LETTERS: Smiles, waves and happy birthday

To the editor:

Smiles, waves and happy birthday was the reception I received as I was returning to my car after voting at the Palermo Town Office.

But wait – I am getting ahead of myself.

When I went to the end of the long line of masked people waiting to vote, the couple that just got in line told me to go in front of them. Soon a lady asked me to get in line in front of her, then another asked me to do the same. A man pointed to a place where I could sit down and said he would save a place before him for me.

I’m unsure if that was the man who found a larger cooler, brought it for me to use. When he asked to put the cooler in place, the person at the very front told him to put the cooler before him. All this time a lady from the line let me use her shoulder to help my balance.

This lady asked me what happened to my legs, and I replied that nothing happened to them, that it was just old age creeping in. Then I added that it was my birthday and I just turned 94. When I asked her name, she gave it to me. I recognized it immediately and told her we were neighbors. (Not really, but I pass her house when going to Route 3.)

I was treated with the same respect and kindness when inside and Dave, a man who was working inside, said he would help me to my car. That brings me back to the smiles, waves and greetings I received.

At one o’clock that afternoon, the Palermo Library opened its door for the monthly meeting of the Palermo Quilt Club. All state and local restrictions were obeyed. Unbeknownst to me, one member of the quilt club was in the voting line. She hurried home and made a large chocolate chip cookie (4 – 5 inches) and put a candle in the middle. She brought it to me, lit the candle and everyone sang happy birthday to me.

I thank everyone in that long line for helping me and also the members of the quilt club who made this day a wonderful memory. I also thank everyone in Palermo for the kindness they have shared with me and my family since I traded being a “Buckeye” from Ohio, to a “Mainiac” from Maine. Or, as my grandchildren say, “from a worthless nut to a Mainiac.”

Joan L. Robertson

LETTERS: What about the USPS?

To the editor:

To everyone running for government office, I have a question for each and everyone of you: What are you going to do about this problem with the United States Postal Service? Talking to a very wise and experienced postmaster, who made this statement: “If this government dissolves the USPS there goes our last and only mode of privacy.”

I won’t go on about these now quasi civil servants who bring elderly people like me, without a smart phone, computer and other tech apparatus, my only touch with the modern world. Yes, TV, but most of that is garbage and you politicians know it. Haven’t seen or heard one of you mention the USPS so am I to understand it’s a non-issue?

I know we’re running out of time, but I hope your readers ask this question.

Frank Slason

LETTERS: AARP is politically nonpartisan

To the editor:

As we get closer to Election Day, the number and intensity of attack ads continues to grow. Unfortunately, I continue to see political ads that mention AARP and imply a candidate’s endorsement here in Maine. I want to be clear on this: AARP is entirely nonpartisan. We do NOT endorse or oppose candidates or political parties! We do not give money to candidates and we do not have a Political Action Committee to support any candidate or party. We focus on the issues important to older Americans and encourage all candidates to voice their positions on those issues, so that all voters know exactly what candidates will do if elected.

What issues are those? Social Security for one. It is our bread-and-butter issue, and for many of our members, it is literally their bread and butter. Social Security must be preserved, especially for the almost 25 percent of Maine beneficiaries 65-and-over who depend on Social Security for 90 percent of their income.

What else do we fight for? Protecting and strengthening Medicare, which provides affordable health care for almost 300,000 older Mainers. Hard-working Mainers pay into the program their entire working lives and are guaranteed coverage that help make health care accessible and affordable.

Along with Medicare, we are fighting to lower prescription drug prices. Too many Mainers struggle to afford their life-saving medications while the pharmaceutical companies line their pockets. While we have made progress in Augusta, we need Washington to do more to reduce out of control drug prices.

How do we win on those issues? Through the power of our members’ votes. Voting is what counts. We stand by our members and fight for issues important to those ages 50 and over, and their families.

We are not just bipartisan. We are nonpartisan. We fight for issues, not candidates. We make sure candidates know about the issues that our members passionately care about and we will work with any elected official who will fight for these issues, too.

