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Letters

Letter: Marijuana and Children

To the editor:

With the referendum concerning the “legalization” of marijuana in Lewiston nearing, I thought of the situation in Colorado.  In that state, ‘pot’ has become legal, and widely available in smoking form and in ready-made food products.

Although Enterovirus D68 has shown up elsewhere, Colorado recently has experienced a large number of cases in children.  We know that children are at great risk of illness when breathing secondhand smoke; there also are numerous reports of children having innocently ingested marijuana-laced treats in Colorado.

I’m not a doctor, but am pondering what I view as a very real possibility that children’s immune systems are being compromised, making them not only more susceptible to respiratory illnesses such as Enterovirus D68, but more likely to incur greater negative effects.  Do we even want to take those risks in Lewiston-Auburn?  Do we want to go against the research-based advice of the medical and law enforcement people, much less state statutes and federal laws?  Just wondering.

Robert Hansen

Auburn

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Letters: Letter was clear and direct

To the Editor:

Lewiston Mayor Macdonald’s main criticism of Jordan Handy’s Letter to the Editor seems to be its incoherence, but I found it to be clear and direct. (“Enough is Enough: Why is there so much pressure to attend college?,” TCT, July 11, 2013)

The mayor did find an awkward sentence; I’ll give him that. But as one of Jordan’s former English teachers, I feel compelled to point out that the mayor ended his column with this sentence: “The last thing we don’t want to see in the windows of future employers is a sign stating: ‘Lewiston and EL Graduates need not apply.’ ” This is a double negative.

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Letters: Students have a willingness to succeed

To the Editor:

This is a rebuttal to Lewiston Mayor Robert Macdonald’s column, “Enough is Enough: College material, hospital debt and welfare expansion.”

Enough is enough with the negativity in the City of Lewiston.

The mayor writes that there is pressure on students to attend and graduate college. I don’t call it pressure at all. Instead, I believe students have a willingness to succeed and live a better life than their parents did.

Macdonald asserted that “many who falter academically excel in trades, such as automotive, woodworking, sheet metal and, in case you’ve been away from the area for a few years, an extremely renowned culinary arts program.”

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Letters: Preservationists see the value of churches

To the Editor:

I found the column penned by Lewiston Mayor Robert E. Macdonald (“Enough is Enough: Churches were Lewiston’s social and religious centers,” June 6) a curious read, running interference as I take it, for Central Maine Healthcare.

Rather than defend his city’s rich social and religious ethnic heritage, Macdonald aims his brickbats at those who have come forward to defy the political and economic establishment to defend the civic culture: the historic preservationists. Mayor Macdonald composes his words to defend the entity that would raze St. Joseph’s church for a parking lot.

For some reason, Macdonald reminds me of the mayor of Amity Island in the movie “Jaws.”  Mayor Larry Vaugan refused to let police chief Martin Brodie post the beaches off limits after the first shark attack. Vaugan was afraid of ruining the tourist season and offending powerful beachfront hotel owners.

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Letters: Schools are manned by excellent people

To the Editor:
This is a response to a Letter to the Editor from Dick Sabine, “Children in L-A have no voice in education,” which was published April 25 in Twin City TIMES.
Mr. Sabine, in his article on education in Lewiston-Auburn, seemed to go to great lengths to compare our great cities with Florida and Vermont in how proficient our young students are compared to them. He uses Hispanics and blacks in Florida and mostly whites in Vermont to compare against our students. Isn’t this like comparing apples with oranges?

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Letters: Bipartisan tax reform is flawed and predatory

To the Editor:

Politicians in Augusta want to reform the state tax code—again! What should ordinary folk make of this? We should believe that general truth, that fundamental principle, the one that states: whatever politicians say they are talking about, what they are really talking about is money: ours.

They propose collecting less money from here and more money from there. Is there anyone reading this, anyone who can count pocket change, who isn’t already convinced this shell game means that overall we will pay more taxes?
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Letters: Effective, productive communication needed in Augusta

To the Editor:

Effecting real change on issues in Washington, D.C., seems out of reach due to elected officials’ behavior; however, not in Augusta. We as citizens still have the ability to impact the behavior of Maine’s elected officials. To do so, however, we need to voice our opinions loudly and steadily.

Every community in this state is facing a tax shift never seen before with homeowners facing significant tax increases, and we need representatives that will conduct business for the good of all. It’s time for every taxpayer to tell our elected state officials to stop the ongoing rhetoric and move forward with a goal of compromise. If a fair, compromised budget is not attained, communities will be hugely impacted.

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Letters: Mayors swept Lewiston’s problems under the rug

To the Editor:

These recent arsons downtown has made me one fired up inner-city preacher. First and foremost, I have always felt that my ministry was a ministry to the poor, the displaced and those who are frightened. Obviously, there is no lack of ministry opportunity in the inner city of Lewiston these days.

My faith stretches higher than a church steeple, and my vision extends far beyond a stained-glass window. It is my opinion and observation that the recent manifestation of complete chaos within the heart of our city lays in the hands of our city’s former mayoral leaders.

I believe that John Jenkins, Kaleigh Tara, Lionel Guay, and Larry Gilbert have all played a part in sweeping our city’s crime and dysfunction under the rug over the years in the name of commerce. None of them wanted to be considered negative, and all of them created a positive environment with a pro-business-like image such as “L/A it’s Happening Here.”

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Letters: Poverty doesn’t have to guarantee academic failure

To the Editor:

A student who doesn’t understand a lesson and the adult who doesn’t understand a joke may each pretend to understand. The adult’s naivety might be a lack of adult experience. A student’s deficient vocabulary might be their naivety, their lack of experience.

Deficient vocabularies find residence amidst poverty and so do difficulties in learning. This is affirmed by reviewing results from the 2012 NECAP standardized test. We expect test scores to correlate to community income, and where we find poor test scores we expect to find poverty and almost always do.

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Letter: Children in L-A have no voice in education

To the Editor:

Florida’s fourth-grade students, in international testing, rank second in the world in reading, even surpassing Finland, an educational powerhouse, which ranked third. This is incredible!

Florida, with a large Hispanic and black population (the state is only 57% white) would be expected to perform poorly. But this amazing fourth-grade success portends improved performance in Florida’s higher grades.

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