Cheers to Maine’s Legislature for pulling it together and “acting like grown-ups” as Sen. Roger Katz, R-Augusta, put it after they voted nearly unanimously on a reasonable congressional redistricting plan.
The new districts meet the goals of the law in providing a near-even, by population, distribution of voters between the state’s two U.S. congressional districts.
After much deliberation, partisan wrangling and stalemate, state lawmakers in the end did what they are supposed to do and represented the best interests of their constituents by keeping counties, towns and cities with like interests and geographical alignment together.
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Cheers to the Lewiston City Council, the city’s Historical Review Commission and members of local religious organizations. All are stepping to the plate to finally do something about the dilapidated gazebo in Kennedy Park. The gazebo, a long-standing eyesore, was the site of speeches by President-to-be John F. Kennedy and later, President Lyndon B. Johnson.
In its current condition, the gazebo is a disgrace to the park and the city. On Tuesday, councilors agreed the city could match up to $75,000 to restore the 1800s-era gazebo to its former glory and to current building codes. Let’s hope the momentum continues.
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Jeers to a proposed law that would require all paddlers, anywhere on Maine waters, to wear life jackets. We fully support the idea that children should always have life jackets on while on the water. But we believe the proposal, prompted after several people not wearing personal flotation devices died in kayaking mishaps on the Atlantic ocean, goes too far.
Hypothermia is the expected culprit here, and there’s a degree of common sense you can’t regulate. This proposal would punish the experienced paddler, floating on still waters in the sweltering heat of July or August.
A competent adult paddling in, say, 18 inches of calm water would be punished for the recklessness of somebody who doesn’t have the common sense to don a PFD while paddling in the frigid waters of the Atlantic.
Short on wardens, the state is already challenged in enforcing its other fish and game laws. The current law that requires that a life jacket be available for each adult passenger aboard a watercraft is sufficient.
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Cheers to the city of Auburn and the city’s management for pursuing a revitalization of the South Main Street neighborhood in New Auburn. The city last week unveiled its Art Wall, featuring wonderful photos and paintings of Maine scenes by Maine artists.
It replaces a former mural that was lovely and done by local schoolchildren but had fallen into disrepair and was fast becoming another eyesore. The wall, with new sidewalks and lighting and even a parking area for those who might like to come and view the wall or enjoy the nearby parks and Riverwalk, greatly enhances the quality of life for visitors and residents.
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Cheers to the good news that Bath Iron Works has been awarded a contract from the U.S. Navy to build two of three new Arleigh Burke-class destroyers that will be added to the U.S. fleet. We would have preferred the shipyard to win contracts for all three, but, as the old song goes, “two out of three ain’t bad.” And the award is as U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, said in announcing it, “a real tribute to the workers (of the shipyard.)”
It will also keep them, including a good number from Lewiston and Auburn, working for years to come. In this economy, cheers to that.
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Cheers to the “Sesame Street” math and science push. Forbes magazine reports that the venerable PBS characters, who helped teach a generation of underprivileged kids how to read and cope with a range of social issues from divorce to diversity, are back with a new mission.
The show, with its kid-friendly muppets, is tackling the sorry state of the United States’ ranking in the world when it comes to math and science. A new study shows 15-year-olds in the U.S. rank 23rd in the world in science and 30th in math. We are behind countries such as Finland, the Slovak Republic and Estonia.
More than 30 years of studies show that preschoolers who watched “Sesame Street” performed better in high school than their peers who did not in the subject areas that the show focused on. Researchers call it the “Sesame effect.”
We’re optimistic the show can repeat its performance when it comes to math and science, and look forward to the boost Big Bird, Elmo, Grover and the others will give our students as we work to catch up in an ever-expanding global marketplace.
The opinions expressed in this column reflect the views of the ownership and editorial board.