Local Letters to the Editor

GOP not so grand

To the Editor:
    Who’s side is the Republican Party on? The Boston Marathon or the Boston bombers?
    Anxious to get the President at any cost are they getting the attention of the next generation of Boston bombers to warn them how to be careful with their communications?

    PRISM, a program to scan foreign phone numbers, not phone calls, for patterns, has been effective, and kept a necessary secret by all of government except the Congress, which has betrayed the American people with their revelation and blatant bugling of its existence, breaching their oath of office in the process. Sick and traitorous!
    Once upon a time Abraham Lincoln’s example of rectitude led to the founding of The Grand Old Party, (not so grand anymore).
    Did you know that Republican Peggy Goldwater, the wife of senator and presidential candidate Barry Goldwater, had been the founder of Arizona Planned Parenthood? When staff suggested she resign so as not to lose votes, both Barry and Peggy refused to surrender principle. Now a Ripofflican doesn’t dare even use the word population, much less (shudder) birth control.
    In the olden days of Republican morality, before its obvious odious collapse, I was born into a Republican family, voted that way myself, was on the Goldwater staff at the 1964 San Francisco Cow Palace Convention, but began to have doubts during the two national Nixon Conventions by which I was employed. Now I am a registered but watchful Democrat.
    Not satisfied with just wrecking the economy by pandering to scurrilous bankers, the degraded filthy politicians have become “crapitalists.” Half of the Congresspersons are on-the-job millionaires.
    In the past few days the “opposition” has launched their repeated barrages of attack rockets to damage our present chief executive in any way possible. Damn the twisted truth, full speed ahead — even if it should result in an endangerment of the American people, opening us up to sabotage and assassination.
    Nothing matters as long as the shrinking gaggle of losers can find a way, any way at all, to move back into the White House they had “performed” themselves out of with proof of moral defectiveness.
    Prostitution is not just about sex.

Charles MacArthur

Giant Yard Sale
for JD Foundation

To the Editor:
    The JD Foundation, located on the corners of Routes 15 and 16 in Abbot is ramping up for their biggest Yard Sale of the year July 4-7 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. during those four days and the Auction of the season will take place on July 6 at 4 p.m. Maine House Representative Paul Davis has graciously accepted the role of auctioneer for this exciting event.
    All kinds of wonderful items will come up for bid, including a magnificent photograph of Mt. Katahdin taken by photographer Sandy Snide. The framed photo is huge — measuring at least 24- by 36-inches and would be a centerpiece for anyone’s wall. It is valued at $250. There are also beautiful porcelain and stoneware bowls – all hand made, a stunning Art Deco clock, two beautiful antique coverlets from the 1800s, many other exciting objects and gift certificates from local businesses — from Balsam Woods Campgrounds to Hollywood Slots in Bangor.
    Additional donations are coming in but organizers still have time to accept more.
    The folks at the JD Foundation started with something unspeakably tragic and turned it into a force for good. The non-profit organization specializes in bringing about suicide prevention through awareness and education.
    According to the Maine Suicide Prevention Program website, suicide claims more lives of young people than cancer, heart disease, AIDS, birth defects, stroke, pneumonia and influenza, and chronic lung disease combined, and it is the fourth-leading cause of years of potential life lost in Maine. And the state’s worst months for suicide are typically April and May.
    Although Maine has a program under the Department of Health and Human Services, it is limited and thus the Foundation’s tireless work traveling throughout the state to speak to groups is invaluable. Cheryl Morin addresses the warning signs, depression in the case of her son, and has spent countless hours offering suicide awareness training and education and organizes activities that aim to improve the health of mind, body and soul.
    Recently the state has taken notice. State Rep. Paul Gilbert introduced a bill (LD 609), aimed at increasing suicide awareness and prevention for all school employees in public schools, something the Morins have been championing for years. The bill sailed, with unanimous agreement, through both Maine’s House and Senate and was signed into law by Gov. Paul LePage in May. Gilbert called it the most important bill of his legislative career.
    LePage has also pledged to cover the cost of training programs with $44,000 from his contingency fund. Sadly for 15-34-year-olds in Maine, suicide is the second-leading cause of death.
    The upcoming Yard Sale and Auction is the biggest event the JD Foundation holds and it helps fund all the good work the foundation does throughout the year — including warm winter clothing for those who have none to the highly successful sessions of Traumatic Incident Reduction (TIR) and LSR (which addresses chronic depression) that can actually help people of all ages cope with those terrible feelings. JD Foundation also offers 90-minute workshops covering the all-important warning signs, risk and protective factors involving someone contemplating suicide and offers practical steps to deal with that person in addition to many resources available. These trainings are all free of charge although donations are gratefully accepted.
    It’s not too late to bring items to the JD Foundation for either the Yard Sale or the Auction. Visit them online at the jdfoundation.org; they have a Facebook presence as well. Contact them at 207/876-2295 to see if they have any special requests or e-mail them at thejdfoundation@yahoo.com.
    There is something every one of us can do to help. So mark your calendars for the upcoming Yard Sale and Auction for the JD Foundation from July 4-6. It’s a cause and a foundation well-worth supporting. See you there!

