The breakdown of the latest unemployment numbers printed Oct. 9 was quite interesting. Two things jumped out at me, the first was the rate by education: Those with a college degree enjoy a rate of under 5 percent, while those with no high school diploma suffered more than 15 percent unemployment.

This is a definite case for providing good K-12 and affordable college educations for all students.

The second is the job changes by sector. While there has been a modest increase in jobs created in the private sector, there was a marked decrease in government jobs.

If you subscribe to the smaller government mantra, please don’t also berate the president and the Democrats for the static jobs numbers. You can’t have it both ways, government jobs are jobs, too, and when you cut teachers, school aides and other town and state employees, you do add to unemployment.

We need to work together, government, the private sector and local communities, to make sure everyone has access to a good education and a good-paying job.

Can we please, please, please stop yelling and swearing at each other and get something done?

Jessica Fay

Raymond

 

Portland officer went out of his way to help

 

You have a gem on your Portland police force. He is Officer Kevin Haley. On Sept. 5 we were driving from Cumberland to Connecticut when, on Interstate 295, the car’s motor began sputtering. We pulled in on Baxter Boulevard and on Forest Avenue found an open gas station.

As the attendant was assisting us a police officer walked in and bought a container of coffee. He heard the conversation and immediately assisted. He made a call and had us follow him to a closed garage, but the owner would work on the car early Tuesday.

He then drove us to the airport and assisted us in securing a rental car.

Officer Haley was friendly, patient and very helpful in every way.

Russell and Cathy Hunter

Chebeague Island and Farmington, Conn.

 

How can working class vote for any Republicans?

 

It is with distress and dismay that I read stories about how the white working class supports the Republican agenda. Have they been tricked into thinking that Republicans want to give them “freedom,” and that big (Democratic) government will tax their freedom away, forgetting the huge growth in the (Republican) government war apparatus and collapse in the regulation of banking that has all but bankrupted middle- and working-class voters?

Small government means a government that cannot regulate business. For every buck a middle class person saves in taxes, a billionaire saves millions. Taxes are the price we pay for civilization, for community, for roads, bridges, cops, firemen, teachers, sanitation, clean air and water.

A weakened FDA means toxic food and dangerous drugs get easily to market. A weakened SEC allowed the multiple debacles of Bernard Madoff, Lehman Brothers and the collapse of the housing market and the jobs market!

Weak banking regulations led to usurious credit card rates and unbridled banking fees, and the ultimate scam of pay-day loans for the working poor.

I don’t blame anyone for being tea-party angry. But I do blame people for allowing themselves to get duped by the same people twice.

Since 1980 the working people of this country have seen their wages stagnate as the number of millionaires and billionaires has more than quadrupled. Now just as we have begun to reverse that onslaught and have a real chance to gain some of that ground back, are we going to allow ourselves and our deep and justified anger to be exploited by the rhetoric of the Republican Party’s money masters disguised as our most revered founding fathers? Nationally, I hope we are smarter than that. In Maine I know we are.

Chris Queally

Scarborough

 

Domestic violence victims can also include some men

 

As I am sure people are aware, October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Throughout October battered women’s advocates and the media’s attention is focused on bringing more public understanding to and promoting the eradication of men’s violence against women.

However, not all intimate-partner violence fits into this neat package.

Violence against men, especially against men by their female intimate partners, has always been a hot-button issue. The mere mention of male victims in a gathering of traditional domestic violence advocates creates great controversy.

While domestic violence advocates may know men are victims, they insist that their victim service agencies (more than 2,000 of them in the country) should focus exclusively on ending violence against women by men, because women are the most often injured and prevalent victims.

As a result, serious outreach and services for the male victims are sorely lacking.

According to a Department of Justice study, men are victims of assault by their partners in over 30 percent of the reported cases in the United States each year.

The disparity between the needs of those victims and the services available is large. The gap must be closed and that can only be done through education, services and advocacy.

While resources for men are still scarce, awareness is increasing and hopefully more services will follow. This is not a gender issue, it is simply a human issue.

The Domestic Abuse Helpline for Men and Women (1-888-743-5754 or dahmw.org) envisions a world where services are available to victims and survivors without prejudice.

Jan Brown and Heather Fortune

Co-Directors, Domestic Abuse Helpline for Men and Women

Harmony

 

Elected mayor would at least be someone new

 

I am amused to read that Cheryl Leeman is not in favor of an elected mayor. It sometimes seems as if Ms. Leeman has been on the City Council since we were a British colony.

I realize that is not possibile, but it has been a very long time. If we were to elect a mayor, she and the other councilors would not be able to pass the position around between themselves and, God forbid, we might get someone with a fresh and positive outlook.

I’ve lost track of the number of times Ms. Leeman has served as mayor and frankly, the thought of the honorary position going to her yet another time is more than I can handle.

Robert E. Parker

Portland