In response to Bill Nemitz’s column (“Catholics see hope amid challenges,” June 3): Not too long ago, I made the decision to scrap my scapular medal that many Catholics wear around their necks. They read: “In the event of an emergency, please call a priest.”

My decision was prompted by a reported “self-study” conducted (at that time) by the Catholic Church. It concluded that if a victim was over 10 years of age, the Vatican did not consider it pedophilia. Wow.

At the time, I’d just made the difficult decision to put my dog down. I note that I now wear a pewter replica of a dog with angel wings — a gift from the afterlife facility. In the event of an emergency, I’d hope that someone would simply call a golden retriever and fetch me a beer believing that “God will surely find us.”

Now Bill Nemitz catches us up on the Catholic Church and its change in Portland diocesan leadership. Nemitz reports that the pope apparently favors a return to Latin (versus the prevailing vernacular) and has, incredibly, denounced American nuns for their “promotion of feminism.”

Selfless and tireless nuns, in my view and from my experience, have been the backbone of this pious good ol’ boys club — for centuries.

With utmost respect and gratitude to tens of thousands of religious and lay (male and female) — teachers, nurses, counselors and so many others working within the difficult confines of this archaic institution, oblivious to the trajectory of its suicidal decline — I say a heartfelt prayer.

To those wearing sturdy shoes versus satin slippers, who actually break a sweat doing God’s work: Bless you and thank you!

I believe God surely knows exactly who they are — and needn’t look too far to find them.

Buddy Doyle

Gardiner

Supporters of R&D veto bow to governor’s pressure

What changed in two weeks?

On May 15, the research and development bond passed by the House just a few weeks earlier came back with a veto from the governor.

The R&D bond, which would have provided grants to businesses and industry through a competitive process, would have led to development and innovation in a wide range of areas, including biotech, product development and energy amongst many others — all of which create jobs and grow the Maine economy.

The measure, backed by business, education, industry and yes — Republicans and Democrats — passed overwhelmingly.

On consideration of the veto, 13 legislators who previously supported the bond flipped their vote from a “yes” to a “no” to prevent the R&D bond from going to voters this fall.

After intense lobbying from the governor, state Rep. Jane Knapp of Gorham and 12 other legislators changed their vote and prevented $20 million in R&D grants from going to Maine businesses.

Gorham businesses have benefited to the tune of over $800,000 from these grants over the last 10 years, not to mention the millions of dollars that have been invested in other R&D projects around Maine. R&D is a vital component to economic growth and job creation.

This wasn’t a changed vote after hearing from concerned constituents or those who had a vested interest in the outcome of this vote. Under pressure from the governor, Rep. Knapp and a few others changed their votes to take away the possibility of millions of dollars in R&D grants for Maine businesses and industry.

This is another disappointing example of the frustration people have with Augusta. Voters deserve to know where someone stands on an issue and trust their leaders will be decisive when it is time to vote on issues that matter!

Andrew McLean, candidate for House District 129

Gorham

LePage seeks more workers while opposing labor rights

This letter is a comment regarding your supportive editorial for Gov. LePage’s fifth year of high school (“Fifth high school year good plan for Maine,” June 13). At this point, I’m leaning against the idea, but that is not the essence of this letter. I feel compelled to ask you to examine the governor’s philosophical contradiction.

The fifth year is intended, in the words of your editorial, “to give kids a seamless entry into the job market.” (By the way, is this for all kids or only those not aiming at a four-year institution?) Realizing there are other components to this idea, jobs seems to be the core. Get the kids more ably prepared for jobs; blend academic and vocational elements and by the way, it may result in their paying less for their post-secondary training.

I use the term “training” intentionally, because training and education aren’t necessarily the same, but do have considerable overlap.

In the ’90s the big term was “school to work,” an approach blending education and vocational training, but primarily focused on the world of work. The governor’s approach is one of the many streams within the “school to work” conception.

And now, the contradiction. The governor took down the mural focused on labor. He applauded the Wisconsin outcome against unions. He, in my estimation, is pursuing the Republican/tea party nationwide thrust against unions, including teachers. He is clearly pro-business, but the contradiction is that he is proposing to further the students’ progress toward joining the labor force, which he seems to be against.

I suspect that his image of the outcome of the fifth year is producing more labor force for the businesses that he’s proposing to bring to the state. He seems to be pro-business but anti-labor. It’s an interesting philosophical breach.

Mark Schwartz

South Portland

East-west road unlikely to bring adequate revenue

How does a toll road — from the Canadian province of New Brunswick, transiting a very sparsely populated section of Maine and re-entering Canada in the province of Quebec at a “nowhere” place called Woburn — expect to generate enough revenue to maintain the road and provide a profit for investors?

An argument might be made for a road from Calais through Maine to intersect with major north-south highways in New Hampshire, Vermont and New York.

What would right-of-way land in those states cost?

Building and maintaining roads in deep frost/snow country is never easy.

The proposed route from Calais to Coburn Gore might wind up as the only four-lane snowmobile trail in North America!

Charles S. Copp

Westbrook