Amazing, young journalist

I have been a reader and writer ever since I graduated the Shanghai American School in 1934. And as you can guess, by now, I’m way up in my 90s. I have written articles, radio scripts, TV scripts and long letters to relatives and friends, but I have never read anything like the Oct. 10 OpEd written by Ayah Rahman, who is 12 years old. I have read and re-read it a dozen times.

I have never read anything, of any age, as moving as this piece. She wants to be a journalist when she grows up. I say she is one already. Hard to believe that she is only in the seventh grade. She is an extraordinary young woman, a thinker and a writer with a great deal of historical knowledge and feeling. I thank and applaud the BDN for printing this OpEd piece.

Terry Flettrich Rohe


Rights-based ordinances

In response to Sen. Doug Thomas’s Nov. 2 BDN letter, I do not know where he is getting his information but it could not be further from the truth. Rights-based ordinances are put in place to protect property rights, not to take them away from property owners. I suggest Thomas get educated before spreading fearful misinformation, such as by taking the Democracy School training provided by Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (; you just might be surprised by what you can learn.

Albert Einstein is reputed to have said, “Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex and more violent. It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction.” My hat’s off to all those towns taking steps to protect themselves by putting in rights-based ordinances.

Carol Gorecki


Vote based on record

Gubernatorial candidate Mike Michaud will not get my sympathy vote by “coming out.” His sexual orientation is not a surprise to the majority of Mainers. My choosing not to vote for him as the next governor of the state of Maine has nothing to do with his sexual orientation. It has to do with his record in Washington, D.C. Enough said.

Harriett Real


I like Mike

On Monday, Congressman Mike Michaud’s OpEd piece announcing he is gay asks, “Why should it matter?”

The simple answer is, it doesn’t.

On Monday, Michaud is still the hardworking, dedicated public servant that he has been for decades. He still puts Maine and Mainers first and fights for them as he always has — first on a local scale and then on a national one. He is still a gentleman, and he is still a hard worker.

On Monday, he is still a Mainer born and bred — his roots deep in County dirt — with values and standards that reflect his hardworking, close family upbringing.

On Monday, he did what people expect of Michaud — he told the truth.

On Monday, he moved forward in his campaign to be Maine’s next governor, and, as he does so, he is exactly the same person he was on Sunday.

On Sunday, he was far and away my choice to bring quality governing and a gentlemanly demeanor back to the Blaine House.

On Monday, he still is.

Because it really doesn’t matter.

I still like Mike.

Sue Shaw


Employee care

An “at will” status or probationary period? What’s the difference? “At will” means an employer can fire at will with no reason needed. OK, so if that’s the case, why even have a probationary period? So many innocent work-worthy individuals are subjected to this ludicrous law of “at will” status. They wonder why the unemployment rate is always so high?

What does the innocent employee have for recourse? Find another job? Sure, in this horrible economy? Stand in line on Oak Street? Sure, with a wait period of up to six weeks before you hear if you are eligible for benefits based on being let go during a probationary period? Purely unfair and ridiculous.

Hulene Hart


Hunters for the hungry

Hunting season is here. Throughout the legislative session, we were hard at work in Augusta to make sure sportsmen and women all over Maine would have what they need for a safe and fun hunting season.

As people enjoy their time in the woods, they should please take a moment to remember those in need. In New England, Maine struggles the most with hunger, with 15 percent of Maine households lacking access to enough food to ensure adequate nutrition.

Maine’s Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry offers a great service where hunters can donate a portion of their hunt or the entire bear, deer or moose to the Hunters for the Hungry Program. The meat is then distributed to food pantries, soup kitchens and homeless shelters. For information, call toll free 1-888-433-3763.

Mainers have a long tradition of giving back to their communities. This program is an excellent way to help out your friends and neighbors while engaging in one of Maine’s greatest pastimes.

For a list of food pantries in your area, visit

Be safe when enjoying Maine’s beautiful autumn.

Rep. Stanley Short Jr., D-Pittsfield

Wrong place

As someone who has been married three times, I understand that no matter how much you love someone, there is no guarantee when people take their vows and commit to each other in marriage. However, I still have a positive perspective when considering the possibility of marriage and am of the belief that I can never say never even for someone like me who has not found marriage to be the most successful endeavor.

That is why I was perplexed to see that the only engagement announcement in the weekend edition of the BDN was placed in the obituary section. Doesn’t the announcement of something so filled with positivity and hope deserve a better placement in your paper? I believe that the answer is yes and hope that the BDN shows better judgement and concern for those who paid for such an announcement in the future.

Larry Smith