Shelagh Talbot
Greenville Junction

Inspections needed

but not on the farm

To the Editor:
    I was reading the article, or I should say letter to the editor in the June Piscataquis Observer entitled “Local Maine food consumers, beware.” I have never had an issue with Maine products that are farm grown here in Maine. Though I have encountered many with the so called inspected products imported from other places. Also products that are shipped from one chain organization provider’s affiliate store to another when the sell by date (not marked so called fresh products only the location from source — sometimes). Some of these products are so old that they rot while refrigerated within a day. Some so old that my great-grandmother had less wrinkles. These are the facilities with these food products that need to be continuously monitored. Canned goods so old that the neighboring can has burst or the one you purchased does so in your storage pantry within a month. Boxed products so old that the product container is well faded in color from the fluorescent lighting or the edges of the container’s nearly worn through at the corners. These places need inspections, which may only be done on a yearly basis, sometimes longer. It is not always the owner’s fault, but the corporate chain that dictates to them what the get.
    Those that purchase from farms directly usually have the common sense to know when a product is too old and how to prepare foods from the field. Unless these laws are intended to remove the remaining farming community from Maine with its fresh produce and other products, I would place the inspection processes in the stores where the final inspection for quality should be. Just before consumption and equally inspected with food sources from outside Maine. Or maybe just one step further and place an inspector in every home as anything mom, dad, grandma may have just cooked could become contaminated. A cookie inspector ? Though if he/she passed on there could be no report filed. Woopie Pie Festival in D-F, fund-raising bake sales, and the like, would need on-the-spot inspectors. Homemade foods found outside the home now contraband, since no government inspection seal is attached. There goes the Sunday picnics. Well I suppose the legislature has found a new jobs-creation niche, and a higher pay level as a state inspector than minimum wage.
    Most contamination comes from over handling, usually by the public. Some foods become toxic due to age. Maybe an individual packaging law is needed though it would add to the costs, it too would create jobs. I would rather think these laws are designed by larger corporations to eliminate competition in their low quality shipped across the nation products. Get rid of the remaining farmers, blight the land, and pave the land with an East-West Corridor for the global market of stale foods.
    The pollutants that will arrive with products to create a highway, use a highway, or that may be transported across that highway, will surely go far to increase contamination.
    Leave our farmers alone with their fresh products, leave grandma alone and allow her to bake for her grandchildren, neighbors, family and friends. I feel safer with farm products from Maine than corporate shuffled products from around the globe. Worry about the pollutants we are importing into the state for profit. Our legislators need to become informed and study in depth what they pass and its effects that may ensue.

Eric A. Tuttle

Thanks for the great cooking class

To the Editor:
    I want to let everyone know what a terrific class Cooking Matters for Adults was. It was offered through the Piscataquis Public Health Council for six weeks. We met at SeDoMoCha School in Dover-Foxcroft to learn ways to economically and tastefully eat more nutritious meals.
    Obesity rates are going up along with the side effects of being overweight: diabetes, heart disease and some cancers. I hope more people will have the opportunity to participate in this class. By providing professionals, including a registered nurse, dietician and chef, many individuals may learn to live a healthier lifestyle. The class teaches how to eat better without being economically stressing on your grocery budget. The illnesses brought on by an unhealthy lifestyle can have devastating financial and emotional effects on the whole family.
    My teenage daughter came to the classes with me and enjoyed it very much. The skills that we learned together in the hands-on supportive environment will last a lifetime. It is most important to teach a healthy lifestyle while children are young and also for adults to be good role models.
    The availability of classes of this nature is so important for a healthy country. Opportunity and education, along with the desire and motivation to live a healthier lifestyle, can change an individual’s quality of life.
    A sincere “thank you” to all who had a part in sponsoring this class! For information about future classes, call 564-4159.

Debbi Young

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