LETTERS

May 18, 2011: Tyrannical turnpike authority, bus rides and yard sales

Posted May 17, 2011, at 8:43 p.m.

Tyrannical officials

I wish to thank Mr. Matt Wickenheiser of the BDN staff for reporting in-depth on the Maine Turnpike Authority scandal in the May 7-8 edition. Yes, this is what your readers need to know. Great writing!

I’m also very pleased to learn that we have relatively junior legislators who demonstrate true grit, tenacity, heroic courage, righteous indignation, anger, great resourcefulness and uncommon intelligence while investigating MTA and its combativeness with state legislators and York residents.

One excellent example of this high quality work is Sen. Dawn Hill. She ought to be specially honored by her colleagues for outstanding service rendered while embroiled in this obstreperous conduct by MTA.

Great proactive leadership by a true patriot frees citizens from arrogant, selfish and tyrannical officials who think they can rule their fiefdoms with impunity.

Elmer Morin

Limestone

• • •

Bring the bus

I love the Megabus (“A Cheap Bus Ride,” BDN editorial, May 12). I rode this bus from State College, Pa., to New York City in February. The bus picked me up in a McDonald’s parking lot and dropped me on a street in Manhattan. It cost less than breakfast at McDonald’s.

I rode in the upper section, so I had a view as good as most airplanes provide and I was able to use my smart phone because it had free Wi-Fi. Free newspapers also were provided.

I thought at the time, why can’t Maine do this? Central Pennsylvania isn’t that much more remote than Calais, is it?

Megabus has permission and a system: permission to load and unload in public-private areas like a parking lot or a city street, and it has a “bus bouncer,” a big strong person who keeps other cars from using the space and makes sure that legitimate passengers can board and get off the bus safely and easily. It also has an easy, cheap ticket system and a lot of routes to out-of-the way towns like State College.

I think it is brilliant, and I don’t know why we can’t do this in Maine. Please!

Carol Muth

Bar Harbor

• • •

Keep signs current

My husband and I are avid yard-salers. We love to go out on the weekends and get great bargains on things that we probably don’t need. But the price is right.

With gas prices being the way that they are, it is really frustrating to chase signs from the week before. I believe if you are having a yard sale, and can take the time to go around and put up your signs, you should go out and take them down when you are done.

I am sure that all the gas-wasting, sign-chasing people will feel the same way we do.

Wendy Pelletier

Veazie

• • •

Try again, God

Here’s a prayer for the age:  Humanity is a failure! Nice try God! It seems nobody can get along; wars and insurrections prevail; peace loses. If Sen. George Mitchell can’t bring people together to solve their differences, it can’t be done.

So let’s cancel the whole experiment and try anew. Next time God, no free will, you make all the tough decisions and just let us play with our toys. Amen.

Lawrence B. Mutty

Castine

• • •

Hangover warning

In response to recent stories in the BDN about the upcoming movie “The Hangover Part II,” it should be noted that the filmmakers refused to allow the American Humane Association to monitor the animals in this film and refused to allow the AHA to screen the movie. As a result, the movie will not have the familiar “No animals were harmed in the making of this film” disclaimer.

If the movie had no animals in it or featured normal animal behavior, this may not matter, but the film already is notorious for its portrayal of a real monkey smoking cigarettes, selling drugs and doing some very questionable R-rated behavior.

This is apparently the same monkey from “Night at the Museum” (which I thought was pretty funny). I thought the original “The Hangover” was funny, too, and that first movie did go through the usual process of having the AHA monitor all animal scenes, and even earned an “Outstanding” rating by the AHA.

Now with the sequel, the director has been telling false stories about how the monkey was “trained to smoke” and “became addicted to cigarettes”:  false comments made for shock value and free publicity. So the filmmakers did some very “iffy” animal scenes, they circumvented the standard animal safety-monitoring process, and now they flaunt this all to the press.

I hope people will consider all this when deciding whether or not to see The Hangover Part II.

John Picone

Bangor

• • •

Embrace new methods

Paul Shapero, M.D., in a May 11 BDN letter to the editor states, “I have not seen one study documenting improved patient outcomes resulting from the use of EMR (Electronic Medical Records).”

Dr. Shapero apparently is unaware of remarkable patient outcomes and dramatically lower costs being achieved by collaborative medical practices at the Mayo and Cleveland Clinics, made possible in large part by EMR. Once the medical establishment embraces this technology dramatic health and financial dividends will come about from EBM (Evidence Based Medicine) made possible through data available through EMR.

As with most new ways of doing things, EMR poses a threat to established medical diagnostic/treatment protocols and financial reimbursement paradigms. But those who push back against reform short change patients and the taxpaying public.

Those who have resisted the computer age are blind to the fact that this technology has radically enhanced productivity in practically every element of our economy. Physicians and the medical establishment would do well to embrace computerization instead of resisting and bad-mouthing it.

Our current system of fee-for-service and insurance-based reimbursement is not sustainable. It is time for the medical establishment and insurance industry to face reality: We can no longer afford the status quo they represent. One of the surest paths to better medical outcomes and reduced costs resides in universal acceptance of EMR.

The remarkable medical outcomes and lowered costs achieved by Mayo, Cleveland and other leading-edge clinics need to be adopted country-wide — the sooner the better.

Michael Robinson

Lincoln

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