February 25, 2018
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Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017: Merge Lewiston-Auburn, calling out white supremacy, hospital drops paid chaplains


Merge the Twin Cities

Budapest. That one name summarizes my support for the one Lewiston-Auburn initiative. It is my hometown; I was born there in 1956. Budapest became a global city in 1873, when Buda on the west bank of the Danube River merged with Pest on the east bank. In 2017, let’s make Lewiston-Auburn a new great city on the Androscoggin.

John Casey


GOP health bill inhumane

The Graham-Cassidy health care bill is an attack on hardworking, everyday Americans. It would allow insurers to charge more for people with pre-existing conditions, opens the floodgates for insurance companies to put lifetime limits on benefits for people like cancer patients and premature babies, allows insurers to offer plans without essential health benefits like emergency visits and cuts Medicaid. Funding for comprehensive mental health care and women’s reproductive services would be at the behest of state governments — something Mainers can’t risk with a governor like Paul LePage.

The authors of this bill are willing to compromise the health of our country to get a point on the legislative scoreboard and give tax cuts to their wealthy friends. It is government corruption at its worst and needs to be called what it actually is: despicable, inhumane and un-American.

Zak Ringelstein

Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate


Fine young sportsmen

I met three outstanding young sportsmen on a recent bear hunting trip to Fish River Lodge at Eagle Lake. On the first afternoon of the hunt, my extremely professional Maine guides dropped me at my assigned tree stand around 3 p.m. I have never been bear hunting, so to say I was excited would be an understatement.

At 5:30 p.m., a 153-pound boar came by my stand and before I knew what happened I had my first bear on the ground. I finally composed myself enough to tag the bear and make my way to the road to meet my guides. I sat on the remote logging road busting with excitement and ready to tell my hunting story.

I was not expecting any traffic when suddenly three young men who attend the University of Maine at Fort Kent pulled up and asked if I needed help. I was a total stranger, but there was no hesitation to help me out.

I thanked them and offered them $100 for their time and assistance. What college kid couldn’t use a few extra bucks? But they would not take anything. Additionally, they stayed with me swapping stories until the guides picked me up. They said they didn’t feel right leaving me alone as it was getting dark.

I’m a lifelong sportsman, retired law enforcement officer and a hunter education instructor. I have never met three finer young people in my life. Whatever you are doing in Maine to raise such fine young adults, please keep it up. Meeting these young men gives me hope for the future of outdoor sports and our way of life in this great country.

Brian Malone

Marstons Mills, Massachusetts

EMMC drops paid chaplains

Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor has hit a new low. The administration recently announced it is eliminating its paid chaplaincy service in favor of an all-volunteer program. The employees of the chaplaincy have been fired effective Sept. 30.

Apparently, a professional chaplaincy service is expendable because it does not provide a “billable” (i.e. income producing) service for the hospital.

Fortunately, there is another smaller hospital in Bangor that recognizes that the emotional and spiritual health of its patients are critical components of and contributors to physical health and recovery.

Mary Warner, M.D.


Calling out white supremacy

Mike Bianchi’s Sept. 19 OpEd was upsetting. He criticized ESPN’s Jemele Hill for saying President Donald Trump and his followers were “white supremacists.”

Questions I would ask Bianchi are as follows: What would you call a person who allegedly did not rent to African-Americans in 1970s? What would you call a person who sought to limit immigration into the U.S. from seven predominantly Muslim countries?

In my book, that is called white supremacy.

Thankfully we still have freedom of speech, and I applaud Hill for saying what she what she feels. I’m sure she is speaking for many of us.

Elizabeth Fauver


Expand Medicaid

There is an extremely important issue that will be on the November ballot. I am talking about Question 2, the Medicaid expansion referendum. The Maine Legislature has voted five times to expand our state’s Medicaid program, known as MaineCare, under a provision of the Affordable Care Act. Five times Gov. Paul LePage has vetoed this important legislation that would improve the health for thousands of Maine people.

So many low-income working families fall into a health insurance gap where they do not qualify for health care. Many elderly people who exhaust their life savings in nursing homes need Medicaid expansion to pay their medical bills.

Kentucky is an example of a state that accepted Medicaid expansion. The people of Kentucky benefit from their decision as do the other 30 states that expanded their Medicaid programs. None have chosen to withdraw.

Expanding MaineCare could make a huge difference when it comes to our opioid crisis. Here in Waldo County, we are fortunate to have the Maine Coastal Regional Reentry Center and the Restorative Justice Project of the Midcoast. Expanding MaineCare could provide funds for drug treatment. Increased funding for drug treatment and health care could help the Maine Coastal Regional Reentry Center and the Restorative Justice Project of the Midcoast be more effective in their work.

A yes vote on Question 2 on Nov. 7 to expand MaineCare will be a strong statement by the people of Maine and finally we can have this much-needed health care coverage.

David Smith


Elect women to Congress

Since time began, women have made the babies and men have killed them. My grandmother put a gold star in her window for her only son, who was killed in World War II.

About 19 percent of our representatives in Congress are women and 81 percent are men. If the pattern of war, the killing of our children, and the black body bags coming home is ever to stop, we must elect more women to Congress because men, driven by testosterone, will always lean toward conflict, war and death.

Paul Shanley

Old Town


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