Welfare for sports teams

A recent edition of The Week newsmagazine published a column, “Welfare for team owners,” that highlighted how billionaire sports team owners are forcing state and local governments to help fund their latest ventures.

Among others, the column featured Atlanta Braves owner, John Malone, a major landowner in Maine. Quoting from the column, “The Braves replaced their barely two-decades old home stadium, Turner Field, in 2017 with SunTrust Park — a $ 722 million stadium in the Cobb County suburbs built with nearly $400 million in public funds. So great was the public’s investment that the county commissioners were forced to raise taxes to fund a depleted $40 million bond delegated for building and maintaining public parks.” According to Bloomberg Businessweek, the Braves have garnered about a half-million dollars in public subsidies for their stadium.

Do taxpayers benefit from spending billions to subsidize sports stadiums? The Week suggests otherwise. Odd how this form of “welfare” appears to be far more acceptable to the most wealthy of citizens.

Donald C. Grant

Mount Chase

Let patients choose

The Dialysis PATIENTS Demonstration Act, a bill introduced in the U.S. House last month, attempts to remove patients’ choice. All patients should have a choice in their dialysis provider. There is no reason for patients to be involuntarily enrolled in an organization and then be required to opt-out within a specific block of time in order to preserve their freedom of choice. This puts an unnecessary burden on the patient.

In addition, this model should include chronic kidney disease care, palliative, transplantation, medical management and hospice. Unfortunately, this act covers none of those critical services and requires a patient to leave the organization if that care is needed. Patients risk being abandoned by their expanded care team at critical times.

Based on these concerns, please oppose the Dialysis PATIENTS Demonstration Act.

Rachel Stephenson


The Great War

Recent articles in the BDN and programs on Maine Public Radio have honored the centennial of the signing of the armistice ending World War I by exploring Maine’s military contribution to the war and highlighting the experiences of Maine soldiers on European battlefields.

Largely missing from these articles and programs was any discussion of the significant opposition that emerged to U.S. intervention in the war. Also missing was an examination of new historical studies documenting high levels of draft dodging and of requests for military exemptions in the United States during the Great War.

Failing to raise these issues does a disservice to the veterans who fought reluctantly and who believed the United States might better have ensured future peace by maintaining its neutrality and championing cooperative rather than militaristic forms of internationalism.

Elizabeth McKillen


Trump’s trouble with facts

I have a friend in Tennessee, who tells me that things that I post on Facebook about President Donald Trump are usually wrong and that I don’t know the whole facts.

Well it could be Trump who doesn’t have a clue about the facts. He has never lived in our world — got his hands dirty, worried about his electric or fuel bill, paid for college loans, or personal house payments — instead of some company high rise under company name.

If he is going to spout off, he needs to study up on his material. This jabbering about something he no clue about is making us, the American people, look bad.

I am a proud American, who loves his country. Politics today is hurting us, where big money is buying elections. I feel ashamed of the way we are being presented to the rest of the world.

Gary King