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Friday, May 12, 2017: GOP health care plan bad for Maine, fire Trump, support right-to-work


Trump should be ‘fired’

Regarding his firing of FBI Director James Comey, President Donald Trump said the reason for the firing was that Comey wasn’t doing a good job and that the department needed someone to instill confidence in the department.

I think Trump had the wrong person. He is the one needing replacement and for the exact same reasons.

This country needs someone who understands relationships with our neighbors, is honest and works to uphold the values and needs of its citizens. Trump doesn’t understand any of these things. He does however, understand that he is the only one that counts. All you have to do is ask the three people he has fired. Sad doesn’t quite cover it.

Richard Barclay


Republicans own health care plan

House Republicans have passed the so-called American Health Care Act with no independent review or input from Democrats or independents. The details were worked out behind closed doors by House Republicans and the president. There were no public hearings, no analysis of the economic or social impact.

Republicans own this bill. Included with these Republicans is Maine Rep. Bruce Poliquin, who voted in the affirmative last week.

The earlier and much more generous Republican plan was reviewed by the Congressional Budget Office, which estimated that 24 million people would lose insurance. Premiums would go down for some, but others would see extreme increases, particularly the elderly, who could pay five times the amount paid by younger people. The other greatest impact would be on low-income people, who will receive reduced subsidies in the form of tax credits.

Both these groups, the elderly and lower-income people, are over represented in the 2nd Congressional District, which Poliquin represents. These CBO figures do not take into consideration the relaxation of pre-existing condition rules under the current act.

The Republicans own this bill. Poliquin owns this bill. They will be reminded of that at election time.

Tony Kulik


Questions for Collins on Comey

We need to hear more from Sen. Susan Collins about the firing of FBI Director James Comey. As a major supporter of Jeff Session’s nomination to become attorney general, Collins needs to address this issue more fully. To do otherwise would be cowardly and unacceptable.

Given Attorney General Session’s recommendation that Comey be fired immediately on the eve of his further testimony and after supposedly recusing himself from involvement in the investigation, does Collins still have unwavering support for Sessions?

Jeffrey Huber


Go see PTC play

I was so surprised to read Judy Harrison’s May 3 review of Penobscot Theatre Company’s latest production, “I Loved, I Lost, I Made Spaghetti!” Basically, Harrison found the play too lighthearted and frivolous, certainly not PC in terms of the feminist agenda and, therefore, dull.

Were we at the same play? Everyone I spoke with on opening night thought it was a fascinating and hilarious play. Fascinating because actor, Maine native, Michelle Damato chatted engagingly nonstop while seamlessly creating a three-course gastronomic marvel of a meal. Hilarious because the writing was great. And what subject is more fun in springtime than love? Was Harrison there at the curtain when audience members jumped out of their seats in a spontaneous standing ovation?

I will simply say to would be play goers: “Go and see this hilarious play and judge for yourself.” Better yet, pay up for a seat on the stage and taste for yourself.

As for Harrison’s review, it is spring for heaven’s sake. Lighten up, and go pull a few real weeds, leaving this play to blossom as it should.

Jean M. Deighan


Lyme disease prevention

Lyme disease is a bacterial infection that is caused by the bite of an infected deer tick. May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month in Maine, and the Public Health Education Corps at Maine the Maine Center for Disease Control wants to remind people of the importance of daily tick checks and other prevention methods.

Lyme disease is treatable and most individuals recover completely with proper drugs. However, the easiest way to avoid the disease is to be tick smart, by: using caution in tick infested areas; wearing protective clothing; using repellent approved by the Environmental Protection Agency; and performing daily tick checks after outdoor activity

A tick must be attached for a minimum of 24 hours before the infection can be passed on, further stressing the need for prompt and proper tick removal. If you are bitten by a tick, or work in a known tick habitat, watch for symptoms for up to 30 days. Symptoms include a “bull’s-eye rash,” fever, headache, fatigue and muscle/joint pain.

Lyme disease is not the only disease that can be carried by the deer ticks in Maine. Anaplasmosis and babesiosis are two other tick-borne infections found in Maine and the number of reported cases in 2016 continued to rise.

Visit for more information and to see our events throughout May.

Catie Peranzi


Right-to-work right for Maine

The Joint Standing Committee on Labor, Commerce, Research and Economic Development in Augusta had an extremely important public hearing for Maine workers this week. LD 65, An Act To Ensure the Right To Work without Payment of Dues or Fees to a Labor Union as a Condition of Employment, was the topic of a lively discussion on Monday.

Many folks don’t realize that forced unionism is still legal in Maine and even applies to the majority of our dedicated state workers and other organizations. This issue involves a workplace environment where at least some of the employees are required to financially support a labor union as a condition of employment. They don’t have to join, but they must financially support a union to keep their job. It seems like forced unionism sounds a lot like slavery before it was outlawed, and they even share the same definition: the involuntary subjection to another or others.

The best way to end forced unionism in Maine is to pass a right-to-work law, and LD 65 would do just that. It’s time to pass a right-to-work law in Maine and finally end forced unionism for our workers.

Mark Turek


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