Sanders is best hope

The motto of the Bernie Sanders campaign is “a future you can believe in.” Unfortunately, as long as the Sword of Damocles, representing an intentional or accidental nuclear catastrophe, threatens the survival of mankind, this hope becomes wishful thinking.

As more and more nations, some unstable and aggressive, get nuclear capability, the more certain that the ultimate catastrophe will occur. Many retired military brass consider an accidental nuclear catastrophe more probable than an intentional one.

Remarkably, this existential threat receives little attention from politicians, the media, and the general public. If the nuclear genie cannot be put back in the bottle, then solutions to important issues, such as taming global warming and achieving a sustainable society with economic security for all, could well become irrelevant.

Voters would do well to consider this critical issue when choosing the leaders of our nation. We need a president who will work towards a safe world for this and future generations, not an erratic, impulsive, self-centered demagogue such as Donald Trump.

I believe our best hope for the future lies with Sanders as president.

Gene Clifford

Mount Desert

LePage fails to help Riverview patients

Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner Mary Mayhew and Gov. Paul LePage’s plan to relocate mental health patients from the Riverview Psychiatric Recovery Center to a unit in the Maine State Prison represents a true failure to help them because they would be treated as criminals.

In 2013, in light of staffing shortages, corrections officers were brought to Riverview in place of nurses. They used Tasers and handcuffs to handle unruly patients, so Riverview lost its certification. The new plan brings the patients to the corrections officers instead of the other way around.

Nothing has been solved. The irony, as usual, is lost on LePage.

Joseph Ahern

Bangor

Support Marble for state Senate

As a lifelong resident of Maine, I am proud of our tradition of civil political discourse, reasonable compromise and bipartisan problem solving. Throughout most of my life, political disagreement has not meant demonizing the other side. All of that has been turned on its head in recent years. Augusta is broken, cynicism has trumped idealism and winning political points has become more important than working together to serve Maine.

It is discouraging but not hopeless. If we elect the right people, we can take back our government and direct our Legislature’s focus to the important challenges facing Maine. That is why I am supporting independent candidate Dennis Marble for the state Senate in District 10.

Marble has a record of collaboration, working with people of varied backgrounds and perspectives to solve problems and take on some of the most difficult problems in our communities. His sense of calling combined with the kind of common-sense born of decades serving our friends, families and neighbors in Maine is just what is needed in Augusta. Marble has a deep understanding of the complexity of today’s most important issues, and he offers real and workable solutions.

I would be proud to have Marble serve as my senator, and I think that when voters have the opportunity to meet him and discuss their concerns and ideas with him, they will agree and elect him in November.

Noah Nesin

Glenburn

Sanders vision of prosperity

After Bernie Sanders’ victory in the Maine Democratic caucus and his stunning upset in Michigan, it looks more and more likely that he has a shot at the Democratic nomination. Should he secure the nomination, he will need support from Republicans and independents to take Maine’s 2nd Congressional District in November.

Many people support his prescriptions for universal health care, free college and an end to disastrous trade policies that hurt American workers. How can we afford all this? Under Sanders’ tax plan, working Mainers won’t see their taxes go up. What they will get is a huge reduction in the cost of health care, thousands of new good-paying jobs, rebuilt infrastructure and a chance for their kids to go to college without having to take on enormous debt. We can’t afford not to do these things if we want to remain competitive in the global economy.

If we had not invaded Iraq in 2003, we could have paid for these programs several times over. Sanders voted against the war in Iraq and believes it was one of the biggest foreign policy blunders in modern history. As Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, has pointed out, Sanders is the only candidate in the race with a noninterventionist attitude toward foreign policy that will keep us away from ill-conceived wars of regime change in the future.

Max Coolidge

Blue Hill

North Woods worthy of national park

Our elected officials and some locals, who should champion every part of Maine, say negative things about the property on which the proposed national park and recreation area would be located.

As a senior at University of Maine at Machias studying environmental recreation and tourism management, I had the incredible opportunity to help manage this property as an intern. I experienced the land, mountains, waterfalls on some of the state’s most historically important and spectacular rivers, trails, wildlife and a night sky so close you feel like you can reach up and touch the universe.

I know this place is worthy of a national park. If you’re an elected official and you aren’t using your position to tout this amazing place to the world, you’re doing young Mainers, like me, an incredible disservice. If you’re a local and you’re not at least a little bit awed everyday by your surroundings, you’ve probably just lived here long enough to take it for granted and possibly think everyone in the world is surrounded by the same. They aren’t.

Although Mainers from all age groups overwhelmingly want a national park in the Katahdin region, it is my generation that will have to live with the consequences if Sens. Angus King and Susan Collins continue to fail to show leadership. If they, like many before them, won’t listen to their constituents, President Barack Obama should use the authority created by President Teddy Roosevelt, originally inspired by the East Branch of the Penobscot lands, to create a national monument as a first step.

A.J. Callahan

Machias