Delegation support

This letter is in support of our congressional delegation. I recently had a problem with the IRS and called Rep. Pingree’s office and was offered immediate assistance. Within two hours after my call on Jan. 22, I had an answer to my question and my problem was resolved.

A few years ago I was superintendent of schools in Houlton and had many opportunities to call on Mike Michaud for assistance when he served in the Legislature. I was always given immediate help. There was no better friend of the southern Aroostook area in the Legislature than Mike Michaud.

I know that Mike is now doing the same for everyone in the 2nd District.

Our two senators — Snowe and Collins — are legendary in their independence and their dedication to the best interests of Maine people. Our congressional representatives may be from different parties with different philosophies, but when it comes to the people of Maine, they are there for us. We are a small state with little clout on the national political scene, yet all of our representatives and senators are highly respected, responsive and effective. People in Washington listen to them.

In this time of incredible economic hardship, it is too easy to become cynical and discouraged. Despite the divisions and failures in Washington, now is the time to stand up for our representatives and give them the support they need to continue in their effectiveness. Write to them and let them know your concerns. You will be heard and you can be sure that Maine is being represented effectively.

David C. Wiggin



Short-sighted cuts

During the last several years it has been my honor and pleasure to volunteer at Robert and Mary’s Place in Ellsworth and Machias. It is a day program for people with memory loss. The service they provide gives the caregivers a needed respite and the clients a stimulating and caring environment for the day.

Some of the clients are funded through MaineCare and community funds.

Most of these clients are eligible for skilled nursing care. Programs like Robert and Mary’s Place give families a viable option to skilled nursing and allows them to keep their loved ones in the home environment. This is better for the clients, the caregiver and a much less expensive option for scarce health care dollars.

The governor is proposing eliminating all state funding for day programs. This would leave families with few options outside of a skilled nursing facility. Such a move is short-sighted and will end up costing MaineCare a lot more money. Please let the governor and your representatives know your views on this proposal.

Jerry Williamson



Talking about alcohol

With the tragic death of the young man from Bar Harbor last month and the recent alcohol-related assault at UMaine, media attention is again focused on the concerns of drinking. These incidents are in the spotlight again, but the problem has never gone away.

High-risk drinking is a complicated issue and takes an entire community’s efforts to combat. Alcohol education efforts need to start at home and continue throughout life.

When kids start experimenting with alcohol, most have no idea how to drink. Alcohol bottles have no labels, which indicate serving size or how much is too much. Well-intentioned family members may offer advice such as “drink responsibly” (the same suggestion offered by the beer companies), but this advice means little to the child.

Studies show 70 percent of kids say their parents’ expectations influence their drinking behaviors. Parents should clearly state their expectations to kids. This doesn’t mean that they will always follow those expectations, but at least they will know what they are.

Nationally, 80 percent of college students report that they drink.

Given this, discussions about drinking ought to be a part of family talks.

My job is to play “catch-up” to teach students important information about alcohol use to make informed decisions. It is difficult to quickly teach information they should be learning for a lifetime. Let’s all get involved and join to keep our children and our community safe before another child is hurt.

Our kids have the capacity to make healthful and safe choices and to follow our expectations, but we have to talk to them.

Lauri Sidelko

director, University of Maine Maine Alcohol and Drug Education Programs


Down here looking up

Who are these middle-class people Obama always refers to? I don’t know any personally. Hopefully, with his help, they make it to the upper class.

I’m still struggling down here in the lower class.

Mr. President, create some jobs and I’ll pay for my own insurance. In my opinion these folks in office cannot relate to any of our problems. You see, they don’t have any.

Jay Lox