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Monday Aug. 20, 2012: BPA, Roxanne Quimby and assisted suicide

BPA poses threat to Maine kids

I want to echo the call to get BPA out of our food supply in an OpEd published Aug. 5, “Vast Majority of Americans Have BPA in their Body.” As a natural health and nutrition oriented doctor, I’m concerned about the array of toxic chemicals in our society today.

These toxic substances make it ever more challenging even for health-conscious adults to stay healthy. Unaware adults and their children face an even tougher battle. One of the most pervasive chemicals found in our bodies is BPA, a toxic chemical linked to cancer, learning disabilities, obesity and other health problems.

BPA is a plastic-hardening chemical commonly added to food packaging such as metal cans. BPA has been proven to leach into our food from the packaging. If BPA were removed from food packaging, we could reduce our BPA exposure by two thirds. Our children are particularly vulnerable during their early development years due to their small body ratios.

Thankfully, action is being taken here in Maine. Maine moms recently submitted more than 800 signatures to the state asking the Board of Environmental Protection to get the process started to ban BPA in baby and toddler foods.

The BEP will decide whether to adopt a rule to ban BPA from children’s food at a public hearing on Sept. 6. If approved, a bill will be sent to the Maine Legislature.

It’s time to stand up for the health of our children and get BPA out of children’s food.

Christina Akliros Pritham, DC, CNS


Verona bridge removal

Is anyone besides me upset at the awarding of the removal contract for the Verona bridge to an out-of-state firm?

For a bid that was only about $300,000 more than the Massachusetts firm, Cianbro of Pittsfield was eliminated. I have to wonder how much money Maine will lose from not getting the taxes that Cianbro would have paid on the contract, how much money Maine will not get from Cianbro employees paying taxes on their wages — wages that would have been paid to Maine residents who live and work here.

To say nothing of the money that those Cianbro employees would have spent for groceries, gas, recreation and other living expenses.

Money spent in Maine by Mainers. Which now, of course, they won’t do because an out-of-state company got the bid.

Awhile back I was on Deer Isle for a spring birding festival and was impressed by all of the “support local business” signs all over the island. Then as I was leaving and driving across the Deer Isle bridge, I noticed that it was being painted by a company from Pennsylvania. I can’t believe that there wasn’t a Maine company that would have painted that bridge.

Now there is another Maine bridge being tended to by folks “from away.” How sad that we seem to feel compelled to send our money out of state

Sue Shaw


A compromise?

On Aug. 7, two of our county commissioners, along with the county manager, decided to allow Roxanne Quimby to construct a new gate at the mouth of Little Wilson Road, effectively stopping all vehicle traffic going to visit Little Wilson Falls. They said they will have to compromise in this matter.

I was always led to believe that a compromise was that both sides gave a little to reach an agreement. The county has given up the right for its residents to travel on a county road. Quimby has agreed to allow foot traffic through her gate. Fred Trask, Tom Lizotte and Marilyn Tourtelotte call this a compromise.

I am quite confident this whole mess started when the county manager gave permission for the first gate to be erected. She was under the impression that the road had been discontinued, which was not the case. The control of the road is of the county and has been for many years. It was maintained by the county into the 1990s. There is no compromise here, just another deal where Roxanne Quimby gets her way, thanks to Fred Trask, Tom Lizotte and Marilyn Tourtelotte. It seems the commissioner from Greenville, Eric Ward, had the people of Maine in mind when he voted against this proposal. Thank you, Ward.

Roy McSorley

Elliottsville Township

November vote

I am writing in support of Geoffrey Gratwick, a Democrat who is running to represent Bangor and Hermon in the Maine Senate. In this time of divisive politics at every level, Gratwick is a model of civility. He believes that the Maine Legislature should move away from polarized extremes and focus on the issues that really matter to our community and our state, such as good jobs, sensible health care and fair taxes.

As a city councilor, Gratwick has shown that he approaches every decision with care, but he is not afraid to stand up for his values. His skills at listening carefully before acting, which he uses in his practice as a doctor, are sorely needed. He would be a strong, thoughtful voice in Augusta.

We are fortunate to have him running in state Senate District 32. Now we need to cast our votes for him on Nov. 6.

Hope Brogunier


Speaking out publicly

Kudos to Dr. Erik Steele! In his piece on supporting physician-assisted suicide he wrote compellingly about how he was able to identify and modify his initial position.

More importantly, I salute his bravery in speaking out publicly. When the initial physician-assisted suicide movement was taking place here in Maine, the few professionals who stood up for this idea allowing patients to choose death with dignity were not well received. I hope that this heralds a change.

Julie Balaban


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