Important message

The editorial “ Sexual Assault and ‘Proof’” is an important message, and I applaud the BDN for running it.

It states, “It’s important for people to recognize this dynamic of sexual assault — that the lack of proof is another weapon to wield against survivors.” The former “Breaking the Silence” group in Blue Hill came to know this all too well.

On top of suffering physical and emotional consequences, victims are isolated by the distancing of people around them who require “proof.” It cannot be said enough how rare false reports are. While our judicial system is predicated on “innocent until proven guilty,” remember that those who say they have been sexually abused are also innocent until proven otherwise.

Mary Offutt

Deer Isle

Ignoring research

It is common practice for those who support pesticide use over organic practices to ignore medical research as Melinda Moyer of Slate magazine did in the BDN on Feb. 4.

In a clinical report from the American Academy of Pediatrics from Oct. 22, 2012, the doctors concluded, “In terms of health advantages, organic diets have been convincingly demonstrated to expose consumers to fewer pesticides associated with human disease.”

For children, reducing pesticides by providing organic food is like giving them health-producing medicine.

Nancy Allen


Right direction

Debating whether health care is a right or a privilege is to miss a much more important issue: the common good. With few exceptions, we all agree that an educated population is in the best interest of us all, so we chip in by taxes to pay for our schools. For everyone. We also chip in for our roads, police, defense, etc., in support of the common good.

So why make an exception for health care? Isn’t a healthy population good for the nation as a whole and, therefore, good for all of us? Whether we pay for it by premiums, co-pays and deductibles, or whether we take the much more efficient route of a tax-supported system, as most other first-world countries do, supporting a healthy population is good for us all.

Expanding the number of Mainers cared for through MaineCare will be a good step in the right direction.

Peter Rees


Four more years

Had enough of Gov. Paul LePage? Can’t stand the thought that this man might actually be re-elected? We know a solid majority of the population can’t stand the thought of this either, but if independent Eliot Cutler and Democrat Mike Michaud divide the vote against him, he’ll be back pontificating and bad-mouthing everyone in sight — for another four years. It’s time now that we start thinking about what we can do.

Here’s a simple, straightforward idea: Two weeks before the election, the Michaud and Cutler camps should take an honest look at the most recent poll, and if one or the other is at least 10 points behind, he should do us all a favor, drop out and throw his support to the leading candidate.

We can’t have another four years of LePage, running our beautiful state into the ground. Let’s urge Michaud and Cutler to take the pledge: “I will drop out if it looks like I can’t win, and I agree I will urge my supporters to back the leading candidate.”

Ron Poitras


Expanding Medicaid

Perhaps the most damaging legislation facing Maine right now is the threat of expanding medicaid. A recent WABI TV news interview shows how important it is to first take care of the many dependents like the elderly and those with disabilities who absolutely need additional care, before ever thinking of allowing able-bodied men and women to receive Medicaid benefits.

Maine has a relatively low unemployment rate. New jobs are available for people who are willing to work. Adding an unnecessary health benefit to those who are unwilling to contribute to society will be a devastating hit not only to the elderly and disabled folks who need care but to all taxpayers who will have to pay for it.

There is no room for politics in this issue. Let the Department of Health and Human Services first meet the needs of those already on wait lists before allowing legislators to pass such a horrendous bill. According to the Alexander Group, it is estimated that the pending proposal for Medicaid expansion will cost more than $800 million in state funds over 10 years. That projection is based on certain risk factors, like the growing poverty rate, the costs of care, the number of people who will drop private insurance and diminishing federal funding support.

We simply cannot afford it. Please, call or write your representatives and the media for the good of our state.

Mark Wellman