Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013: Bowers Mountain, Israel, Alzheimer’s

Posted Dec. 06, 2013, at 10:53 a.m.

International sanctions

As the Obama administration works on the anti-nuclear accord with Iran, pro-Israel congressmen, along with Bibi Netanyahu and the Israel-biased “experts” we hear regularly on media outlets like NPR, are trying to sabotage the peace deal. Just as Israel has sabotaged all attempts at a two-state solution since it began its “divine right” land grab in 1948.

I recently heard a Holocaust survivor, who moved here 50 years ago or more, say she doesn’t owe the U.S. anything because it didn’t help her when she needed it most. I’m not sure if I agree with her, but I am sure the U.S. doesn’t owe Israel anything.

Our equal-opportunity country, which makes a point of separating church and state, already gives billions in aid each year to this apartheid theocracy.

Now that we know how international sanctions can be powerful against another country, maybe we should apply a few against Israel, until it ends its decades-long theft and illegal occupation of someone else’s land.

Melodie Greene

Calais

Giving, all year

’Tis the season for holiday giving. Everywhere I turn there are commercials, fliers and other advertisements encouraging me to donate time or items for the holidays. Well, I cannot be alone in feeling a little hesitant to send cash to an unfamiliar organization; where is my money really going, anyway? And time, if only I had any to spare during the busiest time of the year!

My heart wants to help those in need, but my schedule and wallet make this a difficult task. A recent conversation sparked a mini “revelation” regarding this matter. Why is the spirit of giving centralized around holiday seasons? I have worked directly with homeless programs, and the amount of food and donations provided during the holidays is overwhelming. Agencies struggle to conserve these resources, trying to make them last for a couple months.

But these programs are in need of volunteers and donations year round. I am guilty of letting the holiday season pass by and then forgetting all about the passion to volunteer or donate as those advertisements drift off into oblivion. People without homes or access to healthy food exist year round.

I propose to all who have faced the similar struggle of wanting to help but aren’t able to during the holidays: Offer your services at other times of the year. The simple act of giving of your time is not only appreciated, it is rewarding.

Let the giving spirit of the holidays flow throughout the year.

Kristin Theriault

Portland

Fight against Alzheimer’s

Citing the devastating emotional and economic toll that Alzheimer’s disease takes on more than 5 million Americans and their families, Sen. Susan Collins, along with Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, recently introduced a bipartisan Senate resolution declaring that the goal of preventing and effectively treating Alzheimer’s by 2025 is an “urgent national priority.”

The resolution recognizes that dramatic increases in research funding are necessary to meet the 2025 goal and urges Congress to double the amount of funding the United States spends on Alzheimer’s research in 2015, as well as develop a plan to meet the target of $2 billion a year as recommended by the experts of the federal Alzheimer’s Advisory Council.

Today there are more than 5 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease, including as many as 37,000 right here in Maine. This number will grow rapidly as more than 10,000 baby boomers turn 65 each day. The costs for Alzheimer’s care and services continue to rise, straining our overwhelmed health care system and threatening to bankrupt Medicare and Medicaid.

The Maine chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association is so appreciative of Collins for her leadership on this issue. We strongly support her resolution to increase funding for research as it represents a commitment to our vision of a world without Alzheimer’s disease. There are countless volunteer advocates here in Maine who are working alongside the senator toward this vision, and we are so proud that Maine is leading this fight.

Laurie Trenholm

Scarborough

Wind economy

Since 1926, the Sargent family has been involved in the construction business in Maine. Over the last several years, Sargent Corp. has been very actively involved in construction related to wind energy production in Maine and New England.

These projects are an incredibly important part of Maine’s economy. It is our hope that Maine can continue to attract these investments to our state. In order to do that, and to continue to grow our economy, the state needs to fairly and consistently apply regulations.

Sadly, that has not been the case with the proposed Bowers Mountain project. The decision to reject this proposal is a departure from previous regulation and simply isn’t supported by Maine law.

If thoughtful, responsible companies — companies like First Wind — can’t rely on a fair and consistent regulatory environment in Maine, we fear they will take their work, with all its local economic benefits, to other states. We have a lot of employees who are hoping that won’t happen.

Our employees are eager to continue working on wind energy projects in Maine. We hope that this project will be approved, paving the way for the hundreds of jobs that will come with it and ensuring the healthy future of this growing part of Maine’s economy.

Steve Perry

Lincoln

http://bangordailynews.com/2013/12/06/opinion/saturday-dec-7-2013-bowers-mountain-israel-alzheimers/ printed on August 1, 2014