Gate land locks Strong property

To the Editor:

Strong selectmen taken to task for performance of duty? At the end of most meetings, discussion involves future issues not listed on the agenda, and using civil matter as a reason for no discussion is reprehensive, as civil matters are duties of the selectmen. Swearing the oath of office means obeying the laws and the State and Federal constitutions.

Also, listed are five meanings of what civil means:

1. Belonging to the citizens of a town or city

2. Laws that pertain only to and for the good of the community.

3. Of the general public

4. Involving civil law, not criminal

5. Organized protection of the civil population of a town or city.

All town roads belong to the citizens as a whole, not only one person or one family, being dirt, paved, or a discontinued road. Abatements were refused because of frontage on Hunter Road, now gated, which completely land locks the wood lot, which is a lot unto itself, purchased from the town, with no “mother lot” to cross.

My camp lot has been land-locked since 2008, and I am through paying taxes for a place I cannot maintain. Anyone interested in purchasing land-locked property? There is a high price to pay, namely health and well-being.

Eunice Shurtleff,

Former Town Clerk, citizen and taxpayer, Town of Strong

Terminally ill patients should have the right to assisted suicide

To the Editor:

According to recent news, the bill before the Maine Legislature, which would have allowed physicians to provide a terminally ill patient with a “medicine” that would provide definite end of life if the patient so chooses to use it, is “dead in the water.” It appears the votes in the House were enough to pass it but not in the Senate.

I thought it was an excellent bill but those opposed said it was like encouraging terminally ill and older individuals to commit suicide thus insinuating “that Maine doesn’t value all human life.”

I can’t think of any more basic freedom than an individual’s right to choose the time to end their own life, including the right to bear arms. Obviously, many suicides are tragic events and every effort should be made to convince the individual that the action they are contemplating is not the correct solution to the problem(s) they are facing but, if in the final analysis, it is their desire to end their life, than we must accept that no matter how much it hurts.

This bill sponsored by Sen. Katz (R) is not about some physically healthy but confused teenager nor some divorced parent with minor children who just can’t cope anymore. This bill is about me, my wife (both 80-plus) as well as many of our friends. Although currently healthy, we are well aware that the time is approaching when we will depart this earth and would prefer to do so in a manner of our own choosing based on advice and direction from our trusted physicians.

We are not just talking about us old folks, either. Although one certainly admires the strength and determination humans can must when faced with a fatal diagnosis at an early age, if and when the outcome is beyond doubt the patient should have the right to decide and proceed with Patient Directed Care, yes “assisted suicide.”

It does appear from checking the voting records, which are not that easy to understand, Rep. Buckland in the House voted in favor of passage and Sen. Saviello in the Senate voted against. It might be interesting to hear their thoughts on the subject.

Laws allowing this practice currently exist in five other states. Maine should be the 6th and for once be a leader rather than a non-entity or a number at the bottom of the pile. Come on, Senator Katz, let’s try again!

Edmund H. Lewis,


RSU 9 school budget not sustainable

To the Editor:

A citizen stood up in Farmington town meeting and said “I cant retire to this town – its budgets are unsustainable.” Amen and amen. I talked with some long time residents and they echoed the same sentiment, “the taxes keep going up.”

It is unbelievable to many of us that this rather small town would have a $32 million school budget. Our superintendent says quite often “but what if more families move into Farmington?”

Why would an ordinary family with growing needs move into Farmington when budgets seem out of control? Why would families move into Farmington when UMF keeps stealing valuation with new buildings? And if land is being swallowed up by the college, then I guess there will never be enough parking.

I see the houses on the market and i think many of them have an additional sign “PRICE REDUCED!” I really question if the school board has the concerns of its citizens at heart especially since one declared to my face that she wasn’t interested in needs of the citizens. I absolutely believe that the citizens’ lack of objection is responsible for the huge debt ($777,000 per year) that our district carries.

I have said to the superintendent “I question your premise when you go to your budget advisory people and maybe you might be saying to them ‘be careful of cuts.’ When the citizens who are not part of the vested interest group (the educators) do not attend meetings and do not object, then budgets keep going up.”

Before we had the first school budget vote, our superintendent consistently said “be careful of cuts.” I am very concerned about the expense of computers in very young hands and hope that readers will question the same. The costs for insurance for grades 6-12 is $72,000 a year. The costs per student for computers is very large.

I believe there is documentation that shows computers do not mean scholastic excellence. Why can’t the kids get their homework done without taking the computer home? Just think, we would save $72,000 a year if we could work this out.

And shouldn’t you, citizen, be inquiring if there is actual evidence that computers are achieving greater scholastic results? Shouldn’t the citizen be inquiring exactly how much each computer costs?

I don’t think as I observe the school board that there will be any significant cuts and so my hope is that we vote down this budget, also. It seems like we copy the federal government who has our children in hock for $19 trillion.

Elaine Graham,


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