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Tuesday, December 3, 2013: Caregivers, Obamacare, Monson slate


Unpaid care

In the United States, approximately 42 million adults provide what is called “unpaid” care, yet many do not consider themselves to be caregivers. A lot of these individuals are struggling with the daily responsibilities of being a caregiver. A new study shows that nearly three in 10 people who are taking care of someone say their life has changed because of caregiving. Many caregivers admit that things like their social life or their ability to make time for themselves has drastically changed.

They might consider visiting www.aarp.org/caregiving to connect with help, information and with others with the same experience.

As we get together for the holidays, this is a wonderful time to acknowledge the critical role caregivers play in our lives. AARP has developed the “Thanks Project” to send love and gratitude to those caring for a loved one. Visit thanksproject.org to thank your favorite caregiver. I’m thanking mine: Without my daughter to help me, my life at 90 would be very different, and I’m grateful every day for all she does.

Jane Magnus

AARP Maine Volunteer


Case against Portland

What’s going on Portland? It has legalized marijuana, stopped poor people from begging in the streets and put a 39-foot barrier so pro-life Christians and counselors can’t be near Planned Parenthood. I wonder if it is progressive or regressive. The city certainly isn’t religious.

Planned Parenthood performs many of the abortions in the United States. Praying in front of the facilities helps to stop abortion, and many Planned Parenthood centers are closing, and they know that.

A prayer campaign by Stop Planned Parenthood is counting as victories 13 closures of baby-killing centers between July and September 2013. While most were in Texas, Wisconsin closed four, Colorado closed two, Las Vegas closed one and New Jersey closed one. When Christians pray, God will help to stop the killing of the innocent unborn.

Portland is interfering with citizens’ constitutional rights. I wonder if the ACLU will take up the case against the city. Or is it against prayer on the sidewalk as well as in the schools?

Thomas Coleman Sr.


Central goals

I almost fell off my chair reading a Nov. 26 BDN article that a “central goal” of Obamacare was to put an end to “policies that don’t offer adequate coverage.” Nothing was ever made of these plans, wildly popular because they provided millions a low-cost option made without coercion, until the president referred to them as “bad apple plans.”

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s main goals included insuring the uninsured affordably and disallowing cancellations due to preexisting conditions. Those were the central goals. Don’t rewrite history.

David Smith


Monson production

November has been a month for remembering John F. Kennedy. How many Maine people (other than Monson residents) remember that JFK and Jackie, and two children, have headstones at Arlington Cemetery that are made of black slate from the Monson quarry? They are beautiful and very large.

Monson can be proud of many fine things it has produced.

Charlotte Dickinson


Human rights

Several months ago, Gov. Paul LePage vetoed Medicaid expansion for Mainers, denying thousands of Mainers access to health care benefits. I pay federal and state taxes in Maine. My tax dollars have already paid for this expansion. My money and my business is as important to me, a taxpayer, as it is to LePage. Good business is about getting a return on my dollar. In this case, getting a return on my federal tax dollars would come in the form of healthier and safer neighbors/Mainers. Who could ask for anything more?

Because of our misguided governor, fellow Mainers will be forced to choose between getting health care and medicine, having food, and/or providing shelter for their families. Many will suffer physically, and some may even die because of the governor’s choice to veto the expansion. First and foremost, this cold-hearted decision is literally a life-or-death decision for many of my Maine neighbors, and that is absolutely unacceptable. Some are poor, sick, elderly, babies and children, and the disabled.

This decision was also a lousy business decision on how to spend and get a return on my federal tax dollars. Let’s take care of Mainers. Health care is a human right.

Kathy Day


All about potholes

As one would cross the A-1 bridge from Brewer to Bangor, there was a pothole. I must have hit the pothole dozens of times driving my truck, but one day I said to my employee, “Why don’t they fix that? I will give you a dollar if you can get that fixed.”

He immediately got on his cellphone and called the city of Bangor. They fixed the pothole within 24 hours. The folks at Bangor said he was the first person ever to complain. There must be 10,000 cars passing over that bridge every day, and the pothole must have been there for three months. Nobody complained. I rewarded my employee with a free dinner.

The problem is that we, as a free democratic people, have become either lazy or too complacent. That’s from the bottom to the top, from the dogcatcher to the president. We have become conducive to idleness and do nothing and more nothing.

So my assignment for today is that someone should fix the cranberry-can problem for all future Thanksgivings. They have reduced the size of the can from 16 ounces to 14 ounces while charging the same 99-cents. Is this how corporate America expresses “thanks” to America on one of our most precious holidays?

Robert Fournier


Dysart’s thanks

I would like to send a huge thank you to Dysart’s garage. The day before Thanksgiving, I had a doctor’s appointment. The exhaust pipe on my car came apart. I stopped into the restaurant to ask who I could talk to at the garage. They didn’t just give me a name, they called over and set things up. Over to the garage they got me right in, put it back together — and no charge. It only took a few minutes but saved my day.

Perry Grant


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