LETTERS: Local prostate cancer support group

To the editor:

September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month and as a nurse who has helped facilitate a Prostate Cancer Support Group, I have seen the importance of men and women gathering to share their prostate cancer stories. I am always amazed at the amount of warm humor, caring relationships and good advice that emerge at these monthly sessions.

Yet I know that some men or women do not feel comfortable in support groups and so, I have worked with One2One, a Maine confidential telephone connection that matches men with trained Maine volunteers who have experienced what they are confronting in their lives. (Call 207-441-5374 or 1-855-552-7200 x 801, leave a message and someone will get back to you.)

I also know that the Maine Coalition to Fight Prostate Cancer (www.mcfpc.org) has information listing all the support groups currently available in Maine, many on Zoom.

Equally important is the suggestion that men who are 45 or older give thought to talking with their primary care providers about considering a PSA blood test as well as a DRE exam to establish a baseline on their prostate health. When prostate cancer is detected early, several treatment options can help individuals lead a healthy and productive life. Indeed, for many men the choice will be active surveillance or just keeping an eye on the numbers with no treatment called for. (When prostate cancer spreads, the course of action can be much more difficult and often affects quality of life as well as life expectancy).

In these troubling days of Covid-19 we somehow must still keep ourselves knowledgeable about our health, and keep our eyes on the future.

Andrea Martelle RN
Augusta

LETTERS: Gideon family tax lien scandal is serious

To the editor:

While I’m glad to see some members of the Maine press finally taking the Gideon family tax lien scandal seriously, I can’t help but notice some grave inconsistencies in the answers provided by Sara Gideon to the press.

For one, she told WMTW that she “did a couple hours on that project”, but she told the BDN that she “worked for the company briefly in 2006 and 2007.” Both clearly can’t be true.

What is clear is that this business was for a development on Gideon’s Way, Sara was listed as the marketing director, she set up the website, her husband was on the paperwork every year and that the LLC’s address was their home address.

That means that together, they were involved in a $4 million development that resulted in 77 tax liens, and eventual foreclosure, while Sara was on the town council, voting repeatedly to increase her neighbors’ taxes while not paying her own.

It’s clear that Maine voters don’t yet know the full story, but they deserve to before they cast their vote. If this is how the Gideon’s handle their personal affairs, Sara clearly isn’t fit for higher office.

John Picchiotti
Fairfield

LETTERS: Rejection is correct

To the editor:

The People’s Referendum to block using Ranked Choice Voting for President was recently ruled, by a lower court, to be put on this November’s ballot even though the Secretary of State, Matt Dunlap, ruled the signature collectors did not have enough valid signatures. “Just under 1,000 signatures had been rejected because they were collected by circulators who were not registered to vote when they were collecting signatures, which is required under the Maine Constitution.”

This rejection is correct. From a logical point of view, say you went hunting or fishing without a license and were caught by a Maine Game Warden. You’d say, “Wait, while I run up to the town office to get my license.” Ha! The warden would laugh at you and give you a ticket. I hope the supreme court in their wisdom sees the logic of this and reverses the lower court ruling. Full Disclosure: It was a cold day in January a few years ago that I collected signatures outside our transfer station in favor of ranked choice voting.

Bob O’Connor
South China

LETTERS: Column not clear

To the editor:

I read Gary Kennedy’s Veterans Corner in the August 13, 2020, issue of The Town Line, and I am still not clear on veterans’ disillusionment and confusion with a VA shutdown. Rather, I now have a good idea of Mr. Kennedy’s political and social views. If Mr. Kennedy wishes to express an opinion he should do so in an editorial rather than in a column that purports to be a source of news and information for veterans. I would also suggest that someone find a dictionary and check out the difference between “dissolution” and “disillusion”.

Deborah Marlett
South China

LETTERS: Politics before science?

To the editor:

As a former certified teacher, I never thought I would live to see the day that politics could be allowed to overrule science as it is being done with such abandonment now.

Why not extend the school summer vacation for another three months? [I] know it creates extra problems for parents, but in the interest of safety this would give those working on how to control this virus much needed extra time to hopefully get a handle on this pandemic. Go back to school too early and, God forbid, everyone associated with the system risks the possibility of, not only coming down with this virus, but even die [from it]. Something to think about. Yes, this is a double-edged sword but, again, what is the alternative?

The National Teachers Union and its affiliates have told their members if you don’t feet it is safe to go back to school, then do not. Very sad.

Those of us in Maine appear to be under the illusion that this virus is only happening south of us. In central and northern Maine, and from my perception based on what I am seeing, many are not paying attention to what is being said on TV, newspapers, and internet regarding masks, social distancing, small crowds, etc.

Let’s all hope and pray, what we all should, that Dr. Fauci never has to say, “I told you so.”

Frank Slason
Somerville

LETTERS: Maine roots run deep

To the editor:

I have watched hundreds of thousand of political ads, which must have cost millions and millions of dollars, to get me to vote for the best U.S. Senate candidate. They all tell you why to vote for them or why not to vote for their opponent. I cannot understand or really know the truth because I can only take their word for it. The one way I can understand is by knowing where they both grew up. So, I Googled both Susan and Sara on the internet to find out.

Susan grew up in Caribou, Maine, with deep Maine roots. Sara grew up in East Greenwich, which is the wealthiest municipality within the state of Rhode Island, and she has no Maine roots.

