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Monday, Jan. 27, 2014: Medicaid expansion, Fox Hill, Iran apology

Affordable act

Let’s see. If Maine were to accept the Affordable Care Act, 70,000 Maine people would for the first time have access to health care before they are so badly off they have to go to a hospital emergency room, where the average cost of a visit is $1,000, and they are so sick they might die. I had a friend who relied on this sort of health care. It took him a little over a week to die, in a hospital, after he finally sought care in an emergency room.

The U.S. spends more on health care than any other country on earth. Our health care statistics, however, rank us at 37, just after Costa Rica, and barely ahead of Cuba.

Yet Gov. Paul LePage has contracted with the Alexander Group (a conservative think-tank) for nearly $1 million to conduct a study to “prove” that the ACA will cost too much money.

I guess there is no “costs too much” category for flimsy diatribes supporting the 1 percent against the interests of the 99 percent.

Karen Saum


Bubble burst

Not too many years ago, a very large bank/credit card company set up business in Camden. It spent a very large sum of money remodeling the former Knox mill for its offices and hired hundreds of local people to man its call center. This “bank” gave to the YMCA, the library, helped Lincolnville with its new school. The list goes on as to the good it did for Camden. It paid its employees very well. Homes were bought, as were new vehicles. Most people of Camden were just crazy with the new money “falling from the sky.”

Is this to happen if and when the McLean Hospital moves into Fox Hill on Bay View Street? Maybe, maybe not. And then, as quickly as it arrived, this new big company in Camden packed up and left town, leaving employees with mortgages to pay on their homes and vehicles. Not to mention the unemployment rate went up. Camden’s bubble had burst. If the McLean Hospital does develop, at the very least, perhaps we’ll see some famous Hollywood people in town and ask for their autograph. Just saying.

Roy Marshall



Veggie tales

In regards to the Jan. 21 piece “ Longtime vegetarian-turned-butcher lets Portland culinary students meet the source of their meat,” I feel obliged to share the perspective of another longtime (and ongoing) vegetarian Mainer, who has found his roots in the culinary world: me. The issue I take with this article is surprisingly not at all related to the methods Jaclyn Burskey implements, her openness with slaughtering and butchering, or even with her love of a profession I admittedly have a distaste for.

The issue I take is with the way her “longtime vegetarianism” (mentioned four times in the article) is used as a ballast to her insights into the moral question of killing animals for food, of which none are addressed. There is an insinuation in this article that her journey through vegetarianism has somehow equipped her to justify her profession.

It is her own admission into “self-righteous” behavior (both as a vegetarian and butcher) that is the most telling aspect of this oversensationalized story. If you’re able to get past that, all that’s really left is a story about a person who is making choices based on how she wants people in the world to perceive her, and not an article that sheds any kind of light on the merits of being a vegetarian, or a butcher for that matter.

Daniel Dunbar


Thank representatives

The influx of snowy owls this winter in Maine has everybody talking. Given the unusual migration, many people have been lucky enough to have sighted one of these beautiful birds in the wild for the very first time. These birds can make amazingly long and dangerous journeys from their summer breeding grounds in the Arctic. Though the snowy owls we see here are likely from Canada, our piece of the Arctic in Alaska is a key sanctuary for the same species that visit other parts of the U.S.

As U.S. citizens we can work to protect our part of the Arctic, which includes the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The Coastal Plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is a vital sanctuary to birds that migrate through all 50 states and nearly every continent of the globe.

I would like to thank Maine Reps. Mike Michaud and Chellie Pingree for their support of HR 139, known as the Udall-Eisenhower Arctic Wilderness Act, to ensure the protection of the Coastal Plain of the Arctic Refuge for not only the birds, polar bears and caribou who rely on it, but for all of us. Maine senators also have shown support for the refuge. Sen. Susan Collins has always voted to protect the Arctic Refuge, and Sen. Angus King has pledged to do so as well. It would show true leadership and commitment to this special place if they would now cosponsor the Senate bill to protect it, S 1695.

John Demos

Northeast Staff

Alaska Wilderness League

South Berwick

Iranian trust

The federal court ruled that the Iranian government was responsible for carrying out the Oct. 23, 1983, truck bombing on the U.S. Marine headquarters in Beirut, Lebanon. Iran is now trying to improve its relationship with the rest of the world.

I have contacted all of Maine’s delegation in Washington, D.C., to request that Congress vote to request Iran apologize for the bombing, which killed 241 American members of a multinational peacekeeping force.

These men went to Beirut to save both Christian and Muslim lives. They did not deserve what happened. Iran should try to make amends before it expects the world to trust its future intentions.

Kevin Perry



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