Stand up for clean water

Growing up, I spent many summers in Ogunquit and Bar Harbor. I cannot hear the word “Maine” without picturing the forests, rivers, lakes and coastline and conjuring memories of camping, hiking and swimming.

As I grow more familiar with the politics here, I become fearful Maine’s lakes and rivers, beautiful cornerstones of what makes Maine not only a popular tourist destination during the summer months, but also an enormous draw for me in terms of putting down roots here in Maine, are at risk.

Loopholes in the Clean Water Act left 55 percent of Maine’s streams vulnerable to pollution and affect the drinking water for nearly half a million Mainers. Thankfully, the Environmental Protection Agency is working to protect Maine’s water, and the Clean Water Rule was finalized Aug. 28, closing the loopholes in the Clean Water Act and protecting nearly 25,000 miles of waterways across the state. This will help ensure local waterways such as the Penobscot River, Presumpscot River and Sebago Lake are clean for fishing and swimming for generations to come.

For this reason, despite Gov. Paul LePage urging our congressional delegation to fight the EPA on the validity of the Clean Water Rule protections, our delegation must choose to side with clean water over the polluters. Closing the loopholes is anything but “unreasonable and arbitrary,” as LePage put it, but are crucial for maintaining healthy waterways and ensuring a bright future for the state.

Caleb Greenawalt

Environment Maine


Dress appropriately for school

In a Sept. 4 BDN column, Cat Just wrote about Bangor High School’s policy regarding its dress code, which she felt was sexist. A school administrator said that short shorts, crop tops and tank tops would not be allowed and that they did not want to see girls’ bra straps. Just said the administration was only targeting girls.

Bangor High School has done absolutely nothing wrong in enforcing its dress code. It’s clear to say these students are going to be in for a rude awakening when they get into the “real world” — this of course being life after high school. Their jobs are going to be enforcing dress codes very similar to the one at Bangor High.

This “crop top” movement is foolish and says a lot about my generation. The youth need to remember they are going to school, not to a party. Wear whatever you’d like on your own time.

Nevertheless, when you are in a facility that has rules and standards, follow them. If you don’t, there will be consequences. It’s not too much to ask guys and girls to follow a simple principle. If adolescents wore appropriate clothing, none of this would be an issue.

It’s time for this generation to grow up and not throw a temper tantrum every time they don’t get their way.

Jacob R. Gran


Refugees need to fight back

Historically, in conflicts around the planet, whenever a country or a particular group is attacked it gathers together to repel the aggressor. During the American Revolution, for example, even though we were not yet a nation, farmers and store clerks grabbed their weapons and repelled the British. During the Civil War, common people once again got together to defend what they believed. During the two world wars, men and women, young and old, enlisted in the military to protect our friends and ourselves.

So what is wrong with the thousands of migrants from the Middle East and Africa fleeing their own countries? Would it not serve the rest of the planet if we trained and armed this mass of people and sent them back to defend their countries? Would this action and their eventual success not give them the pride in ownership of the freedom they earn?

The world is creating an entire generation of dependent people. It will not get better until the evil leaders that exist all over the planet are defeated by the populous.

Recently, I was disgusted to read a father had left his young children and his wife in Syria. He felt it was too dangerous to put them on a boat with him to cross the Mediterranean, so he left them in Homs, a city under siege.

I think most American fathers would have sent their wife and children to freedom, not run away. At the very least he could have taken them with him. What is wrong with these people?

Leo Mazerall

Stockton Springs