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Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014: Ordie Alley support, gubernatorial debates, first responders

Ordie Alley support

I am writing in response to the recent BDN article concerning retired coach Ordie Alley. There have been some serious allegations made about him that resulted in his name being removed from the Maine Basketball Hall of Fame. Why is he being accused after all this time has passed? Whoever is accusing him are cowards; otherwise, why are they afraid to have their names in print? They seem to have no problem with Alley’s name and face smeared on the front pages.

I have known Alley for more than 50 years. He is married to my sister and, yes, I am proud to call him “brother.” He is always there to help anyone if he can, and he has a heart of gold. He would not harm anyone in any way. I feel that these vicious people are trying to make trouble for him are just jealous of him and his family.

Alley has worked hard and earned everything he has. It is truly a shame for these people to try to slander his good name. They aren’t only hurting him and my sister, they are hurting all of his family.

In closing, I want to say that all of us will hang tough and stand behind Alley — all the way. That’s what families do. As for all of you troublemakers out there — enjoy yourselves because what goes around comes around. You cannot fool God, and you will answer for it someday.

Gail Fickett


Helping seniors

In one of Gov. Paul LePage’s current TV re-election ads, he praises himself for providing a few seniors with extra money. He states this was done by eliminating sales tax on “retirement home” meals. Then he smirks.

A “tell” is an action that tells you what someone is thinking, even if that person doesn’t know it themselves. Tells are highly informative. What does the governor’s smirk tell us he’s thinking?

I have found no evidence yet that retirement home residents are directly receiving any part of this “help” by reduced cost, refund or other means.

Some significant “helps” to all elderly would be to restore the property tax circuit breaker to a meaningful level, restore revenue sharing, eliminate state income tax on pensions under $40,000 and reinstate the cost-of-living adjustment on state pensions.

Charles Jones


Something for nothing

Since the murder of James Foley, there has been a great deal of saber rattling and American bravado demanding we go back into Iraq and even Syria to defeat this ISIS group. But let us step back and make sure we want to make this commitment of lives and money.

Americans to date have not fully paid for the bullets during the long conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. We are pushing that sacrifice out for our children and grandchildren to make.

Terrorist leaders are carefully and secretly planning how to inflict as much pain and suffering onto our very wealthy and powerful nation while our leaders — not my first word choice — are fully engaged in how to get re-elected. They run from one news camera to another spilling their guts about what we are doing and why it is wrong.

This is not the same America that defeated Hitler. There is something very wrong when collectively we have no problem making the Justin Biebers and Kim Kardashians multi-millionaires, yet we cannot even make the necessary sacrifice to pay for repairing our crumbling highways.

There are several real leaders in this country. But with a bias media, our two-party system and our insatiable addiction to something for nothing, my generation will never see them.

Richard Ginn


Debate ducking

Engaging communities in the election process is an essential component of democracy. Taking the power of your vote seriously, by taking the time to learn about candidates for elected office, is one way to honor the sacrifices of our military and journalists like James Foley. I agree with Thomas Paine, who said, “Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it.”

Here in Maine, I am frustrated that political strategies and stall tactics have taken precedence over the democratic process and in-person debates. It would seem the Republican incumbents — Gov. Paul LePage and Sen. Susan Collins — are resting on their laurels and don’t feel they need to earn the votes of their constituents from a different party. The Democrats seem to want debates for Shenna Bellows and Emily Cain but not for Mike Michaud, which seems to be good for the ganders but not the goose.

In a recent third-party poll, respondents were asked an open-ended question about the governor’s race that did not require them to select a specific candidate. Nearly half said they were still undecided. Another 18 percent answered by stating they were “leaning,” leaving only 34 percent of voters as definite, otherwise known as “the base.” The math proves that 66 percent of voters are up for grabs. Ducking the debates — or saying wait until October — speaks loud and clear about a candidate’s character. I say, no debate, no vote.

Susanne Kuehl


First response

Here is something your first responder might not tell you: “This ambulance that you are riding in now and the paramedic who is caring for you now may not be available to do the same the next time you need us on what may conceivably be the worst day of your life.”

Ambulance companies, especially rural ambulance companies, are going broke because of poor reimbursements from Medicare, Medicaid and other insurance companies. When it costs an ambulance company $100 to perform a service and they bill $125 so as to be able to pay for a new cardiac monitor in a few years, then the company is only reimbursed $45, there is little chance of survival for that ambulance company. On top of poor reimbursements are the increasing costs for fuel, replacement ambulances, medical supplies and training.

I am waiting to see if the Affordable Care Act will fix this. If it doesn’t, say goodbye to the lifesavers who are there for you when you need them 24/7 and say goodbye to the small rural hospitals as they suffer the same problems.

Walter N. Plaut, Jr.


No on 1

Game management — all game — is something that should be handled on a scientific and factual basis at the state level, by whatever means they deem necessary. Be it with hounds, bait, trapping, etc., if it’s what need to be done and if it’s effective in managing a population then it should not be altered. By no means should anything be managed on emotions. There’s no good that comes from managing with emotion on either side of the fence. I trust the state’s biologist to set the seasons and the methods, that is what we pay them for. I will be voting no on Question 1.

Pete Cole


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