May 15, 2013

Letters to the editor: Maine public schools have proud history

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First-grade teacher Ashley Martin discusses the book “The Circus Ship” with her students at Coffin Elementary School in Brunswick last fall. A reader says that Gov. LePage’s criticism of public school teachers shows a lack of respect “for a profession so necessary to the fabric of the republic.”

2012 File Photo/Gordon Chibroski

Time to stock up on squirrel meat.

Beverly Wood
North Berwick

Elderly depend on programs that fund drugs, health care

With all the problems that older adults and challenged individuals in this state face, it is the job of our legislators to protect Maine's most vulnerable populations.

I am fully aware that this is a tough economy, but it is even tougher when one is frail, elderly, alone and in pain.

Many seniors in Maine have been watching and are continuing to watch as their hard-earned Social Security benefits are debated over and over again in Washington.

Any savings many at-risk Mainers may have had are long gone in the face of soaring costs for utilities and food. In the last 10 years, hunger among older adults has increased by an unbelievable 80 percent.

Social Security is the only source of income for one-third of Mainers age 65 and older. Many older Mainers rely upon every dime, every penny, to get them through each month.

These are individuals who have no choices. They have nowhere else to turn. The state has alternatives, but these are Maine residents who do not.

These are the residents who need for their voices to be heard, and so I am writing on their behalf: Please do not cut the Drugs for the Elderly or the Medicare Savings Program.

These are the programs upon which many of our most at-risk Mainers rely to stay in their own homes and communities, where we know they want to be.

Vanessa McGrath
AARP Maine communications volunteer
Portland

Backers of cigarette tax hike will be rejected at ballot box

Once again, the Legislature is threatening to raise money by taxing the working poor.

Another tax on cigarettes would make it even harder to survive -- of course, they are depending on the working poor being too busy surviving to mount a protest, which is why they are not proposing a tax on liquor. Go after the poor, as always.

This time, however, we will be taking the names of those who vote for this unfair sin tax, and when elections come around, you can be sure that the 25 to 30 percent of Mainers who still smoke will be voting.

Politicians, ask yourselves if you can afford 25 percent of the voters voting against you, no matter where you stand on any other issue.

J.T. Nichols
Portland

Motorist's quick thinking helps save beloved pet's life

I would like to thank the young woman who stopped on busy Brighton Avenue at about 6:30 the evening of May 3.

Our dog Lucy got loose (a section of fence in our yard had collapsed).

If this driver had not stopped her car and held on to Lucy until I came running, with leash in hand and distraught look on my face, we may have lost Lucy. And she could possibly have caused a car accident.

Thank you so much!

Rick Zaccaro
Portland

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