November 19, 2017
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Monday, Nov. 6, 2017: Acadia fee hike hurts poor Mainers, painful truth about Trump’s victory, Poliquin’s bump stock silence

Painful truth about Trump’s victory

The insidious lies are those we tell ourselves to avoid painful truths for which we bear moral responsibility. The landmark election of Barack Obama in 2008 led some starry-eyed optimists to proclaim at the time that we had become a “post-racial society.” Evidence to the contrary was then — and is now — compelling.

When Obama took office, Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, leader of the Senate Republicans, announced that “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.” Should not a senator’s first priority be that of serving the country? Failing to deny Obama a second term, the senator nonetheless succeeded in leading an obstructionist Congress whose shameful final act was its denial of a hearing for a Supreme Court nominee of a sitting president.

Upon the election of Donald Trump, who flagrantly rekindled the banked fires of white racism, we told ourselves another lie: Trump’s rise was due to working-class economic reversal and resentment of coastal elites. Polling data tell a different story.

Exit polls conducted by Edison Research show that Trump dominated nearly every white demographic. He won white women by 9 percent and white men by 31 percent. He won whites between ages 18 and 29 by 4 percent, whites between ages 30 and 44 by 17 percent, whites between ages 45 and 64 by 28 percent, and whites age 65 or older by 19 percent.

Trump’s campaign slogan was transparent code for “Make America White Again” and evidently the message came through loud and clear.

Phil Locke

Bangor

Acadia fee hike hurts low-income Mainers

The National Park Service is considering a fee hike that would see Mainers paying $70 per car for a week’s access to Acadia National Park.

This significant rate hike for visitors will discourage widespread visitation to the park by people of all income levels, and therefore, decrease the sense of importance and value attributed to the parks by the average citizen.

As a child, I visited Acadia frequently. The park was affordable for my working-class family, and as a result, I have a deep-seated respect for the Acadia region and the park system that began in early childhood. I am deeply sorrowful to learn that Acadia is one of 17 popular parks nationwide slated for a $70 per car fee. The proposed price increase per car per week at Acadia is $45.

Meanwhile, fewer Maine families qualify as middle-class and more families spend more than 30 percent of their money on housing, according to an analysis by the Pew Charitable Trusts.

I urge the park service explore revenue options that do not place the most popular parks in America virtually off-limits to the working class.

If rate hikes are implemented, however, I am convinced that the park service is bound by moral duty to create meaningful and significant opportunities for lower-income people to access the parks without being hamstrung by fees.

The public may comment on the proposed fee increase at parkplanning.nps.gov, keyword “targeted fee increases.”

Zeraph Moore

Dedham

Antibiotic resistance a threat

Antibiotic resistance is a global threat to human health. This happens when germs do not react to an antibiotic. Many infections are becoming harder to treat. This is because the drugs used to treat them are no longer working. Antibiotic resistance can lead to higher health care costs and longer hospital stays.

Overuse and misuse of antibiotics encourages antibiotic resistance. It is important to remember that antibiotics treat bacterial infections. They do not treat viral infections. For example, antibiotics can treat strep throat. This is because bacteria cause strep throat. Antibiotics do not work for the flu because a virus causes the flu. Taking antibiotics when you do not need them is risky. It can cause harmless bacteria to become resistant.

We need to act now before it is too late.

The public can help by taking antibiotics exactly as prescribed, never sharing or using leftover antibiotics, washing hands, avoiding sick people, practicing safe sex and keeping vaccinations up to date

Health professionals can help by only prescribing antibiotics when needed; making sure their hands, environment and tools are clean; educating patients on antibiotics and the dangers of misuse; talking to patients about preventing infection, including hand washing, safe sex and vaccination.

For more information, please visit cdc.gov/antibiotic-use/community/index.html.

Jennifer Liao

Antibiotic resistance coordinator

Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention

Augusta

Dentists care for Maine

The Maine Legislature and several patient advocate groups from time to time focus on the plight of dental and medical treatment options available to Maine’s financially less fortunate residents.

Speaking as a dentist, Maine’s Department of Health and Human Services lists more than 300 of the 600 practicing dentists in the state who daily, weekly, monthly open their doors to treat patients who otherwise cannot afford to go to a dentist. These Maine dentists care for Maine residents of need almost every workday. It is not an annual feel good office event. I commend my colleagues for their initiative.

These are the “Dentists Who Care For ME.”

Geoffrey Wagner

Falmouth

Poliquin’s silence on bump stocks

According to a report on Maine Public, all of Maine’s federal representatives favor making “bump stocks” illegal, all but Rep. Bruce Poliquin, that is. Poliquin is “still studying the issue of bump stocks,” which seems to be political-speak for “I’m waiting to see what the NRA is going to do.”

Poliquin is still studying, deciding if the lives of hundreds of people are less important than the ability to buy a device whose sole purpose is to kill multiple people.

“How many times can a man turn his head and pretend he just doesn’t see?” Time for Poliquin to find some courage.

Bud Walkup

Bradley

Shameful stance on domestic violence plea

Just a quick comment on Bangor City Manager Cathy Conlow’s statement having to do with Alex Gray’s guilty plea for the charge of domestic violence. When asked if the plea would affect the city’s contract with Waterfront Concerts, Conlow said, “It doesn’t have anything to do with us.” I wonder if the 10-year contract with the bigger cut of ticket sales the city of Bangor will be receiving has something to do with it. Shameful.

Mary Mooney

Hermon

 


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