November 24, 2012

Letters to the editor: Story stretches to link alleged 'johns'

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Alexis Wright follows her lawyer, Sarah Churchill, out of court after her arraignment on prostitution charges Oct. 9. Contrary to a recent story about Wright’s alleged clients, it is misleading to say that half of the men charged in the case so far are “in construction,” a reader says.

2012 File Photo/Tim Greenway

For example, Sen. Justin Alfond, D-Portland, has sponsored several such bills that were approved:

1. In the 124th Legislature, Sen. Alfond sponsored L.D. 1446, An Act To Create the Maine Online Learning Program. His co-sponsors were Reps. Alan Casavant, D-Biddeford; Peter Johnson, R-Greenville; Mary Nelson, D-Falmouth; Leila Percy, D-Phippsburg; Hannah Pingree, D-North Haven; Patricia Sutherland, D-Chapman, and Richard Wagner, D-Lewiston, as well as Sens. Libby Mitchell, D-Vassalboro, and Carol Weston, R-Montville. It was passed as amended June 9, 2009.

2. In the 125th Legislature, Sen. Alfond sponsored L.D. 675, An Act to Establish Multidistrict Online Classes in Maine. His co-sponsors were Reps. Nelson and Wagner as well as Reps. Helen Rankin, D-Hiram, and David Richardson, R-Carmel, and Sen. Brian Langley, R-Ellsworth. It was passed as amended Feb. 22, 2012.

3. In the 125th Legislature, Sen. Alfond sponsored L.D. 569, An Act to Support and Encourage the Use of Online Textbooks (Concept Draft). His co-sponsors were Reps. Devin Beliveau, D-Kittery; Seth Berry, D-Bowdoinham; Robert Hunt, D-Buxton, and Jeff McCabe, D-Skowhegan, as well as Sens. Seth Goodall, D-Richmond; Troy Jackson, D-Allagash, and Garrett Mason, R-Lisbon Falls. It was passed as amended June 6, 2011.

One concern seems to be that out-of-state groups could end up running public charter school education programs in Maine. Passed in June 2011, the public charter school bill, L.D. 1553, included a ban on contracts with such groups.

The exception to this ban for virtual charter schools was included in an amendment introduced by a Democratic legislator on the floor of the House, and was then approved by the House. In a subsequent vote, the Senate approved L.D. 1553 as amended.

A majority of legislators -- Democrats, independents and Republicans -- have voted to allow new public options, including virtual schools, to address the widespread challenges our students face.

Judith Jones


Why 'put a gadget on Mars' when our welfare at stake?

The USA spent $2.5 billion to put a gadget on Mars. Of what value is that to the people of this country?

There is a lot of talk about "controlling" Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security. Which is more important, the welfare of the American people or a few pictures of Mars?

I urgently express my hope that our congressional delegation can do something to stop this absurdity.

Other issues should be considered:

The outrageous benefits the Congress has voted for itself.

The lack of democracy -- what's so democratic about requiring 60 votes in the Senate to pass a bill?

Even the printing of presidential dollars that no one wants to use.

Please consider these things.

Charles S. Gould


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