Fence mending

Aside from being saddened by the news of the recent bridge suicide, I also found myself dismayed by the Legislature’s immediate reaction. It is certainly the responsibility of citizens to protect each other. Unfortunately, the proposed solution — building a fence — does not reach the root cause of the problem. Healthy, happy people do not jump off bridges with the intention of committing suicide, and people who are intent on jumping for that purpose are in need of a mental health support system.

I understand the sentiment expressed in the BDN article that one life is worth spending a million dollars or more to construct a fence. Historical patterns at the Penobscot Narrows bridge suggest that one life could be saved per year if a taller barrier were in place. However, since mental health programs are aimed at both individuals who are intent on harming themselves and those who intend to harm others, how many more lives could be saved if funds were used to improve mental health services?

We, as a society, should be concerned with the well-being of our neighbors. Our limited tax dollars should be spent targeting the source of this problem rather than reacting to the outcome. Elected officials have a responsibility to act for the greatest possible good.

Elissa Koskela


Rights debate

Thank you to Meryl Nass for her March 4 letter, “Review Rights.” It was much appreciated and needed to be said. I do have to take issue with her view of the Second Amendment. It has become so distorted as to be unrecognizable today. The first half, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free state” has, in effect, been dismissed by the Supreme Court, in favor of people keeping and bearing arms for personal and private reasons.

In place of the militia, we now have the National Guard being responsible for the security of a free state. And where every adult male had to serve in the militia, joining the Guard is now optional. But all this has little to do with today’s interpretation of the Second Amendment.

Eliot Chandler


Why Bellows?

Many of us are not happy with the state of affairs in Washington. Too many obstacles and wrenches instead of looking out for the everyday people. Too much talking one way at home and voting another way in D.C.

Here in Maine we have a real person running for the right reasons to represent Maine in Washington as our senator. She grew up a carpenter’s daughter, worked in high school and through college, and cares about the same thing most Mainers do: quality education, economic opportunity, tax fairness, privacy and upholding the Constitution.

Shenna Bellows is the real deal. She has Maine roots and values, and will bring a fresh perspective to national issues. Right now, Maine needs a U.S. senator who truly understands the struggles of average Maine citizens. Shenna has a proven record of bringing Republicans and Democrats, as well as unenrolled voters, together on tough issues like voting rights and protecting citizen privacy.

She’s campaigning all over Maine, gaining friends and votes wherever she goes. It’s refreshing to see someone who has principles, stands up for Maine and cares about our future. I don’t often say this, but she’s a candidate I’m proud to support and is worthy of your consideration.

Phil Bailey


Graham thanks

The news report of the Waterville native facing 15 months for attempted kidnapping of 2-year-old requires attention. This is a wounded warrior who needs medical attention, not prison time.

Here is a prime example of a hero who has suffered more than one individual should have to endure. Thank you to James Graham for defending our country.

Thank you for keeping us safe.

Sam Gath


Peaceful protest

This past Tuesday, a majority of the student body of Sumner Memorial High School in Sullivan, Maine, exercised their right to peaceful protest.

Last spring, a week before school finished for the year, two graduating students completed work on an approved mural at the school after months of planning and practice. The mural depicted faceless students and teachers symbolizing the student body and faculty. The mural stayed intact throughout the summer, the fall and the winter, until February vacation.

When the students returned from their week of vacation, they saw that the figure that represented a teacher who was very popular and no longer at the school, had been painted over. Several times on Monday the principal, was approached to discuss the matter with concerned students.

On Tuesday, when the bell rang to signal the end of break, most of the student body remained in their seats. They sat silent, without speaking, waiting for the principal to arrive. Finally, after a long, patient, and silent wait, she appeared but didn’t directly address the issue that a work of art had been defaced without knowledge of the two artists who painted it.

The students conducted themselves in a very respectful manner and deserve to be commended for their actions. I hope that the defacement will be rectified and that these brave and mature students will be able to realize how powerful a peaceful demonstration can be.

Cynthia Thayer


Our governor

On Feb. 21, independent Eliot Cutler held a breakfast meeting in Stonington with some of the fishermen. I enjoyed his take on taxes, exports and infrastructure in the state.

This is not the first time I have talked with him about his work in the private sector, and he thinks he can transfer that to the state level. I believe he can.

I am a registered Democrat and I voted for Cutler last time, and I plan to vote for him again this time. I truly believe he has the best interests of the residents of Maine in mind.

He is an honest, hard-working man who I believe will do what he promises.

When he is talking with you, he looks you straight in the eye and listens to what you are saying. He has a warm smile and strong handshake. We need someone like him as our governor.

John and Judith Williams