Where’s the statesmanship?

Growing up in the great state of Maine has been an honor and a privilege. Over the years Mainers have distinguished themselves as national leaders in the care of our environment. Our residents have been leaders in high quality craftsmanship. They also are recognized around the world for their phenomenal work ethic. Our leadership as small-business entrepreneurs is truly amazing.

A number of these talented Mainers are members of the Maine Legislature. Like any talented team, a visionary leadership is the key to success in order to help the team reach its full potential.

Gov. Paul LePage has failed to provide the leadership to take advantage of the human resources we Mainers have. With positive leadership, talented team members would continue to help keep the Maine environment the envy of our whole country. Empowered team members would help provide educational opportunities that would result in more job opportunities and an improved economy.

Instead of providing positive team leadership, LePage has bullied and demeaned his colleagues in order to get his own way. The disrespect that LePage has shown the Maine Legislature is unprecedented.

Hopefully, new legislation for ranked-choice voting, which would require a majority of the votes in order for the winning candidate to take office, will appear on the 2016 ballot. An instant run-off would be required when majority support is not reached. We need a governor who knows how to lead his team in a statesmanlike manner and is willing to compromise when needed.

The 2016 election will not come soon enough.

Bob Chaplin

Bar Harbor

Funding disclosures

I received a letter from Andrew Bossie, president of Mainers for Accountable Elections, asking for donations for their referendum campaign in November. While stating the wish for more transparency in elections, the letter says donations before June 30 will be matched by an “early donor.”

Who is this donor contributing a large amount to a Maine referendum? That is not disclosed. It seems like the “dark money” they want to eliminate is part of their own funding. They do not follow the guidelines they intend to impose on people contributing to campaigns with the referendum.

As the “matching” contribution has not occurred yet, a legal disclosure is not required. In campaign funding, the identity of a donor used as part of a pledge, when used to raise money, should be disclosed.

Donald Lewis


The better team

I picked up a June 18 Bangor Daily News sports article because it had a great picture of Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors, and it caught my interest. But when I started reading the story, I felt it was highlighting LeBron James. Curry is a young, outstanding player who won MVP in the NBA, and I felt the BDN used his picture to capture people’s attention, but then made up excuses about why the Cavaliers didn’t win, and how well James played when it should be focused on the winning team.

I thought this article did a good job on highlighting the coach of the Warriors and Andre Iguodala’s point of view. I don’t really like how the writers used lack of experience to compare the two teams. The Warriors were a better team all season, and the finals win just capitalized it.

I don’t think any credit can be taken away from the Warriors by saying the Cavaliers had two hurt players. The Warriors’ strategy was better than the Cavaliers’. But why the BDN would have two pictures of Curry and only mention him twice in the article, I don’t know. This is the whole reason I read the article, not to listen to the writer talk about James and the Cavaliers.

Anna Berube


‘Fist-pumping fun’

I attended the Fall Out Boy concert Saturday and had a great time. Their sound was amazing, and the show got better as the night progressed. With incredible light shows, on-stage fireworks and spouts of flame, the entire concert was like a music video.

The band also delivered empowering, inspirational messages. They made us feel like they weren’t just there to collect a paycheck; they were connecting with us. It felt like a huge party, and they wanted to invite us.

Being a state located far away from large cities such as New York or Los Angeles, we don’t get to see shows like that very often. It was inspiring, jaw-dropping, fist-pumping, good fun, and it was the best show I’ve ever seen.

I want to express my appreciation to the concert organizers. They are doing a phenomenal job providing Bangor with great music and bringing money into the local economy with each concert.

Deanna Rice


Charleston shooter’s hate

I noticed in some articles that the young man who killed nine people in that Charleston, South Carolina, church displayed hatred for African-Americans in front of his friends, and they believed that he was joking. I see people making racist jokes every day, giggling to themselves about their cleverness because they made the same joke their grandfather made.

People will argue that the hateful speech that the Charleston shooter wrote is protected as free speech. They will argue that the Charleston shooter was an anomaly, a madman. They will argue that his “jokes,” which are no different from jokes I hear every day, do not represent anything insidious or dark.

Such “humor” allows for the normalization of hateful attitudes leading to a climate that results in the murder of ordinary people. Hatred like his does not come about randomly. It is nurtured and allowed to bloom from an apathetic at best, or hateful at worst, set of cultural attitudes that led him to believe that the orchestration of the killing of people based upon the color of their skin was something noble and right.

The Charleston shooter was not an anomaly, but rather something that was bound to happen because of the attitudes of the American people. Anyone who has ever laughed at a race joke should raise their hand because they could have been the Charleston shooter’s friend.

Alan Kwok