September 23,2009, Letters to the Editor

Posted Sept. 22, 2009, at 6:10 p.m.

Raise gas tax

There is a proposal in Maine to reduce the excise tax on fuel-saving cars such as hybrids, or to eliminate it entirely for several years, as an incentive for people to buy fuel-saving cars. This would reduce the income to the state or to municipalities.

Wouldn’t it be better to heavily tax gasoline? Then the fuel savings to those who buy fuel-saving cars would be its own reward, and our government would be richer, not poorer. And again, the high gas price would encourage driving less, which reducing excise tax would not do.

Ed Huff

Old Town

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Selective outrage

I understand that Sen. Susan Collins recently complained about the number of “czars” that there are in the Obama administration. Where was her outrage when President Bush had his, which, according to some, were more than Obama has?

Harold Halliday

Belfast

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Screen for MRSA

In June, Gov. Baldacci signed my proposal — LD 1038, for the prevention of MRSA — into law. My grieving family and I proudly attended the ceremony. My father died in January of hospital-acquired pneumonia.

The Maine Quality Forum was assigned the task of defining who is at risk for MRSA. Five months of meetings and a lot of contention and stonewalling later, a unilateral decision was made by the director of the MQF to propose a study. The Maine Hospital Association and your Maine hospitals do not want this screening.

Until high-risk MRSA screening starts in hospitals, infected or colonized MRSA patients will enter hospitals undetected and continue to be roomed with vulnerable uninfected patients. The nasty, expensive and deadly infections will continue to spread, and hospital officials will act like there is nothing they can do to stop it.

And if you get one of these infections, you or your insurance will get the bill for it. You pay for care rendered for an infection that your trusted hospital gave you.

The “study” decision was made without deadlines, a plan or a consultant, and with total disregard to patient safety. It will be months or years before the test results are in. This test will pad the pockets of a few and not make one bit of difference now for MRSA prevention.

If you want your hospital safer now by screening all high-risk hospital patients for MRSA, let your senators and representatives know or contact me at Kathydayrn@aol.com.

Kathy Day

Bangor

Why bother saving?

Some months ago Sen. Susan Collins stated on TV news, “Hurry up and lower the interest rate.” (To the Federal Reserve). Well, they sure did!

When banks offer only 0.15 percent interest on CDs, it’s ridiculous, in relation to the cost of living today.

It appears the people who worked and saved and tried to make good financial decisions are paying for the money the government is throwing around wildly to corporations and people who never made good decisions.

They say Social Security will not increase for two years because of “negative inflation.” Have these people purchased items in the last year? If this is true, why did Congress get a sizable cost-of-living increase this year? Did they merit it? I doubt it.

Shirley Tidd

Warren

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What Macbeth said

A letter writer recently described an incident during which a “remarkably peaceful” person approached a group protesting against health care reform in order to engage the protesters in a conversation on the subject. When the writer decided he did not like the opinions of the peaceful person, he told him to leave, which he did. For this, the writer engages in name calling (“bottom feeder”), negative characterization (“slithered”), and outright paranoia (“he disguised himself as something he wasn’t”).

I understand why opponents of health care reform use these tactics and others such as disrupting town hall meetings. It’s because that’s all they’ve got. As Macbeth may have described them, “full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing.”

Martin O’Connell

Bangor

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Help us help you

Dog bites are a serious problem for the entire community, and not just our letter carriers. Some 3,100 carriers suffered dog bites last year.

That’s an average of 10 dog attacks every delivery day, and that figure doesn’t include the number of threatening incidents that didn’t result in injury. These numbers pale in comparison with the more than 4.7 million people — mostly children and the elderly — who suffer injuries from dog attacks each year.

In the Northern New England District, 73 letter carriers were bitten by dogs last year. Twenty-seven more suffered injuries while successfully escaping dog attacks. Last year, a dog burst through a screen door in Maine, knocked a letter carrier to the ground and viciously bit him on his leg and on his back. He was unable to work for two weeks while recuperating from painful, traumatic injuries.

Only dog owners can control their dogs. Day after day a letter carrier comes into a dog’s territory, the dog barks and the letter carrier leaves.

Every day, the dog sees this action repeated. After a week or two, many dogs feel invincible against intruders, and once the dog gets loose, there’s a good chance it will attack. Dog owners should remind their children to keep the family dog secured and not to take mail directly from letter carriers. A dog may see handing mail to a child as a threatening gesture.

These tips can reduce the hazard of dog bite attacks. Help us to help you.

Tom Rizzo

Corporate Communications

U.S. Postal Service

Northern New England District

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Simple fix

It is too bad we live in what should be the richest country in the world, now the most indebted country in the world, yet we can’t afford to educate our children or provide health care for everyone.

Here’s an idea — how about stopping the free flow of money to those who won’t work, or those who are here illegally? Let’s kick corrupted officials out of office, which should and would be most of those there now, and start writing laws that actually solve a problem, without adding more problems (earmarks) to the bill that no one reads anyway.

Let’s hold those in power accountable, and stop giving money to those who don’t deserve (like ACORN).

Roger Willett

Winterport

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