Monday, April 21, 2014
Of course, Gov. LePage doesn't care what I think. I'm part of the 61 percent who didn't vote for him and part of the even larger group who will now never vote for him.
By vetoing broadly supported proposals on climate change and tar sands transport, Gov. LePage, above, shows he thinks “he alone knows best,” a reader says.
2012 File Photo/The Associated Press
It's not only the vulgar language unbecoming the head of a state, it's the reflexive vetoes of bills that the Legislature worked long and hard to pass, often with a bipartisan majority.
The arrogance comes in his thinking that he alone knows best.
Does he already know that no study of the environmental impacts of tar sands transport through Maine would be helpful in planning and weighing our options?
Does he already know exactly what to do in the face of an obviously changing climate so that we don't need any study to prepare for the changes we already see happening?
Does he know how climate change will affect our forestry and fishing industries?
Where does he get all this certainty that leads to the vetoes of perfectly sensible proposals?
If he is truly interested in making Maine a more friendly state for business, why did he insist on reopening the bids for wind energy contracts? Statoil's reaction to his demonstration of executive unreliability and whimsy will be noted by other businesses that are considering locating or expanding in Maine.
Is this what he thinks makes for a friendly climate for business? I don't think so.
Fight to improve treatment of mentally ill continues
The column in June 26's Press Herald on mental health struck more than my eye ("Still working to improve treatment of mental illness").
More than half a century ago, I was introduced to a doctor in Rhode Island who, when he got my name, promptly asked if I were any relation to Margaret Madeira. (She was chairman of the National Mental Health Foundation, which promoted reform of the mental health system.)
I said, "Yes, she's my mother. Why?" He said, "You have no idea what that woman has done for mental health in this country." I said, "Oh, yes, I do." I see the battle is still being fought.
Those who doubt the reality of mental illness or the suffering it can cause should read a biography of Robert Schumann.
This reader hopes that Anne Michaud will continue the battle.
conductor emeritus, Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra
Say your 'I love yous' now -- tomorrow may be too late
In a phone call, my life was turned upside-down. No warning, no expectation. Another wake-up call! Now so much left unsaid and undone.
A reminder that life is short and unpredictable at best! We make plans without any guarantees. Plans are often disrupted and beyond our control.
We think that there will be time to do those things we have delayed, to say "I love you" to those we truly care about, to prepare. In an instant, time can end for each of us. No more time. No second chance.
How will our family and friends remember us? Whose lives will we touch? What can we do today to make a difference in someone's life?
There is so little time to attend to the things that truly matter. Most of us spend our lives chasing dreams that distract us from the important issues of life. Use each day with utmost care as a gift from God. Take time for the things that matter.
Determine to say "I love you" to those you truly care about. Put those important plans into action before time runs out. Focus on the truly important issues of life.
Business leader points out DEP series' shortcomings
Good for Dana Connors! As president of the Maine State Chamber of Commerce, he knows what it means to strike a balance between sound environmental policy and a business climate that will attract businesses to Maine.
When I read the series by Colin Woodard questioning Commissioner Pattie Aho's stewardship of the Department of Environmental Protection, I had the sense that this was a very unbalanced view of her performance at the DEP. Dana Connors filled in the blanks ("Maine Voices: Chamber of Commerce: Aho is doing her job," June 23).
For example, why didn't Mr. Wood-ard acknowledge Commissioner Aho's role in creating the list of 49 chemicals that were not mentioned in the 2008 Kid-Safe Products Act. (As Mr. Connors points out, the list was created under the LePage administration.)
We need a balanced environmental policy -- and balanced reporting.
Mr. Woodard would have served your readers better had he called Dana Connors and other business leaders in the state before launching his series.
National GMO labeling would protect consumers
Large multinational corporations like Monsanto have had the cards stacked in their favor for years, all at the expense of America's people and its domestic policy, ultimately compromising national security. Maine citizens need to demand support for mandatory genetically modified organism food labeling from their congressional delegation.
U.S. Supreme Court protection of Monsanto life-form patents is unconstitutional and violates antitrust law. Life patents for seeds such as Monsanto corn and soy, with Round-Up pesticide in the plant's DNA, are pervasive in our food supply, and their effects on the consuming public are only beginning to be understood.
The court decision also leaves Monsanto immune to health risk liability claims now and in future. So, just as the tobacco industry had ongoing, prior knowledge and research as to the deleterious nature of its product, Monsanto, too, may likely have studies suggesting risks to public health, which it chooses not to share.
Yet, unlike the tobacco industry, it avoids liability and a costly settlement for its risky market. That's not a free market, that's a coercive market, when the government chooses to "shore up" large corporations against its voting public's interest.
Scientifically, there can surely be nothing healthy about corn and soy, that is used for virtually everything we eat, which is laced with pesticides at the DNA level. What does it do to us once we ingest it, especially over time?
I don't think it's unreasonable for the American public to demand and know what food contains genetically modified organisms, knowing what to avoid, seeing as no one else will be held accountable. Only then will the market truly depict what it is willing to bear. I think that's scary to Monsanto, that you may have a choice.
Jo Ann Larino-Greves