Letters to the editor, The Courier-Gazette
Bring American spirit back
United States foreign policy has always been a vital part of world peace and stability. Past presidents, their appointees, the House and Senate and others have played a most important role in the defense of smaller countries, as well as aid to victims of natural or man made disaster. Many nations of the world looked up to America for her great power, influence and the fact that we were a free society that offered hope for all people. As I see it, this may no longer be the case! Under the Barack Obama administration, we have lost favor with many countries and forsaken some of our close allies, such as Israel. Our enemies must see this as a weakness and will one day openly challenge us. The recent terrorist attack in Libya resulted in the death and mutilation of our ambassador by what appears to be an internal sell out. This White House administration has no meaningful foreign policy and this is one of many reasons to vote for a new presidential team, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan. As President, Mitt Romney will bring forth the American spirit to our allies and convince our enemies that we are still the number one power and peace keeper of the world. I urge all voters to go to the polls on Nov. 9 and cast your vote for Mitt Romney, President of the United States. God Bless America.
Perhaps it's a new law at the pharmacy across the state of Maine, but at my pharmacy –– I will not name –– I go to pick my prescription up at the counter, with cashier's check in hand, and before he or she passes it to me, they say "what is your date of birth?" What does this have to do with your order at the pharmacy? Next, they will be asking for your Social Security number. What does it matter how old he or she is –– 20 to 100 years of age –– if she is able to walk out the door?
I wanted take an opportunity to acknowledge and publicly thank all those that made the Summer Food Service Program in Waldoboro, Damariscotta, and Warren a huge success this summer.
Each year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture partners with local organizations to provide free meals to children when school is out for the summer, through an extension of the USDA School Lunch Program. The program provides free lunch and breakfast to any child or teen 18 and under in qualified high needs communities. This year was the first ever Summer Food Service Program in Lincoln County, established through a partnership between Youth Promise, Healthy Lincoln County and School Administrative District 40.
A total of 5,500 free, healthy meals were served during nine weeks to children at sites that were picked because they were also promoting healthy physical activities. The sites included the ACES (After School Enrichment) summer program at Warren Community School, Miller School in conjunction with the Waldoboro Recreation Department summer camp, CLC-YMCA in Damariscotta and the Teen Agriculture Program at Medomak Valley High School, which was supported by the UMaine Extension Office of Knox/Lincoln counties.
The meals were all prepared at the Miller School in Waldoboro by Don Hannon, a MSAD kitchen staff person, who single-handedly, ordered, prepared and packaged an average of 125 meals a day. Then from there it required a great deal of organization to get the appropriate number of meals to the correct sites on any given day; and all parties involved were in constant communication to make sure that it all got done. Paperwork also needed to be maintained at each site to keep an accurate record of meals received, meals given away and meals left over, in order to meet federal requirements of the program. Each site supervisor had multiple responsibilities and their diligence paid off in the form of a well-run program.
Many community businesses and groups also supported our efforts throughout the summer by giving donations to the program and additionally deserve thanks; Hancock Lumber of Damariscotta, Hannaford of Waldoboro, ALL PLaY of Waldoboro, Nick DePasty and the boys’ basketball program of Medomak Valley High School, and Hervochon Construction of Damariscotta.
The program was very well received wherever it was offered and I believe was received as we intended it to be; a program that not only feeds hungry families, but increases kids exposure to more fresh fruits and vegetables, promotes the importance of healthy play activities and socialization of children and generally builds community. We are very proud of that.
This year, due to a late start getting the program paperwork approved, we had limited volunteers and relied heavily on the staff running programs to do paperwork and count meals. As we look to expand next year we would love to have more volunteers and community members involved in this program. Church groups, pantry volunteers, libraries, individuals/families, and play groups are encouraged to contact us if they would like to be involved next year, or if you would like to host your own site. You may contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or 563-6123. The Parent Café’ group through Healthy Kids did jump in during the last few weeks, when called upon, and their help was greatly appreciated. We will also be looking for more donations of fresh locally grown food for the program and plan on expanding our partnership with the Teen Ag. group in Waldoboro, who this year provided amazing fresh lettuce for our salad days.
Thanks again to everyone involved for making the kick off year a success and look forward to working with everyone again in the summer of 2013.
Anni Pat McKenney
Healthy Lincoln County/Youth Promise
Can't steal the memories
We had spent about 11 days in Portland at the hospital with my dad who was fighting for his life, which sadly he lost his battle. Losing my dad devastated our family. While we were away, someone came to the cemetery in Thomaston and stripped my son Timmy's lot of all the special things that we have lovingly put there for him. Some of these things have been there for years. A big ceramic red fish, solar sunflower light, buoy windchime, these are just a few of the things that were stolen. I have had things stolen before, but never in this quantity and all at once. So it must have been someone who has a problem with me or my family and knew we were all out of town. What a rotten, crappy, hateful thing to do to us, especially at this time. not only did you steal off his cemetery lot, you also stole his cross on Buttermilk Lane for the third time! If you have a problem with me, why don't you come to me and not be a coward and take off my son Timmy's lot. What a piece of garbage you are. I hope you're proud of yourself. You won't get anything else because I won't be putting anything else there for you to steal. You have ruined it for me and my family. So there, you win. I hope you're happy. You might be able to take his things, but you can't take away the love or wonderful memories that we have. So actually, you don't win!
Questions for candidates
As we head into the final days of this election cycle, we encourage everyone to ask candidates these questions, provided by the non-partisan Friend's Committee on National Legislation (FCNL):
1.) Pentagon spending has doubled in the last decade, with contractors getting much of the increase; Would you support cutting the Pentagon budget back to 2007 levels?
2.) The president plans to keep U.S. troops in Afghanistan through, or beyond. 2014; Do you support bringing all troops home from Afghanistan before 2014?
3.) Investing to prevent war is 60 times more cost effective than military intervention after a crisis erupts. However Congress has cut funding even for small programs like the Complex Crises Fund and Civilian Response Corps, that can help prevent violent conflict; Do you support funding for programs like the Complex Crises Fund to help the State Department peacefully prevent deadly conflict?
4.) Former Secretaries of State Henry Kissinger and George Shultz and others argue that the U.S. should pursue a "world free of nuclear weapons"; Will you support ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty?
5.) The threats between the U.S. and Iran continue to escalate; Do you support direct talks with Iran to prevent war and nuclear proliferation?
6.) Some employers cannot find workers while some U.S. workers feel threatened by immigration; What kind of comprehensive immigration reform do you support to help employers and workers?
7.) The federal government heavily subsidizes coal, oil and gas companies; Do you support ending subsidies for fossil fuel companies and keeping subsidies for renewable energy?
8.) Existing laws to keep our democracy strong by limiting corruption and promoting transparency in election contributions have become ineffective; 'Should the Constitution be amended to regulate how campaigns are financed?'
We do not need to agree to on the issues, but we do need to hear the point of view of the other person and speak in a way that he or she can hear ours.
Peace and Social Concerns Committee
Midcoast Monthly Meeting of Friends (Quakers)