Unfair blog post

This letter is in response to Chris Busby’s Feb. 28 blog post, “Field guide to Portland street hasslers.” The inclusion of Herb Adams under this rubric was a mean-spirited personal attack.

Adams has dedicated his life to the service of our local and state communities through years of representation in the state Legislature, Portland’s probate office, teaching in the university, neighborhood organizing, countless volunteer positions and just generally being a good neighbor.

He is one of a rare breed that way, the kind of involved and caring citizen people wish there were more of. Busby needs to apologize publicly and learn the art of polite disengagement.

Tara Butler


Kwickie Lotto

The Maine State Lottery has come up with a new advertising campaign. It’s calling the instant tickets “kwickies” and has the clerks ask the customers if they’d like a “kwickie.”

Is this what our state has resorted to now to get ticket sales up?

Picture a young lady as an older gentleman comes up to the counter. The state would have that young lady ask if he would like a “kwickie” for a dollar.

Who thinks this may make a lot of people uncomfortable? Sure, there will be those who find this funny, but some of those people are the same people who like to make others uncomfortable.

Those who came up with this campaign should be fired.

Jane Welch


Our country’s priorities

In response to the March 9 article about Wiscasset activists who “cherish their guns” and gathered to protest a tightening of the state’s concealed weapons law, the word “cherish” is quite powerful.

What about cherishing people’s lives? Gun violence has killed more than 200,000 more people than in all combined wars in which the U.S. has fought, including the Revolutionary War in 1776.

Many potential killers are walking among us — husbands, fathers and mothers, sons of mothers who had no backgrounds of mental illness when purchasing a gun. Should the right to remain anonymous as an owner of a concealed gun supercede the safety of our communities?

Dog owners are required to register their golden retrievers, for heaven’s sake. Unregistered vehicles are illegal, in part because they could endanger other drivers.

And on a larger scale, people proposing tightening the procedures for concealed weapons possession have expressed no interest in overturning the Second Amendment. George Washington might roll in his grave to see this bizarre twist to our constitutional principles.

While energy is wasted in demanding that people be able to “cherish their guns,” young children get slaughtered in their classrooms, a teenaged boy eating Skittles is murdered and countless people are killed over disputes that start as minor disagreements.

All the while, profoundly serious problems go unnoticed, and the planet is slowly burning up season by season, albeit with little reaction from people with irrational worship of guns and who spew even more hot air in Wiscasset.

These protests are sick digressions from the reality. Where are our priorities in this country?

Beverly Teach


Restore clean funding

I agree with the March 6 editorial, “ Budget is no place to make election policy.” Using the state budget to make big policy changes like getting rid of clean elections is not appropriate.

The idea of repealing clean elections has come up in prior legislatures, and it has always been soundly defeated after citizens weighed in to support this voter-approved law.

When citizens initiated this law, they were careful to include a sound funding mechanism. The program doesn’t cost any more than voters approved, and it is now the system used by most candidates in Maine.

So, it’s popular, it works and voters approved the money. There is no reason to gut this program, and to do so would be a slap in the face to Maine voters.

The Legislature should do its job, reject the governor’s budget maneuver and restore the statutory funding to clean elections.

Chad Chalmers


Support ‘health homes’

At Harrington Family Health Center, we provide a “health home” for more than 3,500 patients by providing primary and preventative care, including behavioral health and oral health services to anyone in need of services. We do this regardless of an individual ability to pay or insurance status.

Our model of care is effective in improving the health of our patients, many of whom have chronic illnesses like diabetes. We want to open our door to even more patients.

We will be better able to do so if Maine, like many other states, chooses to accept the federal grant funds that will be available starting in 2014.

Covering more Maine individuals and hardworking families is the right thing to do, and now is the perfect time to do it. The reason the timing is so important is because for the first three years of the expansion, the federal government will pay 100 percent of the cost of care for all of the newly covered.

This is significant because an expansion in Medicaid will allow more than 69,000 more Mainers to get into high-quality primary care to address health issues they may have not taken care of due to a lack of insurance.

Once these patients get enrolled into a “health home” setting, their care can be monitored and managed to prevent avoidable hospitalization and emergency department visits.

Bill Wypyski


Dental decay

As an independent practicing dental hygienist, I see firsthand the need for more types of dental providers.

Because my clientele is made up mainly of children who are MaineCare recipients, it is extremely frustrating to me that I can’t do more, especially when the dentists in my area will not do more.

With quality training, I believe that a mid-level provider, such as someone who could address and treat simple, small areas of dental decay, could really make a difference for the under-served children and adults in our state.

Pamela Gilbert