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Saturday, June 15, 2013: Eggs, three-way elections and cutting services for the elderly


Split votes

In response to Michael Gleason’s June 11 letter to the editor: Don’t blame Eliot Cutler for our inadequate election system. A candidate should not be elected with less than 50 percent of the votes cast. A run-off election or a preference given at the time of the first vote should be used. In this way, the elected official will have the support of at least half of the voters, and three-way races will not yield split votes or spoilers.

Arthur Newkirk

Blue Hill


Take responsibility

I am in absolute awe of how someone can blame the school for not serving a child lunch when it was not paid for. This child obviously was served several lunches that were not paid for since his balance was $53. If the mother disregarded the letters in attempt to collect the lunch money, what else was the school supposed to do? Missing one lunch will not starve a child, and it obviously made the mother sit up and take notice because now his lunch bill is paid.

It is the parent’s responsibility to pay for a child’s lunch at school. I know this because I have two children in different schools that I pay for lunches. If I did not pay for them, I would not expect my children to get lunch.

This is called common sense, and if people cannot handle the consequences of their actions, maybe they ought to pay better attention. It is a sad world where not paying the consequences of one’s own actions is now acceptable and can be blamed on someone else.

Jennifer Barker


Part B, plan B

My wife and I enjoyed the June 3 BDN Oped piece, “Maine’s budget shortfall threatens health coverage for seniors.” We can relate to the sentence, “Maine’s seniors… will stop going to their doctors and taking their medications. They will use the emergency room …and risk institutional placement — a much more costly alternative.”

We’re hopefully many years away from a nursing home, but we do need help now paying for medicines and Medicare expenses. We’ve gotten help from the Medicare Savings Program and the Low Cost Drugs for the Elderly and Disabled Program. But we lost MSP on March 1 due to budget cuts. Now, we may lose DEL too.

I’m retired and my wife is disabled. I take seven medications, and my wife takes four. She has no other health insurance. Her recent dental emergency cost us $700. Except for the help she gets from DEL, all of her health care expenses are part of our financial burden. Because of the March 1 cuts, we’re now responsible for my Part B premium, deductibles and copays. A hospital stay would bankrupt us.

My small pension is already eroding. If DEL is eliminated, and if the MSP cuts are not restored, we will face more serious barriers to health care adding to our worry and stress.

Even though we worked and planned for our senior years, we find that we can’t manage it alone. Now we ask for help. That’s what being part of a society is all about.

Pete Sirois


Egg-laying conditions

It is a rare occurrence when animal rights groups and big agribusinesses can work together to promote a mutually agreed upon decision. The Humane Society of the United States and the United Egg Producers are working to promote the Egg Products Inspection Act Amendments for 2013. This bill will improve the living conditions of millions of our country’s egg-laying chickens.

Currently, hens used for industrial egg production live in squalor confinements known as “battery cages.” The extremely cramped conditions of these inhumane cages do not even provide enough room for the hens to open their wings, leading to physical deformities and psychosis.

The new bill will require more humane treatment of egg-laying hens, including: phasing out conventional cages with new, enriched cages that are nearly double the old size; prohibiting cruel, forced molting practices; and requiring veterinarian-approved standards of euthanasia.

There is already overwhelming support for this bill from numerous animal welfare groups who agree to working in conjunction with the United Egg Producers to improve the lives of millions of hens currently confined in battery cages.

But our Maine state senators and representatives need to hear our voices of concern to seal the fate of this bill. Please contact state legislators and urge them to co-sponsor S. 820/ H.R. 1731, the Egg Products Inspection Act Amendments of 2013. Find out legislators’ contact information by visiting

Heather Bolint


Tyranny and guns

The hue and cry over added gun control comes down to one simple premise that our founding fathers were concerned about when they drafted the Second Amendment to our Constitution. Our founding fathers feared a tyrannical, over-reaching government that an unarmed population couldn’t defend against.

Now we find our federal government is out of control. The Internal Revenue Service is not only wasting our money but appears politically motivated. The National Security Agency is tapping into our private telephone and Internet communications, and the Justice Department has a court-order against a Fox News reporter.

All three agencies are violating the First Amendment’s protection of freedom of speech. No wonder many of us are telling our leaders to leave our guns alone. We may need guns not just to defend ourselves against would-be assailants and intruders but the growing threat of our own government. I can hear it now: “Nonsense, our government is not a threat.”

Really? Throughout history, societies have failed when governments overreached. At first, they disarmed the population, prevented them from speaking freely, and then jailed them on trumped-up charges. After learning about what’s going on in Washington, D.C., these days, who is to say we don’t have tyrannical government now?

Richard de Grasse


Health regulations

I never knew my grandfather. He died from tuberculosis, which he contracted from drinking raw milk, before I was born. Public health regulations often make sense.

Nathaniel Bond


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