Nov. 21 Letters to the Editor

Posted Nov. 20, 2009, at 5:41 p.m.

A proud Catholic

Contrary to the assertion of Peg Cruikshank (“Victory cost church,” BDN letters, Nov. 14-15), the Catholic Church has greatly benefited because of its unequivocal support for marriage. Marriage has been the foundation for human societies since the dawn of creation. It is the bedrock upon which every civilization has been built. It is not some meaningless word that we can simply redefine when we feel like it.

Apparently Cruikshank is unable to distinguish between her faith and her politics. The church has every right, in fact an obligation, to take sides on matters of faith. As a Catholic, I have a renewed sense of pride in the church. Those who feel otherwise perhaps aren’t as Catholic as they think.

It may well be that the church will lose parishioners, but if that does happen, I believe that it will lead to a stronger and more faithful church.

Alfred J. Greenlaw

Orrington

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Cummings saved lives

After following the story of Amber Cummings, the woman who shot her husband in Belfast, it is my belief that we owe her a debt of gratitude. It is impossible for anyone to know how many lives she may have saved. I wish her and her daughter the best, and God bless them both.

Irving Spencer

Bangor

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Obama immune on flu

Where is the outrage from the media in reference to the lack of vaccine to treat the H1N1 flu? The national media is so deep in the tank for President Obama that they cannot come up for air.

If this were happening on George W. Bush’s watch, the media frenzy would be astonishing. I used to be able to joke about the double standard for Republicans and Democrats. But now it’s so blatant and brazen it’s no longer laughable.

The fatality estimates from H1N1 were thought to be about 1,000 across the country. Last week the administration corrected that and announced it had topped 4,000 deaths. That number is double the number of deaths from Hurricane Katrina.

What has happened to balanced, constructive journalism in this country?

Gary Bahosh

Newport

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The trigger is pulled

In the BDN’s Nov. 14-15 issue was an article headlined “Snowe urges patience on health care decision.” She has also supported use of a trigger for a public option, only if after several years the insurance companies do not lower their premiums.

My plea to our senators is to think about the people who do not have insurance or those who have such high costs ($6,000 a year is very common) with $15,000 deductibles that it is not medical insurance but only house insurance (since it protects their home if they had a major illness).

Think about those who have children with illnesses that are not covered, or think about the people who know they have a major health problem but cannot afford treatment. Review your federal employee medical insurance (taxpayers pay two-thirds of the cost) and see how insulated you are from these problems. This is a moral and ethical as well as an economic issue.

The trigger has been pulled many times including this fall when Anthem sued Maine when it only got a 10.9 percent approved premium rate increase rather than the 18 percent it wanted.

There could never be a better time to reduce the stress and worry of so many small-business owners, families and health care providers who cannot afford the current system of health insurance profits. Call Sens. Snowe and Collins and urge that they vote for health care reform now. Our patience is worn out and the trigger has been pulled.

Pam Person

Orland

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Tale of two towns

Kudos to the people and town of Jonesport for working together to determine their future and benefits from constructing a wind farm. This is a model of democracy. Informational meetings, public hearings, town meetings, a consensus by the voters of the town; this is a wonderful way to conduct the town’s business and bring it to the public arena. It is the right of the people.

Or you can live in Harrington, as I do. In Harrington the town boards would prefer to ignore certified letters calling for a public hearing on matters that affect many numbers of people, even though the Harrington Land Use Regulations outline the procedure. They would prefer not to advertise a project that might meet resistance, not when it would jeopardize the financial windfall of one of the selectmen, a project that could only be a detriment to others. How could two town governments be so different being only a few miles apart?

Paul Ferriero

Harrington

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Money for nothing

Watching television recently, I wondered why those who are against any health care reform seem to have millions to spend while those who need it cannot afford to present their case.

William Phillips

Bangor

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Pans tuition increase

I was surprised to read, in the BDN’s Nov. 17 article about the University of Maine System trustees, that the tuition increase is “not to exceed 6 percent per year” for 2009 to 2013. Given the current economic times and the potential for lack of change in the consumer price index, I find that increase unacceptable. When all other areas of state funding are looking to maintain a fixed budget, I wonder, how do our colleges justify an increase?

Valerie Chiasson

Bangor

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Liberal arts no priority

Kudos to Wayne Reilly for his insightful retrospective on University of Maine historian Dave Smith and folklorist Edward “Sandy” Ives (BDN, Nov. 16), both of whom passed away recently. As Reilly correctly highlights, both Smith and Ives played a critical role in preserving Maine history and ably embodied a central ethos of the liberal arts in their interdisciplinary approach to preserving the voices and experiences of past generations of Mainers who endured “hard times.”

But their legacy is threatened not by the unwillingness of new generations of historians to continue their work, as Reilly implies, but rather by budget cuts that have decimated the University of Maine Folk Life Center to which Ives devoted his life and reduced the number of history faculty from 20 to 15 over the span of just a few years.

Although it was not inevitable that the work of these two creative and incredibly productive scholars die along with them, the lack of priority given to the teaching of the liberal arts in the current “prioritization” plans of the university seem destined to ensure this outcome.

Elizabeth McKillen

professor of history

University of Maine

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