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Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014: Marijuana cultivation, Fox Hill, Affordable Care Act


Marijuana education

The latest member of the Ford family was recently convicted of running a marijuana operation in Monroe. The family is guilty of cultivating 100 plants and is headed to prison at an annual cost of tens of thousands of dollars.

At the same time, Medical Marijuana Caregivers is offering free classes to Lincoln millworkers interesting in growing these same plants.

Would our money be better spent having the Fords teach these students?

James Miller


June vote

Three men on the Camden Select Board decided to take away my right to vote. I am one of those young professionals who would benefit from McLean operating a residential recovery center at Fox Hill.

I am a single father of a 3-year-old daughter, and I rent an apartment in Camden. I want to work where I live. I want my daughter to attend school here. I have to drive a long distance to work, and I was hoping that I could apply for a finance or administration management job at McLean for which I am qualified.

I know I am not the only one who feels betrayed by members of the select board. Do they want all the businesses and young families to move away? Why would they not at least allow us to vote on this issue? If the town decided to vote this down, I would gladly accept this decision, but now I feel cheated of the opportunity to vote.

I never expected that three men would dare to interrupt the town meeting form of government to please a small group of vocal opponents. They took away the voting rights of an entire town — that is their legacy. I am writing McLean to encourage them to petition the town to put this zoning amendment on the June ballot.

Nathan Dalpini


Orange smiles

A big thank you to the Penobscot Valley Ski Club and the other organizations who put on Sunday’s Ski Bash at the Bangor Municipal Golf Course. It was so encouraging to see the many people enjoying the great outdoors on a Sunday afternoon. The volunteers were exceptionally friendly and helpful. It was quite nonthreatening for our family of novices. Thank you for providing the equipment for cross-country skiing. The expense of some sports prohibits us from even trying them.

If one of their goals is to promote lifelong fitness, I think they are reaching it by introducing a sport that many would otherwise not have a chance to try. I would also add that the array of free, healthy snacks available was refreshing, considering that many snacks offered at events are not healthy. Those orange smiles tasted so good after skiing. I do believe that we will be enjoying more cross-country skiing this winter.

Wendy Smith


Medicaid story

At 12 years old, I started babysitting and became very much in demand in my neighborhood. When I reached age 14, I lied about my age to get a job at a local restaurant. I went on to nursing school and joined the Army.

I was a single mother of five children, my youngest severely disabled. I continued to work.

When we arrived in Maine in January 2001, we became homeless, and I applied for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. Because of the wonderful generosity of Brenda Davis of Crossroads Ministries, I reactivated my nursing license in Massachusetts to apply for licensure in Maine and said goodbye to welfare in September 2001.

In December 2012, I almost lost my life to a rare infection, and my employer laid me off from my job in January. I qualified for Medicaid, which was a godsend, as I needed monthly tests.

Due to long-term side effects of the infection, I found I could no longer work. I became eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (disability for those who’ve paid into Social Security), but to my dismay, the state stopped my Medicaid, stating my disability payment was too high. (If you knew the amount, you would probably laugh or wince). I had to cancel all medical appointments.

This month I met with my primary physician, my first medical visit since July, thanks to the Affordable Care Act. But my insurance plan carries a high deductible and doesn’t cover certain medications that I need.

What is wrong with this picture?

Gail McMichael



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