Addressing adverse childhood experiences

I was happy to read Joyce Schelling’s Dec. 19 OpEd, “We must respond to the health crisis of adverse childhood experiences.” It is a vast subject, and one with profound implications for how society functions — and for such an earth-shattering topic, it is one that is too often ignored and dismissed by the media.

Nadine Burke Harris, who is mentioned several times in the piece, also describes the staggering denial that surrounds the subject in her 2014 Ted Talk. At first, she thought it was because Adverse Childhood Experiences disproportionately affected disadvantaged communities, and that ignoring the science and the ramifications of ACEs was due to white professionals othering those communities. She soon learned that the denial was actually due to the ubiquitousness of ACEs that are present in every socioeconomic class, and that the denial was more akin to the fish that are unaware that they are surrounded by water, moreso then it had to do with a subconscious othering by professionals.

Frederick Douglass has been quoted as saying, “It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.” That is true, but that cannot prevent us from trying to repair adults who are suffering. There are many tools and therapeutic models available to the medical and psychological professions, but those therapies will do little as long as we live in a society conditioned by the attitude of rugged, you’re-on-your-own individualism that has served to justify horrendous abuse for generations. The first task will be to get those adults to recognize that they need repairing.

Grayson Lookner


A better public transportation system

Noal Leonetti’s opinion piece on the lack of statewide, and also interstate, transportation struck a chord with me. Public transportation in Maine is indeed dismal outside of the “large” metro areas of our state, and even within those areas. How ridiculous is it that someone can get to Bangor on the Concord Coach Lines but not be able to go from there on that same bus the relatively short distance to the airport?

One can go from Bangor or Augusta on the bus to Portland’s bus terminal, but, again, not to the airport to make a connection. It’s past time for these shortcomings in our public transportation system to be remedied.

Martha B. Higgins


The power of a consumer-owned utility

I read with interest the articles about LD 1646, which would create a consumer-owned utility to purchase the assets of Central Maine Power and Emera Maine. Having served as project engineer for an investor-owned utility and general manager of a Maine consumer-owned utility totaling 46 years, I support LD 1646.

The proposed buyout is not a state takeover. Bonds to purchase CMP and Emera will be paid from the revenue of the new consumer-owned utility. No state money is involved.

CMP and Emera argue financial risks from storm damage or other issues will be borne by stockholders. In Maine, regulators effectively pass those costs along to customers, not stockholders.

A consumer-owned utility will have staff capable of coping with any technical challenges. The idea that a consumer-owned utility cannot competently manage a large utility is bogus.

Accountability to consumers is a major advantage of consumer-owned utilities. CMP must make money for stockholders, which can result in harming customers. Consumer-owned utilities focus solely on supporting their customers with reliable, efficient service.

Consumer-owned utility accountability, use of tax free bonds to finance projects, exemplary service, not-for-profit and lack of dividend payments will enhance reliability and lower rates for customers. Urge your legislators and governor to support LD 1646.

John L. Clark