Thumbs up to Avesta Housing for opening yet another quality apartment building for low- to mid-income people in York County. The group held a ribbon cutting ceremony last week at its Cascade Brook development, a new affordable housing building for those 55 and older.

Several residents spoke about the need for affordable elderly housing and commended Avesta for a job well done. The nonprofit has worked on several projects in the area, and is creating affordable housing for individuals, families and seniors while often repurposing vacant and historic buildings like old schools. Great job, Avesta, and keep up the good work.

Thumbs down to the decision to let a local man avoid jail time in a beating that left Jason Moreland of Berwick with multiple broken bones in his face, partial facial paralysis, the loss of 60 percent of his vision in one eye and seven fewer teeth. Moreland has endured numerous surgeries and faces more as a result of the beating he received upon leaving Train’s Tavern in Lebanon after exchanging some barroom banter with two men there on Jan. 27. After reviewing surveillance tape, York County Superior Court Justice John O’Neil announced last week he would approve the plea agreement in which defendant Jason Mowry will pay about $7,500 in restitution, an $800 fine and is prohibited from contacting Moreland. He will avoid jail time as long as he meets the conditions. The second man involved in the beating, Gilbert Perez, 28, has not answered to the charges here because he is serving a one- to three-year prison term in New Hampshire State Prison on a habitual offender conviction. We agree with Moreland and Maj. Bill King of the York County Sheriff’s Office, who both said they were very disappointed with the decision. When someone makes the decision to injure another person as badly as Moreland was injured, they deserve to serve time in jail ”“ especially when their rap sheet already includes a laundry list of violent offenses.

Thumbs up to Biddeford Police Department Detective Shawn Cloutier for reuniting an elderly resident of Biddeford Estates with an important family keepsake ”“ her late husband’s diamond ring. The woman told police that a woman who worked at the assisted living facility offered to clean the ring, and she consented, but the ring was never returned. The resident became depressed, stopped eating and her condition was worsening. That’s when Cloutier decided to step up the investigation. After the resident identified the worker from photos, Cloutier secured an arrest warrant and paid a visit to Biddeford resident Kayla Bacon’s residence. Cloutier said thanks to “divine intervention” when he arrived there, a woman in the backyard, who was a friend of Bacon’s, was wearing the resident’s ring. Cloutier said Bacon confessed to the crime, and he was able to return the ring to the resident.

Thumbs up to VingTech manufacturing for its award of a $10 million U.S. Navy contract. The contract is for miniature day/night sighting systems used on a variety of Navy machine guns. The Biddeford facility opened in early 2008 and employs 40 people. It was welcome news late last week after General Dynamics Armament and Technical Products in Saco announced earlier it would have to lay off 30 workers at its facility.


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.