October 22, 2013

Letters to the editor: Early education key to later success

A proposed high-quality preschool program for low-income kids will help advance Maine’s economy.

(Continued from page 1)

click image to enlarge

Laneer Reed-Fryer works on a construction-themed project during a prekindergarten class at a public school in Buffalo, N.Y., in March. A state-federal proposal to expand access to early learning programs could lead to 6,700 more high school graduates in Maine, a reader says.

2013 File Photo/The Associated Press

Even our elected officials demonstrate on a regular basis their complete inability to show respect, common decency and any aptitude to work with their colleagues.

Kudos to Priscilla Warren for exercising her need-to-be-kind gene by reaching out to a total stranger to help her out on a stormy day. And best of luck to her for a full and rapid recovery from her illness. We need more people like her!

Deborah Napier

Portland

Tar sands’ impact extends far beyond southern Maine

There is a lot of concern around tar sands traveling through a pipeline that crosses the Crooked River six times on its way to Sebago Lake and passes under the lake. Any kind of spill or leak would be catastrophic for our drinking water, fish and tourism.

As great a concern for me is the amount of greenhouse gases that the process of digging and shipping tar sands creates. It means cutting the trees in Canada’s boreal forest, which is the biggest in the world, hosting a great variety of life forms. The trees absorb carbon and help keep our air in balance.

This process is destroying indigenous people’s lifestyle. They can no longer fish their waters or hunt their forests. Many more cases of cancer and other respiratory illnesses are reported.

It takes 2.5 tons of sand to get a barrel of oil. The bitumen is like peanut butter. A mix of chemicals are used to get it liquid enough to travel in a pipeline.

Huge ponds are created in the process of trying to separate the oil from the sand. Ponds are deadly for the birds that land on them.

To dig tar sands, Canada trucks a great deal of natural gas to the sites and uses much water. Though they reuse the water, this water is permanently polluted and can never nourish life again.

There are other alternatives: conservation, wind power, hydro, biomass, photovoltaic panels. We need to discuss living more simply and make changes. We are spending our children’s future, using resources they will need.

Sister Jackie Moreau

Portland

 

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