Register to participate in Maine caucuses

If you are a member of the GOP or Green Party and want to participate in the March 6 Maine Democratic caucus, then you need to register as a Democrat at your town office or city hall by Friday, Feb. 19.

Most of my voting life I’ve been an independent, or unenrolled in any party. But I switch when I find a candidate who I can support. This year I am “feelin’ the Bern” and support Bernie Sanders for president in 2016, so I registered as a Democrat, or as I like to call it a “Berniecrat.”

Once registered, you can attend the Democratic caucus March 6 or you can vote absentee by applying for a form at

Bob O’Connor


Beardsley wrong choice

As a survivor of sexual abuse in my childhood and in my wish that this would not happen to other children, I was glad to read in the Feb. 10 BDN that Gov. Paul LePage temporarily withdrew his nomination of William Beardsley for education commissioner.

The police report on the death of the Rev. Robert Carlson indicated a number of people, including Beardsley, who were responsible for the safety of children did not see or chose to ignore red flags that suggested criminal behavior on the part of Carlson. According to the report, Carlson was a serial predator who hurt many children in our communities and betrayed their families for decades. He died of an apparent suicide in November 2011.

The job of education commissioner involves the safety of children, and prudence in the nomination is a must.

Robert Gossart

Salisbury Cove

No reason to delay Supreme Court nomination

It’s dismaying to have a U.S. Supreme Court justice die, and within minutes of the reports the Republican presidential candidates, joined by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, picking a fight with the opposition party over the nomination to fill Justice Antonin Scalia‘s seat.

It reminds me of raising children. Whenever they don’t want to play fair or share, an adult has to intercede to try to teach them those core values. It’s tiresome. And when it’s adults elected to office and paid generous salaries by the American people, it’s shameless.

In November 1987, President Ronald Reagan nominated Anthony Kennedy to fill a Supreme Court vacancy. In less than 90 days, the nomination was confirmed 97-0, by a Democrat-controlled U.S. Senate.

McConnell has the model. He should act like a grown up and follow it. He needs to do his job.

We are the American people, and to imply we aren’t by saying the nomination needs to wait nearly a year for the next president so “the American people” can choose is an obscene insult to the American people and to the sitting president.

Nancy Fitzgerald


Contraception key to quell Zika fear

Because my son is now living in Colombia, engaged to a Colombian woman, I am alarmed about news of the Zika virus, prevalent there and spreading across Latin America. The virus, carried by the aedes aegypti species of mosquito, apparently is associated with microcephaly, an abnormally small head, in newborns whose mothers were infected during pregnancy. These babies face the prospect of lifelong disabilities requiring complex care.

To prevent more casualties from Zika, we need a frank discussion of why access to safe abortion and contraception must be made available to all, including those countries where they are not permitted because of religion and tradition. A pregnant woman infected with Zika must have the option of terminating her pregnancy, and contraception must be available to prevent pregnancy in the first place.

Some Latin American governments have advised women not to get pregnant for up to two years — a highly unrealistic recommendation. What governments instead need to do is make contraceptives available to all, teach men and women how to use them properly, and allow each woman who does get pregnant the right to decide for herself the best way forward.

Religious teaching against contraception and abortion must bend at this time of need, or there will be thousands of women bearing children with lifelong problems and many women dying because of unsafe abortions.

Wendy Ross Eichler


Bad windows

I live in the Freese’s building. Currently, I need to sit in my living room fully clothed with a blanket wrapped around me. The Bangor Historical Society has an interest in the windows that adorn this building. They are large, single-pane glass enclosed in a metal frame. The ambient temperature in my living room is in the mid-60s, though I have the temperature set at 90.

These windows that are adored by the Historical Society offer no barrier to the cold outside. If I get really cold, I retire to my bedroom where I can get into in my bed with all the bedding and a quilt.

I invite the members of the Bangor Historical Society to visit me and enjoy my living room with me. Don’t forget to dress warmly. Of course, they can always retire to their cozy, warm homes and enjoy these lovely windows from the street as they leave. Something needs to be done for the elderly.

Michael Gould


Clean Power Plan good for climate

I truly believe the Clean Power Plan would have a huge effect on climate change here in America. Other countries are way ahead of the game, and it is America’s turn to make a change.

Without any regulations on carbon, companies are pretty much allowed to do what they want without repercussion. This damages our atmosphere and the air we breathe. If people are OK with living in a world that is dying, then they can feel free to continue doing nothing. If they are not, then they need to advocate for the Clean Power Plan.

If we start to regulate them, carbon emissions could possibly be cut down by a third. Currently, the plan is on hold because of opposition from two dozen states and a coal company. Our world is changing, and it is about time we do something and change ourselves for the better.

Sabrina Machado