Monday, Jan. 23, 2012: DHHS cuts, domestic violence and postal privacy

Posted Jan. 22, 2012, at 7:11 p.m.

Smaller cut, please

Please help concerned parents of disabled adults in Down East Maine who are threatened by the governor’s proposed supplemental budget cuts of 10 percent to DHHS to achieve a savings of $3 million.

The Maine Association of Community Support Providers has studied the numbers and has found a cut of only 4 percent will achieve the governor’s initial goal. A cut of 10 percent is overkill and absolutely unnecessary. Such an action would devastate Maine’s most vulnerable citizens. Please help us help the governor and our Legislature see reason with your letters and calls.

I am the mom of a young man who is a resident in a home run by Downeast Horizons in Ellsworth. The proposed cuts would absolutely devastate that small agency. A 10 percent cut would eliminate $258,000 from Downeast Horizons and a 4 percent cut would mean a loss of $103,200.

Please Mainers, fight for our most vulnerable citizens and urge either the elimination of the proposed cuts altogether or advocate a reduction in the proposed cuts, from 10 percent to 4 percent. Yes, we all need to tighten our belts in these times, but we also need to maintain our humanity and sanity as a people.

Alexandra Noyes

Sorrento

Nixon, Reagan and the stars

When a spokesman for the “Call to Prayer” group commented (on Maine Public Radio) that the founders of this great nation often appealed for aid from Almighty God, I remembered that President Nixon consulted with the astrologer Jeane Dixon, and even asked her for advice about foreign policy and concerns about terrorism.

President Reagan was often given “guidance” by his wife’s astrologer.

If these two important presidents relied on astrologers for divine guidance, then shouldn’t the Maine lawmakers and the governor convene a similar “caucus” to express their appreciation for the benefits derived from astrology?

For some strange reason, my crystal ball does not show this happening. I think that’s grossly unfair and an insult to the fame of two great American presidents.

Jerry Metz

Addison

From a rib

This year, instead of the same old resolution of giving up smoking or losing weight, why not make a resolution to become a better husband and father, better wife and mother? Your marriage will become stronger and your children will benefit.

Men, women, boys and girls, pay close attention to these words: The women came out of a man’s rib: Not from his feet to be walked on, not from his head to be superior, but from the side to be equal. She came from under the arm to be protected and next to the heart to be loved.

This kind of thinking will cut back on domestic violence.

Joseph Riitano Sr.

Sangerville

Postal privacy invasion

I have maintained a post office box in Hulls Cove for the past 17 years.

I was recently informed by the post office that they will not renew my box rental unless I provide them with personal information, including my drivers license number and phone number. I have no desire to see this information go into a post office computer, and the post office has no need for it in order to deliver the mail.

I urge all my friends and neighbors who utilize the services of the U.S. Postal Service to resist this invasion of their privacy and refuse to give their personal information to the post office.

Victor Hand

Hulls Cove

Kids have responsibility

I read three different articles in the past two weeks about parents talking about children they have lost; those parents are now trying to change the rules for new drivers.

The rules for new drivers are already too strict. First-year drivers aren’t the only ones who exceed the speed limit and they definitely aren’t the only drivers who make mistakes on the road.

I have been in a vehicle with adults considerably older than I am who drive more irresponsibly than I do. Talking on the phone isn’t distracting enough to ban it from people, and other people in your car is only distracting if you as a driver make it distracting. You don’t need to turn your radio up louder when you have people in the car, and you don’t need to turn around or look at them to communicate, so I don’t see how it is a huge issue.

As a young adult, the rules that I had to go by were a nuisance and didn’t do anything to help me. At most they cost me and my friends more money when we had to have a five-car caravan heading to the movies when we could have all fit in one car.

Don’t just think of the bad things that have happened. I believe that kids need to take responsibility for themselves, and if parents held their kids to a certain level of responsibility then maybe kids wouldn’t find themselves in situations they don’t want to be in.

Everyone has the right to say no.

Kristin Masessa

Waterville

Hear the voiceless

The quote by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent

about things that matter,” has challenged me to respond to what is currently taking place in the state of Maine concerning the voiceless — Maine’s most vulnerable residents. The voiceless in Maine are real human beings — they could even be your family member or neighbor.

Many service providers are disturbed by the proposed budget cuts currently being reviewed by the Legislature’s Appropriations Committee to close an estimated $221 million gap in the DHHS budget. Included in this proposal’s supplemental budget is MaineCare, the state’s version of the federal Medicaid program, which provides health insurance for 65,000 of Maine’s poor.

It would be devastating if the Legislature decided to cut the 2002 waiver that expanded

MaineCare eligibility for childless adults, a “noncategorical” group of enrollees who do not

fit into a usual MaineCare group. Failing to meet individual health care needs, particularly

those below the poverty level who have no means to pay for health care themselves, will take an incalculable human toll. The need for health care does not go away, even when the funds for coverage do, and their health conditions will worsen.

I hope the Appropriations Committee will seriously consider the ramifications that their

decisions will have on our most defenseless, voiceless members.

Sister Lucille MacDonald

Director, Emmaus Homeless Shelter

Ellsworth

 

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