Letters, Oct. 12, 2017

Oct 12, 2017

Worth the cost?

I am writing in support of Dr. James Delehanty and his position on the Coastal Healthcare Alliance and further unification, as expressed in his letter of Sept. 21.

When my family relocated to Maine, Dr. James Delehanty and Dr. Dana Whitten were highly recommended practitioners in the area. Both provided my family with excellent care, as did Waldo County General Hospital. When I developed diabetes, Dr. Linda Tyer was instrumental in the management of my illness.

During the past four decades, I have observed the growth of WCGH, the expansion of its services, and the ability of the hospital to attract quality practitioners in a variety of specialties. My late husband, James Ossenfort, RPh, served on the WCGH board of directors for several years because he believed in the values exhibited by the administration and staff at the hospital. The growth, fiscal stability, and community identity of WCGH were achieved without the need for the Coastal Healthcare Alliance.

I am concerned that further progression of the Coastal Healthcare Alliance will lead to the departure of skilled practitioners in Belfast and the need for community members to travel to other towns to obtain services.

While the current hospital administration may accurately view the sharing of resources as a financial benefit, I question whether the cost to the community, in terms of provider relationships, timeliness of services, and community identity, are worth the financial benefits to our rural community and our county hospital.

Agnes Ossenfort

Northport

Win-win-win

How many opportunities do most people get to help their neighbors, help their community, and help the environment all at the same time? Belfast area residents will have many such opportunities later this month as community members gather for Window Dressers' sixth annual window insert build.

Beginning Oct. 19, Window Dressers volunteers will come together in four-hour shifts at the Belfast Boathouse to finish construction of over 400 window inserts that will help many area residents achieve significant savings on heating costs this winter. The inserts, constructed of pine wood covered with thick plastic wrapping, have proven results in reducing heating costs, not only saving homeowners money but also reducing use of fossil fuels and lowering CO2 emissions into the environment — a win-win-win proposition!

Working with other local volunteers to put the inserts together is a fun and satisfying way to spend a few hours. No previous experience is required, and training in the easy assembly process will be provided. Each four-hour shift comes with a free lunch donated by a local business or volunteer and a chance to meet and work with other community-minded area residents. For those who can’t help during the weekday, shifts are available on Saturday and Sunday, and there will even be two weekday evening shifts.

Sign-up is easy. Just go to the WindowDressers.org website and click the “Volunteer Here” button. Then scroll down to the link for the Belfast Community Build, click “View” and choose the days and shifts you want! I’ll be signing up for several shifts. I hope many others will take the opportunity to do so, too.

Ernie Cooper

Belfast

Vote Paradis

Belfast has made great progress in recent years, but there are still challenges that need to be met, and new opportunities that need to be seized. Housing, energy, the needs of our aging population and other issues need to be addressed by leadership that looks forward to the future, while respecting the past.

The times call for creativity, energy and fresh ideas. I will be voting for Samantha Paradis for mayor on Nov. 7. I believe that she will provide strong leadership and serve as an exemplary representative and spokesperson for our entire community.

Neal Harkness

Belfast

Ready, more than able

Samantha Paradis has my vote for mayor of Belfast. I have worked with her and know her socially, and she is an exceptional person, an extremely able leader and an effective advocate. As a nurse — and now almost a nurse practitioner — she has demonstrated experience advocating for better care in all areas and for all people. She founded Aging Well in Waldo County, a vigorous organization which has undertaken a survey of people over 50 throughout the county, assessing the strengths and the problems of living here for older people. The group is now discussing actions to make the needed improvements with the 26 communities.

She is an effective leader of meetings, and her approach is always based on inclusiveness and listening to all who wish to be heard. She keeps a meeting on track and completes an agenda without shutting anyone out. She can share complex information and make her point understandable in a clear, calm manner. At her meetings I have attended, everyone feels included and heard; she gives a voice to all.

Samantha Paradis is our future, she is Maine born and bred, and she is ready and more than able to assume the duties of mayor of Belfast.

Nan Borton

Belfast

Consequences

This past weekend I got my first moving violation in a long while. I was coming back from a family get-together in Massachusetts and got frustrated when driving behind a slowpoke. I made a stupid decision and passed in an unsafe manner. Moments later I was pulled over by a state trooper and ticketed, the consequences of my stupidity.

There are always consequences.

If you smoke, you could end up dying of cancer. If you text when driving, you could kill yourself our others. If you are an Illegal, you should get deported.

Yet there are many folks who choose to lessen the consequences of others' actions. We constantly hear about offenders of many ilks who have offended multiple times and yet bleeding heart judges continue to release them back into society only to offend again. Consequences.

We live in one of the freest societies in the world. Our Constitution has granted us the right to keep and carry firearms. The consequences of that right was brought into the spotlight in Las Vegas.

These horrific events cause many people to clamor for the disarming of our country. I can understand the reaction. I firmly believe that the consequences of disarming the populace would be far worse.

We have all heard the phrase “power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely." Are you ready to give up your God-given rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness to the politicians who constantly show their lack of integrity? (I am being kind.)

Do you trust that the people we send to Washington have your interests at heart? In 2000, 29 members of Congress were accused of spousal abuse, seven were arrested for fraud, 19 were accused of writing bad checks, 117 bankrupted at least two businesses, three were accused of assault. In 1998, 84 were arrested for drunk driving and most claimed congressional immunity and suffered no consequences.

Things have not improved since then.

In countries like North Korea, Russia, China, Iran and others, people do not have the right to own firearms. They also do not have any say as to what their rights are. The government tells them.

There are consequences. Be careful what you wish for.

Leo Mazerall

Stockton Springs

No getting away from it all

While setting up our tents in a beautiful campground alongside the West Branch of the Penobscot a week ago, friends and I eagerly anticipated hiking in Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument the next morning. Suddenly lights in the campground went out, though the night was perfectly still — no breezes, let alone wind gusts. Power outages are no big deal, but this felt curiously ominous. Had something truly major just happened?

The day before, Donald Trump had repeatedly said to a room filled with reporters, “It’s the calm before the storm.” Alluding to the U.S.’s military strength, he took no questions, as is typical for him, but then added almost playfully, “You’ll see,” before quickly leaving the room. I was thinking about that while we huddled around the campfire.

Meanwhile, Mr. Trump’s quest for environmental destruction is no secret — we are seeing, and we’ll be seeing more. Twenty-five environmental rules have been overturned. Nineteen environmental rollbacks are in progress. Eight more rollbacks are in limbo but slated to be overturned. That totals 52 environmental regulations, which could cut the heart out of our environmental, health and safety protections. (For a detailed list of these rollbacks, see "52 Environmental Rules on the Way Out under Trump," The New York Times, Oct. 6).

Mr. Trump has condemned all “regulations,” which he claims are at the core of preventing America from being great again. It’s worthwhile to inform ourselves what that word means when referring to the safety of our environment. And he glibly hints at the possibility of starting a nuclear war with North Korea. “You’ll see,” he says.

Poet TS Eliot ended a famous poem with this line: “This is the way the world ends — not with a bang but a whimper.”

I wonder how much more dangerous and outrageous this man will have to become before those who have supported him finally realize that he’s really a Jim Jones, and not some glorious savior. I deeply resent that Donald Trump has made me afraid of the dark and afraid for our planet.

Beverly Roxby

Belfast

 

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