It’s very disappointing to see the media and the Maine Democratic Party attacking Mary Mayhew as she tries to fix the problems at DHHS.

In 2005, the Baldacci administration wasted tens of millions of our hard-earned tax dollars on a billing system that never worked. Then they installed a new system in late 2010 as they were leaving office that immediately had more than 1,600 defects that they knew they were leaving to the next administration.

Maine taxpayers have also been forced to repay tens of millions more to the federal government because the Baldacci administration misspent federal money. These problems have put our entire safety net at risk for years.

Now for some reason the media and the Democrats want to lay the blame on Gov. LePage and Mary Mayhew as they actually try to fix all these problems.

Why is this? It appears that the Democrats want Maine people to forget the waste and abuse when they were in control and they were silent. As for the press, it sure would be nice if some investigative reporting was done to show the people how the problems at DHHS got so out of hand.

Gayle Carey Blydenstein, Waterville

 

Veterans treatment court upholds respect, dignity

 

On March 14, L.D. 1698 was signed into law, which will allow Maine to apply for federal funding to establish veterans treatment courts. With its zero percent recidivism rate, the original veterans treatment court in Buffalo, N.Y., has served as a model for similar courts nationwide. Research indicates that it is effective and cost- saving to keep our veterans out of the justice system, whenever possible, by providing necessary mental health services and treatment.

Unless having served on active duty, one cannot truly understand its effects of physical and psychological trauma. Many members of our armed forces have served in multiple deployments and as a result, often struggle with post-traumatic-stress disorder, anxiety, depression, traumatic brain injuries and/or acute stress.

L.D. 1698 was introduced as a way to hold veterans who have served in Afghanistan and Iraq accountable for breaking the law while also providing a second chance to receive mental health services for disorders that have since developed.

Those who oppose the new law may argue that veterans will not be held accountable for their crimes. These concerns are understandable; however, it will hold them accountable through mandatory treatment, community service and fines. By receiving treatment, veterans will be less likely to commit further crimes than if they were incarcerated. If veterans fail to comply, they will serve time in jail or prison.

Veterans have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. Most will never encounter the criminal justice system. For the minority who do, the veterans treatment court is a way to intervene and hold them accountable, yet continue to view them with respect and dignity.

Donna L. Brown, Bangor

 

Green cremation troubling: Isn’t anything sacred?

 

Though I’m all for innovation and promoting a green lifestyle, there are many things about so-called “green cremation” (“Green cremation: A chance to die with no carbon footprint,” March 22) that are troubling.

If this had been on the front page on April 1, I would have thought it was an April Fool’s joke. But I guess it’s for real. Are we so far removed from a sense of the sacred that we are advocating that our final voyage be chemical dilution that’s essentially flushed down the toilet?

For untold millennia, fire has been a sacred symbol in ritual. Somehow being artificially reduced to our basic constituents via “alkaline hydrolysis” appears anything but sacred. And it is not, as the article said, “a chance to die with no carbon footprint.” The process uses propane and probably other resources such as electricity.

Efficiency is an excellent approach in many spheres. But disposing of bodies with the scientific efficiency of alkaline hydrolysis kind of suggests the works of Dr. Mengele and the Holocaust.

What will they think of next?

Don Perkins, Raymond

Angus King should fit right in with U.S. Senate

 

In response to the March 18 comments of Anne Milton regarding the fitness of Angus King running for the U.S. Senate, I would like to add the following:

As a governor who came into office with a surplus and left office with the state in the red, I would say he would fit right in.

All he needs is a fat portfolio filled with oil stocks and futures, multiple pharmaceutical investments and a willingness to appease both industries. Then he could sit back with the rest of the “fat cats” and lick his chops while stealing from the poor to feed the rich.

Joe Bardsley, Bridgton

 

Reader has quit listening to WGAN radio station

 

Conventional wisdom says that habits can be broken after two weeks with hard work and lots of attention focused on redirecting one’s behavior. After weeks of successful habit breaking, I no longer intuitively flip the car’s radio to AM, where for years the one and only station I had programmed was WGAN.

It was with disgust that I listened to Mike Violette, from the WGAN Morning News, not interview but attack Annie Finch earlier this month. Finch had organized an online petition to stop the radio station from broadcasting the Rush Limbaugh show. Limbaugh caused a controversy when he called Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke a “slut” and “prostitute” and even went so far as to request access to video of her engaging in sex because he didn’t respect her testimony to the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee.

This is not a letter to president and general manager of the Portland Radio Group, Cary Pahigian. No. This is a letter to the businesses that continue to advertise on WGAN. I am no longer listening. Reconsider if this is the best venue to reach potential customers. I, as I suspect many have already done, have switched the dial because of actions such as the profane treatment of Finch and Fluke as well as the attitudes represented by Violette when he says “We” of WGAN will never walk away from Limbaugh and the content he produces.

Jeffrey Sanders, North Yarmouth