Sanders the best candidate

What side is the Bangor Daily News taking in the presidential race? Democratic or Republican?

Will the BDN choose Hillary Clinton, who as a former first lady has some experience, or does the BDN prefer Bernie Sanders, who is more kind and quiet? Will the BDN endorse Ted Cruz, a religious conservative, Donald Trump, who is extreme to the biggest extent, or John Kasich, who is the least extreme out of all the Republicans?

I think Sanders is the best candidate for president because he promises the most freedom to the people out of all the candidates. He will protect the rights of all people no matter if they are a man or woman, Christian or Muslim. I think the BDN should endorse Sanders for president.

Camden Ardry


LePage lacks business sense

After following Gov. Paul LePage for several years, I would not bet the farm on his business ability. In 2013, the Maine Public Utilities Commission finalized an initial agreement with Statoil to develop an offshore wind power project on the Maine coast. Statoil was to invest $120 million in the project and Maine ratepayers were supposed to contribute to this effort. Maine was poised to become first state in the nation to develop offshore wind power.

The University of Maine was working on this concept, and in their letter of support for Statoil they said “that landing Statoil was like attracting Google or Apple to our state.” LePage pressured the Legislature to change the rules in the bidding process, favoring instead UMaine, which was expected to replace this world leader. Shortly afterward, Statoil withdrew its Maine project.

Maine lost our chance to have the jobs and investment that Statoil was willing to provide. Economists said that global investment in offshore power will reach a trillion dollars. By chasing Statoil away from Maine, LePage managed to deprive Maine people of the badly needed jobs and investment dollars. When mills close, he blames others, usually with an angry tirade.

Robert D. Tweedie


Protecting firefighters

Until now, Maine law has treated assault on a firefighter as a less serious crime than assault on a police officer or emergency medical personnel.

Eight years ago, I sponsored a bill to change that by making assault on a firefighter who is performing his or her official duties a Class C crime. It passed the House with overwhelming support, but it went on to die in the Senate. During the following year, the proposal was rejected by the policy committee that considered it.

I was proud to support a new bill, LD 1683, this session to give firefighters the same legal protection from assault that we give to other first responders. After earning unanimous support in the House and overwhelming bipartisan support in the Senate, the governor signed the measure into law.

It’s been eight years in the making, but it will now be a serious crime to assault a firefighter who is responding to an emergency. Maine law will now protect all of our first responders from assault in the line of duty. I thank my colleagues who worked on and supported this bipartisan measure.

Bob Duchesne

State representative


Bathroom choices

Last week, my daughter and I arrived at a rest stop between Baltimore, Maryland, and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, behind a bus of church ladies on their way to outlet stores. Of course there was a long line for the six-stall women’s room, and even the family room was in use. A glance in the open door of the men’s room showed that two of the three stalls were free.

In my most spritely voice I said “excuse me guys but this girl has to go.” One of the gentlemen said “go for it, I will neither deny or confirm that you are here.” I said thanks and that I hoped that he would extend that courtesy to any lady who followed me.

After I washed my hands and politely looked away from the urinals, I gracefully exited the men’s room. Seeing that there appeared to be no fallout or seriously distressed men following me out, several ladies took the opening.

It does not matter if you are man, woman, boy or girl, we can compromise. None of the people at that rest stop had any idea what my politics were or what my “natural gender” was, but we all shared a need to relieve ourselves and were willing to think outside the box to do so.

I am sure that in the future there will be no gender-specific facilities, just rows of cubicles. We will all just grin sheepishly at one another as we cross to the sink as we do when we exit a portable toilet and life will go on.

Ellen Willinghan

Winter Harbor

I-395/Route 9 connector sad

It is sad to think of what our currently peaceful neighborhood will be like once the I-395/Route 9 connector is built. It is sad that the Maine Department of Transportation forced the Bangor Area Comprehensive Transportation System to OK this project by holding hostage $57 million in road project funding for the upcoming year in the Bangor area if they voted against the project, as reported in a March 26 BDN article.

It is sad that we wasted years with public meetings with the Department of Transportation, which promised the towns and residents a voice in how and where this connector would be built, or not built, as residents of the town of Eddington and the city of Brewer support.

It is sad the Department of Transportation changes its mind like the weather when this route was rejected for not satisfying the purpose and needs only to be brought back in the dark of night with no transparency on the department’s part.

It is sad that we taxpayers will be dishing out $61 million or more for a road when the state can’t keep up with repairs to the roads and bridges we already have. It is sad that since this project started in 2000 traffic patterns, mill closings and other changes in our area do not change a thing. It is sad that more people don’t check out the truth at It’s just plain sad.

Carol and Vinal Smith