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Friday, Dec. 6, 2013: Planned Parenthood, Gary Alexander, invasive plants

Let us prey

I must respond to the Dec. 3 BDN letter “Case Against Portland” by Thomas Coleman Sr. Most of us are familiar with the verse from Matthew, “And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret.”

One of three things seems to be happening in Portland and elsewhere by these protesters at Planned Parenthood: Either they believe their prayers would not successfully reach God’s ears from another location such as their home or church, or they believe prayer is not really prayer unless it is vocalized — or maybe it is not really the praying that is the goal; it is the public display coupled with intimidation to those seeking help, and the act of praying is just being used as a tool.

Carol Tiffin James


My way

Wow, our esteemed governor likes to do things his own way, in his own style. And he’s done it again.

He took nearly $1 million of our money and awarded a contract to the Alexander Group of Rhode Island to make a study of Maine’s welfare system.

He didn’t put it out for bid. There was no public review. He simply did it, and he didn’t even inform our senators and representatives. (Many of them learned about it by reading it in the newspapers.)

And the purpose of the contract is another step in our governor’s wish to cut back health insurance for Mainers, including the elderly, the working poor, veterans and children. Instead of striving to toss people out of MaineCare (Medicaid), we should be accepting federal funds that pay 100 percent of the cost for three years — that under the Affordable Care Act would provide tens of thousands of Mainers with MaineCare insurance. It is not only the moral alternative, it is also the most financially sensible.

While secretary of public welfare for Pennsylvania, Gary Alexander, president and CEO of the Alexander Group, cut 130,000 people — including 89,000 children — from Pennsylvania’s Medicaid program, he did manage to spend $20,000 for a flagpole to hang outside the department’s headquarters, though.

Alexander’s tea party history is clear, and one can predict what his million-dollar report will be. It will undoubtedly be featured prominently in LePage’s re-election TV ads. What a shameful waste. Meanwhile, a Dec. 1 deadline for the first portion of the five-part study was not met.

Polly Shaw


Invasive plants

I spent much of the summer season fighting invasive plants, such as Asiatic Bittersweet, Woodbine, Virginia Creeper or Goutweed, in the camp yard in the North Woods. Upon returning to Bangor for the winter, I was struck by how many invasive plants are used in local yards and civic plantings.

Burning Bush, Barberry, Norway Maple and Bishop’s Weed, which converts over time to Goutweed, can be seen everywhere. Stillwater Avenue is lined with purple loosestrife earlier in the season.

I’m in hopes that the city of Bangor, residents and many local greenhouses and nurseries will join in the effort to ban these invasive plants which destroy the habitat of native plants.

Pamela Taylor


Thanks to responders

On Sunday, Nov. 10, my partner and I were traveling to Portland via Route 9 or what we commonly refer to as “The Airline.”

As we passed the state rest area in Beddington, a car suddenly crossed into our lane, and we collided head on.

Luckily, no one was seriously injured in either vehicle, and we thank God for that, plus the fact that everyone involved had their seatbelts fastened and airbags deployed as they should.

Fortunately, one witness was a first responder and very professionally took control at the scene.

All occupants were immediately assessed; 911 was notified and given the remoteness of the location; rescue, fire, sheriff and ambulance vehicles were at the scene as soon as possible.

We cannot say thank you enough to the wonderful, caring and professional way we were treated by the volunteers from the Osborn fire and rescue team, Robert Morang with the Hancock County Sheriff’s Office, ambulance attendants and Eastern Maine Medical Center emergency department.

Drive safe!

Danny Bird

Helen Maillet

St. Andrews, New Brunswick


Portland services

Would someone explain to me why the Democrats fight the governor and any attempt he makes to improve our lot? The Department of Health and Human Services has a troubling past. Computer billing systems that failed miserably — costing the taxpayers millions of dollars, driving providers out of business and costing jobs and incredible hardship for many. The federal government has clawed back many millions of dollars because DHHS did not follow policy procedures. In turn the taxpayers are paying for the cost of services provided.

This would make an incredibly interesting article about how we keep digging the hole deeper. Moving DHHS in Portland to a more effective location, saving $14 million, which could then be used to provide services to those who need it, makes sense.

Is the mayor of Portland fighting this because they may lose revenue to the city? These self-centered politicos should be chastised for their greed. Portland does not care about the rest of the state; it’s all for them. Incredible.

Tom Deschaine

Presque Isle


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