High EpiPen cost puts kids at risk

I learned how dangerous food allergies can be to children when I was contacted by a constituent whose son suffers from a severe food allergy. That’s when I fully began to understand the importance of EpiPens.

She asked me to make schools safer for children with food allergies, so I co-sponsored legislation that became law to allow schools to train staff to administer auto injectors to kids with unknown allergies.

Nearly 6 million U.S. children have a food allergy. It can be life-threatening and can make simply going to school dangerous. One in five children will have an allergic reaction to food while at school, with teenagers and young adults at the highest risk of fatal food-induced anaphylaxis.

Luckily, there is medication available to treat allergic reactions, epinephrine, that is usually injected using an EpiPen.

Previously, Maine schools stocked epinephrine for children with known food allergies, but now they are able to help all children who have a reaction. Due to its shelf life, a school must purchase EpiPens yearly.

I was outraged to learn the price of EpiPens has shot up more than 500 percent — $600 for a two-pack — since 2007. That’s when Mylan acquired the product. The company has not adequately explained why the price has skyrocketed.

Congress is now investigating this extreme cost increase. I hope they will continue to push Mylan for answers. We must get to the bottom of the situation that could put life-saving medication out of reach for schools.

Rep. Stanley Short Jr.


Turcotte a bold leader

This election, the voters in District 125 — part of Bangor — have the chance to place in the Legislature a bold and courageous leader. Mike Turcotte is that leader.

An independent, Turcotte is not into party politics. His primary interest is expanding Bangor’s and Maine’s economic future and creating more job opportunities for the next generation of Mainers. In the five years I’ve know Turcotte, he is constantly devising new ways to bring Maine’s economy into the 21st century. He wants to lay the foundations necessary to attract and recruit businesses that will not only keep our younger Mainers in state, but also draw millennials from away.

He is passionate about protecting the environment, supporting our schools, caring for our elderly and moving more families out of poverty. He is an out-of-the-box thinker with practical ideas, yet understands first hand the daily struggles of living paycheck to paycheck. Most importantly, he is not afraid to speak truth to power, and he will fight for our kids, the less fortunate and elderly.

William Dorrity


Poliquin should denounce ad

I would like to ask Rep. Bruce Poliquin to denounce the television ad with the mothers complaining about a bill that would have let schools weigh their students. This ad — sponsored by the National Republican Congressional Committee, which supports his re-election — is a serious lie about Emily Cain, and its sponsors apparently think it is appropriate to use women’s weight issues as part of its attempt to get officials at all levels of government elected.

Cain acknowledges she has struggled with her weight, as many women in Maine have. She would never use that experience to hurt or demean any child, especially girls and women, and it is very wrong for the National Republican Congressional Committee to use it in a campaign ad. It shows how completely insensitive they are and how they will use any issue to get a Republican elected.

Maybe Poliquin thinks it’s OK for them do this because Donald Trump does the same thing. How can these candidates behave so completely horribly toward women?

Betty LaForge


Zeigler for House District 96

I was delighted last winter when Democrat Stanley Paige Zeigler Jr. announced he was running for the Maine House District 96 seat. After retiring from a 35 year career in the Merchant Marine, Zeigler jumped into serving our local community with dedication and enthusiasm. He is vice chair of our local school board, on the Unity Area Recycling Board and convened our local caucus for the presidential election. He’s repeatedly stepped up to the plate and done the research necessary to be an informed participant.

As a deck officer in the Merchant Marine, Zeigler worked 24/7 with men and women of different nationalities, views and temperaments. Out there on the oceans of the world he learned the necessity of working together to keep their ship afloat. I believe these skills will serve him well as our representative in Augusta.

Zeigler has been interested in politics as long as I have known him, and I strongly believe he will bring that passion and energy to the House to best serve his constituents. He attended all the town meetings of our district, which includes Belmont, Liberty, Lincolnville, Montville, Morrill, Palermo and Searsmont.

I hope others will join me in voting for him this November. I think he will be great.

Bernice Nadler


Kornfield committed to education

As we approach the new legislative year, it is important to have a proven representative who will work for education, health care and good paying jobs. Democratic Rep. Tori Kornfield will continue to resist the negative efforts of the governor and fight for the state to meet its obligation to fund 55 percent of the cost of education voters approved a decade ago. Experience counts.

I have known Kornfield for 20 years. She was one of my son’s teachers at Bangor High School. I saw her support and advocate for him as he dealt with dyslexia. Now, 20 years later, he is a successful firefighter for the city of Saco and holds a degree in paramedicine. I am sure her support contributed to his accomplishments.

As an educator, I recognize her commitment to the students of Bangor over the her 30-year career. I am sure she brings the same commitment and experience to all the children of Maine. Her dedication to Maine’s students no matter their ZIP code is evident by her service on the Legislature’s Education and Cultural Affairs Committee.

I encourage others to join me to help win her re-election for House District 125.

Andrew Sarto