2018-01-29 / Opinion


Stop Corporate Welfare

I have worked for authorities and contractors in several states and served on procurement committees for federally-funded projects involving millions of dollars.

There is funding for Bath IronWorks and General Dynamics that does not rely on the people of Maine. Maine has a huge infrastructure with a relatively low population. Its budget is stretched and currently has not provided fully-funded healthcare, still owes $1.7 million to the Clean Elections Fund, not to mention addressing the 1929 conditions faced by homeless people lining up in frigid weather in downtown Portland.

This state should not be asked for additional funding to build ships given the extraordinary waste of Pentagon funds, estimated at a quarter of its budget, due to no audit and Congress giving the Pentagon more than they ask.

BIW employment has fallen from around 8,000 to 5,500 jobs. The New York Times recently reported water system infrastructure upgrades needed throughout the U.S. will cost $300 billion. GD’s lobbyists could argue that the federal government should fund water ironworks projects, thus generating business for itself, generating jobs and solving a crucial national problem. A win-win for everyone.

The streets surrounding my residence have been dug up three times recently due to water pipe breaks. The point is that job growth should involve diversification to solve problems we face daily such as water, transportation and energy. The state should work with GD to explore ways they could diversify, grow jobs and provide the solutions needed by the state’s people and workers. Throwing scarce state taxpayer money at BIW is flushing much needed resources out to sea.

Ginny Schneider, Portland

Black Lives and White Privilege

I want to respond to Mr. Jones’s letter about the “Black Lives Matter” banner on the UU church (The Times Record, Jan. 25, 2018, Page A4). I am not speaking for the UU church. Opinions expressed are my own.

Mr. Jones wonders why the banner is outside, rather than inside the church. One reason for putting it up was to stimulate discussion in the community. For that to occur, the community needs to see it. Mr. Jones saw it and responded, which is good. Unfortunately, the message he got from it is, I think, somewhat erroneous.

Opponents of the Black Lives Matter movement portray it in negative terms, claiming that BLM promotes the killing of police officers and stifles free speech. Such a portrayal is incorrect, as one can learn by looking at their website. BLM is founded on the principles of non-violence. It supports fairness and justice for all. The banner is not advocating special treatment for blacks or for anyone else, just fair treatment.

I’m a white guy. I have white privilege. White privilege is so ingrained in our society that it is virtually invisible to the white population. If you’re white, you may not believe white privilege even exists. A BLM banner challenging white privilege may feel unreasonable and hostile. I find it much more comfortable to deny there is white privilege rather than admit that I may need to change. Non-whites have a different experience. They see white privilege every day.

When you see the BLM banner, I hope it gets you thinking about the privileges white people enjoy, simply for being white, and the burdens imposed on non-whites, simply for being non-white. As a white guy, I’d rather not think about it. If I believe in equal justice for all, however, I am obligated to think about it.

Steve Wellcome,

Grateful for Sand Program

I would like to thank the Brunswick Police Department and Lowes for their bucket of sand program for the elderly. I don’t know how we would have managed without it, especially with all the freezing rain and ice this past month.

Richard and Mary Jo Maguire,

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