Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013: Airport security, heaven, health care

Posted Nov. 23, 2013, at 11:01 a.m.

Airport security

Airport security has been a huge focus since the 9/11 attacks, but there are still gunman getting into airports.

Billions of dollars have been put into security systems, but the terminals are still extremely vulnerable to attacks from outsiders. I do realize that it would be very costly and hard to do, but some kind of security when entering an airport may be in order. Even if it’s just a simple pat down, it could save many lives, as would having more plainclothes policemen. I think that is a very efficient idea.

I’m not sure I completely agree with the assumption that attackers would just change their mind and target another public place. Like the most recent attacker, they may have a certain target, and the extra security may stop the attack rather than send it somewhere else.

Despite the hassle, there needs to be a little more security in airports to prevent another incident like the one in Los Angeles. With some brainpower, I think we can form an efficient, powerful plan.

Ryan Botting

Hermon

Getting to Heaven

I’m not sure how to get to Heaven, but I am sure I don’t need John Linnehan Jr. showing me the way.

Linnehan made money with his Credit Now car dealership, selling used cars on payment plans to poor people with damaged credit. When the buyers couldn’t keep up their payments, Credit Now would repossess them, re-sell the cars to itself and then put them back out for sale to the next unsuspecting person.

A few years ago, the Maine attorney general’s office caught on to this, and in a lawsuit settlement, Credit Now agreed to forgive $2.8 million in outstanding car loans. Linnehan sold Credit Now and moved on to saving souls.

If I were Linnehan, I might be asking myself how I would answer a Heaven test question regarding the passage from my Bible that goes, “Whatsoever you do to the least of your brethren that you do unto me.”

Michael Carpenter

Houlton

Grand bargain

Never before has the stage been set for a “grand bargain” in health care and a chance for Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Rep. Mike Michaud, D-2nd District, to live up to our “Dirigo” motto.

Democrats and most thoughtful Republicans would have to agree the goals of the Affordable Care Act were admirable. There is disagreement as to whether the intrusion of the mandate is justified, however. It is painfully obvious that making the sweeping changes required by the ACA in the limited timeframe available is disruptive at best. Instead of going down this rocky road, why not scrap the ACA in favor of a bargain between the parties.

Namely, over time — maybe 10 years — reduce the Medicare eligibility age to 0, a few years at a time, while simultaneously adjusting benefits according to economic conditions and attempting to reduce costs by maybe producing incentives to create more doctors, reducing the cost of medical school, limiting punitive damages in malpractice suits and the like. The “iron has never been hotter.”

Randy Day

Garland

 

Complete streets

AARP applauds the recent column by Sen. Susan Collins, “ Transportation: A Challenge to Senior Independence.” Transportation is a critical part of creating an age-friendly community. Because we believe our roads should be built for all users, AARP is a strong advocate of Complete Streets, a transportation policy initiative that requires states and municipalities to plan for users of all ages and abilities in road design. Complete Streets is a popular topic among community planners because it shifts the way we think about our roads from ways to support cars to a more holistic vision that supports all modes of travel.

From AARP’s perspective, Complete Streets is a key strategy to make streets and sidewalks safer for older drivers and pedestrians and to expand mobility options for those who cannot drive. Because of this, Complete Streets has emerged as our primary transportation policy initiative. Our advocacy efforts in this area span across the local, state and federal levels.

AARP has developed a robust set of materials to develop Complete Streets campaigns. In addition, we have created a model for elevating this policy issue that involves several steps to build the case for change and improvement. Key in the process is building diverse coalitions across a variety of stakeholder groups and advocating for meaningful, sustainable change that will help our older residents stay in their own communities as they age.

We thank Collins for her leadership on this very important issue.

Lori Parham

AARP Maine State Director

Portland

Buffer zones

The National Abortion Federation applauds the Portland City Council for unanimously approving a 39-foot buffer zone around the Planned Parenthood facility in Portland. Buffer zones have proven to be an effective means of decreasing intimidation, violence and obstruction outside reproductive health care facilities and have improved law enforcement responses to anti-abortion threats and violence.

Buffer zones protect women’s ability to safely access the care they need. They allow patients and clinic staff to enter and leave clinics free from threats and intimidation while preserving the free speech rights of abortion opponents.

Vicki Saporta

President and CEO

National Abortion Federation

Washington, D.C.

Town’s wishes

This fall, Maine Coast Heritage Trust was invited by members of the Eastport Parks Committee to offer assistance on a project that would create a small park on city-owned land on Drummond Street. As a land trust, MCHT works with landowners who are interested in voluntarily conserving their land. In this case, the landowner is the city of Eastport, which was interested in assuring long-term access to land that locals have enjoyed for the past 60 years since it has been in city ownership.

On Nov. 13 the city council voted 3-0 to grant a conservation easement to MCHT to help fulfill the town’s wishes.

With a conservation easement in place, the city will continue its ownership and management of the Drummond Street property, and the parcel will have guaranteed public access for recreation (dogs are allowed), shore access to clam flats, and other community uses that provide public benefit. As holder of this donated conservation easement, MCHT’s role is to assure that these public benefits are upheld over time. We look forward to continuing to work with the city to help meet its goals.

Tim Glidden

Topsham

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