Unfortunately, like Hillary Clinton did in New York, you can move to a state with enough campaign financing and win an election. I am also a Mainer with deep roots, and I will be voting for a Mainer, Senator Susan Collins this November.

Neil Farrington
South China

LETTERS: Thanks to The Town Line

To the editor:

I will be spending my 51st summer on China Lake in a few weeks. It will be a different time (my husband passed away in April). The pandemic will limit access to many familiar areas, no Common Ground Fair, but my family’s memories will await at the cottage.

After years of anxiously looking forward to the first Thursday of our annual stay to catch up with local news in The Town Line, the nice lady in the office advised that I could have it mailed to Texas.

Now four copies of the previous month arrive without fail even during these times when we are unsure if our daily newspapers will be delivered. I am so grateful for the opportunity to stay connected to China Lake throughout the year and have already collected a stack of articles about places to visit.

I was especially intrigued by the story about the “dump queen“. The little room has been a welcome resource to replace items lost to the little winter residents every year and an outlet for things useful to someone else.

Thank you to the entire staff at The Town Line, hope to see you in late August, in time for cool weather and beautiful leaves.

Susan Thiem,
Corpus Christ, Texas

LETTERS: Living in peace, happiness

To the editor:

Because of the lock down, I have been watching an old late night show with a guy by the name of Dick Cabot. It’s on at 9 p.m. on the Decades channel, 5.3 Portland.

I am writing this as so much has been written and said about all the injustice that has been done to so many people of different colors. With that in mind, one show highlighted the actor Anthony Quinn. As they conversed about all kinds of theatrical stuff, Quinn was asked what was his favorite role.

He told Cabot that it was his portrayal of an Indian chief by the name of Red Coat. It seems Chief Red Coat was allowed to address Congress circa 1840. Quinn was given a dias to speak from to say what Chief Red Coat said, and it was tearful to see Quinn, without a script, orate what the chief said to Congress. It began like this: “Members of Congress. You invaded our shores over two centuries ago and my people welcomed you with open arms. Since that time, you have taken over our nation. Ours, not yours. And now you imprison my people on reservations located in a country we once owned.”

That is just a short clip but we all know what the fate of the Native Americans is.

It is my hope and prayer that as America’s conscience opens up to help others, please consider the real Native American, without whose help the original colonies would have never survived. Just think back of clean skies, clean water, unpolluted lands and people living in peace and happiness.

Frank Slason
Somerville

LETTERS: A tradition ends

To the editor:

For the last 40 years on the third Saturday in July, the South China Volunteer Fire Department has held a fundraising auction. Over the years it has become our major fundraiser, and has been eagerly awaited by folks from China, and surrounding towns. It has been going on so long that we have firefighters who were not yet born when the tradition of the “Fireman’s Auction” began. Over the years we have used the funds raised along with lots of volunteer labor to build our station, purchase our fire trucks and fill many other needs.

Unfortunately, the tradition is over. I have the sad duty to advise you that due to the restrictions promulgated by the governor in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, we will not be holding an auction in 2020. It is our sincere hope that we will be able to pick up where we left off when things return to normal.

In spite of this situation, we still have a need for funding beyond that which the taxpayers provide, so this year, if you would like to make donations of cash instead of items to sell at auction, we would be pleased to accept them. Please make checks payable to the South China Volunteer Fire Department and mail them to PO Box 325, South China, Maine 04358.

We thank you for all the support you have provided over the years and for that which you may be able to provide in the future. Rest assured that despite the pandemic, the members of the South China Volunteer Fire Department will be there for you when you need us whatever your emergency may be.

Dick Morse, Fire Chief
South China Volunteer Fire Department

LETTERS: Never give up

To the editor:

With my wife stuck in a lockdown Alzheimer’s facility, and all the negative news on TV and radio, with the editor’s permission, I would like, as I write this on Father’s Day, about a story my father told us young kids that we have always remembered.

Shortly after World War II, my father started a flying school which in those days was regulated by the Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA). He started alone but later hired two other Certified Flight Instructors (CFI).

This new young man showed up to take flying instructions, and my father gave him to one of his new CFIs. Bear in mind many of these new CFIs were trained by the military, but regulated by the CAA. My dad mentioned this as some times a military-trained pilot goes by the book and needs to be reminded there is no rank involved here, and each student is treated with respect and understanding.

Well, it seems this new student was having a very difficult time learning how to fly and his ex-military instructor wasn’t very patient with him. Of course, yelling at the poor kid didn’t help during instructions. The instructor told my father, “This kid will never learn how to fly and I am through trying to teach him.”

So, being the gentleman my dad was, he decided to take the student on and see if he could teach him how to fly. Well, according to Dad, this kid’s skills for flying were nil. His eye, hand and feet coordination were very bad. In fact, after many hours of almost being killed teaching this young man, my dad told him he was sorry but, “you are just not equipped and skilled to be a pilot.”

My dad told the other instructor and others the sad news, but was surprised when the young man came into the pilot’s lounge and stated, “So, I gave it a try but now I’m off to Hollywood to become a movie star.”

Well, of course, everybody wished him well, but later laughed at his statement, saying he will probably be as good at acting as he was flying, and all had a good laugh.

Fast forward 20 years, and lo and behold, that young man that tried to learn how to fly did indeed make his mark in Hollywood. After a few small bit parts, he made his fame starring as Col. Hogan in the TV comedy series, Hogan’s Heroes. That young man was Bob Crane.

Happy belated Father’s Day to all out there.

Frank Slason
Somerville