Tuesday, April 9, 2013: Penny drives and bills for children’s health

Posted April 08, 2013, at 1:31 p.m.

Cinderella process

No matter how hard DCP Midstream tried to wedge its large foot into the glass slipper of Mack Point in Searsport, it just wouldn’t fit. Fortunately, this allows an opportunity for a “Cinderella” project to emerge — one with the right-sized foot and a respect for local process.

H L Whitney

Liberty

Keeping up with the News

Thank you to the BDN for printing James Buttitta’s March 4 letter to the editor, “King’s assaulting vote.” After reading his letter I emailed Sen. Angus King. Buttitta helped me engage in my civic duty to contact my senator.

Warren Buffet, after recently investing heavily in regional newspapers, got it right when he said words to the effect of, “regional newspapers are a growth market. They fill an important niche by covering local and state news.”

The BDN does it well inspite of a wide spectrum of opinions and beliefs on current issues of the day. I’m satisfied it does it in a fair, balanced and accurate way.

The “News Briefs – The Nation” section keeps me focused on the national and world scene, too. Keep up the good work.

Ted Berkey

Addison

One penny at a time

One of things of which my mother was most proud about her childhood, was how she and her siblings joined with children from all over America, to contribute pennies to help restore Old Ironsides. Congress had passed a bill permitting the vessel to be refurbished but had provided no funding, so in 1925 the school children of America began the effort that saved Old Ironsides, one penny at a time.

Whenever I pass by Old Ironsides on a trip through Boston, I think of my mother and all those pennies.

Now, the Bangor Public Library’s iconic copper roof is in need of replacement, and radio station WZON has stepped up to organize the “Copper for Change” program to collect pennies to help pay for a new roof at the library. One of the institutions joining with WZON in the effort is the Peace & Justice Center of Eastern Maine, which will be collecting pennies for the library during its annual Hope Festival on April 27 at the Student Recreation & Fitness Center at the University of Maine in Orono.

I’d urge library supporters to attend the Hope Festival with their pockets full of pennies and donate those pennies to the library project. Not only will they be helping to rebuild the library roof, they’ll be part of an historic community effort to get the job done, one penny at a time.

That’s something we can all be proud to tell our own kids and grandkids about for years to come.

David Bright

Dixmont

Pass health bills

Our legislature has the chance to greatly improve the health and welfare of children in our state. I am talking about two bills, LD 902 and LD 1181, which would crack down on the use of toxic chemicals, like bisphenol A, found in common children’s products.

I know that our governor thinks that the worst BPA can do is to cause “women to grow little beards,” but I think our children’s health is no laughing matter. It’s time we take a stand against such short-sighted thinking in our state government and get these bills passed.

Christopher Johnson

Bangor

When worlds collide

There is a mini-drama unfolding in the Legislature with a conflict between two of the different worlds in which I live: the world of medicine and the world of politics. What happens when these two worlds collide is unfortunately not just the stuff good theater. It has major health consequences for our children.

The matter in question is whether Maine should ban the use of tanning salons for children under the age of 18.

It is medically proven that when young people tan, they are more likely to be afflicted with an extremely difficult-to-treat and often deadly form of skin cancer: malignant melanoma. Even minimal exposure to UV radiation from tanning beds before the age of 25 can increase the risk of developing melanoma, the most dangerous type of skin cancer, by 75 percent. Melanoma is the second-most-common cancer in high school and college-age students and the most common cancer in those ages 24-29. Because melanoma is deadly, prevention is the best cure.

This is why I sponsored a bill, passed by the Legislature, to prevent children under the age of 18 from using tanning salons. The proposed Maine guidelines are already in force in California and Vermont, and, earlier this month, Republican Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey signed a similar law.

Both the Senate and the House are expected to take up the bill again this week. Please contact your lawmakers and urge them to put kids first. Ask them to put public health before politics and vote to override the governor’s veto.

Sen. Geoff Gratwick, M.D.

Bangor

http://bangordailynews.com/2013/04/08/opinion/letters/tuesday-april-9-2013-penny-drives-and-bills-for-childrens-health/ printed on September 19, 2014