Friday, May 3, 2019

Letters to the Editor

Dear Editor,

Thousands of Mainers take prescription drugs, and many struggle to afford them. I am one of those people.  My only source of income is my Social Security and that barely covers my monthly expenses.

I am a retired nurse.  I know how the healthcare system works. Despite research and multiple conversations with my doctors about any available alternatives, I can barely afford the life-saving medications I need.  I have several chronic diseases that affect my lungs and my liver.  Sometimes I have to skip doses which causes terrible side effects.

The other side effect is my quality of life.  The cost of these drugs is so high that I have to ration my food.  I cannot visit my own children who live out of state because I cannot afford the trip.  I am only 72 years old and this is not how I imagined my “golden years” would be.  Yet, I know there are many other people who are far worse off than I am.

Americans pay more for prescription drugs than any other country in the world. The Pharma executives don’t care at all that the cost of their drugs is ruining people’s lives. They care about their profits.  Sometimes it feels like they are trying to weed us out.

It’s time to make our voices heard.  I went to Augusta on April 17th to testify before the Committee on Health Coverage, Insurance and Financial Services regarding a package of bills to address Rx drug cost and accessibility.  Please, call your state legislators.  Call your members of Congress.  If you are as outraged as I am by the cost of prescription drugs, please speak up now.  We need our representatives to take a stand and we need Pharma to take responsibility.

Ellen Harris-Howard

Dear Editor,
In researching and trying to understand the proposed CMP transmission line that would bring electricity to the people of Massachusetts, and lower greenhouse gas emissions, I came across some facts I was not aware of or hadn’t considered.  The corridor would fragment what is now, the largest contiguous temperate forest in North America. It would cross 724 lakes, ponds, and wetlands and the chemical spraying necessary to maintain the corridor would impact each and every one of them. Roads associated with the project would cross 184 streams in the heart of the last stronghold of wild brook trout in the United States.  

The corridor also not only destroys habitat for wildlife and jeopardizes water, it endangers Maine’s renewable energy future.  New renewable projects that would provide real, provable greenhouse gas benefits would not be able to hook up to the grid due to congestion from Hydro-Quebec electricity imports.  

Despite its massive marketing campaign, CMP has not provided any evidence that its transmission corridor will actually reduce greenhouse gas emissions rather, is it possible that this project may simply allow Hydro-Quebec to shift sales from existing customers to a more lucrative market in Massachusetts?  Maine does not have to make these inordinate sacrifices for the sole benefit of the State of Massachusetts, a State with far more wealth and resources to develop their energy solutions than Maine. The CMP transmission corridor is the largest proposed industrial project in Maine in decades. It has the capability to harm Maine’s clean water, its wildlife, its tourism workers, and its clean energy future. 

Mainers will gain nothing from this project but a spoiled environment upon which their economy, vitally depends.  It is truly, ultimately, a detrimental project for the State of Maine.  Please make your opinion known at and

Mary-Therese Duffy

Dear Editor,

About eight years ago, my family purchased a home in North Windham, ME. It is a family home, and grandparents, parents and grandchildren enjoy the pleasures of the Maine environment. We boat, hike, ski and bicycle together whenever we are able.

My husband and I are exceedingly interested in fitness and exercise. Cycling the Sebago to the Sea Trail in Windham has been a primary source of pleasure for all of us. This past week, a note was placed on our car window at the South Windham Post Office notifying us that we are no longer able to use the Post Office parking lot because, “ drivers who use that lot and have dogs, do not pick up after their pets on the Trail.”  We had a bike rack on our car, but definitely did not have a dog along with us.

I am perplexed and dismayed by a Federal Office painting everyone with such a broad brush and eliminating a service due to others’ disregard for the common courtesy.  The streets in Windham are dangerous for cycling. The Sebago Trail is a wonderful way to ensure the safety of all ages by using a facility that removes the possibility of a very serious accident on very busy roads and highways. Yes, dog waste is a problem everywhere, and signs should be posted along the trail to remind walkers and bikers of this nuisance and esthetic displeasure.  However, to remove convenient parking to eliminate this problem is not the solution.  What it does is to punish the innocent for a crime they did not commit.  Honestly, at that Post Office, we have never seen more than three or four cars at any time.  

People who live along the trail enter from various entrances that bisect the trail in many different locations.  They do not have to drive anywhere, it is just a convenient location for entry.

I hope the Post Office reconsiders this harsh edict.  It puts obstacles in the path of Windham residents. The use of this trail which took many years to build and is not yet finished is a wonderful asset to all who love the outdoors.  Let’s support the right of all neighbors to use this trail, while at the same time respecting the rights and wishes of others.

Carole Davis, Windham, ME

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