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Saturday, Nov. 10, 2012: Children, public service and energy


Listen to abused children

This is extremely hard for me, but I think the only way forward for those who have been abused to begin to heal is to share their stories. Mine happened years ago at the hands of my grandfather, when I was 8. My parents refused to believe what happened. They told me he was a saint and punished me with a beating.

I got older and suppressed what happened, excelled at my studies and pursued a medical degree. I married, moved to Maine and had a successful gynecologist practice in Northport. Then we were blessed with our son, David.

After my husband was diagnosed with cancer, I began to remember pieces of what my grandfather did. The sexual abuse memories changed my personality and made me unbearable to be around. I lost my son to the Department of Health and Human Services because people there didn’t understand my behavior. At my wits’ end, I tried to jump off the Belfast bridge.

The recent case in Maine involving a “cherished” priest who committed horrible crimes reminded me what I went through. My grandfather didn’t stop with me because he got away with being a “saint” in the eyes of my relatives. This priest didn’t stop, yet people apparently knew.

I don’t want this to happen to others. Services for children need to be expanded, so others don’t fall into the abyss of a living hell. I fear I’ll never again be whole and never see my son.

Eleanor B. Handler


Models of community service

In a time when all we read and hear about are the scary and bad things happening in our world, it is refreshing, and downright heart warming, to come across individuals who still believe in making our communities better, safer and kinder places to live.

I personally wanted to thank the members of the Bangor Fire Department for taking their valuable time to give my son a ride to school during their fire safety awareness week. For a 3-year-old boy, this was a dream — and as a mom, my spirit was reminded that there are good people who do good works for the betterment of all. I wanted to remind the rest of our community that these public servants do more than just put out fires. They make our world a better place.

Meghan York


Standard Offer. Really!

I recently read a story about two or three new companies coming on to the grid to sell power and make available some new standard offers. How interesting.

I was wondering how this was possible since in my 55-plus years in electronics I have never seen a device or method of tracking electricity from a power source to a user. If you investigate molecular theory and/or electron flow, it’s never been done nor is it ever going to be achieved in our lifetime. I consider this “theory” to border on the ridiculous.

We were led into this world a few years ago by a governor who thought the power companies should divest themselves of power generation and only be involved in the transmission, nothing else. How has that worked for you? There has been nothing but increased power costs, if compared to the old system. This made profits for some, but the consumer wasn’t part of it.

Merland Clark


Tax cuts

Cutting corners on health care may seem like a good way to save the public money, but it has real and dire human consequences. It’s a particularly cruel expedient when the government is purposefully starving itself of available resources. We need to develop a more rational approach to public funding of community needs.

My husband and I are both cancer survivors and feel we owe our lives to the comprehensive services offered by the state-sponsored Anthem insurance plan available to us as teachers. Now retired, we are still under the state plan, but as part of its “austerity” budgets, Maine has switched its carrier to Aetna. My husband’s deductible has skyrocketed and the availability of in-network services has plummeted.

Until recently, there was no place in all of Washington County to get covered medical services — no doctor, no hospital and no emergency room was “in system.” (Thank goodness my husband is a disabled Vietnam veteran and has access to VA health services.)

Maine has not run out of money and neither has the United States. They are both simply choosing not to ask an appropriate contribution to the common good from those best able to provide it: wealthy individuals and profitable corporations. We can start to make a different choice at the federal level by allowing tax cuts to expire on the 2 percent of households with annual incomes greater than $250,000. Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins should support this idea in the year-end budget negotiations.

Ruth D. Sousa


Deserves apology

I am writing in response to coverage in the BDN of the Belfast City Council’s consideration of a drug-free zone within the city. Aside from the merits of such a zone, my concern is the article’s inappropriate mention of our beloved former mayor’s misfortune of having two nephews currently in prison on drug-related charges.

I fail to see the relevance of such a disclosure, and I find the insinuation that it generates to be highly offensive. Mike Hurley has been a dedicated champion of this town. He has tirelessly served on the city council. He personally planted the trees that line the downtown streets 20 years ago.

He brought the street sculptures to town, and he served two very successful terms as mayor in a crucial transitional period. He has been Belfast’s biggest cheerleader.

Regardless of his opinion on this particular matter, he deserves way more respect than to be rendered guilty by association to relatives whom he had no control over. Hurley deserves a sincere apology.

Edward Powers


Dyer missing

This is the third Tuesday in a row that Gwynne Dyer’s column has been missing from the OpEd page of the Bangor Daily News. It is the column I wait all week to read for its cosmopolitan outlook, sound common sense and vibrant use of the English language. I hope his columns re-appear very soon.

Ann R. Fogg


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