September 14, 2013

Letters to the editor: Sale best option for Congress Square

(Continued from page 1)

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A plan to sell part of Congress Square Plaza and build an events center there will revitalize the neighborhood, says the nearby State Theatre’s general manager.

2013 File Photo/Tim Greenway

Peter Mills

executive director, Maine Turnpike Authority

Portland

Maine seniors merit kudos for volunteer contributions

With Maine holding the honor of being the "oldest" state in the nation, it is only proper that we honor our seniors by dedicating the second Saturday of September as Maine Seniors Day.

Our seniors play an important role in Maine's quality of life. Because seniors are staying healthier and living longer, they contribute more to our Maine way of life than ever before.

Seniors are working longer, serve as role models and have great work ethics.

They serve an important role as volunteers for organizations that play a vital role in our communities. Maine has the highest senior volunteer effort in the country, with 34 percent of all volunteers being seniors, compared to 29.3 percent nationally.

We have a lot to thank our seniors for, and recognizing our seniors with a special day in their honor is the least we can do. After all, with age comes wisdom, making Maine the "wisest" state in the nation.

John E. Nale

elder law attorney and past president, Maine Association of Area Agencies on Aging

Waterville

Memorable '42' chronicles baseball, national history

The movie "42" is now available to rent or buy. Every youngster who ever played or dreams of playing baseball should see this film. My "B" hat's off to writer-director Brian Helgeland.  

"42" chronicles Jackie Robinson's entry into Major League Baseball in 1955. I had a Brooklyn Dodgers-worshipping aunt who took me to see him play, I was 9, and blind to witnessing history unfold. A chilling scene depicts Robinson and his sportswriter companion, to avoid racial trouble, fleeing by driving through rainy streets -- in Sanford, Fla.

Helgeland's script highlights the courage and conviction of Branch Rickey, the incomparable owner of the Dodgers, who once quipped, "Problems are the price you pay for progress." Love that.  

Rickey had the unimaginable nerve to bring a black man up to play in the majors. Harrison Ford, as Rickey, delivers a flawless performance.

Your average baseball fan aside, one can only imagine the backlash he endured from the high and mighty owners of the day. In one scene, the owner of the Pirates threatens not to field his team if Rickey brings Robinson to Pittsburgh.

I've long been a fan of those who courageously stand up -- most often alone -- to adversity, wrongdoing or sexism/racism/homophobia to boldly say, "This is wrong!" or "This is unacceptable!" (A nod to Pope Francis here.)

Apparently, the movie did not get great reviews. Ford aside, there were no "bankable" stars. Johnny Depp was busy applying Tonto makeup. Bruce Willis was preoccupied blowing something up.  

To quote Yogi Berra, seeing "42" was "like deja vu all over again." A historically important and satisfying movie experience in that I learned something: "42" is the only number ever retired from major league baseball. But even more importantly -- I felt something.

Don't miss this one.

Buddy Doyle

Gardiner

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