Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Like many people, I was a bit apprehensive when it was announced that Baxter Boulevard would be closed to traffic for several months.
Sargent Corp. employees set up a sign in January to warn motorists of the closing of much of Baxter Boulevard for eight months for sewer improvement work. A reader suggests closing the road on Sundays from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
2013 File Photo/Gordon Chibroski
But the traffic nightmares haven't materialized, and the road closure has been a boon to legions of bikers, walkers and joggers.
For me, the lack of cars has transformed the experience of walking the boulevard.
I find myself aware of nature and the beauty of the water and marsh, things I never paid much attention to when cars were zooming by.
Many cities, including Washington, D.C., and Cambridge, Mass., close certain roads to cars on weekends or Sundays.
Now that we know the sky won't fall in, why not close Baxter Boulevard on Sundays from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. year round, or at least from April through November?
Newtown parents using emotional manipulation
I understand that many of the Newtown parents do not want to be in the position they are in.
A demented, malevolent person unleashed a horrible evil on them.
No doubt, these parents would give anything for this incident to have never happened.
I do not know these people, but I mourn for them and their children. I can only imagine what they are going through.
They feel compelled to "do something" to make their life mean something. And so we must now legislate gun control by emotion and manipulation in deference to these parents.
They have hired Washington lobbyists and will not be denied time with senators.
At the end of meetings, at least one of the mothers leaves behind a card with a picture of her deceased child.
We have ceded moral authority to them to legislate gun control, and we dare not question their mission to limit our constitutional rights.
They have said they will never give up, that they will keep fighting. No doubt, whatever legislation is passed is only a first step in their quest to disarm the law-abiding.
They are from Connecticut, yet they had a 15-minute face-to-face meeting with my senator, Susan Collins.
I would never be granted this access because my moral authority is merely as a Maine voter asking my sworn elected representative to uphold my constitutional rights. In the face of the moral authority of victims, the rights of citizens hold no sway.
I do not blame these devastated parents, but I do hold accountable those who exploit this tragedy as well as those who allow themselves to be emotionally manipulated.
We are being asked to sacrifice our freedom for perceived security.
In the end, we will have neither.
Obituaries contain many grammatical errors
I understand that you seldom correct obituaries before publication because they are like paid advertisements.
However, I've been reading them for many decades and wished that the newspaper person reading them would have corrected the many historical and definition errors I've seen.
For example, many Marine Corps veterans supposedly served in the "Corp.," the abbreviation for "corporation."
The recent obituary for Art Frederiksen, who attended Falmouth High School with me, said he served in a "Calvary" unit in World War II.
"Calvary" is where Jesus was crucified. "Cavalry" is equestrian.
Obituary writers and scanners could learn a lot by Googling "obituary errors."
However, within those results is this, which might apply to this letter: "If you write anything criticizing editing or proofreading, there will be a fault of some kind in what you have written."
LePage budget looks for cuts from vulnerable seniors
The governor's budget calls for major cuts to the Medicare Savings Program and eliminates the Low Cost Drug for the Elderly and Disabled Program. By proposing these drastic measures, Maine is turning to its oldest and poorest citizens and demanding they come up with a way to fix Maine's budget woes by cutting back or eliminating their health care, their life-saving medications and, for many, their ability to stay in their own homes.
The Low Cost Drug for the Elderly and Disabled Program provides discounts on generic drugs for all enrollees and on brand-name drugs for people with certain serious health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and multiple sclerosis. It also makes certain drugs more affordable for low-income Medicare beneficiaries.
The Medicare Savings Program helps pay for Part B premiums for Medicare, which covers many important services, including doctor visits, preventive care, ambulance services, skilled nursing care and outpatient care and medically necessary supplies such as wheelchairs and walkers.
Is discontinuing these essential programs really the answer to our state's budget problems?
The Low Cost Drug for the Elderly and Disabled Program and the Medicare Savings Program must be maintained. Those affected by these budget cuts are our friends and neighbors. For many of them, cutting back on their health care and their prescription drugs could endanger their lives.
I am 90 years old, and I find this unacceptable. Older and at-risk Mainers need to know now that their benefits won't be taken away. I hope our legislators do the right thing and restore funding to the Low Cost Drug for the Elderly and Disabled and the Medicare Savings programs.
AARP Communications Volunteer
Thank you, Sen. Collins, for background check vote
We urge all Mainers who continue to support the federal background checks improvement bill to write a letter of thanks to Sen. Susan Collins for having had the fortitude and integrity to vote for it, in spite of threats brought to bear by the National Rifle Association leadership (who no longer represent the majority of their membership on this issue, by the way).
The Senate defeated the bill with only three Republican votes in favor, but it will be heard again.
Her vote will be remembered with appreciation when critics attempt to use it against her, and she deserves to hear of this support from each one of us, to help sustain her conviction.
For a start, we say: "Thank you, Sen. Collins."
Nancy and David Nyberg