March 25, 2019
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Thursday, March 7, 2019: A broadband emergency, library a community living room, Non Sequitur nonsense

Library a community living room

The Thomaston Library staff and volunteers provide amazing service to their patrons with smiles, competence, and eagerness. They quickly interrupt their various tasks to give you full attention as they provide outstanding assistance. Residents of Thomaston (and others with Thomaston library cards) are so very fortunate to have access to the best library ever.

Their services include book, video, periodicals and other recommendations that reflect their knowledge of patrons’ preferences; children’s programs known far and wide for their excellence; online services to supplement the collection’s resources; monthly family movie and pizza nights and Friday night movies; book discussion groups; knitting sessions; an extensive used bookshop; speaker/author events; monthly teas that benefit local food pantries; and many other ways that the library is truly a “community living room.”

Alice and William Dashiell

Former and current member of the Thomaston Library Board of Trustees

Thomaston

Non Sequitur nonsense

The Feb. 12 front-page notice “To our readers” announced that the Bangor Daily News would cease publication of the comic strip “Non Sequitur” because “a recent version of the strip contained a hidden profane message.” The statement continued that the BDN is “no longer confident the strip will meet our standards for publication.”

This discontinuation is ill advised. The message was not hidden, though the use of a magnifying glass was needed to see it. Nor was it particularly profane given the new normal of using *** to replace parts of words now commonly reported in print. Indeed, the author of the strip immediately apologized for this scribble as well as giving a valid context for it being there in the first place.

What offends me is that you arbitrarily canceled an upbeat and refreshing series using the justification that your standards were compromised. Your apology at the end of the article seemed insincere and artificial.

I want to support local journalism but I no longer trust that the paper is committed to being an open and fair news source for our community. Reluctantly, I am canceling my subscription and will seek out alternative sources for local news.

Jim Mitchell

Old Town

A broadband emergency

Lack of access to fast, reliable and affordable broadband internet service is a true emergency. Kids can’t do their homework at home, Mom’s internet store doesn’t work right, Dad can’t telecommute for school or apply for work, and Gram’s medical device can’t send data to her doctor.

Reliable internet service is 6 miles away at a library or library parking lot. The Town of Penobscot is a wonderful community of farmers, builders, fishermen, small business owners, retirees, etc. that ranks high on school tests, is underserved by internet and has the lowest property values on the Blue Hill peninsula.

A town internet committee, of which I’m a member, has worked for two years and has three difficult options for the Town to consider: Fund $600,000 up to $4 million to begin installing soon — ideal service that will last for decades, in a public-private partnership; work with the existing internet provider to make limited speed improvements to service to get through the next couple of years; do nothing and hope for help from outside.

How might this town, and so many more like it, realize a future backed by reasonable, reliable, yet world class, internet service enjoyed by most of America? Without it, young families won’t buy houses here, business won’t start up, and as the population ages, the town is likely to die. It is our hope that the state will provide leadership, relaxed pole-attachment regulation, and funding for all of Maine’s broadband needs. Maine needs a statewide plan that takes into account what individual towns have been realizing. The proposed bonds are a major step in the right direction but, hopefully, not the last.

Joel Katz

Penobscot

 



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