The not-so funnies

I start every day, except for Sunday, with the BDN and a cup of coffee. Because my wife likes to do the crossword puzzle, I read half of the comics and then give that page to her. The comics on that page are true comics and often make me smile or laugh. I especially like Hi & Lois, The Family Circus, Dennis The Menace and Snuffy Smith.

I continue by reading the rest of the paper from section A to the end, which is usually section D. In section D, I get to read the rest of the comics and that’s where I have a problem. This section also contains true comics like Peanuts, Baby Blues, Zits, Duston and, my favorite, Pickles.

Then there is Mark Trail and The Phantom, which are neither comical nor funny. In fact, I find both of them a waste of paper and ink. I’m sure there are other true comics out there that could be added in place of these two dumb strips. Please consider B.C., Lola, Red & Rover, Baldo, or Big Nate.

Tom Slattery


Kaepernick’s protest

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick is raising awareness of the victimization of African-Americans. The killing of young black men involved in gang and drug violence and so many innocent bystanders is epidemic in this country. It is admirable that he is pledging $1 million to organizations that are addressing racial problems.

There are a bunch of men and women out there who are risking their very lives on a daily basis trying to intervene and stop this violence. They are truly doing something to help, not just giving lip service. They are a mixed lot, consisting of African-Americans, Hispanics, Asians and whites.

Are these selfless folks professional football players? Politicians? Community activists? No they are not. And when Kaepernick figures out who they are, I’m sure his money and thanks will be pouring out to help them achieve his goal to stem this violence. If in fact that is his goal.

Dale Sprinkle


Davitt an ally for veterans

Maine’s veterans are lucky to have Democratic Rep. Jim Davitt looking out for them at the State House. As co-chair and a founder of the Legislature’s bipartisan Veterans Caucus, I am proud of his efforts to make life better for veterans.

Davitt earned the Bronze Star, a recognition reserved for members of our military who have distinguished themselves through heroism or merit, for his service in Vietnam. He understands the challenges that too many servicemen and women face when they return home.

Over the past two years, he has worked hard to increase funding for organizations that serve veterans and their families. He co-sponsored my bill to exempt veterans’ organizations that support post-traumatic stress disorder treatment from paying state sales tax, so more of the money they raise will go to support their mission. That measure passed as part of a bipartisan package of measures to improve the way we serve our veterans, which Davitt championed in the state House of Representatives.

As a member of the Legislature’s Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee, Davitt has led efforts to address the drug crisis that’s devastating our state. He’s worked hard to help veterans struggling with addiction after being prescribed pain medication for service-related injuries.

As a retired commander in the U.S. Naval Reserve, I thank Davitt for being a strong voice for Mainers who have served our country. His work goes a long way toward ensuring we honor our veterans and connect them with the support they have earned through their service.

Rep. Mick Devin


Marble for Maine Senate

Our government seems mired in conflict. Critical services like mental health and addiction treatment are being eroded through service cuts. Bills that we as voters have decided on are not being executed. Normal legislative processes are being fought over. We are in need of calm, rational, sane problem-solving.

I have seen Dennis Marble have those skills and advocate for critical services — and get them. He is running for Maine Senate District 10 as an independent. He has 20 years of experience negotiating, leading and being a voice for those without one.

In order to negotiate, one needs to speak the appropriate governmental language, know the resources and be intuitive to understand the other side. In order to problem solve, one needs to be able to listen and think outside of the box. Marble has a sharp mind and a sharp ear, enabling him to listen and find solutions to tough problems. He is able to hold the ship steady and skillfully use his voice for those of us not in the room.

Our society has intractable problems and wonderful opportunities. I want a representative with the authority of someone who has been in the trenches, has faced life-threatening situations with people and has made a difference. I want someone who is fluent in conflict resolution. I would dare say that battling homelessness gives Marble all the conflict resolution skills he needs for Augusta.

I ask for your vote for him. Our votes are precious and our future resources depend on who we send out to represent us.

Lee F. White


Vote no for legal marijuana

The voice of reason thankfully comes from the Maine Chiefs of Police Association voicing its opposition to the legalization of marijuana and reinforces the need to soundly defeat the legalization of marijuana — Question 1 on the November ballot.

The BDN has reported frequently the lack of adequate treatment services for people with drug addictions in Maine, the increasing number of people dying from drug addiction in Maine and the fact marijuana is stronger today than ever before.

Marijuana is a gateway drug, as Gov. Paul LePage has stated. It is dangerous, especially for our youth. Legalizing marijuana is unfortunately viewed as easy money to try to solve budgetary shortfalls. Legalizing marijuana is not the solution, and it will lead us in the wrong direction with more human suffering.

Kathleen Sutherland