July 28, 2013

Letters to the editor: Report on aging raises key issues

(Continued from page 1)

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Mary Sweet, 81, who lives in Camden, has her blood pressure checked by Barbara Weaver, one of the people who provide her care. A reader says that a special report on aging points up the need for more state investment in training home care aides such as Weaver.

2013 File Photo/Shawn Patrick Ouellette

Tony Cipollone

president and CEO, John T. Gorman Foundation

Portland

'A joke' as a congressman, Frank insightful in column

For years I have reviled Barney Frank. As a congressman he was, in my humble opinion, a shallow, partisan fool, unable to see the truth of 2 plus 2 equaling 4, let alone to see through and beyond his partisan lens to find any merit in the arguments of those on the other side of the congressional/philosophical aisle. He was a joke, a disgrace, the "court jester."

But now, suddenly (and I do mean suddenly), everything he says (writes) makes sense. He is thoughtful, insightful, reasonable, balanced and articulate. He now shows intelligence, vision, humor and (dare I say it) wisdom. How can this be?

Could it be that having retired from Congress, he now finds himself free of the judgment and possible wrath of his constituents, and can now speak his mind untrammeled by the need to be re-elected? Perhaps the reincarnation of Barney Frank is the best argument for term limits.

Rob Butler

Cape Elizabeth

Rebuff of Miss Maine USA hire a slight to LePage's vision

Bravo to the governor for his insights on education!

His desire to hire Miss Maine USA, Ashley Marble, as an ambassador for the career and technical education program was nothing less than inspired ("LePage plan to hire Miss Maine USA draws rebuff," July 20).

Working-class lads dream of a good wife, a practical education and an even break against the hard knocks of life. Ashley Marble, with her compelling story of triumph over adversity, presents just this sort of wholesome image.

Instead, the bourgeois chattering class is making the very vile insinuation that the governor's head was turned by a pretty face. Pundits who have never bent their backs over anything heavier than a computer keyboard reject the wholesome image of a Miss Maine USA, but eagerly tout the advantages of same-sex "marriage."

The worst that one can say is that Steve Bowen, a man appointed by the governor, chose not to implement the governor's decision. But even this speaks well for the governor; and the public is left with a misleading story in search of a scandal.

I sincerely hope that Steve Bowen will reconsider making Miss Maine USA a spokeswoman for working-class technical education.

Fritz Spencer

Old Town

Mercy, Crossroads give moms stable venue for treatment

It is heartening to see your article recognizing Mercy's McAuley Residence for providing housing and substance abuse treatment for mothers and their children ("Mercy substance abuse program helps 'Mommy be a better mommy,"' July 21).

Stable housing is the critical component that permits the mother to focus on her treatment and the needs of her children.

Crossroads has been using a residential treatment model for women and children for more than 20 years. In 2012 it received a $1.5 million federal grant to further enhance those services with clinical support, integrated medical care, case management and parenting skills.

The data shows that because of these "wraparound" services, more of Crossroads' clients are completing treatment than the national average.

In March, the Maine Sunday Telegram reported that after several years of dropping foster care entry rates, the number of children who were removed from their homes in 2012 rose ("Poor planning adds to Maine's foster care crisis," March 29).

Substance abuse is a key risk factor leading to removal. The model used by McAuley Residence and Crossroads provides an alternative by creating an environment and accessibility to services where it is possible for the mothers to do the hard work and reclaim their independence.

According to data from Maine's Office of Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services, in 2012 the estimated cost of substance abuse in Maine, including related costs of crime, death and medical care, was $1.18 billion, or $888 for every Maine resident. The cost to the next generation cannot be calculated.

Let's make our treatment dollars work double duty and cross generations. Treat the family. All in one program, all under one roof.

Polly Haight Frawley

chief of operations, Crossroads

Scarborough

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