Monday, December 9, 2013
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Event reminds ex-legislator why democracy is a blessing
On May 9, it was Welcome Back Day in Augusta for former members of the Legislature.
I was a member of the House of Representatives in 1957. It was the 98th Legislature, and the Honorable Edmund S. Muskie was governor. This was a great experience for which I am thankful.
We arrived in the capital city very early, and after registration details and security clearance, we enjoyed a cup of coffee and the comfortable surroundings.
At 10 a.m., we proceeded to the House Chamber for appropriate ceremonies. We were warmly greeted by the speaker and clerk of the House. It was a most enjoyable day.
A buffet-type luncheon was served in the Hall of Flags by the Lewiston Regional Technical Center Culinary Arts Program. These bright and industrious young people did an excellent job.
As we traveled along a scenic highway headed for home, I was reminded of a great American citizenship and the blessings of living in a free country, and I paused to appreciate the natural wonders to be found right here in our beautiful state of Maine.
Russell H. Day
Healthy Kids Bill will help grandmother protect family
As a grandmother of two beautiful granddaughters, I am very concerned about toxic chemicals in everyday products, and I feel like I need to be a chemist to figure out what products are safe for my family.
There are so many untested chemicals, and companies often refuse to tell us what is in their products. I am tired of hearing about the bombardment of chemicals that our families are unwillingly and unnecessarily exposed to on a daily basis.
Last year, Maine named 49 chemicals of high concern, proven through strong scientific evidence to cause serious health problems including cancer, learning disabilities and reproductive harm, but no action has been proposed to reduce exposure to these chemicals until now.
The Healthy Kids Bill, L.D. 1181, will identify which products contain the 49 "worst of the worst" chemicals and set priorities for action to get these chemicals out of household products Maine children encounter every day.
It would also close the loophole in current law that leaves pregnant women and older children exposed to toxic BPA in their food and give Maine the authority to consider phasing out BPA in all food packaging.
L.D. 1181 is currently before the Environment and Natural Resources Committee. I urge members of the committee to vote in favor of the Healthy Kids Bill and protect our children and grandchildren from harm.