September 9, 2012

Letters to the editor: Teens face employment obstacles

(Continued from page 1)

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A teenage employee awaits customers at a sunglass shop on the pier in Old Orchard Beach in July 2004. School districts that start the school year before Labor Day and government programs that fill summer jobs with foreign students present obstacles to young people seeking seasonal work, a reader says.

2004 File Photo/Jill Brady

Sen. Thomas Saviello of Wilton submitted emergency legislation, L.D. 1862 (SP647), "An Act to Limit Eligibility Under Municipal General Assistance Program," which was co-sponsored by Rep. Alan Casavant, the mayor of Biddeford. Simply, this would have prevented those reaching the five-year TANF cap from applying for local General Assistance.

The bill was killed in committee by a 7-0 vote. Sen. Margaret Craven of Lewiston cast one of those votes, going against the wishes of Lewiston's mayor and City Council.

This bill was discussed at a mayors coalition meeting in Augusta.

Portland Mayor Michael Brennan, along with several other mayors, said they were against it and would fight the bill. Shawn Yardley, the Bangor welfare director, was also against it.

So, who is the real culprit here? Gov. Paul LePage, or some local municipal officials?

Mayor Robert E. Macdonald


Try out iron phosphate to end garden 'slugfest'

Regarding your feature in the Home & Garden section on Aug. 26 ("In gardens this year, it's a slugfest"):

I have been an organic gardener for 40 years and have finally found a 100 percent safe and 100 percent effective solution to slugs: iron phosphate.

Your readers should know that products such as Sluggo and Slug Out are easily available and cheap, and when the pellets are sprinkled around the perimeter of the garden there will be no more slugs. These products are biodegradable and completely safe, even if handled or ingested by children or pets.

The article suggested beer, which is fine if you want the slugs to come and bring their relatives. Salt is a no-no in the garden because it disturbs the balance of the soil and is harmful to worms and beneficial insects. Finally, nobody wants to buy expensive copper screening and go through all that work when these cheap, easy products are much better.

I hope readers will try iron phosphate and see for themselves. I was skeptical, too, but being slug-free is wonderful.

(Also, the slug on the front page is not a Maine slug. It looks like those I saw in Oregon.)

Karen Johnson


Alleged crime scene used to house 'hard-driving' paper

I was amused by the Maine Sunday Telegram story ("Suspicions loomed over dance instructor's Kennebunk operation," Sept. 2) about the prostitution investigation. My amusement was not for obvious reasons, though.

I used to work at 1 High St. in my first reporting job in the mid-1970s.

Now, that building is the location where Alexis Wright allegedly engaged in prostitution. Then, it was the home of the York County Coast Star, an award-winning newspaper once known for its hard-driving investigative reporting.

The Star's late publisher/editor, Alexander "Sandy" Bacon Brook, and managing editor, George Pulkkinen, would have relished digging into this story and ferreting out the particulars.

It is ironic that such a juicy tale has emerged from their once-venerable workplace.

Faith Woodman


More evidence of Israel's intentions toward Arafat

Your Aug. 30 edition had an Associated Press story, "Former official denies Israel aided in poison death of Arafat," referring to Yasser Arafat, the longtime leader of the Palestine Liberation Organization.

According to the story, a Swiss laboratory said it found traces of a deadly substance on Arafat's belongings, prompting a French investigation into his possible murder.

The article also told how, for the last two years of Arafat's life, Israelis had kept him prisoner at his Ramallah headquarters in the West Bank.

During that time Israel's prime minister was Ariel Sharon, a thuggish butcher who wouldn't blink an eye at murdering a prisoner who was in his power. Those who deny that Israel poisoned Arafat should take a look at its homicidal history.

Marjorie Gallace


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