Letters to the Editor for August 3

Posted Aug. 03, 2009, at 6:39 p.m.

Ball fields, not yachts

We are all fortunate that Stephen and Tabitha King have chosen to support Mansfield Field and so many other projects rather than a huge yacht down on the waterfront. Thank you, Stephen and Tabitha King.

Evangeline Matijczyk

Newport

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Doctor’s orders

What do the American Medical Student Association, American Preventive Medical Association, American Public Health Association, American Society of Addiction Medicine, British Medical Association, California Academy of Family Physicians, California, Virginia and Colorado Nurses associations, Florida Medical Association and Ministry of Health, Health Canada, Life Extension Foundation, Lymphoma Foundation of America, Maine AIDS Alliance, National Nurses Society on Addictions and New England Journal of Medicine have in common? Would it surprise you that they all approve of prescriptive access to medical marijuana? Yes, they support the ability of doctors to prescribe, and patients to buy, medical marijuana.

So why is Donald K. Christen going to spend six months in jail?

According to the July 28 BDN article “Medical marijuana proponent loses appeal,” because he was caregiver for medical marijuana patients, and couldn’t provide proper paperwork. Patients included, but are not limited to, his wife who suffers from ovarian cancer.

Where does this leave his wife? How will she get the medicine her doctor prescribed? The answer is on the black market, because as a society we do not offer a legal means to obtain this drug. That is unless the ballot question passes.

The initiative proposes creating nonprofit dispensaries to help patients get a safe supply of medical marijuana. It would also establish a statewide ID card system to protect patients from arrest; a system that three other states already have. I pray our collective voice will be heard in November as it is a matter of life and death for some.

Alex J. Whitney

Winter Harbor

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Remembering Stan

I was sad to open the July 28 paper and see a very familiar face.

Stan McCall was a regular at the March of Dimes office in Brewer when I worked there. He always impressed me as a kind and happy soul. He had a great sense of humor and everyone loved seeing him when he came by the office. He always had something positive to say and had a gift for making people feel good about themselves.

Time can fly by so fast sometimes and Stan is one of those folks I wish I took the time to know better. My heart goes out to his beloved wife and all his family.

I know the ray of sunshine Stan brought with him everywhere he went will serve him well when he becomes an angel in heaven.

Christopher K. Olsen

Bangor

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No more bandages

The health care system is sick and dying, with 45 million to 50 million people with no insurance and millions more with inadequate coverage. Small businesses have to choose between laying off employees or cutting health coverage. Costs are increasing astronomically; they could soon destroy the economy.

Shouldn’t health care be a human right, not a privilege that only the lucky ones get? I believe all of us recognize that quality health care needs to be available to everyone in the U.S.

How sad that choices being debated will, at best, put a skimpy bandage on the problem. Quality health care for everyone is not an option. A partial public “option” will still leave millions without coverage. Private insurance doesn’t work either; insurance companies have demonstrated repeatedly that their bottom line is profit, not good health care.

If we want to put more than mere Band-Aids on the problem, then a single-payer system, run by the government or a nongovernmental body, along with Medicare-type cost containment, is the cure.

Most industrialized countries, with far fewer resources than we have, have run excellent single-payer systems — equally good results while spending much less per person than in the U.S. Can we afford not to implement it?

The longer we wait, the worse the problem gets. It’s time to stop the posturing, the tinkering at the edges, and establish a health care system that really works, a single-payer system.

Larry Dansinger

Monroe

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Undeserved slander

When I heard a low-income multifamily housing project was being considered for Milbridge I started a petition. My concern was for the added cost to the town; never was this a racial issue because of minorities.

Everyone who signed said their concern was for the cost to the town and safety because of location. No one said minorities was the issue.

After returning from being away for a month because of family loss, I was shocked to hear Mano en Mano, the applicant for this project, is suing the town, town manager and selectmen, saying this is a race issue. This is a low blow to the town.

By using the race issue to sue the town, Mano en Mano has involved HUD, which has threatened to cut off funds to the town. I am appalled this is allowed to happen. Where are our rights and protection against this kind of slander? I am saddened this has gone this route and our town now has to pay attorneys to fight this lawsuit. I hope our town manager and selectmen do not give in to this undeserved slander.

Daniel Pride

Milbridge

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Shock treatment

Regarding the article on Tasers being used in the emergency department at Eastern Maine Medical Center, my first reaction was disbelief, then I wondered about the Hippocratic oath, which states: “Do no harm.” Maybe this is a way of discouraging people from using the emergency room. Whoever thought this one up needs to see a doctor.

People who come to the emergency room already are in pain, physical, emotional or mental, or they wouldn’t be there. They deserve better than Taser treatment.

Margie Gilbert

Corinna

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