March 14, 2013

Letters to the editor: Collins' marriage stance disappoints

(Continued from page 1)

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Sen. Susan Collins’ decision to refrain from urging the Supreme Court to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act “shows a lack of political courage,” a reader says.

2009 U.S. Senate photo

Your article about the president's plan to expand quality early childhood education and how that will impact programs in Maine ("Maine could see early-childhood education grow," Feb. 14) spells out many good points about the connection between quality early education and students' later academic successes.

As a former sheriff and now regional correctional administrator, I'd like to note that high-quality early learning also helps lower crime and criminal justice costs.

Numerous studies show that getting at-risk kids into high-quality early education programs can help cut violent crime. My colleague, Portland Police Chief Michael Sauschuck, pointed to two of the most frequently cited studies in his recent letter to the editor ("Early learning programs enhance community safety," Feb. 15).

High-quality early childhood education saves us far more than it costs. We all pay for crime. Maine spends about $228 million a year to house, feed and keep surveillance on our state criminals. By comparison, national corrections costs are staggering -- more than $57 billion in 2010.

Your article pointed to many of the budget decisions that will be needed to expand high-quality early education in Maine. As our state policymakers weigh these decisions, I encourage them to remember the other side of this coin -- the very expensive costs of crime and incarceration.

Providing more children, in all Maine counties, with high-quality early learning opportunities will help us prevent crime and reduce prison and jail costs for years to come.

Mark A. Westrum
correctional administrator, Two Bridges Regional Jail Authority

Boys Into Men participants make SPHS alumna proud

Bravo to Coach Phil Conley and his basketball team for their success on and off the court.

As an alumna of South Portland High School, I was proud to read about the Coaching Boys Into Men program and the positive response of the young men on the team ("Bill Nemitz: New 'playbook' leads team to hidden strengths," Feb. 27).

What a powerful message they are communicating to other students and to the community of South Portland.

Shine on, Riots. You make me so proud.

Susan White
South Portland

Don't expect transparency from writer at biased paper

I fully agree with the recent letter ("Writer in no position to urge candor from permit holders," Feb. 24) that stated that whoever writes editorials for this paper should disclose the same information that this paper wants disclosed under the Freedom of Information Act, especially those with concealed-gun permits.

Do I expect it? No way in hell. After all, this paper's biggest problem is that their Democratic bias is showing. That's the party that doesn't believe in what's good for the goose is good for the gander. And I am sick and tired of being goosed.

Lane Hiltunen

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