June 18, 2018
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Jan. 12 Letters to the Editor

Not-so-public TV, radio

I received a request from MPBN to renew my membership the other day. I live in Washington County. In February, MPBN will stop broadcasting in Washington County. I am asked to support broadcasts to, I imagine, all counties except for Washington and Aroostook. Most of them are south of us. Most are not as poor as Washington County.

Here’s some data taken from the U.S. Census report relative to Washington County and all of Maine: 2004 median household income in Washington County was $29,000, and in Maine as a whole, $41,000; in 1999, the per capita income in Washington County was $14,100, while in the rest of Maine it is $19,500; in 2004, 17.4 percent of residents of Washington County residents were living below poverty level, while the rest of Maine was 11.6 percent.

MPBN has decided that the two poorest counties in the state — Washington and Aroostook — don’t (perhaps can’t?) support their business as well as more affluent counties. So we will no longer receive MPBN signals.

I suggest that MPBN remove the ‘P’ from its initials.

I am keeping MPBN’s request for my renewal in a safe place. Until I go to the transfer station.

Charlie Cameron



Safe births the goal

Having represented physicians for many years, I read with interest the midwifery opinion piece (Dec. 27-28) and the letter to the editor referencing the article and published on Jan. 1. The author of the letter to the editor, Annie Von Kres, paints an inaccurate picture of the Legislature’s rejection last year of a bill that would have licensed direct-entry midwives.

She wrote “the American Medical Association had at least five lobbyists pushing to shoot down this bill that could probably take some revenue away from Maine doctors.” She then suggests she hopes that someday Maine families are allowed to fully experience home births attended by midwives.

The American Medical Association had no lobbyists in Maine during the last year. The Maine Medical Association, with whom I am employed, did have five lobbyists registered last session although not all worked on this particular proposal. Those that did, including myself, opposed licensing but did work toward improving the safety of home births by supporting a compromise version of the midwifery legislation which made some important medications available to the direct-entry midwives.

The defeat of the licensing proposal in no way prohibits a midwife from attending a home birth. It was the recommendation of the Department of Professional and Financial Regulation, through its “Sunrise Review” that direct-entry midwives not be licensed.

The Legislature chose to follow that recommendation, but the practice of midwifery continues without licensing.

The primary concern of the Maine Medical Association is to ensure that women who choose the option of a home birth understand the risks and benefits associated with that decision. Physicians are very familiar with the concept of informed consent and the concept should apply in all settings.

Gordon Smith, Esq.

Executive Vice President

Maine Medical Association



Racist Democrats

It is with great elation that I supported Gov. Blagojevich’s appointment of Roland Burris to fill Barack Obama’s U.S. Senate seat. It was a very deliberate move on his part, and he created the scenario he wanted for the party that turned against him, basically because a trial for him would besmirch many people from Chicago and Illinois.

It was stated yesterday that Sen. Harry Reid had called Gov. Blagojevich on Dec. 3, giving him a listing of three names not to appoint to the seat vacated by the relatively unknown senator from Illinois, who is now our president-elect, and those names belonged to three African-Americans.

What a wonder that the liberals can still maintain they are not racist.

Gov. Blagojevich must have known better.

Sharon I. Rideout



Buy American

“Bailout” is getting to be a commonly used word, meaning “big industrials gone sour.” It used to mean dipping water from a rowboat in hopes it would get to shore before it sank.

Today, of course, the notable one is the auto manufacturers’ dilemma. That is “no sales.” This could change overnight but only by saying, “Don’t buy foreign cars” and mean it. It seems strange, but a few years ago, these countries were all set to blow us off the face of the Earth. Fortunately President Roosevelt had a much better idea!

There are so many people buying foreign cars they make Benedict Arnold look like a piker! Instead, let’s bring back the slogan “Buy American!” It might help do the trick.

Ernest Hand



Loves Wayne’s world

For several years, I’ve been meaning to write concerning the high quality of Wayne E. Reilly’s articles. He captivates me with nearly every story of turn-of-the-last-century Bangor. Though I live farther down the coast, I am familiar enough with the city to know the areas he writes about.

In this age of constant downsizing of the printed media, please, don’t let Wayne E. Reilly (or Renee Ordway, for that matter) head for greener pastures. They, and others, help make the BDN the quality periodical it is today.

Bruce Hartford



Missed opportunity

What a gracious gesture it would have been for our president to forgive the action of the “shoe thrower.” Both in the eyes of his countrymen and of the world I think he would have gained respect. After all, we all know what it is to do something as a result of frustration that we shouldn’t have.

Mr. Bush missed a chance to show the world the face of kindness and compassion.

Larissa Bilodeau



Terms of endearment

Years ago, I was about 30-years-old, living in Worcester, Mass. and buying gas when the gas station attendant called me “Ma’am.” It sounded so old. Let’s fast forward to the present and I am much older. I am in a doctor’s office, a store, or a bank. There is a much younger woman (it is never a man, because they know women demanded better years ago), and I am being called “Hon” and “Sweetie.”

I am somewhat unsettled that this stranger is calling me names meant for a close personal relationship. I have mentioned this to several friends.

Usually they say, “Oh, I hate that.” Then today a minister friend told me while wearing his collar he was called “Sweetie.” I told him last summer I was in Nicky’s Crusin’ Diner and a very young woman working there was calling a man in his 50s “Hon” and “Sweetie.” His response was, “We haven’t even been out yet.”

I wonder about the women who use these terms of endearment on total strangers and I also wonder about the employers who don’t train their staff to be more professional and respectful. I never thought I would say it, but I would take “Ma’am” anytime.

Maureen Walsh


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