Maine’s national rank

We hear a lot of negative news about Maine’s economy, outmigration of youth, our aging population, etc. Maine’s ranking across a number of sectors suggests a different picture: Maine’s bankruptcy filings are one of the lowest in the nation, with 2,304 for personal and business filings. This is remarkable compared to Georgia, one of the highest at more than 50,000. One hypothesis could be that Mainers manage money better than others.

Although our papermaking industry has declined in recent years, Maine ranks 19th nationally, just below Michigan. Almost half of U.S. states comply only with the national minimum wage of $6.55. Maine’s minimum wage of $7 is well above that, with Washington at $7.63, the nation’s highest. Maine also ranked well when comparing the number of residents with amount of retirement income; we are 10th.

Maine’s ranking for safety is second nationally, behind New Hampshire, with Nevada the most dangerous.

We educate our students well. Maine is in the top 10 in ACT scores for 2007. NAEP reading scores give Maine students high grades: our fourth-graders came in at 11th; with eighth-graders in fifth place.

Mainers also value their natural resources, placing us 12th nationally.

Our livability rating placed us 20th, just ahead of Hawaii which markets itself as paradise.

I did find many instances where Maine ranks in the middle of the pack. On some levels we are nearer the top and there are instances when we rank on the bottom tier. It’s encouraging that statistics show nationally Maine has a lot going for it.

Candy Guerette


Bangor Region Chamber of Commerce

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Knows, likes Biden

Having recently moved to Maine from Delaware, I was interested in what Pat LaMarche had to say about Joe Biden in her column. Joe was very visible in Delaware because of his many activities and interests and I felt that I was able to get a good sense of his priorities. I think it would be difficult to find a more staunch supporter of women and their interests than Joe Biden. The Violence Against Women Act was drafted by his office.

Coupled with his good sense, sense of humor, and vast knowledge and experience in foreign policy, I believe Joe Biden will be a huge asset to the Democratic ticket.

Ruth Logue


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Sidewalk needed

Ever since I moved to Kenduskeag Avenue we have had problems with getting to and from places by walking or riding in anything except the car. We have had these problems because we have no sidewalk.

It is very hard for my brother to see his friends who only live down the street. My brother has had to walk through the neighbor’s yard to get there. It is very hard for my mom who loves to walk to do it with cars coming by her at high speeds. It would be nice if we got a sidewalk on Kenduskeag Avenue.

Austin Smith


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Animal terror

In his article, “Terrorism in the name of animals,” (BDN, Aug. 23-24), Frankie Trull has his facts backward. He calls the atrocities committed against our defenseless fellow creatures in so-called “research laboratories” humane, while calling those who cannot stand by and allow this evil to triumph terrorists.

When man’s best friends struggle against the inescapable bonds of their cages, crying in fear and pain, never seeing the light of day, never being able to run or play, enduring painful “experiments” on a day-to-day basis, that can hardly be called humane. It sounds like a living hell.

With advances in technology, there is a wealth of alternative, reliable methods to animal suffering on our behalf.

Thank God for those who believe and act upon the words of Mahatma Ghandi: “The more helpless a creature, the more entitled it is to protection by man from cruelty of man.”

Carolyn McKinnon


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Take the country back

I totally understand why a majority of Maine’s millionaires will vote for the Republicans this November. But I just can’t fathom why any of the rest of us would even consider it. The Bush-Cheney regime gave millionaires a tax cut and said it would improve the economy for all of us. I don’t think that trillions in debt, record foreclosures, bank failures, increased unemployment, runaway energy and food costs, an endless war costing $10 billion a month for the past 65 months would count as an improvement.

Susan Collins voted with Bush and Cheney 80 percent of the time. John McCain voted with the oilmen in the White House 90 percent of the time. The people of Maine can’t be fooled by the Republicans ever again. We can’t afford four more years of the war, inflation, debt and disaster that the Republicans are responsible for. Middle and lower income Mainers have to take our country back.

Christy Kraft


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Wrong running mate

A Barack Obama-Hillary Clinton ticket would easily have defeated John McCain and kept the country and the world from another four years of a George Bush-type presidency.

However, the Barack Obama-Joseph Biden ticket will make the election very close, and we run the risk of having another Republican for president. Obama promises the “politics of change,” but he is delivering “politics as usual.”

Paul Shanley

Old Town

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‘Being There’ a joy

The “Being There” columns by Meg Adams are a joy, good writing, insightful commentary, and real inspiration.

From her work in Antarctica to her current assignment in Mexico, she gives us a firsthand account that is captivating and remarkable.

I have enjoyed every column. Please keep them coming.

George Smith

Mount Vernon

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Peace rally, Bangor

Those citizens who hold onto the slim thread of hope that this country can be restored to its former greatness, please join me, my family and neighbors in a Peace Rally at Paul Bunyan Park in Bangor at 1 p.m. Sept. 13.

The rally will be followed by a peace walk at 2:30 p.m. to the Hammond Street Church, 28 High St., to attend the 3 p.m. “Talk With Amy Goodman,” host of radio’s “Democracy Now.”

Bring your outrage! There is power in numbers. If you haven’t attended previously, all you have to do is arrive and let your presence speak for itself.

Bonnie Robinson


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