Marijuana irony

What irony. After the election, Democrats who won the popular vote but lost the election were mocked and urged to get over it. “You lost,” they were told. “Move on.”

Now the anti-marijuana people who lost the popular vote are crying foul. Get over it and accept that the majority won. Don’t want pot? Don’t use it. Don’t want commercialization or private clubs? Don’t frequent them.

Brian Steinwand

St. Albans

Obamacare repeal will ruin lives

I was aghast and disappointed to read that Sen. Susan Collins sided with the Republicans in voting to adopt a budget plan that would end the Affordable Care Act and remove the threat of filibuster from those who oppose the move.

I take care of Waldo County’s poor and drug-addicted, many of whom are only able to attend our program thanks to the Affordable Care Act. It has been a great service to the poor in our area, and I see the results every day.

Surely the law is not perfect and can be amended or even perhaps better legislation can be crafted, but this will necessarily be a slow, deliberative process, and I fear that in siding with her Republican colleagues who are eager to “repeal and replace,” Collins will cause tens of thousands of hard-working and struggling people in Maine to lose their insurance coverage.

In the case of my patients, they will disappear from our program, relapse back into drug use and cause havoc not only to their own lives but to the lives of their loved ones and many others in our community.

Tim Hughes


Why women will march on Washington

A unifying theme for the Women’s March on Washington is that it is pro-women and not anti-Trump. Women continue to occupy a second-class citizen status in this society. We continue to experience the “repeated injuries and usurpations on the part of man toward women,” that Elizabeth Cady Stanton included in her Declaration of Sentiments in 1848. Yes, we have made progress, but in this political and societal climate we appear to be returning to a darker time.

We now have a president-elect who has bragged about sexual assault and his sexual exploits and has made repeated demeaning, degrading comments about women for public consumption; and Republicans are waging a 30-year war on women with hundreds of bills introduced in state legislatures to restrict a woman’s right to choose. The new Congress has vowed to defund Planned Parenthood as one of its first orders of business.

Women continue to experience wage and sex discrimination in the workplace, which is worse for women of color. The United States ranks 65th among other nations in wage equality for similar work. Mothers of newborns are guaranteed paid leave in 188 countries, but the U.S. is not one of them.

I marched for passage of the Equal Rights Amendment nearly 40 years ago. Not only has the the amendment not been ratified, but it appears that it will be remanded to the dustbin of history with scant, if any, attention paid to its resurrection. These are just some reasons why this woman will be marching in Washington on Friday.

Starr C. Gilmartin


Public not welcome to Glenburn park

Last summer, the Glenburn Town Council decided the best way to “fix” problems at Lakeside Landing on Pushaw Lake was to close it to nonresidents and charge residents an annual fee for a parking sticker. The council said that crowds, parking on the road, vandalism and dog and goose poop had become issues.

While $2 is certainly affordable (a $50 fine less so) that’s not the point. As one of the few public access points to the lake, closing it to the public is a mean-spirited solution that nearly nobody supported at the public hearing but was done anyway. Minutes to the town meetings make for interesting reading about who qualifies for free stickers.

Vandalism and parking violations should have been dealt with as aggressively as they now seem able to slap tickets on cars without stickers. I lost count of the ridiculous number of new “No” signs. The “Welcome” sign is the most laughable.

I’m so thankful neighboring towns allow free access to their public parks and nature trails. What if every town closed their public lands to residents only? This shameful decision should be reversed.

Laurie Walton


Mayhew unwilling to promote health

I wonder why Mary Mayhew is the commissioner of the Maine Department of Health and Human Services. She seems unwilling to promote the health and welfare of the very people she is charged with serving.

We lost $1.4 million in federal funds for a nutrition program for women, infants and children that supports the purchase of nourishing food. This happened because Mayhew insists that the upgrade to an electronic system for redeeming benefits be accompanied by a photo ID that the federal government will not pay for and does not want.

Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, or WIC, will make it easier to access healthy food and simplify the process for grocery stores by converting to EBT cards. Obtaining a photo ID would be a hardship for many and reduce access. The WIC program is one of the most effective for insuring the healthy outcome of pregnancies and helping young children thrive.

In a state like Maine, with so much food insecurity, it would seem to me that federal funds should be welcomed to help our people. Why would Mayhew not make this possible? Does she have so little compassion for the people she serves? And if so, why is she in the position she is in? She should step aside and let someone else who will be more effective in carrying out the goals of this department take over.

Carolyn Bower


No symbolic flag protest

I believe that anyone who places a postage stamp picturing the U.S. flag upside down on the letters they send, as James Richard suggested in his Jan. 14 BDN letter to the editor as a symbolic protest of the values expressed by Donald Trump, is expressing more of an injustice to our great country than to Trump’s values. Whoever does such an act should be put in the same classification as the flag-burners.

We should honor and hold our flag high no matter who we the people elect as president.

Dana Thompson