Thursday, February 20, 2020

Letters to the the Editor

Dear Editor,

An important vote is coming up on March 3rd for all Mainers, one that could jeopardize the health and lives of many innocent children, especially the immunocompromised.
You may have noticed the blue signs up and down our roadways proclaiming, “Yes on 1- Reject Big Pharma”.

You may be surprised to learn that these signs have nothing to do with Big Pharma. They are an attempt on the part of some to retain archaic religious and philosophical exemptions to childhood immunizations, which put all Mainers in danger of contracting vaccine-preventable disease. This is particularly deadly for children being treated for cancer or who otherwise have compromised immune systems, as well as adults.

Voting NO on Question 1 March 3rd will keep the vaccine law as it currently stands, allowing medical exemptions only, and actually making them easier to obtain by expanding the numbers of medical professionals allowed to write medical exemptions. Vaccines represent only 3% of Big Pharma’s profit margin, meaning it would reap a much greater profit from a mass epidemic than ensuring the population stays healthy through vaccination.

Voting NO does not mean children will be banned from school. The only change will be parents who choose to opt out will be choosing to homeschool their children. The time has come for immunocompromised children to no longer have to jeopardize their lives to go to school because some parents choose not to vaccinate their healthy children for philosophical or religious reasons. No major religion opposes vaccination. Not vaccinating also endangers school staff as well as the general public. Vaccines do not cause autism, and the incidences of vaccine injury are miniscule.

Voting NO will ensure a healthier Maine for all of us. Herd immunity in some parts of Maine has dropped as low as 50% in some places. We have an ongoing pertussis outbreak in Maine with one of the lowest immunization rates for pertussis in the country. There is a direct correlation.

Voting NO will keep us safe from vaccine-preventable diseases and their complications: death, paralysis, blindness, deafness, meningitis, encephalitis and sterility, to name a few. This is not about personal choice. This is about living in a community where the choices we make affect those around us. Please join me in voting NO on Question 1 March 3, NO to measles, NO to polio, NO to vaccine-preventable disease.

Janis B. Price
Windham, ME

Dear Editor

We the citizens of Windham are very fortunate to have a highly dedicated crew that comprises Windham’s Public Works Department. This is especially true regarding the extraordinary individuals in the Highway Division who keep our roads secure and passable through all types of weather conditions.  Led by supervisor, Mike Constantine, this tireless team of professionals often times work around the clock during the winter months fighting snow, ice and cold temperatures to keep our roads safe for passage.

Since my days as a former member of the Windham Rescue Unit I have kept a scanner in my home allowing me to listen to the radio conversations of the fire, police and public works personnel. 

Listening to the exchanges among the public works crew as I work in my office at night is not only revealing, but heartwarming. Their on-the-job professionalism while dealing with all types of challenging weather, equipment that often times needs emergency repairs and mostly their concern for each other is impressive and compelling. 

As they perform their plowing, sanding and salting duties throughout their individually assigned routes it’s not uncommon to hear offers of assistance to each other as an unexpected emergency occurs. The unrelenting obligation to their responsibilities and to each other never waivers regardless of the trying conditions they face including working long hours without time to sleep. 

Supervisor Mike Constantine’s outstanding leadership is clearly what makes this team function at such a high level.  It’s a team built on pride and loyalty to their profession and to protecting the people who drive on our roads.

On behalf of the Town of Windham I say “Thank You” for keeping our roads safe and for the incredible stamina and determination you continually display day and night.  And when you’re on one of your straight 36-hour shifts plowing and sanding those dangerous roads know that we appreciate all you do even though we don’t say it enough. We’re proud of you.

Senator Bill Diamond
10 Crown Point, Windham, Me. 

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