The following letters to the editor are part of a class project by sixth-grade students and their teacher Alison Lehto at Messalonskee Middle School in Oakland.

Ron Burwood: I think we should have a youth center in this town (Oakland). Kids need a place to go so they are not bored 24/7, and parents need to have their kids out of their hair sometimes.

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Ally Corbett: The gas prices are getting really high in the U.S.A. Gas prices are really unbelievable. They shouldn’t go that high because people won’t buy gas there anymore. I think that gas stations that are selling gas for lower prices will have a better lifetime and career. Why do they raise the prices? It makes no sense.

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Samantha Jackson, Caitlyn Andrews, Crystal Beaulieu: Maybe you should consider a dog park, dog race track for friendly races every Saturday, a no-kill Humane Society or pet store. We don’t mean to be rude, but we care about our society’s pets just as much as Lakeside Veterinary Clinic does. We also think that Oakland should have an emergency vet clinic, so in case of an epidemic of fleas, ticks or any other pests.

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Paulina Andrews: I feel that the toddler that was found lost and wandering around was very lucky. I hope that all cab drivers are like that, nice and kind. This letter is more about the fact that I feel bad for the parents. I can’t imagine what losing your kid would be like. I also feel bad for the toddler, because she must have been scared, but seems to be very brave. If I was a toddler and I was lost, I would be terrified. I hope that the next person separated from their parents will be as fortunate as this little girl, and that if a cab drives by them, they will do the same thing that this cab driver did.

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Alyssa Michaud: I think that we as Maine need to stop using money that we don’t have. We are cutting the budget, raising prices and polluting the world, but here’s the kicker, we are using money that we do not have, to raise the boss of the transfer station’s pay by $10,000 a year. This does not help the people who are in debt. People are not even thinking for the better of love and enjoyment, they are thinking that it is OK to leave the rest of the world to die, and that as long as their OK money wise, then nothing can go wrong. Well, it can. We are killing off everyone and everything. It’s pretty bad when a 6th grader thinks about going hungry or not breathing fresh air or not seeing your favorite animal again. So, I think that us as Maine need to make a change.

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Chelsea Perry: There have been rumors going around about Osama bin Laden still being alive. These rumors cannot be true. The SEAL teams did DNA testing and body length testing. The testing both came up positive and his own child and spouse identified him. Osama bin Laden is dead and “will never walk this earth again.”

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Julie Lambert: Some people call it murder, some people call it suicide, some call it just plain old nasty. Secondhand smoke; it can be deadly. Even if you are the only one in a room, smoking up all the chemicals in cigarettes, others can catch them, too. You’re not the only one that can get affected. What about friends and family? Some people just think that they are a total waste of money. They think you just do it to be cool, but once you get addicted to it, all the close ones around you, they can get sick and eventually might come face to face with death. There are so many illnesses you can get from cigarettes, like cancer. In most people’s minds, it is like paying to ruin the lives of the ones you love.

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Jack Moore: Hello, I am commenting on the death of Osama bin Laden. The first thing I want to say is that we have to thank all of the soldiers who were at risk to raid the house and take down Osama and some of his terrorists. The second thing I have is that even though bin Laden is dead, we are still not completely safe from the harmful terrorists, because they are probably making a plan of revenge to attack the U.S. Therefore, I believe that we still have to stay strong in safety for the government and everyone in the U.S.

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Brad Garand: Many of my peers and I believe that there should be a professional sports team for Maine. I believe that there should be an NBA basketball team. There should be, because Maine needs to be represented more. It would bring a lot more people to Maine and see how great it is.

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Carter Landry: I am writing about how school should be better. A lot of things could change but one of the most important things is that you have to work at the pace of the class, and not your own pace. Maybe something that could help that is a syllabus at the beginning of every quarter. That would help me and I think will help my peers, too.

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Gabrielle Thompson: I feel that parents with young children who can walk and open doors should pay very close attention to them so they don’t get out of the house and run away. I think parents should have child-proof locks for windows and doors, too. If the child can talk, the parents should have them know their address in case of an emergency. But, you would have to tell her/him not to tell anyone unless necessary. Small children need a parent to look after them because if they don’t, who will?

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Wesley Davis: Do you think that the economy will only get worse and not better? Should we have given money to General Motors in 2008-2009 when we were going to be in debt? Why do we give money to countries when a disaster happens, but when a disaster happens to us, they don’t try to earn money or as much as we pay them? Like Hurricane Katrina, for example.

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Megan Charrier, Rachel Paradis: We should fix the roads using the money that would have been used to help other countries. Help our country first, then theirs. The damages that the roads have done already to our cars has been sucking up money. Why should Americans have to pay to fix their cars from damage that the road made? I mean really. Stop the damage to cars and fix the roads!

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Jenna Landry, Mikayla Lathrop: We are very glad to have the Maine Department of Transportation, because they also keep people safe. In the winter, they plow the roads and sand them down. My dad works for the MDOT, and in the winter he has to sometimes go in at 10:30 and work the rest of the night. When the roads are bad, like bumpy, MDOT will go out and fix them. They also fix the highway roads too. We think we are very grateful to have the MDOT in our lives so people are safe. It takes a lot of money to fix the roads and sometimes they don’t have that kind of money because the government just wastes money on things we don’t even need. We have a very tight budget these days.

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Mikayla Lathrop, Jenna Landry: We are pleased that someone is building a hospital behind Kohl’s, because the hospitals near the other towns are too far away. I also think they should, because they have a day-care called Magic Years, near Augusta, and if any one of the kids gets hurt they have a hospital right there. I also think that a lot of people in Augusta have been getting hurt often. So, I think it is a good idea to have a nearby hospital. I also know that the day-care has really little kids. I know this because my mom has worked there for 10 years.

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Marina Barnes-Berniger: I don’t understand why the government is spending so much money overseas, when there are tons of places that need help here in America. For example, this winter ruined our roads here in Maine, and they need to be fixed. Another thing is that there are so many places in America that need help. Places that are struggling just to make it to the next day. And yet, instead of helping the people that need help desperately, they are helping to support people that are not even in our own country. So, I think that the government needs to be a little bit smarter about where America’s money is going.

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Eli Principato: Why doesn’t the government put in more swimming pools in the country? The government is complaining that people should have better health. Swimming is the most athletic sport made. Make more swimming pools in the U.S.A. Then make the best sports known, then encourage them to go to swim practices.

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Tyler Sanborn: Have you noticed how gas prices are going rapidly? Well, I have and I don’t think it is right. No one is going to want to buy gas anymore, of course people have to or their cars won’t run. I just wish that the government would lower the gas prices. Spending all this money on gas leaves people with little money to support their families. People need money to buy food, clothes, things for the house, etc. I have been concerned about this problem for a while because my parents kept saying that prices were too high, like one of the prices for gas was like $3. I thought, that is not much money?! So I told my parents, and they explained that it was like $3 per gallon. I did some math and it is a lot of money to be spending, just on gas. I just hope the prices go down, so that people will have more money.