One-sided political forecast

Michael Cianchette in the Jan. 2-3 Maine Review wrote an opinion piece on “What to watch for in politics in 2016.” It was more of a GOP wish list than a column on what to watch for in state politics. Pretty one-sided and very misleading. That’s a bit unprofessional on the BDN’s part.

Wade Graham


US should welcome refugees

I arrived on U.S. soil in 1963 as an immigrant from a European country. I came legally, a young white woman in my mid-20s, and was an unskilled laborer, who was sponsored by an American family as a nanny. Before being allowed in, I completed the application process in my home country. No doubt I was thoroughly checked out, even though there was little evidence of terror threats in those days.

I was granted an immigration visa. And I am still living here as a naturalized citizen more than 50 years later. I successfully integrated into American society and workforce following the good faith action of the United States to grant me entry. This is the case with the majority of immigrants.

Since then, the application process has most likely become much more stringent. Even before applying for U.S. visas, refugees from war-torn countries will already have gone through vetting at their point of entry in European countries.

Why, then, was I allowed to enter this country but people escaping the horrors of war and genocide are rejected simply on the basis of hate and mistrust?

Americans ought to use a rational thought process before shutting the doors on refugees. America has a time-honored tradition of allowing people from other nations to resettle here. I was allowed to come here, and I proved myself worthy. Refugees from Syria and other war-torn countries should have the same opportunity.

Hella Davis


Show commitment to public buses

No matter the reason, many of us have decided and made a commitment to live and work here in the Bangor region. That commitment is to embrace society. We aren’t afforded the luxury to only take the benefits of society and leave the rest behind. Cities are not havens merely for our appetites and whims. Public transportation is part of the responsibility of living in a vibrant community. There are many people who ride the bus, and you might be surprised who they are. We should support public transportation in our beautiful city.

There are people who work in retail or in one of the malls, perhaps an intern or two. There might even be an antique car aficionado, who I am sure would say, “it won’t become an antique, driving hither and yon all the time.” There are those that make your breakfast at McDonalds, even at 6 in the evening. Who hasn’t enjoyed deep-fried potatoes for supper? There are dental hygienists, bank tellers and mechanics, who just might service your car, the balance in your checking account, or your mouth — hopefully, there is not a lot of servicing to do. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about our buses.

The simple fact may be that if we don’t show a real commitment to our buses and riding them, the sole people who may be on them will be the bus drivers.

Shane Walsh


North Woods worthy of national park

I have traveled to the Katahdin region many times, taking part in photography workshops and enjoying the splendor of Maine’s North Woods. It is a truly special place and is worthy of national park status.

As a resident of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, I have firsthand knowledge of the positive economic effect of national parks on nearby towns. The towns of Millinocket, East Millinocket and Medway are shadows of their former selves. A national park would help bring new, absolutely necessary vitality to their streets.

Having followed the national park debate for some time and having seen no intelligible progress, it seems to me that what these towns and the state needs is a leader. I think Sen. Angus King could be that leader. We need someone to take decisive action, either by supporting the designation of the area by the president as a national monument or by submitting legislation to create a national park and recreation area. We need to see progress. Please help show the way to a new national park.

Andrew Hansen

Gettysburg, Pennsylvania