Tuesday, March 11, 2014
Greg Kesich should screen the letters to the editor and the "Another View" editorials. The ones that make sense go to the Sunday opinion page. The comical or nonsense ones go to the comic section. But then, that's why I buy the Maine Sunday Telegram.
The Postal Service’s lack of investment in facilities to handle parcels – not the cost of delivery to rural mailboxes, such as these outside Morrison, Ill. – is the reason it’s losing money, a reader says.
2002 File Photo / The Associated Press
Regarding Michele Boston's editorial ("Another View: Balance postal budget: Charge for rural 'free' delivery," March 10) asking for the Postal Service to charge for rural free delivery: She claims that "all postal boxes in locations other than a post office are 'rural.' "
The mail receptacles across the street from the downtown (city) post office in Caribou, Maine, are not rural and are not serviced by rural carriers, who are paid "a vehicle use allowance."
Ms. Boston must have a post office box that she probably pays a minimum of $46 for whatever period. She did not mention as much.
Having worked for the postal circus for 28 years, I can tell you why they are losing billions of dollars yearly: poor management.
They gave away parcel post delivery to UPS, Federal Express and DHL because they would not build the warehouses to handle all that revenue. The first-class letters and junk mail were all they cared about.
Well, now the Internet makes it possible to pay all your bills and email Mom and Dad and everybody else. And also order a ton of stuff that is delivered by the big brown machine and FedEx.
Regarding the editorial by Michele Boston, "Another View: Balance postal budget: Charge for rural 'free' delivery" (March 10): Did the editor even give this some thought before it was put on the editorial page?
What's the world gone to? "Fee for this, fee for that. Come on, let's charge up front for what it cost." Does Michele Boston work for a bank or a credit card company?
My suggestion is that the post office should stop Saturday delivery and increase the cost of mail for what it cost for that service. That is business sense.
It seems that Michele Boston's train of thought is that we should all go to the post office and wait in long lines to collect our mail. Wouldn't that be great?
Target reunification, housing funds to foster care services
Re: "Poor planning adds to Maine's foster care crisis," March 24:
Now a retired attorney, I was formerly with a Pennsylvania legal services program where I litigated on behalf of parents in foster care cases briefly during the 1980s.
I know of the tragedies of these cases, the harm devolving on unfortunate children, sadly exacerbated sometimes by deficient services funded through state appropriations, Titles IV-B and IV-E of the Social Security Act. I am also aware of the services provided by remarkably generous foster parents to needy children, especially as addictions rise.
Your article admittedly depends on possible incomplete records and verbal reports. And the Department of Health and Human Services excluded broader social factors, disregarding additional assessed risks.
However, the first mandate of federal child welfare laws is to endeavor to keep the family united with intensive services. The second is to reunite families if possible once children are placed, before extending that care or arriving at an alternative permanency plan.
Your article shows that foster care placements have increased as a result of 1) inadequate housing and 2) insufficient reunification efforts. Funding cuts, says Rep. Richard Farnsworth, resulted in a major failure to provide necessary services for parents to keep families together.
If housing is the sole factor, as in the chart's 169 cases, a cheaper measure is to help with housing. If reunification efforts have not been provided, they should be immediately implemented. Follow-up monitoring and in-home services for the children, with MaineCare continuing, can ensure access to Medicaid's licensed professionals.
This approach provides benefits to children and to Maine's finances. I urge that our Legislature address these matters expeditiously.
Gay marriage disregards essence of the institution
Re: "Ruling for same-sex marriage would be right, not 'activism,' " by Barney Frank (March 24):
Barney Frank is brilliant, but wrong. He uses straw man arguments to support straw man marriage.
Opponents of same-sex "marriage" do not argue against it primarily because it harms natural marriage; they argue against it simply because it is not marriage.
Same-sex "marriage" is imitation marriage, fake marriage, make-believe marriage. Marriage by its very nature and essence is between a man and a woman.
You have heard it said, "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet." That is to say, you cannot change the essence of something by changing the name.
Likewise, calling a thistle a rose does not make it a rose. Calling same-sex commitments "marriage" cannot make them what they are not.
pastor, First Baptist Church of Freeport
Beholden to interest groups, lawmakers unable to lead
The national debt keeps rising, and our elected officials are mired in partisan bickering and gridlock, some of which is just plain childish.
From talking to folks up here in Maine and elsewhere, here are some suggestions that our "leaders" might just consider:
1. Reform the tax code and get rid of the crazy loopholes that allow corporations and the wealthy to avoid paying taxes.
2. Eliminate obsolete and unnecessary weapons programs, without compromising the strength of our military.
3. Reform entitlement programs, including Social Security and Medicare, without harming children, the elderly and the disabled.
4. Terminate nonessential federal employees.
5. Begin a serious crackdown on Medicaid fraud.
6. Cut the pork barrel spending, which is totally out of control.
So why can't we accomplish these things? The president and members of Congress, both Democrats and Republicans alike, are beholden to wealthy donors, lobbyists and special interest groups who regularly line their pockets.
Some might call this corruption. The result is that our elected officials don't have the intestinal fortitude to do what's right for our country.
LePage opines on character, but he knows little about it
The governor's comments regarding good character ("Michael Cuzzi: Governor's character reflects on Maine," March 17) were a backhanded implication that others in government lacked same. In his actions, he has demonstrated that he does not understand the concept.
For starters, he seized on a non-issue.
According to state Rep. Bruce MacDonald, D-Boothbay, the hospital debt resulted from an old formula based on the state paying what it wanted. That was corrected long ago, and the current bills are paid as incurred.
Further, the old debt was already set into a payment plan, and the hospitals had signed off on it.
The governor then drew a line in the sand, saying he would sign no bills until the debt was settled, and the Legislature might as well go home.
He thus painted himself into a corner where the only way he could take any action at all would be to break his vow, hardly a sign of good character.
And what was the issue on which he caved on his pledge? Opening the bars at 6 a.m. on St. Paddy's Day, an issue of importance to some, but probably not one on which a man of good character would want to stake his reputation.