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Wednesday, May 23, 2012: Clean air, why Ron Paul is harmful

Hurting in Maine

Gov. Paul LePage may get what he wants: sick, disadvantaged, unemployed and disabled people will have to move out of Maine.

During the 1980s many people, especially those with mental health issues, flocked here in droves because the services were so good. Maine is a state in which its citizens care about each other. So perhaps we were too generous with human services. But hurting the innocent and the most vulnerable people because of what past administrations didn’t keep a good eye on is morally wrong. It comes down to LePage’s own prejudice towards people who can’t work full time to support themselves.

I invite Gov. LePage to live on what I earn from Social Security (which I paid into) and with my illnesses for one month. It’s not the life I planned on, to be sick. It could happen to anyone at any time. It’s hard enough to be sick, let alone to also have to be poor. More people will, if they are not already, become depressed. I manage my illnesses and it improves my quality of life, but the thought that any of my treatments will be ended will leave me with the possibility of a life not worth living. Most people like me are honest, and want to have a good life, and live with integrity.

Arin Quintel


Delegates to support Ron Paul

Has the Republican Party gone nuts?

It is the party that has always promoted conservative values. But now, in Maine, they are sending delegates to the convention to support Ron Paul, whose bizarre platform is the legalization of prostitution and some drugs.

More disappointing is that many members of the younger generation are supporting Paul’s values. With our country now in danger of being financially bankrupt, it may become morally bankrupt as well.

Jack Duncan

Presque Isle


Clean air

Can you imagine if your health care provider used 40-year-old treatments for injury and illness, even when more effective and affordable options were readily available? Imagine the lives that would be needlessly lost and the illnesses that could be prevented. While this seems ridiculous to contemplate, it is exactly what’s happening when it comes to keeping our air healthy to breathe.

It has been 40 years since Senator Edmund S. Muskie’s Clean Air Act was signed into law and 20 years since Sens. George Mitchell and William Cohen spearheaded its modernization. Their efforts were based on the science of the day. Since then there have been tremendous advances in the science of reducing soot and smog and in our understanding of the impact of unhealthy air on our lungs and hearts. But much of today’s science is being ignored so out-of-state industries can continue to pollute without penalty. This is simply unfair.

Here in Maine we are the tailpipe of the nation, and as a physician, I see the harmful effects of pollution on lung health, especially on summer days when ozone levels are high. My patients can’t go outside and some even end up in the emergency room. The 92,000 Maine adults and 22,000 Maine children with asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease suffer the worst effects.

The science is available to make our air healthy. Let’s use it. We need Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins to stand up for Maine people and defend the Clean Air Act and the common-sense protections it creates.

Dr. Paul Shapero


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