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Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2013: LePage, spending and valuable workers

Ban all BPA products

Thanks to the Environmental Health Strategy Center, I have become hyper-aware of bisphenol A, the toxic chemical that infiltrates baby food, toddler food and infant formula. Maine is looking at banning the chemical in these products.

Seems simple and straightforward, though nothing is quite so easy with Gov. Paul LePage

at the helm.

Nevertheless it’s looking like this ban will happen. Excellent. So my question is: What about all of the other products that contain BPA?

Get rid of this toxic chemical in its totality. And, if we’re talking about chemicals, then let’s talk about reducing or eliminating pesticides, herbicides and rodenticides.

I believe the time has come to stop poisoning ourselves, our children, wildlife and our environment.

Holly Twining


Swearing in, swearing at

It is sad and reprehensible that during a week when our nation was observing two monumental historic events, the governor of Maine conducted himself in a childish manner when a group of independents suggested alternatives to his plan.

The national and local media likes to spend its time criticizing and dissecting the motives of the nation’s leader, a reasoned, educated and forward-thinking man.

In a call from President Barack Obama at his inaugural address on Jan. 21, we celebrated another reasoned, forward-thinking man who preached about his vision of change — Martin Luther King Jr.

Perhaps Gov. Paul LePage should take lessons from both of them. Or perhaps the media should begin focusing more closely on our governor’s lack of ability to lead in a rational way.

This federal government is striving to collaborate and work together for the betterment of all of us in this nation and to set an example for the world. The governor should be doing the same for the people of the great state of Maine, instead of throwing sand and running out of the sandbox.

Delia T. Kenny


Prostitution case spending

We need to reduce the state’s financial assistance to towns and cities. We also need to reduce state aid to schools, aid to the homeless, the elderly, children in poverty and the disabled because our state budget is “bloated” and “can’t be sustained.”

We simply have to stop this needless, wasteful spending. But there’s good news.

One alleged prostitution case in Kennebunk court has or will involve six different state attorneys all filing different motions. In addition, it will involve six different, state-paid investigating agencies; 30 state-paid law enforcement representatives; 61 people charged with “engaging a prostitute” and 200 jury summons served.

Detectives will be “combing through massive amounts of evidence.” There will be an estimated two- to three-week trial that will require a full-time judge, a clerk of courts, a court reporter and a court officer. Plus there’s all the clerical help in the sheriff’s and clerk’s offices.

Doesn’t it make you proud how we allocate our “scarce resources”? I, for one, feel safer.

Brent R. Slater


LePage targets debt

President Barack Obama recently said in regard to the fiscal cliff, “We can’t not pay bills that we’ve already incurred.”

He apparently doesn’t know how we do things in Maine. Because that’s just what the Democrats in Augusta seem intent on doing — refusing to pay Maine’s hospitals for care they’ve provided to MaineCare and Dirigo patients for the last several years.

Blissfully ignoring the state’s debt is not just ignorant, it’s outright fraud. At least Gov.Paul

LePage has come up with an idea of how to address the problem.

Where are the Democrats?

John Edwards


Minority matters

The recent poll about the Electoral College reported a large number of voters wanting to get rid of it. Of course they do, it’s a numbers game.

If you poll the larger populations of the U.S., the numbers would change. Minorities include northern Maine, Alaska, the Dakotas and other small rural places throughout our country.

We preach that minority matters, yet with the elimination of the Electoral College, the minority loses. Large states like California, New York and Illinois in regards to population would stand to override the minorities in smaller states that are still allowed to make their voices heard.

Eliminate the Electoral College, and future elections will be determined by the popular vote rather than the entire vote.

We are still a country of many diversities, which includes the minorities.

Lloyd Bryant


Value in older workers

I read with interest Amy’ Blackstone’s OpEd, “Do you ignore or disrespect older co-workers?” in the BDN on Jan. 22 about older workers in Maine.

Blackstone’s survey mirrors AARP surveys that show older workers often feel undervalued in the workplace. Yet, older workers are good for employers. Many employers and recruiters already recognize the benefits of 50-plus workers.

Older employees are typically loyal, maintain a strong work ethic, have lower rates of turnover and absenteeism. They are dependable in crises and are committed to quality work.

Each year, the AARP Best Employers for Workers over 50 program, co-sponsored by the Society for Human Resource Management, awards businesses and organizations that have implemented new and innovative policies and best practices in talent management.

These organizations are creating road maps for others on how to attract and retain top

talent in today’s multi-generational workforce. LL Bean and Cianbro Corp. have been past awardees.

AARP’s Work Reimagined program places employers that value and seek experienced workers in the same virtual meeting space as experienced workers looking for new employment or career transitions.

The program improves access and opportunities for employers and potential employees to connect in a competitive and scarce job market.

Maine businesses that want to maintain long-term competitiveness will push themselves to build multi-generational workforces and develop policies and practices to attract, educate and

retain an increasingly age-diverse workforce.

Lori K. Parham

AARP Maine State Director


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