Hamlin honor

Congratulations to Tony Hamlin and the Maine Basketball Hall of Fame selection committee in their choices to be honored in August. The Cross Insurance Center in Bangor is a perfect location for the Hall of Fame.

I plan to submit the name of Bernard Parady of Mount Desert for future consideration. Bernie coached from 1954 to 1980, appearing in 24 Eastern Maine tournaments, winning seven Eastern Maine tournaments and four state championships. He was coach of the year three times. The Mount Desert Island High School Parady Gymnasium is named in his honor.

John H. Walls


Childish behavior

I recently saw an example of childish behavior exhibited by two Hampden councilors at a recent council meeting. I stand amazed that they would be setting such a poor example for others to follow. As a combat and disabled veteran, I am appalled at their claim to be patriotic but refusing to announce their dedication to the republic for which they claim to have fought to preserve. They say they are veterans of our military but act like spoiled little kids that deserve to be sent to their room.

I will not stand with them in this childless protest unless of course they have suffered a stroke and have lost their faculties. In that case I will help them seek treatment and forgive them for being so disrespectful to the U.S. flag and to the republic.

By the way, I grew up in Hampden and graduated from Hampden Academy in 1960. Served my country for 20 years, 20 days and 11 hours. Am still a soldier at heart and will defend their right to protest but not their right to disrespect the flag or country.

Kirby Wheeler

Central Point, Ore.

Vote with wisdom

I want to express appreciation for Sen. Ed Youngblood’s OpEd in the March 27 BDN. I appreciate his openness to every side of the debate and his clear reasoning as to the best ways to handle the MaineCare expansion bill.

I agree with him that persons who are able to work should apply to get insurance from the Affordable Care Act exchanges instead of relying on the government. The cost of insurance through the exchanges sounds very reasonable. I suggest we use MaineCare for those who are ill or too old to manage a job.

I hope all our senators and representatives will read Youngblood’s OpEd and vote with wisdom.

Mary B. Pearson


Family planning

As a Maine resident and a young woman, I respectfully ask that Gov. Paul LePage sign LD 1247, An Act to Expand Coverage of Family Planning Services. Recently the bill won the support in both the House and Senate. Yes, the state already funds pregnancies for low-income women, but it would make better economic sense to fund preventative services such as birth control as well. This would truly help the state save money.

More importantly, this bill would give low-income women access to health care, which, in turn, gives them control over their own economic future. Access to health care, especially better, more effective birth control, is a huge factor in empowering women to manage their reproductive choices. By having access to birth control, women can enter or remain in the workforce longer than if they were limited by unplanned pregnancies. Access to other preventative services such as pap smears, breast cancer and cervical screenings, tests and treatment for sexually transmitted infections and wellness exams help low-income women remain healthy and continue being tax-paying citizens.

When women have better reproductive choices, they can plan for their future and improve their economic standing — which bodes well for everyone when/if they choose to have a family or if they are already supporting a family.

Dara McIntire


The right thing

Sadly, Sen. Ed Youngblood’s recent OpEd distorts the facts on MaineCare expansion by relying on the politically motivated, discredited Alexander report. Expansion would not add to health care expenditures, as it is fully funded for the first three years, and indeed MaineCare spending has been relatively flat for the past five years. It is not draining money from other important needs; rather, the recent tax cut that favors the wealthy is.

The expansion is favored by approximately 70 percent of Mainers and endorsed by the Maine Hospital Association and the Maine Medical Association — neither group known for radical ideas. The longer we delay, the more needless deaths there will be. Every three days, one of our fellow citizens dies from lack of health care, and one family daily goes bankrupt from medical bills.

Without expansion, we will see increased hospital costs and increased insurance premiums as the costs for charity care expand and are passed on to the rest of us.

Expansion makes good practical sense, and morally it is the right thing to do.

Stephen Sokol, M.D.


19th century cause

Oh, how I agree with points made in Robert Klose’s OpEd about burying power lines. His sentence, “This is the 21st century, and the scene hasn’t changed since the 19th,” really stayed with me.

I’d love to see all power lines buried, but unfortunately trying to buck the habits and philosophies of the power companies is a lost cause. They’re stuck in the 19th century: “If it was good enough for our founders (and stockholders) it’s good enough for us.”

How do we begin to get them to re-think distributing electricity in this century? Is it a lost cause?

Dan Ladner

Presque Isle

Money-making scheme

Recently the city of Bangor closed the Penobscot Plaza to parking due to potential flooding. It displaced over 100 cars between the judicial center, Camden National Bank and others. People were forced to find a parking spot wherever they could, and then I watched with amazement as the parking enforcement division proceeded to pass out parking tickets to all those who were parked “illegally.” At 8:30 a.m., they lift the parking ban (after all the hard workers found alternative parking, and the parking enforcement did their “job”).

How convenient that the same group that enforces a parking ban is the same one benefiting from the displacement. It looks like Bangor has found a new money-making scheme. Shame on them.

Curt Lefebvre