April 4, 2013

Letters to the editor: Sequester cuts further isolate seniors

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.

Ruth M. Jones, Matt Jackson
click image to enlarge

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.

Leland Yee


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.

Tom Deignan


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

Peaks Island

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.

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