2017-02-17 / Opinion

LETTERS

Artificial Turf Benefits Education As Well As Athletics

An artificial turf field would not only benefit Mt. Ararat High School athletics, it would greatly benefit the MTA physical education program. We, the MTA Physical Education Staff, believe strongly in spending as much time as possible outdoors with our classes. An artificial turf field would allow us the opportunity to be outside much more than we currently are.

Due to our state’s climate, physical education students only have a small window of time to spend outdoors during the school year. Many times the fields are too wet to be on. In the winter, the slightest amount of snow prevents us from using the fields. In the spring, even if there is no snow, the fields are off limits until deemed ready for activity. Even though last year was fairly uncommon, we could have been outside almost all school year if we had an artificial turf field. Regardless of the type of winter we have, an artificial turf field would immensely increase the days we can be outside.

The building and grounds crew at Mt. Ararat work tirelessly to maintain our fields and prepare them for practice and competition. Grass fields need to be mowed, watered, seeded, aerated and lined. Our Building and Grounds Crew are very accommodating and respectful but there are times when they must be on the fields during our classes. This can be challenging and frustrating for the PE department when we have planned to use a particular field for a specific activity. An artificial turf field doesn’t require the amount of maintenance that a grass field does and would once again offer the Physical Education Staff at Mt. Ararat the opportunity to teach without as many interruptions.

The Mt. Ararat Physical Education Department strives to offer students the best educational experience possible. An artificial turf field would greatly enhance our students’ experience. Remember, the fields at Mt. Ararat are not only environments for athletics and community use, they are classrooms.

Mt. Ararat Physical Education Department: Matthew

Cook, Sam Diamond,

Julie Petrie

LePage Ignores Will of the People

I breathed a sigh of relief when Question 2 passed in November. Finally the state will fulfill its commitment to pay for 55 percent of education costs through a 3 percent surcharge on income over $200,000. Schools will be funded. The people have spoken with their referendum vote.

When I listened to and read through the section of the Governor’s budget proposal on educational funding last week, I realized that he had no intention of abiding by the citizen’s referendum vote of November. In fact, his proposal seems to cut educational funding, raise taxes for the middle class and give a large tax break to those in the top 1 percent of tax payers.

We are fortunate in our area to have two Representatives who serve on the State Budget and Appropriations Committees who are working diligently to decipher exactly how the governor’s budget will impact us. They are very willing and happy to hear your voice. Mostly they hear the voices of the lobbyists who are paid to be in Augusta and are very vocal.

You must let Rep. Denise Tepler, Topsham and Rep. Jay McCreight, Harpswell/part of Brunswick, know exactly how you feel about the governor’s budget proposals. His proposal ignores the wishes of the people. I urge you to stand up and let your voice be heard. It matters!

MaryEllen Banton

Brunswick

Cabinet Nominees Need ‘Extreme Vetting’

National security is important to all of us and is arguably the first job of government. This isn’t about Republicans or Democrats, liberals or conservatives, or who each of us voted for in the last election or why. President Trump is concerned about immigration and worries that bad actors could come into our country. He talks about “extreme vetting” for all applicants. In light of the recent revelations about National Security Adviser Michael Flynn’s secret contact with Russian officials in advance of President Trump’s inauguration, it seems to me that extreme vetting is needed for cabinet nominees, particularly those whose work would impact national security. We don’t know what information the Russians have that might be used against us. This should concern every one of us deeply. In fact, our foreign policy has never felt so fragile in my lifetime as it does today.

Lucy Hull,

Arrowsic

‘Zumwalt 12’ Courageous Leaders

I had the opportunity to be present for part of the Zumwalt 12 trial. Some points about the trial in Superior Court, that stood out for me.

These folks, the defendants, are true leaders. They are to be honored. They are courageously living out of their convictions “peace on the planet” and are committed to carrying through and acting on these convictions. In the tradition of civil disobedience, practiced by Thoreau, MLK Jr., the Berrigan Brothers, their civil disobedience was a symbolic act for the greater good, not for selfish motives. They never portrayed themselves as martyrs; they stood strong for their convictions. Most of them have been peace activists for much of their adult lives as a result of their life experiences.

It is great, it is essential, to have a fair and independent judiciary system, as evidenced at this trial. The defendants stated that they would take a jail sentence or community service for their offense. The judge assigned them to community service.

We are fortunate to have such fair and professional local police and sheriff ’s departments, in our area. May the rest of the country be as fortunate!

What an inspiring experience to be at this trial. I only wish the entire city could have been present.

In response to the Feb. 12 editorial — “Right Cause, Wrong Place”— I never had any sense that the protestors were dishonoring the memory of Michael Monsoor, naval personnel or the workers who built this ship. The protest and civil disobedience were not about the people involved but rather about the rampant military spending, increased militarization, at the expense of other needs, in this country, and the cost in human lives that this Zumwalt represents. I believe the Zumwalt is a type of destroyer, in this case named the Monsoor, as we have had other types of destroyers, Aegis destroyers, built at BIW, which have been named. We have a right to protest in this country. The police were informed ahead of time that there would be a protest and civil disobedience.

Susan Lubner,

Bath

Bravo, Jackie

Thank you to Jackie Sartoris for her informed analysis of the current events in the Trump era, or “Errors” as I prefer to designate them.

We need her voice now more than ever. It will be up to the press, the Courts and concerned citizens to protect our democracy.

Bravo Jackie, please continue to make your voice heard regarding the state of affairs in Maine and Washington and the actions of those who were elected to represent us.

Linda M. Routhier

Brunswick

On Climate Change

Two significant climate stories have been published in the past month: First, we have just completed the three hottest years in the history of planet earth. Second scientists are concerned about a rapidly advancing crack in Antartica’s fourth largest ice shelf. If the shelf breaks off, the two glaciers it is preventing from spilling into the ocean will start their march to the sea. The variation in earth’s temperature has been correlated with the amount of carbon dioxide in earth’s atmosphere for the past 700,000 years. In the last 200 years the amount of Carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere has ballooned. It is time to slow and reverse climate damage caused by carbon emissions. An elegant solution to reigning in carbon emissions is a market-based Carbon Fee and Dividend. Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL) Brunswick Chapter urges you to study CCL’s website to learn more about CCL’s goals. http://citizensclimatelobby.org Join us March 8 at 6 p.m. at Curtis Memorial Library Seminar Room. Bruce MacDougal will speak about “Abrupt Climate Change, the Fast and the Furious.” Find out what you can do to be part of the solution as we, citizens, work with Sen. Angus King, Sen. Susan Collins and Congresswoman Chellie Pingree to implement a carbon fee and dividend.

Dodie Jones,

Brunswick

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