Letters, Aug. 10, 2017

Aug 10, 2017

Veteran honors

Thank you to the two American Legion Posts 116 of Monson and 157 of Stockton Springs.

On a hot, muggy July afternoon, members of these two posts gave of their free time to honor a WWI veteran who had not received a funeral. There were about 30 people in attendance, including a small group representing Camden American Legion Post.

As I stood there looking around at the group of people, I felt how lucky I was to be amongst such caring people, both of the American Legion and our community. This WWI veteran, a native of Belfast, never received a proper burial.

According to a discovery made by a student researching "Hermits Of Maine," Ralph Perkins, our World War I veteran, moved to Monson and became known as "Hank the Hermit." There was an article a week or so ago in The Republican Journal about Ms. Bennett (of the Monson Historical Society) and her story of Ralph Perkins, which chronicled the events that transpired in his life. She made it her mission to see that "Hank" had a proper service.

Ms. Bennett discovered a long-lost relative, Syrena Gatewood, and thanks to modern technology (emails), they were able to put together a service for this gentleman who had served his country so long ago. American Legion Post 157 was honored to be included.

Judy L. Otis

Commander, American Legion Post 157

Stockton Springs

Thanks for support

The Morrill Fire Department and Auxiliary held their annual auction, yard sale and bake sale Aug. 5. The auction raised approximately $6,400 to help toward training and purchasing equipment. We all wish to extend our appreciation for items donated, raffle tickets purchased, food baked as well as donations received from residents of our town. Also, thank you to the firefighters and auxiliary as well as to our auctioneer, Eric Sanders, for all of their hard work to again make this a successful auction.

We would especially like to thank the businesses and individuals that supported us with their products and gift certificates. We could not have raised as much without their support.

In addition we would like to thank Morrill General Store, Bruce Benjamin, for the hot dogs, etc., that he donated and the use of the storefront to sell raffle tickets and promote various fire department functions. Also, a thank you to Butler's Woodworking of Morrill for their generous donations.

Thank you.

Fire Chief Pat Scribner and Auxiliary President Irene Blood, on behalf of the firefighters and Ladies Auxiliary members.

Morrill

In appreciation

The family of Irene J. Cook would like to thank Waldo County Hospital for their patience, kindness and understanding toward the family members who were at the hospital when my mom was brought in. We appreciate all that was done.

We also want to send out a thank you to everyone that supported us through this hard time. Many family members and great friends gathered in the celebration of Irene's life at Faith Temple Church in Belfast with Pastor Mike Horton. The singing of the Hustus girls and Wayne Hamilton's trumpet tribute was a great memory to end a day of sadness.

Thank you, everyone.

Ruth Spacco

Dorchester, Mass.

Stockton candidate

My name is Suesan Packer and I am running for the open position on the Board of Selectmen.

I have been a resident of Stockton Springs since 1998 and I love my home and town. I want everyone to know that I am here for all of the residents of Stockton Springs and want to hear what their concerns are — after all, I am here for you.

Remember to get out and vote on Tuesday, Aug. 29! The polls are open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Suesan Packer

Stockton Springs

Universal health care

Under the current House of Representative of the Second District, we are faced with shrinking support for low-income elderly, the physically and mentally handicapped, and underpaid middle-class members of our society. In other words, the most vulnerable are at the greatest risk of not having health care and living a dignified life that everyone deserves and wants.

Right now, health care is probably the single most important government program that is facing the chopping block, closing access to fundamental health care for millions of people in this country.

During the financial crisis of the Bush years, lack of health care was the single most dominant reason that millions of Americans lost their homes to foreclosure. If there was an accident or a prolonged illness that struck a wage earner’s family, there was nowhere to turn when the hospital bills came due. Both health and homes were lost to millions.

According to recent financial reports, another housing bubble could burst again. Just in Belfast alone, there are bidding wars over some properties. It is not unusual for a place to sell above the asking price. Banks are more cautious than before, but interest rates are low.

At the same time, millions of Americans could lose everything if the health care they have access to through the Affordable Care Act is repealed — or worse — replaced with a program that rewards the healthy and wealthy and throws those who need health care most under the bus.

In these perilous times, we need to elect a person of solid integrity to represent the Second District of Maine in Congress in 2018. We need someone who has credentials that show strong principles of caring and fairness and true compassion for those whose well-being is at risk due to circumstances beyond their control. Someone who believes in a government of, by, and for the ordinary citizens of this country.

That person is Jonathan Fulford. He is dedicated to making a better future for all of us. He is his own man. We can count on him to think of his constituents first and foremost. He knows that when everyone does well, everyone does well. Universal health care is the only answer.

Let’s give him the chance to show what a truly honest, smart and caring representative in Congress can do. We have a lot to lose if there’s no change in Congress.

Nancy E.Galland

Stockton Springs

Still fighting

It's hard to believe that we still have to fight for ranked choice voting, but it's true.

Opponents (from both sides of the aisle) failed to pass a full repeal bill last session, but they will push another one in the next session. They are scared because they know that once Mainers have the opportunity to use ranked choice ballots, they won't want to go back to the old system.

We need more people to speak up and state the facts about this system. Remember that seven of the 10 elections covered by this law do not present any constitutional concerns. And that includes the June primaries, where ranked choice voting would likely have the biggest, most meaningful impact.

Make no mistake about it, ranked choice voting is revolutionary. If you are tired with the political status quo and wondering what's on the table to put a dent in it, this is it folks. Make your voices heard.

Ann Marshall

Waldo

In the fog

Remember that phrase from the Vietnam era, “The Fog of War”? Nowadays, it should be “The Fog of Politics.” Whether we’re Democrats or Republicans, whether we’re looking at Augusta or Washington, D.C., Mainers see divisions both within and between parties spreading mistrust like a fog.

Take the case of ranked choice voting (RCV).

Last November, a referendum measure regarding RCV was placed on the ballot. Trying to make a change in our electoral system, Maine voters approved RCV; the size of the majority indicated agreement across party lines.

After November, though, the Fog of Politics stalled any action. Instead of implementing RCV, the Legislature debated its own authority to do so, citing the Maine Constitution. Maine’s Supreme Court was asked for advice, and responded that general elections for state office by RCV would violate the Maine Constitution; at the same time, the court established that the Legislature was responsible for initiating action on the referendum approval.

Thus, for instance, the Legislature could either amend the Constitution to fix the constitutional problem and implement the referendum as it was voted, or, without further ado, implement the referendum for elections outside the court’s stated limit.

Subsequently, supporters of the referendum approval offered “fix and implement.” The House and Senate took strictly partisan and opposed positions through a series of debates and votes during which the fog became so thick that it turned a choice about the conditions of implementing the referendum approval into a fight over its repeal.

Repeal? Say what? How did the Legislature turn the people’s "yes" 180 degrees into a standoff over "no"? Why did we get off-line from our heading?

Umm…the Fog of Politics?

Fog is no stranger to Maine. It’s not all bad. Moisture is good for growth. Fog cools us off, quiets us down, makes us go slow. After all, with a natural fog, a breeze usually picks up as time passes, and the fog lifts. It’s been 15 years since the first RCV bill was introduced. All the pluses and minuses have been vetted; people have voted for the fresh air of change. Time for the Fog of Politics to lift. Time for the Legislature to do its job, honor the referendum approval made by the people of Maine, and implement RCV.

Barbara Currier Bell

Belfast


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