December 3, 2012

Letters to the editor: Readers take MPBN to task

(Continued from page 1)

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A sign protesting a Maine Public Broadcasting music-program cutback in 2001 expresses the feelings of some readers about the radio network's newly announced changes in programming.

2001 File Photo/The Associated Press

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Don't get me wrong. I'm a news junkie. I like staying up on current events. But enough is enough. Another five hours of music is gone, replaced by more talk shows, more chances to stay in one's head instead of being coaxed into one's soul.

This shift away from the music to relentless talk, talk started with 9/11. Gone were the afternoon delights of jazz, folk and world music which could have provided respite from the horrors of that September morning. Instead, more news shows discussing, debating and parsing every twist and turn in current events.

My choice: Let anxiety fed by these shows grow, or turn the dial. Guess which I'll choose?

Elizabeth Miller

Portland

Mayan calendar indicates new era, not world's end

As we approach the winter solstice, Dec. 21, we will probably hear a lot more about the calamities that will befall us as the Mayan calendar "ends" on that date. Fear not! The world will not end, nor will disaster befall us.

Dec. 21 marks the end of the 13th "baktun" of the Mayan calendar. A baktun is 144,000 days (approximately 394 years) and is one of the primary units of the Mayan "Long Count" calendar. The peak of the Mayan civilization occurred during the eighth and ninth baktuns. Although the calendar on my wall ends on Dec. 31, we simply "roll over" into a new year.

The same is true for the Mayan calendar. When one unit, be it a baktun or a katun (1/20th of a baktun) ended, the next one began. With the end of the 13th baktun on Dec. 21 (13.0.0.0.0 in the Mayan calendar), the 14th baktun begins, just as 2013 will begin after Dec. 31 for those of use who use the Gregorian calendar.

So relax, the world will not end, and we will all be here on Dec. 22 to continue our celebration of the Christmas season.

Larry Ryan

Kennebunkport

Good memories remain of musician Mac McHale

Thirty or more years ago, the community of Cape Porpoise came together to convert the old fire house to what is now Atlantic Hall. At the same time, Alan McHale had formed the Northeast Winds and looked for venues for his talented musical crew.

"Mac," Emery Hutchins and Paula McHugh found a place to perform and at the same time do a good deed by raising money for upgrades to the old hall. They played there often for little or no money, and the people of Cape Porpoise and Kennebunkport loved them.

Who wouldn't? They were enthusiastic, good musicians and just plain uplifting to be with. Mac was always the leader and the consummate entertainer.

So many people will miss Alan "Mac" McHale and his music. We wish to thank him and the Northeast Winds and ask that God bless his soul.

Dick and Jane Pickering

Jefferson

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