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Saturday, Nov. 3, 2012: Health care, Schools and Veterans

Keep Parkview open

I am an employee of Parkview Adventist Medical Center in Brunswick. This is the second hospital in the midcoast area where I have worked. I can honestly say that we have the most dedicated patients I have ever seen. The reason is that they are made to feel cared about, loved and like family here. From doctors to the housekeeping staff, everyone appreciates our patients and makes sure that their experience here is a positive one.

Many times, patients have said to me that they dislike going to Mid Coast Hospital because they are not treated well or are made to feel uncomfortable. These patients deserve to have a choice of where they go to receive the medical care they need. When patients are ill and frightened, they deserve to go where they know they will be treated with dignity and respect.

Help us keep Parkview open, so our loyal patients can continue to receive the care they need in an environment that fosters healing in a caring and loving manner.

Marsha Penhaker

Westport Island

Supporting Gratwick

Both of us vote for Republicans and Democrats. In November we will vote for Democrat Geoffrey Gratwick for state Senate.

At least three issues distinguish Gratwick from his opponent Republican Nichi Farnham: health care, taxes and political ethics.

As a physician, Gratwick has spent his life working for patients, not special interests. He understands how to reform the system and save money by providing better care. Farnham worked in Augusta to support the agenda of the insurance industry.

On Bangor City Council for nine years, Gratwick has been among its most fiscally conservative members. He believes that the middle class should not pay more for public services — for roads, education, public safety — so that the top 1 percent can pay less. And he does not support the double bookkeeping in Augusta, which shifts unfunded mandates to local communities and property taxes.

In 2010, Farnham benefited from a barrage of negative advertising by an out-of-state political action committee. This spring she agreed to lend her name to a PAC, which this fall has funded a similar barrage. For us, she seems far too comfortable with these politics, to represent these out-of-state interests. In Augusta she was their legislative leader in the national effort to suppress the vote by denying Maine people to right to same-day register.

Bangor and Hermon need a state senator who will represent Maine people, not an ideology. Gratwick is the clear choice. He is conservative in the best sense: he believes in conserving our community.

Dan Cassidy

Tony Brinkley


Demand change

I find it a joy and privilege to work on the Regional School Unit 26 board of directors. The perspectives of my dedicated colleagues from Glenburn and Orono and the chance to take on larger projects together were amazing. The first two years we worked together really well and achieved important innovations like pre-kindergarten, alternative education and curriculum enrichment.

Last year, severe economic challenges pitted town against town. At that point it would have been prudential to rewrite the RSU 26 charter in ways that would assuage people’s legitimate concerns, while allowing the RSU to continue to be productive.

Sadly the people who drafted the consolidation process felt that financial penalties and difficult withdrawal requirements would force towns to stay put. Very explicit instructions were given on how to break away. We were never given instructions on how to make the charter more favorable for the towns involved. Why?

School boards are leaders in education. We expect students, teachers and principals to collaborate, really listen, have win-win attitudes and think outside the box. It breaks my heart that we weren’t allowed to utilize these crucial skills, to model, by our own behavior, the best practices we expect of others.

This election will decide whether RSU 26 can stay together. I urge voters, especially in my town of Veazie where our small size would make us vulnerable to crises, to give us a chance and demand internal change. I believe that our children deserve nothing less.

Julia Emily Hathaway


Marriage equality

There is a missing element this time around in this debate about redefining marriage, and that is the right of a child to be raised in a family with his or her mother and father, if at all possible. It would follow that the homosexual “marriage” supporters would be uncomfortable with this, as scientific studies continue to show that a child is best raised by both of the natural parents in a family. This is not supportive of the “marriage equality” slogan.

Equality doesn’t exist in every aspect of our lives, thankfully. Behavior, urges, ideas, ideologies, relationships and many more parts of our life are not equal. And, rather than have a referendum to say otherwise, maybe we should be thankful for the tradition of having mom and dad raising kids.

As a lifelong educator, and social worker, I have and will continue to teach young (and old) people to seek truth rather than invent it.

Donald Mendell


Michaud TV ad is false

I was disappointed in Democratic Rep. Mike Michaud’s television ad that wrongly accuses Republican Kevin Raye of installing a kitchen in the State House. I have worked with Raye for five years, and his integrity is above reproach. He is a tireless advocate for the good of all Mainers and a careful steward of our taxpayer dollars.

Not only does Michaud know his allegation is false, but he continues to air the ad. Consider what that says about his integrity. This is not the first time Michaud has failed his constituents.

The last time he ran for Congress, Michaud initiated a mobile veterans medical van project

to service the rural communities of Dover Foxcroft, Greenville, Jackman and Bingham at a cost of approximately $1 million. Following the election the van was parked in Bingham and no longer serves the veterans it was advertised to serve.

This was an extremely important project that saved hundreds of veterans from making the long trip to Bangor or Augusta for medical service. To veterans this represented a false promise by Michaud.

He promises to support Maine’s veterans but fails to carry through. Veterans should support Raye, a man of great integrity, who will support veterans.

Representative Pete Johnson


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