Stop funding school sports

The time is upon us for the annual picking of the pockets by the Bangor School Board. As usual, we are presented with a budget that will increase our contribution to the school system.

A bright note to the budget is a savings of $30,000 by reducing freshman sports programs, sad for the freshmen students but a windfall for those of us who have no children in the system and who also live on a fixed income. But the addition of lacrosse at a cost of $45,000 turns that reduction into an increase.

I am amazed at times as to what thoughts run through the minds of our city officials. Can they believe that taxpayers can just keep paying? There must be an end to this madness. I believe it has come. We can only hope that our city councilors leave the rubber stamp at home.

The final hope is that the voters will have a moment of sanity and realize that programs outside the four walls of the classroom need to be supported by the students and boosters that are passionate about those programs.

Wayne LeVasseur


No concern for American people

How many times have we heard a politician make the comment, “we’re doing this for the American people”? Come on. Politicians only care about two things: their free health care and their bloated paycheck. Add to this that a politician’s goal has nothing to do with America or its citizens and more to do with getting even with the other side.

The Republican health care bill was designed to give the wealthy a sizable win in their bank accounts at the expense of older citizens that typically can’t afford health insurance.

The president keeps signing these decrees that will come back to haunt this country’s environment and relationship with our neighbors.

There is a constant effort to put stumbling blocks in front of any person or group that seeks to prove or disprove that Russia sought to interfere with the 2016 presidential election and whether officials from the Trump campaign worked with Russia to accomplish the election’s outcome. When someone continues to protest about something continually, one has to wonder that maybe there is something if we dig a little deeper.

Richard Barclay


Proud of Sen. Collins

As I read the news about proposed legislation to allow all service-connected disabled veterans free access to national parks, I was amazed to learn that this has been only afforded to permanently disabled vets. What does not surprise me, however, is that Sen. Susan Collins is one of the sponsors of this legislation. Collins has always been looking out for veterans, and we appreciate all the hard work she does on behalf of all Maine people.

As a County native, Collins understands the issues that many of us deal with in rural Maine. Our veteran’s satellite clinic located at Northern Maine Medical Center in Fort Kent is a standing reminder of the length that the senator will go to for Maine people, and, that the needs of Maine veterans are first and foremost on her mind.

What is equally remarkable is that when she visits the County and crosses paths with her constituents, she always greets them by first name, which further reinforces that she is one of us.

Collins’ work ethic and 100 percent voting record make us all proud and is a testament to her County roots. Keep up the great work Collins. I am proud to call her my senator.

Duane Belanger

Fort Kent

Poliquin communication not effective

On Wednesday, March 29, Rep. Bruce Poliquin held a telephone town hall. He left a message on my answering machine at 5:55 p.m. saying he was sorry I would miss it. There was no information about how I could join in after hearing the message.

I would have been interested in listening in on this town hall and hearing his response to questions about his support for the American Health Care Act, Trump’s proposed budget and the defunding of Planned Parenthood. Our local Indivisible group was meeting that night, and there were 40 people who could have listened in together and learned about how Poliquin comes to his decisions when voting on legislation.

I follow Poliquin on Facebook and Twitter. I’m on his email newsletter list. I call his office at least three times a week (A.J. in the office does a great job answering the phones, by the way). Yet, I had no advance notice of his telephone town hall, and I have received no follow-up about the results of the event.

Paying close attention to our members of Congress is new to me. Perhaps unannounced, spur of the moment telephone town halls are standard operating procedure for Poliquin. It just doesn’t strike me as a very effective way to communicate with constituents.

Gail Leiser

Bar Harbor

Protect seniors from financial scams

Kudos to Sen. Susan Collins for her unwavering support of our elderly and their families. The Senior Financial Empowerment Act, which she co-sponsored, will protect seniors from fraud that has bilked our aging parents and grandparents out of almost $3 billion annually.

My elderly mother fell prey to a credit card scam, and I spent hours on the phone trying to get her out of the contract that she agreed to verbally on the phone. When they played back the recorded agreement for me, I heard my mother say, “I can’t understand you. I am hard of hearing” and without a moment’s hesitation the caller continued pressuring my mother to sign up for a costly deal she neither needed nor wanted.

I was able to break the contact when I threatened to go to the attorney general, but not every family has the background and the knowledge to deal with these scammers. Fortunately, this bill will provide much needed education and prevention of elder financial fraud.

Collins also championed measures to help families who are the primary caregivers for an elderly relative. The stress of this care can be mental and financial, and as Maine’s median age rises, more families will face the challenge of caring for an elderly relative often with some degree of dementia.

Collins understands that programs to train and support home caregiver help families provide the best possible care and are more cost effective than the alternative nursing home.

Mary E. Small