September 20, 2017
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Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017: Cost of Alzheimer’s disease, immigrants served this nation, David Farmer’s monument ‘fix’

David Farmer and the monument

There is comfort in certainty. BDN readers can depend upon a couple of certainties when David Farmer puts a positive spin on any topic. First, we know he’s not writing about Gov. Paul LePage. Second, we know the “fix” is in.

In his Sept. 1 BDN column regarding the vaunted Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, you will find no mention of LePage. About halfway through the column the fix becomes apparent. Farmer owns up to working for the family and foundation behind the monument. He writes that he played a “small part” without bothering to mention his remuneration. “Small parts” can often generate “large fees” to the service provider.

Unless there’s some additional fee-based service required of Farmer, it sounds like his next foray into the wilderness is seven years hence. That trip will give him a new opportunity to gush about another tankful — or three — of gas and cooler full of provisions purchased to provide a terrific boost to the local economy.

Charlie Anderson

Stockholm

Cost of Alzheimer’s

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, there are more than 5.5 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease, including 27,000 over the age 65 here in Maine, where 69,000 family members provide nearly a billion dollars in unpaid care for these victims. It is also the sixth leading cause of death. It cannot be prevented, cured or even slowed. Every 66 seconds, someone develops the disease, and these numbers will only increase.

I have personally witnessed the impact this disease has on families as my husband, Roland, was diagnosed at age 63, and I was his caregiver for more than 10 years. We were both born, raised and operated an aviation business in Frenchville, which I will always hold close to my heart. Twelve years ago, I had to sell the business assets, our home and move closer to family for help and support. This was financially draining, as there was no longer any income to meet our needs. Not only does this disease affect its victims but also their livelihood and especially their families.

We are thankful in having Sen. Susan Collins as a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, which sets the funding levels for the National Institutes of Health. We appreciate her quest to increase research funding by $414 million for fiscal year 2018 to discover new ways to treat and eventually prevent Alzheimer’s and other dementias.

Elizabeth Martin

Winslow

Immigrants served this nation

Fifty years ago during the Vietnam war, we had different names for some immigrants. They were called draftees, or enlistees, and we loved them. Many were not highly educated, and some struggled with the language, but they served their adopted country with pride. Many used military service as a path to citizenship.

I was honored to serve with many of them. Proud patriots all. And when they gave their lives in service to our country, they were buried in Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors. We gave them medals, called them heroes, and posted an American flag on their graves every Memorial Day.

But now we’re being told we should reject this category of people and throw them out of the country because evidently they no longer serve a purpose. And the guy that’s telling us that we should deport them has never spent a minute of his life in service to his country or fellow man.

Henry Deshane

First sergeant

U.S. Army, retired

Glenburn

 


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