Local Letters to the Editor

D-F Legion is not dead

To the Editor:
    Dear friends, the American Legion is helping veterans next week. On Fathers Day … you’re invited to bring Dad to Tysen Ober’s Sunday Dinner on June 16 at 5 p.m. to have some spaghetti and lots of homemade goodies in support of the Wounded Warriors Project (alloberamerica.org) in which he is trekking across America in support of.

    Then on Friday, June 21st at 5 p.m. for a more potluck menu (help would be greatly appreciated) we are helping a local veteran, Steve Mace who is recovering from his surgery to remove cancer from his spine. Karen Goodman is the chair of this event at 564-3073.
    This is what the Legion is about … helping our brother veterans, from our community. If you are a veteran, please consider finding out more what is behind those empty looking walls at 112 Park St.

Ed Conroy, historian
Post 29 Chadbourne Merrill
Dover Foxcroft

Local Maine food consumers, beware

To the Editor:
    There is a Big Lie Movement afoot in Maine to end all state food safety regulations for locally produced foods. Meat, poultry, and dairy products, including, raw milk, and home baked goods, are up for grabs as “uninspected and untested” in various legislative food bills, LD 475, 1282, and 1287, to name just a few, and are now up before the state legislature.
    If passed, these bills will prove the downfall of the local foods’ movement here in Maine. They will result in food borne illnesses, deaths, FDA intervention, loss of liability insurances, and current state licensed Maine food producers, like us —well over 1,000 businesses and farms — losing their livelihoods and farm viability.
    No one wants unsafe food and no one should buy it. You should insist on wholesome safe foods from local producers, particularly, vendors at farmers’ markets, and ask to see their state licenses, which should be properly displayed per state requirements governing farmers’ markets.
    Sadly, no longer is any state agency or legislator effectively looking out for your food safety requirements. They are bogged down in the Big Lie Quagmire, bullying and being bullied.
    The Maine Department of Agriculture lacks the spine and concern to back its own regulations, and now is waffling by “accommodating” these deregulating food bills through ineffectual amendments. In classic bureaucratic fashion the Department wants out of any conflict or controversy and has left us scientific, law-abiding, state-licensed food producers in the trenches and the food consumer at great risk.
    In addition, the public is being misinformed and manipulated by emotionally-charged, confused and dishonest individuals who want us to believe they will starve if Maine’s food regulations are kept in place. Far from it.
    These bills have been pushed through by individuals preying upon public sentiment and ignorance.
    Any responsible conscionable person wants food safety regulations kept in place. In any way to endanger another human life, particularly, en masse, is heinous. Inspection, testing and oversight, which have been reasonable here in Maine are clearly needed and have worked well for decades for those of us who are responsible, honest and intelligent individuals.
    Of great concern to all, is the majority of the Ag Committee under the Big Lie spell. These are most of the Democrats sitting on the Committee. True to human nature, this segment of the Ag Committee has succumbed to brain washing, the Big Lie’s modus operandi. These particular members of the Ag Committee allowing these bills to move forward into the state legislature clearly have no concern for your food safety. Do they have a conscience?
    Your safe consumption of local foods that have had modest oversight for things like the presence of fecal material, penicillin, or salmonella is of no concern to these individuals. You don’t matter. The people don’t matter. You can die from untested food products which have toxin producing bacteria that are not detected due to lack of testing, testing that has been in place for decades and has been effective here in Maine. This is serious stuff. Is lack of concern for your well-being a democratic mind set or a tyrant’s mindset?
    Our most basic individual right in a democracy is inherent, the preservation of our lives. It should be treated with the greatest of concern and respect and you should demand this from state officials governing your public health.
    You need to immediately contact your state legislator and demand that none of these bills pass as the state’s current food safety regulations have and adequately continue to protect public health.

Brian Call and Joan Gibson Levant

Abe Lincoln wouldn’t recognize his party today

To the Editor:
    Does a tiny gaggle of billionaires lust to take a border/border stripe out of the Mainer hide?
    Maine Americans seldom seem, in an entire lifetime, to have “more money than they can spend,” being, of necessity, cash conservators. Maine people’s affordable pleasures are often low-key moments of physical activity, maybe afoot in the countryside, hunting, fishing, hiking or paddling, organically powered by humble calories derived from a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Croquet anyone?
    Not so rich Americans, with their gated wealth, perhaps migrating to and from one of their several winter quarters, honking across the sky in solitary splendor, companionless, pushed by streaming carbonated contrails of their private business jets, lunching on priceless Russian fish eggs, introverted, determined billionaires self-driven by their cash compulsions, a lust for freight car loads of pennies acquired every nano-second.
    “Of, By and For” Abraham Lincoln who had created a Republican Party for People and anti-Slavery, is now a party sadly become the small exclusive $$$$$ Party. Abe, would find little or nothing to admire in today’s covetous strangulator membership clique seemingly organized only for the golfing buddy, now enabled by laws passed by scowling Congressional minions, over half of them on-the-job millionaires. Some of us born into Republican families can no longer endure its narrowing selfishness.
    In Maine, East/West Highway Proponent “Never Give Up” Peter Vigue’s secret investor group seems dead-set on bulldozing a harsh oxy-chemical heavy truck private noise blaring toll road, gouged out of the only Maine Woods that America still can claim. Would his investor buddies care enough to make a dying wish to have their cremated ashes scattered along its asphalt?
    What would it profit a solitary man with six bodyguards if he should “carefully” butcher the Maine woods, but in the process, lose his own Maine soul, [and take ours along with it]?
    Valuable Vacationland no more to be? A theft of Maine?
    Rural Maine’s wealth of working forestland, is our own balsam scented oxygen factory, not soot and stench, and certainly not a citizen -approved place for needless Piracy of Place by Pavement.

Charles MacArthur

Eliminating drug coverage is not 
the answer

To the Editor:
    Many older Mainers are struggling with the rising costs of food, health care and basic, every day expenses. Imagine not having money to heat your home in the winter. Imagine having to choose between food and life-saving medication. Maine’s Drugs for the Elderly program (DEL) helps pay for prescription drugs for low-income Mainers who are 62 or older and not yet eligible for Medicare. The proposed elimination of the DEL to help balance Maine’s budget will be nothing short of devastating to the 80,000 individuals in the program. The state has alternatives. At-risk seniors and the disabled do not.
    To suggest that DEL beneficiaries can get their prescription drugs cheaply at national pharmacy chains, hospitals or through discounts from the pharmaceutical companies themselves is short-sighted. First of all, not every brand-name drug has a generic equivalent for a lower cost, and while it might be possible to get a limited supply of a drug directly from the pharmaceutical company, this is not a sustainable option. Our most vulnerable residents need a sustainable solution that makes sense. They need the DEL.
    While I recognize the need for a balanced budget, eliminating prescription drug coverage for at-risk elderly people is not the best way to save money. Individuals in the DEL have nothing to spare. In fact, eliminating the DEL could force many who are in the program into institutional care – a much more expensive outcome for the State.

Priscilla Parisien
AARP Maine Executive Council

Get the Rest of the Story

Thank you for reading your4 free articles this month. To continue reading, and support local, rural journalism, please subscribe.