as your probate judge these past 15 years.
With your steady support and encouragement, we in the offices of Waldo County Probate Court have been able to build not only a well-run and well-organized, quality judicial system but also one with well-established innovations.
With all now well in place, I consider this an opportune time also because of upcoming changes. One is the court’s exciting move upstairs into the former District Court’s spaces. Another is the court’s move into a new statewide legal probate code.
In short, I have determined this an opportune time for my judicial retirement because well-established, quality practices are now in place and ready for a transition into the new.
Again, I thank the citizens of Waldo County for your support. I have been honored to serve you.