December 19, 2012

Letters to the Editor: Preventing another Newtown tragedy

(Continued from page 1)

Woman lights candles while visiting a memorial to the victims of the recent shooting in Sandy Hook Village in Newtown,
click image to enlarge

A woman lights candles Monday in Newtown, Conn., while visiting a memorial to the victims of the recent shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

2012 File Photo/Reuters

Regarding the Maine Voices by Kathy Rivers ("Open your eyes to homeless, hungry to change how you view the world," Nov. 26):

Ironically, the reason I have so much time to read the Press Herald from front to back is because I have been unable to find a replacement job after my seasonal job closed. I have been actively searching and I'm not even being picky. I recently got turned down to be a cashier at the local grocer (I have lots of experience) because I wasn't a "good match."

I have a dear friend who has been unemployed for two years due to her employer going bankrupt. She and I are both older, and she believes the "bad match" is that we have too much experience and may demand more pay.

Whatever the reasons, I am frustrated being rejected by jobs I should be a "shoo-in" for (I have great references and an excellent work record).

I finally had to start collecting unemployment. I make $183 per week. I'm seriously considering panhandling in Portland.

I recommend that Kathy Rivers check out Channel 13's special report of Nov. 20. That undercover reporter averaged $15 an hour as a panhandler! No one bothered to ask anything about him. One of the people he interviewed admitted to having a job, but he panhandles on the side.

This same guy said a woman handed him a $100 bill. As a person collecting unemployment, I am required to account for my time and any additional income.

The reason panhandling is a scam is because people like Kathy do not question these people and they persist.

Her warm, fuzzy good feelings should come not from handing money out willy nilly after she imagines her beneficiaries' fictional sad lives, but by making donations to reputable organizations like the Good Shepherd Food-Bank.

Hand them a job, a meal, a place to stay. Imagine the alcoholic after he buys a drink with the money you "gifted." Any better off?

Lisa DeAngelis Lane


Persistence of racism shows protections are still needed  

In response to the article "Affirmative action: Filing suit over race-based protection" (Dec. 8):

According to Edward Blum, who is quoted in the article, "Affirmative action treats whites unfairly and stigmatizes minorities, and the rule that requires certain, mostly Southern, states to obtain special federal permission for electoral changes -- Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act -- unjustly punishes them for long-abandoned racist practices."

One has only to look at the last election, with the calls for voter ID cards, limited voting sites and booths in minority districts, and canceling or limiting early voting opportunities as just a few examples that indicate racist practices are anything but long abandoned.

It is also true that there are still many in the South who feel that black enrollment at their beloved institutions of higher learning should be limited to those recruited for their football and basketball teams.

Until the spirit for true equality resides in the hearts and minds of all men, affirmative action and voting rights acts remain a necessity.

William "Skip" Button



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