Don’t change Pledge of Allegiance
In reference to the writer from Pembroke regarding the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag of the United States of America ( BDN letter, March 5), to change the pledge at all would take away memories that a lot of us have endured. I repeated the pledge at school more than 80 years ago and also when I was in boot camp at San Diego every morning.
I was in the advance party that landed at Yokosuka, Japan, on Aug. 27, 1945. The fleet was 100 miles from Yokosuka when 21 marines were ordered to capture the battleship Nagato. Before we left the ship, the order was given for the pledge. I don’t think any of us expected to come back. We raised the colors from from the battleship. It was being used as a museum.
I live in an assisted living home, and I walk every morning. Daily, I salute the flag and say the pledge. I would say the flag is a large part of the pledge. If you must change the pledge, please wait another 15 years, as we old soldiers will be gone by then and will not know the difference.
Alton R. Grant
Climate change doubt
A historic reduction in the energy output of the sun has begun, John Casey says in his recent book, “Dark Winter.” Casey’s research about the sun’s activity has resulted in the discovery of a solar cycle that has reversed from its global warming phase to a dangerous global cooling for the next 20 to 30 years.
While the theory of man-made global warming and climate change based on human greenhouse gas emissions has never been a reliable predictor of climate change, the solar cycles — including the Bicentennial Cycle, which occurs roughly every 206 years — correlates with near 100 percent accuracy to every major cold temperature period over the past 1,200 years.
Casey predicted in 2010 that there would be volcanic eruptions and earthquakes of historic scale — Japan?
Arctic sea ice had been in a decline for nearly two decades because of the peak heating of the 206-year cycle caused by the sun, but Arctic summer ice increased by 409,000 square miles, 26 percent, from 2007 to 2010.
Read Casey’s 148-page book and judge for yourself before you plan your next global warming/climate change march on Washington.
Drug cuts hurt seniors
As they do every year, many older Mainers are struggling with the rising costs of food, health care and heat for their homes. Other expenses that cause many of us great anxiety are the cost of prescription drugs. For some of us, these are live-saving drugs without which our health would dramatically decline. Because of my own health concerns, I cannot go without certain prescriptions. Along with tens of thousands of other older Mainers, I rely on Maine’s Medicare Savings Program to help me pay for these drugs.
The current administration has proposed cuts to this program. They also are talking about cuts to Drugs for the Elderly, which is for Mainers who are 62 years old or older and not yet eligible for Medicare. The proposed cuts to these programs will be nothing short of devastating to the tens of thousands of Mainers who need them. The state has alternatives, but at-risk seniors like me do not.
I heard the administration say this was about “going back to federal minimums,” but in the oldest state in the country, this is not a good explanation. I wonder what the administration would suggest that I do if the program is cut.
While I recognize the need for the state to balance the budget, I do not understand how eliminating prescription drug coverage for elderly people is the best way to save money. I hope our legislators stand strong.
WindowDressers wrapped up its 2014 season with an impressive achievement, thanks to a great and dedicated crew of volunteer staff. Volunteers built 3,425 insulating window inserts that have been installed in about 250 residences and in several churches and businesses. Hundreds of volunteers from Searsport to Portland donated thousands of hours to help their neighbors stay warm, save heating fuel dollars and reduce their carbon footprint.
The board of directors commends a job well done with enthusiasm and an extraordinary level of community spirit. Volunteers demonstrated the power of teamwork and a get-it-done attitude that has strengthened every community participating in the WindowDressers Community Builds, the week-long construction events that are the backbone of the WindowDressers program. Their effort is the key that provides a low-cost way to weatherize windows without replacing them or using conventional one-time use stick-on window film.
Thanks also to the generous businesses and donors that contributed support measured not in hours but in supplies and financial contributions. Taken together with the volunteer force, these businesses helped build the largest provider of inserts in Maine. The inserts receive rave reviews from customers, and new requests for window inserts continue to increase.
Next fall, WindowDressers is adding Community Builds in Waterville, Blue Hill and Mount Desert Island, while renewing its efforts in the communities it is already serving in Portland, Peaks Island, Brunswick, Belfast, Searsport and Knox County. Our goal is to make 5,000 inserts in 2015.
Senior center praise
As a three-year resident in Orono, I am especially grateful to the Hammond Street Senior Center in Bangor. It offers friendships and a large variety of classes and exercises. My lack of balance necessitates a great deal of help from the professional staff.
So many members are very talented. I appreciate the paintings, which constantly change and hang in our dining area, pottery, woodwork, gorgeous jewelry, beautifully painted glassware and delicious pies when we have a pie sale. There are so many activities I will not list them all. Soon we’ll be having a play, with members of the center. The stage is being built now, so it won’t be a long wait.
Seedlings are started for our vegetable garden. Hot meals also are prepared for hungry members at midday. There is so much more, a monthly newsletter lists all events and classes. This may be obtained from Tracy and Johnny, our very special greeters, at the reception area.
Come visit us.