August 29, 2013

Letters to the editor: Media overlook excitement about Baxter

Why does the press continue to focus on every little problem, no matter how small, that Baxter Academy faces? Certainly CNN, Fox News and the like also focus on everything negative that happens in the world, and little of the many positive events, so maybe the press in Maine is no different. 

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click image to enlarge

Recent coverage of Baxter Academy focuses on the negative and doesn’t take into account the widespread support for the charter school and the need to improve STEM education, a reader says.

2013 File Photo/Gordon Chibroski

It appears that the journalists would truly like to see a school fail. Well, I hate to see people disappointed, but Baxter Academy will not fail. If the press would take even a nanosecond to see the energy of Baxter Academy's board, administration and faculty, they would paint a different picture. 

The press and any naysayers should also see the excitement in the parents and the students. There is so much positive energy, but it is unlikely that the press will report it. One of my sons told me, "Don't tell anyone, but I'm actually excited for school to start." How often do you hear that?

I'm a longtime conservative liberal, and a strong supporter of public education, but people should not be afraid of charter schools. I believe that the negative statements come from the fear that Baxter Academy will succeed. Fear of change, and wanting to maintain the status quo. 

The United States cannot and must not continue the status quo in science, technology, engineering and math education. Change is needed. Baxter Academy will be a model for STEM schools.

Come and see Baxter Academy in six months, 12 months, 18 months, two years. In the meantime, try to find something positive to report about. Look at (and see) the positive in Baxter Academy, and also in the world.

Bill Schmidt

Freeport

Roundabouts would cause more issues than they solve

Roundabouts have no place in this city, period. So with that said, I just saved the City Council $150,000 on a study ("Portland OKs $150K to start Woodfords Corner upgrade," Aug. 6).

Are they really serious? I have seen roundabouts at work in rural towns that actually work to some extent -- but picture this, a roundabout at the intersection of the University of Southern Maine.

It's rush hour traffic. One person hesitates to enter the roundabout, and now traffic is backing up because everyone knows that you have to enter the roundabout in a safe manner between oncoming cars.

And if I am not mistaken, according to the article I read, they want another at Bedford Street and Deering Avenue -- that's two roundabouts within 50 yards of each other.

Taking in account the size they would have to be, we would be losing parts of the park areas and having to pay landowners money for taking some of their property (not that these property owners have a lot to spare anyway).

Then there's Woodfords Corner. Over the years a lot of work has been done to alleviate traffic problems there, to no avail. Now let's take parking away from the business owners there so people can't stop to make purchases during the drive home. What are you thinking?

I am so glad elections are coming soon. It's time to get rid some of those lame-brained councilors who do not have a clue what's best for the people of Portland. Even better, maybe even I will run next year, to add another vote against wasteful spending at City Hall.

On a quick note: Do we really need an elected mayor, giving him a salary for what can be done by someone the way it was before? Come this election, please vote these wasteful spenders out of office.

Frank Teras

Portland

Social Security bulwark of seniors' economic stability

On Aug. 14, Americans everywhere celebrated 78 years of Social Security.

When the Social Security Act was signed into law in 1935, almost half of all older Americans lived in poverty.  

At first, Social Security was just a retirement program. Today, it offers survivors' benefits, benefits to a retiree's spouse and disability benefits.

Social Security is a foundation of economic security for millions of Americans and their families.

In Maine, one-third of those 65 or older who are on Social Security rely on their benefit for 100 percent of their income. Without Social Security, more than 80,000 older Mainers would fall into poverty.

As we look at ways to strengthen Social Security now and for the future, let's remember that Social Security hasn't contributed one dime to the nation's budget deficit. It is a self-financed program, not a piggy bank for deficit reduction.  

Washington should leave Social Security out of the deficit debate so we can find responsible, sustainable solutions now and for the future. The so-called "chained CPI" proposal we are hearing about will cut benefits. It will hurt seniors, women, people with disabilities and veterans who've sacrificed so much for this country.

As we celebrate 78 years of Social Security, let's make sure Washington does not make decisions about its future without hearing from every one of us first. Go to www.earnedasay.org today and make your voice heard.

Meredith Tipton

member, AARP Maine Executive Council

South Portland

Throw Obama out of office for usurping others' powers

Now is not the time to mince words. President Obama is ignoring Congress and writing his own laws -- in my opinion, a treasonous act, and people say they are outraged by this.

If we the people are outraged, let's do something about it!

He is one man occupying one branch of our three-branch government. The American people are strong enough, if the will is there, to throw him out of office.

Come on, people, let's do it, because it looks like the establishment Republicans in Washington are afraid to -- or maybe they agree with him. Hard to tell from the way they drag their feet while precious time passes.

We can start by bringing up this subject with friends, family and fellow workers. We can call local radio shows to express our anger toward our so-called leader. You probably have other platforms as well.

Complain all you want about the president's anti-constitutional actions, but for heaven's sake, do something about it!

A very good man said not long ago, "If it is to be, it is up to me."

Rose Marie Russell

Westbrook

 

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