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Thursday, May 30, 2013: Veto, Memorial Day and immigration reform

Tilting at windmills, highways

I am writing about two important issues facing the state. The first issue concerns the east-west highway. Rather than spend millions of dollars on construction of a highway, how about an east-west railroad?

Second, concerning the issue of wind turbines and location: The wind turbines would be better located in already developed areas instead of the state’s scenic wilderness.

Irvin Dube



Override for Mainers

I urge Maine legislators to override the veto to pay Maine hospitals and expand Medicaid coverage to eligible residents. There’s no need to separate these issues in the bill.

It’s amazing to me how quickly Congress could snap itself out of gridlock to respond to the impact of the federal sequestration on air traffic controllers. Yet some Maine lawmakers are willing to let thousands of Mainers go without health insurance coverage, while they wait to study the problem more.

Imagine how many millions we’ve already spent studying the problem and doing nothing about it. Let’s stop the political posturing and legislate in the interests of Maine citizens. Override the veto.

Mary Jane Bush



Want to save our hospital?

During the past few years, there has been a lot written about Down East Community Hospital. Simultaneously, there has been a lot that has changed in the health care sector statewide, as well as nationally.

As a member of the board of trustees of DECH for the past three years, I have learned a lot. Without going into great detail, the single greatest downfall from which our rural hospital suffers is a decrease in volume.

We are at dangerous crossroads. If we want to insure that its mere existence remains intact, use it. It’s that serious.

David M. Whitney



Broken system

I have been following a controversy on the Internet that questions the return on investment of a college education. The statistics I’ve seen seem to indicate that our education industry is broken. I believe this is a misconception.

These facts, as true as they may be, are a symptom and a result of a broken economy and standard of living. I do not believe that our education system is a major contributor to our financial crisis.

Our efforts would be much better spent understanding the root causes of our economic dilemma. If all the developing countries in the world had an organized labor movement, and labor once again became valuable, what would happen to the world economy? Is there some intrinsic value to a balance of power that is necessary for supply and demand to succeed?

Wilbur Clark

Presque Isle


A day for all

I would just like to make a comment that for all my years growing up, Memorial Day was a celebration for all who have passed away — be it veterans, friends, mothers, fathers, brothers or sisters. It is not just for veterans as so frequently mentioned in the media.

Our cemeteries are decorated with flowers and meaningful items for all who have passed from this world. I believe a special, well-deserved day is set aside for the veterans — Veterans Day.

So, on Memorial Day, can we honor everyone else?

Lorraine Maher


Immigration reform

I applaud the work of the group of senators referred to as the “ Gang of Eight” on their immigration reform proposal. Coming up with a comprehensive bipartisan solution to fix our broken immigration system must have been challenging, and I commend their commitment to see this issue through. I only hope their colleagues in the Senate — especially our senators from Maine — value their work as much as I do.

Immigration reform is not only critical for our country’s future but for Maine’s future as well. The policies proposed will help in making our borders secure and provide a path to citizenship for the millions of undocumented residents currently living here in Maine and across the U.S. by requiring these immigrants to register in the system, pay their fair share of taxes and contribute to Social Security and Medicare. That’s good news for our economy and for our national security as well.

In addition, a modern immigration system will help attract highly-skilled workers and entrepreneurs to our country and this region. The complexities of the current system discourage many well-trained immigrants in the science, technology, engineering and math fields from coming here to make contributions to our economy, slowing innovation and growth in many vital industries.

I hope Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Angus King, I-Maine, will embrace immigration reform and help shepherd this bill through the Senate. Their Gang of Eight colleagues will certainly need their support in the weeks ahead to make sure their legislation doesn’t stall like so many other bills seem to do in Washington these days.

Andre Cushing

State Senator, R-Hampden

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