CIA torture report needs to be made public

I am still waiting for the CIA report on torture used by our government to be released from the Senate; and I urge others to contact everyone they can to see that this happens soon.

I have a stiff and resilient backbone as a practitioner of Buddhism and as a Unitarian Universalist. I long for the truth even if it’s hard to stomach. We have no way to impact our government by contacting our representatives or even writing letters like this one, if we do not have access to the truth.

For some unseen reason, this report has been held hostage by the committee that received it. We have stated many times that torture is wrong. We do not want it carried out in our name. What good does this do if we do not have access to correct or truthful information? Please contact every legislator you know and write to every publication that you read and state your right to information. Help me, as well as the Maine People’s Alliance and the many church councils to make a difference.

Remember the phrase we learned about knowing the truth and “that the truth shall set you free?” I want to be free, and I want my country to be free just as you do. We need to know why so many young men and women return home from serving their country sick from having seen and done the things that are being presently held secretly. These young people are far from free, as their nightmares follow them everywhere they go.

Judith Simpson


Waldo County "Exceptional" Hospital

It is said that everything can change in the blink of an eye and that God does not blink. Apparently, neither does the collective staff at Waldo County General Hospital. To say we are lucky to have this hospital and medical team in our fair city and county is an understatement. I now have another reason to be glad I chose to come home in retirement!

Trust me, my assessment is not based on some half-baked random sampling. We're talking three trips to the ER, lithotripsy (kidney stone blasting with ultrasound waves), basket retrieval procedure, four day in-patient stay, labs, scans, imaging and tests up the wazzoo! (Can we print that in a family weekly?) Everyone I encountered was competent, helpful and kind. Big corporate gurus chase this kind of employee excellence.

The essential question is why does anyone in their right mind choose a job or career that places them squarely in the path of that oncoming train-wreck that is your personal health emergency? This is not when you are dressed to the nines with your teeth brushed, your makeup on and your good manners at the forefront. More likely, you are short on patience, in your sweats and look like you have just walked the dog or cleaned the garage. Rarely is this the time you remember to say thank you for the expertise, knowledge and treatment you desperately seek.

So, a heartfelt (read kidney-felt) thank you to Dr. Gregory and his staff and all of you in the Emergency Room, Ambulatory Care Area, to the CNAs, nurses, imaging staff, housekeeping, nutrition services and the person who put my brother, David, in touch with Denise Thurber Lindahl in the ER. It was great to reconnect with several classmates of the late '70s from the BAHS who work at WCGH but would prefer a chat over pizza at Rollie's!

It may have been a quiet week in Lake Wobegon, but things were pretty wild down on Northport Avenue. Drink plenty of fluids, but don't worry, everyone at Waldo County General Hospital will be ready when you need them!

Jan Dodge


Missing poem

Belfast is a town that truly values its poets, as I learned when I crossed the footbridge for the first time in 2011. At the western entrance to the bridge, I noticed a slender cabinet, which held Elizabeth Garber's 2006 poem celebrating the new span. It begins: "We are this bridge / crossing our bay of brilliance … "

Yet when I returned in October 2013, this lovely poem was missing! The place where it stood awaits its return as soon as possible opposite the historical marker and Bridge Peace sculpture. Please restore it, Belfast!

Diane Oltarzewski