Great opportunity, Maine

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Maine citizens have united dramatically behind an initiative called “Opportunity Maine.” It intends to help Maine youngsters get a college education, make Maine colleges stronger, and nudge Maine college graduates to stay in Maine. Not only will this please moms, dads and grandparents, but it will make Maine a more desirable place for industry to grow and develop, with a more highly educated workforce.

Opportunity Maine proposes to make college loan repayments for Maine students who attend college in Maine, and settle in Maine, tax-creditable. It’s a direct plan, totally nonpartisan, that will do great good for all. There is currently a petition drive to obtain sufficient signatures to put this measure on next fall’s ballot. It has had the quickest and most positive response of any petition drive that has ever been launched in the state.

Petitions will be collected in a couple days, and there is a need for several thousand more signatures.

Several local businesses are supporting this initiative, and Maine people can find petitions available locally at Gulf of Maine Books in Brunswick, Day Break Variety and Stanton’s Shoes in downtown Bath, Coffee by Design on both Congress and India Streets in Portland, and Lamey-Wellehan Shoes in Cook’s Corner, Falmouth, the Maine Mall, Auburn and Augusta, and Mainsweets and Georgetown Country Store on Fire Islands Road in Georgetown.

The extra effort to sign this petition is one of the kindest things people can do for their children in 2007.

Jim Wellehan, Auburn

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