And our members vote. In 2016, over 80 percent of Mainers 65+ voted compared to the national average of 71 percent. As you can see, our members are serious about making their voices heard. We’re a fierce defender of age 50+ voters in Maine.

We work hard at the Maine State House on other issues, too. We push for things such as long-term care services and supports so we can age in our own homes; increased affordable housing; fair utility rates; improving access to retirement options for those without any, to name just a few.

And did I mention fighting for improved high-speed internet affordability and access? As part of a broad coalition we, with the help of our close to 230,000 members, pushed for support of a broadband referendum during the July primary and 75 percent of Maine voters supported the measure. Because of the impact of our many members, we make a positive difference.

About the ads I mentioned above? We issued news releases and contacted the candidate’s campaigns’ to let everyone know that the ad was produced without the knowledge or consent of AARP.

If you see a political ad showing the AARP logo or implying our endorsement of a candidate, contact us a me@aarp.org. We need to know so we can preserve our independence as a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that fights for age 50+ Mainers.

Lori Parham
AARP Maine State Director, Portland

LETTERS: A calm, measured approach to life and politics

To the editor:

It is not often that I can unequivocally endorse a person with impeccable qualifications such as Hilary Koch, who is running for the Maine State Senate, representing Waterville and several other towns in central Maine.

Hilary is a candidate who is gifted with a yearning for the common good. Unlike many ideologies who go overboard with their mission, Hilary, first, has an open mind and is known for her keen sense of active listening. She harvests all of the facts and ruminates over them prior to making a decision.

Common sense is an attribute that colors her inordinate sense of fairness and justice for all. Two areas that come to mind are her fierce endorsement of education and the unacceptable high prices for prescription drugs.

Hilary will not be distracted by ideologies and high priced lobbyists who represent corporations and the donor class whose efforts are often contrary to the needs of the middle class.

Hilary is recognized as a strong, resilient candidate whose only allegiance will be to the people she represents.

I look forward to applaud Hilary’s rational and responsible leadership in Augusta.

Lawrence Griffin

LETTERS: Two votes for Koch

To the editor:

I spoke to an ironworker from Waterville at an actual in-person event this month in Clinton. We talked about our local State Senate race. He was undecided whom to vote for. This surprised me.

I told him that in our Senate District #16 (Albion, Benton, Clinton, Fairfield, Unity Township, Waterville, and Winslow), Democratic candidate Hilary Koch was the way to go. And when it comes to supporting workers, that it wasn’t even close.

Hilary Koch has been endorsed by the Maine AFL-CIO, MSEA-SEIU Local #1989, and MEA (that’s laborers, office workers, teachers, and their retirees).

Her Republican opponent, Scott Cyrway, has consistently voted against workers’ interests in Augusta. In fact, Cyrway came within just one legislative vote from receiving a zero percent rating from the MSEA, which is mostly state employees.

This local ironworker was happy to learn about Hilary and said he would join me in voting for her next month on Election Day. I told him our fellow local laborers appreciated this, since she will support worker rights and protections in Augusta.

Voters in Albion, Benton, Clinton, Fairfield, Unity Township, Waterville, and Winslow are lucky to have such a State Senate candidate as Hilary Koch to back this year.

Please show support for your local laborers, teachers, and other workers by voting for Hilary Koch over the next few weeks. Thank you for doing so.

Mike Hein

LETTERS: What are plans for nursing homes?

To the editor:

Could this letter possibly slip in between all the pros and cons relative to who is running for office? Yes, I know politics are important and time is short, so everyone is getting their two cents in for their favorite.

Just a thought: How many running for office have even touched on the terrible toll this virus is wracking on nursing homes and their devoted staff? Not one, I wager. The nursing homes are underfunded, under staffed and people are hard to find as the pay is usually low, which is terrible considering what these caregivers have to endure and made even worse due to the pandemic.

So, if you writers to the editor heap praise on your favorite, please ask him/her what their plans are when it comes to helping the healthcare facilities, who are charged with one of the most demanding jobs, which they handle with grace, as they try to comfort their patients and, of course, suffer with having to wear a mask during working hours, which makes it hard to converse, too. So, please ask your favorites, again, what their plans are for saving the nursing home disaster.

