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Monday, March 11, 2013: Clean elections, school committees and empty beds

Clean elections in 2014

Gov. Paul LePage is wrong to undermine the state’s popular Clean Election Act by slashing the budget. If he really wants Maine to put people before politics, then we must get the big money out of our elections.

Clean elections allow Mainers of ordinary means to run for office without dialing for dollars and engaging in the big money chase that has so sullied the election process. When we cut the connection between special interest money and public office, our elected leaders can make decisions in the public interest.

In addition, every budget decision should be made in the public interest. A strong clean election system will help to make sure that Maine gets its budget priorities straight. That’s why our citizen-initiated law includes specific financing and calls for a special dedicated fund.

To really put people first, the governor and the Legislature must respect the people’s will and make sure that adequate funds are available for clean elections in 2014 and beyond.

Kristine Kittridge



A great choice for Orono

I am casting my vote for Jenna Mehnert for Orono School Committee. Given the recent changes to the RSU, Orono is beginning a phase of restructuring and growth.

Strong board leadership with a realistic vision and the fiscal discipline necessary to increase and preserve the value of Orono’s public schools, is critical. Mehnert has a proven track record of policy development and financial oversight as a former staff member for New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, D.C Mayor Anthony Williams and Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell.

She also understands that we must be innovative with our constrained resources and plans to expand our efforts to access other, non-taxpayer sources of funding.

Mehnert was raised in Orono and has recently returned with her husband and three young children. She is committed to the Orono school system and believes that strong schools are a key ingredient to a vibrant and sustainable town.

She will be an incredible asset on the school board and brings a truly unique set of skills to the position.

Spend 15 minutes talking with Mehnert, and you will quickly learn that her organizational skills, energy, and enthusiasm are equally as impressive as her background. Vote for Mehnert.

Leo Kenney



Pay now, pay later

Do people think Health and Human Services Commissioner Mary Mayhew, who is a former Maine Hospital Association lobbyist and was appointed by Gov. Paul LePage, has anything to do with the governor’s urgency to immediately pay the hospitals? In addition, before letting us all know how much, if any, hospitals and health care providers have already been overpaid?

Eastern Maine Medical Center and Maine General’s new construction projects and their ever-increasing hospital administrators’ six digit salaries somehow don’t scream immediate need.

While the new construction goes on, we read about how Maine hospitals have more empty beds than the national average.

Is the idea to use the proposed cuts for community ambulatory care and nursing homes as a means of filling those empty hospital beds? Hard to see the cost benefit there?

Then there is the good governor’s refusal to accept federal Medicaid funds and pay for

Medicaid services in other states.

As a conservative, Republican, property, income, and sales taxpayer, I am so confused. Will someone please help me better understand all the cost benefits to be gained by Mayhew and the governor’s proposed fiscal plans warranting his decision to veto all bills until the hospitals get paid off?

Patrick Eisenhart



Stress kills

Stress weakens the immune system, disrupts our digestive rhythm, interferes with personal interactions and wears us down.

Stress-related illnesses ravage our population, as does our frustration with political gridlock that threatens our daily lives.

Our beliefs and our faith have always served as viable resources in stressful times. Faith combats stress in very measurable behaviors. Faith confronts depression with hope, belonging and an affirmation of the individual with Divine Presence. Faith says to each person, “You are not alone in life.”

A book named, appropriately, “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance,” talks about recognizing the sacred in everyday tasks. This is how we begin to divert our energies from

stress to renewal.

Faith does more than give people somewhere to go on the weekends. Faith gives encouragement by reminding us stressful times are not new.

We face every challenge and hardship with the conviction we do not traverse life alone. God goes with us. Experiences with God build on history and heritage; we celebrate our past to spur

us into the future.

Our sacred writings and rituals are reenactments of triumphs and victories; we are buoyed by our past shared successes. Stress will always fail in comparison to our victories through faith.

How is the stress in your life? Faith is the answer. Seek it in small, daily ways and be renewed.

James Weathersby



Peggy Daigle support

Peggy Daigle’s leadership qualities have been recognized by her peers. Hopefully she will bring this experience in eco-tourism to Millinocket as town manager.

While in Old Town, she helped package deals between local hotels, Cyr Bus and Old Town Canoe. This type of economic forward thinking will help such groups as the trails committees as they try to revitalize the local flare.

This same woman has demonstrated a leadership quality that seems to blend well with the industrial revitalization ideas. Daigle’s work around Old Town has had an impact on that town’s progress.

It is this longtime critic’s belief that the town council has gotten this decision correct. I believe they have picked the best person for this position.

Let us hope she can help broaden our horizons through working with all sectors that are trying to make Millinocket an ongoing community.

Charlie Cirame


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