October 21, 2019
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Saturday, September 14, 2019: Intellectually disabled need a voice, protect the Endangered Species Act, vaping has no attraction

No allure to vaping

Here’s what I don’t get about the current teenage vaping craze. Remember when smoking was cool. Think Bogie uncorking a bottle of champagne, cigarette dangling from his lips, one eye closed from the smoke and Ingrid Bergman looking at him with love in her eyes. A memorable scene in “Casablanca.”

Compare with kids today, a plastic stick in their mouths, exuding huge clouds of white effluvia. No longing looks from girl or boyfriends because they are obscured in the miasma. Well, at least it may reduce the teenage pregnancy rate.

After 50 years practicing medicine I’ve seen some silly fads. This is one. Here’s hoping it will fade out before more kids harm themselves.

Robert M. Friedlander

Protect Endangered Species Act

When it comes to the success of the Endangered Species Act, one cannot deny its success.

Ninety-nine percent of species listed as endangered and threatened survive and many of those recover within their designated timeline. Scientists say more than 227 species would likely have gone extinct without the Endangered Species Act.

It’s also worth noting that wildlife watching and outdoor tourism are a national goldmine and growing our economy more by the day. Protected wild spaces and wildlife are the foundation of a healthy outdoor economy, one that is sustainable, and does not sacrifice people and places for dirty fuels profit.

Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King must preserve this vital safety net for imperiled species

and oppose any effort to weaken or change the Endangered Species Act.

Penelope Andrews

Kind-hearted people

On Sept. 9 as I was approaching my left turn off busy Route 1A onto the Winkumpaugh Road, I noticed that all three lanes of traffic had slowed down. At that turn there are two lanes heading toward Bangor and one lane toward Ellsworth.

Right in the middle of Route 1A stood a black dog (maybe 45 pounds) looking at all the traffic. Every single car and truck had stopped in all three lanes, waiting to see what the dog would do. It just went from one car and truck to another and stood there, maybe searching for its owner.

The dog finally stepped onto my road where there were three cars stopped. One woman tried to lure the dog with a biscuit. No luck there. The traffic on 1A finally slowly began to move. The dog followed my car for a bit then stopped.

I have no idea what ultimately happened. For the dog’s sake, I hope it had such guardian angels as were on Route 1A that day. What I saw convinced me ever more that most people are kind hearted, no matter how they vote.

Shirley Smith

Intellectually disabled need a voice

I want to thank Maine Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner Jeanne Lambrew for identifying the need to recruit direct support workers for the elderly. I hope this strategy includes recruiting direct support professionals to work with individuals that have intellectual disabilities and autism.

When reviewing the panel of individuals on the Aging and Long Term Services Advisory Group, I did not see anyone specifically assigned to reflect issues with the intellectually disabled. I believe we need someone on that group who can accurately represent the dire workforce needs associated with the intellectually disabled.

Ray Nagel


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