Farmington’s taxes aren’t sustainable

To the Editor:

The words of Peter Tracy ring in my ears as I listen to the school board discussions. These words were: “the taxes in Farmington are unsustainable” and that he can’t retire here.

Interesting that there is incentive to keep retired folks in Maine. Both Revenue Sharing and General Purpose Aid are less and I guess they top $1 million loss mark. What I thought was if in fact these two categories were losses to the school district, then the folks in the schools who make up their wish list, should start from that point, a loss of $1 million initially.

I recall, also, in the not too distant past, Farmington was one of the towns that had a very high unemployment rate. We know also that several store fronts are vacant. When I attended the school board meeting recently, at least one school member was outstanding in trying to cut costs.

At the same time, though the superintendent knew the General Purpose Aid and the Revenue Sharing for Farmington were suffering losses, he seemed to rather consistently caution against cuts.

The other really big negative for Farmington school budget is the amount of university land that is non-taxable. I think the estimate at town meeting was a real estate valuation of $20 million. I don’t know how many retired people are in Farmington, but I would guess it is pretty many and Farmington’s share is hefty. I think it will just get worse unless those who are affected so negatively make their voices heard.

Elaine Graham,

Farmington

What’s the big deal about breastfeeding in public?

To the Editor:

Hello, Franklin County! We need to talk about breastfeeding!

Everyone says breastfeeding is the best thing for you and your baby. I agree! I do not think anyone should feel embarrassed about breastfeeding at home or around town.

Let’s say you were eating a ham hoagie, would you want a blanket over your head? I bet you wouldn’t! So why should babies have to nurse this way? Why do people feel we must hide a baby breastfeeding? Why do parents feel they have to hide a baby breast feeding? Are we scared someone will see a breast? Are we worried someone will not approve? Do people think it is immodest? Is it because people around us hide breastfeeding, so we hide it too?

In Maine it is legal for women to go topless in public. It is legal to breastfeed in public. Men go shirtless all the time, and accepted fashion trends show enough underwear and skin to be nearly naked! So why make a big deal about a baby breastfeeding in public? Why hide this completely natural and healthy act by throwing a blanket over the poor baby?

I believe a mother should be free to breastfeed her baby in public without rude people staring or getting upset with her. My son hates to have a nursing cover over his head! Why should I upset my little baby to make a few uptight people feel better?

Breastfeeding in public is legal, it should be accepted as healthy and natural. If some people don’t like it, they should mind their own business, look away and keep walking.

I encourage parents in our community to join me in breastfeeding in public. If we all get out there doing it, it won’t be weird anymore!

Crystal Samson,

Chesterville

DHHS needs to be investigated

To the Editor:

A recent headline in another paper (May 9th) “DHHS is Investigated” appeared when I was perturbed because DHHS had mishandled my situation.

I received two letters that my Drug Assistance For The Elderly and Medicare Buy-In benefits would cease because “YOU (emphasis mine) have not completed a review.” DHHS timely received my review on April 10th and by May 8th had not processed it. Is it fair to falsely accuse someone of negligence when it is the fault of DHHS, by their own admittance?

A worker remedied the situation and told me not to worry. On May 11th Social Security informed me that payments for those benefits would be deducted from my SS check beginning in June and if it was erroneous, I’d be reimbursed the full amount but it would take two or three months. For one living month-to-month on a fixed income, this is unacceptable.

Receiving unfair and false notices about loss of benefits and reduced income can be a detriment to mental, and perhaps physical, health of many elderly.

I realize many DHHS workers, who are overworked and probably underpaid, try hard to assist clients. However, it seems unfair that termination notices be sent before received reports are acted on by DHHS. It seems as if elderly people are treated as second-class citizens, after working and contributing to the government for many years.

DHHS should be investigated!

Margaret E. Proctor,

Wilton, ME


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