Help for Maine infants

As the lead agency for the Maternal and Child Health Block Grant, we are commenting on Matthew Stone’s Aug. 15 BDN article, “Maine got millions to help moms and babies, but has little to show for it” — an unfortunate and damaging title — and his omissions on the current situation with the grant.

Stone did not note that the Maine Department of Health and Human Services — with Sheryl Peavey, former director of the agency’s Early Childhood Initiative, taking the lead — responded within 24 hours to the concerns raised by a number of public health agencies in a June 29 letter to Commissioner Mary Mayhew. The department’s response resulted in three important reversals of policy:

— Contracted agencies will receive direct referrals from health care providers versus the state’s proposed central referral office

— Contracted agencies will have authority to assess eligibility and need with an initial home visit conducted by a trained registered nurse

— Fee-for-service proposal was deemed unrealistic and burdensome and reimbursement remained at block payments

We are working collaboratively with the state to refocus efforts to rebuild our programs. Our southern Maine collaborative in the last three years completed 19,245 home-based nursing visits, giving 7,150 infants and mothers the care, education and coordination with community resources they need and deserve. We have and will continue to make an impact on the lives of the most vulnerable in Maine.

Mia Millefoglie

Grant manager

MaineHealth Care At Home

Saco

Maine needs Thibodeau’s leadership

Republican Senate President Mike Thibodeau has done a great job, and that’s why I’ll be voting to send him back to the Legislature this November.

Thibodeau is a person of integrity. He listens and he cares. Residents of Brooks have seen him for years at Ralph’s Cafe, at the Marsh River Theater and at J.P. Wentworth’s store. He is involved and knows his communities.

I first met Thibodeau when he successfully ran for the Maine House of Representatives in 2006. During his service in the House, I was impressed and thankful for the attention he paid to my concerns as a Brooks selectman and as the assistant director of a state agency.

He was elected to the Maine Senate in 2010. In 2014, he was unanimously chosen to serve as Senate president, a position not held by someone from Waldo County for more than 90 years.

It takes years of work in the Legislature to build the relationships and earn the respect and the leadership role that Thibodeau has.

My respect for Thibodeau went even higher when, in the face of a likely state government shutdown in June 2015, he worked with Democrats and Republicans to keep state government functioning without interruption. This should be a minimal expectation of our representatives in Augusta, but not all people share this view.

A vote to re-elect Thibodeau will allow his legislative experience and leadership to continue to benefit Waldo County.

Linda H. Lord

Brooks

Elect pro-life candidates

Supreme Knight Carl Anderson, head of the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic fraternal organization, said at the annual convention in August with more than 2,000 present that Catholics cannot vote for a pro-abortion candidate. He said “abortion is in reality a legal regime that has resulted in more than 40 million deaths” and it is not “just another political issue.”

“What political issue could possibly outweigh this human devastation? Abortion is different, abortion is the killing of the innocent on a massive scale. We need to end the political manipulation of Catholic voters by abortion advocates and it is time to end the entanglement of Catholic people with abortion killing. It is time to stop creating excuses for voting for pro-abortion politicians,” he said.

Remember, Hillary Clinton is 100 percent for abortion while Donald Trump and Mike Pence are pro-life.

Anderson also spoke about the persecution and genocide of Christians in the Middle East. They have been tortured, killed and driven into exile. Governments and the United Nations will not help them. They rely, according to Anderson, for help from fellow Christians and the Knights of Columbus, who he said have given more than $11 million for refuges in the Christians at Risk initiative.

Tom Coleman Sr.

Dedham

Thibodeau for Maine Senate

Come November, I am proudly going to vote to keep Mike Thibodeau as my state senator. I have met Thibodeau several times. Not only is he a good man, but he has served Waldo County well in Augusta as a senator and as Senate president.

Time and time again I have seen how Thibodeau has exemplified leadership and bipartisanship in the Maine Senate. From sponsoring a stolen valor bill to increase penalties for those who impersonate military veterans — an issue near and dear to my heart as the widow of a U.S. Navy veteran — to increasing funding for Maine’s senior citizens’ homes, Thibodeau has been there for Mainers.

He also is not afraid to stand up to members of his own party when the decent thing to do justifies such an act. I could go on and on. He also took the time to come out to the Farm Days Parade on Aug. 20 in Freedom. It was a long way from his hometown of Winterport and with only so many voters, Thibodeau could have easily written off Freedom residents, but instead he took the time to come up and meet every person he could.

I am excited to vote for Thibodeau in November and hope other people will join me.

Sallyann Hadyniak

Freedom

A natural treasure in The County

Thanks to Aislinn Sarnacki for reminding us in the Aug. 19 BDN 1-Minute Hike about the treasure so near to me: the Aroostook National Wildlife Refuge in Limestone. I drove over to walk the Don Lima trail, which was featured in the 1-Minute Hike. I observed a horned owl, which was well camouflaged, sitting on a dead tree.

The refuge’s gift store had several interesting displays of animals and related items, as well as well-stocked shelves with many gifts appropriate for our grandchildren. Please make a visit and support this valuable resource.

Roberta Griffiths

Presque Isle