July 23, 2013

Letters to the editor: Food program critic's priorities at issue

"Who could possibly argue against L.D. 1353, a bill requiring school to provide lunches to deserving children during months when school lunches are not available?"

A recent Press Herald editorial ("Our View: LePage should back bill to close student food gap," July 11) drew "Another View: Summer food program for kids bad idea if it boosts school costs" (July 17).

The guest editorial writer, Skip Simonds, and his wife have "moved into our former summer home," which needs repairs, and he is against using his tax money to feed children.

I read the guest editorial a few times to make sure I understood. He has a house -- he used to have two. He has enough money to pay taxes. He does not want to pay any more to feed children.

I am volunteering at a summer feeding program for children. They are getting half a sandwich, an orange, half a carrot and a small carton of milk. That is too much?

If they are in a qualifying program, they also get a snack of an apple, a couple ounces of crackers and a second milk. Too much? Really? How sad!

Colleen Congdon

"Another View" by Skip Simonds on July 17 really goes to the heart of what's wrong in America today.

Why should he have to have his property taxes increased to ensure that schools can provide lunches for hungry children during the summer when he can't even afford to buy a new septic tank and washer for what was his second home? It's just not fair.

Jane Cotnoir

Statement undercuts views of climate change skeptic

In his somewhat rambling presentation of personal opinion ("Letters to the editor: Manmade warming theory not supported by science," July 17), Howard Cutler helpfully presents one reference. Strangely, he seems not to have carefully read that reference, rather selecting one phrase out of context, thus totally changing the message.

Cutler writes that "Rajendra Pachauri ... admitted no warming has occurred in the past 17 years."

The actual statement, in context, follows, from a Feb. 22 article by Graham Lloyd of The Australian headlined " 'Nothing off-limits' in climate debate":

"The U.N.'s climate change chief, Rajendra Pachauri, has acknowledged a 17-year pause in global temperature rises, confirmed recently by Britain's Met Office, but said it would need to last '30 to 40 years at least' to break the long-term global warming trend.

"Dr. Pachauri, the chairman of the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, said that open discussion about controversial science and politically incorrect views was an essential part of tackling climate change."

In his letter, Mr. Cutler also fails to mention that, prior to the 17-year pause, global temperature had risen steadily since records have been kept, and very sharply since the early '70s. Nor does he reveal that the past decade has been the hottest ever recorded, which in time will have its own impact on the global reading.

Finally, he writes of 47-year-old predictions of oceans rising, polar bears dying, severe storms and "dire consequences," concluding, amazingly, "Yet, none of this has happened." That it is happening around the world, affected millions will attest, and the longer we delay in coping, the worse it will get.

We need a new way of thinking, and I can only hope that Mr. Cutler will come to his senses and join in the effort.

Richard K. Jennings, M.D.
volunteer, Climate Reality Project

Statue tribute to labors of hardworking Marine horse

This Saturday, July 27, marks the ending of the Korean War, aka "The Forgotten War."

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