Wednesday, August 21, 2019: Careers in the restaurant business, an open debate about Israel, school budget cut not big enough

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Letters to the editor for Wednesday, August 21, 2019: Careers in the restaurant business, an open debate about Israel, school budget cut not big enough.
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Careers in the restaurant business

As an Ellsworth restaurant owner, the BDN’s recent article about the staffing challenges for Blue Hill eateries is no surprise and is all too familiar.

Here is my message to Maine workers: you can make a great career and livelihood in the restaurant business. It’s a fast paced and ever-changing environment. You get to show off your creative skills every day. You manage teams of people with a common goal. And you make people happy by serving them great food.

On so many levels, it’s an amazing career. And one I encourage more Mainers to explore.

We have heard about our state’s skills gap challenges — which cuts across many industries. Education and workforce stakeholders have set a goal that 60 percent of adults in Maine will hold a post-secondary credential of value by 2025.

To meet these challenges, we need every student to pursue post-secondary training in a field that is rewarding — personally, professionally and financially. Culinary arts can be that field. As a former culinary arts instructor and current director of the Maine Bridge Academy, I hope more students will check out one of the many programs across our state. I know that if given the chance, many of them will find a rewarding career in Maine’s vibrant restaurant industry.

Brian Langley
Ellsworth

An open debate about Israel

As an American Jew and a Zionist, I deplore current American and Israeli policy towards Palestinian aspirations for a viable state. That said, I support a two-state solution with no Israeli settlements on the West Bank. President Barack Obama was on the right track. President Donald Trump is racing to a dead end.

Being nearly as old as Israel itself, I am aware of Palestinian terrorism and intransigence, which extends to Jews outside of Israel. I also know of injustices imposed on Palestinians in Israel and the occupied territories — and now extended to a Palestinian American duly elected member of Congress.

I know that for decades, anti-semitic Palestinian propaganda campaigns have joined with anti-semitic Nation of Islam diatribes to misinform and influence American progressives. As a Jewish left-wing activist, I have witnessed and been subject to the resulting marginalization and abuse.

I also know that the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement is deeply hypocritical in singling out Israel, and therefore rightly open to charges of anti-semitism. Yet I agree with Rep. Chellie Pingree’s principled stance on protecting Americans’ first amendment rights to be heard. We need an open debate. Where better than in America, when better than now? Driving opponents into their own corners is a dangerous way to go.

The bromance between the current American and Israeli administrations is bad for all of us; it is an embrace of unbridled belligerence which can lead to no good.

Annlinn Kruger
Bar Harbor

School budget cut not big enough

They’re at it again (increase, increase), even with decreased enrollment and teachers!

After the June 11 vote on the MSAD 27 budget, which defeated the proposed $12 million budget, they came back with an $11.9 million amount, a mere 1 percent cut.

I’ve been told that the real-estate taxes in some of the MSAD 27 towns will increase

by approximately 2 mils as a result of school and municipal spending, which is unacceptable.

Folks on fixed incomes might have to consider leaving their homes or apartments, which is not fair.

Don’t let the tail wag the dog. Go vote “no” on Aug. 21. Maybe this time they will

come back with a more reasonable cut — say 3 percent.

Robert Michaud
Fort Kent

 



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