My message to Mills about golf
Gov. Janet Mills’ coronavirus guidance for golf courses states, “People can only play golf in the county they live in.” I am again requesting that her administration change this guidance to, “Maine residents can golf on any golf course of their choosing in the State of Maine.”
Once they have quarantined for 14 days, her golf rules allow out-of-state people to golf on any golf course in Maine, but Maine residents cannot! Not right! Not fair!
I know some Maine residents who have planned a golf or camping trip for June 1 in a county that they don’t live in. People need lead time to plan ahead, make camping reservations and tee times ahead.
Golf courses and campgrounds need advance lead time.
Is Mills aware that there are many golf courses that financially depend on revenue from golfers in nearby counties?
Golfers get in their cars, drive to a golf course, golf and go back home. What difference does it make what golf course they golf on at this point in time?
Does Mills have any idea the negative financial impact that her golf rules have had? Is she aware that “social distancing” is built into golf etiquette? Is she aware that golf courses can be one of the safest places to be during this pandemic?
On May 12, a headline from the Portland Press Herald read that, “Maine drops residency rule for recreational marijuana businesses.” Out of state people can sell “gateway drugs” in Maine, and Maine residents can’t golf in other counties. Unbelievable! Outrageous!
Response to LePage’s letter
In a recent letter to the BDN, Paul LePage all of a sudden says that he cares about poverty and domestic violence and substance abuse: “Excessive, lengthy closures are having a devastating effect. Increased unemployment leads to poverty, hunger, domestic violence and substance abuse.”
But for eight years, LePage dismantled programs that addressed the issues he now claims to care about.
His policies helped make Maine the most food-insecure state in New England and third-worst in the nation, and created a severe rise in childhood poverty, which accelerated rapidly in the first five years of his administration.
He reportedly misused private funds donated to fight domestic violence by directing them elsewhere.
During his administration, 12,198 calls to Maine’s child abuse hotline went unanswered in one year alone; over a period of 8 years, most of which he was governor, physical abuse of children jumped 52 percent in Maine.
While the state was averaging more than one death a day from addiction, LePage fought and vetoed legislation aimed at saving the lives of people living with addiction and refused to broaden the accessibility of Narcan.
LePage denied more than 70,000 Mainers health care coverage for years, even after Maine people voted to enact it.
LePage’s claim of caring about these issues doesn’t match up with his record.
The cost of this fight
As families prepared for Memorial Day, I thought about how we honor those who have died in war and how we should be recognizing those who have lost their lives to the coronavirus. Many people have referred to the current pandemic as a “war” against an invisible foe. We are all part of the fight and those who have died have paid the “ultimate sacrifice.”
Think about those Americans for just a moment. We were approaching 100,000 dead heading into last weekend. Since the end of World War II, over a period of 75 years, there have been more than 150,000 men and women who died while serving during wartime. This includes Korea, Vietnam, Desert Storm, Grenada, Panama, and all the campaigns and operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan — every fight since 1945.
In our fight against the coronavirus, we have lost almost that many in just three months! And there are still people in this country who call the pandemic a hoax or who think it is blown out of proportion. 100,000 dead Americans in three months is not a hoax. It is not overblown. It is a tragedy that we are still struggling to bring under control.
Recently, the president ordered flags lowered to half-staff over the past weekend to recognize the sacrifice of those 100,000 Americans. While the flags would have been lowered to honor the military dead over the weekend absent the virus, it is still the right thing to do. But there are other, more important ways you can honor those who have died. The most important is doing your part to make sure more don’t die. Wear a mask, wash your hands, keep at least six feet from other people — follow the CDC guidelines. Even if you don’t believe in coronavirus, it believes in you!