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‘Sooners’ today

The vaccine roll out in Maine resembles the settlement of Oklahoma in land runs in 1889.

People rushed in and grabbed the land they wanted. Those who didn’t wait for the shot that signaled the start of the run were called “Sooners.”

Nothing this disorganized could happen in our enlightened times, of course.

Sooners today are the hospital donors who got vaccinated ahead of others and the contractors brought in to Maine to fight union organizing efforts by nurses.

Not a Sooner, I hope to get the vaccine one day.

Peg Cruikshank


Health care for all

We are writing to bring to your attention Maine Healthcare Action, a 501(c)(4) organization founded by Mainers to place a resolve on the November 2022 ballot. The resolve is designed to demand that the Legislature enact universal health care legislation.

Rather than describe Maine Healthcare Action and its resolve, approved by the secretary of state for ballot signature collection, I would refer you to our website: http://www.mainehealthcareaction.org.

Instead, here is the backstory to our resolve. Last year when we were asked to start a 501(c)(4) designed to place a specific universal health care referendum on the ballot, we refused for a number of reasons: the cost of mounting a two-year campaign, the challenge of defending each and every article of the specific legislation, and the inevitable deep-pockets of the opposition. Most importantly, we were acutely aware of the fate of a number of previous state ballot initiatives to pass universal health care legislation: California (1994, defeated by margin of 46 percent), Oregon (2002, defeated by margin of 57 percent), and Colorado (2016, defeated by margin of 58 percent).

Therefore, we opted to submit our resolve to Maine voters to demonstrate to the Legislature the overwhelming support of the electorate for a health care system that will benefit all Mainers. We understand that “the devil will be in the details” as the Legislature fashions a universal health care law, but let the legislators hear the voters’ message loud and clear: “We demand comprehensive, affordable health care for all.”

William Clark, M.D.

Larry Kaplan, M.D.

Cape Elizabeth

Saddened by Belfast protests

I was saddened to read of the protests occurring in downtown Belfast. While, as they are eager to point out, they have the right to protest, not wearing masks in the downtown during the pandemic is indefensible.

These people, because perhaps they need something in their lives and feeling part of a conspiracy-busting resistance gives them that, are endangering the lives of others in a real and tangible way with their refusal to wear masks. Typhoid Mary killed many by refusing to believe, after it had been shown to be true, that she could carry typhoid without getting sick herself; her ignorance and selfishness led to the deaths of others. To me, these protesters are no different.

In an apparent desire to feel special and “in-the-know,” they are increasing the likelihood of the deaths of others. It’s not direct murder, but it’s closer than should be allowed. I am deeply ashamed of them and their selfishness.

Andrew Gorrill