Improved health costs

I am writing with regard to Parkview Adventist Medical Center’s request to join Central Maine Health Care.

I joined the staff of Rumford Hospital in 1993. In 1999, I was informed that Rumford Hospital was to join CMHC. I then opposed the idea for several reasons. I was concerned that CMHC would be looking to make changes that were only to benefit their own interests. I was concerned that the leadership of CMHC would try to tell us how to practice medicine, where to refer our patients to and what we could or could not do as providers.

Rumford Hospital is now consistently ranked as one of the least expensive hospitals in the state of Maine and has improved the quality of the care we deliver to our patients.

I did not expect that our affiliation with CMHC would strengthen our ability to provide care to our community the way it did. If Parkview were to join CMHC, it will strengthen its ability to provide quality low-cost health care to the community. CMHC’s track record with working with hospitals is one of teamwork, which leads to the best possible health care that is both affordable and meets the needs of the local community.

Rumford Hospital is an example of the successful implementation of a regional approach to providing the best health care to people of Maine.

The people in the Brunswick community deserve the same option for improved low-cost health care that CMHC can help provide through this proposed merger.

John Kroger


Working together

I had not felt as hopeful this election season as I did after voting in Glenburn. It was not just the turnout, which was huge. It was not just the thoughtfulness of our town officials, who saw the frost and let us wait inside, although it must have been disconcerting as our line snaked through their offices to the supply closet out back.

And it was not just the pleasure of talking to friends, neighbors and fellow voters as we watched the code enforcement officer and town manager trying to work while a hundred people meandered around their desks.

Rather, it was the overwhelming shared commitment to town, state and country represented simply by the whole crowd of us voting. If we share that underlying commitment, we must be able to see that while we may often honestly disagree, we still need to work together for our common interests. On some issues, such as marriage equality, compromise does not work well, and it is appropriate to debate them and then put them to a vote. But many other issues, such as how to assist with economic development or how best to tax our general productive capacity for the common good, are best resolved by elected representatives who have flexibility and a capacity to listen, hear and understand.

Regardless of who was elected to what office, call or write your state and national representatives with this simple message: “Congratulations. Please work together for us.”

Judson Esty-Kendall


Healthy environment

Childhood obesity is a continually increasing problem among American children. However, our educational institutions across America continue to cut funding for sports, discourage recess and play and confine our youth to desks, where their bodies are forced into a stagnant state of being. Children spend more than 30 hours a week in school, and they are expected to “sit” for more than 20 of those hours. Schools need to take action toward decreasing childhood obesity because this is no longer an individual problem, this is a community problem.

Nearly one in three U.S. children (23.5 million) ages 2-19 are overweight, according to the American Heart Association. In a population-based sample of 5- to 17-year-olds, 70 percent of obese youth had at least one risk factor for cardiovascular disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The group at the highest risk for obesity is the lower socioeconomic class because a box of macaroni and cheese is less expensive than fresh turkey and fresh fruit. Sodas and sugary drinks are cheaper than milk and 100 percent fruit juice.

As our children are forced to sit throughout seven-hour days, the only distraction afforded them in public schools are vending machines. It is our duty to push legislation through with the goal of healthy diets in mind. Our youth is our future. By reducing their caloric intake of unhealthy treats we are saving the hearts of our future. The efforts to invest in America’s children can be facilitated through a combined community effort of proactive parenting and a supportive, active, healthy school environment.

Sarah Wilcox

Old Town

Enough is enough

Perhaps the resignation of Audrey Lovering, Rockland community development director, is simply indicative of a more systemic problem. Councilor Elizabeth Dickerson has asked legitimate questions about this affair. The bill for the city’s attorney and the attorney that presided over the hearing is not included in the payout. We are left scratching our heads waiting for answers. What about all of these lengthy executive sessions? If Dickerson left an executive session because she felt someone on the council had crossed a legal boundary, that should be explored. If this is accurate, why did the other councilors choose to stay?

Sadly, taxpayers are repeatedly left with a revisionist view of Rockland politics. On a Seinfeld episode, George Costanza remarks, “Jerry, just remember, it’s not a lie if you believe it.”

Perhaps thinking like George is what started Rockland down this slope. Timelines and time frames are fluidly revised to match whatever “once upon a time” is in play. We are told we misunderstood or misheard.

Votes are taken or not. Committees met or they didn’t. We have individuals behaving as if loyalty is flexible like a rubber-band.

Rockland is saturated with hardworking, honest and loyal folks who are tired of the shenanigans. This is about a community that has reached its breaking point and Lovering is simply the lightning rod for us to say enough is enough. Residents deserve respect and to have their questions answered. Perhaps the elusive tree warden can enlighten us?

Louise MacLellan


Law violation

Homosexual “marriage” approved Nov. 6 in Maine by state voters violates the Federal Defense of Marriage Act. It is unconstitutional to pass and enforce state law that violates federal law. Therefore, a lawsuit should promptly be filed to stay the implementation of this unconstitutional new state statute.

Helen Patterson