Meghan McGovern of the New York borough of Queens shows a photo of the scene behind her that she took Oct. 27, two days before superstorm Sandy arrived. A fire during the storm destroyed more than 100 homes in her neighborhood; hers survived. Residents of areas hit hard by Sandy would welcome the funds we now send abroad, a reader says.
As you know, America is the first country to send aid when other countries are in trouble.
It is highly appropriate that we now send thanks to all of the countries that reciprocated for our help with their disasters, misgivings, social turmoil and poverty by sending to the United States of America monetary and physical help when Sandy ravaged our East Coast, leaving death, homelessness and pure disaster.
Listed below are all the countries and world organizations that are giving us gracious assistance.
Please assist in thanking these entities by passing on this email so people all over America can join in and thank our neighbors, in whom we have invested billions.
First on the list is ...
Maybe now Americans will realize that charity begins at home. With millions of our people in need and in poverty, let's save our money and spend it at home instead of sending it to Egypt, Libya, Pakistan, etc. Staten Island and parts of New Jersey would gladly thank America if we spent the billions there.
Action needed in Augusta to protect kids from BPA
BPA has a fairly simple chemical structure that makes it useful in hardening plastics, and as a can liner for many prepared foods.
As a pediatrician, I am most concerned about the relationship between BPA exposure and developmental disabilities (aggression, learning problems), and its contribution to the obesity epidemic in childhood.
Unfortunately, its simple structure gives it the ability to fit into many hormone receptors in human cells, leading to endocrine disruption. Children are most susceptible to these effects, since the complex processes that regulate both physical and mental growth are so dependent on metabolic balance.
Now the Maine Board of Environmental Protection is deliberating a rule to phase out BPA from baby and toddler food packaging. Alternative containers are available, but consumers have no way currently of knowing whether the containers of the foods they purchase contain BPA or not.
If the board approves this measure in a timely fashion, the Legislature will get a chance to vote on the rule during the next session.
Parents deserve to know what they are feeding their children. I urge the BEP and upcoming Legislature to enact this protection in a timely fashion.
We already have BPA-free toys – it make sense to also move toward BPA-free food.
Sydney R. Sewall, M.D.
Maine Physicians for Social Responsibility
I am a devoted parent and educator writing to ensure that an important issue doesn't get swept under the rug following the elections. The issue that means the most to me is protecting our children from the harmful chemical BPA.
Many Mainers have come together insisting the state remove BPA from baby and toddler food packaging. The Maine Board of Environmental Protection is considering the rule to require the removal of BPA from food packaging.
Removing BPA will protect children from a chemical that is linked to hormone disruption and that can cause breast and prostate cancer, reproductive issues and behavioral and attention problems.
I am calling on my state representative and senator in Augusta to support the health of our future by standing up for the rule to discontinue the use of BPA in baby and toddler food packaging.
To protect Maine's future, we must ensure the safety of children's foods.
Citizens United silences those without deep pockets
I was happy to see your article "Political spending triggers backlash for Mainers" (Nov. 13).
As a green-card holder, I have the right to live in the U.S. indefinitely, but I do not have the right to vote in elections. I was an Election Day volunteer for Maine Citizens for Clean Elections, in part because I am dismayed at the influence of money in our elections, but also in part because I wanted a way to participate in the political process.
Oddly enough, another way I may participate is by contributing to a campaign – this is legal for green-card holders.
Thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court's Citizens United decision, it's also legal for "noncitizen" entities like corporations and other special interests to spend unlimited amounts of money influencing elections – and this money dominated the most recent election cycle, here in Maine and around the country.
Some people argue that we cannot restrict spending because this is akin to restricting speech. But if it costs enormous amounts of money in order to have your message heard by the electorate, surely this is also restricting speech – that of those who do not have access to such funds. Is that outcome not worse for our democracy than placing limits on spending?
I spoke to hundreds of voters on Election Day who share my dismay, and Mainers have called for a movement to amend the U.S. Constitution and reverse Citizens United.
I call on the Maine Legislature to take action on behalf of the more than 10,000 citizens who signed a postcard in favor of a constitutional amendment. It's time to return to government "of, by, and for the people" – not "for the highest bidder, regardless of citizenship status."
Election results show that Mainers rejected job gains
Reflecting on the recent election results in Maine:
• Ten years, inclusive of the last two years of Gov. King and the eight years of Gov. Baldacci:
Total increase in the number of jobs in Maine = 52.
• Eighteen months into the term of Gov. LePage and a Republican majority in both houses of the Maine Legislature:
Total increase in the number of jobs in Maine = 7,000.
Maine voters apparently didn't like that!