Wednesday, April 23, 2014
I am a volunteer for the Spectrum Generations Meals on Wheels Program in Brunswick. We volunteers have just been informed that, owing to the sequestration, there will be a cutback on the program starting this month.
A Meals on Wheels client in Charleston, W.Va., visits with the man who delivered her meal, in 2008. A volunteer with the program in Brunswick says sequester-related funding cutbacks will affect the frequency of meal deliveries and well-being checks.
2008 File Photo/The Associated Press
Meals will still be provided, but delivery will occur only on Wednesday, instead of Wednesday and Friday, and the clients will receive their week's meals on that day. No new clients will be added, even when a current client leaves. The other face of the program, a check on well-being, will be halved.
In all of the meals programs for which I have volunteered, daily meal delivery and well-being checks were standard. Needless to say, numerous other services of agencies for the elderly and disabled will be negatively affected.
The impression in the print and television news has been that the average person would not be severely affected by the sequester.
That may be true, but what has been largely ignored is that the sequester will have a severe impact on those who do not have the means to fend for themselves -- the disabled and shut-in, the elderly, the poor and children.
I hope that our comfortably well-off politicians will take some time and effort to consider those who will be in hopeless straits without assistance from us, with the help of the government.
Coverage of child's death exploits grieving family
Regarding " 'I can't imagine': Grief after father runs over son" (March 21):
A horrible tragedy. One cannot imagine how the poor parents of this child feel. They are now trying to get their arms around this unimaginable loss, and most probably never will.
And you called them on the phone the same night, or maybe the next night? For what? To see how they felt? To see how they were handling this tragedy? To see what they were planning to do from this time on?
What planet are you people from? What kind of response was that to their loss?
Is this what the Portland Press Herald is about? Get the story? Get the details? Put it on the front page? Shame on all of you.
Now that you have met the deadline and printed your story, are you going to be there in the coming months and years to help this couple put their lives back together, as best they can? No!
You will be on to the next story, violating the next boundary line that shouldn't be crossed, so that you can meet your next deadline and sell papers. Pathetic.
British term strikes odd note in article on Portland streets
I say, old chap, your article about roadway improvements was spot on ("Roundabouts eyed to ease traffic flow," March 19).
It's a bloody nuisance to come into an intersection and have your bonnet mashed in by some bloke who isn't watching where he's going.
But since when did we start getting caught up in Britishisms like "spot on" and "roundabout"?
Please. It's a rotary. Could we all agree to drop this "roundabout" nonsense?
I realize we live in New England, but unless we will also drive from the right-hand seat and drive on the opposite side, there is no reason to call it a "roundabout."
Call it a rotary.
Robert R. O'Brien
Further regulation of BPA another burden to business
Once again, the government is interjecting itself into an issue that creates an additional burden to businesses across the state. I am referring to the overregulation of BPA and unnecessary product labeling.
The Board of Environmental Protection, activists against BPA and many newspapers have waged a war against this chemical by using children and pregnant women.
As a Mainer, I strongly believe that the safety of our children is top priority. Regulating the safe use of chemicals has its merits when scientific evidence is used to guide regulatory decisions.
With no evidence that BPA is unsafe, I cannot stand by and justify placing another burden on the business owners of Maine.
In fact, studies, such as a study by University of California structural biologist Michael Baker, are often misused to show the effects of BPA, generate headlines and fuel the outraged national advocacy to ban BPA.
However, Baker later stated that there is no evidence, none at all, that BPA causes any problems in humans.
Product labeling is an expensive and ever-changing process that creates uncertainty in the business community.
I urge members of the Legislature to stand with the business owners of Maine and not fall into the misleading use of studies focused on crafting politically driven policy measures.
Contact your legislator today and tell him or her to not support Sen. Seth Goodall's bill to identify BPA and other chemicals in food labeling.
Revenue-sharing cutbacks will hurt Maine's retirees
I've been retired since 2009, a widow on a fixed income who owns a home and lives alone. I'm writing as a concerned citizen about Gov. Paul LePage's proposal to suspend revenue sharing in the next budget.
I feel that instead of cutting off aid to localities, we should be working on ways to raise revenue at the state level to protect and strengthen the programs that are vital to Maine people and its economy.
Cutting state aid will probably result in higher property taxes to make up the difference. Because I only received one cost-of-living increase since my retirement, my income will not be able to keep up with ever-higher real estate taxes -- let alone the constant increases in the cost for basic living necessities like food, utilities, prescriptions, gas and clothing.
So, I feel we should look to other sources to raise revenue, such as suspending unfair tax breaks to large corporations, like Walmart; increasing sales taxes on tourists by raising the lodging tax by 1 percent on hotels, motels and bed and breakfasts; and raising luxury sales taxes by 1 percent.
These are just a few steps that would help preserve revenue sharing and avoid any increases in our property taxes.