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May 14, 2011: Recovering text addict, the real LePage

Urine tests for pols

Rep. Jon Hinck, D-Portland, has proposed a law governing opiates, specifically OxyContin, which duplicates those that already exist. He is targeting and discrediting honest doctors and patients by presuming they are acting illegally.

I am in complete agreement that there are those who abuse the distribution and use of this drug. Investigate and prosecute them fully, don’t punish those for a political agenda, playing the theme of the day. It seems now lawyers and politicians know more than a medical doctor, but then this is all for our own protection from ourselves.

Doctor shopping in rural Maine? There aren’t enough now. A wait of 6-7 days for certain medicines being delivered to pharmacies is not unusual. Insurance companies now count pills between refills.

I hope Rep. Hinck does not now or ever have a loved one in extreme pain, from other than cancer 24 hours a day, confined to a wheelchair. I’m in favor of urine tests for all elected officials, both prior to and once elected to office, results posted as well as full disclosure of all medicines they take and when, with particular attention to days they vote. After all, it’s for our own good and a public safety issue.

Edward Verbeke

Cary Plantation

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Demeaned in death

I find it incredulous that Osama bin Laden’s son stated that the way his father was killed and buried was demeaning. What about all the deaths bin Laden is primarily responsible for? Were those deaths not demeaning to the victims and their families? Why are we giving so much press time to this man and his family?

Please, let’s move on.

Harriet Real


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Logging clarification

A recent story appearing in the BDN regarding the governor’s position on LD 1383, “An Act to Improve the Process by Which Logging Contractors Hire Legal Foreign Workers,” needs clarification. The article stated that the administration supported the bill because it cuts “bureaucracy and red tape that restrain businesses and make them less competitive.”

That is true. However, given the highly charged nature of this issue with Maine loggers, I feel it important to share with your readers the full sentence of my testimony: “The administration has pledged its commitment to reducing bureaucracy and red tape; that said, nothing will stand in the way of seeing that Maine people are put back to work as soon as possible and that they are given preference for all available jobs in this — or any other — industry.”

The real issue here is getting unemployed Maine loggers connected with available jobs while not penalizing businesses who clearly want to hire them. We are dedicated to doing just that.

Thank you for the opportunity to clarify the news report.

Linwood M. Higgins

assistant to the commissioner

Maine Department of Labor


• • •

The real LePage

About 130 people in Waldo County had the opportunity and pleasure to hear the governor speak about current policy initiatives at a GOP annual dinner in Lincolnville last week. My, was I surprised!

The contrast was stark and clear between the portrait painted of this man by this paper and other news outlets and the person we saw and heard from at the dinner. Gov. LePage was articulate, clear with his message, conversant and showed a deep and thorough understanding of the issues discussed; a far cry from the bumbling, shoot from the hip, dull-witted aged senior persona this paper perpetuates in its news coverage and editorial columns.

It’s refreshing to finally have a governor who speaks plainly, follows through with his campaign promises, is genuinely trying to do what’s best for all of Maine, and has actual real world experience as an executive in the private sector. I wish more people could see the real Paul LePage.

Bob Walker


• • •

Recovering text addict

As a busy executive of several companies in Washington County I utilize email and text messaging on a more-than-regular basis to keep up with the details of running my enterprise. It is especially important to text and email in Washington County because, while cell service is getting better all the time, it is still less than stellar.

I admit I am guilty of texting and emailing while driving, especially in the past. I am a recovering text-while-driving addict. While I have slipped many times, my wife and kids will not tolerate my poor behavior while they are in the car. And I recognize they are right and so is the new law against texting while driving. So, I am really trying to adhere to my family’s wishes and the state law.

As I am now pulling over to read and send texts and emails, another problem in Washington County is becoming even more glaring as I try to obey my superiors (family and state). We still have no shoulders on most roads here. I am not talking back roads, I am talking connectors like Routes 191, 192 and 193. These roads are paramount to travelers and visitors alike.

Aside from shoving winter salt sand off to the side, I continue to see no meaningful plans to make our roads of Washington County safe to operate on. Can you imagine the headline? “Family killed when rear-ended, texting motorist stopped on side of road — but still half way in it.”

Dave Whitney


• • •

Disgraceful priorities

The BDN’s May 10 article on the new Zumwalt destroyer built at BIW is good reading for taxpayers wondering why we’re going broke. Billions for a space age, sea-going death weapon. Another one? We are cutting Social Security, Medicare, cannot provide our elderly, disabled and poor stop-gap programs, and our bridges and roads are decaying. But we have $5 billion for this. It’s disgraceful.

Military domination of the world (“full spectrum dominance”) is a crazy idea that’s defeated every country that ever tried it.  Eisenhower warned us in the 1950s about the dangers of sustaining the military industrial complex after World War II. Now we have arrived at a point where militarism, war for its own sake, proceeds under secret plans far outside the arena of civil discourse.

Of the last five wars we started, we have lost at least four, to the tune of trillions of wasted dollars and thousands killed. Yet we plod on with a foreign policy based on force, arrogance and greed, not diplomacy. This is, at the least, an insult to a working democracy, and at worst, a major threat to the planet. Not only is it unaffordable, but philosophically a dark road indeed.

We do need the BIW workers employed, but many of us wish they would be building something else, something truly useful that contributes to a better world, one for all to share in. The only share the public will get in the Zumwalt is the bill. And it’ll be a whopper.

Dennis Lopez


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