Florida ‘toon

I loved the March 23 BDN editorial cartoon on the LePage-King dust-up. Ormond Beach, Florida, is exactly where the governor will retire if he “ever” leaves office.

Let’s campaign for Stephen King for governor. He is such a generous contributor to many worthy causes.

Charlotte Lowell

Oakfield

Religious freedom

The U.S. Constitution guarantees us the freedom of religion. The religious freedom laws being put forth in various states and in Maine represents an unnecessary violation of our separation of Church and State. There is, however, a very simple and inexpensive solution that would help both those for and those against such a law. If those businesses want such a law simply posted a notice on the front of their establishment that they were either bigots or racists the rest of us would know whether we wanted to patronize them or not. This would be an easy fix for all involved and everyone’s conscience could be at ease.

Rev. Lee Ann Betz

Lincoln

Constitutional rights

Fellow residents of Maine, your constitutional rights under the Maine Constitution are under attack at the state Legislature right now. LD 754 and LD 1084 before the Committee on Veterans and Legal Affairs, and their similar bills, LD 703 and LD 753 before the Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee propose to remove the rights of the people of this state by prohibiting citizen initiatives on wildlife issues and to enshrine the right to hunt and fish in the Maine Constitution.

Make no mistake, these bills are not about Maine’s wildlife – they are about removing the rights of Maine residents under the state constitution. Every Maine resident should be outraged and alarmed at this ill-conceived and malicious attempt to remove our rights in this state. We did not send our legislators to Augusta to remove our constitutional rights.

Article 1, Section 2 of the Maine Constitution makes it clear that “all power is inherent in the people…” In fact, the Maine Constitution is clear throughout the document that the people of Maine have certain rights, and those rights are to be retained by the people.

Contact your legislator today and let them know that you do not support removing any rights of any of Maine’s residents under the state constitution. As residents, we can’t afford to let this one slip past us. Who knows what other constitutional rights we may lose in the future if we take no action to stop this.

Dena Winslow

Presque Isle

Atomic veterans

The stories about the Belfast veteran trying to get compensation for helping clean up the U.S.’s nuclear test site in the South Pacific is similar to that of the USS Ronald Reagan sailors who are seeking health care and compensation after cleaning up their nuclear aircraft carrier. The Reagan sailed through a radioactive cloud while they were helping local Japanese citizens during the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident in 2011.

The sailors swabbed the deck without important protective gear and drank water they were told was fine but was later admitted to be contaminated. Many sailors are ill, some with life threatening diseases, and some have died. They have sued in a U.S. court but the fact is that the Department of Defense, then and now, considers radiation exposure unremarkable and apparently just part of the job.

These veterans deserve much more than to be ignored and marginalized. They should be financially compensated with health care tests and treatment for the rest of their lives. It is time for the U.S. military to admit the dangers of radiation exposure and to help those who are suffering because of that.

Nancy Allen

Brooksville

Iranian nukes

After months of negotiations, it looks like the U.S. and Iranian governments may agree on arrangements to prevent Iran from producing nuclear weapons.

But our government could have made the discussions a lot easier if it were willing to give up some of our own huge nuclear weapons stockpiles. We have more than 5,000 nuclear weapons that are good for nothing. Not only should we stop more countries from producing nuclear bombs, we should also get rid of the ones we have.

Nuclear weapons are not a deterrent because no one with any common sense would ever use a nuclear weapon, for any reason. Besides the thousands or millions killed in the blast, hundreds of millions, maybe billions, of people around the world would be exposed to dangerous levels of radiation. The real danger is an accident, not intentional use.

If we really want a successful, long-term agreement with other countries on nuclear weapons, the U.S. should initiate a movement to rid the world of all the nukes. By dismantling some of ours and calling on other nuclear nations to begin getting rid of theirs as well, we would increase our own and world security.

Larry Dansinger

Monroe

Legal discrimination

State Sen. David Burns of Whiting promises to introduce a bill to “restore religious freedom” for Maine residents with language similar to what we have seen in Indiana’s controversial bill.

Let’s be clear. If this bill were more honestly named, we would need to call it “An Act to Authorize Discrimination Against Gays and Lesbians.” Let’s give evangelicals a lofty-sounding rationale for their intolerance or hatred, shall we?

Craig Kesselheim

Southwest Harbor

Release LMF funds

Local land trust projects highlight the enormous grandeur of Maine lands and history on a more personal and local level.

Easy access to our forests and waters becomes more important every day as “No Trespassing” signs pop up everywhere. We once felt reasonable access to all of our wild lands and waters — our common American heritage — so long as we respected the owners’ right to privacy. Now we find out we may even be kicked off the mudflats while clamming at low tide.

Gov. Paul LePage should honor his 2013 pledge to support Land for Maine’s Future funding that has the support of 60 percent of Maine voters. Many millions of dollars already in the pipeline for 36 other projects will not be jeopardized.

We must help the governor reconsider by contacting our legislators, testifying at hearings, and chatting with friends and the press. The governor should honor the will of the people of Maine.

Paul Averill Liebow

Bucksport