Paid family and medical leave helps veterans

As an Air Force veteran, a social worker, and executive director of the Maine Student Veteran Alliance, I know that one major problem that service members face when they leave military service is income stability.

Men and women coming home for war face incredible challenges putting their lives back together, and sometimes carry with them scars that will last a lifetime. Veterans are more likely to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury. We also know that about 20 veterans take their own lives every day.

For many service members, who bear visible and invisible wounds for their willingness to serve, family members are their primary, and most appropriate, caregivers. LD 1410 would help these caregivers support their families without significant disruption to the family’s income.

We must improve veteran health care overall, but we can do more. While no single proposal will solve all the problems veterans face, passing a paid family and medical leave would help.

LD 1410 would create a new universal program in Maine that would allow a person to take up 12 weeks to care for someone in their family or 20 weeks to deal with their own medical issues and guarantee that they receive part of their paycheck every week. This program would help veterans maintain a stable income when taking off time work to support the family’s medical and behavioral health care needs. When a veteran is willing to seek VA care, it should not come at a significant professional and financial cost.

Stephen White


Comic relief

I wish it hadn’t taken so long but I, too, want to thank you for bringing Non Sequitur back to the comics page. However, unlike another reader’s opinion, I hope you keep Pearls Before Swine.

Floyd Miller


Standing with France after Notre Dame fire

We at Maine Preservation are deeply sorrowful about the major fire damage suffered Monday by one of the world’s great buildings, the Paris cathedral of Notre Dame. Although we typically restrict our activities to the buildings of our great state, we believe that this calamity is a fitting exception. French writer Victor Hugo called Notre Dame, “a vast symphony in stone,” and noted, “human intelligence is there summed up and totalized.”

Begun in 1163, this early expression of Gothic architecture ushered in a new approach to church architecture that lasts to this day, some 850 years later.

On behalf of Maine residents, Maine Preservation has established a Notre Dame Restoration Fund to receive donations, 100 percent of which will go toward the restoration of the cathedral.

Hundreds of millions have been pledged in France, but the cost of the restoration that was underway prior to the fire had already been estimated as $170 million.

The great tradition between France and the United States includes the donation of the Statue of Liberty by France, the liberation of France led by the United States in World War II and the outpouring of French support in the wake of 9/11, when Le Monde‘s headline was, “We are all Americans” and hundreds of Parisians spontaneously gathered at Notre Dame to sing “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

We hope you will join us in this Maine-based effort to help restore Notre Dame, a true world landmark.

Greg Paxton

Executive director

Maine Preservation