LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: AARP fighting for prescription drug cost reductions

To the editor:

On behalf of our 230,000 members, AARP Maine thanks Congressman Jared Golden for participating in our recent tele-town hall on prescription drug costs. Nearly 3,500 Mainers participated in the forum and many asked questions of Congressman Golden live during the call.

Much of the discussion focused on the latest news from Washington, including two bills which will likely be voted on soon.

Currently under consideration in the House of Representatives is HR 3, the Lower Drug Costs Now Act of 2019. Under HR 3, the Secretary of Health and Human Services would negotiate prices for at least 25 of the most expensive brand-name medicines. The bill would also cap out-of-pocket prescription drug costs for Medicare beneficiaries at $2,000 per year. In addition AARP is pushing for other improvements to Medicare such as coverage for dental, vision and hearing care.

In the Senate, we urge Senate leadership to bring the bipartisan Prescription Drug Pricing Reduction Act of 2019 to a floor vote this year. The bill would cap out-of-pocket costs for Medicare Part D beneficiaries and require drug manufacturers to provide a rebate to Medicare if the prices of their products increase faster than inflation.

AARP Maine is committed to working with our federal lawmakers to lower prescription drug costs. Too many Mainers of all ages struggle to afford the medications they need to stay healthy, and to even stay alive. It shouldn’t be that way. We cannot wait any longer for this to change, and urge our elected leaders to pass these bills.

Patricia Pinto
AARP Maine Volunteer State President, Portland

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Government overreach removes our parental choice

To the editor:

This coming March at the polls we will have a chance to stop government overreach in Maine by voting YES on Question 1. Proponents of this bill will tell us parents still have a choice when it comes to making medical decisions for your child. What kind of choice is either homeschooling your child or forcing a medical procedure that you have seen cause them harm in the past? That is not a “choice.” It’s an ultimatum.

My yes vote on question 1 is not an “antivax” vote. I have 11-year-old twins. Both have been vaccinated. One was fine with vaccines and will continue to receive them. The other twin was not fine. In fact, she suffered serious adverse effects and is still dealing with those issues today. We as her parents, made the best medical decision for each child. As a result of LD 798, my daughter will be removed from school in 2021 for missing just one dose of one vaccine.

The choice to homeschool or make my daughter sick again is not a “choice” any parent should be forced to make, yet LD 798 does just that. As for single parents, it seems proponents don’t care about a single parent and sole bread winner for the family having to make this “choice.”

The government will never make a better medical decision than parents (who do not make these choices lightly or without a great deal of thought). Please vote Yes to reject government overreach so that ALL children of Maine can receive the education of their choice.

Ronda Snyder

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Close Town Landing Road

To the editor:

Amidst the drama at the recent Selectmen meeting, I noted Tom Michaud is busily repairing fire roads throughout the town. In addition, he is taking suggestions for repairs to other fire roads “to reduce run-off.”

I would like to nominate Town Landing Road to this list. While technically not a “fire road,” it is in serious disrepair. Ditches that were dug a few years ago are not serving their purpose, and continued run-off is clearly evident. Further, the Town should give serious consideration to closing the road permanently for boat access to the lake. Most boats are getting launched at other locations that have been built for this specific purpose, and the road has become a popular nighttime location for illegitimate activities. Closing this road would not affect any local businesses, as there are none in South China Village.

Closing Town Landing Road would serve to protect the Town’s most precious resource, China Lake. I hope town officials will consider this seriously. If that cannot be done, please add it to the repair list.

Geoff Hargadon
South China

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Any veteran can join the Legion

To the editor:

On July 30, 2019, President Donald Trump signed a bill, 5504 Legion Act (Let Everyone Get Involved in Opportunities for Nation Service Act). Prior to this bill The American Legion membership periods were congressionally chartered, and prevented membership from expanding, due to eligibility dates without an act of Congress. The Legion Act allows all veterans with an honorable discharge on federal orders, who served from April 6, 1917 – November 11, 1918, and December 7, 1941 to the present, regardless of unrecognized hostile conflict dates, to join the American Legion.

“It’s a big step, a veteran who served honorably, should be eligible to join the American Legion, no matter the dates. A veteran is a veteran,” said Gardiner American Legion Post #4 Commander Russ Helm.

Veterans, grab your DD214 (or equivalent), and join the American Legion! Take advantage of the abundant resources, community services and the camaraderie of our members.

For more information on what the American Legion has to offer, visit www.legion.org, or the Gardiner Legion at 46 Griffin St., Gardiner, ME 04345, (207) 582-9868, email swpost4@ne.twvc.com.

Roger J. Paradis
Gardiner Post #4 adjutant

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR – Litterers: Help us out. Don’t flatten cans!

Tom Lefferts (left) and Richard Dillenbeck (right) out picking up trash along Lakeview Drive.

To the editor:

The Litter-free China! volunteers would like to request help from the folks who throw aluminum beer and soda cans from their cars. Don’t go to the trouble of flattening before discarding because we turn in cans to the Transfer Station and flattened cans are apparently not redeemable. Of course, it’s best if the cans are not tossed at all, but if you do, don’t flatten them.

Your thoughtfulness is appreciated.

