February 14, 2013

Letters to the editor: LePage misuses his time with students

I must comment on "LePage reads to school kids, offers his opinions" (Feb. 2).

click image to enlarge

Gov. LePage greets students after reading “Baxter at the Blaine House” at St. John Catholic School in Winslow earlier this month. By criticizing newspapers during his visit to the school, LePage took advantage of the fact that he had an audience that wouldn’t disagree with him, a reader says.

2013 File Photo/Morning Sentinel

What Gov. LePage said at St. John Catholic School on Feb. 1, and apparently at a Waterville Junior High School presentation last year, is wrong on so many levels.

The Portland Press Herald reported that the governor read "Baxter at the Blaine House" to more than 100 children from kindergarten through sixth grade at St. John Catholic School in Winslow.

This book is classified as a "first reader." I'm not sure why it took him 12 minutes to read this short book; however, what possible value could this have been to any student above the second grade?

Quoting from LePage: "Kids in this school -- in this type of environment -- are readers. They understand." So why would he waste at least half the audience's valuable school time reading literature meant for very young readers?

LePage takes many opportunities to belittle Maine schools. How can the governor say, "By the time I'm gone, education in Maine is going to be great," when he makes huge cuts in funding to our towns and cities, which will require further cuts in staff and programs so instrumental in helping our students learn and reach their full potential?

What I find frightening is his ability to influence the students' opinions regarding Maine newspapers at these schools. These students are a captive and easily influenced audience; there was no one else there to give an opposing view.

It appears that LePage uses these opportunities because he is reluctant to have any kind of an equal forum with adults with the possibility that someone might disagree with him.

Finally, do the parents of these children know how they are spending valuable school time?

Maybelle Blanchard


As a regular subscriber to the Portland Press Herald, I was astonished as to what our governor had to say to the young people of our great state of Maine telling the youngsters that reading newspapers is nothing but a pack of lies ("LePage reads to school kids, offers his opinions," Feb. 2).

I find this very appalling as a former educator myself and having resided in this wonderful state for more than 60 years.

Let me go back to my high school years, when a class in civics was a requirement and our great newspaper served as a great resource for our class. I have always loved being able to be informed with my morning paper, and, no, it is not a pack of lies.

It is very sad to me that the governor of our great state is trying to tell us that our editors are informing us that everything we read is just not true.

I must go on to say that most things that we read on the Internet with Facebook, etc., are probably the biggest and foremost pack of lies that we will ever be faced with. We should be informed with great information that our editors are trying to provide us on a daily basis.

It will be a very sorry day for me when our great newspaper doesn't exist because we have to accept our abnormal society as it exists.

All I can say to you, our state of Maine governor, that you should be more careful in your analysis of our great Maine newspapers. Please, let's not replace the wonderful people with more Facebook. Please, no.

Loretta Anderson


City, agencies show progress on solutions to homelessness

More than a year ago, a diverse and impassioned group of community members came together to serve on the city of Portland's newly formed Homeless Prevention Task Force. I had the privilege of serving as one of the task force chairs and was consistently impressed with the level of discourse and deliberation we achieved.

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