The University of New England has spent many years studying the feasibility of, and now planning for, a College of Dental Medicine in Maine. This is a college for the entire state with students learning and practicing at community clinics all over Maine.

UNE takes its mission seriously in responding to the critical shortage of dental health professionals, just as it has with the College of Osteopathic Medicine, College of Health Professions and new College of Pharmacy — making UNE the largest provider of practicing health care professionals in the state of Maine.

The Legislature is currently considering a bill for a referendum for bond funds to support dental clinics in Maine. While the bonds will be awarded through a competitive process, UNE is positioned to move a dental clinic forward.

LD 1798 emphasizes building capacity at community health clinics to serve the thousands of Mainers who don’t have adequate access to oral health care and end up costing all of us thousands of dollars in visits to hospitals and emergency rooms.

Education at UNE emphasizes community service, and graduates of our dental school would also earn public health certification.

Recruiting students from Maine with a commitment to public service, then placing them in Maine communities for six- to 12-month clinical rotations in their fourth year is a hallmark of the university’s commitment to Maine — its youth, its citizens and especially those underserved.

I’m proud to be a part of this initiative, and wholeheartedly support sending this bond issue to my fellow citizens for their consideration.

I’ve no doubt that they will join me in supporting this investment in education and health for the state of Maine.

Michael A. Morel

Chair, UNE Board of Trustees

Biddeford

 

 

Wherever you go in Maine, you can see the desperate need for good dental care. I live in Portland, but from the southern coast to our most eastern, northern and western points the need is there.

The recent proposal that was passed unanimously in Legislature’s Health and Human Services Committee is good news on so many fronts.

Establishing a teaching clinic in Maine will offer the opportunity for better care.

It will give our young people a reason to stay here and have a family and enjoy all that Maine has to offer. The teaching clinic is good business combined with desperately needed dental care.

I urge our elected officials to support LD 1798.

Gail Volk

Portland

 

 

Second Amendment plays second fiddle to Pentagon

 

Recent letters regarding our Second Amendment rights, or lack thereof, miss the point.

We live in a country that asserts its right to project lethal force anywhere on the globe to protect U.S. interests, and we spend more than four times as much as Russia and China combined to do so.

People who carry weapons have evidently adopted the worldview of our government regarding the need for radical measures in social intercourse.

These people, for the most part, conform to the rule of law and generally behave as good citizens, a standard that we all too often fall short of in dealing with other countries.

The outcry of some people against their fellow citizens’ fondness for guns, in a country that supplies more than one-third of the worlds weapons, requires a breathtaking leap of denial.

Perhaps we fear those who carry weapons openly, not because of what they might do, but because of the truths they force us to confront regarding ourselves and our homeland.

Douglas H. Sargent

Cape Elizabeth

 

 

Ought to be a way to link trains going north and south

 

It is a little bit scary to think that if I should get a flat tire or something and have to pull into the breakdown lane on the Interstate, I might get run over by one of those buses that will be running there if a new commuter plan is adopted.

A new rail terminal on India Street would make Portland like Boston, with a North Station and a South Station.

It seems that there should be a way to connect the track that runs through Yarmouth to the line coming into Portland from Auburn before it gets to Portland.

Then the trains could come by where Union Station used to be and easily connect to Amtrak headed south.

Harold Blaisdell

Portland

 

Denial of Armenian genocide way to influence behavior

 

I must respond to Tarlan Ahmadov’s letter on March 17 in which he refers to the Armenian genocide as an historical allegation against the Ottoman Turks a century ago that has not been historically or legally substantiated.

Turks have long been in denial that they planned and almost accomplished the extermination of the Armenian people.

“The Burning Tigris” by Peter Balakian, along with its 47 pages of footnotes, documents the historical truth that the Turks continue to deny. My relatives were once living witnesses to this historical truth.

Turkey considered a proposed MGM movie from the book “The Forty Days” of Musa Dagh to be a hostile act, so in 1935 the State Department decided that relations with Turkey were more important than freedom of speech and the movie was dropped.

Ahmadov continues this Turkish influence on policy by writing about “issues that require consideration and action from Congress, as well as often require cooperation from such allies as Turkey.” That is why genocide has been swept under the rug. Turkey is too strategically located for U.S. military bases to let history undermine a joint relationship.

There are thousands of books, movies and courses taught at high schools and colleges about the Jewish Holocaust, but the same availability of information about the Armenian genocide has been shut down by the Turkish state with the threat of withholding cooperation on world issues.

The Germans learned everything they needed to know from the Turks about extermination of a selected minority. Unlike the Turks, who got away with it and continue to get away with it, the Germans were brought to trial before the world.

Gail Atkins

Cape Elizabeth