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Tuesday, June 25, 2013: Medicaid expansion, the Senior League World Series and open-pit mines


Shop elsewhere

As a consumer Down East, my husband and I have made a conscience decision that we will never darken the door of the Calais Marden’s store. Earlier this month, a horrendous event happened that has devastated the lives of two individuals and their families when a horrible accident occurred at the store.

The manager chose to keep the store open with a “business as usual” attitude. We are suggesting that people consider shopping elsewhere.

Harriett Real


Summer fun

With no intent to disparage any other event, I am continually disheartened to see other events constantly mentioned in BDN stories citing what’s great about Bangor or how to spend time during Maine’s summer. Yet there is seldom, if ever, a mention of the Senior League World Series.

The SLWS will be celebrating its 12th year on August 10-17. The SLWS is a true international event featuring participants from around the world and is televised live from Bangor nationally and internationally each year.

The SLWS brings 190 players and coaches, 12 umpires and upwards of 500 family members and fans to Bangor for an eight- to nine-day visit each August.

I have been told that the SLWS week is the busiest week of the year for area hotels. Plus, these people are eating in restaurants, renting cars, shopping in Bangor area businesses and touring throughout the state, thereby providing an economic driver for the city of Bangor.

While the SLWS’s budget is much smaller than some of the other events, it’s important to point out that all the money raised is also spent right here in the greater Bangor region, and no money is leaving the community. Rather, the SLWS is bringing money into the community that otherwise would never be here.

There are, at my last count, eight players currently playing in the Major Leagues who have played here in Bangor in the SLWS as well as more than 50 others who are progressing through the minor leagues. Even more than that are playing baseball at the major college level.

I hope the Bangor area will embrace and respect the SLWS as an event whose pledge has always been to provide kids and their families with an experience that they will remember for the rest of their lives.

Michael Brooker, tournament director


Empty pockets

I would like to know the thinking of those who say that Medicaid expansion will not increase our costs here in Maine because it is mostly funded by the federal government.

First of all, “mostly funded” means that at least part of this expansion will be funded by the taxpayers of Maine. Second, where do these people think the federal government gets its money? Money, whether it be in the form of grants or gifts, coming from the federal government is not money that magically appears out of thin air.

This is real money that comes from us, the taxpayers. I, for one, am tired of supporting those who will not work. Note, I did not say those who cannot work. Big difference.

There are many living off the system because they know the system well, and it is a way of life for them because they feel entitled. It is time that people realize that every penny that comes from the government — whether it be local, state or federal — comes from the same taxpayer, only different pockets, and my pockets are empty.

Dennis Smith

St. Albans

Pro-environment votes

I want to thank my state Sen. Brian Langley, R-Hancock, for his pro-environmental voting record this session on two very important pieces of legislation. The first was the majority report to LD 1302, a bill that would have protected Maine’s waterways and taxpayers from pollution caused by open-pit mines here in Maine.

Although the bill was defeated in the Senate, Langley voted twice in support of the majority report to LD 1302.

The bill would have ensured that wastewater treatment at a mine is completed within 10 years of the a mine’s closure.

We have seen other mines in the U.S., including the Callahan Mine in Brooksville, where wastewater treatment is still taking place decades after mines have closed, costing taxpayers millions and fouling the local watershed.

The Department of Environmental Protection is currently rewriting the state’s metal mining regulations. The Legislature will take up these new rules in January 2014, and I urge Langley to ensure that these new mining rules include strong protections for wastewater treatment and ensuring taxpayers are not left with the cost of cleaning up a mine.

I am also pleased that Langley voted in support of LD 1308. Supported by the paint industry, the bill will establish an industry-run paint recycling program here in Maine — if the governor does not veto it, that is. If the governor does veto the bill, I urge Langley to continue supporting LD 1308 in the Senate.

Robert Shetterly


Lame duck or just lame

I moved to Arizona in the year 2000, and at that time I was so proud of Maine. I had been working for Community Health and Counseling Services for a number of years and found Arizona to be far behind Maine in regards to provisions of quality services. At that time, citizens of Maine were held in high regard, and Christian values were acted out in our communities and in Augusta.

Gov. Paul Lepage, who vetoed Medicaid expansion, and the other state legislators who voted to disrespect and hurt Maine citizens by not overriding LePage’s veto of the Medicaid expansion bill that would have saved lives, has now put Maine on the lame list behind Arizona.

Arizona voted last week, with its Republican governor taking the lead, to expand Arizona’s Medicaid program and accept the federal dollars.

LePage is the epitome of corporate greed and what I refer to as socio-economic genocide in this state and across this great country. Since LePage is not in his second term of office, he can’t be a lame duck, so I guess he is just plain lame.

Timothy Rogers


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