This is regarding the BDN’s decision to publish the list of bankruptcies.
Clearly bankruptcy is not a good thing, but there is a growing number of cases whereby people have no alternative. Some have massive medical bills, some have lost their business, some have lost jobs and are unable pay their bills. Yes, there are some that have abused credit, but the fact remains, in my opinion, we are kicking people when they are down.
When good people lose their jobs, then their homes, haven’t they suffered enough without embarrassing them more? I would think that we as a people would be more caring instead of kicking them when they are down. Who knows, it could happen to any one of us.
Tide likely to turn
I am disappointed that Maine chose to be on, as they say, “the wrong side of history” regarding legalized gay marriage. I was hoping we could live up to our motto of Dirigo, “I lead.”
I offer my apologies to our gay friends, family members, and neighbors.
My only consolation is my assurance that the fight for equal rights will continue, and as our children (most of whom appear comfortable with the idea) grow into voting adults, gay marriage will eventually be legal everywhere. Unfortunately, that will be too late for the Maine couples who have waited decades for the chance to do what the rest of us take for granted.
The next time I read the latest heterosexual divorce statistics, I will again wonder what exactly in “traditional marriage” Maine has tried so hard to preserve.
Carol Tiffin James
A leafy proposition
I’ve been raking and raking, in this fine fall weather, and my neighbors bring me bags of their leaves, too. I use these to bank the house, and then, in the spring, they go into the big leaf bin, to break down into leaf mould, this wonderful stuff to mulch and feed to the vegetable garden.
Each year, I start a fresh heap, and so it goes.
These leaves broken down over a year or so make a great soil conditioner, adding humus to sandy or clay soil, and feeding the earthworms that aerate it. My leaf pile is about 6 by 6 feet in a fencing wire cage, with sprinklings of garden soil to help it compost. The pile is fairly broken down by the next fall, when I either compost it with manure, store it or apply it directly to the garden.
I’d like to see more of these riches of the leafy fall from our town trees go to gardeners who could use them, the town to the country, so to speak, and propose to hook up rural vegetable growers with townspeople with lawns and big trees, so that every fall, the gardeners and compost makers could pick up clean bagged leaves, haul them off to their gardens, and return any reusable empty bags for next year. I would be willing to be point person to get this started for next year.
Hope to hear from some town rakers and avid gardeners (236-8732; firstname.lastname@example.org).
Cuts handled poorly
Recently a number of midcoast nonprofits fired staff due to reduced receipts by donors. While I support fiscal responsibility, I’m disturbed by reports that these actions have been carried out in brutally insensitive ways.
Staff have been called into “emergency” meetings where they are told they no longer have jobs, to pack up and leave the building immediately.
Their e-mail is diverted, passwords deleted, keys collected and security codes changed. No attention is paid to the work the staff has done in the past; the individuals are made to feel that they are at fault when we know that it’s the board’s responsibility to raise funds.
These staff members are trusted colleagues, who most ably carry out the daily operations of these organizations. These same staff members are reasonable people who care deeply about their workplace and appreciate the financial situation. What would be the downside of sitting down, civilly, explaining the facts, planning for an orderly transition to leave those who still remain with the knowledge that commitments will be carried out or canceled in a professional manner?
I’ve always thought that many of us choose to live here where we have the luxury of time and space to interact with one another with dignity and grace. As we move forward in this real world of cutbacks, we might want to consider how we would like to learn that our job has been eliminated.
Health care is a right
As members of the next generation of physicians, fellow classmates at Dartmouth Medical School and I believe fostering a partnership with our communities is important as we work together to refine our system, in order to improve both the quality of and access to health care. Reflecting on our own experiences as patients, volunteers and employees in health care throughout the U.S. and abroad, we would like to share our collective views with you.
We believe that behind all the political and financial wrangling, the issue of access to health care boils down to one basic ethical principle: Health care is a basic human right, and not a privilege that should be available only to those with means.
We believe that all people as human beings are deserving of health care, and that bodily and mental health are prerequisites to the “pursuit of happiness” outlined in our nation’s Constitution.
We believe that the growth and improvement of our health care system depend on an open exchange of personal values, experiences and perspectives. Do you see health care as a privilege that must be earned, or as a right that should be provided for everyone? Why do you feel this way?
We encourage you, whether at the dinner table or on the phone with your elected representative, to immerse yourself and others in this discussion.
For your health and the health of our nation, please join us as we think, engage and act!
Dartmouth Medical School Class of 2013