August 26, 2019
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Monday, April 8, 2019: A portrait of Maine, Collins can learn from Golden, power of a publicly owned utility

A Portrait of Maine

It’s good news that two couples are remodeling the Brooklin Inn. Their description of their new home as “quaint” is condescending and a sure mark that they are from away. Berenice Abbot’s A Portrait of Maine could enlighten them.

Peg Cruikshank

Corea

Collins can learn from Golden

Sen. Susan Collins was in my town of Farmington last Saturday for a Maine GOP round table event, with tickets costing $10. No one I know remembers the last time she had a town hall anywhere. When I write or call her, I receive a “your views are important to me” email in response, with minimal explanation of her thinking on the issue. She has complained about too many of her constituents calling her.

A week earlier, in the very same building, Rep. Jared Golden held a health care town hall, free and open to anyone. He competently answered a multitude of questions in public, questions not submitted ahead of time. He stayed later than planned to meet with people hoping to speak with him. A few days later, someone in his office called me to follow up on an issue I had written to him about. He wanted to explain Golden’s position and what he is doing on the issue. While I had him on the line, I brought up some concerns I have about other issues, and the staffer was interested in my thoughts and spent time with me discussing them.

I know Collins is a senior senator and Golden is a freshman, but Collins could learn from him.

Anne Marie Wolf

Farmington

Substance use disorder and shame

Shame — it’s a feeling most of us have experienced at some point in our lives. We felt alone, unworthy and full of self-doubt. We usually remember those isolated times because they impacted us so deeply.

For people with active substance use disorder, shame is not a one-time feeling they are able to escape from. In a society that forces those in active addiction into the shadows, shame is a constant companion, a constant feeling of inadequacy and a constant sense of incompetence.

Feeling undeserving of help, shame becomes a barrier to self-help and keeps people in the cycle of addiction, with shame feeding the disease.

Healing from shame calls for a radical approach. It requires a safe, accepting environment where one can build trust, allow vulnerability and feel worthy of getting treatment. Providing overdose prevention sites is one answer to shame and this desperate disease. These sites have not existed in the United States is because of the shame, stigma and discrimination our culture brands people with when they have the disease of substance use disorder.

Let us all examine how we contribute everyday with our thoughts and actions about people who suffer from this terrible disease.

Elaine Shamos

Portland

Power of a publicly owned utility

Rep. Seth Berry’s bill to create the Maine Power Delivery Authority deserves serious consideration. I would suggest that this consideration include a close look at the Nebraska Public Power District, a consumer-owned public utility that has been operating successfully for decades.

Compare the annual average electric rate in Nebraska, over 9 cents/kWh in Nebraska to 15.8 cents/kWh on my most recent electric bill in Maine. You will likely be hard pressed to find any Nebraskan who will argue for privatization of their electric system.

The argument that the private sector can do anything better and more efficiently than government simply doesn’t hold up in this case.

Larry Theye

Belfast



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