Thumbs up to the Town of Arundel for investing in its website and online offerings. The town will spend $1,200 to upgrade the site, which Town Manager Todd Shea says will make it more user-friendly and welcoming. People are increasingly turning to the Web for information, communication and to do their daily business, and expanding and improving the town’s website will benefit residents and visitors alike. The town also plans to pursue live streaming of selectmen’s meetings. Broadcasting meetings via the Internet allows people to watch the proceedings from anywhere in the country, and if there is an archive, for a period after the meetings take place. The option of watching a meeting at home and when one chooses is likely more palatable to many and allows people to keep up on local issues. 

Thumbs down to voters in Regional School Unit 23 who did not participate in any public hearings or show-of-hands votes before turning down the $43.5 million school budget at the polls last week. While we understand voter frustration with the budget put to voters, residents had the opportunity to contact their school board members, go to public hearings and show up at the meeting where the budget was approved in early July. At that meeting, voters could have reduced the budget or voted against the budget altogether ”“ sending a message to the school board that the cuts were not enough. Instead, the 90-plus people at that meeting approved a budget only to have it voted down last week by more than 2,500 people. Since the budget will go through the process yet again, we urge residents of Saco, Dayton and Old Orchard Beach to contact the school board, go to the meetings and get a budget passed to which people in all three communities can agree.

Thumbs up to three Kennebunk students for participating in the University of New England’s summer internship program that focuses on medicine, research and entrepreneurship. The program, developed by the UNE Center for Excellence in Neuroscience, allowed the interns ”“ which included locals Trevor Luck, Hayley Ruitenberg and Evan Shuris ”“ to learn firsthand about possible treatments for neurological and psychiatric disorders. Students also interact with leaders from Maine businesses to see how they are working with nonprofit research institutions to further develop products and grow their companies. Internships and programs like this give students invaluable experience with real-world issues and professionals in their fields of interest. UNE’s program will benefit the local youth who will be our future workforce.

Thumbs up to the organizers of the Mr. Old Orchard Beach Beauty Contest. We hope more men will sign up to participate in the evening gown competition and a talent contest for this worthy cause. Money raised at the event will benefit the Old Orchard Beach Food Pantry. The evening promises to entertain, and as organizer Sandra Paynter said, it should be a “riot.” For those who would like to see local men fighting for the titles of winner, runner-up and Mr. Congeniality, the event will be held Sunday, Aug. 19 from 3-6 p.m. at Jimmy the Greek’s restaurant, 215 Saco Ave. in Old Orchard Beach.


Thumbnails is a Monday feature of the Journal Tribune’s opinion pages. If you would like to respond, please write the Reader’s Forum via email at [email protected] or by dropping your letter off at our Biddeford office.