Libraries are the critical cornerstone of our democracy and should not be considered for having their budgets cut. Reading is the pathway for life-long learning, and libraries with all their services play an essential role in that development from childhood on.

Today’s libraries are facing many financial challenges as the state tries to address the debt and jeopardize library funding in the process.

Yet demand for library services is increasing, and libraries are trying to meet that demand by providing Internet access, printing services, inter-library loans, access to 52 academic bases via Marvel, CDs, DVDs, and audio books and e-books sent to your personal computer.

The Maine School and Library Network, a unit of the University of Maine system, provides Internet access and services to almost 1,000 schools and libraries across the state. Without the MSLN the funding for Internet access by libraries would fall upon city and town taxes.

Since 2005 the state library budget has dropped by almost 25 percent while the demand for services has increased. I urge our representatives, senators, and governor to support fully library budgets for present and future generations.

There is no better investment for the education of the public and the health and well-being of our country.

Margaret Boyajian
Spruce Head

Wind power will fight threat of climate change 

As a college student, it’s become clear to me that appropriately sited wind power projects are good for our environment, our economy and our increasing energy needs. When the naysayers talk about wind being subsidized, have they forgotten that this country has spent billions on a war in the Middle East in the name of oil? Instead of subsidizing oil, coal, and natural gas, we need to support the much needed wind industry.

Unfortunately, Maine’s true potential for transitioning into a sustainable society is currently being challenged by its governance. It saddens and angers me that the LePage administration does not deem the health of Mainers significant.

In fact, by proposing a list of rollbacks for environmental regulations that took years of effort to implement, the administration is explicitly telling the public that it will place the well-being of those it’s meant to protect second to decreased expenditures for private corporations. To make matters worse, LePage also wants to weaken the Kid Safe Products Act and therefore weaken Maine’s future generations.

There is a right and wrong way for going about this issue. What science teaches us complements what our ethics tell us. They both point toward resolution. Transitioning from a society dependent on the domination over nature to one that works alongside nature will take time.

It is crucial that we start this transition now because there is a time limit to how fast we can adapt. Scientists assure us that human beings have 10 years to change our ways. After we pass this threshold there will be no going back and the effects of climate change will become irreversible.

We are fortunate enough to have this information and smart enough to know something needs to be done to change our current trajectory. Now it is time to act.

Renzo F. Moyano Condia

Gov. LePage deserves economic policy support 

According to Maine’s state treasurer, Bruce Poliquin, Maine is in debt by $12.7 billion. This debt equates to each Maine taxpayer owing $20,000.

How would you feel if you received a $20,000 bill due in 30 days, courtesy of the state of Maine? Probably not very happy, but that is what each Maine taxpayer owes.

Some special interest groups erroneously lead their members into believing the $12.7 billion problem will go away by itself, with no sacrifices, or perhaps they favor another tax increase with the promise that they will get it right this time.

According to Mr. Poliquin, Maine is the fifth most heavily taxed state. I want businesses to bring jobs to Maine, and increasing taxes or ignoring this debt isn’t going to bring jobs. If you don’t believe me, look out your window.

Our fine teachers and state workers have every right to be upset about proposed cuts. However, their anger should be toward the failed policies of our past politicians and their union leaders. The facts relate that the $4.5 billion pension crisis occurred under their watch, not Gov. LePage’s.

LePage is a good man who is doing his best to correct 40 years of mismanagement. When the pension crisis is finally over, each and every state employee will be a winner, along with the Maine taxpayer. We’re all in this together, so let’s unite and support LePage and bring some jobs back to Maine.

Gary Maheux

Educational progress needs specifics, not generalities 

Glen Cummings of Good Will-Hinckley has written a plea for improvement in education in Maine (“Maine should build on education strengths,” March 13). He is clearly sincere and thoughtful, but he seems curiously evasive not only about what in our educational enterprise needs improvement but just how we can effect this or any improvement.

Something is wrong in what — in general — we are doing now. Apparently that wrongness is in the style of teaching. He speaks of students being “disillusioned” with traditional approaches to instruction. He declines to be specific. He speaks of “innovative education structures.” What that might be I cannot guess.

Maybe, just maybe, Mr. Cummings is hobbled by the difference between training and education. Medical school is a trade school where the doctor-to-be learns hands-on treatment. It is not education.

A session on the history of the language is not training. It is education. One is practical, the other intellectual. One is useful, the other almost perfectly useless, except if you start to wonder why we speak as we do.

It is well to remember that the mathematics that changed human existence was created by a man who had pencil and piece of paper and an extraordinary imagination for numbers. E=MC² was a purely intellectual concept until it gave us Hiroshima and now western Japan.

Looked at from another perspective — if I understand correctly — Mr. Cummings would make the University of Maine a trade school and leave education to Bowdoin, Bates and Colby.

L. Morrill Burke
Long Island 

People should respect education, intellectualism 

Over the past two months, I have read two letters in this paper in which Mark Ferguson of Poland uses scathing anti-intellectual rhetoric to defend Paul LePage’s policies.

He claims that LePage has the support of Maine’s working class, and that his only detractors are “suits,” people with “fancy degrees” and “the big brain crowd.”

His words echo those of Sarah Palin and other politicians who portray academics and other people with higher levels of education as enemies of the working class. This anti-intellectual sentiment is blatantly at odds with much of what we as Americans have fought and stood for over our history.

The Founding Fathers and many of their philosophical influences, such as John Locke, saw education as an empowering and liberating force, essential to the prosperity of our nation and the general advancement of human civilization.

Education is the beacon of opportunity, the grease on the cogs of class mobility and the scepter of the common man. The choice to pursue knowledge on any level is something that has always been celebrated in this country rather than regarded with scorn or disdain.

Contrary to what Mr. Ferguson contends, no people are “simple.” Both Mr. Ferguson and Orlando Delogu are complex human beings, with complex lives, emotions, thoughts and insights. A love and motivation to learn and understand should never be considered a negative aspect of one’s character.

Conor McGrory