Anne Carney for Senate

To the editor,

I am writing in support of Anne Carney who is a candidate for State Senate in District 29 (South Portland, Cape Elizabeth and part of Scarborough). Currently Anne is serving in the Maine House of Representatives as a member of the Labor and Housing committee. Anne has practiced employment, civil rights and municipal law in Maine for 16 years. In 2016, she received the Pine Tree Legal Assistance Award for Pro Bono Services. Anne served on the Cape Elizabeth Land Trust board of directors from 2010 to 2018, including three years as board president. She has actively volunteered on numerous other boards and committees.

I especially appreciate Anne’s work in the House of Representatives on issues such as the environment and health care. I believe Anne will work very capably and energetically to serve us in the Maine Senate while bringing respect and decency to the government process. I hope you will join me in voting for Anne Carney in the primary on July 14.

Janice Drinan
Scarborough

What’s best approach to open economy

To the editor,

As Maine and Scarborough start to ease restrictions and recover from COVID-19, there are a variety of opinions on the best approach. There are many tradeoffs to be considered. If we open up too fast, what will be the public health implications? If we open up too slow, what will be the economic impacts on small businesses? Should tourists be able to come to the town and what precautions should be made?

There’s a lot of questions that are likely going through all of our heads and we all have different responses to those questions based on our personal beliefs and values.

We will be hosting a virtual conversation on this topic on June 11th and invite people to participate and share their perspective. We plan to explore the question: As restrictions are easing in Scarborough, there are trade-offs between quality of life, risks to life, and public and private costs and benefits. How do your values guide you in your approach to these trade-offs? The intent is not to reach consensus on this topic, but to share and hear from other perspectives. The event is open to ALL perspectives and we hope to have a diverse, lively and respectful discussion. If you are interested in particpating please email [email protected] or check out our facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/ScarboroughCommunityConnections

Scott Woodard
Scarborough Community Connections

Thanks to those who purchased plants

To the editor,

A plant sale fundraiser was held at a residence on Running Hill Road in Scarborough on May 29.

All the proceeds were donated to the Scarborough Food Pantry on Black Point Road.

Thank you to the customers who stopped by to purchase plants and make a donation to this fundraiser.

This is the fourth year of the plant sale and the proceeds in the past years have been donated to other various Summer fundraisers in Scarborough such as car washes, SummmerFest, and the donation collection box at Hannaford.

Barb Zaharis

0 percent tax rate increase Yes!!

The current uproar by parents and teachers over program loss and elimination of teachers is valid. We have great programs for our children/grandchildren and teachers are an important part of the success our students achieve. Police, EMTs, fire, public works and all other departments are important to our community.

The Town can have a 0 percenttax increase and save the programs, teacher positions and other public employees jobs!

How? Have all town employees freeze their wages and benefits to the levels of June 30, 2020. No cuts in staff and no cut in pay required. This will save millions of dollars! They keep their jobs and have no negative financial hit; unlike the untold number of taxpayers losing their jobs or closing their businesses.

Look. Things are not as they were and we are not going back to “normal.” The state has already lost millions in sales and lodging taxes. This will continue for a long time. Unemployed people and closed businesses are in no position to pay property taxes causing a loss of revenue to Scarborough. That’s where the millions of dollars come from that fund the towns and millions to our school system. Money that will not be there for the foreseeable future.

Tell your town councilors and Board of Education to step up and negotiate a fair solution for our students, taxpayers and town employees.

Larry Hartwell

A Child’s Message of Thanks in 2020

How did this happen?
My world sort of snapped!
So much that I counted on changed
Playgroups and playgrounds, community teams,
Everything – perfectly – strange.

The first weeks were sort of pajamas or not,
Freedom and snacks all day long
Learning from home seemed to be a good thing,
Except that Dad’s math was all wrong.

LEGOs and chrome books and riding my bike,
Online and offline school plans
Happened each day but each day turned to weeks,
Then somehow, that’s just how things ran.

Mom and Dad tried but I’m glad we still met,
With all of the kids in our class
Google Meet led by my teacher was cool,
Together we felt we could last!

Some days were tricky and some full of fun!
But my older sisters were sad
Hearing the hush of the TV at night,
Thinking the world had gone mad.

Trying to be grateful but missing my friends,
Wanting a real hug from Gram
Stay Well! Stay Safe! was what everyone cheered,
Whenever we Zoomed with the fam.

I’m just a kid but I know what I see,
I know what I hear, what I feelThree mindful breaths let me reach for some hope,
But thousands of people don’t heal.

This is the part of my message that means,
Way more to kids than you’d thinkHearing your voice with a hug or a laugh,
Helps so many worries to shrink.

So when we look back at what changed our whole world,
Through stuff we just couldn’t controlRemember whose smile shone down on your tears,
And loved every story you told.

To families and school communities everywhere,
thank you.

Julia Peters
Scarborough

Make sure budget adequately funds schools

Letter to the editor,

These have certainly been unprecedented times, although one thing has remained constant – the fight over the school budget. I am a parent of an elementary school aged child in Scarborough, and know firsthand the difficulties we have all faced as we struggle with online learning in our community. Students will be entering next school year in a much different place in regards to educational preparation, not to mention emotional health. This is true for all children, but particularly those who already struggle with academic, emotional, or economic challenges, which will have been exacerbated by this current crisis.

In addition to my role as parent, I am a pediatrician and an infectious disease physician. This means that I completed residency in pediatrics after medical school, and an additional three years of pediatric infectious disease training after that. So, while I am not an expert in school budgets or education, I do know a bit about public health, infection prevention, and have spent as long as anyone trying to figure out how to confront this virus in our community and specifically in our children. I am extremely concerned about recommended education budget reductions, and how they will affect our ability to safely open schools, and safely keep schools open throughout the year. The CDC and WHO have issued a trove of suggestions for consideration, including such things as smaller class sizes, desks 6 feet apart, individual school and art supplies, individually wrapped school lunches, and children spaced 1 to a seat on the bus (with open seats in between). Our past budget would not allow for this; our current proposed budget even less so. Maine has not experienced the surge in the virus seen in major cities around the country, but Cumberland County has easily the highest rates in the state. Our state’s health care system already has limited beds per capita, and despite recent expansion, we still have suboptimal PPE supplies and testing capabilities. When children start school, not only will COVID circulate; flu and other respiratory viruses will as well. I am concerned about the ability of our healthcare system to safely and efficiently evaluate children with fever, and return them to school, particularly if our schools cannot adhere to recommended infection control policies because of lack of funding.

It is true that children in general do not appear to be as severely affected by this virus as adults. But they are being affected-in some cases requiring ICU admission and with some cases even resulting in death. The new post-COVID inflammatory syndrome reported recently in children is rare, but serious, with half of children requiring ICU admission. Long term health effects of this syndrome are unknown. Furthermore, children could potentially spread disease to adults, whether they be school staff or family members. The jury is still out on how well children can spread this virus; what we do know is that they have multiple more social contacts than adults (particularly with school in session), and have the same or more numbers of virus particles isolated in their airways.

I look at proposed budget cuts, and I am concerned about the ability of our community to take care of our children at school, and by extension their families, and the school staff. I am worried about educational opportunities. One thing this virus has laid bare is that the social safety net in our country is far too thin Please don’t decimate it further by hindering the health and education of our children.

Sincerely,

Jennifer Jubulis, MD

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