If you can, don’t send your kid to school

There are so many reasons that some kids need to be in school this fall. Some struggle without supervised learning, some have special needs that only the schools can address, some have parents with un-flexible work schedules, some lack the tech or even a home to make remote learning effective, some need nutritional support, and some just have no realistic or workable alternative. As a community, we should do whatever we can to make school available to those kids in a safe and effective way. Keeping some kids out of the schools will help.

This fall, schools will be severely limited by how many kids will be allowed in a classroom and how many teachers they can interact with. By staying home my kids are freeing up space and resources for those kids that need to be at school.

Every additional person in a school building adds to the general health risk. If my kids stay home it is easier for the school district to implement and manage safety protocols. This will reduce the risk of other students getting sick and spreading COVID. This will reduce the risk of our front line teachers getting sick. Our teachers will be putting their lives on the line every day they enter the schools. And this will limit the virus spreading to our broader community. Even in the pre-COVID world, schools were hot spots of community germ transmission. If we limit the number of kids in school it improves the chances the schools and the economy can stay open.

This fall I won’t send my kids to school. My kids will do remote learning because my family can make it work, and in this crazy upside-down COVID world, if you can, it is the socially responsible thing to do.

VladimirDouhovnikoff,
Brunswick

City is a crucial partner in addressing housing needs

This summer, Bath City Council unanimously voted to approve an Affordable Housing Tax Increment Financing District in support of The Uptown and the project received its final Planning Board approval. Led by The Szanton Company, The Uptown creates 50 new rental apartments in the Columbia Block and on the empty lot at 26 Summer St. and refurbishes 10 existing apartments in the Moses Block. I applaud the city’s support of this project.

A recent study commissioned by Bath Housing confirms what we know: housing needs have outpaced available solutions. This struggle is compounded in 2020 considering the COVID-19 pandemic, robust and long overdue discussions about structural racism, and a struggling economy. This creates a unique opportunity to dive into the critical role that housing policy plays in our community. At Bath Housing, we are working towards the creation of a HousingVision. By articulating broad community goals and values, we hope this vision will drive future efforts in this region – efforts that may involve the creation of new housing, but that don’t stop there.

Housing needs have outpaced available solutions and we need to be creative. Bath Housing is pursuing eviction prevention efforts, helping seniors to remain in their own homes through its innovative Comfortably Home program, and expanding landlord outreach. These solutions and others require us to collaborate in new ways. The city is a key partner in this work, and we thank them for their willingness to engage in this conversation with us.

Debora Keller,
Executive Director, Bath Housing,
Bath

Vote for Vitelli

Let us not miss the opportunity to re-elect State Sen.Eloise Vitelli, representing District 23 (which includes all of Sagadahoc County and the Lincoln County town of Dresden), to her third term on Tuesday, Nov. 3.

Eloise is currently State Senate Assistant Majority Leader and serves on the Marine Resources Committee. She successfully sponsored legislation supporting Maine food producers by setting ambitious goals for the purchase of local foods by public schools, institutions and sponsored a bill to increase Maine’s use of renewable energy, has served on Maine’s Workforce and Economic Future Committee and as Chair of the Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Committee.

Eloise is active in protecting our natural resources, advancing better access to health care, including lowering the cost of medicines, and is dedicated to educational excellence. She has received numerous awards including being inducted into the Maine Women’s Hall of Fame in 1995 and in 2020 is endorsed by the prestigious Emily’s List.

Mainers deserve the dedication and quality of leadership Eloise has consistently so freely given.

Patricia M. Hendrickson,
Topsham

 

filed under: