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Friday, May 13, 2016: Narcan will save lives, Maine Democrats united, Portland not a sports town


Narcan will save lives

With the history of my oldest daughter addicted to opiates, I propelled my 12-year-old to the BDN’s One Life Project last week. It is important that we openly address this epidemic and share Garrett Brown’s story and his helplessness in addiction with each other and our children.

It’s time to be scared about it. And it’s time to do everything we can do about it.

And it’s too nauseating to suffer through Gov. Paul LePage’s veto of over-the-counter use of Narcan. Do we just watch our loved ones die? I don’t agree that it should be unavailable to me to “protect me from feeling guilty” if the Narcan doesn’t save my loved one. It should be available to be in the hands of the concerned parent, wife, son, daughter or whoever.

Kate Tuck


Maine Democrats united

Saying Barney Frank “endured heckling throughout this speech” in the May 8 BDN article about the Maine Democratic convention gravely mischaracterized the tone of the convention and the sentiments of the auditorium. The people who attended were exceedingly pro-Bernie Sanders yet resoundingly supportive of Frank’s message for unity. As one of the many, many Sanders delegates who gave a standing ovation to Frank, I can say there were far more of us trying to quiet hecklers than there were hecklers.

Amy Miller

South Berwick

Manna’s problems

I have been a town selectman and a member of several different boards. I know that yearly, department heads submit budgets to the required boards to get those budgets approved or sent back for adjustment before being approved or presented to the town to be approved and the money spent during the next fiscal year.

I have a concern with the ongoing problems with the Manna Ministries program in Bangor. They ran a recovery program in the Medway area for two years and overcharged the state more than $800,000, and now we find they have not had an active board of directors for more than two years and some of the names of directors given have not been on the board for even longer. I question how any budget of the last two years, or maybe more, could have been approved if the board, as named, does not even exist.

I think many more questions about this program should be answered before this program should be allowed to proceed any further. State money belongs to us, the public, and we should know it is spent properly, even when given to a nonprofit organization.

Halvor Magnus Jr.


Misunderstanding right to health care

In his May 4 BDN letter to the editor, David Smith demonstrated fundamental misunderstandings of Bernie Sanders’ claim that everyone has a right to health care, arguing that implementation of such a definition would entail forcing doctors to provide services on demand and enslaving citizens to one another through the agency of their government.

As a right, health care does not impose a claim or imposition by one to pre-empt challenges from another, such as ownership of property. It affirms a familiar human legacy, such as the right to drink clean water or breathe healthy air — rights contested today by some corporate interests.

Like the right to freedom of speech, religion, to marry the person of one’s choice or to manage one’s savings and expenditures, health care is traditionally expected and valued in any society, performed according to the understandings of that culture. Such rights are valued by people around the world, though they cannot be taken for granted.

Smith also misunderstands the concept of “democratic socialism,” which is not a Marxist or totalitarian plan. Subjection to the requirements of the state and of fellow citizens are no more noteworthy in Sweden than in the United States, yet citizens’ satisfaction with their civic and community lives may be much higher in Sweden.

Vital, dynamic and contested ideas like these deserve to be explored and understood.

Stephen Benson


Portland not a sports town

I don’t feel bad for the city of Portland for losing the Portland Pirates hockey team. I have been to a few games over the years, and it’s a great fan-friendly place to be, especially when the weather that time of year isn’t great.

The city is just not a sports town. Even the Red Claws attendance is down in a place that only holds 3,000 people. The Sea Dogs do OK, but part of that is the time of year. During the Sea Dogs season, the weather is warm, people want to be outdoors and Portland also has tourists to help bump up the numbers.

If people wanted the Portland Pirates to stay, then here’s an idea for Portlanders: Go to the games.

Mike Stoup

Old Town

Fiddleheads in no danger

Troy Haines of Mapleton as reported in a May 6 BDN article wants to start harvesting fiddleheads commercially while protecting the overharvesting of such a tasty dish that so many have come to enjoy. But to become a picker, people must attend classes to learn how. These classes will teach them how to keep foreign material from getting into their containers. How long will it be before more want to join in commercial harvesting of fiddleheads further endangering the possibility of ruining fiddlehead beds?

This is about the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard of. If this comes to pass, then the first thing that must happen is for laws to be passed to protect the fiddlehead from being overharvested, such as a written permit with the picker’s name on it and how much the picker is allowed to pick. Who will be responsible for this? The picker, of course.

Who is going to enforce these laws? The fiddlehead warden, of course. They must be hired, trained and paid. How many would be needed? A large number would be needed to patrol all of the fiddlehead areas in Aroostook County if they are going to be effective.

How do people come up with such ideas? They must have too much free time on their hands. I say take this idea and throw it in the wastebasket before it goes any further. Things have worked well for so many years the way they are, so why throw a wrench into things now?

Robert Beaulieu



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