Friday, September 30, 2016

Dear Editor - From 7th and 8th graders at WCA

Dear Editor,
My name is Elizabeth Wales, and I am writing on behalf of the seventh and eighth grade class from Windham Christian Academy. Recently we have been noticing a problem with cigarette butts being littered on the side of the road on our school property. My class and I decided we wanted to take action.

We bought 1-foot square tiles, and brought them to the site of the litter. We randomly dropped them on the cigarette butts, and then counted how many were under our tile. We did the math and came to the conclusion that there were approximately 3.6 cigarettes per square foot. Imagine that you are in a room that is 100 square feet. If people were throwing them at the same rate they were throwing them on the side of the road, there would be 360 cigarette butts in that small room. Who could possibly be that careless?

The environmental and health issues cigarette butts cause are outrageous. They are polluting oceans and bodies of water, and negatively affecting the animals that live there. Just the same, the cigarette butts are polluting our school. They are getting thrown on land and little kids could picked them up and put them in their mouths. The kids could become very sick. In fact, a majority of the cigarette butts we counted were near the kindergarten classroom and playground. 

Now, our school is in a small town in Maine. But littering cigarette butts is a problem worldwide. Think of a big city, like San Francisco for example. The litter audit estimated that it would cost over $7 million to clean all the cigarette butts in that city! In Australia, the amount of littered butts could fill seven Olympic swimming pools!

Now, let’s talk about filters. A lot of people believe that filters make cigarette butts safer. That is a myth! Cigarette companies use that as propaganda to see their products. Filters are still toxic. In fact, they aren’t biodegradable either! They don’t break down and become the dirt, they actually just break down into smaller pieces. That also means there are traces of cigarette butts we can’t even see. 

So what are my class and I going to do about it? It is imperative that we make a difference in their negligent issue. Well to start I’m writing this letter to many papers in the Cumberland County area. We are also making signs, talking to local politicians, etc. We are trying our best to make a difference in our community, whether slight or drastic. We ask that you please take this letter into consideration. As for the people littering, keep in mind that imaginary room. Do you want to be the one who changes the number from 360 to 361?

Kindest regards,
7th and 8th grade class of WCA

Dear Editor - From Dave Tanguay - Flags around town

Dear Editor,

The flags have been taken down from the highways of Windham for another year.  The American Legion Field-Allen Post in Windham will place the flags back on the poles next spring in time for Memorial Day.  Recently, the Post conducted a fund raiser in the Windham Business community and private sector to support this patriotic program.  An earlier Letter to the Editor listed many of those who contributed to this cause.  Today the Post would like to recognize those contributors and contributions that have arrived since the first letter.  The Post would like to recognize the following businesses and individuals for their support: Lee Auto of North Windham, Bob the Screen Printer of Tandberg Trail, Cumberland County Federal Credit Union of North Windham, Deborah McAfee of Windham High School, Law Office of Gregory W. Files PA, Mills & Co. of North Windham, Minott Law Offices PLLC, RE/MAX Allied Real Estate of North Windham, Thomas J. Biczak, Mary LeDew and Pat Thorne.  Thank you one and all for your support in helping the post to exceed its goal.

Dave Tanguay
Field-Allen Post 148
Finance Officer

Dear Editor - From Veterans Inc.

Dear Editor,

On behalf of Veterans Inc. in Maine, we want to thank you for your extraordinary support of our mission to help homeless and at-risk veterans. We appreciate that you featured Veterans Inc., an article, and our logo in your paper on September 16, 2016. We are very excited to be recognized in The Windham Eagle.

As you know, Veteran Inc. is New England’s leading provider of support services to veterans and their families. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit, the organization’s single-minded mission is to be there for our veterans in their time of need. A residential facility in Lewiston is home to case management, employment and training and supportive services staff who are ready to assist Maine veterans and their families. In addition, Veterans Inc. provides mobile outreach and services at their offices in Lewiston and Portland and at partner locations across the state. The Veterans Inc. Maine team provides homeless veterans and veterans who are at risk of becoming homeless with transitional housing, assistance accessing permanent housing, counseling, case management, employment services, job training, family support programs, benefits counseling and advocacy and temporary financial assistance. 

We truly appreciate your steadfast commitment and dedication to Maine’s veterans, our organization, our mission and staff. We look forward to working with you for many years!
One team, one fight!

Alley Smith
Regional Manager – Maine
Keri Karsten
Universal Services Advocate
US Army, Ret., SFC/OEF Veteran

There's no debate about it - By Michelle Libby

When it came to Monday night’s Presidential debate, there was no doubt that American’s had their opinions about who won, who was right and who was the most ridiculous in the first of three debates. (Yes, there will be two more.)

Lester Holt was the journalist who was tasked with moderating the event. I don’t think even he knew what he was getting himself into. These two opponents were like caged animals ready to attack as soon as they were set free. Somewhere there is a picture of them shaking hands. Hillary looks like she’s telling Trump where he can shove his handshake and Donald looked down on her. 

Trump spent the night calling her Secretary Clinton, while she called him Donald, much like a teacher would call a student. He showed, at least in this instance, some respect for her title, if not for her. She had no such respect for him.

Hillary was well practiced. Was well spoken and backed the majority of her comments with facts, most of them accurate according to fact checkers. 

Trump was a wreck, repeating himself over and over and over again. I’m not sure I understood anything that he wanted to do for the country other than bring the big corporations and jobs back to the United States from places like Mexico. Oh and that he has investments in a lot of states. 

As a journalist I’ve been taught to listen for the sound bites. What makes a good quote? Hillary had them littered throughout her talking points. Remember the one where she’s also been preparing to be the President of the United States? Mic drop.

Only five minutes into the debate, it appeared that no one was moderating or keeping time or putting the candidates in their place. Lester, where were you? What happened? Obviously it’s going to take a stronger person to moderate the next debate, but who do you get when Lester Holt, one of the most trusted journalists isn’t able to control the candidates? His questions were great and would have been better if the candidates had actually answered them. 

This election I’m not sure voting the party line is the way to go. Republicans are disenfranchised with Trump. Democrats aren’t sure what to do with Hillary. Could this be the year that a third party candidate steps in and sweeps the race? Would that be scarier than the options before us? 

I’m looking forward to watching the next debate. There’s really nowhere to go but up. I’m hoping that someone will ask them about family values, because hearing the answer to that would be good television.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Flip to a Different Eagle Section

Dear Editor - From Col. Bob and Rachel Akins, USMC

Dear Editor,

During these seemingly tumultuous political times, it is a pleasure to find a candidate for our State House District with the temperament, background, education, and experience to be a strong leader for us in Augusta.  That candidate, Jessica Fay, a local businesswoman, volunteer, and avid supporter of our political process, is the one we now need.  Repeatedly Jessica has demonstrated her love of our community and her ability to listen to all sides of issues; specifically environment, water quality, education, veterans’ needs, and community development.  Moreover, she has received the endorsement of Maine Conservation Voters Action Fund.

Jessica Fay is a leader of inclusion.  She has the intellect to understand complex government and personal issues and can be relied on to work for the best overall solution for us here in House District 66.  We need her in Augusta and that is why we, as retired military and educators, will enthusiastically vote for Jessica Fay.  Please join us.

Col. Bob and Rachel Akins, USMC, Ret.