Grateful for Maine leadership
As an “elderly” woman (age 72); a cancer survivor with a compromised immune system; and a resident of OceanView, a retirement community composed entirely of senior citizens, I know I am at great risk of contracting COVID-19. Nevertheless, I feel relatively safe because of the leadership of Gov. Janet Mills, House Speaker Sara Gideon, and Senate President Troy Jackson. Rather than waiting for the federal government to take aggressive measures to fight COVID-19, leaders in Maine acted quickly to ensure the safety and well-being of us all.
Democrats, Republicans, and independents worked collaboratively and tirelessly to approve an additional $1 million for COVID-19 testing and $15 million to support direct health care providers who are caring for seniors, people with disabilities, and children with behavioral health needs. The legislation also provides funds to ensure that children across the state continue to receive free school lunches, to expand eligibility for unemployment benefits and to help small businesses pay their employees and stay afloat.
While we continue to receive contradictory messages and failed promises from the Trump administration, the Maine Legislature has set an example for the rest of the country to follow, including the federal government. Thanks to the work of Gov. Mills, House Speaker Gideon, Senate President Jackson and other Maine leaders, we will survive this crisis and be better for it. We are grateful to them all.
Nancy A. Wanderer
University of Maine School of Law
We need a Trust for a Healthy Maine
With the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, the youth vaping epidemic and an under-resourced public health system, we can see what happens when political support for public health wanes.
The Maine Public Health Association (MPHA) has been a strong advocate for passage of LD 1961, An Act to Establish the Trust for a Healthy Maine. This bill would isolate Maine’s annual Tobacco Settlement revenue from political whims and dedicate it to planful public health investments. Protecting this special annuity is critically important, and we thank the Bangor Daily News’ editorial board for voicing its support.
Public support is also strong. In 2019, MPHA received funding from Maine Cancer Foundation to conduct a public opinion poll about a range of tobacco-related issues. The data show that among Maine voters, 91 percent believe tobacco settlement funds should be used to prevent young people from starting to smoke and to help current tobacco users to quit, and 82% support creating a Trust, as outlined in LD 1961, to assure that tobacco settlement funds are used primarily to support public health efforts, including programs that prevent youth tobacco use.
Thank you to the BDN and Maine voters for recognizing the importance of investing in public health. And thank you to the Maine CDC and all of Maine’s public health and healthcare professionals for your efforts to protect public health. We look forward to the reconvening of the Maine Legislature so we can continue this important effort to dedicate sustainable funds for Maine’s public health system.
Maine Public Health Association
Fighting side by side for natural resources
I believe Hydro-Quebec is currently trying to buy the expected Central Maine Power corridor referendum in November with their ads. A loophole in Maine’s election law allows a foreign influence to spend money in a referendum election. Some ads even compared Baxter State Park with The Jacques-Cartier National Park in Quebec to promote Quebec’s care for scenic beauty.
This is really interesting that Hydro-Quebec would use this comparison, since they once tried to build a dam that would have destroyed this park.
This park is located in a very beautiful river valley surrounded by mountains. Similar to Maine’s Kennebec River, whitewater rafting, canoeing and kayaking are some of the many recreation sports enjoyed on this beautiful river. In 1972, Hydro-Quebec tried to build a hydroelectric dam that would have destroyed it. The Quebec people fought against this for three years. Hydro-Quebec finally gave up due to unpopular support. Hydro-Quebec’s new ads promote Maine as being side by side with its Quebec neighbors. This is the only truth these ads reflect. The Quebec people fought to save their natural resources, as should the Maine people. Side by side.
Old Canada Road National Scenic Byway
Can you dig it?
Here’s a great idea, Happy spring!
Practice social distancing by going out this spring and find any last fall seeds, pine cones, wildflower seeds, whatever, in your back yards or along your favorite routes. Think of it as a treasure hunt.
Bring a spade, shovel, your own two hands, seedling bags or whatever works. Go out and plant! Feel the spring sun upon you and the joy of creating a new life.
Practice social distancing and help recover the planet at the same time. Can you dig it?
People helping people
With the coronavirus spreading, it is sounding hopeful for those in need to receive help from our political leaders. If true, and help will come for many in need, then hats off to them.
One more step that could help is for those on Social Security who are rich — millionaires and billionaires alike — to forfeit their Social Security checks for a few months. They could put it back into the fund so that the Social Security Administration could share it with all those who barely can survive and afford to live on their checks. Wouldn’t this be a wonderful suggestion of helping one another during this crisis in America?
Anyone who receives a Social Security check, but has plenty to live on without the check, could do the same. People helping people. Isn’t this what life is all about?
A note about electability
Please stop talking about the electability of a woman to be president of the United States. It is racist or sexist to elect or not elect a person based on race or gender. When the person with the same agenda and values as the majority of people in this country runs for office, they will win the nomination regardless of race or gender.
Be it good or bad, that is exactly what happened in the past two elections. Obviously the right woman has not run for office yet.