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Saturday, April 13, 2013: Immigration, health care for cancer patients and east-west highway

“Real” immigration reform

Bloomberg’s recent “immigration reform” editorial would have us believe there’s only one kind of “reform”: big business and big labor agreeing to amnesty for illegal immigrants and their employers and more foreign workers. But there’s another kind of “reform.” And it didn’t come from the Tea Party.

Former President Clinton’s U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform was a bipartisan commission of experts who studied immigration for five years, according to the University of Texas website, www.utexas.edu/lbj/uscir. They told Congress to reduce legal immigration, strictly enforce laws at the worksite, stop lavishing public benefits on illegal immigrants and have no more guest workers.

If the federal government simply enforced our laws at the worksite and caused illegal immigrants to lose their jobs in manufacturing, construction, transportation and services, millions of jobs would be available to unemployed Americans. And we wouldn’t need drones at the border.

Self-deporting illegal immigrants would tell their countrymen not to bother coming. Now that’s real reform.

We have millions of illegal immigrants today because the “policeman” was bought to look away and make a joke of enforcement. Our immigration system isn’t broken. It reeks of corruption, fraud and greed. And the latest “reform” proposals are simply more of the same soap opera, only bigger.

Jonette Christian

Mainers for Sensible Immigration Policy


Security for cancer patients

As a cancer survivor, I urge the Legislature to accept the millions of dollars of federal funding being offered to Maine to increase access to health coverage through MaineCare, our state’s Medicaid program.

Hard-working, low-income families managing a chronic disease like cancer need the security of knowing they have quality health coverage, so they can see a doctor regularly and get lifesaving care when they need it, without facing huge medical bills.

The Legislature should leverage the federal funding to provide life-saving health coverage to nearly 70,000 low-income individuals and families in Maine.

In 2013, it’s estimated thousands of Mainers will be diagnosed with cancer and still thousands more people will die from the disease. Improving access to MaineCare coverage will increase the probability that diseases like cancer are found early, resulting in lower medical costs and an increased likelihood of survival.

I’m one of the millions of people living with cancer in this country. Simply having access to care most likely saved my life. Everyone deserves the same.

I strongly encourage our state lawmakers to accept the federal money to cover more people and save taxpayer dollars.

Jeff Bennett

Volunteer, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network


Rule of law weakened

Weak laws tend only to weaken the rule of Law. Once again the oft-tried bill to require sea-kayakers to wear personal flotation devices has risen to the fore.

Rep. Richard Malaby, R-Hancock, on behalf of just one of his constituents, has decided to work to create a regulation that he does not believe we need at the request of someone who has little faith that it will pass. Ahh, so little to do in Augusta.

If 32 percent of the drowning incidents involved kayaks, then why do we chose to focus on that group rather the the majority of drownings, which I am sure would include both commercial fishermen and recreational boaters and canoeists?

Moreover, the vast majority of sea-kayakers already wear their PFDs, and most certainly the vast majority of commercial fishermen and recreational boaters do not.

Clearly, once again, a politician is looking to get his life-saving merit badge by targeting what he considers to be an easy mark for his bill. Try this with bass fishermen and the others mentioned above, and the resultant hue and cry would curdle many a politician’s morning milk.

Please, just stop it.

Charles Kniffen


Keep the basics

The April 9 article about eliminating cursive writing, really blew my mind. Don’t we still have to “cursive” write our signature on checks, driver’s licenses, wills, hospital documents, etc.?

Maybe we don’t need to do the Palmer method in such detail as years ago, but I still feel we need to write, not print.

I know a friend who had to teach a family member to write his name, so he could apply for his driver’s permit. With all of today’s technology, we still need to keep some of the old basics.

Shirley Pagel


Two evils?

I am writing about two articles that appeared in the BDN on April 8. One story was about legalizing drugs, and the second was concerning more sales of alcoholic beverages in state.

Perhaps we should ask ourselves a very important question: Which is the lesser of two evils?

Jim Koritzky


Supporting east-west highway

In the April 2 BDN article “Unanswered questions fuel heated meeting over east-west highway,” it was reported that “No one other than [Ciabro Corp. CEO Peter] Vigue … spoke in favor of the highway proposal.”

That is true, but those of us who wanted to speak in support of the proposal were never given an opportunity to speak. I would like to think “inadvertently” chairman Peter Baldacci closed the meeting suddenly at noon without realizing the proponents had not been given a chance to speak.

I am a proponent of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Maine to have an east-west highway — with private funding and no eminent domain seizures. Vigue made his point well. No one’s property would be taken, and they will wait to announce the direction of the highway since they are still negotiating with landowners. The environment would be given high priority.

Vigue said several times that everyone will be compensated fairly for their property for those who wish to sell. He promised Garland the road would not go through that town — so the good people there will get what they want.

Pick up any atlas. You’ll find every state has some kind of east-west link with a neighboring state. Not Maine. Even our I-95 takes a sharp curve in Houlton and heads east and crosses into Canada.

Our state will continue to suffer economically until we have an east-west connection that opens the western part of Maine to Canada and stops the geographic isolation that has prevented industries from moving to Maine.

Ed Armstrong


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