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Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2013: Abandoned kittens, climate change and protest photos


Animal cruelty

This is a message specifically about the Clifton area resident who abandoned a mother cat and her newborn kittens, still attached by umbilical cords, in a box by a dumpster.

The cats were left in frigid weather just before New Year’s Eve. They were found by the dumpster owner, and two of the babies had frozen to death.

Forgotten Felines of Maine was called and collected the mother and remaining kittens and took them for emergency veterinary services. A third kitten died.

The remaining kittens and their emaciated mother were taken by the executive director of Forgotten Felines to be incubated, bottled and tube fed every two hours. Being days old, we still don’t know what the lasting damage may be to the last three kittens.

What I want to say, I can’t. What I will say is that there are resources in place — Forgotten Felines of Maine, the Humane Society and countless other no-kill shelters and rescue groups that can help care for and place companion animals like cats and dogs, so senseless abuse is reduced.

No living thing should have to suffer this sort of cruelty at the hands of a human.

It is my fervent hope that this person has no more pets and certainly no children. It is said that how a man treats something smaller and weaker than he is indicative of his character. I agree.

Shirley Philbrick


Obama’s climate solutions

During his first news conference following his re-election, President Barack Obama gave us a look at his second-term agenda.

The president included climate change among his top priorities. He said he was committed to working toward a solution to climate change in his second term. In fact, he said that addressing climate change is an “obligation.”

It’s a good thing, too, because climate change is having a bad effect on Maine’s environment and economy.

Warmer weather last winter shortened the ski and snowmobile season. Lakes and ponds had a late freeze, shortening the ice-fishing season.

The record heat in March 2012 seriously damaged maple syrup, apple and potato crops in Maine.

The president said that he’s planning a series of conversations with experts over the next months to identify ways to address climate change.

The problem is urgent — it must not be put off. Now is the time to commit resources and political capital to find climate solutions.

Obama has already worked with industry to set strong fuel-efficiency and clean-car standards that are reducing greenhouse gases. He must do the same by setting strong standards for carbon pollution from power plants, which are the country’s leading source of the pollutants that cause climate change.

Eloise Kleban


Efficiency solution

I agree with Josh Wojcik of Upright Frameworks that it is a tragedy to have people leave the state because they can’t afford to retire in Maine due to the cost of heating their homes. Our inaction in trying to alleviate the misery of the elderly speaks very poorly for our state.

Politicians appear uninterested in trying to solve the heating-cost issues that face our elderly and

seem unaware of the tremendous economic benefit of making homes more efficient.

I heard a politician on the radio say that the only people who benefit from more efficient homes are the owners. This is nonsense.

The homes that have had efficiency upgrades through the Efficiency Maine programs, Maine State Housing, and non-program retrofits over the last three years have energy savings that total at least $8 million per year.

In five years this will amount to more than $40 million. This is money that can be spent in local businesses.

There is a raging battle between advocates of fossil-fuel extraction and other energy sources

over which is the best energy solution.

The downsides of each have been clearly stated by the opposing sides. There is no downside to making homes more efficient. Efficiency work has virtually no impact on the environment, saves money and puts Mainers to work.

Let’s keep our elderly living warmly in Maine and jumpstart our economy. Efficiency is the


DeWitt Kimball


Information for caregivers

There is a good chance that if you are not a caregiver yourself, you know someone else who is.

In the United States, approximately 43.5 million adults provide what is called “unpaid” care to someone age 50 or older.

Breaking that number down further, 19 percent of all adults are responsible for daily care, giving tasks such as meal preparation, travel to and from appointments and cleaning for an older dependent or loved one.

When one considers how many caregivers in America have jobs, other demanding responsibilities and children of their own, one can start to imagine how stressful their lives can be.

If you know someone who is a caregiver, there are ways to help. A lot of caregivers may be unaware that there are resources available that can provide some relief.

For example, the Department of Health and Human Resources’ Eldercare Locator is a great way to get started and they are just a phone call away at 800-677-1116. The AARP Caregiving

Resource Center at www.aarp.org/caregivers is also a site that offers a wide range of services and supports for both caregivers and those who might wish to help.

If you have ever taken care of an older parent or loved one, you know how much it can mean to have a break and some free time for yourself. Helping out a caregiver in 2013 would be a great resolution for the new year.

Helena Trumble

AARP Greater Portland Chapter #228



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