Don’t force diversity
Every time I read Shay Stewart-Bouley calling for a Maine with more faces of color, I become somewhat irked (see “Moving Up The Ranks,” August 24). She has moved here and found us to be lacking, and she thinks what we are lacking are more people like her.

If people are to be judged by their character, regardless of race or color, then no amount of social engineering can be justified as a benefit or a detriment to society. Diversity is not good; diversity is not bad — so long as it is not forced or artificial.

As far as cultural/racial make-up is concerned, I say let the chips — in this case the people — fall where they may, and stop this nonsense that we in Maine are somehow in “need” of people that are different than we are. If people choose to move here, that is their business, but we “need” an influx of people of color like the people of Madagascar “need” a boatload of card-carrying, potato-picking, Aroostook County Mainers delivered to their shores.

Michael Foley
Portland

Vermont vs. Verizon
I read your August 24 article on Verizon’s efforts to unload its Northern New England customers (see "Internet Disconnect," by Jeff Inglis) and found it very enlightening. It certainly explains much of what’s been going on here in rural Vermont.

The telephone service in our neighborhood has been out of order on literally dozens of occasions during the last year, each outage lasting anywhere from several hours to several days. Each time the company assures us the problem has been fixed. My suspicion, which your article confirmed, is that Verizon is unwilling to invest in necessary, permanent repairs and instead has been patching things together with duct tape, so to speak.

DSL would be wonderful, but right now I’d settle for being able to pick up the phone and know I have a dial tone. I have a home-based business and have to reach my clients; in addition, my mother is ill and I need to be in touch with my family. Naturally, we have no cell-phone coverage here either.

This week, I finally broke down and had satellite Internet service installed at my home. Expensive, but necessary! I need a reliable connection to the outside world, and I’ve come to realize it will be a very long time before anyone sees fit to bring broadband to our neck of the woods.

Thanks for an informative article.
Eleanor Kohlsaat
Vershire, Vermont

EDITOR'S NOTE When calling to verify this letter, the line was so filled with static that the Phoenix had to call back. In that second call, we learned it was raining in Vermont just then, and that Kohlsaat's phone connection was often problematic in the rain.

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