Richard Dillenbeck

LETTERS: Trash pick up response exceptional

To the editor:

The response for volunteers to pick up litter on July 13 on the main roads of China has been exceptional. We now have it covered from Erskine Academy to Rte. 3, South China village itself, Rte. 202 to China village, China village itself, the causeway, and a portion of the Neck Road from China village south.

It’s been suggested we do this on the second Saturday every month. When the snow flies, we may have to take a break and resume whenever it’s melted. Appreciation to the volunteers who have stepped forward and thanks also to the town office staff and the transfer station staff. It does indeed need the cooperation of everyone.

As Dennis Heath, town manager, said in a recent communication, it would help enormously if all property owners would take responsibility to pick up along their own frontage on China’s roads.

I think we all realize this effort can only really succeed if the litterers change their behavior. Please keep it in the car for later proper disposal and cover trash being hauled to the Transfer Station in an open vehicle.

We also welcome anyone living on roads other than the covered routes to consider stepping forward and help create a Litter-free China!

Richard Dillenbeck

LETTERS: Those extraordinary fireworks!

To the editor:

I would like to personally thank whoever that family is that shot an extraordinary, brilliant, 20-minute display of wonderful fireworks last night (July 4) off the north end of John Jones Island! My family floated up a bit to see who’s got what this year, but this display was well beyond anything I’ve ever seen on China Lake. Thank you very much.

Tom Lefferts

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Doing “business” in E. Vassalboro

To the editor:

As an avid cyclist, I get to see a lot of this part of Maine, and from time to time, I need to take a break to “take care of business” in a biological sense. Whenever possible, I try and use a facility designed for that purpose and several times over the past few years, that has meant entering the “outhouse” at the boat landing in East Vassalboro.

This is certainly the most disgusting example of such a place that I have ever seen. I truly believe that to sit down in this stink hole would be life threatening. And yet, this is a very popular spot for putting boats into China Lake, and, in fact, the dock and ramp area was re-built just last year.

I brought up this issue to the folks at the Vassalboro Town Office a couple of years ago and even suggested that someone from there should go down and check out the place; nothing seems to have changed. It seems even more disconcerting when one considers the close proximity to a major public water supply. Now, I don’t know if any of the waste gets into the lake, but the smell alone is almost overwhelming. It seems like the investment in a portable toilet, like the one at the head of the lake in China, would be a prudent solution. Just a suggestion.

Bob Bennett
South China

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Integrity of our voting process is at stake

To the editor:

Within the context of whether the Russians interfered in our elections, it should be apparent that we need to assure our voting system is not corrupted or hacked. It might not be much, my vote, but I’d like to think it counts. Sometimes, it feels like it doesn’t. Certainly Russia and other countries are interested in our elections but so are a lot of wealthy people, corporations like Monsanto, political parties too. At minimum, they each will find a way to sway our support/vote one way, or another. They all try; as an individual, I do too. There’s a lot of political competition and debate. That part, isn’t so concerning to me. But could we all be duped and controlled by fictitious election results?

Today, we see it too often: hacks and stolen data. It happens. Electronic voting and all computer tabulations are vulnerable to corruption and control. We did it to Iran’s nuclear program, messing it up. Every day, how many hackers are at work, in China, Russia, or the CIA? Computers put voter integrity at risk, or worse. How much would election results sell for, if it was possible?

What can give us more security? Paper ballots and real people counting them, what’s wrong with that? The more real citizens involved, the more secure it becomes. We have a system for obtaining jurors now, ever done that, been selected? Make it a legal, civic duty like that. I’ll even volunteer, many would. Anyone would have an improbable task of affecting the outcome of an election with so many responsible citizens participating. Run the whole voting process with people; and we know who they are. Make election day a holiday, get everyone participating.

Take any side you want, any issue; your vote is vulnerable at best, or stolen for the worse. Please, our legislators need to do something, to put some thought of safety into our voting process and how we vote. I’m asking each of them, in representing us, to assure the integrity of our voting process by enacting the “People and Paper Act.” (I don’t write ‘legal,’ it’s not written yet; any legal, elected volunteer?) I’m hoping many will join in, support the idea. No to Voting Machines! We can’t/shouldn’t trust them.

Dean DeWitt, China resident with Charles Lang Sr. and 12 others.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Appraisal needed on property

To the editor:

On June 11, the voters of China will vote on whether or not to authorize the select board “to purchase a portion of the property at Map 38, Lot 15, including all costs, not to exceed $150,000….” The portion of the property consists of five acres with frontage on China Lake.

I am a strong proponent of preserving open space and public ownership of land to preserve it for current and future generations. As a 30-plus-year resident of China, and as a voter and taxpayer, this sounds like a great deal and one which I would normally support.

In this case, however, offering the owner of the property up to $150,000 may be a great deal for the town, but it may be a bad deal for the property owner. It’s important for the voters to know that the $150,000 figure came from a tax assessment of the property. There has been no property appraisal. The property may be worth less or it may be worth much more. I suspect it is the latter.

I believe that the town of China should have bought and paid for a property appraisal before putting this to voters. Only in this way would we know what the property is really worth and what we should pay for it. If the voters of China vote the purchase down, this is all a moot point. If the voters of China vote YES, I hope that the town pays for an appraisal and has another vote in November if value of the property exceeds $150,000. I also hope and expect the town of China to not pay the owner more or less than the property is worth.

John M. Glowa, Sr.
South China