Waiting for Long Creek solution
In press interviews, leaders of Maine’s Department of Corrections refer to vague proposals intended to address serious mental health treatment needs for young people incarcerated at Long Creek Youth Development Center in South Portland.
The Legislature anxiously awaits substantive proof that the Department of Corrections and the Department of Health and Human Services have developed an integrated and operational plan to establish regional psychiatric centers and high-intensity care for young people with severe behavioral health disorders.
To date, the departments appear to be playing a cat and mouse game of floating intriguing hints in the press while avoiding an open discussion with the Legislature. If and when a viable plan to address these serious issues is developed, as the Senate and House chairs of the Criminal Justice Committee, we invite the departments to offer a full presentation to the Legislature.
Sen. Kim Rosen
Rep. Charlotte Warren
Liberals wrong about tax cuts
I would like to thank President Donald Trump and those who voted for the tax cuts. The “crumbs,” quoting House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, I receive in my paycheck are about $50 a week.
Many companies and businesses are giving their employees bonuses because of the tax cuts. The average bonus being paid is about $500 to $1,000.
“The bonus that corporate America receives versus the crumbs they are giving to workers to put the schmooze on is so pathetic,” Pelosi said recently.
I will take the “schmooze” if offered. I know that $1,000 might cover Pelosi’s lunch; we would fill our oil tank for the winter. I’m not sure if the liberal elites know or care how the other half of America lives.
Keep Presque Isle airport’s Boston service
I support continuing the Presque Isle airport flight destination PenAir to Boston versus United to Newark, New Jersey. I have lived in the County for 37 years and have witnessed the coming and going of many different airlines out of Presque Isle. All of them had a Boston destination, and some included flights to Bangor, Augusta and Portland. I have survived the loss of all three Maine destinations, but losing Boston will be fatal.
Boston is not only a hub to other locations, but for Mainers, Boston is the center of the New England universe with medical centers, sports teams, cultural offerings and education. We all know that Maine was once part of Massachusetts, though I am not old enough to remember that.
Surprisingly, Newark has never been a dream destination for a northern Mainer. There are few redeeming features to Newark, and sending unsuspecting Mainers there will not improve it. When I first heard this announcement, I laughed, but now I believe this is a cruel joke on an innocent rural community. For what are we being punished? Then I learned that the Presque Isle City Council approved the change. As a resident of Caribou, I had no say in the matter.
If this scheme to offer service from Presque Isle to Newark comes to fruition, my options include flying from Canada — you can’t go wrong with polite Canadians — or driving 3 hours to the Bangor International Airport. Presque Isle airport may fulfill its destiny as a potato storage facility. And good luck to Newark.
Dale J. Gordon
Trump doesn’t deserve trust
President Donald Trump spoke about restoring the bond of trust between citizens and government in his State of the Union speech.
Here are just some of the atypical, undemocratic, un-American, disrespectful actions that have happened since the Trump campaign began until now that have broken my bond of trust with this president:
Last summer, Congress overwhelmingly passed a bill imposing stricter sanctions against Russia for its interference in the 2016 election, giving the administration until Jan. 29 to impose stricter sanctions against various Russian entities. No sanctions have been imposed to this point.
Many important environmental rules bringing cleaner air and water and starting to deal with climate change are on their way out. The term “climate change” has been stripped from some government agency websites and data removed.
Trump has demeaned, insulted, threatened, fired, or bullied Muslims, Mexicans, Haitians, judges, Cabinet members, women, people at the FBI, CIA and Justice Department, Republicans and Democrats, foreign leaders, international bodies such as the United Nations and NATO, newspapers, and television networks and cable companies.
Why has he never insulted or demeaned Vladimir Putin?
Why has he not released his tax returns so that we could know of his ties with other entities or governments?
Why has he not put his assets and properties in a blind trust like other presidents, so that the public could know he was operating in our interest and not his own?
He does not deserve our trust.
Prevent another alcohol-fueled tragedy
News that Alexie Adams, 19, was found dead in a snowbank on Colburn Drive in Orono, a short distance from my home shook me to the core. Three winters ago a very similar story unfolded.
My daughter, a University of Maine student, and her friends, were driving home at 2 a.m. They observed a young woman walking alone on Park Street fall into a snowbank, then get up, swaying as she tried to continue. Instead of leaving this complete stranger to whatever fate awaited, they stopped to help.
She was inebriated, soaked, and her light jacket was inadequate for the cold. Barely able to speak, she told them that she was from Britain, and a UMaine student living at Doris Twitchell Allen Village on campus — more than a mile distant. They got her into the car, then knocked on doors at DTAV to find someone who could get her warmed and tucked into bed. When my daughter relayed this story, I was sure they saved this young woman’s life.
How many other near misses have occurred since Park Street became the corridor between apartments and private and public places where hundreds of youth gather to drink? Two young lives extinguished in two years (David Breunig disappeared into the river two years ago, while Adams became nearly invisible in a snowbank in plain sight) constitutes a community crisis.
UMaine and Orono, this is a call to action. Let’s come together to find ways to mitigate the very real risk of another entirely preventable tragedy.
Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly identified Sen. Kim Rosen's town of residence.