Letters, Nov. 2, 2017

Nov 02, 2017

Editor's note: Election letters, per newspaper policy, do not appear in this issue. Election-related letters received since last week's deadline are available online at waldo.villagesoup.com. The deadline for publication online is Nov. 2.

It's what they do

"Wildfire burns 18 acres in Prospect, North Searsport" reads the front page story of the Oct. 26 Republican Journal. According to the article, it took from Friday, Oct. 20, when a resident of Prospect reported the fire and emergency responders got their first call, until Sunday, Oct. 23, at 4 p.m. to put the fire out. And, for the most part, this feat of know-how and courage was accomplished by "volunteers" — men and women working together, firefighters and ambulance personnel, from nine Waldo County towns.

While the citizens of these nine towns went about their routine weekend activities, there Waldo County volunteers stepped up because it's what they do! As the proud mother of a professional firefighter who works with volunteer firefighters in his home town, I have come to admire and respect these volunteers and the dedication they have to their communities.

On Sunday morning, Oct. 23, I passed the Searsport Fire Department's tanker truck coming down Mt. Ephraim Road, making yet another water run. I wanted to thank the driver of the truck for what he was doing; I wanted to thank all of the volunteers fighting this fire, working so hard to keep our communities safe. And so I wrote this letter to the editor. This is my chance. "Thank you!"

Charlene Knox Farris

Searsport

Why?

My husband Jim and I own Good Karma Farm and Carrabassett Soap Co. in Belfast. We have owned our own business for more than 25 years.

In 1995, while I was three months pregnant, I lost my job and health insurance for my family. My husband owned his own business so I went to work with him and for the first time we obtained health insurance in the Individual Market. It wasn’t cheap but we could afford it and we had good-quality coverage.

Over the next 10 years, we continued paying for our health insurance but watched with growing dismay at the steep rise in our monthly premiums, higher deductibles, and less coverage. When the premium on a $10,000-per-person deductible plan exceeded $850 per month, we cancelled our insurance and risked it without coverage. Fortunately for us, we were a healthy family of three.

When Congress passed the Affordable Care Act, we signed up right away for coverage through healthcare.gov. I was thrilled to see that plans offered on the marketplace had reasonable premiums and good coverage. For the first time in our lives, we had coverage for prescriptions! Pap-smears and mammograms paid in full!

Like so many small business owners, we rely completely on the Affordable Care Act for our health care coverage. We understand that the ACA isn’t perfect but we expect Congress to work together to make it better.

Unfortunately, Congressman Poliquin has voted repeatedly to repeal the ACA without a decent replacement and has been standing idly by while the president sabotages the only health insurance coverage we have available to us. Insurance through the ACA is our only chance for quality coverage. Why does my representative, despite all his claims that he supports Maine small businesses, want to take that away?

Amy Grant

Belfast

Thanks, Republicans

I admit, I will usually (but not always) vote for a Democratic candidate. Yet these days I am grateful to you Republican voters who have elected people to Congress who are raising politically courageous voices of alarm, and warning, and remembrance of the values of our country that we learned as children.

These voices are pointing out that integrity, accountability, ethical behavior, and human decency in one’s treatment of others, always matter, especially when one serves as a role model to the country and the world. People of conscience and integrity like Sens. John McCain, Bob Corker, Jeff Flake and Susan Collins are raising their voices as patriots, placing their worried concern, over any misplaced loyalty to party affiliation.

I am grateful that my fellow citizens who vote Republican, and who may indeed hold more conservative policy positions than I, have placed members of such good character in Congress. Thank you.

All members of Congress, and the president of the United States, take an oath of office to support and defend the Constitution of the United States, the preamble of which guides us with these visionary ideals:

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States.

I hope you will continue to vote for individuals who refuse to be co-opted by today’s slavish allegiance to tribal politics and instead vote for individuals who have the courage to uphold high ethical standards of truthfulness, civil discourse, and liberty and justice for all.

Susan Davies

Liberty

Environmental champion

Rep. Erin Herbig has been a consistent champion in voting for the environment in the past legislative session, and I am grateful to her for working on these tough issues and keeping Mainers safe, healthy and able to enjoy and access the outdoors.

The Maine Conservation Voters scorecard, available online at mainescorecard.org, reports the voting records of all legislators on environmental bills. There we all can easily track whether our representatives voted as we wished. I hope voters look there to find out if their own representatives were environmental champions or not, especially if their representatives are seeking re-election this month.

Throughout her time in office so far, Rep. Herbig has actively worked on behalf of Maine’s environment despite a session that faced multiple efforts to roll back Maine’s environmental protections. This year, Rep. Herbig has a record of 100 in MCV’s scoring of environmental legislation. Throughout her tenure in the Legislature, she has consistently voted in favor of clean drinking water, renewable energy, and preservation of Maine’s natural heritage.

As a Maine student active in environmental causes, I am glad to see Rep. Herbig advocating for the future of my generation in protecting and strengthening our state’s commitment to the environment.

Emma Moesswilde

Belfast

 

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