Friday, Dec. 20, 2013: Maine’s demographics, gun club bullet, Medicaid expansion

Posted Dec. 19, 2013, at 10:57 a.m.

 

Keep the young

I am writing in response to a column published Dec. 10 by Len Kaye and Carol Kim titled “Older Mainers are an answer to the state’s economic woes.”

First, I’d like to thank Kaye, Kim and House Speaker Mark Eves for taking concrete steps to address a serious issue facing the state of Maine and doing so in a positive and productive way. Discussing ways to accommodate our aging population and encourage voluntary workforce participation for senior citizens is a big step forward for Maine and its senior citizens.

That being said, Maine’s demographic problem is not going to be solved simply by accommodating the needs of senior citizens and encouraging them to go back to work. If we really want to fix our demographic problem, we’re going to have to address a much bigger problem. This is a problem that I, as someone who grew up in Maine and is about to graduate from UMaine, am witnessing first hand. Young, educated and ambitious people are leaving this state in droves, and they are taking their talents and education with them.

We cannot let this trend continue. Maine needs to be a place where young people want to live and work. We must elect leaders who recognize this serious problem and are willing to take action to address it. Independent candidate for governor Eliot Cutler has been very vocal on this issue, and for that he has my support in 2014. I hope others will follow this example.

Benjamin Algeo

Orono

Gun club

I am writing in response to the Nov. 29 BDN article regarding the friction between Spurwink Rod and Gun Club and Cape Elizabeth homeowners. I was born in Maine, grew up in Maine, went to college at the University of Maine in Orono. I am a “Mainer.” I am not a letter writer. But I find this issue and what’s been written about it so incredibly disturbing that I just can’t help myself. I feel incredibly let down and betrayed by the state I’ve supported, praised and called home.

A bullet from the gun club has struck my home. The officer who removed the bullet from my house states that fact in his police report, a report that is part of the public record and available to any newsworthy reporter who may want to obtain facts when writing an article on this issue.

Yes, a neighborhood was built next to a gun range, but a gun club must be able to guarantee that it can contain 100 percent of its projectiles. If the land was purchased by a farmer, and he found bullets in the side of his tractor, or it was purchased by the Boy Scouts, and they found bullets in the side of their cabins, would the issue be any different? No, the fact is that this land is not owned by the gun club, and it needs to operate safely within its borders.

Bobbie Manson

Cape Elizabeth

Stop wasting money

Gov. Paul LePage needs to stop wasting money from the state’s general fund and allow the Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act to take effect in Maine.

Some 70,000 low-income constituents deserve the stability that this critical health care would provide. The federal government will fund this expansion at 100 percent for three years, with permanent federal funding at 90 percent thereafter. It is in the best interest of our state’s economy to have a healthy workforce.

Instead of helping our underemployed workers, most of whom only have access to catastrophic health care plans with annual deductibles over $5,000 a year, LePage has decided to spend $1 million in state funds, taxpayer money, to pay a private Rhode Island firm to write a report on the effects of expanding Medicaid in Maine under the ACA.

Perhaps LePage should look to the example of other Republican governors who had the business sense to make an investment in their citizens, rather than squandering taxpayer dollars.

Adam Kirkland

Milford

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