I wonder if it is time to question the governor’s fitness to serve. I, and many others, have observed on too many occasions his going off the rails on an issue or being so offensive about an issue that he leaves one to wonder if he has all of his wits about him; taking down the labor mural, the comments on Martin Luther King Jr. Day in 2011 and women growing “little beards” from BPA exposure, and now threatening to close schools in April.

If there were more jobs and he and his staff put some energy into getting the people with the ideas and the people with the money together, we could succeed.

I also am somewhat miffed that he would make that kind of statement — that we have a budget shortfall that would cause us to close schools — right after the loss of Kestrel Aircraft jobs in Brunswick.

Where was he when this was going on and why did we not win back that commitment? If I were him, I would have made that work, somehow. Has anyone quantified what that loss meant to us in terms of tax revenues and how that would have started to close the gap? And do we know how many more situations like that we need to move ahead with a balanced budget? We need to move. The pace of change has been much too slow in this first year.

I think the governor behaves like a bully, I don’t think he is competent to serve us well and wonder if he should serve us at all.

After a year of his buffoonery, I am wondering if we should you ask him to step aside. His staff did advise him to duct tape his mouth, and still he comes out with these things that are in my opinion crazy, offensive and without merit.

Judith Abbott

West Gardiner

Echoing across the great state of Maine from the governor’s office come more negative vibrations, aimed this time at 65,000 Mainers receiving assistance through MaineCare. We have been advised that these individuals, because the Department of Health and Human Services has a shortfall in its budget, are going to be cut from the rolls.

It is obvious to us Mainers that DHHS is in need of a thorough review of its budgeting and operational procedures. The governor has made it clear how he wants to go about solving these DHHS issues. Let me remind the governor that we have a Legislature of very intelligent, caring and knowledgeable men and women who are more than willing to work collaboratively with the LePage administration to find ways to improve the budget and procedural rules that govern the operation of DHHS.

The governor’s proposal to cut 65,000 Maine people from MaineCare rolls is extremely shortsighted. It will ultimately be harmful to the Maine economy because of subsequent layoffs of some DHHS employees.

Also, as a result of an increase in emergency room visits by those no longer on the rolls, who are unable to afford regular doctor appointments, Mainers will face increased health insurance premiums as unpaid medical care increases hospitals’ expenses.

Increased health care insurance costs will leave Maine citizens with less disposable income with which to stimulate our weakened economy.

All in all, the governor’s proposal is not in our best interest and is an inhumane action directed at our citizens in most need.

Bob Chaplin

Bar Harbor

There has been a great deal of public debate and discussion concerning the governor’s supplemental budget. The cuts to MaineCare and private non-medical institutions have garnered much of the attention, and for good reason.

However, it is time we also put the proposed cuts to the Fund for a Healthy Maine in the spotlight. These cuts would result in the elimination of essential prevention efforts in Maine.

Since the fund’s establishment, Maine has proudly utilized it as it was initially intended, targeting tobacco and preventable chronic conditions impacting Maine families. Much of this work is done through the prevention efforts of the local Healthy Maine Partnerships, the foundation for Maine’s public health system that is currently proposed for elimination.

Prevention is the first, best and most cost-effective step in decreasing and containing Maine’s health care costs.

A recent report released by the bipartisan legislative committee charged with studying the feasibility of the Fund for a Healthy Maine confirms that fund dollars are being spent on effective prevention programs and recommends continued support for these initiatives.

Currently, Maine is the 8th healthiest state in the country and is 22nd in public health spending, thus showcasing that every $1 spent on prevention in Maine saves $7.50. If the cuts to the Fund for a Healthy Maine move forward as proposed, Maine will fall to 48th in public health spending, and over time, one can safely assume Maine’s health ranking will be adversely affected.

There is no question Maine’s current economic state requires difficult decisions by our legislators.

As discussion in Augusta continues, it is imperative that legislators understand the outcomes of past and current prevention efforts, and the long-term financial burden Maine will face if such prevention efforts are abolished.

Maxine Austin


York County shelter thanks those who rallied to help

On Jan. 18, many caring people lined Route 111 outside the York County Courthouse in Alfred and participated in a peaceful demonstration to encourage the county commissioners to reinstate $31,000 in funding to the food pantry of the York County Shelter Programs. It was a freezing cold day with a brutal wind.

The shelter wishes to express its gratitude to all the individuals who made signs and banners and came out to show their support on the road and in the courthouse.

Many concerned shelter residents, staff, volunteers and supporters from all different backgrounds and many locations from throughout Maine gathered to peacefully demonstrate about this significant issue. It was an incredibly heartwarming effort.

Sadly, the county commissioners chose to ignore the recommendation of the Budget Committee and voted unanimously not to fund the shelter’s food pantry.

We will continue to advocate for those who are hungry.

Special thanks go out to all who recognize and care about this critical issue of addressing the hunger that challenges many adults and children right here in York County. If you would like to help us in our search to acquire more food and funding for our food pantry, please check out our website: www.yorkcountyshelter programs.org.

Hunger is simply not acceptable.

Mary Doyle

West Newfield

Renewable energy should come clean with its details

I do not like having the “wool pulled over my eyes.” I like straightforward deals which are out in the open for all to see. I am sure most of you out there feel the same way.

The more I read about “renewable energy” scams in Maine, the more it irks me. Why can’t the wind industry just come clean and tell the average Joe what is going on behind the scenes? I think I know the answer to that question. It is because if “Joe” knew the whole truth about renewable energy and what it will cost the consumers once in place, no one would want renewable energy.

Who can afford to pay higher electric bills than they pay right now? A better question is: Why would anyone want to pay a higher electric bill?

The object should be lowering our electricity costs here in Maine. At the very least, we consumers should have a choice about where we get our electricity from.

We should have the choice to “opt out” of renewable energy if we don’t want to pay higher rates for electricity. There are many who are struggling out there as it is to pay their bills. Why place more of a burden on them?

This so-called green, renewable energy is a scam whose time has passed. I am all for looking at alternatives to wind and solar. Maine can and should do better than this.

Linda Miller

Lexington Twp.