Frank Slason

LETTERS: Supports Preston, again

To the editor:

Janet Preston won the open China select board position in March. Knowing her as a strong supporter of both education and emergency services in our town, she will have my vote once again this November.

Neil Farrington
South China

LETTTERS: Supports local candidates

To the editor:

I have been a voter in the town of China for 62 years and served on every board, elective and appointed except the planning board, from 1962 until 1982. During those years, and all the years since, those who served their town as participants as firefighters have always had my deepest admiration. They are on call 24/7, all the while knowing they are in potential danger. They are the best of the best and deserve to be accorded their due. In voting for the board, please consider voting for board members who will support the firefighters and their departments.

I have known Blane Casey since he was a boy. He was one of my scouts and I watched him start and grow a company into a very successful business. I don’t personally know Brent Chesley, but as another successful businessman we could not have better representatives on the board than these two men.

Tim Theriault’s history here in the town is well known. He has been involved in Boy Scouts, Little League and the China fire department for over 40 years as well as representing us ably in the state legislature and deserves to be re-elected.

Reaching from the town to county elections, Ken Mason has made an excellent sheriff and he, as well, deserves to be re-elected. A former Marine with years of law enforcement experience, vote to keep him in office.

Donald D. Pauley

LETTERS: Vote for the good of the town

To the editor:

The heading in the local and state section of the Kennbec Journal (Sept. 24, 2020), was “5 candidates vie for 3 seats in China.” This brought back some old and new memories of the operation of the town of China.

In our most recent history, the folks running the town, in my personal opinion, were all about power and control, with egos larger than common sense, community and civility. We have had enough of this kind of leadership.

Some positive changes have been made. We now have a town manager that knows the people of China and the every day workings of the town from top to bottom. What she and the town now need is to have a select board that will guide and support her efforts to make this a warm and healthy community. I’m not looking for a lot of new ideas, but rather something in the line of traditional values that have worked well in the past and the ability to add new technologies.

Of the five candidates running for a seat on the board, I want to call your attention to two of them. They are Blane Casey and Brent Chesley. Both men own and operate their own companies, and know what it’s like to meet a payroll, submit bids and contracts, work with the public, governmental agencies, banks and insurance companies. All necessary skills needed to operate town government.

One more point I’d like to call to your attention, why did the KJ point out the political affiliation of these two men and not the other three? I’m sure I know, but do you? Speaking of tradition, why not use some traditional values during this election. Like praying to God, saluting the flag of our country, standing for the national anthem, and voting on the first Tuesday following the first Monday in November, standing in line and voting personally.

Vote for the good of the town and the United States of America.

Sheldon Goodine

LETTERS: Visiting with our loved ones

To the editor:

I cried as I mailed my beloved wife an anniversary card, marking our 62nd one. I cried, because of Covid-19, I wasn’t able to see her for three months during the lockdown, and now, I am lucky to see her twice a month, outside, six feet apart at a table. With a mask on it’s so difficult to talk to my wife because she is a soft talker. So, since March 13, I have seen very little of my wife and, believe me, I’m sure, others in the same boat are hurting, too. Also, we loved ones on the outside know what an awful stress it is on those caretakers who not only have to wear a mask at work, but have to listen to the woes of those stuck inside, and still try as best they can to make life as comfortable as they can for their patients.

I was told that in November we will be able to Zoom to visit, but I remind people that a lot of us elderly don’t have computers, smart phones, etc. We are praying that maybe the homes will loosen up and at least let us visit inside once in a while. I realize we would still have to wear masks but would love to be able to just give my wife a big hug, and unfortunately, can’t kiss her. What a way to live, eh?

I sure hope all the readers are praying for an end to this pandemic as for us people, old and suffering with love ones in nursing homes, maybe add us in your prayers as it sure looks like only a miracle will save us before all us old folks die before enjoying our short time left, hoping to see and love our loved ones.

Frank Slason