LETTERS

Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012: Health care, fire safety and political fallout

Posted Nov. 16, 2012, at 2:55 p.m.
Last modified Nov. 16, 2012, at 4 p.m.

Hippocratic Oath?

There is a disturbing new trend in healthcare. I don’t yet know if this is occurring only in Washington County or if it is happening all over the state. I have learned that it is now necessary to submit an application for review prior to being accepted, or rejected, for medical care by a general practitioner. This process consists of contacting the doctor’s office to see if he or she is accepting new patients (as many are not), submitting all prior medical records, filling out an application and waiting, waiting, waiting for a response.

I am now on my second application process after having been rejected, without reason, from my initial selection. I am ill and in pain and am not at all happy about having to wait for weeks to obtain acceptance by this new fraternity of health care, only to be turned down in the end.

Is this the newest outrage in the ever-dwindling care of the elderly and disabled? What has become of the Hippocratic Oath?

Cora Snyder

Whiting

Working detectors

Don’t go to sleep tonight until you are sure you have working smoke detectors in your home. Detectors — in the plural. Don’t trust your life to just one. Then be sure your community has a real fire education program in your schools so that people know their way out in the event of a fire.

A visit to your local school from Sparkie the Fire Dog and a person in a firefighter outfit is not a real public education program. Real fire safety programs are tested and require multiple classes per year in the lower grades. There is a national program that has been in place for years, Learn Not to Burn; it works. That program has been taught in Brewer for more than 30 years. If your town needs to get connected to it, call Assistant Fire Chief Chris Dore at the Brewer Fire Department.

Fire prevention works better than fire suppression and it costs less. And again, don’t go to sleep tonight until you know you have working smoke detectors.

Rick Bronson

Former Brewer Fire Chief

Bangor

Hope for the future

The elections of 2012 have turned red Maine blue again. I only hope the Maine Legislature can find its balance and center after two years of what can only be described as right-wing extremism by Gov. Paul LePage and the Maine GOP.

But the state and national picture remains bleak for those on Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and entitlements. Paul Ryan lost his bid as vice president, but, together with a GOP majority in the U.S. House and the bipartisan back-room “Gang of Eight,” he will remain a driving force for austerity plans that will be like those of the European Union and United Kingdom (resulting in civil unrest and further economic decline). Under the smokescreen of deficit reductions, America’s home-grown “troika” — Wall Street/corporate America/Pentagon — will continue to mount an oligarchy — an anathema to democracy.

President Barack Obama and Democrats now in Congress have not served to stop the forward movement of this threat, and I fear they will fail again in protecting seniors, the disabled, the poor and the unemployed, while shielding Wall Street from prosecution, enriching billionaires, expanding wars and enlarging the security state at home.

What does the future hold? For Maine: hopefully a return to rational and civilized government. For the nation: more of the same triply amplified, triply contentious, triply chaotic and triply combative.

To maintain sanity find a foxhole or fallout shelter for the duration. Or pray.

Michael T. Bucci

Damariscotta

Thank you, Maine

“Marriage is in trouble.” So says one of Maine’s prominent opponents of gay marriage. Indeed it is. But thankfully the people of Maine have taken one step to reclaim marriage’s true definition: A

life-long commitment to fidelity, respect and support between two mature adults.

Unfortunately, so-called Christians, indifferent to marriages poisoned by neglect, abuse and betrayal, invest ungodly effort to define marriage first and foremost as possessing the equipment necessary to generate a fetus — dragging it down to the level of horse breeding. These are not my sort of Christians. As a pastor, I am now privileged to to wed all who meet the true definition of marriage.

Praise God, and thank you, Maine.

Clyde Baker

Bangor

Not impressed with calls

Really not impressed with getting a campaign call two days after the election from the Brian Duprey (R-Hampden) campaign. Why on earth would the winning candidate feel the need to annoy his constituents again after he won the election? Yes, I got a call from him before the

election, too.

I am not a supporter, but if I were, I would not be happy at this waste of my donations. As far as I’m concerned, this is right up there with not taking down your campaign signs.

Katherine Crosby

Hampden

Check fire alarms

Tragedy struck Orrington on Nov. 10 when a house fire nearly took the lives of an entire family, making this incident the deadliest fire to occur in Maine in 20 years. The early-morning blaze killed a 30-year-old man and his three children, ages 9, 8, and 4, and hospitalized his 31-year-old wife.

Despite courageous efforts of both first responders and neighbors, the home was immediately engulfed with smoke and quick-moving flames. This devastating fire was caused by empty cardboard boxes stored near a wood-burning stove, and may have been enhanced by a container of lighter fluid that was found nearby.

Although this was the deadliest fire in Maine since 1992, tragic fires are not uncommon, with a
fire claiming an average of nine lives every day in the United States, according to the National Fire Prevention Association. However, these tragedies and catastrophic property losses can be prevented by the installation of fire sprinklers and properly working fire alarms.

Properly installed and maintained fire sprinklers control and typically extinguish a fire before the fire department even arrives on the scene. More importantly, the presence of fire sprinklers mitigates the risk to individuals affected by the blaze, including firefighters who battle the fire and are the only proactive form of fire protection.

I urge you to check the batteries in your fire alarms and educate yourself on the current mandate in your own city and state.

My thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their family during this tragedy.

Russell Fleming

President of the National Fire Sprinkler Association

Patterson, N.Y.

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