A tip of the graduation cap
It’s hard to find easy answers to difficult questions. The question before the Brunswick administration and school board was how to appropriately recognize the 2020 graduating class, while at the same time complying with state mandates and the looming specter of an invisible virus that seemed to thwart our best efforts and intentions. Graduation was a conundrum. From the perspective of the Brunswick School Administration it was a no-win situation.
The first response to such a challenge will always be conservative. A reluctance to stick out your neck and draw the ire of multiple constituencies. The response to the first proposal was predictable — push back, unhappiness, and disappointment. What happened next was less predictable in these contentious times: listening, collaboration, involvement, respect and creativity. The Brunswick High Class of 2020 raised their voice, but did so respectfully and productively befitting their accomplishments and reputation. The Administration and School Board took all their comments to heart.  They could easily have been glossed over. Ignored. But this is Brunswick and everyone wanted a commencement ceremony centered on community, spirit, pride, and celebration.
And it came together beautifully at the former Brunswick Naval Air Station. Hundreds of cars in a row outside Hangar 6,  directed there by the smiling and waving Brunswick Police Department. Families in cars with graduates hanging out the windows and sunroofs. The first mention of the Class of 2020 is met with a cacophony of car horns and cheers. The administration and faculty with unmistakable smiles hidden behind masks as a collective sigh of relief swept over the crowd. This is what we needed: togetherness. The class of 2020 HAD to graduate together. Was it perfect? Who’s to say. Was it necessary? Absolutely. So a tip of the graduation hat is well deserved to the BHS Administration, the Brunswick School Board and Class of 2020. Well done.
D.J. Shaughnessy
Proud Parent of BHS 2020 Graduate

Vote for Sweet

I was pleased to see the Associated Press article on Sarah Gideon’s no-show for the candidate forum on Channel 6 last Monday. It was disappointing that Ms. Gideon, in Maine only since 2004, missed the opportunity of free coverage so we could learn more about her in an unscripted setting, instead of her many polished, paid-for-by-PACs advertisements.

The Democratic primary on July 14 is ranked choice, so these ‘debates’ really present an opportunity for candidates to learn from each other’s ideas and to demonstrate where they differ. It was of course ironic and disingenuous of Susan Collins’ mouthpieces to provide AP with a comment about “ducking debates” since that is precisely what Collins has done in all her recent campaigns.

I respect the candidates who did appear on Channel 6, Betsy Sweet (who helped write the referendum that produced Maine’s Clean Election Act in 1996) and Bre Kidman, for their stands against accepting corporate money and for their refreshing ideas for helping Maine in Washington.

Certainly, Susan Collins must be defeated. Her votes for Kavanaugh (and many ABA-“not qualified” judges) and then refusing to convict Trump on impeachment demonstrate her true colors, a Washington toady who is not brave enough to stand up for what is right for all of us. So I urge you to get your mail-in ballot and take advantage of ranked-choice voting to help find the person best qualified to replace Susan in the US Senate. That person for me is Betsy Sweet — find out about her on her website — you may be surprised at how much more she has accomplished in her 40 years in Maine than any of the candidates in either party.

Dan Meyer,
Brunswick

Wear the mask and vote Gideon

I am very proud that Puritan Medical Products, a Maine manufacturer, is playing such a huge role in the global war on COVID-19, while creating quality jobs and invigorating the region’s economy. The company and its employees deserve recognition and thanks for their excellent work.

So it seemed perverse to me that America’s gratitude was conveyed to Puritan employees last Friday by President Trump, who repeatedly undermined that message by disregarding the welfare of those same employees. Instead of protecting their health and safety, Trump violated Maine regulations and company policy by refusing to wear a facemask.

He criticized Gov. Mills’ handling of the pandemic to employees who were healthy and able to work in large part because of her emergency orders. He compromised the health of individuals he called to the podium by telling them to get in close to him for photographs. He demeaned a 21-year employee when he referred to her as “honey” and “darling,” terms he did not use when introducing two male employees. He disrespected all attendees by telling them untruths.

Perhaps if Senator Collins had been present, she would have stood up to Trump on behalf of the Puritan employees. But once again, Susan Collins was unavailable to Mainers.

Sara Gideon, our Speaker of the House, has proven that she has unrelenting energy, intellect, leadership and passion in fighting for the people of Maine. I hope you will join me in supporting Sara Gideon for U.S. Senator.

Kim Anderson True,
Freeport

An Opportunity Lost?

In the summer of 1967, riots erupted in major cities of our country. As a young volunteer at that time living in a black neighborhood in Nashville, I witnessed one night the National Guard patrolling the street with guns sticking out of their vehicle windows. The air on the street was thick with tension brought on by simmering frustration and the presence of armed military.

The national government responded to the urban riots by sending in more armed military. Fear caused reckless shooting; innocent people were killed; businesses burned. President Johnson commissioned a study of the cause of the riots, hoping it would confirm his belief of outside communist agitators and angry blacks committing crime.

By 1968 the The National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders, or the Kerner Report, was published. It documented in a large volume which I read in its entirety, that the real cause for the urban riots was white racism, and the polarization between blacks and whites due to an unequal social/economic system. It highlighted all the areas of our society that needed to change. The report garnered brief attention but then disappeared. Instead, the solution to the urban riots was to further arm police in black neighborhoods; a law and order campaign during the next election was the justification.

The people protesting today, especially the young people, have the power to be the driving force for positive changes this time around. Enough is enough.

Julie Swan,
Brunswick

Perreault for District 49 seat

I am writing this letter to express my effusive support for Corey Perreault as District 49 representative. I am a Brunswick resident and graduate of Brunswick High School, a wife and mother of 2 and a teacher in a neighboring district, and I feel confident that Corey Perreault has the work ethic, leadership skills, and values that will greatly serve the Brunswick community.

I first worked with Corey when I helped organize a fundraising gala for a performing arts scholarship at Brunswick High School. Suffice it to say that without Corey, this gala never would have happened. Corey was able to gain monetary support from various local businesses, handled publicity and organized every detail of the gala from food and decorations, to finding microphones at the last minute when one wasn’t working. If there was a crisis, Corey handled it with poise and positivity. Corey also spearheaded a fundraiser for the BHS Players trip to the Fringe Festival in Scotland. Without Corey’s hard work organizing countless fundraisers, the group would never have raised the nearly $80k it needed to attend the festival.

Additionally, Corey stands her ground on issues that are important, as shown through her work as a Brunswick school board member for many years. To put it simply: Corey gets the job done.

It is clear that Corey Perreault has the work ethic, skills, and heart to represent District 49. In a time where our society is facing uncharted waters, Corey is the positive, calm, and capable captain that we need. I will be casting my vote for her and I hope you will do the same.

Megan Bosarge,
Brunswick   

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