I ask cartoonist Signe Wilkinson of the Philadelphia Daily News whether she removed her blinders long enough to watch the Aug. 28 Restoring Honor rally at the Lincoln Memorial on C-Span.

If the answer is yes, is she prepared to apologize for the baseless, cynical cartoon the Press Herald ran the day of the rally? (The cartoon showed Glenn Beck crying on stage as Lincoln and Martin Luther King walked away.)

If not, it is evident that she is simply a prejudiced purveyor of progressive cynicism, willing to take scattershots at others for pay.

Shame on you, Wilkinson, for lacking judgment, humanity and a sense of fairness.

Charles S. Adams

Round Pond

 

One need only compare the mean-spirited tone and content of the political cartoon published on Aug. 28 with the tone and substance of the Restore Honor rally held in Washington that same day to understand what has gone wrong in this country.

Dana A. Cleaves

Scarborough

 

EMT pioneer’s life ends, but his legacy aids many

 

On Aug. 6, Maine lost a great man. He was a person whose life touched a few, but those few touch many. C. Frederick Goodwin was such a man.

He was the state’s first emergency medical technician instructor. I met him as a candidate in that first EMT class held at Southern Maine Vocational Technical Institute, now SMCC.

I was one of the lucky few in that first class back in September 1972. There were 33 of us who graduated in May 1973, and most of us went on to become EMT instructors under Mr. Goodwin’s leadership.

A majority of us went on and got our first real job as an EMT in many of southern Maine’s fire departments.

We taught many EMT classes, some of our students also became EMT instructors, and on and on it went until there were EMT classes all over the state. 1976, there were hundreds of EMTs and paramedics employed by rescue units all over Maine, thanks to Fred Goodwin.

These people have saved thousands of lives since that day back in 1973. They will continue to serve with the same pride, dedication and compassion that Fred Goodwin taught us.

There are many people alive today who were saved by Goodwin’s EMTs.

We often wonder how the life of one man affects others? Well, the answer is that Freddie’s life affected many who will never know.

Ralph Duquette

Old Orchard Beach

 

Heavier trucks a threat to highways and cars

 

I read with interest about our lawmakers’ attempt to allow heavier trucks on our highways.

Are any lawmakers driving small plastic cars, as we are? Up and down the highway. They probably fly. These large trucks are terrifying. Several of their wheels weigh as much as our puddle jumpers!

Due to a medical condition, we drive to Florida instead of flying. We now take the autobus so we have an alternative.

The heavy trucks are destroying our taxpayer-funded highways. The trucking industry has very effective lobbyists, both in Washington and elsewhere.

Let’s put the merchandise back on the railroads and give the railroads some tax breaks.

Joe Knight

Orr’s Island

 

Toenail procedure wasn’t out of bounds for doctor

 

I am writing in response to the reader who wrote “Toenail clipping results in astounding medical bill” (Aug. 5).

Certainly no one likes to feel ripped off by the system, and this reader’s letter seems to exemplify why insurance rates have skyrocketed. However, some points need clarification.

A $161 bill for a “toenail clipping” may seem excessive. However, if this patient was new to the practice, she would have been charged a “new patient” visit. This is a legitimate fee that includes patient registration and preparation of records, as well as the initial history and physical.

The patient also had a fungal nail. To treat this, the podiatrist would need to “debride” the toenail.

This is a procedure where all excessively thick toenail is removed to make the patient more comfortable.

This procedure is much more involved than simply “clipping the nail” and requires skill and special instrumentation.

Charging a separate debridement code along with the initial office fee is allowed by health insurance companies. This is especially true if the patient suffers from diabetes, poor circulation or any other condition where providing self-care would be hazardous to the patient.

If oral antifungal medications will be used as part of the treatment plan, many insurance companies require that a portion of the toenail be sent to a reference lab to test for the presence of fungus. This is to ensure that the patient’s nail condition is truly fungal, and money will not be wasted on expensive medications.

Finally, the total bill came to $585.64. The patient’s insurance company and details of her coverage are unknown. However, many podiatrists who are contracted with the major insurers only receive a portion of what they have billed. It is also entirely possible that the patient’s bill was applied to her deductible.

Before we express outrage at another example of greedy practitioners wasting our health care dollars, it may be useful to look at the situation from a podiatrist’s point of view.

Alan S. Goldenhar, D.P.M.

Fryeburg

 

Classes for inmates benefit them and many others, too

 

The article on Aug. 19 detailing the benefits and uniqueness of the Charleston Correctional Facilty minimum-security industry and restitution program was most inspiring.

To save so much money for the towns involved and to provide real skill- and confidence-learning for the inmates adds up to be a real winner for all involved.

After all, these prisoners will rejoin society soon, and to be able to earn a wage legitimately is truly priceless.

Congratulations to the people who pulled this program together, and to the hard-working inmates who made it happen. God bless you all!

Roxanne Wheeler

Cumberland Foreside