I am a graduate of the Women, Work and Community New Ventures program and have recently started a single-member LLC.

Having heard some people disparage state bureaucracy and decry their dealings with state employees, I was not bursting with enthusiasm when I looked on the state website to find out how to file the appropriate articles of incorporation.

I must say that the website is well organized, the search engine brings up relevant sites and documents and much of the language is everyday English instead of legalese, not what I was expecting.

I created two small issues with my application. I realized that I had to call the Bureau of Corporations, Elections and Commissions on one of them and my expectation was that it would take hours and much hassle to get the issue fixed.

The staff at the department answered the phone quickly, were friendly, fixed the issue for me immediately and were proactive in giving me information on the process. Again, not what I was expecting.

A staff person from the department called me on the other issue, fixed it immediately and completed the application approval process for me in just a few minutes.

There may be problems in some areas of state government with the level of customer service that is provided to residents of the state, but my experience was that the state employees were some of the best service providers I have encountered in years.

Kerry Corthell

Scarborough

Cyclists often permitted to use all of travel lanes

I am writing regarding Carol Watson’s recent letter to the editor (“Bicyclists ignore own advice to ‘share the road’ with cars,” April 3).

First, Ms. Watson gets a few facts wrong.

Under state law, cyclists are only required to ride as far right as “practicable” and are allowed to use as much of the traffic lane as necessary in order to avoid dangerous conditions. Also, Maine has no laws requiring cyclists to ride single file.

There are many reasons for a cyclist to be riding farther left in the lane.

There could be loose sand, gravel, potholes, broken glass or other hazards near the edge of the road. There might be cars parked next to the road — cyclists need to leave at least 5 feet when passing parked cars in case an inattentive driver suddenly opens the door.

Also, when the lane is not wide enough for a car and bicycle to share (minimum 14 feet), cyclists should ride near the middle of the lane to discourage overtaking motorists from squeezing by unsafely.

The same laws apply whether or not specifically marked bicycle lanes are present. There are no laws requiring cyclists to use bike lanes and, since they often contain many of the hazards mentioned earlier, cyclists may use the regular travel lane in order to stay safe.

Motorists should also note that in Maine, cyclists “ha(ve) the rights and (are) subject to the duties applicable to the operator of a vehicle.” This includes the right to use the entire lane of travel.

Please remember that cyclists are legitimate users of the road and should be treated in the same manner as any other slow-moving vehicle. Follow at a safe distance and pass only when it is safe to do so.

Scott Harriman

Portland

New health care plan violates the Constitution

“Reinterpreting” America’s Constitution makes as much sense as rewriting the Ten Commandments or the Golden Rule.

The Framers considered, debated and chose each phrase, each word with great care. They knew exactly what they meant to say and said it precisely, using the language as it was written at the time. They also understood that the Constitution must change with changing times, so they created a mechanism for amendment.

Change is sufficiently difficult to protect America from opportunists, flexible enough to respond at need.

To say the Constitution is “a living document” to be redefined by Washington power-brokers is to subvert the entire concept of government by the people. The Constitution is a social contract defining and limiting the powers delegated to our representatives. Neither a president nor Congress has the authority to rewrite or redefine that. It remains in the hands of the states and the people.

Bad law, it is said, is no law. A bad law badly passed is doubly void. It is the duty of all good citizens to disobey such laws and to work for their repeal. The health care bill (so-called) is bad law. Congress has no authority to force any person to purchase goods or services he does not want. It is therefore unconstitutional.

Maine should, indeed must, join other states in defiance, exactly as we would a revival of slavery.

In the end, it is nothing less.

Randolph P. Dominic, Jr.

Falmouth

Lyme disease not simple to diagnose, treat or cure

While I commend the Telegram for the recent article “Lyme disease could soar this year,” the need to alert the public on this serious public health threat is undermined by Dr. Dora Mills’ statement that “when Lyme disease is treated immediately, there are no lingering problems.”

This minimizes its seriousness as a major public health threat.

This gives the public a false sense of protection from an illness that can not only be disabling but also fatal.

The fact is that Lyme disease is not easy to detect early. Many people do not develop the classic rash, and the rash may not show up for 30 days past infection. Once it becomes disseminated Lyme disease, with multiple systemic symptoms as it has spread through the blood, it often requires more than a short course of antibiotics to treat. Doctors are hindered by medical guidelines that often fail patients.

Ticks also carry co-infections, such as babesiosis, bartonella, ehrlichiosis and others that make treatment more complex. To further complicate matters, testing for Lyme disease and co-infections is not accurate and diagnosis relies predominantly on a clinical diagnosis many doctors miss.

The illness’ threat to health should not be underestimated.

Leslie Abrons

Portland