Saturday/Sunday, Jan. 21-22, 2012: Teenage drivers, ‘A Call to Prayer’ and the Fund for Healthy Maine

Posted Jan. 20, 2012, at 4:07 p.m.

Drastic steps

When my son was in his first year of high school in Connecticut and had just gotten his drivers license, there was a teenage driving accident that year that resulted in the deaths of four students, several of whom were my son’s friends. The accident was so horrific that it drastically affected everyone in the school and in the local community.

The high school administrators took a drastic step to try to stop future accidents. To this day, it brings back to me the horrible toll the community had to pay for this accident. One teenage driver’s misunderstanding of how serious hurtling a 4,000-pound vehicle down the road at 80 mph cost the rest of the students their innocence.

The school put the twisted and torn wreck of the vehicle in the school yard where all the rest of the students had to pass by for the rest of the year. Everyday, it reminded them. It affected my son so badly that he did not drive again till he was 18.

As drastic as this action may seem, it did remind the students of the consequences of bad driving decisions. There were no more accidents by students of that high school for years.

Larry Ferrell

Newport

What Jesus said

Now that our state legislators have signed the “A Call to Prayer” document on public prayer, they are obliged to extend this right to public prayer to all religions. They will have to allow Muslims to broadcast their “call to prayer” from the rooftops in any city in Maine five times a day, and Hindus to celebrate their holidays in the streets like they do in India. They will have to allow Pagans to celebrate rituals in the public parks, and any other religion to conduct public prayers and rites.

According to the BDN’s Jan. 18 article, these legislators are Christians. Have they forgotten what Jesus said in Matthew 6:6? “But thou when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou has shut thy door, pray to the Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeith in secret shall reward thee openly.” This means do not make a show of praying before others to prove how pious you are. Such a prayer is not only hypocritical, but it is not a prayer to God. A prayer should be a private conversation between the worshipper and God.

My point is, do not abuse this right to public prayer by forcing others to listen to prayers that are not theirs, nor use this right to bully those not of your religion. As Jesus said, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

Linda Seekins

Stockton Springs

Put prevention first

Since its establishment, Maine has used the Fund for Healthy Maine as it was initially intended, targeting tobacco and preventable chronic conditions impacting Maine families. Much of this effort has been through the prevention work and projects of the local Healthy Maine Partnerships. These critical partnerships have been the foundation for Maine’s public health system.

As our mothers and grandmothers have told us, an ounce of prevention is worth pound of cure. It is the first, best and most cost-effective step in decreasing and containing Maine’s health care costs. Currently, the data show that every $1 spent on prevention Maine saves $7.50. We need to continue this investment.

Over the several years I have been involved with our Piscataquis County Public Health Council, I have seen these funds go to projects that encourage seniors to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables; to local towns to strengthen their recreational offerings for all their residents; to local food cupboards to broaden their offerings to include healthier food choices for their families and to local law enforcement for the removal of unused prescription drugs from our homes and neighborhood streets.

Support Healthy Maine Partnerships, before it is too late. Call your local legislator today. Remember, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Jane Conroy

Dover-Foxcroft

Crippling costs

My son just got the news from his employer. Health coverage for him and his 12-year-old son is going to cost him 25 percent of his monthly salary. This, on top of his other expenses, will probably put him in the red each month, and he is a careful spender.

I thank our politicians for accepting the responsibility to knife us all in the back. Does anybody really believe they would do anything to jeopardize their payoffs from the insurance, or other industries? I know they won’t. There is not an honest politician anywhere. They don’t care what happens to us, as long as their pockets continue to be lined by payoffs. What has happened to our country?

Harry Epp

Lincoln

Healthy fund works

Since its establishment, Maine has proudly used the Fund for Healthy Maine as it was initially intended, targeting tobacco and preventable chronic conditions impacting Maine families. Much of this work is done through the prevention efforts of the local Healthy Maine Partnerships, the foundation for Maine’s public health system yet currently proposed for elimination.

Prevention is the first, best, and most cost-effective step in decreasing and containing Maine’s health care costs. Currently Maine is the eight healthiest state in the country and is 22nd in public health spending, and every $1 spent on prevention in Maine saves $7.50. If the cuts to the Fund for Healthy Maine move forward as proposed, Maine will fall to 48th in public health spending and, over time, one can safely assume Maine’s health ranking will be adversely affected.

I have worked with the Piscataquis Public Health Council on several projects. The support PPHC programs give to the community is essential in keeping our residents healthy, giving them the tools they need to maintain healthful lifestyles and reducing the costs of health care through education and prevention. Piscataquis County certainly has its challenges, especially with issues concerning public health. Cuts to the Fund for a Healthy Maine would adversely affect the positive efforts that PPHC has put into place to reduce, eliminate or prevent costly (in dollars and in human hardship) health issues.

Consider contacting your state representative to share your concerns about cuts to the Fund for Healthy Maine.

Deborah Somers

Dover-Foxcroft

http://bangordailynews.com/2012/01/20/opinion/letters/saturdaysunday-jan-21-22-2012-teenage-drivers-a-call-to-prayer-and-the-fund-for-healthy-maine/ printed on September 16, 2014