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Tuesday, July 19, 2011: Prioritized spending, rotten food bank, happy retirement

Prioritized spending

As the members of Congress continue to avoid doing what is necessary to prevent the U.S. from defaulting on payment of the national debt, I suggest the following. Prioritize a list of who should get paid, beginning with the soldiers serving our country and those who are truly needy among us. Last on the list should be members of Congress, who, since they are not doing their jobs, do not deserve to be paid.

Shirley Jarvella


Rotten food bank

Something is rotten at the Good Shepherd Food-Bank, and it isn’t the just the expired produce.

As the pastor of Faith Baptist Church in Millinocket I have known and worked with Pastor Herschel Hafford of I Care Ministries for almost seven years. During this time I have had all kinds of people come to our church looking for food or other assistance: Christians and non-Christians, married couples and unmarried couples, homosexuals and heterosexuals, people addicted to drugs and alcohol and people who were not.

In seven years not a single person I referred to ICM has ever come back with any complaint about being evangelized, asked to attend a worship service or not receiving food because of their beliefs or lifestyle.

Because of the good work that Herschel does, neither my church nor any other church in Millinocket has a food pantry open to the public. Instead, we all refer people to ICM and support their efforts in any way we can.

Our church and others have given funds to ICM to help with their food purchases. We have also worked jointly with ICM and pooled resources to meet other kinds of needs. Again, no one whom we have assisted together has ever complained or even mentioned being pressured or required to attend religious services.

Based on what I have seen and know about Herschel Hafford and I Care Ministries, I don’t believe for a minute his relationship with Good Shepherd Food-Bank was terminated for the reasons given.

Ian Shearer

Pastor, Faith Baptist Church


Ban gay babies?

Just stop. I don’t understand why the right-wing Republicans push their Christian views on everyone. What happened to separation between church and state?

If they don’t believe in same-sex marriage and believe that homosexuality is a sin, they should be telling straight people to stop having gay babies!

Jeffrey Brawn


Happy retirement

When people believe in hard work and dedication behind them, large footprints will always follow.

That is just a small token that Sister Mary Norberta will be known for by keeping St. Joseph Healthcare for what it is today. At a time when other institutions are swimming in red ink, I have reason to believe St. Joe is not.

We all must give credit where credit is due. Best wishes to Sister Norberta for a long happy retirement.

Jim Koritzky


Fox tells truth

A letter Friday claiming that Fox News spreads lies is the latest bogus attack on that news organization.

The subject, forbidding mention of God during services at the Houston National Cemetery, is a real issue that has been ignored by most so-called news agencies.

Those protesting the Veterans Administration policy include the Veterans of Foreign Wars, The American Legion and the National Memorial Ladies, which all have come forward complaining the director and other government officials are censoring prayer at the Houston National Cemetery.

These groups accuse director Arleen Ocasio of banning use of the words “God” and “Jesus” in services held at the cemetery, requiring government approval for prayers, turning the chapel into a meeting room.

Congressmen Rep. Ted Poe and Michael McCaul, Republicans from Texas, also expressed concern about the policy.

If it were not for Fox News, we would not know of many important issues facing voters today.

John Hubbard


Army museum

For over 236 years, we Americans have owed our freedoms to the men and women of the United States Army. Now, at long last, the American soldier will be honored with the National Museum of the U.S. Army near Washington D.C.

Many in Maine have proudly worn the U.S. Army uniform. As a founding sponsor of the museum, I would like people to be aware of this long overdue national project. The plans call for it to be built and opened by June 14, 2015, the Army’s 240th anniversary.

Robert Workman

Seboeis Plantation

A vision lost

In 1944, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, in his State of the Union address, suggested that the Constitution and Bill of Rights did not offer Americans an equal opportunity for the “pursuit of happiness.” He proposed a “Second Bill of Rights” to help level the playing field. This economic bill of rights would guarantee:

1. Employment with a living wage

2. Freedom from unfair competition and monopolies

3. Housing

4. Medical care

5. Education

6. Social security

Roosevelt’s vision is now in tatters. On every count, from their plan to privatize Medicare to making drastic cuts in education spending and slashing Social Security benefits, Republican policies seek to thwart or dismantle the progress made over many decades towards achieving Roosevelt’s goals vital to a fair opportunity for the pursuit of happiness by all Americans.

History will judge the United States not by how much we spent on nuclear weapons and other killing machines, by how many unnecessary overseas wars we pursued or by how much we favored big business and the rich, but by how much compassion and care we showed to our own sick, disadvantaged and less fortunate, and if we did our best be to ensure every citizen an equal opportunity to enjoy the good life.

Gene Clifford

Southwest Harbor

Threatened rights

The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights turns 54 this week. Created by the 1957 Civil Rights Act, signed into law Sept. 9 that year by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, the commission’s work rarely makes the front pages as it did in the heyday of the civil rights movement.

Recently an issue has been brought to my attention regarding the violation of those necessary and profound civil rights granted to every American by the U.S Constitution; specifically, to a felon residing in Aroostook County, forceably detained within our hospital and legal system, which was developed to aide, assist and support.

Some may contribute this to her criminal status, I ask this: Where is the Commission for Civil Rights now? I have a fairly good idea I know where they will be.

Lucas Rossignol

Presque Isle

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