February 15, 2013

Letters to the editor: Clinic's closure would cause care gap

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Hygienist Torey Richard cleans the teeth of Rick Hagan, 45, of Bath, who has bipolar disorder, at Clinical Services. The state-funded Portland clinic also addresses the medical needs of the mentally disabled, many of whom would have trouble getting basic medical care anywhere else, a reader says.

2013 File Photo/John Ewing

John Quinn

executive director, New England Petroleum Council


Collins' stance on Keystone contradicts her own history

I was appalled to note that Sen. Susan Collins signed a letter along with other U.S. senators urging President Obama to approve the Keystone pipeline.

For one representing a state with more mileage of coastline than California, her support of a filthy, unethical and illegal energy project that will endanger our planet and Maine's shorelines (and its tax-generating properties) is a galling betrayal of Maine, New England and the world.

And it seems she is also betraying herself, as she co-authored the highly visible Carbon Limits and Energy for America's Renewal Act, designed to address global warming emissions.

We should say, "Stand for Maine, Senator Collins, or we will all be swimming together in the increasing tides that created a new hole into the New Jersey shoreline in November." Has she already forgotten? Is fossil fuel money that much more important to her than Maine's shorelines?

Anne B. Butterfield

Boulder, Colo., and Scarborough

Early learning programs enhance community safety

The recent Maine Voices by business leaders Meredith Strang Burgess, Dana Connors and Bob Moore ("Skilled workers start out as well-educated young Mainers," Feb. 2) reported some surprising statistics about the current and future skills gap that exists in our Maine work force. What isn't surprising to me is one of the solutions they offer to this problem -- high-quality early learning programs.

As a chief of police, I know one of the best things we can do for our children is ensure that they have opportunities to participate in high-quality early education. As the business leaders point out, it's great for Maine's economy today and in the future.

It is also great for the safety of our communities. Why? Because high-quality early learning programs, like Head Start and pre-kindergarten, are some of the best crime-prevention tools we have.

Numerous studies have shown the crime-reduction benefits of quality early education programs. A study in Chicago showed that children who participated in such programs were much less likely to be involved in crime than their peers who did not participate.

Another long-term study, involving a high-quality early education program in Michigan, found that children left out of that program were five times more likely to become chronic lawbreakers by age 27.

High-quality early learning programs are good for the economy and help reduce crime. They are a proven investment in our future.

Michael Sauschuck

chief of police, Portland

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