Gov. LePage and his Republican legislative supporters (I don’t believe that includes all Republicans) are trying to cripple and silence a pre-eminent voice of reasoned and impartial broadcast journalism for the people of Maine. They propose to eliminate state funding for the Maine Public Broadcasting Network.

MPBN radio and television are a vital and irreplaceable public resource for unbiased news and public information, as well as educational and cultural affairs. Without them, Maine will be a darker place.

Have no doubt about it, this proposal — and the devious, last-minute way it was introduced — is a calculated act of political assassination and retribution by a governor who, it is increasingly clear, wants to conduct the state’s business by secrecy and fiat, without any reasonable, informed public scrutiny.

This is not about money. MPBN has absorbed reductions in past budgets. This is about ideology; the governor wants to repeal the public, legislative mandate for MPBN to operate. He knows the present quality, character and scope of this service simply cannot be sustained on a commercial basis.

He has used these tactics already in his administration’s attacks on responsible environmental regulations, health care and the elderly. If he succeeds with this current proposal, he will only be emboldened and any pretense to democracy and freedom of expression in Maine will be further debased.

Anyone who would be outraged by the dismantlement of public libraries and the burning of books should be equally outraged by the governor’s plan to destroy MPBN.

I urge all Mainers to rally and take every action possible to restore state funding to MPBN. Don’t allow the governor to harness the rest of us with his narrow-minded, ill-informed views or his thuggish disregard for transparency in government.

Michael D. Moser

Portland

MPBN is a jewel, a great enhancer of Maine’s quality of life, in turn critical to our economy. The Legislature should squash Gov. LePage’s gambit to withhold $2 million in vital state funding.

What is utterly ludicrous is the governor’s reasoning: He’s freeing up funds to help save Maine’s flawed Clean Election Act. It reportedly cost taxpayers $6 million in last year’s elections — in subsidies to candidates who pledged to drastically limit spending, which in local elections means road signs, pamphlets and a couple of mailings to voters — certainly nothing major like TV. The problem is that the law is riddled with loopholes.

Particularly pernicious is the exemption of outsider-financed advertising whenever three (or more) candidates appear in the same ad.

I dutifully signed up for the Clean Election Act when I ran for the State House in 2008 as a Republican in Boothbay’s District 61. I filed all the reports and kept my expenses to a minimum, only to wake up during the last two weeks of the campaign to find my incumbent opponent (also Clean Election) featured in multi-candidate ads on Fox TV right up through Election Day.

Neither he nor I had raised that kind of money. That was the whole idea of the Clean Election Act. But the state Democratic Party, swelled with millions of Obama dollars, was pouring them into my opponent’s campaign via three-candidate ads. There’s nothing more powerful in local elections than name recognition. Especially if enhanced by last-minute TV. No doubt the Republican Party, if flush with cash, would have done the same thing.

Gov. LePage — please do save us $2 million. But don’t squeeze it out of MPBN. Just let the Clean Election Act die. You’ll actually save $6 million!

Hamilton Meserve

Newagen

Keeping sharp eye out could help crime victims

You’re out, and you think you saw something. You’re not sure; maybe it was nothing. So, you do nothing and just keep walking.

The next day you hear the news. Someone needed your help, but you didn’t know what to do.

It’s time to get involved. You, as an engaged bystander, have the opportunity to act and safely change the outcome — perhaps to prevent an assault by stepping in when you see something that doesn’t look right.

Maybe you heard someone say something sexist or degrading. Maybe you witnessed someone trying to take advantage of a friend. Studies have shown that the occurrence of rape is far more extensive than reported in official statistics, and the large majority of rapists is never apprehended.

In a society that promotes a “mind your own business” message, speaking up might seem difficult. But it doesn’t have to be. Try to approach the situation as if it involved one of your friends.

If you see something that doesn’t seem right, it probably isn’t.

If you think someone is in trouble, ask if they are OK. Be honest and direct in explaining your concerns and reasons for intervening. If you don’t feel comfortable approaching a situation on your own, ask a friend, a coworker, anyone for help.

You aren’t ruining someone’s fun or being a jerk if you speak up. You are watching out for someone’s brother, sister, child, neighbor or friend. Next time, it could be your loved one that needs help.

It’s time to get involved and do what is right.

Grady Fox

Executive program director,

On One Accord Foundation,

Springvale

Story on service dog showed need for acceptance

What a wonderful, well-written story with a solid core message, to believe that service animals have rights (“Service dog confrontation becomes public education,” May 5).

Your paper is to be commended for the full coverage given to this and to Staff Writer David Hench for ferreting out all the facts behind Christy Gardner, her condition and what she is doing to try to have a life.

We all need to learn to accept service animals, especially in unusual cases, such as people who are not blind but have other conditions. Thanks for the story on Gardner and Moxie the golden retriever.

Alan Pooley

Newcastle

Gallia est omnes divisa in partes tres, said Caesar 

Students want to do well in the SAT. No surprise! As a Latin teacher, I say, have them take Latin.

The mean verbal SAT score in 2001 for students enrolled in Latin was 665; the average for all students was 506.

“Latin is not dead; it is immortal,” said G.K. Chesterton.

Morton G. Soule

Portland