Region 10 budget cuts: Are you kidding me?  

Perhaps I somehow landed on another planet, but I seem to recall reading several articles and editorials within the last year discussing the need for technical education to fill an ever-increasing number of jobs requiring those skills. 

I visit a woman at Bodwell, aged 94. The CNA trainees from Region 10 intern were there, and they will walk into a much-needed role right out of school. In case you missed it, the average age in Maine is OLD. And, sadly, we’re not getting any younger. 

I do not know if they have a computer technology course at Region 10, but there is another place where students who have learned about (and interned at providers) networking should be able to walk into a job when they graduate. 

Software development does not require a college degree. People that can do it can elect to get more education. Doing so while earning $40-$100 per hour out of high school works for me. 

I am not sure I would trust a college graduate to fix my pipes, heating system or electric panel (Full disclosure: I have a Master’s degree), but I would trust a Region 10 graduate. 

One can assume that there are many excellent college graduates at CEI in Brunswick, for example, and they have been doing fantastic work funding startups for the past 40 years. But I doubt many (any?) of them could do the work required for their investments to see the light of day.  Someone has to do the heavy lifting. 

Region 10 is, and should be, about much more than car mechanics – as important as that is. Electric cars are approaching and may require a whole new set of skills, to say nothing of installing charging stations in homes and parking lots. These are graduates who are less likely to leave the state; and, they will have very marketable skills that Maine will need to grow our economy. We need them and we need their skills.  

George Cookman, 

Harpswell 


Women shouldn’t be denied coverage to make their own choices 

I am writing in support of the proposed bill to require coverage of abortion for public and private insurance if the plan covers prenatal care.  This law is needed because right now some insurance companies provide coverage for pregnancy but do not cover abortion including when it is medically necessary.  They’re denying healthcare coverage to influence a private medical decision, including if the life of the mother is endangered, or she is pregnant as a result of sexual assault.  By denying coverage, women with low incomes are harder hit by the restrictions.  Maine’s poorest women must pay out of pocket for a service commonly covered for women with more expensive private insurance.  It denies poor women their legal right to make their own choices with respect to their health. 
Fifteen states, including Connecticut and Massachusetts, already use their state healthcare resources to ensure coverage of abortion for women with Medicaid insurance, and it’s time for Maine to join them.  LD 820, now under consideration by the legislature, would require this coverage.  
Nils Tcheyan, 

Harpswell 


We must think before we leap 
For Maine to grant CMP permission to build a power transmission corridor from Hydro-Quebec to Massachusetts via Maine all the facts should be considered. Is this a good thing?
This will result in loss of habitat for fish and wildlife, loss of trees and vegetation capable of absorbing carbon dioxide, land expropriated from individuals and companies, loss of recreational areas, and create a big, ugly swath of huge transmission towers through our treasured wilderness areas.
Does this actually result in a reduction in carbon emissions since this, on the surface, sounds like electricity is being provided to Massachusetts that comes from environmentally better hydro power? But does it? 
It has been reported that Hydro-Quebec currently often operates at capacity of it’s hydro resources and when there is high demand, they purchase needed capacity from coal burning power plants. Is this true? Will selling electricity to Massachusetts push demand on Hydro-Quebec beyond its hydro capacity and force them to utilize coal fired, polluting power plants to meet the demand? The Maine Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has not been able to see this information and therefore has not considered this most important data.
True that Maine will receive what seems a big chunk of money for allowing this, but CMP will profit far greater. Do we want to allow something that takes resources and environmentally valuable assets from Mainers yet does nothing positive to reduce carbon emissions and possibly even increases them just for gaining a payoff from CMP? If this is the case, it is short sighted and wrong.
That’s why the Natural Resource Council of Maine (NRCM) is urging passage of LD 640, which would require an independent, fair, and comprehensive analysis of the CMP corridor’s impact on climate change-causing emissions.
Contact your legislators and the PUC, encourage them to get the facts, then decide.
Philip Conner, 
Harpswell