Customer service

I continue to be impressed with Jensen’s Pharmacy. When they say on their website that, “We take the time to get to know you and are always ready to answer your health questions” they mean it!

From the first time I called them because my other pharmacy was out of my prescription; I was treated like a special person. My prescriptions were all moved and filled the same day.

They have brought back the old time drug store. Curtis always greets me as I walk through the door. He remembers my name and talks about the weather, kids or any other topic of the day.

They are bringing back the intimacy of the personalize care while at the same time using texting to my phone to tell me my prescriptions are filled and ready for pickup.

A few months ago, I went into the pharmacy to look at the vitamins they offered instead of my usual trip to Portland to find immune fighting ones. Curtis saw me looking at the vitamins and came right over. He looked mine up online and we found ones that worked wonderfully for me. Last week, I was in looking at cold remedies and Curtis came right over and found what I was looking for.

Tuesday was a busy day for me, so I called Jensen’s at 7:20 a.m. to leave them a message to fill my prescription and much to my surprise, Curtis answered the phone. It was not time for the pharmacy to be opened. Curtis told me that if he is in the pharmacy, he answers the phone. WOW! How often these days do we hear that?

This is customer service! I wish Jensen’s Pharmacy abundance in serving the people of the Midcoast.

Tammy Smith

Cushing

 

Maine Clean Elections Act

Gov. Paul LePage wants to eliminate the Maine Clean Elections funding in the biennial budget, now before the Appropriations Committee. He is asking for $4 million to be transferred to the general budget ($2 million in 2014 and $2 million in 2015). He is not the first governor to raid this fund.

Since 2000 when the Act took effect, $10 million have been “borrowed” to help balance the general budget. Five million was returned, for a total of $5 million shortchanged assistance to candidates running for office since 2000. Not only would this affect the next election, but it would also harm the work of the Maine Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices, the state office where the MCEA is administered.

In every election since the Act came into effect, a majority of candidates for the Legislature have done so in a Clean Election race. Republicans, Democrats, Independents, and Green Party candidates have all run Clean Election campaigns. Seventy legislators in the present session were Clean Election candidates.

The 1996 ballot initiative to enact a clean elections system in Maine and subsequent enactment by the Legislature stated two goals: (1) to attract new and young candidates, and (2) to attract more candidates and improve competitiveness. All research shows that these goals have been achieved.

In a study by the Ethics Commission (2007) it was found that “The MCEA has been an important factor in many candidates’ decisions to run for office, particularly for first-time candidates and women.” The report shows that seven out of 10 women (71 percent) reported that the MCEA was a very important factor in their decision to run for office.

A public hearing was held March 20 by the Appropriations Committee. The executive director of the Maine Ethics Commission testified to the inadvisability of eliminating this funding. He was followed by the representatives of 15 organizations and individual citizens, all urging the Appropriations Committee to turn down the governor’s proposal. The organizations were ACLU, League of Women Voters, the Maine Peoples Alliance, and AFL-CIO. They pleaded on behalf of free and fair speech, the benefit to women seeking political office, the necessity of insuring the one-person/one vote democratic right, and the danger to government of the influence of concentrated wealth and income in a minority upper class. Other testimonies highlighted the success of the MCEA and majority approval of the Act. A small business owner testified that their interests are undermined by large corporate funding of elections.

MCEA goes beyond elections. Most importantly, it gives independence to our representatives, who are relieved of the need to raise money during their terms of office. Out-of-state influence on the Maine Legislature by large corporations and interest groups is greatly diminished (though not eliminated). They are answerable only to their constituents and the general and larger State needs.

MCEA also relieves constituents, businesses, groups of all kinds, from irksome and intrusive fund raising activity like frequent phone calls, constant media ads that do little to inform the public, but, on the contrary, misinform and attack opponents and parties. In one of the testimonies, it was stated by a business executive that his firm had received 79 fund-raising solicitations in a 30 day period. All these forms of electioneering were greatly increased in the last election and were the major reasons voters gave for their eagerness to sign the petition drive led by Maine Citizens for Clean Elections, the independent, nonprofit advocacy group formed in 1996.

To retain and strengthen our Maine Clean Elections Act is necessary to save our democratic government in Maine and as a successful model for other states. The wealth and income concentrated in a minority upper-class is distorting the democratic tradition, originated in this country, of one person-one vote.

The MCEA can be improved and legislators in the appropriate committees are preparing bills on disclosure and corrections in the matching fund process that addresses the recent Supreme Court decision in the Arizona case that made this form of direct funding illegal.3

The governor’s request for taking money out of the MCEA fund should not be in the Appropriations Committee. It is a policy issue that requires citizen dialogue and a legislative process, beginning with the pertaining legislature assignment to the Elections Committee. Maine legislators and citizens alike must act in this Session to preserve and strengthen the Maine Clean Elections Act.

Lysbeth Andrews, Warren

George Blood, Thomaston

Peter Jenks, Thomaston

Carmen Lavertu, Thomaston

Fred Morrill, St. George

Randall Parr, Owls Head

 

Times are changing

How things have changed the past 10 years. The ladies are letting their hair grow longer, all wearing spike heel shoes and today the men are pushing their children in the baby carriages, which you did not see years ago. And also men are going to ladies' salons for a haircut.

If our parents and grandparents could come alive they would notice a change. A few years ago, the public couldn't wait to buy a TV set, today its laptops and cellphones, which many people own throughout the United States.

Gordon Wotton

Thomaston