Tuesday, February 25, 2014: Basketball Officials, Israel, Bingham Wind, Mental Health
On Saturday, my family and I traveled 3 1/2 hours to watch the Eastern Maine finals at the new Cross Insurance Center. We were impressed with the venue and how things were organized. We commented on how great it was to witness school spirit with talented bands and cheerleaders. Seating was near capacity with impressive fan support from each town.
What we were disappointed in was the quality of officiating. Basketball is a game that is fast paced with lots of ball movement and strategy. I know the game well. Unfortunately, basketball officiating in Eastern Maine seems more about the referee blowing his or her whistle and trotting in front of the scorers' table than allowing the players to play ball. It is simply an exciting game made boring to watch because of stoppage by the officials.
They should be required to watch how Division I college games are officiated. The most talented players are just one step away from college ball but are still being officiated like they are playing in elementary school. The Eastern Maine Class C finals were the worst with the traveling infraction incorrectly called no less than 20 times. Both Class B and C winning boys teams scored less than 50 points. Defensive players were unable to contest a shot without being called for a foul even when standing still with arms above head.
Whoever is in charge of training and overseeing the officials needs to have them watch film of the game. They will witness the absurdity of their calls and see how the stadium emptied of fans who had no connection to either team, like myself, simply because of boredom.
Fort KentIsraelis vs. Palestinians
In a Feb. 19 OpEd, Edward McCarthy complained about Sen. Susan Collins' "bias in favor of the Jews and against the Palestinians." McCarthy's statement reveals not just the a bias but perhaps something more disagreeable.
McCarthy should realize that to disagree with the opinion of McCarthy does not constitute "bias." Respectful disagreement is an essential element of democracy.
Also, notice his phraseology: Jews versus Palestinians. One's religion versus another's nationality. Should not it have been Israelis versus Palestinians, or Jews versus Muslims (which would have been inappropriate but consistent.)
The non-Jewish population of Israel, by percentage, is about the same as the non-Christian population of the U.S. (Israel is approximately 80 percent Jewish and 15 percent Muslim.)
By this logic (not mine), the next time McCarthy disagrees with a policy of the U.S. he should criticize the "Christians," not "Americans."
BangorAT and First Wind
We write to correct misinformation in a recent news report regarding the Bingham wind project, which incorrectly stated that Appalachian Trail organizations now support that project in return for future land conservation.
We do not typically lend institutional support to development projects that have the potential to impact resources of concern to our organizations, and it is inaccurate to say we "support" this project. We agreed to "not oppose" First Wind's Bingham project, and First Wind voluntarily agreed to help mitigate the project's visual impact to the Appalachian Trail.
We acknowledge that visual impacts of the project are expected to affect the Appalachian Trail, but at a distance greater than eight miles. …