May 22, 2019
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Saturday, March 16, 2019: Prevent elder exploitation, talk to the greeters, paid sick leave for students who work

Paid sick leave for students who work

While teaching at the university level I have begun to realize a plight faced by many single-parent students. These hard working students face challenges while trying to raise a family. All the while attending college to better themselves and those around them. In an attempt to work around school and parenting needs and scheduling, these students have developed creative ways to generate a paycheck. Doing simple yet physically demanding tasks like house cleaning or carpentry, these young single parents have supported their young children, paid toward their own education, and all the while contributed to the tax base.

At the best of times, this self-sufficiency instills a pride that is a template for their own and their children’s future lives. But it is fragile. A simple cold or bout of flu throws a wrench into the best laid plans and the week, month and often semester must be rearranged — if not even scrapped out right. With money lost, important family projects are put on hold or canceled. The effects of such a loss can mean the failure of this family’s dreams for the future.

I believe that the LD 369 paid sick leave bill would help remedy this problem.

These students have not asked for special treatment, but rather a chance to continue with the difficult task of positioning themselves and their family’s future toward a brighter tomorrow. A tomorrow in which they can contribute to the best of what we as humankind are capable of.

James Strickland


Prevent elder exploitation

Our senior citizens need help in many ways. Key among these needs is protection of their assets and their right to live out their remaining years with some quality of life. Maine people are thrifty and inventive and plan, in their own way, for those final days, even if that only means owning one’s home outright.

Eventually, most seniors find themselves alone and able to manage their life with help. Then, there comes a tapping, “as of someone gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.” However, unlike in Edgar Allan Poe’s poem, “The Raven,” it seems to the trusting senior that someone is here to help. Sadly, statistics tell us that this is often not the case after being exploited of their assets, health, and dignity by those — including relatives — who are only thinking of themselves.

That trusting senior dies broken and alone.

There is much thought and work needed to prevent this heinous situation; meaningful punishment for the perpetrators would be a start.

As a master of social work student at the University of Maine, I strongly support this initiative and urge our legislators to enact LD 316, “An Act To Protect Adults 66 Years of Age and Older from Financial and Other Types of Exploitation through Theft by Deception” into law now.

Melody M. Joliat


Talk to the greeters

With all of the reports from several states of Walmart getting rid of the positions for greeters, I feel that the BDN missed the boat insofar as doing stories about the greeters at the Walmarts in the area it covers. Those greeters may (or may not) have been in wheelchairs but many of them have disabilities and and could be in the same situation as the greeters from other states.

Walmart made this policy only in a few states, and has now offered people “host” jobs, which if they sign the acceptance paper saying they agree with the job description they will have to lift 25 pounds unaided and climb ladders. One can not imagine why this requirement would be there for a person who they say their job will be checking receipts and keeping carts organized. However, if the person signs this, what stops the company from again changing the job description? If the person couldn’t carry 25 pounds a certain distance or climb a ladder, can the company legally fire them because the had formally signed the acceptance paper? These greeters don’t think of these ramifications, and Walmart has to be watched.

So, since the Bangor Daily has done nothing about this story before, perhaps this is a new angle you might want to investigate to help the other disabled people in the area.

Anny Seavey

Southwest Harbor


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