Sanders has no chance of being president

“If we continue to stand together, we have the opportunity for our political revolution to achieve the goal of universal health care as a right for every man, woman and child. When you’re sick and go to a doctor, you should not come out in bankruptcy,” Bernie Sanders said.

These words may spell the end of any chance Sanders may have had of becoming president.

I have neighbors who would rather lose a leg and have their homes taken from them when they couldn’t make their mortgage payments than vote for a candidate who doesn’t want to bomb other countries.

Robert Skoglund

St. George

National park would bring new blood

Millinocket is facing a housing crisis. It has assumed ownership of 97 properties through tax foreclosures since 2012. The good news for the town is that it has recovered nearly 75 percent of the unpaid property taxes. But what about the homeowners who have lost all previous investment in their property?

As of now, there is nothing to bring new home buyers to Millinocket. Though we all hope for some form of manufacturing to create jobs, I also believe a national park would provide new jobs, too.

I’m retired, and because of health issues have decided to put my house up for sale to downsize to an apartment somewhere in Penobscot County. I am finding the real estate market is so bad here in Millinocket that I will never get anywhere near what I put into the place or what it would bring in Bangor or south. My real estate agent gave me some glimmer of hope after visiting our representatives in Washington last summer to get their feelings on a national park. But that glimmer of hope has vanished after reading the letter sent to President Barack Obama from Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King and Rep. Bruce Poliquin that expressed serious reservations about a national monument in the area.

Come on, King and Collins, you could help stem the erosion of property values in the Katahdin area by supporting a national park that would bring new in blood.

Harold Waltz

Millinocket

Clean elections aren’t free

This past fall’s referendum for Maine clean elections was not generated by Maine people. It was generated by out-of-state interests, such as the Proteus Action League. Why? Has anyone asked that? Why should poor working Mainers now have to potentially pay up to $3.2 million to fund someone’s campaign for governor, up to $16,500 to fund someone’s state House campaign or up to $65,000 to fund a state Senate campaign?

I don’t make that much in a year. Why would I want to pay for the political trash on the street in front of my house after every election? It’s not affordable. And it’s not clean as we’ve seen out-of-state interests donate through political action committees.

If Mainers want to make clean elections possible, they should limit the clean election funds to first-time candidates only. Only new people trying for the first time should get help. After that, their community should know them well enough to properly discourage them if they are unworthy of consideration. We shouldn’t have to pay for someone who just likes the attention, right?

How can people push for more laws they obviously don’t understand that will cost us regular folks working at McDonald’s even more of our paychecks? Nothing from the government is free. I’m paying for it.

Stop this right now.

Patricia Keyes

Swanville

Casinos have big social costs

Big business may bring great prosperity, but is the money worth more than the overall well-being of Maine residents?

After hearing all of the hype about having a casino in York County, I became concerned. Lately, there has been a petition out to collect signatures in order to get the question of a new casino in York County onto this year’s referendum. Allowing yet another casino in Maine would only hold out arms, welcoming more addiction in Maine.

Throughout my research, I found startling facts about gambling addiction in the United States. Between 3 and 5 percent of gamblers struggle with an addiction to gambling, and nearly 750,000 people between the ages of 14 and 21 have a gambling addiction, according to the University at Buffalo’s Research Institute on Addictions.

Some research suggests that a gambling addiction is strongly associated with criminal activity. About 50 percent of problem gambler may commit crimes in order to sustain their addictive behavior, according to Georgia State University. Unfortunately, the horror doesn’t stop there. Gambling addicts or any addicts, to be realistic, are more likely to suffer from depression, anxiety, substance abuse and antisocial personality disorders, according to the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Casinos generate a lot of tax revenue for Maine, but is that the money of greater value than the well-being of Maine residents who struggle with gambling addiction? I say not.

Matthew Heroux

Belfast