Grateful to first responders, hospital staff

Recently, my wife and I were hiking in the Meadow Brook Preserve in Swanville when I tripped and hit my head on a rock. When my wife couldn’t rouse me, she called 911, and I am writing to thank the responders and to applaud the emergency services in the Belfast area.

The 911 operator stayed on the phone with my wife until the first responders arrived, which entailed their hiking in approximately a mile to our location. The operator not only gave advice but great reassurance. She did a terrific job. The first to arrive were volunteers and an officer who appraised the situation before EMS could arrive. Eventually, they carried me out on a gurney over rocky, uneven terrain, and I was taken to Waldo County General Hospital via ambulance.

At the hospital, the kind and concerned attention continued. By that time, I was alert and very much comforted by the Emergency Room doctor and assigned nurse and later, having been hospitalized for a night, by the medical practitioners on the floor.

We are lucky to have such fine services in Waldo County, and I very much appreciate the care that I received.

Steve Bulloch


On his watch

There’s an old expression, “on his watch,” which we use to ascribe responsibility to persons in charge.

On Sept. 11, 2001, four aircraft were hijacked by Saudi terrorists and crashed into the twin towers, the Pentagon, and a Pennsylvania field, killing 2,977 people ⏤ an intelligence failure that occurred on George W. Bush’s watch, though he can’t be directly blamed.

As the pandemic accelerates at an alarming pace, we are now looking at the possibility that more than 300,000 Americans will have died by the time Donald Trump leaves office Jan. 20, 2020. In other words, on his watch, the equivalent of one hundred 9/11s.

Had Trump been an active, engaged president, following the advice of health care professionals from the early days of the pandemic ⏤ like leaders in countries like Vietnam, South Korea, and New Zealand ⏤ it is estimated that only a few thousand U.S. lives would have been lost. But, given Trump’s nature, that was not possible.

There’s another old expression ⏤ ”Nero fiddled while Rome burned” ⏤ an event that may be apocryphal.

In our time, as the pandemic has raged, Trump has regularly played golf. So, here’s a new one for you: “Trump golfed while America burned.” And that’s not apocryphal.

Rather, it is now, and forever will be, the Trumpian legacy ⏤ despite all denials, all efforts to shift blame.

For with the presidency comes final accountability. As Harry Truman’s old desk sign famously proclaimed, “The Buck Stops Here.”

Dale Hueppchen


A great time to quit

For more than 40 years, the American Cancer Society has hosted the Great American Smokeout on the third Thursday of November. The Great American Smokeout is an opportunity for people who smoke to commit to healthy, smoke-free lives, not just for a day, but year-round.

The Great American Smokeout provides an opportunity for individuals, community groups, businesses, health care providers, and others to encourage people to use the date to make a plan to quit, or plan in advance and initiate a smoking cessation plan on the day of the event. The Great American Smokeout event challenges people to stop smoking and helps people learn about the many tools they can use to help them quit and stay quit.

The 2020 Smokeout on Nov. 19 provides an opportunity for Maine tobacco users to begin their smoke-free journey along with thousands of others from across the country. Quitting smoking is the single most important thing a smoker can do to live a longer and healthier life. In Maine, nearly one in five adults smokes and tobacco use continues to be the leading cause of preventable disease and death.

The Maine QuitLink is an online resource to support Maine residents to be tobacco-free and to connect to tobacco treatment. The staff through the Maine QuitLink offer assistance in developing a plan for quitting and are committed to making a difference through support that can help you stay tobacco-free for life. You can reach the Maine Quitlink by calling 1-800-QUIT-NOW 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control has provided the following guidance: Being a current or former cigarette smoker increases your risk of severe illness from COVID-19. If you currently smoke, quit. If you used to smoke, don’t start again. If you’ve never smoked, don’t start.

So wear your mask, watch your distance, wash your hands, and quit smoking. Every day and any day is a good time to quit.

Kenneth I. Lewis

Senior Director

MaineHealth Center for Tobacco Independence


Thorns for Rose

In response to Tim Rose's Letter last week, it's debatable whether Maine is “in good hands” with Mills and Dr. Nirav Shah, who came under scrutiny when an outbreak in a Veterans Home of Legionnaires disease killed 13 and Mills' draconian lockdowns putting many small businesses, including restaurants and hotels, out of business.

Regarding the statement that President Trump is not a role model for our children or our country: Donald Trump built a multi-national company, employing thousands of people, many of color and many women, during his decades in business throughout the world. He helped countless people out financially and lent his private jet to transport people in need of expedited transportation many times.

He has endured a fake impeachment, spying on his presidency and in 3½ years, he has accomplished more than the Obama/Biden dream team did in eight years, especially for our black population with Opportunity Zones, help with Black colleges and the Fresh Start Program.

Trump never failed a class in law school for plagiarizing someone else's work, receiving an “F” and graduating near the bottom of his class. He never lied about whether he was on a full scholarship, earning three degrees and attending Delaware State. He never plagiarized Robert Kennedy or the Brit, Neil Kinnock.

As the story goes, would you rather have a heart surgeon operate on you that's tops in their field and maybe has a big ego, or someone who's a real nice guy, went to med school in Grenada and faints at the sight of blood? I'll take the guy with the ego every time.

Eric Schrader