I have been appalled at the irresponsible nature of the Regional School Unit 21 Board for months now, but they have taken it to new heights in their actions at the meeting on June 21 (“Board: End Thornton contract,” June 23).

The board voted to circumvent the legally binding Thornton Academy Middle School contract and offer “choice” to middle school students from Arundel.

They do not have the authority to do this, and it is very misleading. Every member of this board, particularly those who represent our town, should be ashamed of themselves.

At the root of the issue is the wording in the contract which states that “all Arundel middle school students will attend TA Middle School.” I don’t understand the lack of clarity – all means all.

However, the RSU 21 Board and a few Arundel residents are choosing to interpret it differently, creating a need for definitive legal clarification. This legal clarification is yet to come.

I caution all Arundel parents that if you enroll your child at the Middle School of the Kennebunks, you will likely be faced with uprooting them at mid-year, which would be difficult for any student.

TAMS is under contract with the Town of Arundel to educate our children, and will continue to do so and provide the academically challenging, whole-child, community approach we negotiated for when the contract was drafted and signed.

While I have always been a supporter of Mildred Day School and our beautiful little private middle school in Saco, I had hoped that the consolidation with Kennebunk and Kennebunkport might work. Clearly it won’t.

I urge my fellow Arundel residents to support the move to pursue LD 570, legislation to opt out of RSU 21 and regain control of Mildred Day School and our TAMS contract, before our taxes skyrocket even further and it’s too late to control them.

Donna Buttarazzi

Arundel

 

Readers’ ire still rising over oil disaster in Gulf

 

In a recent letters package (“Oil and energy policy a volatile mix,” June 15), two contributors made points about President Obama’s handling of the Gulf oil spill. Neither writer was very complimentary.

For the most part I agree with their positions, but, like Hurricane Katrina, neither President Obama nor former President George W. Bush caused the disaster.

As usual, after the fact, the national media is having a field day picking apart the actions that either president took or failed to take. These attacks are not very productive.

As devastating as the spill has been and will continue to be for years to come, it too will pass. What troubles me to a far greater extent are the Obama administration’s policies and decisions with which the country may have to deal indefinitely

I include the direction he is taking on national health care, national security, his negative attitude toward business, the lack of a federal immigration policy and the ease with which he spends dollars that we do not have.

Perhaps my greatest concern is Obama’s creation of programs that make us more and more dependent on the federal government. Once such programs are established, they are practically impossible to reverse.

More and more Americans seem to have the attitude “not to worry, should something bad happen the feds will bail me out.” We are being robbed of taking care of our own needs and of being willing to make sacrifices when necessary.

It frightens me to think about two and a half more years of liberal policy-making.

Robert Haggett

Biddeford

 

 

Every morning when I turn on the television, I’m reminded of BP’s disaster in the Gulf. For more than two months we have watched countless new beaches affected by the black goop, so many innocent animals and birds affected, and the images of people losing their livelihood.

There is no need to feel numb, to feel helpless; there are things we can do! My church is collecting clean-up clothes and dish detergent that is being sent to help with the effort to recover oil-soaked dolphins and sea turtles; it’s a way to be connected and to be part of the solution.

Beyond that, it’s a great time to remind our two U.S. senators, Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins, to push for pragmatic climate and energy legislation, a comprehensive bill that includes two issues that could determine the future of Maine’s economy.

It is going to take bipartisan cooperation, something we do not see much anymore, to get this done. But if anyone can do it, Snowe and Collins are on the short list.

As a mother I hope that they will continue to look out for the interests of people here in the state. But in the end we all understand that putting a price on carbon with protections for increases in the price of energy will help us all reduce our reliance on imported and increasingly dangerous forms of energy such as deep water oil and underground coal, which claimed the lives of mine workers in my husband’s home state of West Virginia just last April.

Donna Stobbs

Kittery

 

 

BP’s record over the past five years has proved it is the worst offender in the oil and gas industry. In 2005 it was negligent in the Texas oil refinery explosion. The Baker commission found BP had cut corners to place profit over safety. BP vowed that it would make changes and in 2006 created the worst land spill with the Alaskan North Slope incident.

BP has been cited for more than 750 violations by OSHA since 2007, and the next most-cited company in the industry had eight. BP’s record for safety concerns speaks for itself, as it was deemed the most unsafe operation by OSHA comparisons.

BP caused the largest disaster due to oil drilling ever in North America. It has covered up the facts since Day One, first citing 1,000 barrels of oil knowing the gusher was producing as much as 100,000 a day. The decisions on the rig have been made with cost concerns superseding safety.

Halliburton stressed in a report to use 21 sleeves and BP used six sleeves and a straight pipe, saving $12 million. An acoustic test to check the cement refractoring job was skipped; the cement did not hold and the company saved $120,000.

When the rig sank, BP delayed the response of the federal government by releasing false information on the size of leak. They withheld their underwater footage from the government, knowing our experts could estimate the size of leak.

BP is still trying to bury this case in finding favorable judges to oversee their cases. It has run rogue long enough and it is time stop issuing it defense oil contracts.

This corporation is not a friend to the Gulf. It is not a partner in the oil industry. Its leaders are criminals and should be held responsible to the fullest extent of the law.

John Dow

Ripley