Oct. 9 Letters to the Editor

Posted Oct. 08, 2010, at 11:01 p.m.

Mitchell as a teacher

The very first years I attended public schools were not pleasant. I remember I walked out of kindergarten and went home after I felt embarrassed by the angry sharp-tongued teacher. Today, I consider her as one who made demands without explanation. The next three years were just as unpleasant.

With my peers, I was not the youth everyone wanted on their team — I was tall, very thin and contracted most of the childhood diseases. It wasn’t until I was in the fourth grade that I had an experienced teacher who was able to unite us with her in a friendly, competitive and cooperative relationship, a change from the adversarial relationship I had had with previous teachers.

Suddenly, school was a great experience. I did my homework and did not like to miss school. Some years later, I had the opportunity to tell that teacher that her lessons had stood with me, guiding me through school for 17 more years.

I believe Libby Mitchell must have been that kind of teacher. As a legislator, she has been able to inspire legislative bodies through negotiations, compromise and cooperation to reach goals for state governance through reasoning rather than through anger.

Anyhow, I am glad I had that fourth grade teacher.

William J. Deering

Bangor

Levesque a better choice

Every two years we get to analyze whether our congressman/congresswoman is reflecting our opinions and values, and then vote accordingly. In the past two years my representative, Mike Michaud, has voted for the near-trillion-dollar “stimulus” package, which only exploded our country’s debt and benefited mainly those who helped elect him and President Barack Obama — special interests, unions, etc.

Mike Michaud voted for the cap and trade bill, an enterprise which would place a large portion of our economy under government control with vast new taxes and regulation. Then Michaud voted for the ObamaCare bill, probably the largest expansion of government seen in the past century; a process which over the next four years will destroy our current system of health care delivery.

Michaud’s big government votes do not reflect my values, nor I believe the values of most his constituents in northern or central Maine. It’s time to retire Rep. Michaud and vote for Jason Levesque who will help bring government spending under control, repeal this ruinous ObamaCare bill, and work to keep Washington, D.C. from bankrupting my children’s and country’s future.

Bob Walker

Lincolnville

LePage has integrity

What are the great questions of 2010? Which candidate should we vote for? How do we know which candidate to choose? Is there a career politician who stands for truth, integrity and doesn’t push his party’s agenda, but rather the peoples’ will?

The people of Maine voted down gay marriage. Paul LePage said he will honor the peoples’ voice, that is, the expressed will of the people. To Paul, the election is about the people; it’s about the peoples’ will; it’s about the peoples’ interest; it’s about integrity.

Paul doesn’t resort to bashing. He doesn’t need to. Bashing is the politics of confusion — keeping the misinformed uninformed. Politicians do this so we will have no idea where they stand.

Paul takes a stand, and whether you like it or not, he lets you know where he stands. I’ve listened to him, and I’ve talked with him. He’s honest. He’s straightforward. He’s a leader, a businessman and a statesman.

He doesn’t tell us where his opponent stands or doesn’t stand. He, in plain English, tells us where he stands. He doesn’t need to bash. That’s integrity.

He’s decisive, fiscally responsible, conservative, against raising taxes, for smaller government, stands on his own two feet, isn’t beholding to special interest groups, he won’t bend to the winds of either party, he’s a successful business man and he has a transparent record to prove it.

Vote for the people. Vote for Paul LePage.

Charles Reitze

Millinocket

Piotti too busy

As treasurer of Waldo County for eight years, I have interacted occasionally with our Waldo County delegation at the State House. Having observed the jail consolidation this past year and experienced the arrogance and incompetence of the state Board of Corrections. I wrote a letter to the board with my concerns on May 3. The biggest concern was an accounting of a check that I remitted to the board for $915,142, which represented Waldo County property tax money.

Hearing no word from state officials, in June I sent to Sen. Carol Weston and five legislators representing Waldo County my May 3 letter. I heard back from Sen. Weston and four legislators. One legislator has never responded with so much as a phone call. Rep. John Piotti must be too busy to waste time with his constituent and county officer. Being majority leader is too important a job to waste time worrying about $915,142 of county property tax money.

We need a senator in District 23 who will work for and communicate with the citizens and officers of this county. We need Mike Thibodeau as our next senator.

David A. Parkman

Treasurer of Waldo County

Palermo

State not paying bills

Maine’s hospitals rank third best in the country in quality of care provided, according to national studies. They attract and retain high-caliber health care professionals, provide more than 30,000 jobs and offer undiscriminating access to superior health care services.

This undiscriminating access includes providing health care to low-income residents through the state’s MaineCare program.

MaineCare insures more than 290,000 children and adults through joint funding by the state and federal governments. The federal government currently pays for two-thirds of the program’s costs, with the remaining being the responsibility of the state. This funding, however, is not reaching Maine hospitals.

The current debt owed to Maine hospitals for the years 2007 through 2010 is estimated at $400 million. Maine Coast Memorial Hospital is owed $12.8 Million as of June 30.

By not paying this settlement, the state is withholding not only its own funding, but also the federal government’s funding of more than $267 million in Medicaid money, which is reimbursed to the state rather than paid directly to hospitals.

Untimely payments have had and will continue to have detrimental implications.

Hospitals are being forced to cost-shift to other patients with commercial insurance.

Employees are losing their jobs or are experiencing a reduction in wages and benefits.

Programs and services are being reduced or eliminated. Hospitals are turning to borrowing from lines of credit or utilizing limited cash reserves for ongoing expenses.

Paying this debt in a timely manner is a crucial step in sustaining Maine’s hospitals ability to provide residents with the kind of health care they deserve.

Charlie Therrien

President and CEO

Maine Coast Memorial Hospital

Ellsworth

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