Our readers write

10 years ago

Thank you Aroostook River Voices

To the editor:
Last Sunday, my family and I had the great pleasure of attending a show put on by the Aroostook River Voices at the Presque Isle Middle School. Wow!! Where have they been all my life?
On the way out, I heard a lady behind me asking her companion where they were playing next, because she wanted to be there. So do I!
What a multi-talented group of people they are! They sing, they play a variety of musical instruments, including pretty plastic trombones (huh … who knew?) and there are even a few comedians in the group. They did show tunes, pop tunes, and gospel music, and I don’t believe I have ever heard “Battle Hymn of the Republic” performed better than by these talented people.
We were also treated to performances by the Middle School and High School Choruses and they were great! I especially liked the “Farmer’s Tan” song!
Thank you, thank you for an awesome show. CPAC … I hope you are reading this.

Joan Theriault

Volunteer medical transport drivers needed for cats

To the editor:
Halfway Home Pet Rescue is in great need of several volunteer medical transportation drivers. This position would include making a trip to Presque Isle about 8 a.m. on the day of a cat’s surgery (Generally, either on a Monday or a Friday morning) and then calling the vet about 3:30 p.m. to make sure the cat is ready to return to the shelter and then go to pick up the cat before the vet closes at 5 p.m. and return it to the shelter.
Unfortunately, our expenses have been high this past year so we are no longer able to provide a $10 gas card to volunteers to help the volunteer with the gas expense. This task would involve the volunteer absorbing the gas expense. HHPR would alternate the driver schedule between several different volunteers so the requested trip would probably be one time per month.
Halfway Home Pet Rescue has opened their thrift store, Second Chance, at 31 Herschel Street, Caribou (next door to the Presque Isle Animal Hospital’s Caribou Clinic. The name, Second Chance, was picked because the recyclable items donated by area residents are the financial foundation for the “Second Chance” HHPR gives to the cats they rescue.
HHPR volunteers are appreciative of all that your efforts allow us to accomplish for medical care for our homeless kittens. Please remember to request an income tax receipt for your records — this receipt will include cash donation, items donated to the thrift store and also any gas you want to expense while doing medical transport or errands for the shelter cats. You only have to keep track of your mileage.
Second Chance hours are on Saturday, Sunday and Monday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Starting on May 22, the store will also be open from 1 to 4 p.m. on Thursday and Friday as well. Two new volunteers are needed to cover Friday afternoons. Call 999-1075 or pick up a volunteer application at the store.
Kitten season is here again. We are currently low on Purina Kitten Chow and cat litter and will need many bags within the next several weeks. HHPR is currently accepting applications from high school students for volunteer work in the thrift store this summer to satisfy their high school community service hours.

Norma Milton

Senator stepping on the poor people

To the editor:
Our very own Sen. Susan Collins has really shown her cards as she voted ‘no’ on the minimum wage law. I wonder if Sen. Collins ever worked or ever worked for minimum wage.
I would guess Sen. Collins has played her last hand in Aroostook voters’ minds. Is it OK for the elephants to step on poor people? Sooner or later there won’t be any need to step on poor people especially when the poor people have all been stamped out. Who or what will be left to step on?
Sen. Collins, can you remember or do you understand not everyone in Aroostook is wealthy and many need assistance. Please help if you are going to continue to represent all of Maine.

Loomis Craig
Presque Isle

 Sexual Assault Awareness Month

To the editor:
AMHC Sexual Assault Services is dedicated to making an effort to raise awareness about and prevent sexual violence. This year’s awareness activities are focused on promoting healthy sexuality for young people. Education is the key to preventing sexual violence.
Sexual assault, or rape, is a concern worldwide and Aroostook County is no exception. Sexual Assault Services comes into contact with victims and survivors daily through our support line, during face-to-face appointments and presentations we offer to the community at large, and in interactions with other health and social service providers.
Sexual Assault Services offer trained advocates to provide support to victims/survivors and their loved ones. Advocates seek information on behalf of a victim and help support them in their interactions with the hospital staff, law enforcement officials and with the working through the legal proceedings. Our support doesn’t stop when the legal intervention comes to an end, it only stops if and when a victim makes the decision that they can cope without our support services.
Advocates work with anybody who is a victim of sexual assault, no matter how recent it has occurred. Sexual Assault Services is a valuable resource throughout the community to provide prevention education services in all settings, All of AMHC’s Sexual Assault advocacy services are free and confidential.
If someone has been recently affected by sexual assault, we strongly encourage them to seek medical attention as soon as possible, especially for injury and prevention of sexually transmitted infections. AMHC Sexual Assault Services works closely with every hospital emergency department and their nurses and doctors. Our advocates go with a victim to the emergency department (ED), providing a calm, supportive presence, which helps to alleviate some of the stress and fear.
By going to the ED, a victim will have a forensic examination where important evidence is collected to help with reporting to law enforcement, if the victim chooses to pursue prosecution. At the ED, an internal exam is conducted and all evidence is collected from the victim’s clothing, including hair, fingernail clippings and blood. Victims do have the option of reporting to law enforcement and advocates are able to advise them of their rights and will support their ultimate decision confidentially.
If a victim does decide to report their assault to law enforcement, the hospital ED staff will make the call and an interview can be done after the medical examination or scheduled for the following day. Law enforcement’s role is to get information and investigate the case. The victim can choose to have the advocate present during the interview. Advocates also have a very collaborative working relationship with all law enforcement agencies in Aroostook County.
Please join us at AMHC, along with sexual assault services and advocates all over the world, to increase awareness of this horrific crime and fight the stigma and hurt it causes victims, survivors, loved ones and community members. If you or someone you know is a victim and needs support and guidance, help is available 24/7 by calling 1-800-871-7741.

Wendy Page
Community Educator

AMHC Sexual Assault Services Postal food drive

To the editor:
Saturday, May 10th marks the 22nd anniversary of one of America’s great days of giving — the National Association of Letter Carriers Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive.
Letter carriers walk through the community every day, often coming face to face with a sad reality for too many, hunger. So, each year on the second Saturday in May, letter carriers across the country collect non-perishable food donations from our customers. These donations go directly to local food pantries to provide food to people in Aroostook County who need our help.
Last year, we collected over 74 million pounds of food Nationally, feeding an estimated 30 million people. Over the course of its 21-year history, the drive has collected well over one billion pounds of food, thanks to a postal service universal delivery network that spans the entire nation, including Puerto Rico, Guam and U.S. Virgin Islands.
The need for food donations is great. Currently, 49 million Americans — 1 in 6 — are unsure where their next meal is coming from. Sixteen million are children who feel hunger’s impact on their overall health and ability to perform in school.
And nearly five million seniors over age 60 are food insecure, with many who live on fixed incomes often too embarrassed to ask for help.
Our food drive’s timing is crucial. Food banks and pantries often receive the majority of their donations during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday seasons. By springtime, many pantries are depleted, entering the summer low on supplies at a time when many school breakfast and lunch programs are not available to children in need.
Participating in this year’s Letter Carrier Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive is simple. Just leave a non-perishable food donation in a bag by your mailbox on Saturday, May 10th and your letter carrier will do the rest. I invite you to join in America’s great day of giving and help us in our fight to end hunger.

Melissa Lohnes
U.S. Postal Service