Taking down mural is the right move

To the editor,

Recently, the Scarborough Board of Education voted to remove the Native American Chief mural from Plummer Gymnasium at Scarborough High School where it has been since the 1990s. The mural is effectively the last vestige of the former mascot, which was replaced by the “Red Storm” 20 years ago. While this mural represents a piece of our community’s history, it also symbolizes something more acerbic, racial insensitivity, though it was never meant to.

As a 1998 alumnus of Scarborough High School, I cherish my memories of SHS. I remember the basketball games in the “Terrordome” (Plummer Gymnasium), and I remember the senior classman who dressed up in war paint to ramp up school spirit and the chants we screamed from the bleachers to support our team. We did all of it with a youthful innocence, never wanting or intending to hurt anyone. But we were young, naïve, and maybe a little ignorant of the cultural implications. Today, we have matured as a society and I believe that when you know better, you do better. For example, we would never dream of dressing a student in war paint today, nor of chanting Native American-themed jeers from the sidelines, such acts are now completely unthinkable.

Today, the only thing the mural’s physical presence effects, is how unwelcome some people feel in Plummer Gymnasium. That alone, despite my fond memories, is enough to know that it no longer embodies the Scarborough I grew up in nor the one I was elected to serve.

Nicholas Gill
Scarborough Board of Education

To the editor,

5G technology poses health risks

To the Editor,

I am writing in response to the article in last week’s Leader regarding 5G contracts with cell phone providers. I noticed that while the article spoke of the commercial aspects of these agreements and potential benefit to Scarborough, there was no mention of the potential health risks of this technology.

I am writing to raise awareness of and express concern about the deployment of small cell wireless antennas in our community. If these powerful antennas, part of the next generation of wireless technology (5G), are being placed in close proximity to our homes, schools and other places where we engage in the activities of our daily lives, there is no science that assures their safety. This is an undeniable risk.

Science moves slowly, and while this may be inconvenient related to the pace of technological innovation, it does not excuse considerations of human and environmental safety. The determination of potential health risks or adequate safety can best be evaluated from properly conducted, independent studies. Waiting 20 to 30 years while being exposed to this radio frequency radiation to assess increased disease rates in human populations and in the natural world is dangerous and irresponsible.

The FCC’s human exposure guidelines for the radio frequency (RF) microwave radiation used for this technology are decades out of date and the agency has dismissed the results of decade-long research on RF microwave radiation and human health completed last year by the National Toxicology Program that showed “clear evidence of carcinogenicity.”

I implore the leaders of our community to take these concerns into account when considering how to move ahead with 5G technology in our community. The science on the full health impact is not available. Current 4G is sufficient.

Thank you.

Magili Quinn, DO
Family Medicine Physician
Scarborough

Elect Stacy Brenner in November

To the editor,

I’m a singer-songwriter, teaching artist, and parent living in Gorham who met Stacy Brenner through farming friends years ago, and I’m thrilled she is running to represent us in the State Senate. I value Stacy’s kindness, compassion, and ability to listen. I also appreciate Stacy’s creative approach to running Broadturn Farm, her leadership with the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Organization and Maine Farmland Trust, and her ability to roll up her sleeves and work hard. Stacy lives her values, supporting her employees and using her voice and business to lift up others in our state and community.

I’m a working parent who’s been deeply impacted by the pandemic, and I believe Stacy, who is a parent and also a nurse midwife will be a champion and fierce advocate for the issues that affect families and children, like education, childcare, and healthcare. She has the understanding and perspective of how these structures work from the inside.

I believe she will work for racial justice as well as protecting our environment. Stacy also knows what it means to be fiscally responsible and I know that she’ll be a collaborator, which we desperately need.

Please join me in supporting Stacy Brenner for Senate District 30.

Emilia Dahlin

Support Brener for SD 30

To the editor,

I first heard of Stacy Brenner earlier this year, reading about Broadturn Farm selling flower CSA (Community-Supported Agriculture) shares to donate to health care workers. I thought it was a creative way to thank those at the frontlines of the pandemic, while investing in a local, organic farm business. I soon learned that Stacy was behind it all — as a farmer, a small business owner, and nurse-midwife who had returned to patient care in a time of great need.

As a new homeowner in Scarborough and a young adult excited to call Maine home, I am concerned about the impact of climate change in the years to come. We know it will have profound effects to our food supply, our economy, and the health of all Mainers. Such a complex issue requires leaders with experience across sectors who will advocate for practical, sustainable solutions.

Given Stacy’s experience in caring for patients, cultivating the land, and growing our local economy, I’m confident she has the knowledge and skills to tackle climate change, and more. We need a pragmatic, visionary, and collaborative leader like Stacy to represent our community. Please join me in supporting Stacy Brenner for Senate District 30.

Louise Secordel
Scarborough

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