Referendum signs are misleading

To the editor,

On March 3, all Maine voters registered in any or no political party may vote on Question 1. This referendum seeks to overturn legislation which does not permit religious or philosophical exemptions for vaccinations.

Those who don’t support vaccinating children have raised significant funds and covered the highways with signs which inaccurately portray vaccination advocates as being part of a conspiracy with big pharmaceutical companies.

Many of us recall growing up with family and friends forced by polio into iron lungs, wheelchairs, and braces. A vaccination administered to all members of the community virtually eliminated polio. Other diseases such as smallpox have been eradicated thanks to vaccinations. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Center for Disease Control says, “We don’t vaccinate just to protect our children. We also vaccinate to protect our grandchildren and their grandchildren.”

Please support vaccinating children by voting no on Question 1. Vote to protect our future.

Diane M. Denk, Rep. House District 9

Kennebunkport, Kennebunk and Biddeford

Letter was ‘insightful reminder’

To the editor,

Kudos to Bill Case, who wrote a letter to this newspaper on Jan. 24, 2020, regarding the Kennebunkport Village Parcel.

His article was insightful and good reminder of the history. I too was remorseful about voting yes for the $10 million-plus spent on this parcel. I was led to believe that the town wanted this parcel for a future town center as we were running out of space in the Dock Square area.

I have been living in Kennebunkport since 2003, part-time initially and full-time now and also as a volunteer for the Kennebunkport Conservation Trust.

I have nothing but respect for the organization, and to turn this parcel over to them wouldn’t be the worst decision, based on some of the other options presented.

But, the best decision is what Bill Case mentions about senior housing. My husband (past president) and I have been members of the Newcomers & Neighbors Club for about six years now. This social organization consists mostly of pre-seniors and older. These residents of Arundel, Kennebunk and Kennebunkport members (200 strong), have very similar stories.

They vacationed in this area during their working years and have moved here for a quality retirement. This area has a lot to offer seniors, healthcare in Kennebunk, Biddeford and York, an abundance of activities and groups to join, close proximity to two thriving cities (Portsmouth and Portland), low crime, great walking and hiking trails. What’s not to like? Well, if we are lucky to grow old, you’d most likely have to move to get full-time care and housing.

On a side note, my mother-in-law who recently passed away at the age of 95, was kept in her house until her death. She was very lucky to have a daughter who devoted her whole life caring for her, coordinating her aides and all the maintenance issues of a 50-plus-year-old house. It was a full-time job for my sister-in-law and it took a team of aides to help her weekly. But, most of us don’t have a child or relative who will give up their lives to care for them, or don’t live close enough to be of daily assistance. I also think many of us do not want to burden our children with that task.

As Bill Case states this area needs a high quality 55-plus housing, with transitions to independent, memory care and then nursing care.

If you have done any research, which I have with an aging father, there are long waiting lists at most area independent and nursing care facilities.

This a win-win for Kennebunkport. The seniors can stay in town and age, the town can collect back some of the $10-plus million they spent on the parcel from a developer as well as subsequent real estate taxes.

Jeanne Butler

Kennebunkport