hgazette.com, Haverhill, MA

August 9, 2012

Letters to the editor

The Haverhill Gazette

---- — Ives should be

next state senator


To the editor:

I am pleased to endorse Kathleen O’Connor Ives as the next state senator to represent the people of the 1st Essex District. I ask the people to cast a vote for her on Sept. 6.

My arrival in Newburyport in the fall of 2007 coincided with her first election to the City Council. My lunches spent at local eateries enabled me to eavesdrop on what people thought about municipal issues. I routinely heard and watched — people talk about Katy’s campaign, drawing circles in the air with their fingers. Unlike other campaign yard signs and bumper stickers which were rectangular in size, Katy’s were oval with her last name emboldened. It was an excellent branding concept and led her to victory with 2,054 votes.

Working alongside Katy over the past two years on the Newburyport City Council, she shares ideals with me in fiscal conservatism and progressive liberalism. Katy is a pleasure to observe in council meetings. She brings her laptop computer to save on paper costs. She listens to all sides of an issue before raising her hand to speak. She talks with conviction. She commands respect.

I thank Katy for her steadfast approval last year creating off-leash dog areas in city parks. In March 2012, we co-sponsored a resolution to call upon the United States Congress to pass and send to the states for ratification a constitutional amendment to overturn the Supreme Court’s decision on Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission. The City Council unanimously agreed with our desire to restore democracy to the people.

I respect Katy as a fellow councilor and admire her as a person. Katy offers a fresh, passionate, and intellectual voice in her bid to succeed Steven Baddour. State primary elections typically see few voters come to the polls. I ask you to visit her website at VoteForIves.com to read her background and stance on issues of importance to the residents of the 1st Essex. I ask you to join me and vote for Katy on Sept. 6.

Ari Herzog

Newburyport city councilor at-large

Women’s preventative care now covered

To the editor:

On Aug. 1, 2012, the Affordable Care Act’s provision to include coverage for women’s preventive health services takes effect. Health Quarters Inc., which provides comprehensive family planning and reproductive health care to women and men in the North Shore and Merrimack Valley, believes the White House and Congress made the right decision for women’s health when they added the requirement that employers provide this coverage directly to their health insurance plan beneficiaries with no cost-sharing, resulting in greater access to preventive health services for women.

Effective on the member’s plan renewal date, health plans will cover women’s preventive health care services with no cost-share for most members when those services are rendered by a provider in the member’s plan network. These services include annual well-women visits for adult women to obtain the recommended preventive services, and additional visits if women and their providers determine they are necessary; gestational diabetes screening for women between 24 to 28 weeks of gestation and at the first prenatal visits for women at high risk of developing gestational diabetes; human papillomavirus DNA testing every three years for women age 30 and older, regardless of pap smear results; annual counseling and screening for sexually transmitted infections; annual counseling an screening for human immune-deficiency virus (HIV); contraceptive methods and counseling, including access to all FDA-approved contraceptive methods, sterilization procedures, and patient education !and counseling; breastfeeding support, breast pumps and counseling for pregnant and postpartum women; and screening and counseling for interpersonal and domestic violence.

This guarantee of access to preventive services is a victory for women’s health. It removes a barrier to care that has routinely prevented women from seeking necessary health services. And it is good news for publicly funded health centers like Health Quarters where more patients will be able to access the care they need to be healthy without worrying about cost.

Gabrielle Ross

executive director, Health Quarters


Toohey offers a change in Senate

To the editor:

How many times do you get up in the morning, turn on the TV for news and you hear how once again the Massachusetts Senate has voted down another bill? How many does this make with the Democrat controlled Senate and House making all of the decisions? Have you ever wished that there was equal balance in our Senate so there can be strong debate on issues and actual work getting done for the people of Massachusetts?

Those of us who are in the 1st Essex District have an opportunity to change this balance in the Senate by electing Republican Shaun Toohey to fill the seat vacated by Democrat Senator Steven Baddour. There are 40 Senate seats and presently we have 36 Democrats and only four Republicans. No wonder nothing is ever accomplished.

Shaun has nine years on the Haverhill School Committee and two years on the Whittier Vocational Technical High School Committee. He has been committed to these institutions and improving the education afforded to our youth. He has shown solid fiscal responsibility.

Shaun has a proven commitment to public service and by sending him to the Senate we will have a strong voice for our veterans, elderly, protecting our river and ocean fronts, lakes and streams.

Let’s send Shaun to the Senate so we have the opportunity to steer the Commonwealth in the right direction with a voice for all of the people. Give him your vote on September 6th in the primary.

Jeralyn Levasseur